Friction measurement techniques for snow and ice road operations

Maintenance agencies are in need of a relatively inexpensive device that can measure roadway friction under winter conditions and will tell the snowplough operator in real time whether there is sufficient friction or not. This method would assist the operator in determining when, where, and how much abrasive and/or chemicals are required to be applied during snow and ice control operations under all conditions. There have been studies that utilized braking action friction measurements as an indicator. However, this method cannot be used during high traffic volume conditions. Field studies have been conducted at NASA Wallops flight facility and in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Norway using Norsemeter's Roar and later SALTAR to determine applicability of the equipment to snow & ice operation, reliability, and durability. The measuring device is mounted on a snowplough and the measurement is achieved by employing wheel braking to 100 percent and then measuring the friction force that the road surface exerts against the wheel when the wheel spins up. Each measurement consists of a variable slip speed measurement and records peak friction, slip at peak friction and the friction verses slip shape factor. Data were collected concerning precipiation, pavement condition, pavement temperature, air temperature, speed of the measuring device and the friction values. The equipment, measurement procedures, and findings are described in detail. This preliminary research study shows that the different contaminant conditions can be identified and the friction level can be evaluated to determine whether or not to salt, salt light or salt heavy. Also, a supervisor can evaluate the effectiveness of abrasives and/or chemicals applied. (A). For the covering abstract of the conference see ITRD E212110.

  • Authors:
    • Wambold, J C
    • HENRY, J J
    • RADO, Z
  • Publication Date: 2002


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01043062
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2007 8:06AM