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Pengfei LIU

Chair and Institute of Highway Engineering


+49 241 80 20389



Development of Pavement Surface Materials with Sensing-Capabilities for Application in Intelligent Transportation Systems

Chart: Filler in asphalt concrete Copyright: P. Park, Characteristics and applications of high-performance fiber reinforced asphal tconcrete (Ph.D. thesis). University of Michigan: Michigan 2012, p.205. Use of Fillers in Asphalt Concrete

The 21st century will incur many challenges regarding road transport due to increasing traffic volumes and increased requirements to safety and efficiency. The development of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) represents a central element of the German transport policy. In this sense, intelligent infrastructure systems are to be developed to facilitate the realization of the ITS.

Pavements are expected to be further developed to take on new tasks, such as structural health monitoring as well as real-time traffic monitoring with the help of sensors and/or materials with sensing-capabilities. The incorporation of nano-particles in pavement materials has been used to develop multifunctional materials, e.g., piezo-resistive materials. A pavement section with piezo-resistive materials (i.e., with sensing-capabilities) will reflect loads induced from vehicles (tires) in changes of the electrical resistance. Measuring the conductivity of the pavement can provide continuous real-time information about vehicles (tires), such as their position, orientation, speed and axle loads. This can all be recorded with a high spatial and temporal precision and represents an important information for the ITS.

The aim of this project is to optimize the materials for pavement surfaces with sensing-capabilities for application in the ITS. The objective of this research stage is to identify the optimal synthesis method of materials with sensing-capabilities. The study will consider the influence of environmental conditions on the piezo-resistive properties. An electromechanical constitutive model will be derived and applied in numerical simulations. The computational results will provide a theoretical basis for optimizing the pavement system design. Further applications for national and international projects regarding the ITS will build on the results obtained in this project.


Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW) under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder

Year of Completion



Dr.-Ing. Pengfei Liu