Behnoud Kermani, Shelley M. Stoffels, Ming Xiao, Tong Qiu
Concrete pavements, Fines (Materials), Pavement joints, Pavement performance, Rigid pavements, Saturated soils, Subbase (Pavements), Subgrade (Pavements)
Rigid pavement structure typically consists of a surface layer (concrete), underlying granular layers (subbase and/or base), and a compacted subgrade soil layer. Because the subgrade is saturated during wet seasons, cyclic loading caused by heavy traffic may lead to pumping of fine particles from the subgrade into the granular layers, redistribution of materials underneath the slabs, and gradual ejection of materials through pavement joints. This phenomenon results in faulting and can be a major contributor to pavement failure in wet regions. The objective of this study was to simulate and quantify the migration of subgrade soil into the subbase at rigid pavement joints. The cyclic traffic loading was simulated on a geometrically scaled model of rigid interstate highway pavement using a one-third-scale model mobile load simulator (MMLS3), an accelerated pavement testing device. Nonplastic saturated silt and partially saturated aggregate subbase were used as subgrade and subbase layers, respectively.