Cyclic Plate Testing of Reinforced Airport Pavements— Phase I: Geogrid
Numerous recent studies have examined pavement design using geosynthetics as a method to improve pavement performance in terms of reducing material thickness or increased pavement life. Most of this work has been focused on highway pavement design and loading scenarios. This study was examines the effect of using geosynthetics as a reinforcement agent in airfield pavement design with pavement structures subjected to heavy aircraft loadings. Cyclic plate testing was conducted on field-scale pavement layers within a laboratory pavement testing containment facility. Four representative weak airfield pavement structures were constructed, three of which included geogrid reinforcement at the bottom of the aggregate base-course layer. The pavement structures were constructed in similar fashion, which allows for comparison of pavement performance data between the test items. Pavement performance data were collected and examined. This data included permanent deformation of the pavement layers and stress distribution of the heavy aircraft loading. Traffic benefit ratios were calculated as a means to easily compare reinforced versus unreinforced pavement performance.
Test results concluded there is significant increase in pavement performance when using geogrid reinforcement in a weak airfield pavement structure. The traffic benefit ratios for all geogrid-reinforced test items showed substantial improvement and can be used as a basis for additional full-scale accelerated pavement testing.
Author: Gregory J. Norwood