Evaluation of Open-Graded Aggregates Stabilized with a Multi-Axial Geogrid Using a Large-Scale Triaxial Test Set-Up

Han Wang, Mingu Kang, Issam I.A. Qamhia, Erol Tutumluer, Mark H. Wayne, Heather Shoup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geogrids are commonly used in paved and unpaved roadways to stabilize base and subbase layers by laterally restraining movements of unbound aggregates under applied wheel loading, often referred to as interlocking. The geogrid-aggregate interlock is a function of the match between the geogrid aperture size and geometry and the grain size and shape characteristics of the stabilized aggregates. Open-graded coarse aggregates (OGA) are commonly used as an alternative to dense-graded materials in permeable base/subbase applications as well as in railway ballast to facilitate drainage. This paper describes an experimental study recently conducted to investigate the repeated load-deformation behavior of a geogrid-stabilized OGA material in large-scale triaxial testing. Two multi-axial geogrids with the same aperture patterns but different aperture sizes were tested. The aperture patterns include different sizes of hexagonal, trapezoidal, and triangular openings. The multi-axial geogrid with the larger apertures better matched the OGA material properties to provide a reduction in permanent deformation in the test specimen. The improved interlocking and the related local stiffness enhancement were successfully quantified using embedded shear wave transducers termed bender elements. To stabilize aggregates with relatively uniform grain sizes, for example, AASHTO No. 57 stone studied here and railroad ballast, the ratio between the aperture size and a representative particle size (i.e., D90) served as a good indicator of the effectiveness of the geogrid. The findings of this experimental study therefore provided valuable information on the governing properties and mechanisms that play a role in geogrid-aggregate interaction with multi-axial geogrids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • construction
  • design
  • geogrid
  • geosynthetic testing
  • geosynthetics
  • pavement design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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