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Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) scientists from the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre (I³C) have invented a new type of concrete called #ConFlexPave that is bendable yet stronger and longer lasting than regular concrete which is heavy, brittle and breaks under tension.

This innovation allows the creation of slim precast pavement slabs for quick installation, thus halving the time needed for road works and new pavements. It is also more sustainable, requiring less maintenance.



NTU Professor Chu Jian, Interim Co-Director of the NTU-JTC I³C, said, "We developed a new type of concrete that can greatly reduce the thickness and weight of precast pavement slabs, hence enabling speedy plug-and-play installation, where new concrete slabs prepared off-site can easily replace worn out ones."

Mr Koh Chwee, Director, Technical Services Division of JTC and Co-Director of the NTU-JTC I3C, said that the invention of this game-changing technology will not only enable the construction industry to reduce labour intensive on-site work, enhance workers' safety and reduce construction time, it also benefits road users by cutting down the inconvenience caused by road resurfacing and construction works.

"Through collaborations with universities such as NTU in research and development of disruptive technologies, JTC hopes to pioneer cutting-edge industrial infrastructure solutions to address challenges faced by Singapore and its companies such as manpower and resource constraints. We will continue to open up more of our buildings and estates to test-bed and if successful, implement such new solutions," Mr Koh added.

How bendable concrete works

Typical concrete comprises cement, water, gravel and sand. While this mixture makes concrete hard and strong, it does not promote flexibility. Thus concrete is brittle and prone to cracks if too much weight is applied.

ConFlexPave is specifically engineered to have certain types of hard materials mixed with polymer microfibres. The inclusion of these special synthetic fibres, besides allowing the concrete to flex and bend under tension, also enhances skid resistance.

The key breakthrough was understanding how the components of the materials interact with one another mechanically on a microscopic level, said Asst Prof Yang En-Hua from NTU's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering who leads this research at the NTU-JTC I³C.

"With detailed understanding, we can then deliberately select ingredients and engineer the tailoring of components, so our final material can fulfill specific requirements needed for road and pavement applications," explained Prof Yang.

"The hard materials give a non-slip surface texture while the microfibres which are thinner than the width of a human hair, distribute the load across the whole slab, resulting in a concrete that is tough as metal and at least twice as strong as conventional concrete under bending," he added.

ConFlexPave has been successfully tested as tablet-sized slabs at NTU laboratories. It will be scaled up for further testing over the next three years in partnership with JTC -- at suitable locations within JTC's industrial estates and in NTU where there will be human and vehicular traffic.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Nanyang Technological University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
NTU Asst Prof Yang En-Hua holding the bendable concrete developed by his team.
Credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University

We know that soil clay or sand is capable of withstanding heavy loads but is subjected to settlement, consolidation and deformation, which if not controlled, result in shear failure or an ultimate collapse of the structure.



 Actually it is a known fact that while mixing different construction material would also combine their positives. So Soil Cement is one of that positive combining the positives of soil and cement.
Cement we know is expensive and a costly construction material on the other hand soil is available everywhere; though not of standard quality sometimes but generally a good and healthy soil is available in abundance.  So we can make soil like a cement i.e. hard-like rock and impervious as well just by mixing the soil and the cement.

Thus from here we can derive the definition of soil cement :-

Soil cement is a highly dense and tightly compacted, hard or semi-rigid, durable and low cost mixture of pulverized natural soil, cement and water that hardens as a result of hydration reaction of cement and water. 
It is a low cost paving material when used as a base in the pavements for protection of subgrade, or used as a facing material for earth fill dams where suitable riprap is not available, or used as a bedding of drainage concrete heavy pipes, or is also used as slope protection.

Soil cement is different from general ordinary Portland cement paste in the sense, that soil-cement has a lower cement content and it does not form cement past within its matrix but it forms a matrix that has nodules of uncemented material.

Use of Soil Cement in Pavement and Highways 

It is a known fact the service life and the quality of the pavement depends primarily on the behavior and performance of the foundation soil. Soil cement due to its characteristics of easy construction, low cost, low maintenance is now widely used as a base or subbase material.

to know more about usage of soil-cement in highways and pavement click the button below :-

Use of Soil Cement in Pavements

Now let us briefly discuss about the ingredients of the soil cement.

Ingredients of Soil-Cement 

The ingredients required for soil cement, as already mentioned before, are cement, soil and water.
Each ingredients must have some suitable properties other wise alternatives can be used in order to avoid any problem in future.

To know more about the Ingredients of the Soil Cement Click the Button below :-

Ingredients of Soil Cement

Properties of Soil-Cement

Like we know that the properties of ordinary concrete depends on the amount and type of constituents used in the process of manufacturing, same goes with soil-cement. The major variables that control the properties and characteristics of soil cement mixtures are the type of soil or aggregate material used, the proportion of cement in the mix, the moisture condition and the degree of compaction.
The enormous amount of variables involved for determination of the properties of soil-cement and the unpredictable behavior of ingredients makes it difficult to predict the properties and characteristics of how the soil-cement will perform in the long run.

How over this unpredictable behavior can be minimized by knowing some properties prior to the usage of raw materials in the mix. Standard Laboratory tests are necessary to verity the acceptability of the soil and to determine proper cement content, optimum moisture content and maximum dry unit weight of the soil-cement. After the soil has been classified by sieve analyses and other tests, the required cement content may be estimated.

Testing ensures that the mixture will have strength and long-term durability is there. No guesswork is involved.

Construction Procedure of Soil Cement


Now let us talk about the construction procedure :- Briefly, it consists of shaping the road bed, spreading the cement, mixing the cement and soil, adding water and blending it in, compacting and curing.

