A recent state survey conducted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) of all the products developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) ranked a project conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI) Flexible Pavements Program as its highest ranked for implementation. The project was led by Senior Research Engineer Tom Scullion and Associate Research Scientist Stephen Sebesta.
The project, sponsored and developed through SHRP2, involves two nondestructive techniques for detecting defect areas in new asphalt overlays during construction. Both technologies (infrared and radar) test essentially 100 percent of the pavement area, providing much more inspection coverage than existing quality control methods.
The PAVE‐IR infrared technology allows inspectors and paving crews to measure in real‐time the mat temperatures and make adjustments to their operation if need be to improve uniformity. The ground‐penetrating radar technology measures pavement density after compaction, allowing for quicker turnaround and better coverage than traditional nuclear testing.
“The problem that we are trying to solve is one that everybody has, which is cold and low density spots in new overlays which lead to premature pavement failures,” said Scullion. “They originally put it out to all the state DOTs for a vote, and this was deemed the highest need for implementation.”
The AASHTO survey is a ranking of SHRP2 products in the current three-year-Implementation Plan, as well as new products coming from SHRP2 research. The survey was designed to identify the potential value that states placed on the products.