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Road roughness can be described by two dimensional profiles in the direction of travel. These profiles are used for driving actuators for vehicle testing and dynamic computer simulations. Road roughness affects primarily ride quality and dynamic wheel loads. The effects of dynamic wheel loads on the stresses in the pavement and subsequent effect on pavement life is the subject of current research at the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration).
This paper presents a review of the extensive work done over the years in the Pavement Division of the Office of Research of FHWA and some recent results on road roughness profiling and on pavement response to dynamic loads. Current and planned work is described in some detail. The current interest is on the interactions between rough pavements and heavy trucks. Field and laboratory measurements, and computer simulations to predict the interaction forces are discussed. Distribution of strains and deflections under passing truck wheels are shown for different test conditions.
road roughness, ride quality, pavement loads, dynamic measurements, truck-pavement interactions, pavement instrumentation, wheel force transducer
Research Mechanical Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA