Full-scale pavement testing
The University of Nevada, Reno houses one of the largest indoor full-scale pavement testing facility in the United States. The testing facility includes the PaveBox, a hydraulic static and dynamic actuator capable of delivering 60,000 lbs, digital control data, and data acquisition system.
The facility provides the Pavement Engineering & Science (PES) research team at the University with distinct capabilities allowing for development and evaluation of existing and new technologies, materials and models within appropriate time frame and allocated funds.
The PaveBox has internal dimensions of 124 inches by 124 inches by a height of 72 inches. It has 60 inches of subgrade at the bottom and different thicknesses of base and asphalt layers, depending on the experiment. It also can be built to model the slope embankment with narrow shoulder. The surface can be either flexible (asphalt) or rigid (concrete) or unpaved.
The PaveBox system has the testing capacity of up to 45000 lb dynamic loading and 60000 lb static loading. The PaveBox data acquisition system can accommodate up to 90 channels, which includes LVDTs, accelerometers, strain gauges, earth pressure cells, moisture sensors, temperature sensors, string pots, and load cell.
We have successfully completed an NCHRP study on geosynthetics, an FHWA study on superheavy loads, and a FLDOT study on high polymer binders using the system. The facility recently acquired an Asphalt Recycler for producing 1/2 ton batches of hot or cold asphalt mixes from millings or virgin materials for use in PaveBox.