Now let me briefly explain the every step involved :-

Spreading the Material


First comes the cement spreading operation. The cement may be reached at site in bags or in bulker trucks which ever the case is. The cement should be spread uniformly, the bags are laid out in a pre-determined pattern depending on the required cement content. The ideal method for spreading bulk cement is using specially constructed cement spreader, but if not available than it can be spreaded manually.

Mixing the Material

Now comes the mixing process, whether it is central plant mixing process or mixed-in-place process thorough mixing is needed always. Central mixing plants can be used where borrow material is involved. Friable granular materials are selected for their low cement requirements and ease of handling and mixing. The mixed soil-cement is than taken to the jobsite and spread on the prepared subgrade.

Compaction 


The next step is the compaction of the roadway. The soil-cement mixture must be compacted at least 95 % of Standard Proctor Density. This can be achieved by using any suitable compaction rollers like steel drum roller, pneumatic tyre roller or sheep-foot roller.  After compaction is completed, any minor grading that is needed is done, and the soil – cement is ready for curing. The cure coat should be applied as soon as practical, since the road must be kept wet until it is applied. The usual practice is to apply the cure coat after completing two or three days’ work.

Applying Water and Curing

The next step in the construction via soil-cement is application of water or curing compound as per the requirement of the project. As with concrete, the soil-cement hardening process is a chemical reaction between the cement and water called hydration reaction. In order for the soil-cement to gain strength, water must be available for this reaction. Any curing material that will seal in the water will work.

Types of Soil Cement 


Depending on the amount and type of constituents used in soil cements; it is available in many forms and types in local areas. Some of them are as follows :-

1. Cement Modified Soil (CMS)
2. Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR)
3. Soil-Cement Base (SCB)
4. Cement-Treated base (CTB)

To know more about different types of Soil Cement Go to this link button below :-

Different Types of Soil Cement

Depending on the amount and type of constituents used in soil cements; it is available in many forms and types in local areas. Some of them are as follows :-

1. Cement Modified Soil (CMS)
2. Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR)
3. Soil-Cement Base (SCB)
4. Cement-Treated base (CTB)




Cement Modified Soil (CMS)



If the mixture of soil and cement have relatively low cement content that normal soil-cement than it is termed as Cement Modified Soil. The result of such mixture is cracked or slightly hardened material, similar to a soil, but with improved mechanical properties such as lower plasticity increased bearing ratio and shearing strength, and decreased volume change. The purpose of modifying soil with Portland cement is to improve a substandard soil’s engineering qualities.
CMS may be used to decrease a clay or silt clay soil’s cohesiveness (plasticity), decrease its volume change characteristics, increasing its bearing capacity or transform a wet, soft sub grade into a surface that will support construction equipment.

Full Depth Reclamation 



It is the most useful and sustainable advantage of soil-cement. In this case aggregate for the cement treated base is obtained by pulverizing i.e. crushing to fine powder and recycling the old aspahtl surface and base material into a new fully hardened durable, frost resistant base.

Soil Cement Base



In this type a relatively higher cement content is introduced. As a result it can be used as a cheap pavement base for roads, streets, parking lots and airports. In this case it is used as a base course and thus require a seal coat or a wearing course to keep moisture out and to reduce the wear and tear.
In comparison with granular bases, soil cement bases can be thinner in cross section and due to slab like behavior it distributes the load on larger area.  It can be constructed with the help of easily local available materials and thus it conserves both material and energy.

Cement Treated Base



A cement-treated base is a mix of granular soil aggregates or aggregate material with Portland cement and water. It is similar to that of Soil Cement base.

Soil Cement is a low cost paving material when used as a base in the pavements for protection of subgrade, or used as a facing material for earth fill dams where suitable riprap is not available, or used as a bedding of drainage concrete heavy pipes, or is also used as slope protection.



The ingredients required for soil cement, as already mentioned before, are cement, soil and water.
Each ingredients must have some suitable properties other wise alternatives can be used in order to avoid any problem in future.

To know More about What is Soil Cement Click the Button Below :-


What is Soil Cement


The water should be reasonably clean and free from harmful amounts of alkalies, acids or organic matter to avoid any bad reaction like alkali-silica reaction or carbonation of concrete etc.  Any water that is suitable for drinking is also suitable for soil-cement.

Then comes the expensive or relatively expensive ingredient you have to look for The Portland cement.  Any type of cement that follows the standards of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) or American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is good to be used in soil – cement.

Now the most important component that will be used in abundant quantity in soil-cement is the Soil. Actually any soil locally available can be used but some soils due to their properties might need lesser cement content and some may need more. So we should also look for the type of soil we have there at site.

The clay or silt content are the least required in the soil cement owing to the fact that extremes of all silt or clay or materials with no fines such as beach sand, the cement requirement goes up.

Ideally sandy and gravelly soils with about 10 to 35 percent silt and clay and at least 55 percent of passing Sieve no. 4 material will usually give lowest cement content requirement. Soils containing 50 % or more material passing sieve no. 200 are not recommended for use in their natural state.

Local granular materials such as slag, caliche, limerock, and scoria, plus a wide variety of waste materials including cinders, fly ash, foundry sands, and screening from quarries and gravel pits, can be utilized as soil materials. Old  granular-base roads, with or without bituminous surface, can also be reclaimed and recycled to make great soil-cement. This shows how sustainable and environmental friendly this soil-cement is.

Soil cement is a highly dense and tightly compacted, hard or semi-rigid, durable and low cost mixture of pulverized natural soil, cement and water that hardens as a result of hydration reaction of cement and water.



