Vibratory rollers are commonly used for compaction of embankments and landfills. In a majority of large construction projects, this activity constitutes a significant part of the project cost and causes considerable emissions. Thus, by improving the compaction efficiency, the construction industry would reduce costs and environmental impact. In recent years, rollers have been significantly improved in regard to engine efficiency, control systems, safety and driver comfort. However, very little progress has been made in compaction effectiveness. While the compaction procedure (e.g. layer thickness and number of passes) has been optimized over the years, the process in which the machine compacts the underlying soil is essentially identical to the situation in the 1970s.
This research project investigates the influence of one crucial parameter, namely vibration frequency of the drum, which normally is a fixed roller parameter. Frequency is essential in all dynamic systems but its influence on the compaction efficiency has not been studied since the early days of soil compaction. Since laboratory and field equipment, measurement systems and analysis techniques at the time were not as developed as they are today, no explicit conclusion was drawn. Frequencyvariable oscillators, digital sensors and computer‐based analysis now provide possibilities to accurately study this concept in detail.
In order to examine the influence of vibration frequency on the compaction of granular soil, small‐ scale tests were conducted under varying conditions. A vertically oscillating plate was placed on a sand bed contained in a test box. The experiments were carried out in laboratory conditions to maximize controllability. The first test setup utilized an electro‐dynamic oscillator where dynamic quantities, such as frequency and particle velocity amplitude, could be varied in real‐time. The second test setup included two counter‐rotating eccentric mass oscillators, where tests were conducted at discrete frequencies. This type of oscillator has a force amplitude that is governed by frequency.
The main objectives of the tests were to determine the optimal compaction frequency and whether resonance can be utilized to improve compaction efficiency. Results showed that resonance had a major influence in the electro‐dynamic oscillator tests, where the applied force amplitude is low, and the optimal compaction frequency is the resonant frequency under these circumstances. In the rotating mass oscillator tests, where a high force was applied to the plate, resonant amplification was present but not as pronounced. Since force increase with frequency, the optimal frequency to obtain the highest degree of compaction is very large. In a practical regard, however, frequency should be kept as low as possible to minimize machine wear and emissions while still achieving a sufficient compaction of the soil. Considering the practical issues, it is proposed that surface compactors should operate slightly above the resonant frequency. However, the applicability to vibratory rollers must be confirmed in full‐scale tests.
The thesis also presents an iterative method to calculate the frequency response of a vibrating plate, incorporating strain‐dependent soil properties. Calculated dynamic quantities are compared to measured values, confirming that the method accurately predicts the response.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. , xiv, 30 p.
2014-02-07, Sal B2, Brinellvägen 23, entreplan, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Johansson, Jörgen, Dr.