Brussels, Belgium
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De Cauwer B.,Ghent University | Fagot M.,Ghent University | Beeldens A.,Belgian Road Research Center | Boonen E.,Belgian Road Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Weed Research | Year: 2014

Summary: Reduction in herbicide use in non-agricultural areas is being imposed by a growing number of governments, triggering the development of alternative strategies for weed prevention and control. This study aimed to determine the weed preventive abilities of different paving types, the required treatment frequency of non-chemical weed control scenarios on these pavements and the associated weed species composition. A test parking area, constructed with four concrete paving types, was sown with a mixture of dominant weed species. Six scenarios with repeated use of a single weed control method (brushing with waste removal, hot air, selective application of hot water and three scenarios with flaming) and two scenarios with alternating use of brushes and hot air were applied to control the weeds during two growing seasons. Treatments were applied at well-defined intervention moments, based upon weed development. Over 2 years, the paving types differed in weed coverage (up to a fourfold difference) and required varying treatment frequency (up to a 11-fold difference) with lowest values for pavings with porous pavers. Within most paving types, up to 28% lower treatment frequencies were found for selective application of hot water, as compared with all other single method scenarios. Shifts in weed composition occurred in plots treated repeatedly with the same technique. Paving type determined the chances for the establishment of different weed species and alternating non-chemical control methods with different modes of action offered the best opportunity to keep weeds under control. © 2013 European Weed Research Society.

Fagot M.,Ghent University | de Cauwer B.,Ghent University | Beeldens A.,Belgian Road Research Center | Boonen E.,Belgian Road Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Weed Research | Year: 2011

By 2015, all herbicide use on public pavements in Flanders (northern region of Belgium) will be phased out. Currently, little is known about weed flora in these pavements or their interactions with different weed control methods. The objectives of this study were to explore the species composition of pavements in relation to various abiotic factors and applied weed control methods. A vegetation survey was conducted on 163 public pavements constructed with small paving elements across Flanders. Botanical composition was determined, and a score for street scene perception was calculated. For each pavement, a set of environmental conditions and technical characteristics was determined, and data on the applied weed control methods were collected. Apart from Musci (mosses), the most important plant species were Poa annua, Sagina procumbens, Conyza canadensis, Taraxacum officinale and Plantago major. Weed species composition and street scene perception were affected by intensity of use, joint width and light intensity. Weed prevention measures may be built into the construction of pavements by manipulating light, joints and use in their design. Repeated use of a single weed control method caused shifts in weed flora. This suggests that more optimal weed control on pavements is likely to be achieved by alternating weed control methods. © 2011 The Authors. Weed Research © 2011 European Weed Research Society.

Goubert L.,Belgian Road Research Center
INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control | Year: 2014

Affordable and effective traffic noise mitigation measures are highly wanted, e.g. for the "action plans" which are due for the European Noise Directive in the EU MS. Low noise pavements are an interesting option as they are a "source measure" and relatively cheap compared to other measures. The problem with the conventional low noise pavements is that the obtained noise reduction (typical 2 to 7 dBA) is lower than what can be achieved with noise barriers (typical 7 up to 12 dBA). A poroelastic road surface (PERS), consisting of a significant amount of rubber and bound with an elastic polymer, such as polyurethane, has proven to be capable of reducing the tyre/road noise with 8 to 12 dBA. A limited durability was one of the major obstacles for its use. Since 2009 a consortium of twelve EU partners is working on the development of a useable type of PERS in the EU funded PERSUADE project. All relevant aspects are being considered and for all remaining problems one tried to find a solution. Mixes which at least perform well in the laboratory have been found and these are currently tested on road test tracks. This paper summarizes the current project status.

