Simulation-based development of new road construction materials and innovative manufacturing and installation methods

Due to the strong increase in economic output and largely repealed borders in Europe, the proportion of heavy traffic and thus the load on German transportation routes enormously increases every year. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) predicted an increase in generated traffic of 55 % (million t) and an increase in traffic performance of 84 % (billion tkm) for the period of 2004 to 2025. Furthermore, stronger temperature differences caused by climate change represent further heavy and ever-increasing loads for the roads. In addition to the effort of creating transportation routes more sustainable, a further change in commodity prices is to be expected due to a long-term shortage of resources, in particular oil products.

To meet these challenges efficiently in the future, there is an urgent need for an optimization of existing standard construction methods and the development of new and innovative construction methods and building materilas.

However, such a development can only take place through an interdisciplinary combination of theoretical and experimental considerations as well as technological basics taking into account simulation-based, numerical optimization methods.

As part of the R&D-project „INNO-BOND – simulation-based development of new road construction materials and innovative manufacturing and installation methods “, the above mentioned objectives are to be realized efficiently by an interdisciplinary collaboration of various university research institutions and business enterprises.

Within this FE-project, several objectives will be pursued simultaneously.

First, a numerical simulation model is to be developed that can be used as a simulation-based, numerical optimization method for an efficient development of new road construction materials.
The aim of this model should be to enable an efficient as well as time and cost effective development of new road construction materials and a targeted improvement of conventional road construction materials. For this, particularly the knowledge about the material-specific behavior of innovative binders, their composition and their interaction with rocks – particularly their adhesive properties – form the basis. Furthermore,

a virtual laboratory should be modeled using this model. With the help of the laboratory, experimental investigations on binders and asphalt samples should be modeled and thus replace the current “trial and error”-principle of experimental laboratory tests.

Secondly, a new porous, dense and alternatively bonded road surface course for the construction class SV is to design on the basis of the numerical simulation model and the inclusion of experimental analyses. In order to technically review the new designed road surface courses, a testing system is to be developed as part of this project which specifically addresses the properties of the alternative building material.

In a further step, the new road surface course has to be implemented and evaluated on a test area with appropriate, modified manufacturing and installation methods. In this context, theoretical, experimental and technological basics for the manufacturing and installation of road construction materials with alternative binders are developed and tested. In doing so, the implementation process can profit from the longtime experience of the project partners from industry.

The results of the present R&D-project provide the road construction authority with simulation-based methods that enable both the computer-aided optimization of existing building materials and the development of new road construction materials on the basis of material components (micro-scale). The model should furthermore be used for the analysis of complete mounting assemblies (macro-scale) by making use of special algorithms for multi-scale modeling (concept of representative volume element). The functionality of the optimization procedure is confirmed in the project using a surface course that is newly to develop. This surface course should have a positive long-term behavior as well as a sufficient bearing capacity and deformation resistance also at elevated stresses due to the increasing heavy traffic and extreme weather events. Furthermore, the use of innovative construction methods and new (sustainable) binders counteracts the shortage of conventional raw materials and binders.


Federal Highway Research Institute


Institute of Applied Mechanics
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefanie Reese


Fa. HanseGrand
Inh. Hans Pape

Year of completion:


Project manager:

Dipl.-Ing. Lukas Renken, Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Schacht