To know more about what is Soil Cement you can go here 



It is a low cost paving material when used as a base in the pavements for protection of subgrade, or used as a facing material for earth fill dams where suitable riprap is not available, or used as a bedding of drainage concrete heavy pipes, or is also used as slope protection.

Soil cement is different from general ordinary Portland cement paste in the sense, that soil-cement has a lower cement content and it does not form cement past within its matrix but it forms a matrix that has nodules of uncemented material.

Use of Soil Cement in Pavement and Highways 

It is a known fact the service life and the quality of the pavement depends primarily on the behavior and performance of the foundation soil. Soil cement due to its characteristics of easy construction, low cost, low maintenance is now widely used as a base or subbase material.

An important thing to be noted here is that soil-cement is not a surface material it is a base material that needs a wearing surface of any material like asphaltic and bituminous treated wearing course or 9” of hardened reinforced concrete or something depending on the usage of highway and characteristic of traffic.

Now let us briefly discuss about the ingredients of the soil cement.

Marshall Stability and Flow Test is basically one portion of the Marshall Mix Design process beside Void ratios and Density calculations as other processes. Marshall Stability Test gives an idea about the sustainability and strength of the asphalt mix of various proportions under the dynamic loading of the traffic.

As per the standard procedure for the Marshall Stability test, the sample is first prepared having specific amount of aggregate of specific gradation along with some suitable amount of bitumen or binder content as stated here

The marshall stability and test provides the performance prediction measures for the Marshall Mix Design Method. 

Marshall Stability and flow values along with density, air voids in the total mix, voids in mineral aggregates or voids filled with asphalt or both filled with asphalt are used for laboratory mix design and evaluation of asphalt mixtures. In addition, Marshall Stability and flow can be used to monitor the plant process of producing asphalt mixtures. Marshall Stability and flow may also be used to relatively evaluate different mixes and the effect of conditioning such as with water.

Marshall Stability Apparatus


The Marshall Stability and flow test results are applicable to dense-graded asphalt mixtures with maximum size aggregate upto 1 in. in size. For the purpose of mix design, Marshall Stability and flow test results should consist of the average of a minimum of three specimens at each increment of binder content range is generally selected on the basis of experience and historical testing data of the component materials, but may involve trial and error to include the desirable range of mix properties. 
Stability, flow, density, air voids, and voids filled with asphalt binder, may be plotted against binder content to allow selection of an optimum binder content for the mixture.

After the preparation of the sample and determination of the properties mentioned above the Sample is taken for the Marshall Stability and Flow test.

Marshal Stability and Flow Test

After the sample preparation, the sample is extracted with the help of sample extractor as show :- 
Marshall Sample Extractor

The extracted sample is immersed in a bath of water at a temperature of 60 degree centigrade for a duration of 30 minutes. The sample is then placed in a Marshall Stability Testing Machine and loaded at a constant rate of deformation of 5 mm per minute until failure.

The Total Maximum load in kN that causes the failure of the specimen is taken as Marshall Stability. The stability value is also corrected for volume it will be explained later. 

The Flow Value is also determined as :- 

The total amount of deformation in units of 0.25 mm that occurs at maximum load is called flow value. 

The total time between removing the specimen from the bath and completion of the test should not exceed 30 seconds. 




Asphalt is basically combination of bitumen and aggregate, the surface of aggregates are applied with bitumen and then bitumen acts as a binding agent that makes it a solid and firm material called asphaltic concrete.

Like we all know about traditional Portland cement concrete that its properties and strength is largely dependent on the amount and proportion in which the constituents are mixed, same is the case here in asphaltic concrete.

Picture Credits : hubspot.net


What is Job Mix Formula (JMF)

The mix design of Aspahltic concrete is carried out by Marshall Mix Design and end result of a successful mix design is a recommended mixture of aggregate and asphalt binder.  This recommended mixture, which also includes aggregate gradation and asphalt binder type is often referred to as the job mix formula (JMF)


To know more about Marshall Mix Design Process and how job mix formula is to be determined  Click here

Properties of Ideal Asphaltic Concrete Mix 

The main objective of the Job Mix Formula, Mix Design Method, Marshall Mix Design method is to determine an ideal and optimum asphalt mix that has following properties :-

1. Resistance to permanent deformation: The mix should not distort or be displaced when subjected to traffic loads. The resistance to permanent deformation is more important at high temperatures.

2. Fatigue resistance: the mix should not crack when subjected to repeated loads over a period of time.

3. Resistance to low temperature cracking. This mix property is important in cold regions.

4. Durability: the mix should contain sufficient asphalt cement to ensure an adequate film thickness around the aggregate particles. The compacted mix should not have very high air voids, which accelerates the aging process.

5. Resistance to moisture-induced damage.

6. Skid resistance.

7. Workability: the mix must be capable of being placed and compacted with reasonable effort.

8. Low noise and good drainage properties: If the mix is to be used for the surface (wearing) layer of the pavement structure.

The word asphalt, asphaltic concrete, bituminous mixes all is pointing to the same things almost. The shining blackish paved road we ride almost every day and almost several hours of our lives are spent over them is asphaltic pavements.

You know asphalt pavements have the highest riding quality among all others 


The transportation engineers, know that the two basic types of pavements is rigid pavement or flexible pavement. Flexible pavement deforms slightly under the application of the dynamic load of traffic whereas rigid pavement is the one that stands firm and it bridges the voids and gaps in the underneath bearing soil.

We would not here go into the details of these but as far as flexible pavements are concerned these are one of the most common, high riding quality paved roads on earth. The flexible pavements have a wearing course (the top few cms of the highway which is expected to get wear and tear due to traffic movement) which is made up of high quality fine asphaltic concrete.

