Laboratory Evaluation of the Briaud Compaction Device


Soil compaction quality control pays an important role in earthwork construction. Compacted dry density is only loosely related to the actual deformation of the compacted soil. Rather than using dry density as the controlling factor for compacted fills, it would be better to measure properties more closely related to soil compressibility. The Briaud Compaction Device (BCD) is a simple, small-strain, nondestructive testing apparatus that can be used to evaluate the modulus of compacted soils. The use of the BCD as a field testing device for compacted soil quality control may be more beneficial than the current practice of measuring in-situ dry density. In this study, the laboratory procedures of the BCD were evaluated for compacted silt. The modulus determined by the BCD was compared to the dynamic elastic moduli (Young's and shear moduli) determined from ultrasonic pulse velocity testing on the same compacted silt samples. The BCD modulus correlated well with the ultrasonic pulse velocity results with R2 value 0.8 or better. Finally, a repeatability and reproducibility study conducted on the BCD showed a variation of 4% from the mean when only the soil properties were altered.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


Missouri Transportation Institute

Keywords and Phrases

Compacted Soils; Nondestructive Tests; Ultrasonic Methods

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2009