National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center (NAPMRC)

National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center (NAPMRC)

The Airport Pavement Test Vehicle (Heavy Vehicle Simulator – Mark VI Airport) was acquired to conduct performance tests on surface layers which are more a function of tire pressure and wheel loads than the gear loads. The trend in aircraft industry is to produce aircraft with extended range capability, which results in high gross weight and tire pressures. This makes it imperative to study the effects of high tire pressures on the hot mix asphalt (HMA) surface and also develop HMA mix design procedures to produce mixes that can withstand these anticipated high tire pressures. Full-scale tests at high surface temperatures are very crucial for the success of these projects. It is easier and economical to insulate and heat the test pavement under the APTV. The APTV will be used for full scale testing to study the effects of high tire pressures in the pavement surface layers, testing the performance of greener/sustainable technologies (especially the upper layers) and layer materials (like HMA, Warm Mix Asphalt, SMA), and testing the effects of temperature variation in the pavement surface layers especially the effect of high temperatures on asphalt pavements. APTV is 121 feet long, 16 feet wide, and 14 feet high making it the world’s largest, heaviest, and one-of-a-kind HVS in the world. The machine is capable of applying bi-directional and unidirectional loading using a single wheel (maximum wheel load of 100,000 lbs) or dual wheel gear (maximum wheel load of 50,000 lbs.). It will have central controller that can be programmed to provide automatic test sequencing and interfacing with the pavement instrumentation and data acquisition system. The APTV can accommodate a lateral wander pattern up to a maximum wander width of ± 3 feet (total wander 6-feet compared to 3-feet for a standard HVS).

For additional information, contact:
Navneet Garg, Ph.D.
Project Manager, ANG-E262