Asphalt is basically combination of bitumen and aggregate, the surface of aggregates are applied with bitumen and then bitumen acts as a binding agent that makes it a solid and firm material called asphaltic concrete.

Like we all know about traditional Portland cement concrete that its properties and strength is largely dependent on the amount and proportion in which the constituents are mixed, same is the case here in asphaltic concrete.

What is HMA or Hot Mix Asphalt


Sometimes there is a term written in some texts as HMA or Hot Mix Aspahlt it is basically the same thing like that of Bitumen as asphalt binder and aggregate.

HMA mix design is the process of determining what aggregate to use, what asphalt binder to use and what the optimum combination of these two ingredients should be.

Main objective is to determine an economical and workable mix which comprises of a suitable blend of aggregates and a corresponding asphalt content.

What is Job Mix Formula (JMF)

The end result of a successful mix design is a recommended mixture of aggregate and asphalt binder.  This recommended mixture, which also includes aggregate gradation and asphalt binder type is often referred to as the job mix formula (JMF)

Properties of Ideal Asphaltic Concrete Mix 

The main objective of the Job Mix Formula, Mix Design Method, Marshall Mix Design method is to determine an ideal and optimum asphalt mix that has following properties :-

1. Resistance to permanent deformation: The mix should not distort or be displaced when subjected to traffic loads. The resistance to permanent deformation is more important at high temperatures.

2. Fatigue resistance: the mix should not crack when subjected to repeated loads over a period of time.

3. Resistance to low temperature cracking. This mix property is important in cold regions.

4. Durability: the mix should contain sufficient asphalt cement to ensure an adequate film thickness around the aggregate particles. The compacted mix should not have very high air voids, which accelerates the aging process.

5. Resistance to moisture-induced damage.

6. Skid resistance.

7. Workability: the mix must be capable of being placed and compacted with reasonable effort.

8. Low noise and good drainage properties: If the mix is to be used for the surface (wearing) layer of the pavement structure.

Marshall Method of Mix Design

According to ASTM D1559 which uses Marshall mix design method for getting JMF as optimum Aspahlt Mix, there are 6 basic steps involved in it :-


  • Aggregate Selection
  • Asphalt Binder Selection
  • Sample Preparation (including compaction)
  • Density and voids calculations
  • Stability determination using the Marshall Stability and Flow test
  • Optimum asphalt binder content selection

There are two major features of the Marshall method of designing mixes namely,

  1. density – voids analysis
  2. Stability – flow tests.

Marshall Mix Design Procedure

The first step in the Marshall Mix Design method is to prepare the samples as described below :-
The aggregate gradation is selected from the following table and then after sieving the desired quantity of each gradation approximately 1200 grams of aggregates are taken.

Table no. 1 Aggregate Specification
The aggregates are then heated to a temperature of 175 to 190 degree centigrade. As for first trial 3.5 to 4.0 percent by weight of the aggregates Bitumen is taken and heated to a temperature of 121 to 125 degree centigrade.
Sample Preparation

The Marshall Mold Assembly is preheated and the heated aggregates and bitumen are thoroughly mixed at temperature of 154 to 160 degree centigrade and then placed in the mould. 

The mould is then compacted by Marshall Hammer device with 50 blows on each side of the mixture at temperature around 138 to 149 degree centigrade. 

Marshall Drop Hammer
In the next trial the Bitumen content is varied by +0.5 % of the weight of mineral aggregate and above procedure is repeated to have a required number of specimen to be tested. 

After the preparation of the sample, the properties of the mix is determined. The properties that are of interest include 
1. Theoretical Specific Gravity (Gt)
2. Bulk Specific Gravity (Gm)
3. Percent Air Void (Vv) 
4. Percent Volume of Bitumen (Vb)
5. Percent Void in Mixed Aggregate (VMA) 
6. Percent Voids Filled with Bitumen (VFB)


Theoretical Specific Gravity 

Specific gravity or relative density is the weight of the substance compared with the weight of a standard reference object, usually water, at equal volume and at some specified temperature. It actually gives us the idea that how much one object is heavier than the reference object or water.

Theoretical specific gravity Gt is the specific gravity without considering air voids that means it is the specific gravity of the sample when zero air voids exists and maximum compaction is achieved. The maximum specific gravity of the aggregate admixture should be obtained as per ASTM D2041, however the difficult procedure mostly following equation is used to calculate the maximum specific gravity. 

Bulk Specific Gravity 

Bulk specific gravity is the actual specific gravity Gm while considering air voids and it is found by the following formula :- 

Where Wd is the Dry weight of the sample, WSSD is the Saturated Surface Dry Weight and Wsub is the weight of the sample in water. 
To get accurate bulk specific gravity, the specimen is coated with thin film of paraffin wax, when weight is taken in water. This however requires to consider the weight and volume of wax in the calculation. 

Air Voids Percent Vv


Air voids Vv is the percent of air voids by volume in the specimen. The total volume of the small interstices or voids of air between the coated aggregate particles throughout a compacted paving mixture, expressed as a percent of the bulk volume of the compacted paving mixture. It is expressed as :- 

Where Va or Vv is the air voids percentage
Gmb  = Bulk specific gravity of compacted asphalt mixture. 
Gmm = Theoretical maximum specific gravity of Bituminous Paving Mixtures 


Percent Volume of Bitumen Vb 

It is the percent volume of bitumen in the total volume of the mix. 

Voids in Mineral Aggregate (VMA)

The percent voids in Mineral Aggregate (VMA) is the percentage of void spaces between the granular particles in the compacted paving mixture, including the air voids and the volume occupied by the effective asphalt content. 

