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NRRA: Performance Evaluation of Wicking Geotextiles for Improving Drainage and Stiffness of Road

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  04/18/2022


The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the short- and long-term performance benefits (e.g., maintaining stiffness, improving drainage, and stabilizing moisture profile), of single-layer wicking geotextile used in pavement foundation systems. The scope of work will be achieved through accomplishing the following two objectives: (1) large-scale accelerated laboratory testing (both for drainage and loading); and (2) field testing. For both-large scale accelerated laboratory testing set up, we propose evaluating one wicking geotextile product to test under fully saturated condition. Same tests will be conducted under same saturation conditions on the sample without wicking geotextile. The accelerated laboratory loading performance will be evaluated through cyclic loading applied in increments of 50,000 cycles and continuously monitoring the resilient modulus (Mr), permanent deformation (¿p), and pore pressure dissipations. The drainage performance of the wicking geotextiles and movement of moisture within soil will be monitored via large scale accelerated laboratory soil moisture profiling test box. In addition, impacts of freeze-thaw cycles on drainage capacity and stiffness (from light weight deflectometer (LWD) results that are conducted on drainage test set up) of wicking geotextile embedded laboratory system will be evaluated. Moreover, long-term performance of wicking geotextile embedded in the pavement foundation systems in the field (proposed to be installed between base and subgrade layers) will be evaluated and monitored via analyses of falling weight deflectomer (FWD), international roughness index (IRI), rutting, frost heave-thaw settlement, and soil temperature and moisture data.

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