Development of a new test procedure to evaluate the flexural strength of flexible base binder materials used in roadway construction
Merrick, Michael Edward
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The Texas Department of Transportation depends on one primary test for the determination of the strength of the flexible base and subgrade roadway materials. The Triaxial Strength Test is generally accepted in all State Transportation Agencies for strength determination. However the Triaxial is known for being lengthy, laborious, and test results with high variance. Through this research project, an emerging test procedure and respective test procedure is studied that determines material strength through flexural testing of the base binder portion of the composite base matrix. The research performed of the proposed strength test is to determine its merit. Early testing with an existing crude prototype has already shown that the proposed method is worthy of further investigation. Should this study provide data reinforcing the existing data, a new for the materials industry. In order to complete this goal, a quality prototype device was developed. The triaxial test results for materials used by the department are compared with the flexural results. The binder portion, material passing the #40 sieve, is the constituent of the test specimens for the proposed flexural test. The triaxial test uses all of the base material, the aggregate matrix and binder. The prototype device is referred to as the Base Binder Flexometer. Should a correlation exists between the compressive and flexural testing methods, both the Department and the contractors bidding on highway contracts would receive a huge benefit of expedited material testing and less delays.