The Belgian Road Research Centre has a curviameter to measure structural road characteristics rapidly and accurately. This device measures the deformation of a road surface at one hundred points, at a survey speed of 18 km/h and with an accuracy of 0.02 mm. The rear wheel axle is loaded to weigh between 8 and 13 t. Every 5 m a sensor laid down on the road surface by a moving chain measures the temporary deflection of the pavement when the rear axle is passing over.
The TRIMM project (acronym of Tomorrow’s Road Infrastructure Monitoring & Management) was completed late in 2014. It was funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research (FP7, 2007-2013). Its objective was to strengthen the role of condition monitoring in road management and to highlight its beneficial effects. The condition of a road network is, in fact, decisive for its level of service to road users. Maintenance is required to preserve or improve the condition of bridges and roads.
The Belgian Road Research Centre has a falling weight deflectometer to measure the temporary deflection of roads under heavy traffic loads. A falling weight is dropped from a standing vehicle onto a metal disc laid on the road surface. A rubber interface on top of the metal disc damps the impact so as to simulate the passage of a heavily loaded wheel axle of a lorry. Nine sensors in the vicinity of the impact zone record the temporary deflection of the road surface. A deflection bowl can be determined from the measured data. The FWD is suitable for measurements on all types of pavement (from flexible to rigid) and for use on road networks. Usually one measurement is performed every 100 m. A single measurement takes less than two minutes.
On January 28 and 29 2015, the Belgian Road Research Centre hosted a workshop on the Curviameter. The objective of the workshop was to bring together specialists and users of Curviameter measurement data: current and former end-users of Curviameter data, road managers and road engineers, scientists who published articles about the interpretation of Curviameter data, and persons interested in the measurement device and in the data it provides.