SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1951

Triaxial Design Correlated with Flexible Pavement Performance in Kansas


This paper is intended to cover thoroughly the application of triaxial testing to flexible pavement design. Methods and procedures of sampling are not described in detail except as necessary in showing preparation for testing. A comprehensive discussion of test data and field performance is included. A less detailed explanation is given for the use of test data in regard to foundations, slopes, evaluation of materials for bases and surfaces, and subgrades for rigid pavements. The State Highway Commission of Kansas has been one of the pioneers in the field of triaxial testing, having begun their work in 1940. This method has been used to design flexible pavements over a wide variety of subgrades since 1945. The 375 miles which have been built to serve diversified traffic have performed successfully under varying climatic conditions. Over 14,000 triaxial tests have been conducted in Kansas. Several hundred miles of flexible pavement were constructed in which this method was not used for design. Their condition has been correlated with the theoretical requirements as shown by the triaxial design method. Wide variations in the type and condition of subgrade, volume of traffic, amount of rainfall, and type and thickness of base course and wearing surface were included in this study. The required thicknesses of base course and wearing surface as determined by this method of test procedure and design consistently parallel the thicknesses which have given satisfactory service for several years.

Author Information

Worley, H., E.
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Developed by Committee: D04
Pages: 112–137
DOI: 10.1520/STP48410S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6732-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6503-8