Bulk density of equine sports surfaces is used to determine the optimal volumetric moisture content for establishing a hardpan or base layer composed of footing material used to support the horse during propulsion. This should not be confused with an asphalt or limestone based often found at the bottom of these footing materials as they are outside the scope of this test and local highway construction standards should be considered for these cases. This test is also used as a performance metric to make relative comparisons between surfaces or over time to determine if the material may absorb more or less energy based off the bulk density found for a given a specified energy input.
bulk density; equestrian; equine surface; Time Domain Reflectometry; TDR
Harrowing, floating, or sealing the surface near the optimal volumetric moisture content helps prepare a hardpan layer or prepare the surface to facilitate horizontal drainage and prevent excess water from saturating the surface. This will aid equine surface maintenance personnel by determining the optimum volumetric operating moisture content required to achieve the maximum bulk density, provide a sufficient shear strength, and help prevent their surfaces from becoming too dry or saturated with water. Volumetric moisture content is considered because Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is widely used to verify real time surface moisture content across industry.
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