Accelerated Testing of Road Pavement

Accelerated test methods 

ROSDORNII implements accelerated testing methods using first Russian wheel load simulator “CYCLOS” (SKN “CYCLOS”/CYCLOS). This is an innovative plant developed by the Institute as part of the National Project “Safe Quality Roads”.

The Institution registered the wheel load simulator “CYCLOS” trademark No 855458 in March 2022.

Wheel load simulator Cyclos allows to evaluate the pavement, designed for more than 2 decades of operation, in a period from 1 to 3 months. “Cyclos” got its name due to its function of simulating cyclic dynamic wheel load. The unit simulates one-way traffic by rolling four carriages with a single or dual wheel with an adjustable axle load. The simulator performs up to 70,000 load applications per day with a maximum value of up to 13 tons.

The four carriages of the “Cyclos” apply on a road section under testing a calculated load about 2,500,000 times in total for a month. Similar traffic intensity may occur on roads of technical category III throughout lifecycle. The accelerated process of accumulating road pavement damage allows scientists to study the causes of defects at different operational stages.

Systems of pavement condition monitoring installed at test sections help to understand causes of emerging defects at different stages of operation. Test sections are planned to be located at a special road test site of FAI “ROSDORNII”.

The first comparative tests with the use of CYCLOS were launched in the Nizhny Novgorod region at a dedicated test section M-12 “Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan” speedway in July 2022.

The strategic objective of creating the road test site is to determinate the best pavement designs and materials in terms of economic efficiency and durability through accelerated testing in comparison to the real service life. Full-scale accelerated tests of road pavement make a vital link between laboratory tests of materials used in pavement layers and their performance in real operation conditions.

The development of accelerated pavement testing in the Russian Federation is a component of road science growth and of extending the service life and inter-repair period of road pavements as well as increasing transport and operation characteristics and safety of roads.