Unpaved Roads: Tough Cell – Geosynthetic Reinforcement Shows Strong Promise. Han, et al. Roads & Bridges (2011)

Experimental studies, full-scale moving wheel tests, & field demonstration in comprehensive research demonstrated clear benefits of Neoloy reinforcement

The paper is a summary of comprehensive studies, tests, and field trials at U of Kansas demonstrating how Neoloy Tough-Cell increases stiffness and bearing capacity, distributes stress wider, reduces permanent deformation, and prolongs roadway life, compared to unreinforced and HDPE-Tough-Cell reinforced road bases.

Full-scale Moving Wheel Tests

Full-scale moving wheel tests were conducted on Neoloy-reinforced unpaved road sections over weak or intermediate subgrade using the accelerated pavement testing (APT) facility at Kansas State University. 16 sections were evaluated utilizing: RAP well graded AB-3 limestone; Kansas River sand and quarry waste as well as an unreinforced control section. Each of the four test sections underwent wheel loading of 100,000 80-kN (18-kip) single axle load repetitions or 7.5 cm rut depth whichever came first. The testing included multiple instrumentation and performance monitoring.

The key findings from these moving wheel tests are summarized in the article:

  • Neoloy could reduce the required base thickness to achieve the same performance of the unpaved roads over weak subgrade. The Neoloy-reinforced Kansas River sand exhibited the largest improvement over the unreinforced section.
  • Neoloy reinforcement improved the life of the unpaved road sections, increased the stress distribution angle, and reduced the vertical stress transferred to the subgrade as compared with the unreinforced control section.

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