Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

W. S. Guthrie

First Faculty Reader

James P. Smith

Honors Coordinator

Gregory Macfarlane


frost heave, apparatus, soil


The objective of this research was to develop and demonstrate an apparatus for assessing the frost-heave susceptibility of soil in a laboratory setting. Development of the frost-heave testing apparatus required several components, including a freezing system, a heating system, temperature controllers, a metal frame, a water delivery system, and an insulated specimen container. For the freezing system, a chest freezer was selected to provide a test environment that can be maintained at an adjustable air temperature below 32 °F. For the heating system, thermostat-controlled heat tape was selected for positioning around the base of the specimen and along the water line inside the freezer. For temperature controllers, relays with integrated temperature sensors were selected and connected to the chest freezer and heat tape. For two trial 10-day frost-heave tests of clayey soil and silty soil, graphs were developed to show the change in specimen height over time and to show the actual water and air temperatures, as compared to the target temperatures. As expected, the silty soil heaved more than the clayey soil. The apparatus was able to achieve the target temperatures to within 2.2 °F.