CBR testing carried out in line with British Standard BS 1377
Originally developed by the California Division of Highways in the 1930s and covered within British Standard BS1377, the California Bearing Ratio test – or CBR test – is an in-situ construction materials test designed to assess the load-bearing capabilities of roads, pavements, driveways and so on. It is widely accepted as being the ‘go to’ test for the simulation of traffic, providing useful information on the effects such activity might have upon component layers.
A penetration test critical for road design and materials calculations, in basic terms, the CBR test involves a piston of a known size being applied to a sample of soil at a specified rate. The CBR value is then calculated, in part, based upon the ease with which the piston penetrates the soil. Whilst CBR testing can be used when a change of use is being considered (e.g. heavier or increased traffic), it is also commonly utilised to assess the volume of materials required should contractors be looking to construct a new road.
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