Heavy Vehicle Simulator HVS
The Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) is a cutting-edge, full-scale loading facility that provides accelerated pavement testing capabilities. By simulating many years of traffic loading in just a few months, the HVS enables pavement researchers to evaluate new materials, such as warm-mix asphalt, and test new pavement designs in a significantly shorter timeframe compared to traditional methods.
The HVS is a mobile device, allowing testing to be conducted at different locations, including real sites at full scale. This enables testing under local conditions and subgrade materials, providing valuable insights for specific project requirements. With an extendable beam option, the HVS offers a larger testing area and higher test speeds, enhancing flexibility and efficiency.
Key Engineering Benefits:
- Capability to handle 10,000 passes unidirectional and 20,000 passes bi-directional per 24 hours, enabling rapid testing and data collection.
- Automatic/programmable wander over a width of 0.9m (35.4 inches), ensuring comprehensive coverage and accurate simulation of real-world conditions.
- Testing speed of up to 12.8 km/h (8 mph), allowing for efficient evaluation of pavement performance under varying speeds.
- The HVS Mark VI is capable of applying wheel loads up to 200 kN (45 kips), providing a realistic and rigorous testing environment.
- The larger HVS Mark VI-A is designed to simulate aircraft wheel loads of up to 440 kN (100 kips), catering to the specific needs of airport pavement research.
What is Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT)?
Accelerated Pavement Testing (APT) is a methodology used to evaluate the performance and durability of pavement materials in a significantly reduced timeframe compared to traditional testing methods. By subjecting pavement sections to controlled loading and environmental conditions that simulate long-term wear and tear, researchers can assess the pavement's response to various types of loads and environmental stresses in a compressed time frame.
The HVS, as an APT device, applies loads and stresses to pavement sections, replicating the impact of thousands or millions of vehicles passing over them. This enables the collection of data on crucial pavement performance measures such as rutting, cracking, and surface roughness. Researchers can then analyse this data to gain insights into the pavement's long-term performance under different conditions, including heavy traffic loads, extreme temperatures, and moisture exposure.
APT is widely used in pavement research and development to evaluate new materials and designs, optimise maintenance and rehabilitation strategies, assess the performance of existing pavements, identify potential issues before they escalate, and develop strategies for prolonging the life of pavements. The HVS, with its advanced capabilities, plays a crucial role in enabling efficient and effective accelerated pavement testing.