Use of Wicking Fabric to Reduce Pavement Pumping


Pumping is among the leading distresses in both flexible and rigid pavement. Pumping is defined as the ejection of water and fine materials of the pavement system under pore water pressure generated by repetitious traffic loading through larger voids or cracks. Pumping can significantly reduce the overall strength of the pavement, clogging the course material and eventually affecting pavement performance. Pumping requires heavy traffic loads, water, fine content in the lower layer, and no fine particles in the upper layer. Methods of limiting pumping include removing water, reducing pore water pressure, and separation of fine content from upper layers. The latter is investigated extensively in the literature. In this study, the reduction of water content as a means to reduce pumping is investigated. The drainage performance of a newly developed geotextile that can drain water both in saturated and unsaturated conditions has been compared to conventional drainage systems being used in pavements. For this purpose, a box filled with a granular pavement base material was instrumented and measurements of volumetric water contents were made to compare the effectiveness of each studied case. Results showed that the drainage ability of the newly developed geotextile is significant, specifically in an unsaturated condition, compared to conventional drainage methods being used in practice.

Meeting Name

Geo-Congress 2020: Modeling, Geomaterials, and Site Characterization (2020: Feb. 25-28, Minneapolis, MN)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Drainage; Earthquake Engineering; Geotechnical Engineering; Geotextiles; Pavements; Pore Pressure; Pressure Distribution; Traffic Surveys; Water, Drainage Performance; Heavy Traffic Load; Pavement Base Materials; Pavement Performance; Pavement Systems; Pore-Water Pressures; Unsaturated Condition; Volumetric Water Content, Pumps

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2020