Resilient modulus for unsaturated unbound materials

Carlos E. Cary, Claudia Zapata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The suitability of the current resilient modulus test protocol (NCHRP 1-28A) for its application to unsaturated soils was assessed. Modifications to the stress state conditions of the protocol are necessary due to the axis-translation needed during the test when measuring matrix suction. This study presents the modulus of unbound materials resulting from tests performed under unsaturated soil conditions. Two different materials were tested. The base material was tested under drained and undrained boundary conditions, while the subgrade was tested under drained boundary condition. The results allowed for the enhancement of the Universal Model for resilient modulus prediction by incorporating suction as a stress state. This model predicts the resilient response of unbound materials as a function of external stress state and matrix suction levels and therefore, it is independent of moisture variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-638
Number of pages24
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Environmental effects
  • Matrix suction
  • Resilient modulus
  • Unsaturated soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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