VMA = 100 – (Gbcm x Pta)/ Gbam 

Where 

VMA = percent voids in Mineral Aggregates
Gbcm = bulk specific gravity of compacted specimen
Gbam = Bulk specific gravity of aggregate mixture
Pta = aggregate percent by weight of total paving mixture. 

Voids Filled with Bitumen VFB or Voids Filled with Aspahlt (VFA)


Voids filled with bitumen is the voids in the mineral aggregate framework filed with the bitumen. 
The portion of the voids in the mineral aggregate that contains asphalt binder. 
VFA = VMA – Pa
Where 
VMA = percent voids in Mineral Aggregates
Pa = Percent air voids

After the preparation of the sample and determination of the properties mentioned above the Sample is taken for the Marshall Stability and Flow test. 

Marshal Stability and Flow Test

After the sample preparation, the sample is extracted with the help of sample extractor as show :- 
Marshall Sample Extractor

The extracted sample is immersed in a bath of water at a temperature of 60 degree centigrade for a duration of 30 minutes. The sample is then placed in a Marshall Stability Testing Machine and loaded at a constant rate of deformation of 5 mm per minute until failure. The Total Maximum load in kN that causes the failure of the specimen is taken as Marshall Stability. The stability value is also corrected for volume it will be explained later. 

The Flow Value is also determined as :- 

The total amount of deformation in units of 0.25 mm that occurs at maximum load is called flow value. 

The total time between removing the specimen from the bath and completion of the test should not exceed 30 seconds. 

The marshall stability and test provides the performance prediction measures for the Marshall Mix Design Method. 

Marshall Stability and flow values along with density, air voids in the total mix, voids in mineral aggregates or voids filled with asphalt or both filled with asphalt are used for laboratory mix design and evaluation of asphalt mixtures. In addition, Marshall Stability and flow can be used to monitor the plant process of producing asphalt mixtures. Marshall Stability and flow may also be used to relatively evaluate different mixes and the effect of conditioning such as with water. 

The Marshall Stability and flow test results are applicable to dense-graded asphalt mixtures with maximum size aggregate upto 1 in. in size. For the purpose of mix design, Marshall Stability and flow test results should consist of the average of a minimum of three specimens at each increment of binder content range is generally selected on the basis of experience and historical testing data of the component materials, but may involve trial and error to include the desirable range of mix properties. 
Stability, flow, density, air voids, and voids filled with asphalt binder, may be plotted against binder content to allow selection of an optimum binder content for the mixture.

Selection of Optimum Asphalt Binder Content

The optimum asphalt or Binder content is actually determined after analyzing the results obtained from Marshall stability and flow test, density analysis, voids analysis. 

The procedure to determine optimum Binder content is as under :- 
1. Plot the following graphs and charts 
      a. Between Asphalt Binder content (x – axis) and % air voids (y-axis) – usually with increase in binding content the percent air voids decreases. 
     b. Between Asphalt Binder Content (x – axis) and Density (y-axis) – usually with increase in asphalt content the density increase but after a peak it lowers down. 
      c. Between Asphalt Binder content (x-axis) and Flow (y-axis) – usually it exhibits a liner or near to linear relation. 
     d. Between Asphalt Binder Content (x-axis) and Marshall Stability (y-axis) usually it show a parabolic like curve with linear relation at the start and after a peak it goes down
      e. Between Asphalt Binder Content (x-axis) and VFA % (Voids Filled with Asphalt or Binding Agent) it also usually shows a near to liner relation
      f. Between Asphalt Binder Content (x-axis) and %VMA (Voids in Mineral Aggregate) (y-axis) it shows reverse parabola with reveres relation at start and then linear relation at the end. 
2. With the help of the graphs plotted Three bitumen content are noted :- 
      a. Binder content corresponding to maximum stability
      b. Binder content corresponding to maximum bulk specific gravity
      c. Binder content corresponding to median of designed limits of percent air voids (Vv) usually 4%. The stability value, flow value and VFA are checked with Marshall Mix Design Specification chart and the optimum Binder content is determined. 

Sometimes the Optimum Binder content is also taken as the average of the Binder content corresponding to maximum unit weight, maximum stability and at specific (i.e. 4 %) air voids. 
The results should always be in the range as shown :- 










Have you ever heard about a nightmare for a jet pilot, I mean except other, the one I know is foggy environment just when showers with thunders happen, a complete blackout and you can’t even land and are expected to have a fuel shortage. In such situations visual aids and lights might help you to land before your death. 



Now if you are driving on the roads of ratcliff Highway London in the mid of night with a blackout thunderstorm of cats and dogs you might need help and assistance from some one regarding where the road centerline is where the road should is. 



These are the situations where visual aids on highways and roads do come to rescue you. There is a term usually spoken “raised pavement markers” and as the name suggests it is self explanatory that it is a safety device slightly raised above the road level and will mark or delineate the edge, center or turning or end of a road. 

What are Raised Pavement Markers?


Raised Pavement Markers are sometimes simply referred as reflectors and include lense or sheeting that enhances their visibility by reflecting automotive headlights. One of the most common types of Raised Pavement Markers (RPM) is Cat’s eye sometimes also referred as Studs or traffic delineators, road markers, road reflectors. It is actually retroflective safety device which means it reflects back the light from the traffic with minimum scattering. 

 Eyeshine from retroreflectors of the transparent sphere type is clearly visible in this cat's eyes

Eyeshine from retroreflectors of the transparent sphere type is clearly visible in this cat's eyes

What is the Name of Reflectors on the Road?

