PREFABRICATED BITUMINOUS MEMBRANES AND METAL NETWORKS AS LOAD SPREADING DEVICES

SOMETIME IN 1942 WHEN THE ALLIED PLAN FOR AN ASSAULT IN EUROPE WAS TAKING SHAPE, THE MILITARY ENGINEER WAS CONFRONTED WITH THE PROBLEM OF DEVISING WAYS AND MEANS TO BUILD ALL-WEATHER FIGHTER AND LIGHT BOMBER RUNWAYS IN THE COMBAT ZONES. THE MAIN DIFFICULTIES CONFRONTING THE ENGINEER WERE: FIRST, THAT WORLD WAR II WAS A WAR OF MOVEMENT AND THE OLD TIME FRONT BECAME A FLUID ZONE, SOMETIMES HUNDREDS OF MILES IN DEPTH. CONSTRUCTION OF EMERGENCY AIRFIELDS HAD TO CONFORM TO THE FLUCTUATION OF THE BATTLE ZONE, AS A COMBAT FIELD BUILT TODAY MAY WELL BE TWO HUNDRED MILES IN BACK WITHIN A WEEK. THIS MEANT THAT A RUNWAY HAD TO BE BUILT IN A MATTER OF DAYS INSTEAD OF MONTHS. SECOND, MATERIALS FOR STANDARD BASE AND PAVING WORK ARE SELDOM AVAILABLE NEAR THE CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND EVEN IF AVAILABLE, IT WOULD STILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO ASSEMBLE THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENT AND TRANSPORT TO SUPPLY AND CONSOLIDATE THIRTY TO FORTY THOUSAND TONS OF AGGREGATE WITHIN A FEW DAYS. A HASTILY BUILT GRAVEL OR MACADAM RUNWAY WOULD BE OF LIMITED USE WITHOUT A WATERPROOF AND DUSTPROOF SURFACE. STANDARD DESIGNS AND MATERIALS WERE OUT OF THE QUESTION. THE DEVELOPMENT OF PREFABRICATED BITUMINOUS SURFACING (P.B.S.) AS A MATERIAL AND PROCESS NOT ONLY PROVIDED THE ALLIES WITH NUMEROUS AIRFIELDS AND MILES OF ROADS, BUT SHOWED HOW A PREFABRICATED SURFACING, RANGING FROM 10 TO 30 LB. TO THE SQUARE YARD, TOOK THE PLACE OF BASE AND PAVEMENT STRUCTURES HUNDREDS OF TIMES MORE MASSIVE PER UNIT AREA COVERED. THE DISPARITY OF WEIGHT VERSUS SUPPORTING VALUE OF THE PREFABRICATED SURFACING AND THE STANDARD BASE AND PAVEMENT, BRINGS TO THE FORE THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS WARTIME EXPERIENCE MAY PROVIDE A NEW APPROACH TO ROAD AND RUNWAY DESIGN. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 29, pp 94-107, 6 FIG, 16 PHOT
  • Authors:
    • Baskin, C M
  • Discussers:
    • Hubbard, P
  • Publication Date: 1950

Media Info

  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Highway Research Board Held at Washington, D.C. December 13-16, 1949.
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00211615
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 2 1971 12:00AM