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 June 2007
Tech News

New Vehicle-Pavement Standard Focuses on Skid Resistance

Airport operators, military pavement maintenance personnel, transportation regulatory agencies and state highway departments will all benefit from the approval of a new standard for measuring skid resistance. The standard, E 2340, Test Method for Measuring the Skid Resistance of Pavements and Other Trafficked Surfaces Using a Continuous Reading, Fixed-Slip Technique, was developed by members of Subcommittee E17.21 on Field Methods for Measuring Tire Pavement Friction, under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E17 on Vehicle-Pavement Systems.

“The transportation industry and, in particular, the international aviation community, have been in urgent need of a standard such as E 2340,” says Tom Yager, a recently retired senior research engineer and an E17.21 member. “This standard will improve the reliability and accuracy of continuous friction measuring devices.” The use of E 2340 by the transportation industry potentially will help reduce skidding accidents on both roads and runways by identifying pavements that have become too slippery for safe operations.

According to Yager, civil and military aviation organizations that use a device of the type specified in E 2340 are able to provide much more meaningful management schedules for pavement maintenance. In turn, improved pavement maintenance can reduce the frequency of skidding accidents. Subcommittee E17.21 members hope E 2340 will be used both in the U.S. and abroad to identify such hazardous conditions before accidents occur.

“Worldwide, there are many different designs of continuous reading, fixed-slip measuring devices,” says Delia Harverson, a long-time European member of Committee E17. “A standard that delineates the essential common principles to which they all should conform is of genuine international importance. We hope this standard will lead to more participation in Subcommittee E17.21 from highway and aviation community representatives both in and outside the U.S.”

Pilots, airport operators, airframe and ground vehicle manufacturers and transportation regulatory agencies are encouraged to participate alongside academia and pavement maintenance organizations. One opportunity for such joint participation has been the annual NASA Friction Workshop hosted for the last 14 years by Yager at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

To create a specification covering such a variety of equipment presented a special challenge. The NASA Friction Workshop has brought industries and agencies together to find common ground in pursuit of transportation safety. Harverson believes that without the NASA Friction Workshop, consensus for a standard would have been much more difficult to achieve. “This year, the FAA is helping to fund the workshop and I hope this means that the workshop will continue for many years to come,” Harverson said.

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Technical Information: Thomas Yager
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