Recent trends of stabilisation methods: a case study for rural roads by councils in the New England region of NSW

Mepham, Matthew (2016) Recent trends of stabilisation methods: a case study for rural roads by councils in the New England region of NSW. [USQ Project]

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Local gravel materials are used by councils in the New England Region of NSW for pavment construction as they are readily available and keep the construction cost down. The issue of using these materials are they may not meet the specification requirements. This can have impacts on the performance and safety of the road. Therefore these materials need to be improved through the process of stabilisation to make the material more suitable for use.

This report compares a selection of stabilisation agents that can be used to improve the properties of a not suitable material. This is done by conducting a questionnaire for councils in the New England Region to obtain some knowledge of what stabilisation agents they use and their local materials. It also contains some questions on maintenance. The responses from the questionnaire reveal that there is different stabilisation agents used in the area. Therefore this project aims to investigate these agents through laboratory testing and compare these with a more innovative agent such as bitumen emulsion.

Laboratory tests include the Particle Size Distribution, California Bearing Ratio and Capillary Rise and Water Absorption tests. Results from the Particle Size Distribution indicate that the sample material is quite a coarse material and is outside the limits when compared with the RMS DGB20 specifications. The California Bearing Ratio test results were as expected. The cement and tri-blend of slag/lime/fly-ash both increased the CBR greatly whereas the bitumen emulsion did not increase nor decrease the CBR. The bitumen emulsion did however stand up very well in the capillary rise test and it was shown that the bitumen emulsion can reduce the rate of water absorption greatly. The natural material sample fell apart and the cement and tri-blend samples became fully saturated in a very short time.

Theoretical pavement designs were trialled using the empirical design method but the mechanistic method would have been a more appropriate method. This was outside the scope. A sensitivity analysis was also part of this project, but the cost analysis which was outside this scope was required to conduct this properly.

Finally it can be said that natural materials that are not suitable for road pavement construction can be improved through the process of stabilisation and it was found that different stabilisation agents have different effects on the material. Therefore the correct stabilisation agent or a combination of can be determined for the pavement and its environment.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Civil Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Shiau, Jim
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 01:43
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2017 01:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: stabilisation methods; rural roads; New England region; NSW; gravel materials; theoretical pavement designs
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400505 Construction materials

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