High-Speed Noncontact Profiling of Pavement Surface Texture and Its Significance

[+] Author and Article Information
J. C. Wambold, J. J. Henry

The Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

J. Tribol 108(3), 455-461 (Jul 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3261237 History: Received February 07, 1985; Online October 29, 2009


It is generally agreed that the friction between a tire and a wet pavement (skid resistance) is controlled by the surface texture characteristics. Therefore, by measuring the relevant parameters describing texture, or by measuring a physical process dependent on texture, regression techniques can be used to relate skid resistance to the chosen texture parameter or process. Two scales of texture are of particular importance: microtexture (small-scale asperities) and macrotexture (large-scale asperities). This paper describes work performed to: (1) review candidate macrotexture and microtexture measurement methods that can be made at highway speeds (at or about 64 km/h [40 mph]), which are presently used or have potential for use in pavement texture measurement; (2) design and build a prototype of the most promising method; and (3) evaluate the effects of pavement surface texture on skid resistance. A prototype noncontact vision system that makes texture measurements at highway speeds was developed, and several improvements were made to upgrade the system to provide an improved prototype. Both hardware and software enhancements have yielded a texture measurement system that can obtain pavement macrotexture data in a fast, efficient, and reliable way.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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