CSIR advanced materials testing laboratories
The CSIR advanced materials testing laboratories conduct tests on road building materials for road engineers and researchers, road owners, construction groups and consultants.
The costs of building and maintaining a road are high. According to the 9th State of Logistics™ survey released in June 2013, South Africa’s per lane-km road construction costs are R30 million, with road maintenance costs being R0.3 million per lane-km. To ensure the most cost-effective construction of roads, and its increased lifespan, road owners must pay attention to the specific road materials to be used in the structural and other layers of the road, taking into account the specific situation where, and the purpose for which, the road will be constructed.
The CSIR’s advanced materials testing laboratories conduct tests on road building materials needed by researchers and road engineers, both from the CSIR and externally, including clients such as consultants, road owners and construction groups. The specifications set out in these laboratories have been incorporated into the updated South African Pavement Design Method (SAPDM). The SAPDM was developed by the CSIR and others for the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).
The advanced materials testing laboratories are equipped with all the necessary equipment to do standard and advanced testing on road building materials. This includes apparatus for the testing of granular materials, aggregates, asphalt mixtures and bituminous binders. Testing is done to determine the suitability of materials for road building. These materials may be in their natural state or modified to improve their characteristics - such as modified binders or stabilisation of granular materials using non-traditional stabilisers.