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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Rapid, Self-contained In-situ Permeameter for Field QC/QA of Pavement Base/Subbase Materials


Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigators:

Project status

In progress

Start date: 06/05/07
End date: 11/30/08


Sponsor(s): National Academy of Sciences

About the research

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that the coefficient of variation of in-situ permeability is as high as 50% to 400%, making base/subbase permeability the most variable engineering parameter in the pavement system. To really understand how this variability is affecting pavement performance, a rapid in-situ test is needed that can be used to collect many data points over a small area.

The main objectives of this study are to improve the design of the prototype field permeameter; create a database of soil-water retention characteristics for a wide range of aggregate base materials that are needed for the theoretical calculation of saturated hydraulic conductivity; validate the permeameter measurements by comparing with the standard laboratory measurements; develop a standard procedure for performing the test, guidelines for calibration of the device, and a user manual; and demonstrate the feasibility of using the device as a rapid QC/QA tool for determining the in-situ permeability of pavement base course layers.