Matching Items (5)

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Probabilistic based assessment of the influence of nonlinear soil behavior and stratification on the performance of laterally loaded drilled pier foundations

Description

This thesis presents a probabilistic evaluation of multiple laterally loaded drilled pier foundation design approaches using extensive data from a geotechnical investigation for a high voltage electric transmission line. A

This thesis presents a probabilistic evaluation of multiple laterally loaded drilled pier foundation design approaches using extensive data from a geotechnical investigation for a high voltage electric transmission line. A series of Monte Carlo simulations provide insight about the computed level of reliability considering site standard penetration test blow count value variability alone (i.e., assuming all other aspects of the design problem do not contribute error or bias). Evaluated methods include Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design procedures, the Federal Highway Administration drilled shaft LRFD design method, the Electric Power Research Institute transmission foundation design procedure and a site specific variability based approach previously suggested by the author of this thesis and others. The analysis method is defined by three phases: a) Evaluate the spatial variability of an existing subsurface database. b) Derive theoretical foundation designs from the database in accordance with the various design methods identified. c) Conduct Monti Carlo Simulations to compute the reliability of the theoretical foundation designs. Over several decades, reliability-based foundation design (RBD) methods have been developed and implemented to varying degrees for buildings, bridges, electric systems and other structures. In recent years, an effort has been made by researchers, professional societies and other standard-developing organizations to publish design guidelines, manuals and standards concerning RBD for foundations. Most of these approaches rely on statistical methods for quantifying load and resistance probability distribution functions with defined reliability levels. However, each varies with regard to the influence of site-specific variability on resistance. An examination of the influence of site-specific variability is required to provide direction for incorporating the concept into practical RBD design methods. Recent surveys of transmission line engineers by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) demonstrate RBD methods for the design of transmission line foundations have not been widely adopted. In the absence of a unifying design document with established reliability goals, transmission line foundations have historically performed very well, with relatively few failures. However, such a track record with no set reliability goals suggests, at least in some cases, a financial premium has likely been paid.

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  • 2014

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Development of the C* fracture test for asphalt concrete mixtures

Description

Laboratory assessment of crack resistance and propagation in asphalt concrete is a difficult task that challenges researchers and engineers. Several fracture mechanics based laboratory tests currently exist; however, these tests

Laboratory assessment of crack resistance and propagation in asphalt concrete is a difficult task that challenges researchers and engineers. Several fracture mechanics based laboratory tests currently exist; however, these tests and subsequent analysis methods rely on elastic behavior assumptions and do not consider the time-dependent nature of asphalt concrete. The C* Line Integral test has shown promise to capture crack resistance and propagation within asphalt concrete. In addition, the fracture mechanics based C* parameter considers the time-dependent creep behavior of the materials. However, previous research was limited and lacked standardized test procedure and detailed data analysis methods were not fully presented. This dissertation describes the development and refinement of the C* Fracture Test (CFT) based on concepts of the C* line integral test. The CFT is a promising test to assess crack propagation and fracture resistance especially in modified mixtures. A detailed CFT test protocol was developed based on a laboratory study of different specimen sizes and test conditions. CFT numerical simulations agreed with laboratory results and indicated that the maximum horizontal tensile stress (Mode I) occurs at the crack tip but diminishes at longer crack lengths when shear stress (Mode II) becomes present. Using CFT test results and the principles of time-temperature superposition, a crack growth rate master curve was successfully developed to describe crack growth over a range of test temperatures. This master curve can be applied to pavement design and analysis to describe crack propagation as a function of traffic conditions and pavement temperatures. Several plant mixtures were subjected to the CFT and results showed differences in resistance to crack propagation, especially when comparing an asphalt rubber mixture to a conventional one. Results indicated that crack propagation is ideally captured within a given range of dynamic modulus values. Crack growth rates and C* prediction models were successfully developed for all unmodified mixtures in the CFT database. These models can be used to predict creep crack propagation and the C* parameter when laboratory testing is not feasible. Finally, a conceptual approach to incorporate crack growth rate and the C* parameter into pavement design and analysis was presented.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Analytical procedure for flexible airfield pavement rutting incorporating environmental location and groundwater table effects

Description

The structural design of pavements in both highways and airfields becomes complex when one considers environmental effects and ground water table variation. Environmental effects have been incorporated on the new

