Concrete Pavement Mixture Design and Analysis (MDA): Development and Evaluation of Vibrating Kelly Ball Test (VKelly Test) for the Workability of Concrete

Taylor, Peter
Wang, Xuhao
Wang, Xin
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Institute for Transportation
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue

Due to the low workability of slipform concrete mixtures, the science of rheology is not strictly applicable for such concrete. However, the concept of rheological behavior may still be considered useful. A novel workability test method (Vibrating Kelly Ball or VKelly test) that would quantitatively assess the responsiveness of a dry concrete mixture to vibration, as is desired of a mixture suitable for slipform paving, was developed and evaluated. The objectives of this test method are for it to be cost-effective, portable, and repeatable while reporting the suitability of a mixture for use in slipform paving. The work to evaluate and refine the test was conducted in three phases: 1. Assess whether the VKelly test can signal variations in laboratory mixtures with a range of materials and proportions 2. Run the VKelly test in the field at a number of construction sites 3. Validate the VKelly test results using the Box Test developed at Oklahoma State University for slipform paving concrete The data collected to date indicate that the VKelly test appears to be suitable for assessing a mixture’s response to vibration (workability) with a low multiple operator variability. A unique parameter, VKelly Index, is introduced and defined that seems to indicate that a mixture is suitable for slipform paving when it falls in the range of 0.8 to 1.2 in./√s.

Concrete mixing; Concrete pavements; Concrete tests; Guidelines; Mix design; Pavement design; Pavement performance; Specifications; Vibration tests; Workability; Kelly ball test; Vibrating Kelly ball; VKelly test