Frank Georg Schulz | TERRATEST

Applications and Advantages of Light Weight Deflectometer

Aug 23rd 2015 at 10:08 PM

For highways, pavements, and compacted soil to perform as they should in the long term, its surface, soil, and aggregate layers must provide a stable foundation. Prior inspections should be conducted before and during construction to make sure that the foundation materials of the pavement are compacted enough to ensure a stable condition. This is where light weight deflectometers are most useful. These portable tools are specifically designed to determine the stiffness, suitability, and other properties of unbound materials such as granular layers, subgrades, subsoils, base layers, and backfilling materials. The device completes measurement by measuring deflection under a constant applied load.

Unlike traditional falling weight deflectometers, LWDs are portable and hand-operated, eliminating the need for large equipment in order to take deflection measurements of compacted soil as it is impacted by falling weight. Light weight deflectometers not only measures deflection but also estimates the modulus value of elasticity based on the force required to generated deflection for a given soil type.

One of the main advantages of light weight deflectometers is that they provide immediate and repeatable results. This also means that it is easier to make on-site decisions whenever prompt action or changes need to be taken or made. Light weight deflectometers are also significantly more compact than traditional evaluation tools, making them suitable for confined spaces and other difficult to access locations. Unlike heavy weight deflectometers, LWDs don't need support equipment that make them inefficient in certain situations.

Other advantages of using LWDs include:

  • Providing a complete, representative picture of a paved surface's ability to handle certain amounts of traffic load that is a lot more comprehensive than laboratory density measurements.
  • Directly verifying soil values that were used during pavement design.
  • Immediately available results, which prevents construction delay.
  • Quick-testing, which saves a great deal of time during construction. With light weight deflectometers, tests can be done within three minutes or less per measuring point.
  • Modern versions of LWDs feature data interpretation software and applications, which allows easy and accurate data analysis, and manipulation, sufficient storage, and even seamless integration and inclusion into reports.
  • Even more advanced models feature GPS, which allows immediate determination of test positions as integrated with Google Earth.
  • Readings can also be captured on SD-card, connected devices, and computers, depending on user preference, which helps on further analysis.
  • Light weight deflectometers also eliminates the need for in-lab work, so inspectors can stay on-site for testing.

About The Author:
TERRATEST GmbH is world leader in development and manufacturing of Light Weight Deflectometers for dynamic load plate test. They offer the world’s first light weight deflectometer “TERRATEST 5000 BLU” with Bluetooth and voice navigation. For more information about their products visit their website!

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