Concrete pavements are used wherever the load is particularly high: on highways, as runways at airports, at bus stops, traffic circles and many more. Compared to asphalt, they are significantly more durable, but also require greater process reliability in production. At the University of Stuttgart, in cooperation with partners from industry, research was undertaken and tested in practice on how high-quality concrete pavements can be build reliably. The project was funded by the German Federal Highway Research Institute (bast) from 2017 to 2021 with a total of 4.7 million Euros.
The steady growth in traffic volume in Germany is placing an enormous burden on the traffic areas. This results in a loss of quality of use and damage to the roadways. In the 2019 traffic jam report of the ADAC, 20% more construction sites were counted than in the previous year. An increase which is at least partly due to accelerated wear and tear.
In order to meet the growing demands on traffic surfaces, highly stressed roadways are increasingly built of concrete. Compared to asphalt, this material has higher strength and less deformation during use. It is therefore ideally suited for the construction of durable roadways.
In the project Concrete Roadway 4.0, we research at the University of Stuttgart in cooperation with project partners from industry and science to find out how to ensure a consistently high quality in the construction of concrete traffic surfaces. A special focus is placed on the appropriate, sensor-supported, automated control of all sub-process steps in the production through digital interconnection of all relevant parameters. In this research project, the detailed analysis of the road production process from mixing of the concrete and transport to paving and finishing forms the basis for the subsequent quality optimisation with regard to service life and user comfort.