The resilient modulus (MR) input parameters in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) program have a significant effect on the projected pavement performance. The MEPDG program uses three different levels of inputs depending on the desired level of accuracy. The primary objective of this research was to develop a laboratory testing program utilizing the Iowa DOT servo-hydraulic machine system for evaluating typical Iowa unbound materials and to establish a database of input values for MEPDG analysis. This was achieved by carrying out a detailed laboratory testing program designed in accordance with the AASHTO T307 resilient modulus test protocol using common Iowa unbound materials. The program included laboratory tests to characterize basic physical properties of the unbound materials, specimen preparation and repeated load triaxial tests to determine the resilient modulus. The MEPDG resilient modulus input parameter library for Iowa typical unbound pavement materials was established from the repeated load triaxial MR test results. This library includes the non-linear, stress-dependent resilient modulus model coefficients values for level 1 analysis, the unbound material properties values correlated to resilient modulus for level 2 analysis, and the typical resilient modulus values for level 3 analysis. The resilient modulus input parameters library can be utilized when designing low volume roads in the absence of any basic soil testing. Based on the results of this study, the use of level 2 analysis for MEPDG resilient modulus input is recommended since the repeated load triaxial test for level 1 analysis is complicated, time consuming, expensive, and requires sophisticated equipment and skilled operators.
Iowa State University
CTRE Project 06-271
Iowa Department of Transportation
Ceylan, Halil; Gopalakrishnan, Kasthurirangan; and Kim, Sunghwan, "MEPDG Work Plan Task No. 5: Characterization of Unbound Materials (Soils/Aggregates) for Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide" (2009). InTrans Project Reports. 44.