Road pavements are currently designed, specified and constructed such that their surfaces deliver adequate ride quality and skidding resistance but designs do not specifically take into account the rolling resistance of the surface. In order for this to become possible in the future, the pavement factors affecting rolling resistance need to be determined, along with how practical it would be to change these factors, during maintenance or construction, and to what extent they affect rolling resistance. As part of this research, the effect of pavement surface texture on rolling resistance has been investigated using TRL’s accelerated Pavement Test Facility (PTF) and the results of this work are presented within this report.
The PTF offers a controlled environment in which to traffic real pavements and this has been instrumented with bespoke equipment to record all forces, angles, temperatures etc. needed to measure rolling resistance. The PTF has been used to determine differences in rolling resistance on pavement strips of a selection of trial surfaces constructed with a range of texture depths that could otherwise be considered identical. The different texture depths were achieved by using a range of aggregate sizes in a proprietary thin surfacing.
The results showed that small differences in the coefficient of rolling resistance between the surfacings could be measured in repeated passes of a loaded heavy vehicle wheel and that rolling resistance increased with increasing texture depth.

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