Cone Penetration Testing in Pavement Design

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Cone Penetration Testing in Pavement Design

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Minnesota Department of Transportation




The objective of this work was to show that cone penetration testing (CPT) can be used for pavement applications, specifically estimating resilient modulus and organic content. A series of undisturbed samples were obtained from borings directly adjacent to CPT soundings. These samples underwent both laboratory resilient modulus and bender element testing. A statistical analysis was then performed on these results in conjunction with the data obtained from the CPT soundings to determine the feasibility of developing correlations between field and laboratory measurements of moduli. A relationship was developed between Young's modulus determined by bender element testing and that determined by resilient modulus testing. However, the correlation did not apply to the field-based seismic measurements of stiffness from the CPT soundings. The analysis presented with respect to the identification of highly organic soils via CPT testing shows that at this point the model identified using the discriminate analysis method is not currently sufficient to use in practice. The 10% increase in correctly classified soils, however, holds promise for the future, and the introduction of additional independent parameters within a significantly larger data set can be easily analyzed using the methods and tools presented here.


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Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Dehler, William; Labuz, Joseph. (2007). Cone Penetration Testing in Pavement Design. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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