Cat’s eyes or Raised Pavement Markers are used in highway centerlines and edge lines as a traffic safety measure to provide more positive guidance for motorists in inclement, stormy, sever, rough and bad weather having low light conditions. These devices are being used throughout the world now by most of the traffic and highway agencies. The common uses of these raised pavement markers or cat eyes is :- 

1) As a substitute for painted lines and lane marking paints
2) Supplement and aid the help of painted and lane markings
3) As a position guidance device

Invention of Catseye Road Reflectors


The cat’s eyes are invented in 19th Century by Percy Shaw, who was American but according to the Oxford Paperback Encyclopedia 1998 edition has was a Yank. Percy was from Halifax near West Yorkshire, England.  He was born in Lee Mount and at the age of two his family moved to the house in Boothtown where he was to spend the rest of his life inventing and making things, and where, at the age of 86, he died. 

During 1930s, after the death of his father, Percy had setup a business making and repairing roads he also invented a mechanical pavement roller; using an old Ford engine, three solid-tyred wheels from an old lorry and other bits and pieces. How percy hit on the idea of catseye to light the way in the dark is the stuff of legend several in fact. 

Who Invented Catseye Road Reflectors?


During that era, trams were very common, motorists had to rely on the reflection of their headlights on the tramlines at dark nights. As cars and busses made the trams obsolete the tramlines were removed. According to this version Percy Shaw realized that this night-time guide to traffic must somehow be replaced by some other form of reflective device and the idea for the catseye was born. 

All clear ahead: Tramlines at Ambler Thorn on the Bradford to Halifax road where Percy Shaw is said to have had his vision of catseyes.
All clear ahead: Tramlines at Ambler Thorn on the Bradford to Halifax road where Percy Shaw is said to have had his vision of catseyes.



The word Cats eye come from the inspiration for the device; the eyeshine reflecting from the eyes of a cat. Percy Shaw founded Reflecting Roadstuds Limited in Halifax to manufacture these studs with trademark of Catseye. After the invention of reflective lense they had used it effectively in the road studs. 

 Percy Shaw at Boothtown Mansion, where he lived for all but two of his 86 years,
 Percy Shaw at Boothtown Mansion, where he lived for all but two of his 86 years, 

The original form of Catseye manufactured consists of two pairs of reflective glass spheres set into a white rubber dome, mounted in a cast-iron cover. 


Double-ended cat's eye is Shaw's original design and marks road centre-line.

Development and Value of Catseye


During the blackouts of World War II, these catseyes has proved their value as the car headlights reflect and enlightens the road pathways and thus this idea was spread all over the world. 

The catseye should be bright enough to illuminate the road at night and should be tough to withstand all weathers and vehicles driving over the top of it. Raised Pavement marker’s installation rules out the impractical availability of traffic lights, thus helping in the conservation of energy as well. 

Benefits and uses of Catseye


Raised pavement markers are used for a variety of purposes, and are especially important for making traffic lanes visible to drivers at night, making dangerous curves visible and guiding the drivers of the alignment of the road. Cat\'s eyes are used to control traffic and encourage safe driving conditions. Cat's Eyes Road lights can be installed in specific patterns to create various traffic control solutions. When ceramic road reflectors are placed close together in rows, spanning the width of a road, they can form a traffic calming rumble strip which helps in reducing speed.


Pedestrian crossing zones are also sometimes created with reflectors to facilitate the pedestrians and the drivers both.

Research and Studies about Catseye


Many researchers have studied the effects of raised pavement markers on highway safety. A Gergia study (Wright et al. 1982) found positive impact of raised pavement marker on safety with 22% reduction in nighttime crashes. A Texas study (Kugle et al. 1984) observed negative impact of raised pavement markers on safety with 15 to 30 % increase in nighttime crashes; no significant effect on wet weather crashes. 

Effectiveness of CatsEyes


The Raised Pavement Markers or Cat’s eyes have many benefits like decreases in nighttime head-on crashes, with increasing benefits as traffic volumes increase: 

1). Improved delineation of the centerline by RPMs at night and the consequent movement away from the centerline will reduce head-on crashes at night. 

2) The benefit of RPMs will increase as traffic volumes increase.

Decreases in safety benefits as the degree of curvature increases: The RPMs will have negative safety effects on roadways with a degree of  curvature exceeding 3.5. 

Decreases in safety benefits as the vehicle moves closer to the edgeline: the risk of run-off-road crashes on two-lane roadways is expected to be higher on roadways with lower design standards (e.g., with higher degrees of curvature and narrower pavement widths) because vehicles move away from the centerline to the edgeline to avoid the RPMs. 

Narrow shoulder widths reduce the recovery area for vehicles that leave the travel lane. There is a positive correlation between traffic volumes and pavement width, meaning that higher-traffic-volume roadways are normally associated with higher roadway design standards.

 Decreases in wet weather nighttime crashes: the significant improvement in visibility in wet weather at night would be expected to reduce run-off-road crashes and head-on crashes on gentle curves where small increases in speed would not significantly increase crash risk. 

Slight decreases in daytime wet weather crashes: Snowplowable 

RPMs may improve daytime visibility under wet weather conditions because of the profile of the RPM housing above the film of water covering the painted markings. This improvement in visibility might contribute to a decrease in daytime wet weather crashes. 

 Less positive effects of RPMs for gentle curves and less negative effects for sharp curves on roads with illumination when compared with roads without illumination.


GHAZIABAD - INDIA - Construction of the Vasundhara flyover is likely to start by October 2, said officials. The project aims to decongest the intersection of the road from Vasundhara with Mohan Nagar Link Road and is expected to be completed in a year.



There is a huge flow of vehicles at Vasundhara intersection every day as traffic from Noida, Delhi and Sahibabad converges at the spot.

According to Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) officials, work on pile testing was started at the intersection on Monday.

