SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

A Numerical Analysis of the Friction Mechanism of Grooved Road Surfaces


Longitudinal or transverse grooving is a form of treatment used on concrete pavements to improve skid resistance. Reports in the literature have speculated that longitudinal grooving provides extra microtexture on the surface and hence improved skid resistance and directional stability; transverse grooves, on the other hand, provide better drainage and an additional component of hysteretic friction because their texture distorts the tire rubber. Although many experimental studies of the influence of grooves on skid resistance have been reported, very little has been done to explain theoretically the nature of the frictional mechanism of the grooves. In this paper, a three-dimensional viscoelastic finite-element procedure developed to analyze the sliding of rubber over equally spaced transverse grooves is described. From the numerical analysis and friction values measured in the laboratory using the British Pendulum Tester, a friction mechanism for a grooved road surface is proposed.

Author Information

Purushothaman, N
Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
Heaton, BS
The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Moore, ID
The University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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Developed by Committee: E17
Pages: 127–137
DOI: 10.1520/STP23358S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5110-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1391-6