SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

Misleading Results from Nondestructive Testing-A Case Study


A new apron and taxiway at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station skid strip. Cape Canaveral, Florida, showed depressions as a result of parking various aircraft overnight. The U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station performed a pavement investigation which included nondestructive falling weight deflectometer (FWD) tests and test pits for California Bearing Ratio (CBR), moisture, density, and sampling. A study of the field and laboratory results showed serious inconsistencies between the test methods. FWD data indicated the new pavement to be of higher strength than the older portion. The test pit data (CBR and density) indicated the recycled base layer to be weak (due to low density), which was in direct disagreement with the FWD. A possible explanation for the failure of the FWD to correctly characterize the pavement materials is that the faster rate of loading of the FWD as compared to the static load of the parked aircraft caused the difference.

Author Information

Hall, JW
U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS
McCaffrey, PS
U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS
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Developed by Committee: D04
Pages: 251–260
DOI: 10.1520/STP18152S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5267-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1865-2