Accelerated Pavement Testing Facility

Accelerated Pavement Testing FacilityAPT facilitates the controlled application of a prototype wheel loading, at or above the appropriate legal load limit to a prototype or actual, layered, structural pavement system to determine pavement response and performance under a controlled, accelerated accumulation of damage in a compressed time period.

Objectives of Creating APT Facility

  • Establishment of Centralised National Accelerated Pavement Testing Facility (APTF)
  • To generate data similar to Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Studies and to develop pavement deterioration models for flexible and rigid pavements (for typical pavement structures).

Advantages of APTF

  •  Evaluation of New designs, specifications, mixes and materials
  •  Advance information on pavement performance
  •  Studies for anticipated traffic conditions
  •  Simulated field conditions
  •  Substantial savings with improvements in pavement design procedures and maintenance practices
  •  Judgment on magnitude and timing of asset establishment and preservation costs
  •  Greater control over uniformity and quality of construction of test sections because of relatively smaller size
  •  Control over environmental factors such as pavement temperature and subgrade moisture
  •  Economical and ready to use technical solutions assist decision making of road authorities
  •  Well targeted pavement research programmes

International Scenario

Many countries including Australia, Denmark, South Africa, France, Britain, and the Netherlands, among others, are extensively making use of the facility. In the United States alone, major investments in APT programs have been committed by FHWA, USACE (both at WES and at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory [CRREL]), and the states of Minnesota, California, Texas, and Louisiana. In addition, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is currently commissioning the largest APT machine in the world. The state of Florida and the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Transportation, have both initiated major FS/APT efforts, which are likely to be the first new APT programs of the 21st century. Tests conducted at the various facilities are essentially designed and constructed to meet the current high-priority interests of the funding agency, with primary attention given to pavement performance. These programs are consistent with others worldwide in evaluating distress and damage parameters (e.g., cracking and rutting of flexible pavements)
Significant outputs have been derived from the HVS(APTF) programme in South Africa. Some of the most significant developments in the South African Pavement design engineering field resulting from HVS related research include Large aggregate mix bases (LAMBs), Granular emulsion mixes (GEMs), Rehabilitation measures for cemented-base pavements, Treatments for phased upgrading of unpaved roads, Porous asphalt, South African pavement structural design method (Technical Recommendations for Highways, Labour-enhanced road building construction techniques and so on.

Studies Planned

  • One major project proposal has been submitted to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which is under their active consideration. The title of the project is “Development of Criteria for Choice of Bituminous Mixes with Modified Binders Using HVS(APTF) for Durable and Cost Effective Surfacings”.
  • Another Project proposal has been submitted to Department of Science and Technology under their Technology Systems Development (TSD) programme. The title of the project is “Development of Guidelines For Use of Environment Friendly Alternate Materials For Road Construction Using Accelerated Pavement Testing Facility”.
  • Also, since the arrival of APTF in the CRRI campus, one In-house project titled “Development of Methodology for Commissioning and ‘Site Acceptance Test(SAT)’ of Heavy Vehicle Simulator(HVS) Type of APTF” had has been successfully completed been undertaken and successfully completed
  • Another In-house project titled “Study on Validation of IRC Pavement Design Method Using Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS-APTF)” has recently been approved from the competent authority. The project is to start from 01st April, 2011.