“Pile testing is being conducted at the intersection to assess the flyover’s foundation. This will go on for five to six days. Construction will be started by October 2,” said AK Gupta, chief engineer, GDA.
The construction is being executed by the UP State Bridge Corporation and the GDA together at a cost of Rs 45 crore, according to Gupta. The length of the proposed flyover is 3.8 kilometres, officials said.

“Construction of the flyover will make the Vasundhara intersection signal-free. Vehicles coming from Vaishali or Delhi will be able to avoid Vasundhara via the flyover and reach Mohan Nagar directly,” he said.

According to the flyover design, vehicles coming from Vaishali will be able to take the flyover from near the Vaishali Metro station (near Bikanerwala, and Country Inn and Suites) and get down on Madan Mohan Malviya Marg, at the foot overbridge near Sangam auto showroom.

“Vehicles coming from Site-4 Sahibabad industrial area and from CISF Link Road will go under the flyover. However, if they wish to go straight down the intersection, they will not be able to do so and will have to take a U-turn after the flyover as the intersection will be made signal-free,” Gupta said.
According to officials, construction of the flyover will help ease traffic at the intersection. Huge snarls take place at the intersection every day with large queues of vehicles forming on the CISF Link Road following the jams.

“Vasundhara intersection is one of the busiest in the area. It is also accident-prone. The construction of a flyover is a must here as traffic is increasing here every day,” said Anil Kumar, traffic inspector, Ghaziabad.

source: Hindustantimes

BRAZIL, What one construction crew found in Brazil this year is definitely the latter.
People reports a crew working on a dam found a 33-foot anaconda in the ruins of a controlled demolition in the northern state of Para.



The snake, which is featured in a video and is said to weigh between 800 and 900 pounds, is being called the "biggest ever."

While there is no official confirmation of the snake's size or even its existence, it's certainly fun... or terrifying... to think such things exist out in the wild.


ISTANBUL-TURKEY, In the shocking clip, the 100-foot (30 metre) high retaining wall suddenly comes rumbling down, triggering a landslide of hundreds of tonnes of earth. The construction site incident happened in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. Incredibly, nobody was killed or injured in the construction site landslide, which was captured on video by the workers.



In the clip, workers can be heard shouting: "Leave the area. Run away, faster, faster get out of there!"The footage quickly went viral after being uploaded to social media. Workers at the construction site in the Basaksehir district reported hearing a noise shortly before the wall came down.



People had been working both at the top and at the bottom of the wall, but the workers added the ominous sound had given them time to escape what could have been a deadly incident.
One worker said: "First, there was a loud noise and then the workers started running away as the wall started to shake."

While another added: "We heard a noise while we were working.





To south China's Pearl River Delta, where builders have just linked the decks of the world's longest sea-crossing bridge together. At 55 kilometers in length, the Guardian is calling the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge "one of the seven wonders of the modern world".



Construction started on the project back in 2009. The sea-crossing bridge connects the three biggest cities in the Pearl River Delta region, namely Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai. After the bridge opens, passengers will be able to drive through two special administrative regions and the Mainland in less than half-an-hour. The same journey used to take 3 hours by land or 2 hours by water.

Over 400,000 tons of steel was used to build the bridge, the equivalent of 10 Bird Nests or 60 Eiffel Towers. The construction company that built the bridge says it is designed to stand for at least 100 years. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is one of China's most ambitious construction projects. Industry insiders have nicknamed it the "Qomolangma," which is the world's tallest mountain.




Pakistan today claimed the World Bank has “committed” itself to “timely fulfilling its obligations” under the Indus Water Treaty while remaining neutral as Islamabad approached the international lender amid reports that India may revoke the 56-year-old deal. A Pakistani delegation led by the Attorney General for Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, met with senior officials of the World Bank at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, to discuss matters relating to the Indus Waters Treaty that was brokered by the World Bank.



They discussed “the formation of Court of arbitration for resolving the matter of water disputes especially those related to construction of hydropower projects”, Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power said in a statement.

“The World Bank will be deciding the issue in the next few days,” it added.
“In the meeting with the Pakistani delegation, the World Bank committed itself to timely fulfilling its obligations under the treaty while remaining neutral,” said a statement issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960 and brokered by the World Bank, waters of six rivers – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.
Its Article IX deals with arbitration of disputes between the parties concerning the interpretation or application of the treaty or the existence of any fact which, if established, might constitute a breach of the treaty.

The treaty provides specific design criteria for any hydro-electric power plants to be built by India.
On 19 August, Pakistan had formally requested India for settlement of outstanding disputes pertaining to India’s construction of Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants on rivers Neelum and Chenab respectively, by referring the matters to the Court of Arbitration as provided in Article IX of the Treaty.

Under the treaty, the World Bank has an important role in establishment of the Court of Arbitration by facilitating the process of appointment of three judges, called Umpires, to the Court, while each country appoints two arbitrators.

The Pakistani officials met with senior officials of the World Bank to insist on early appointment of the judges and empanelment the court, it said.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani and World Bank’s Executive Director for Pakistan Nasir Khosa also participated in the talks.

The World Bank was represented by Senior Vice President Anne-Marie LeRoy; Vice President for South Asia Annette Dixon; Deputy General Counsel for Operations Alberto Ninio; Chief Counsel for South Asia Melinda Good; and Senior Counsel for International Waterways Victor Mosoti.
Earlier, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Security, Sartaj Aziz said an attempt by India to block Pakistan’s water could be seen as “an act of war.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with officials to review provisions of the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan. In that meeting it was decided that India will “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact.
The meeting came as India weighed its options to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack that left 18 soldiers dead, triggering demands that the government scrap the water-sharing deal to mount pressure on the country.

source: financial express

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - The Supreme Court (SC) observed that the delay in the national interest project of construction of Dasu Dam would increase its cost and ultimately its burden would be shifted on the tax payers.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dost Muhammad Khan heard the appeal of Power Construction Corporation of China against the Lahore High Court judgment.



