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Proposed ASTM geosynthetics standard will aid in road and pavement design

News | November 11, 2021 | By:

Photograph courtesy of Tensar Corp.

ASTM International’s geosynthetics committee (D35) is developing a proposed standard that will provide engineers with specific information for components necessary for road and pavement design.

The proposed standard (WK70888) outlines a commonly used test to characterize the performance of geosynthetics for roadway applications. Specifically, it describes the use of the cyclic plate load (CPL) test to evaluate the performance of geosynthetic-reinforced pavements. While CPL tests have been used for the past 20 years, there is currently no standard for conducting such tests to characterize performance of geosynthetics. The test method covered in the proposed standard will help establish procedures that will ensure CPL tests are performed in a proper and unified manner.

According to ASTM International member Eli Cuelho, senior engineer at TRI/Environmental Inc., the proposed standard will be most useful to engineers seeking to incorporate geosynthetics into road designs and need performance information based on reliable standardized tests.

“Geosynthetics are often used to improve the performance of roads,” says Cuelho. “However, due to complexities associated with individual products and the range of geosynthetic applications, performance characterization of geosynthetics has not been unified. Therefore, empirical methods are relied upon to provide performance information that can be used by engineers to design geosynthetic-reinforced roads.”

This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure, and #11 on sustainable cities and communities.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

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