SISSI: Superpave In-Situ Stress Strain Investigation

Overview

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) has sponsored a comprehensive project called SuperPave In-Situ Stress/Strain Investigation (SISSI). The purpose of the SISSI instrumentation project is to validate the Superpave system and to provide the data that are essential to the validation of performance prediction models. Combining intensive materials characterization, detailed load-response information, traffic and environmental data, and performance measures from these instrumented sections will enable the verification and regional calibration of the newly developed models.

SISSI is a unique state-of-the-art instrumentation project. It is unique because it encompasses a series of different roads at both northern and southern parts of Pennsylvania rather than being concentrated at one location. It takes advantage of the latest developments and equipment in the field of instrumentation technology for full-scale investigation of pavement performance.

Instrumentation Overview

Strain Gauges

The Dynatest PAST II Strain Gauge is designed for the measurement of in-situ stresses and strains in Asphalt Concrete, or Portland Cement Concrete. This type of embedment gage consists of an electrical resistance strain gage embedded within a strip of glass-fiber reinforced epoxy surrounded by several protective layers. Stress and strain measurements are critical measurements to determine the performance of pavement sections including the service life as a function of the number of imposed wheel loads. Depending on the specific location, strain gauge quantities and grade level orientations vary.

Multi-Depth Deflectometer

A deflectometer is a probe that contains an LVDT in the central core. The Schaevitz Single Layer Deflectometer is an in-house apparatus that incorporates a Schaevitz LVDT. The LVDT converts a measured voltage source to a linear displacement output of the pavement structure. The CTL Multi-Depth Deflectometer functions similarly to the single layer, however data con be simultaneously obtained from multiple LVDT’s in each layer of the pavement structure. The MDD is used to measure in situ elastic deflections and permanent deformations in the various pavements layers of a test section. Multi-Depth Deflectometers are used to measure "in-situ" elastic deflections and/or permanent deformations in the various pavement layers of a test section. During testing, the permanent deformation at each module is recorded, as are the elastic deformation basins under the test wheel loads. The plastic deformation data is used to develop transfer functions relating load repetition to plastic strain in the road building materials. The deflection data can be used to determine the effective elastic moduli for each pavement layer.

Moisture Content Reflectometers

The Campbell Scientific Moisture Content Reflectometer measures the volumetric water content of porous media using time-domain measurement methods. The probe consists of two stainless steel rods connected to a PCB. A shielded 4-conductor cable is connected to the circuit board to supply power, enable the probe and monitor the pulse output. The circuit board is potted in an epoxy block. Water content measurements coincide with frost depth measurements as both contribute to pavement weakening and load bearing limitations.

Thermocouples

In house thermocouples were fabricated using Omega Engineering Type–T thermocouple wire. Thermocouple wire consists of a shielded soldered twisted strand pair of wire. T-type thermocouples are useful in providing accurate reading of heat variations inside a pavement system. Depending on the location, multiple thermocouples were wired to a device with multiplexing capability such that simultaneous temperature measurements could be made in various layers of the pavement structure.

Resistivity Probes

In cold regions freeze-thaw cycling, and spring time thaw weakening contribute to loss of load bearing capacity and subsequent pavement failure. Determining frost depth below the pavement becomes important for timely implementation of winter and spring load limits. The ABF Manufacturing Frost Depth Resistivity Probe (FDRP) relies on an electrical resistance measurement obtained between the conductors mounted along the cylindrical core of the probe. The frost depth determination is made by the definitive gradient between frozen soil resisitivity (500,000 Ohms on) and unfrozen soil (20,000 to 50,000 Ohms typical). Resistance measurements are obtained along discrete intervals along the probe to determine the frost location.

