Our work

Asphalt and road building

The Netherlands has one of the world's densest road networks. Some 130,000 km is hard-surfaced, including 5,000 km of national trunk roads. TNO works on methods to reliably and accurately predict the service-life performance of roads. If it is clear when maintenance work is required, the parties involved can invest effectively. In this context we focus on new solutions, on improving materials such as asphalt, and on processes such as maintenance.

TNO researches the properties and performance of existing materials and the structures of existing roads, including national trunk road. TNO uses this and other knowledge to develop innovative concepts for improving road performance. We also work on monitoring systems that measure the quality of asphalt faster and more accurately. This information is a sound basis for decision-making on maintenance and replacement.

Material properties of asphalt

Asphalt consists of several materials. Because the precise composition and the properties of these materials are often unknown, it is difficult to ascertain how they will perform. TNO studies these individual materials and assesses their performance and that of the asphalt as a whole. This means that its quality is easier to determine. TNO also develops tests for rapidly and reliably assessing the quality of innovative types of asphalt.

Our work on asphalt and road building

Our work in this field focuses on:

  • Road monitoring and measurement. By means of data and image analysis relating to damage measured on the road surface.
  • Skid resistance and ravelling. Precise measurement of the skid resistance of road surfaces and early detection of ravelling damage.
  • Repair and protection of asphalt. Realising products for maintaining roads, such as a 'sun protection' layer applied after construction.
  • Innovative asphalt mixes. Working with market players to realise new asphalt mixes, such as a fibre-reinforced asphalt with a longer service life.
  • Transition joints and transition structures. We develop new joints and study how the construction and maintenance process can be accelerated.
  • Testing and assessment of the service-life performance of asphalt. We study the behaviour of asphalt and assess how mixtures and binders behave over time.
  • Accelerated testing of asphalt mixtures. For rapidly assessing the usability of innovative asphalt mixtures.

Our work

Road measurement and monitoring

More than 80% of national roads in the Netherlands are surfaced with ZOAB (the Dutch acronym for dual-layer porous asphalt). Their condition has to be monitored to ensure safety and to determine if maintenance... Read more
Our work

Repairing and protecting asphalt

Damage to road surfaces cannot be avoided. Often, it occurs after only a few years of use. On national trunk roads in the Netherlands, this damage usually takes the form of stone loss from the porous... Read more
Our work

Innovative asphalt mixtures

Innovative asphalt mixtures provide possibilities for improving the performance of roads. They can help to reduce costs (e.g. maintenance costs) and increase the sustainability of our infrastructure. ... Read more
Our work

Transition joints and transition structures

Transition joints and transition structures form the 'bridge' between roads and civil structures. Both types of structure are susceptible to deformation and strong load fluctuations. This can lead to... Read more
Our work

Testing and assessing life-cycle performance

TNO studies the performance of asphalt materials, and tests and assesses asphalt mixtures, including innovative mixtures. This research enables us to indentify the risks and assess the performance of... Read more

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