Justice Dost Muhammad said that further delay in construction of Dam would cause loss and its burden would be shifted to the tax payers, adding that the government does not have funds to construct even small dam, while this is huge project required billions of dollars.

The court recalled that in the past, they had clarified that the government make decision regarding Dam in light of its orders.

The court directed the government to raise the instant matter with the World Bank so that petition of the Chinese company, pending before the Bank should be decided at the earliest.

M/s Power Construction Corporation of China had submitted application for the construction of the project on May 28, 2015 to which the Wapda submitted its report to the World Bank for evaluation of the bidders and conditionally pre-qualified the Corporation along with several other bidders.

M/s Power Construction Corporation of China challenged the Wapda decision to oust the Corporation from the bidding process for awarding the contract before the Lahore High Court which rejected the plea on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the petition.

Later, the corporation invoked the Supreme Court jurisdiction in the matter filing appeal against the LHC verdict.

On Friday, at the outset of the instant hearing, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan inquired as to whether there is country director or head of World Bank in Pakistan. He also asked about the agreement signed between government of Pakistan and the World Bank.

Former Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt and counsel for Chinese Construction Company, submitted before the court that according to the agreement Pakistani laws could be applied to the construction of Dasu Dam project.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, another member of the bench questioned as to whether the World Bank was examining the application of Chinese Construction Company.


Counsel for Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Shehzada Mazhar informed the court that the Chinese company has approached the World Bank for examining its application for considering its bid for Dasu Hydropower Project.




At this, Justice Qazi Faiz Isa said let the decision of World Bank either positive or negative come after that they will pass an appropriate order.

Shahzad Mazhar, counsel for Wapda however, contended that the government has opened the financial bids and it has received Rs460 million in the bid.
The learned counsel pleaded if the process was halted at this stage, then the government would face huge loss.

Meanwhile, the court in its order ruled that the matter should be taken by the government with World Bank so that the petition of Chinese Construction Company, pending before it, is decided at the earliest Later, the court adjourned further hearing until third week of September.



Source: the Nation

We all know as civil engineers that how difficult, nerve testing and tuff is site conditions, but one has to say good words for those workers who are working even more harder and tuffer than us.  We are always there to face the hardships as civil engineers where we don’t have facilities like luxurious houses colonies which other professions enjoy during their work. Here is a story I would like to share with you right from London, the very developed and structured one.



The news is from London, where Crossrail workers have slammed site welfare conditions after having to walk two miles to use a toilet. One worker said: “It’s an absolute joke down there – how can you run a major project like this making people walk for two miles to use the loo? “We haven’t had a mobile toilet in the tunnel down here for weeks now.

“We have to walk all the way to Tottenham Court Road which is two miles away.”

Workers are also unhappy about a lack of canteens and a site access system described as “chaotic”.
Another source said: “There’s only one turnstile to get on site in some places so the queues are chaotic.

“You have to leave early to try and beat the rush and lose out pay wise.”
Construction union UCATT is planning a demonstration at the Fisher Street site tomorrow while Unite leaders are set for a showdown meeting next month with Crossrail chiefs and contractors over bonus pay demands by electricians.

Contractors are understood to have set up a series of working groups to address the issues before the situation escalates.

But rank and file sparks are known to be organising on the job and are planning to produce their own site newspaper.

Tunnel Vision will be widely circulated among the workforce and detail ongoing disputes and demands.

News Source: Construction Enquirer


Amsterdam, the city of water ways, is located in the western Netherlands in the province of North Holland. This city is famous for its Water ways. You must have heard about the self-driving cars may be on the internet or on television News but you must not have heard or seen a self-driving or autonomous boats. But soon you will see these autonomous boats on the waterways of Amsterdam. With over 1000 kilometers of canals, 1500 bridges, the city of Amsterdam is about to feel the innovation of the 21st century.

An autonomous self-driving fleet of Boat for Amsterdam Waterways Research
source: MIT


A research collaboration, recently started, between MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology from Cambridge) and AMS, (the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions), the both will seek to design and test the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats in the city of Amsterdam. This water based unit is termed as ‘A Roboat’. Each autonomous boat will be used for transporting goods and people and for creating temporary floating infrastructures such as self-assembling bridges and concert stages. Roboats can also monitor the city’s water using new environmental sensors that can provide vital insights on urban and human health.

An autonomous self-driving fleet of Boat for Amsterdam Waterways Research
source MIT



The Team for this Research includes MIT Principal Investigator Carlo Ratti, Joining Ratti from MIT as co-principal investigators are Daniela Rus, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); Andrew Whittle, the Edmund K. Turner Professor in Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Dennis Frenchman, the Class of 1922 Professor of Urban Design and Planning and director of the DesignX program in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

At AMS, Van Timmeren and Stephan van Dijk, research program manager, will coordinate the involvement of another 12 groups of researchers from TU Delft and Wageningen UR. Along with the City of Amsterdam, Waternet, the public water utility of Amsterdam and surrounding areas, will participate in the research.

An autonomous self-driving fleet of Boat for Amsterdam Waterways Research
Source: MIT




With 80 percent of global economic output generated around coasts, riverbanks, and deltas and 60 percent of the world population living in these areas, researchers anticipate that outcomes from the ROBOAT projects could become a reference for other urban areas around the world and a source of international entrepreneurial initiatives and start-ups in which autonomy enters the marine world.

MKRdezign

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