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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 ASAP project addresses the issues of speed management in work zones. Speed management of traffic in work zones is important for the safety of both the road user and road worker. A work zone will introduce deviations from normal travel in a discrete road section and appropriate speed is needed to ensure that the driver can navigate the vehicle through the work zone, particularly if there are abrupt lateral deviations from general road design standards.
RAVeL (Réseau Autonome de Voies Lentes) is a feature of Wallonia’s policy for “soft” mobility. This network of segregated cycleways is to provide safety for vulnerable road users. To offer equivalent safety at junctions between these cycleways and ordinary roads, the competent directorate of the Walloon public service department SPW ordered a study from BRRC.
On 24th August 2015, about seventy delegates from fifteen countries gathered in BRRC’s auditorium at Sterrebeek to attend the final PERSUADE seminar (acronym of PoroElastic Road SUrface: an innovation to Avoid Damages to the Environment).
The objective of this six-year European research project (September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2015) led by BRRC was to develop a safe and durable poroelastic road surface, as a means to control road traffic noise.
A poroelastic road surface is composed of rubber granules (from recycled car tyres), small-sized stone aggregate and a number of additives, which are bound with an elastic synthetic resin (polyurethane). It contains no bitumen and must, therefore, not be confused with rubberized asphalt.
Earlier experiments had demonstrated that such a road surface can reduce road traffic noise by 7 to 12 dB. For comparison, a 4 m high noise screen has a noise-abating effect of about 8 dB.
However, durability was inadequate, especially for fretting and adhesion to the underlying layer. Further extensive research was necessary to improve those aspects and to find the answers to a number of pending questions.