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Pavement Surface Skid Resistance

A test described in a proposed new ASTM International standard will be used primarily by highway authorities to evaluate wet road skidding resistance as a means of reducing the number of automobile accidents.

The proposed standard, WK40015, Test Method for Determining the Skid Resistance of a Pavement Surface by Measuring the Sideway Force Coefficient (SFCS) Using SCRIM, is being developed by Subcommittee E17.21 on Field Methods for Measuring Tire Pavement Friction, part of ASTM Committee E17 on Vehicle-Pavement Systems.

According to Richard Dal Lago, head of electromechanical development, W.D.M. Limited, and an E17 member, the proposed standard is based on a skid resistance test that has been used by highway authorities in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world since the 1970s.

“The introduction of a standard in the United States will ensure a uniform approach to the use of the sideway-force coefficient method,” says Dal Lago. “This will help deliver both repeatable and reproducible results and a consistency of measurement where friction issues need to be addressed, such as at horizontal curves and junctions where friction demand is greater.”

Dal Lago notes that the standard will be primarily used by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and state departments of transportation to develop skid policies and focus on making improvements on sections of road with a low skid resistance.

“The concept behind the proposed standard is to help deliver a uniform risk with respect to accidents attributable to skidding across the whole network,” says Dal Lago. “Lower skid resistance aggregates could be used on freeways while high skid resistance aggregates would be required on the approaches to junctions, on horizontal curves and near school crossings.”

All interested parties are invited to join in the standards developing activities of E17.

CONTACT Technical Information: Richard Dal Lago, W.D.M. Limited • Bristol, United Kingdom • Phone: 117-956-7233 | ASTM Staff: Rick Lake • Phone: 610-832-9689 | Upcoming Meeting: June 9-12 • June Committee Week • Indianapolis, Ind.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.