Characterization of Resilient Modulus of Base Aggregate for Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG)

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Primary Investigator

Hani Titi
University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee
PO Box 784, Milwaukee WI  53201


This research will investigate the resilient modulus of unbound base course materials (aggregate) for mechanistic empirical pavement design.  Laboratory testing program will be conducted on aggregate and base course materials to evaluate their basic properties and to determine their resilient modulus from repeated load triaxial test, using AASHTO T 307. Comprehensive statistical analysis will be performed to develop correlations between basic properties and the resilient modulus model input parameters. The resilient modulus model is the constitutive equation developed by NCHRP project 1-28A and adopted by the NCHRP project 1-37A for the “Guide for Mechanistic-Empirical Design of New and Rehabilitated Pavement Structures.” It is anticipated that this research will provide reliable levels II and III base course input parameters for mechanistic-empirical pavement design.  Rational characterization of pavement materials such as base course materials and accurate determination of pavement design input parameters are crucial for the design of long lasting and performing pavements under heavy truck traffic loads and harsh environmental conditions.


To develop a database of resilient modulus test results and to establish correlations for estimating the resilient modulus of various aggregates from basic properties for use in mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide (MEPDG).


  1. Collect aggregate base course samples (this includes recycled material such as steel slag, RAP, and recycled concrete).
  2. Perform basic tests (grain size analysis, compaction, specific gravity.
  3. Perform repeated load triaxial test to determine resilient modulus
  4. Develop correlations to estimate using statistical analysis.
  5. Write working paper.

Project Information

  • Dates: Project completion on May 30, 2012
  • Budget: $44,000 (with $43,000 in matching funds)
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 05-19
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