Vibratory hammer compaction of bitumin stabilized materials

Kelfkens, Rex Willem Constantyn (2008-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Civil Engineering))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.


There are currently well established compaction methods being used in laboratories globally to prepare specimens for material testing. None of these methods provides the repeatability and reproducibility, ease of execution or simulation and correlation to field compaction desired by engineers. The research presented in this report was aimed at the development of a new or adapted compaction method for bituminous stabilized materials (BSM) that would address the aforementioned factors, by making use of a vibratory hammer. Along with this, a new protocol was to be established. The initial vibratory hammer that was tested was the Kango 637®. This specific vibratory hammer suffered irreparable damage to the gearbox during the research. A replacement Kango hammer could not be purchased, therefore a substitute hammer was purchased i.e. a Bosch GSH 11E®, for which back-up service and replacement parts are readily available throughout South Africa. Significant progress had been made with the development of a laboratory compaction protocol for BSM using the Kango Hammer. The specifications of the Bosch® hammer showed it was superior in terms of power, weight and other technical features. Comparative testing was therefore carried out. This allowed for the adaptation of the results achieved to that point. Extensive experimentation was then carried out using two types of BSM i.e. foamed bitumen (80/100 bitumen) and bitumen emulsion (60/40 Anionic Stable Grade) stabilized material. The initial material used for the experimentation was a G2 quality graded crushed stone. Additional material was also obtained from a recycling project taking place along the N7 near Cape Town. The N7 material was used to perform correlation experiments so as to determine how representative the laboratory compacted specimens were to field compacted material. Results showed that the vibratory hammer is capable of producing specimens for testing in the laboratory as well as providing a possible benchmark method for accurately controlling the quality of work on site i.e. field density control. This was done by identifying the time to and level of refusal density compaction. The level of refusal density compaction was expressed as a percentage of Mod AASHTO compaction and using current specifications, a potentially new site compaction level specification was determined. In order to asses the material applicability of the vibratory hammer compaction method, tests regarding moisture sensitivity analysis were carried out on a G5 material. The vibratory compaction protocol includes a specification for the type of hammer, guide-frame, surcharge weight, compaction moisture and number of layers. Vibratory compaction can be used to prepare two types of specimens: • Specimens for triaxial testing with a diameter of 150mm and a height of 300mm • Specimens for laboratory testing with a diameter of 150mm and a height of 125mm. Tests showed that the material properties prove to have an influence on the compactability of the material. Material from the N7 recycling project had been milled out thus altering the grading and including some RAP. This in turn influenced compaction. The vibratory hammer moisture curve was found to shift slightly to the left when compared to the Mod AASHTO moisture curve. The variability of the vibratory hammer was found to be well below the specified variability of 15%. Repeatability experiments on G5 material indicate that vibratory hammer compaction may be used on lesser quality granular materials. A recommended procedure for the compaction of BSM was developed following the experimentation results.

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