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One of the top priorities for transportation authorities is to build a smooth pavement. A smoother pavement provides a better ride and reduces damage from dynamic traffic loading. Many different profilers have been selected by various transportation agencies to measure roughness. Roughness has been used in many specifications to determine if the contractor should obtain a bonus or penalty. Thus, a reliable device is needed to collect repeatable and defendable roughness values. The purpose of this study is to review, evaluate, and analyze six existing devices. Repetitive tests were conducted on both flexible and rigid pavements to determine the repeatability, correlation and limitations of these devices. Excellent correlations among devices have been developed with high R2. The 0.1 in. (2.54mm) blanking band yielded approximately 20% higher profile indexes than the 0.2 in. (5.08mm) band, and was more sensitive to roughness. The ARRB walking profiler yielded the highest precision, and is easy to operate and transport. Thus, the ARRB walking profiler was recommended for use on newly constructed pavement. The ARRB multiple laser profiler can be used for collecting profiles on existing pavements for management purposes.
Straightedge, Profiler, Profilograph, Roughness, Smoothness
Associate Professor, Chung Hua University, Hsin Chu,
Associate Professor, Chaoyang University of Technology, Wufeng, Taichung County 413,
Pavement Research Engineer, Texas Department of Transportation Pavements Section, Austin, Texas