Researchers have been awarded initial funding from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Research and Development Enabling Fund to undertake a six-month research project into the performance of repair work on potholes.
The research from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham will evaluate the current approaches and design guidance for repairs, investigate the suitability of easily deployable non-destructive testing devices to examine patch performance, and improve existing design guidance.
This will, in turn, enable a performance-based approach to repair specification, which will make them more reliable.
Dr Mujib Rahman, senior lecturer in civil engineering at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Generally, potholes and other types of distress, such as rutting and cracking, appearing on the road surface are a sign of major underlying problems that require structural rehabilitation.
“However, budgeting constraints often lead to patch repair and pothole filling in order to maintain the road in a safe and serviceable condition.
“It is anticipated that this project will be the first stage in a much larger programme of research, generating early data to enable the key features of pothole deterioration to be identified, and allowing initial comparison of repair materials. This research will produce a number of recommendations concerning the quality of road surface repair work.”
As part of the study, a pavement section will be constructed and pothole repairs tested under different loading and environmental conditioning regimes. This will then be related to actual road potholes, in order to gain greater understanding of the factors influencing the performance of pothole repairs.
The industrial partners in the research project are Cooper Research Technology, Aggregate Industries, Halcrow a CH2M Hill company, and Epicuro ltd.