Alternative Testing Methods for Quality Assurance – ARRB Research

Jun 5, 2018 | Compaction Control, Rail Formation & Ballast Condition Assessment

Alternative Testing Methods for Quality Assurance NACoE Light Weight Deflectometer PANDA DCP Clegg

The acceptance of earthwork and unbound pavement construction in Australia currently relies on density testing and CBRs for Quality Assurance (QA). Though its National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACoE) research program, Queensland Main Roads has sponsored an ARRB research project to update test methods acceptable for use for QA of pavement and subgrade materials including Light Weight Deflectometer’s (LWD’s), PANDA® Instrumented DCP, Clegg Hammer, DCP and Plate Load Testing (PLT). A state-of-the-industry study was completed by FSG Geotechnics & Foundations in 2017, and identified a number test methods that have the potential to:

(a) reliably provide a direct measure of the strength or insitu modulus value; and

(b) offer significant time savings in turnaround time of QA test results.

Plate Load Test Pacific Complete W2B

In 2018, field result trials were then used to bench mark various alternative equipment and compared with traditional density QA measurements to assess the reliability, benefits and limitations of these equipment.

Light Weight Deflectometer LWD Zorn Pacific Complete W2B

Insitu Test have been collaborating with FSG / ARRB on this project with three devices we supply being utilised – the Zorn Light Weight Deflectometer (LWD), the Anix AX01 Instrumented Plate Load Test (PLT) and the PANDA® Variable Energy Instrumented Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP).

The report on findings is be expected to be available through the ARRB later in the year.

The Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) was not part of the evaluation as the research focused on general earthworks QA during construction. The FWD is useful to evaluate the structural condition of an existing pavement. The FWD is not considered portable (as compared to these devices) and is a different expense consideration for this application. However, for existing pavement evaluation over large lengths, the FWD would be the superior testing device.

Plate Load Test PANDA DCP

After scouring the market, we settled on the PANDA DCP test equipment as it offered the technical capability and, moreover, the flexibility required to work in the restricted environment our project presented; overhead clearance typically at 1500mm but as low as 1200mm.  We had a unique problem that required a unique solution and that’s precisely what we found through the team at Insitutek and the PANDA equipment.  The ease of assembly, intuitive operability and compact nature of the equipment, made light of the numerous soundings we required across a widely dispersed area.

Bjorn Schultz

Project Manager, Solar Farm, Australia

That was really useful and informative yesterday – started a lot of discussion around here.

Troy Crozier

Principal, Crozier Geotechnical Consultants

The Light Weight Deflectometer (LWD) was first used in 1998 by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) at the Minnesota Road Research Project. Starting in 2005 the LWD has been used by Mn/DOT as an acceptance tool for the compaction of roadbed and miscellaneous embankment and trench construction, culvert treatments and other tapered construction.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT)

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