Road Construction Technology - Research Visions

  Graphic: City view with buildings, street and construction vehicles Copyright: © ISAC

Digitization of processes is becoming increasingly important for value creation in modern industrialized countries. In this context, the term Industry 4.0 refers to activities whose core idea is the self-optimization and automation of process flows. What is meant here is the dovetailing of processes with state-of-the-art technologies for information, communication, data processing, control and, increasingly, artificial intelligence. The machine, the product, the operator and, strictly speaking, the entire process chain must merge into a single unit. To this end, the machines and materials must be equipped with special sensory, actuator and - especially the machines - increasingly also cognitive functions.

To optimize machine-material interaction, the creation of a so-called digital twin of that very process is of great importance. A digital twin is a reflection of a physical interaction system into a virtual data-driven or algorithmic model, in this case the interaction between the construction machines and the building materials. The generation of such a digital twin or even a real-time capable and automated process control in the sense of the Industry 4.0 approach (cyber-physical system) is not yet possible on the basis of the current state of knowledge and must therefore be further researched in the future.

There is also still room for innovation in the condition monitoring of already completed transport infrastructures. For example, we are breaking new ground in performance testing in Road Construction Technology with our current ARROWS project. The aim of the research effort is the conceptual development, prototypical construction and commissioning of a machine for assessing the fatigue susceptibility of asphalt pavements (Accelerated Rolling Wheel Load Simulator). The new device is intended to fully adapt the test conditions to real-life conditions for the first time and therefore represents a completely new approach compared to the laboratory equipment and large-scale investigations used to date. In this way, the prognostic potential of numerical simulations of the overall pavement structure is also to be significantly increased, since partial phenomena such as damage, healing, and cracking are also included in this way.


Sample Projects

ARROWS - Numerical and experimental development of an "Accelerated Repeated Rolling Wheel Load Simulator"

CDZMobility - Research on digital design method of asphalt mixture based on material genome

Digital Twin Oscillation Roller - Optimizing the use of the oscillation roller by matching the operating parameters to the asphalt properties

NANOASPHALT - Optimization of properties and resistance of asphalt roads using nanotechnology

PAST - Process-driven automated road construction

You can also find further examples and information on Ongoing Research Projects and Completed Research Projects in Road Construction Technology.