The ability of the pavement to withstand years of violence is, as you know, very important. But how do road builders test the performance of different materials?
In France, they use a fatigue carousel that resembles a large spinning wheel with four arms. Each arm touches the road through the tires and the arms are designed to model the weight of a heavy vehicle.
All of them are mounted on a central engine with more than 1000 horsepower (746 kW / 1014 PS) and rotate the wheels around a road circle made of any material that needs to be tested. Located in Nantes and filmed by YouTube’s Tom Scott, this special machine is one of the largest on earth and can operate at speeds of 100 km / h (62 mph), although it is typically close to 70 km / h (43 mph). / hour).
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Each object has several rings 120 meters long (394 feet) and the tests do not take several hours. In fact, to model 10-20 years of use, the machine must rotate continuously for months.
For reference, each ring should have small control patches of familiar building material, but the rest can be made from any other material. This facility is testing roads made of green materials and roads with inductive charging to test their longevity.
A mass object is an interesting view of how well it works to create something you can’t think of until something is wrong. Even in an age where computers have simplified virtual modeling, specific devices like these are needed to validate these simulations and ensure road safety.