Characteristics of Today’s Concrete Surfaces

Paper by BRIESSINCK RENS from ISCR 11th 2010 Seville Spain

More and more importance is attached to the quality of the road surface, especially by the road users who want to drive on safe and comfortable roads. Concrete pavements often suffer from bad image due to the fact they are very old and have been designed according to other criteria than today and have been built using old techniques and equipment. Today’s concrete surfaces, however, are able to meet the needs and objectives of road users, residents and road managers, thanks to the following developments and characteristics: - adapted designs that provide more comfortable pavements by adequate base layers, joint construction or by the elimination of transverse joints through the technique of continuously reinforced concrete; - new construction techniques with modern paving machines and related equipment; - absence of rutting, eliminating the risk of hydroplaning; - absence of potholes, ravelling and other surface deterioration; - newly developed surface finishing methods; - better nighttime visibility. Old existing concrete surfaces can be restored by texture modification through techniques like diamond grinding, diamond grooving, milling or shotblasting or can be overlaid either by a structural new concrete pavement or a thin bituminous layer. The selection of the best pavement type and surface texture for a given location is a complex problem that requires consideration of several factors that are often competing, including noise, safety, durability and life-cycle cost considerations. The paper will include several case-studies and results of measurements of evenness, skid resistance and noise.

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