Bergiers A.,Belgian Road Research Center
18th International Congress on Sound and Vibration 2011, ICSV 2011 | Year: 2011

The ongoing revision of ISO standard 11819-1 "Statistical Pass-By (SPB) method", requires detailed information about its variant for built up areas, the so called backing board (BB) method. The latter method comprises the installation of a solid board behind the microphone during the measurements, protecting the microphone against noise from behind (for example reflections by facades). The noise coming from the front is reflected by the backing board in a controlled way, so that it can be taken into account afterwards. In theory the sound pressure level rises with 6 dB(A), corresponding to a doubling of the sound pressure. Different experiments confirm this value for light vehicles as long as only the overall level is considered and not the spectral analysis of the sound. However, as the SPB method is a time consuming method and heavy vehicles are rather scarce at most test locations fulfilling all measurement method requirements, during previous research not enough heavy vehicles have been measured to be able to confirm this value for heavy traffic. Therefore SPB measurements with backing board have been performed on different test locations in Belgium, focused on heavy traffic. In this paper the results of these measurements are presented. Copyright © (2011) by the International Institute of Acoustics & Vibration.

Gregoire C.,Belgian Road Research Center | Van Geem C.,Belgian Road Research Center
IWAGPR 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 7th International Workshop on Advanced Ground Penetrating Radar | Year: 2013

This paper summarizes the radar experience of the Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC). The BRRC acquired a radar system (horn antennas of 1 and 2 GHz) in order to investigate the road structure: estimation of layer thickness (improvement of back calculation), visualization of homogeneous zones, detection of road damages, and so on. Some case studies are presented here. The possibilities are described but also the limitations of our equipment. The radar improves the knowledge of the road structure but there are some limitations. We hope some of the limitations will be solved by improving the acquisition parameters (equipment or humidity conditions) and the processing. © 2013 IEEE.

Goubert L.,Belgian Road Research Center | Sandberg U.,Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute
ICSV 2016 - 23rd International Congress on Sound and Vibration: From Ancient to Modern Acoustics | Year: 2016

A poroelastic road surface (PERS) consists of rubber granulates and stone aggregates, bound with an elastic resin, such as polyurethane. It does not contain bitumen. Thanks to its elasticity, porosity and texture, it is capable of yielding an unequalled noise reduction, typically 8 - 12 dB(A) with respect to reference dense asphalt concrete. Although already invented in 1979, some persistent problems, the most important being as durability, prevented the use of it for noise abatement. In 2009 the six year EU funded project PERSUADE started, aiming to develop a highly noise reducing, safe and affordable PERS with an acceptable durability. The approach of the PERSUADE consortium was at the same time holistic (all aspects of PERS were studied) and step-wise. It started with laboratory testing of mixes and adhesion to the sub layer. Then small scale pilot test tracks were constructed on parking lots and consequently full scale test tracks on real roads. An extensive monitoring program extracted as much as possible information from the test tracks. Many other relevant aspects, such as cost-benefit, fire safety, toxicity, sustainability, etc were thoroughly studied. This contribution outlines all the findings of the project and makes clear how one go further with this technology.

Boonen E.,Belgian Road Research Center | Beeldens A.,Belgian Road Research Center
European Transport Research Review | Year: 2013

Purpose: This paper gives an overview of our research on photocatalytic concrete, which exhibits air purifying properties. Under the action of sunlight, a catalyst present at the surface of the material is activated, enabling degradation of pollutants from the surroundings and transformation to less harmful products. It is a promising technique to reduce a number of air contaminants, especially at sites with a high level of pollution: highly trafficked canyon streets, road tunnels, etc. In addition, the combination with cement offers some synergistic advantages, as the reaction products can be adsorbed at the surface and subsequently washed away by rain. However, the great potential of this emerging technology is hampered by the lack of uniform testing methods at European level to evaluate the photocatalytic activity. Methods: Laboratory research is undertaken at BRRC to compare existing methods and draw up recommendations for future standards. Furthermore, translation of lab testing towards results in situ remains critical to demonstrate the effectiveness on larger scale. In this perspective, several trial applications have recently been initiated in Belgium to asses the "real life" behavior. Results: The paper gives a short overview of the photocatalytic principle and the application in concrete, as well as some main results of the laboratory research recognizing the important parameters that come into play. In addition, the implementation efforts of some recent realizations in Belgium will be presented. Conclusions: Already some very promising results towards air purification have been obtained. Nevertheless, further validation, also with modeling, is necessary to extrapolate the findings and enable a judicial implementation of photocatalytic road materials across the globe. © 2012 The Author(s).

