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0-5836-2 Report Abstract

Performance and Cost Effectiveness of Permeable Friction Course (PFC) Pavements

Edith Arámbula, Cindy K. Estakhri, Amy Epps Martin, Manuel Trevino, André de Fortier Smit, and Jorge Prozzi, February, 2013

In this project, the research team evaluated the performance of Permeable Friction Courses (PFC) over time and compared it against other types of wearing surface pavement layers. Several pavement sections including Asphalt Rubber (AR) PFCs, Performance Graded (PG) PFCs, and dense-graded Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) were monitored over a four-year period. Non-destructive on-site measurements included noise, drainability, texture, friction, and skid. The change of these variables with time as well as the influence of traffic, binder/mixture type, aggregate classification, and climatic region was evaluated. Accident data were also gathered and analyzed on a more comprehensive number of pavement sections across Texas. All of this information was compiled in database format. In addition, when performance issues were identified, field cores were acquired for forensic evaluation. Results from the multiyear performance data analysis and previous research were used to produce guidelines and recommendations to improve the design, construction, and maintenance of PFCs.

Performance of PFCs over time was adequate. Therefore, the continued use of PFCs in Texas is encouraged. PFCs had lower overall noise levels when compared to dense-graded HMA, and AR-PFCs were quieter than PG-PFCs. With regard to drainability, the water flow values had a tendency to increase early in the life of the pavement and remain relatively constant afterward. PG-PFCs showed better drainability as compared to AR-PFCs. The amount of rainfall helped assure the continued drainability of PFCs, especially in warm climates. Texture for PFCs remained practically unchanged over time. Both AR- and PG-PFCs had superior texture and skid vs. dense-graded HMA pavements. With regard to friction and skid, sections with aggregates classified as SAC-B per the Surface Aggregate Classification (SAC) system had statistically significantly lower values as compared to those pavement employing either SAC-A or SAC-A/B aggregates. The accident data indicated that PFCs reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on roads in Texas.

Keywords: Porous Friction Course, Open-Graded Friction Course, Porous Asphalt, Mixture Performance, Asphalt Mixture Permeability, Noise Reduction

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 31 MB)