The Flexible Pavements Program focuses on issues related to the design, construction, and maintenance of asphalt pavements.
Currently studies are underway that include design of long-life full-depth pavements, design of overlays that retard reflection cracking, rubblization of existing concrete structures, full-depth reclamation, and use of new technologies to measure the quality of flexible pavements. The program conducts research into the optimal properties of each layer within flexible pavements. Soil stabilization and methods of mitigating sulfate heave problems continue to be a major focus area, together with quantifying the benefits of heavy-duty flexible-base materials. In the Flexible Pavements Program researchers make use of innovate nondestructive testing equipment and advanced laboratory testing equipment in order to understand and document pavement performance.
Researchers work closely with sponsoring agencies to ensure that the products of the research program are implemented. Developing and teaching training schools are ongoing activities.
Researchers in the Flexible Pavements Program use an array of advanced physical and chemical analysis techniques for testing highway materials. They have extensive expertise in the following areas:
- pavement rehabilitation,
- performance prediction modeling,
- instrumentation, non-destructive testing,
- soil stabilization, and
- pavement design.
The program has a strong working relationship with and conducts research for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), as well as other state highway agencies. Additionally, private industry such as the Portland Cement Association and National Lime Association, municipalities, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other federal agencies are research sponsors.
In addition, TTI has provided TxDOT’s districts and divisions with forensic engineering and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) support over the past eight years. This support includes conducting surveys and providing analysis for both non-contact and ground-coupled GPR systems. TTI has also provided maintenance for all of TxDOT’s non-contact GPR antenna systems as well as performing annual calibration and system-to-system reproducibility measurements.
On an as-needed basis, TTI also conducts forensic studies on pavements that exhibit premature pavement distress. Recommendations are provided on the cause of the problem and what repair treatments are required.