Russia's First Wheel Load Simulator "CYCLOS" Starts Testing Two Types of Road Structures in Nizhny Novgorod Region

27.07.2022 Views: 406

FAI “ROSDORNII”, launched comparative tests of two types of road structures using the first Russian wheel load simulator CYCLOS (SKN “CYCLOS”) with the participation of the State Company “Avtodor”, Avtodor-Engineering and “Avtoban” construction and investment holding, in the Nizhny Novgorod region on July 27. The tests are conducted at a specially constructed test site of the fourth construction stage of the M-12 "Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod - Kazan" high-speed highway, at PK 2619 + 00 section.

SKN "CYCLOS" is an innovative project developed by order of FAI “ROSDORNII” as part of the National Project "Safe High-Quality Roads" implementation. The tests allow to evaluate characteristics of a road structure designed for more than 20 years of operation in a relatively short time (1-3 months) and solve problems of predicting and extending pavements service life, increasing the time between repairs, and improving transport and operation performance.

“The wheel load simulator carries out pavement testing in an accelerated manner by subjecting the pavement surface to a design load, providing a large number of wheel load applications in a short time compared to real road conditions. The simulator implements up to two million of such load applications per month, which does not happen on real roads.” explained Deputy Head of the Advanced Research and Testing Methods Department, Sergey Mironchuk.

The first deployment of the wheel load simulator is being carried out at the M-12 highway construction site. The task is to evaluate the performance of two test sections with different pavement designs. The asphalt concrete layers of both structures are identical, but the base is different: one consists of slag gravel-sand mixtures and natural sand, similar to the one approved by the project and used along the main route of the M-12 highway, the other is experimental, it consists of local road construction materials reinforced with a complex mineral binder - cement and lime.

“By comparing the structures presented at the experimental site, we can evaluate their transport and operational performance, and then give recommendations on the use of certain materials at the following construction stages of the M-12 highway or at other road facilities,” said Mr. Mironchuk.

Commenting on the launch of tests, Alexander Ropaev, Project Manager of the construction control group of Avtodor-Engineering, emphasized that the study has a very important and promising mission. In the future, it can influence approaches to road construction and using local materials in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

“Our organization is interested in applying new materials and standards to satisfy the end user with the quality of roads. It is very important to assess the results of the testing of standard pavement and compare them with the results obtained at the experimental site,” said Head of the construction laboratory SU-910 of “Avtoban” holding, Yury Glushko.

He added that the structures are arranged in accordance with the test program and have passed quality control.

Kirill Timin, Leading Specialist of the Reconstruction and Construction Department of the Nizhny Novgorod Branch of the State Company “Avtodor”, noted that “Avtodor” and the Construction and Investment Holding “Avtoban” pay special attention to the use of innovative technologies in the field of road construction: “In this regard, “Avtodor” within the framework of research cooperation with ROSDORNII, provided a site for the construction of experimental sections and subsequent tests of two types of road structures using the first Russian SKN "CYCLOS".

Evgeny Eremenko, Head of the Accelerated Testing Department of FAI “ROSDORNII”, spoke about operation principles of the wheel load simulator and why this unit is innovative and necessary for road science.

It will be possible to significantly reduce the duration of pavement study thanks to four loading trolleys with twin wheels "CYCLOS", which will drive for three months around the clock on two types of pavements, realizing the estimated load of 11.5 tons created by road transport when driving along the highways.

If defects appear on the asphalt concrete surface of the studied areas, the detailed causes of their appearance can be determined by using sensors embedded in the structural layers of the pavement (sensors for temperature, humidity, vertical pressure, tensile stresses, accelerations and displacements, as well as residual deformations).

The results of the studies carried out in the Nizhny Novgorod region will be ready in about four months. As a result, data analysis will be carried out and a scientific and technical report will be drafted.

“Further operation of SKN "CYCLOS" will be carried out year-round in a special hangar based in FAI “ROSDORNII” test site in Golitsino. This will help us to improve and develop new methods for calculating pavement structures, to develop research and innovation activities in the road construction industry. We submitted proposals on research areas using the SKN "CYCLOS" to the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. Based on the results of the review, a program for further use will developed,” Sergei Mironchuk specified.

The use of "CYCLOS" for accelerated testing of pavements will make it possible to update existing regulatory, technical and methodological documents in the field of road construction. The results of these comparative tests can become the basis for reducing the cost of construction through the use of local materials due to the logistics simplification.

Reference information

The first wheel load simulator "CYCLOS" was developed in the Russian Federation by order of FAI “ROSDORNII” as part of the National Project "Safe Quality Roads" implementation.

The strategic objective of road structures testing methods is to find the most economically feasible and durable pavement structures or materials within a reduced period of time compared to actual service life.

The development of road structures accelerated testing in the Russian Federation is a component of the road science growth and extending the service life of pavements.

FAI "ROSDORNII" (Russian Road Research Institute) is a federal institution subsidiary to the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. In 2019, the institution was modernized for the most effective implementation of the National Project "Safe High-Quality Roads".

The FAI "ROSDORNII" conducts research activities, develops sectoral regulatory and technical documents, designs and inspects roads, junctions and bridges. Information technologies are actively developing in the road sector and progressive technologies, equipment and materials are being introduced in road design and construction practice.