Field Evaluation of Ultra-High Pressure Water Systems for Runway Rubber Removal

Runway rubber removal is a maintenance function employed to ensure safe landing areas for aviation operations. Rubber deposits accumulate on runway areas where aircraft tires touch down and braking occurs. This tire rubber buildup occludes pavement microtexture and macrotexture, causing a significant loss in available skid resistance during wet conditions. Reduction of available pavement microtexture in a wet environment prevents the development of adhesional friction, which can lead to viscous hydroplaning. Reduction of pavement macrotexture prevents removal of bulk water from the tire-pavement contact area and prevents development of the hysteresis frictional component. The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi, was tasked by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) to evaluate the performance of ultra-high pressure water (UHPW) rubber removal technologies; this work was conducted in collaboration with Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA). Several types of commercial UHPW water blasting systems were tested on an ungrooved portland cement concrete (PCC) runway and data were compared using statistical methods. Runway pavement skid resistance characteristics, such as friction and surface texture, were evaluated before and after rubber removal operations. Equipment run times, consumable resources, and climatic conditions were monitored.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

    Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, 3909 Halls Ferry Road
    Vicksburg, MS  United States  39180-6199

    Applied Research Associates, Incorporated

    421 W Oak Avenue
    Panama City, FL  United States  32402

    Air Force Civil Engineer Center

    139 Barnes Drive, Suite 1
    Tyndall AFB, FL  United States  32403-5319
  • Authors:
    • Pullen, Aaron B
    • Edwards, Lulu
    • Rutland, Craig A
    • Tingle, Jeb S
  • Publication Date: 2014-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 99p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01526308
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ERDC/GSL TR-14-11
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 2014 10:48AM