FDR Stabilizer Selection Using Simple Soil Tests

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-REG39

Fiscal Year: 2018/2019

Status: Final

Principal investigator(s): David Orr, Ph.D., Cornell University

Performing organization(s): Cornell University

Managing organization: Rutgers CAIT

In cooperation with: Steuben County
Partner project manager: Vince Spagnoletti, Highway Superintendent

Supported by: USDOT-OST-R

UTC, grant, or agreement no.: 69A3551847102


Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) is a commonly used technique to improve the quality of the base for local roads and streets. Stabilization is done using mechanical, chemical, or bituminous materials. One of the most important steps is choosing the correct stabilizer for the current road conditions. However, the choice of the material to be used is too often based upon discussions with a local vendor or other empirical methods. The most common soil tests that are used are grain size analysis and plasticity. While grain size is critical, the plasticity of most base gravels are very low and not an indicative method for which stabilizer will actually have the best chances of success. The primary goal of this proposal is to use the sand equivalent (SE) test with grain size analysis to overcome this limitation and provide a quick and economical method to allow the best stabilizer to be chosen.

The primary intended outcome of the project is to create a matrix for proper stabilizer, which is expected to allow local agencies to select the proper stabilizer to be used with FDR processes. If feasible, an equation will allow the user to determine the amount of stabilizer to be used.