The structural design of pavements in both highways and airfields becomes complex when one considers environmental effects and ground water table variation. Environmental effects have been incorporated on the new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) but little has been done to incorporate environmental effects on airfield design. This work presents a developed code produced from this research study called ZAPRAM, which is a mechanistically based pavement model based upon Limiting Strain Criteria in airfield HMA pavement design procedures. ZAPRAM is capable of pavement and airfield design analyses considering environmental effects. The program has been coded in Visual Basic and implemented in an event-driven, user-friendly educational computer program, which runs in Excel environment. Several studies were conducted in order to insure the validity of the analysis as well as the efficiency of the software. The first study yielded the minimum threshold number of computational points the user should use at a specific depth within the pavement system. The second study was completed to verify the correction factor for the Odemark's transformed thickness equation. Default correction factors were included in the code base on a large comparative study between Odemark's and MLET. A third study was conducted to provide a comparison of flexible airfield pavement design thicknesses derived from three widely accepted design procedures used in practice today: the Asphalt Institute, Shell Oil, and the revised Corps of Engineering rutting failure criteria to calculate the thickness requirements necessary for a range of design input variables. The results of the comparative study showed that there is a significant difference between the pavement thicknesses obtained from the three design procedures, with the greatest deviation found between the Shell Oil approach and the other two criteria. Finally, a comprehensive sensitivity study of environmental site factors and the groundwater table depth upon flexible airfield pavement design and performance was completed. The study used the newly revised USACE failure criteria for subgrade shear deformation. The methodology utilized the same analytical methodology to achieve real time environmental effects upon unbound layer modulus, as that used in the new AASHTO MEPDG. The results of this effort showed, for the first time, the quantitative impact of the significant effects of the climatic conditions at the design site, coupled with the importance of the depth of the groundwater table, on the predicted design thicknesses. Significant cost savings appear to be quite reasonable by utilizing principles of unsaturated soil mechanics into the new airfield pavement design procedure found in program ZAPRAM.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Estimating the soil-water characteristic curve using grain size analysis and plasticity index

Description

The infrastructure is built in Unsaturated Soils. However, the geotechnical practitioners insist in designing the structures based on Saturated Soil Mechanics. The design of structures based on unsaturated soil mechanics

The infrastructure is built in Unsaturated Soils. However, the geotechnical practitioners insist in designing the structures based on Saturated Soil Mechanics. The design of structures based on unsaturated soil mechanics is desirable because it reduces cost and it is by far a more sustainable approach. The research community has identified the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve as the most important soil property when dealing with unsaturated conditions. This soil property is unpopular among practitioners because the laboratory testing takes an appreciable amount of time. Several authors have attempted predicting the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve; however, most of the published predictions are based on a very limited soil database. The National Resources Conservation Service has a vast database of engineering soil properties with more than 36,000 soils, which includes water content measurements at different levels of suctions. This database was used in this study to validate two existing models that based the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve prediction on statistical analysis. It was found that although the predictions are acceptable for some ranges of suctions; they did not performed that well for others. It was found that the first model validated was accurate for fine-grained soils, while the second model was best for granular soils. For these reasons, two models to estimate the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve are proposed. The first model estimates the fitting parameters of the Fredlund and Xing (1994) function separately and then, the predicted parameters are fitted to the Fredlund and Xing function for an overall estimate of the degree of saturation. Results show an overall improvement on the predicted values when compared to existing models. The second model is based on the relationship between the Soil-Water Characteristic Curve and the Pore-Size Distribution of the soils. The process allows for the prediction of the entire Soil-Water Characteristic Curve function and proved to be a better approximation than that used in the first attempt. Both models constitute important tools in the implementation of unsaturated soil mechanics into engineering practice due to the link of the prediction with simple and well known engineering soil properties.

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Date Created
  • 2011

Reliability associated with the estimation of soil resilient modulus at different hierarchical levels of pavement design

Description

Deterministic solutions are available to estimate the resilient modulus of unbound materials, which are difficult to interpret because they do not incorporate the variability associated with the inherent soil heterogeneity

Deterministic solutions are available to estimate the resilient modulus of unbound materials, which are difficult to interpret because they do not incorporate the variability associated with the inherent soil heterogeneity and that associated with environmental conditions. This thesis presents the stochastic evaluation of the Enhanced Integrated Climatic Model (EICM), which is a model used in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide to estimate the soil long-term equilibrium resilient modulus. The stochastic evaluation is accomplished by taking the deterministic equations in the EICM and applying stochastic procedures to obtain a mean and variance associated with the final design parameter, the resilient modulus at equilibrium condition. In addition to the stochastic evaluation, different statistical analyses were applied to determine that the uses of hierarchical levels are valid in the unbound pavement material design and the climatic region has an impact on the final design resilient moduli at equilibrium. After determining that the climatic regions and the hierarchical levels are valid, reliability was applied to the resilient moduli at equilibrium. Finally, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design concept based on the Structural Number (SN) was applied in order to illustrate the true implications the hierarchical levels of design and the variability associated with environmental effects and soil properties have in the design of pavement structures. The stochastic solutions developed as part of this thesis work together with the SN design concept were applied to five soils with different resilient moduli at optimum compaction condition in order to evaluate the variability associated with the resilient moduli at equilibrium condition. These soils were evaluated in five different climatic regions ranging from arid to extremely wet conditions. The analysis showed that by using the most accurate input parameters obtained from laboratory testing (hierarchical Level 1) instead of Level 3 analysis could potentially save the State Department of Transportation up to 10.12 inches of asphalt in arid and semi-arid regions.

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Date Created
  • 2011