Mechanical Behavior of Road Structures
Within the framework of the research theme, new information is produced on the mechanical behaviour of road structures under the action of both heavy vehicles and climatic loads. The behaviour of road structures in studied e.g. using Finite Element analyses, the results of which are verified using monitoring measurements from different types of existing road structures. Alongside these, the properties of the structural materials of roads are investigated using various laboratory test methods. At the road network level, the aim is to utilize the most up-to-date methods of measuring the state and condition of structures together with our partners.
The core of the research area consists of a series of studies commissioned by the Finnish Transport Agency from 2013 onwards. In the course of the research, heavy truck loading tests have been carried out on six different road sites and extensive instrumentation of two road structures has been carried out as part of the intelligent transport systems test platform, Aurora, coordinated by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. A key partner in all of these studies has been Roadscanners Ltd. Right now, there is an ongoing search for additional international funding for research in this area, together with a number of foreign partners.
The background to the project is the significant increase in traffic loading caused by heavy vehicles mainly as a result of the new vehicle regulation that came into force in Finland in 2013. With the introduction of autonomous vehicles, the loading effect from heavy traffic will be further increased in the future. On the other hand, the resources available for road maintenance will continue to be scarce, which is why the only possible way to manage the already existing and constantly increasing maintenance backlog is to adopt new practices based on new knowledge, especially proactive maintenance.
Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Roadscanners Oy
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