HDR Confirmation Presentation: Thomas Weir

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HDR Confirmation Presentation: Thomas Weir

Title: Foamed Bitumen; a comparison of insitu and exsitu foamed bitumen stabilization for produced material characteristics.


Expedient runway construction technology is the solution to the maintenance and constructability issues that are posed by the airports of today. As a type of expedient construction practice, the application of Foamed Bitumen Stabilisation (FBS) technology to aircraft pavement in Australia is exceptionally promising. Foamed Bitumen Stabilisation is the pavement stabilisation method of mixing a primary binder, being foamed bitumen, and a secondary binder, usually lime or cement, with a graded unbound gravel in an effort to improve the strength and reduce the moisture sensitivity characteristics of the gravel material.

The aim of research is to investigate the variations that occur in foamed bitumen stabilised materials produced from laboratory practices, in-situ stabilisation and ex-situ stabilisation. This investigation will be achieved through a research design that requires the collection of samples from laboratory produced material as well as in-situ and ex-situ stabilisation materials at different times during a production run.

The comparison will observe trends and variations in developed moduli with the Indirect Tensile Strength (ITS) moduli. This research will fill industry knowledge gaps in the variations found in the foamed bitumen bases produced from the different foamed bitumen stabilisation production methods (Laboratory production, ex-situ and in-situ stabilisation).

This research has potential to modify existing stabilisation practices and provide knowledge to enable an informed decision into the suitability of each production method for airfield or road project requirements. The intended outcome of this research is to increase the foamed bitumen stabilisation industry knowledge base, potentially improve production practices and enable project cost savings through developing understanding and informed decision-making.


Thomas Weir

Born and raised in Northern New South Wales, I graduated from Griffith university with a Bachelor in Engineering (Civil) (Honours). I was accepted into the Royal Australian Air Force part way through my bachelor’s degree and since graduating I have been working with the RAAF across a myriad of roles including training, capability management, capability development, deployed engineer, short notice to move engineer and I am currently filling the role of Airfield Pavement Research Masters Engineer. My research project examines an expedient airfield and road pavement stabilisation technology called foamed bitumen stabilisation. Comparing materials produced via laboratory production, in-situ and ex-situ stabilisation and comparing the laboratory curing with an in-pavement simulated curing condition.

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