Vansteenkiste S.,Belgian Road Research Center | De Visscher J.,Belgian Road Research Center | Vanelstraete A.,Belgian Road Research Center
Road Materials and Pavement Design | Year: 2013

The work presented in this paper describes the research activities of the task group 'Properties of filler aggregates' with respect to the durability of Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) mixtures, which was conducted recently at the Belgian Road Research Centre. The main objective of this study comprises the effect of hydrated lime on the durability of SMA mixtures. The methodology developed in this study includes in an initial phase the design in the laboratory of a 'critical' SMA10 mixture. Such a 'critical' SMA10 mixture was considered to be characterised by a high water sensitivity and, therefore, a low durability. During this process, attention was paid to both the SMA composition as well as to the compaction energy applied in order to provide suitable test samples. Subsequently, by making use of such a 'critical' SMA10 mixture, the effect of the filler nature on the durability of the SMA mixtures was established; in particular both the modification by as well as the optimal content of hydrated lime was studied. Additionally, the possible effect of hydrated lime on the workability of latter SMA mixtures was investigated. Finally, the results obtained in the laboratory were complemented by a field study and a monitoring campaign. This survey comprises the evaluation of the impact of hydrated lime on the compactibility and the water sensitivity on test sections as well as a yearly follow up of the performance of a series of SMA10 mixtures varying in the type of filler material used. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Sandberg U.,Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute | Goubert L.,Belgian Road Research Center
40th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2011, INTER-NOISE 2011 | Year: 2011

The PERSUADE (PoroElastic Road SUrface for Avoiding Damage to the Environment) project started as an EU funded project aiming at further development of the poroelastic road surface (PERS). It has been shown in previous experiments in Sweden and Japan that this experimental type of pavement, made of rubber granules and stone or sand aggregates, bound with a flexible polymer like polyurethane, is capable of reducing tire/road noise by up to 12 dB(A) for cars. This is a higher reduction than any other type of surfacing has offered. In this paper, the main problems (such as limited raveling resistance, adhesion to the sub layer and decreasing skid resistance) will be discussed as well as the strategy how the project consortium will try to solve them. The potential usefulness of the new pavement will also be discussed. The paper will include a chapter in which the economical feasibility of PERS is studied. It is obvious that this type of road surface is much more expensive than even the most costly "conventional" noise reducing pavements. Nevertheless, research carried out within the framework of PERSUADE has shown that PERS can be a cost effective noise abatement measure in certain applications, even with a limited lifetime. Copyright © (2011) by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

Destree A.,Belgian Road Research Center | Pierard N.,Belgian Road Research Center | Vanelstraete A.,Belgian Road Research Center
Road Materials and Pavement Design | Year: 2015

Coloured asphalt pavements are increasingly used in large public spaces and also at hazardous junctions. In the former application, the role of the coloured pavement is often to give the area a particular aesthetic character or to integrate it well with its surroundings; in the latter, its major role is to improve the safety of users by improving visibility and road legibility. Once coloured asphalt mixtures have been laid, their colour tends to alter irreversibly (paling, pastellisation, etc.) due to climatic agents. Colour durability, therefore, appears to be very important. In this respect, it has been proved necessary, on the one hand, to identify the climatic agent, the composition, and the components of coloured bituminous mixtures actually having a substantial impact on colour development (using a natural weathering method) and, on the other, to develop an accelerated weathering methodology for a faster evaluation of colour durability. This paper will present results and findings from both natural and accelerated weathering methods developed at the Belgian Road Research Centre. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

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