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Rapid Field Assessment of Cold-in-Place Recycling (CIR) Materials


I.            RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT

Cold in-place recycling (CIR) can provide significant economical savings in reduced material consumption, reduced cost of construction, and reduced user delays.  However, there are currently no acceptable rapid quality control or acceptance  procedures to ensure that the constructed materials comply with commonly specified parameters.  CIR has traditionally been accepted in the field using moisture content and compaction, and strength tests in the laboratory.  These techniques do not readily lend themselves to assessing the ultimate performance of CIR materials nor is the output used in current pavement design methodologies.  Additionally, many agencies specify a mandatory curing period (e.g., up to 14 days) before the layer can be trafficked or overlaid.  If this curing period is not needed, significant construction delays are unnecessarily incurred.  There is a need to develop appropriate strength based parameters, field-based quality control and acceptance procedures, and a process for ensuring that the final product is of good quality and ready for trafficking/surfacing.

 

The literature shows that the most prevalent means for assessing the quality of CIR during construction is the use of a nuclear density gauge for density and direct sampling for moisture content determination.  The results of these tests are related to the optimum density/moisture content values reported from the mix design to determine if the constructed material is acceptable.  However, these test results do not indicate if the accepting agency will receive adequate material performance.  Although material sampling may be collected for follow-up testing in the laboratory, the results of these tests, using the most commonly accepted methods, often require a multi-day laboratory curing process and are thus not practical for construction activities.

 

II.           OBJECTIVE

The objective of this project is two-fold.  The first component seeks the development of a new test or identification of an existing test to assess the strength of the CIR material.  The second component will use this method(s) to more accurately identify when the CIR material is ready for trafficking/surfacing.  The goal is to have a rapid field-based test to guide contractor quality control while providing the transportation agency the basis for acceptance.  This will allow for development of end-result specifications and performance-based specifications for the work.

 

III.          RESEARCH PROPOSED

The following tasks have been identified to complete the work for this project:

 

Task 1.    Conduct a literature search and survey of transportation agencies nationally and internationally on test methodologies used for field strength and stiffness testing of construction materials and summarize the existing practice.

Task 2.    Review the existing test methods available for strength determination and determine if their output can be related to more traditionally used tests such as unconfined compressive strength, resilient modulus, indirect tensile strength, stability testing, dynamic modulus, etc. and recommend a suitable rapid field test method.

Task 3.    Propose and conduct a testing program using the identified rapid field testing technique(s) and compare to traditionally used tests.

Task 4.    Develop a final report and training materials for implementation by agencies.

 

IV.         ESTIMATE OF PROBLEM FUNDING AND RESEARCH PERIOD

The estimated funding for the project is $300,000.  The estimated time to conduct the research is 24 months.

 

V.         URGENCY, PAYOFF POTENTIAL, AND IMPLEMENTATION

CIR has the potential for significant cost savings for agencies.  However, the lack of an accepted means for assessing the quality of the constructed product at the time of construction limits the implementation prospects for CIR.  Previous studies have shown cost savings of up to 50 percent per project compared to traditional pavement rehabilitation techniques.  If these cost savings are extrapolated to only a fraction of the pavement rehabilitation work contracted annually by agencies, the implications are tremendous.

 

For implementation, it is proposed that a marketing plan be developed as a result of this research project.  The marketing plan should refine the target market and provide a systematic approach to ensuring that key decision makers become aware of the test method’s advantages and benefits.  The plan should also facilitate distribution of the product to early adopters with sufficient support for timely implementation.

 

VI.         RELATED RESEARCH

Not applicable.

 

VII.        PERSON(S) DEVELOPING THE PROBLEM

Tom Kazmierowski, P.E.

Senior Consultant, Pavement and Materials Engineering

Golder Associates, Ltd.

6925 Century Avenue, Suite 100

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5N 7K2

905.567.6100 (Ext. 2076)

tom_kazmierowski@golder.com

 

and

 

Brian Diefenderfer, Ph.D., P.E.

Senior Research Scientist

Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research

530 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903

434.293.1944

Brian.Diefenderfer@VDOT.Virginia.gov

 

VIII.       PROCESS USED TO DEVELOP PROBLEM STATEMENT

This problem statement was developed under the TRB Committee on Pavement Rehabilitation.

 

IX.         DATE AND SUBMITTED BY

June 1, 2013

Julie Vandenbossche

Chair, TRB Committee on Pavement Rehabilitation


Sponsoring Committee:AFD70, Pavement Rehabilitation
Date Posted:06/26/2013
Date Modified:06/27/2013
Index Terms:Cold in-place recycling, Quality control, Acceptance tests, Building materials, Moisture content, Nuclear density gages, Field tests, Performance based specifications,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Subjects    
Highways
Maintenance and Preservation
Materials
Pavements

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