Mechanisms of acoustic aging of road surfaces

Regular paper

Ronald Van Loon


Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 09:20 - 09:40

0.2 Berlin (90)

The acoustic performance of road surfaces deteriorates with time. Texture may increase due to stone loss or, on the other hand, may decrease due to compaction and sweating of bitumen. Open surfaces may clog with dirt leading to a reduced or modified acoustic absorption and an increase of the flow resistivity. Low noise surfaces depend on optimal surface characteristics, like an optimized surface texture. If these characteristics changes over time, the noise reduction decreases. This makes these surfaces especially vulnerable to surface degradation. This is what we call acoustic aging. The general unpredictability of the acoustic aging and the related uncertainty in planning of maintenance and resurfacing has limited the wide spread use of these surfaces as noise mitigation measures. The CEDR organization ordered to undertake a project to develop procedures that enable the implementation of the acoustic performance of road infrastructure elements, such as road surfaces, into pavement management systems (PMS). Hence, a model was developed that describes the aging of road surfaces in Europe. This study has gathered data from several countries in Europe on the age related performance of several types of road surfaces, mainly under highway conditions. The results of the study are presented in this paper.

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