(Received 26 June 2000; accepted 20 November 2000)
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Pavement smoothness was recently identified as the most significant factor the motoring public uses to judge the quality of U.S. roadways. A new generation of lightweight profilers has been developed that have the potential of providing nearly instantaneous smoothness measurements, giving contractors a tool to identify and address process control issues promptly and cost effectively. This new technology was cooperatively evaluated by a team of Purdue University and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) researchers to assess the performance of the devices, as well as the potential for their use in Indiana.
A successful field test was conducted using four lightweight profilers that performed five replicate measurements at each of six sites: three, hot mix asphalt (HMA) and three, portland cement concrete (PCC). Smoothness data were reported in terms of International Roughness Index (IRI) and Profile Index with 0.0 and 0.2 in. (PI-0.0 and PI-0.2) blanking bands. The field test data showed good repeatability and poor reproducibility in terms of the smoothness indices considered, the profiles generated, and the identification of must-grind locations. Estimates of precision for the devices were determined in accordance with ASTM standards. The observed precision statements as well as statistical tests of between-vendor performance suggest that the performance of the devices, especially the reproducibility, should be improved prior to implementation of their use in construction specifications.
Assistant professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Graduate research assitant, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Section manager, Indiana Department of Transportation, Division of Research, West Lafayette, IN
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