Collaborative effort results in new pavement design software package

Atlanta, GA: Tensar International was recognized as part of the winning 2018 CTS Research Partnership Award team chosen for its work on geogrid usage in paved road infrastructure. The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies selected the collaborative research initiative, “Geogrid Reinforced Aggregate Base Pavement Design” comprised of nine separate projects, as the 2018 CTS Research Partnership Award winner. The Award recognizes the coordinated effort of a team comprised of university engineers and scientists, private sector experts and commercial product leaders who joined forces to enhance Minnesota DOT’s flexible pavement design methods and capabilities.

The Award winning team includes representatives of Minnesota Department of Transportation and other agencies, Braun Intertec and Ingios (field measurements and analyses), University of Minnesota (unsaturated geomechanics and analyses of granular materials), Tensar (development of geogrid modeling methodology), and Itasca (expertise and the commercial software framework in which the new pavement design package resides). The 2018 CTS Research Partnership Award was presented at the CTS Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on February 22, 2018.

Geogrids are relatively rigid polymer meshes used to stabilize and improve the performance of foundation materials below roads and other types of infrastructure. Tensar’s geogrid products allow transportation infrastructure organizations to decrease construction time and economically build better performing and longer lasting roads and structures. Tensar invented and patented the first geogrid and remains the world’s leading producer. Throughout the evolution of geogrid technology, Tensar International has invested in extensive research with third parties and with major test institutes in the North America.

“We are proud to be part of the elite team honored with the 2018 CTS Research Partnership Award,” said Scott Edgecombe, EVP & GM Western Hemisphere, Tensar International. “Our business is deeply rooted in creating research-based innovations to improve the quality of our nation’s infrastructure. It is only through collaboration with transportation industry experts like our fellow award winners that we will substantially enhance our country’s roads. Thanks to University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies for creating this thoughtful award.”

The 2018 CTS Research Partnership Award recognizes a new pavement design and analysis tool, which enables geogrid benefit to be quantified using an aggregate-geogrid interaction model of an unsaturated granular material containing geogrid. The pavement design analysis tool was created in Itasca Consulting’s PFC3D software and is now available to all PFC3D users.

“Geogrid increases the aggregate base layer modulus and reduces permanent deformation, both of which are important properties that influence the performance of the asphalt surface. More financially effective pavement structures will be constructed in Minnesota by quantifying the benefit of geogrid in the aggregate base layer and by using geogrid in situations where the benefits outweigh the costs,” said John Siekmeier, Principal Engineer with Minnesota Department of Transportation and a key member of the Award winning team.