Site Instruments

 Site No. County Highway Instruments Status Pavement Structure

 Site 1

 Tioga

 SR15

 Pressure Cell, Resistivity
Probe, Thermocouples, TDR,
MDD, Strain Gauge

 Complete

Full Depth Construction

 Site 2

 Mercer

 I-80

Pressure Cell, Resistivity
Probe, Thermocouples, TDR,
MDD, Strain Gauge

 Complete

 Full Depth Construction

 Site 3

 Mercer

 I-80

Resistivity Probe, TDR,
Thermocouples, MDD, Strain
Gauge

 Complete

 Structural Overlay

 Site 4

 Warren

 SR6

Resistivity Probe,
Thermocouple, MDD, Strain
Gauge

 Complete

 Structural Overlay

 Site 5

 Perry

 SR22

Resistivity Probe,
Thermocouples, MDD, Strain
Gauge

 Complete

 Structural Overlay

Data Acquisition

There are currently two types of data acquisition components utilized for field data acquisition and analysis, the IOtech Wavebook (Wavebook) series dynamic testing and analysis data- logger, and The Campbell Scientific static testing and analysis datalogger. These components have been selected on the basis of compatibility, ability to accommodate multi-channel parameters, and maintain the ability to have field data downloaded remotely from a PC based laboratory site. Once data has been obtained in the field, two software packages provide a sufficient means of analysis. DasyLab and Wavebook compatible program DIAdem allow for in depth examination of dynamic data. Similarly, the PC208 Datalogger Control Software is used for analysis of static data.

The Wavebook consists of a series of rack-mounted components that are required to obtain all parameters of the dynamic data. The Wavebook is transported to an instrumentation site each time dynamic data is required. The Wavebook is connected to the instrumentation wires via direct connection or the instrumentation junction box interconnects. Once data acquisition is taken and stored to hard disk, it is then filtered and analyzed with the use of DasyLab. Examples of dynamic data can be found in Appendix A: Data Analysis Results The Campbell Scientific CR23X has been employed to monitor the static data at each instrumentation site. Pedestals are found at each location that shelter the CR23X and allow for remote acquisition via dial up modem connection. The static data is filed to the CR23X internal memory source capable of handling up to 4MB of data. Prior to exceed this limit, static data is downloaded to a base station PC for permanent storage/data basing and further analysis. Examples of static data can be found in Appendix A: Data Analysis Results.

Field Measurements

Dynamic Measurements

A very important part of the SISSI project is to measure pavement response under different loading conditions. This dynamic response of the pavement under moving loads is simply referred to as “dynamic measurements”. The dynamic measurements are made by closing the driving lane to public traffic and trafficking the test section with PTI instrumented tractor/trailer. Successive runs are made with two different load configurations and three different speeds. Dynamic measurements from the load-induced signals (strain-gages, pressure cells, deflectometers, etc.) are collected through the data acquisition system connected to the datalogger box. These measurements are repeated seasonally.

Environmental Measurements

Environmental measurements, sometimes referred to as static measurements, deal with data from thermocouples (temperature measurements), resistivity probes (frost depth measurements), and time-domain reflectometers (moisture content measurements). These data do not depend upon traffic induced signals but are indicative of non-traffic associated response. These measurements are acquired on different schedules according to the type of measurement, and in accordance with the instrumentation plan.

Tractor/Trailer

The tractor/trailer is loaded with heavy concrete blocks. The blocks could be moved back and forth to provide different load configutations and different loads on the rear and front axles.

Site Photos

Please choose a site below:

Site 1:  Tioga County:  Route 15

Site 2:  Mercer County:  I-80

Site 3:  Mercer County:  I-80

Site 4:  Warren County:  Route 6

Site 5:  Perry County:  Route 22

Site 6:  Delaware County:  Route 202

Site 7:  Somerset County:  PA Turnpike

Site 8:  Blair County:  Plank Road

 
 

About

NECEPT's primary mission is to facilitate implementation and validation of the results of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) by promoting partnering between governmental agencies, industry (including materials, suppliers, contractors and consultants) and universities throughout the Northeast. 

Northeast Center of Excellence for Pavement Technology (NECEPT)

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-863-1293 | Fax: 814-865-3039

E-mail: superpave@psu.edu