Road materials testing
The road materials testing research group provides specialist testing services; develops innovative kits and customised equipment; and creates new technologies and testing procedures in support of the science, engineering and technology needs of the pavement engineering sectors in South Africa and internationally. The research group contains two sub-groups with unique facilities – the Advanced Material Testing Laboratories and the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC).
The road material testing research group offers resources – facilities, researchers, technicians and technology – to support national research, development and innovation activities.
The Advanced Material Testing Laboratories
The Advanced Material Testing Laboratories consist of, a granular (soils, gravel and aggregates) and cementitious materials laboratory; asphalt and dynamic laboratory; and a bituminous binders laboratory. The laboratory supports research, investigations into road failures, and acts as a reference for the road pavement industry. The laboratories are unique in the continent in that their services include 250-300 test methods conducted by technicians with diverse skill sets.
The laboratory serves as an impartial facility that supports research and investigations into road failures, and provides reference laboratories for the road pavement industry. It has a research, development and innovation programme linked to an annual intake of internships that focuses on value-adding initiatives aligned to industry needs.
The Technology Innovation Centre
The Technology Innovation Centre integrates fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies with transport infrastructure engineering work. The centre stimulates the growth and competitiveness of current and future technologies in the transport sector. It consists of a mechanical workshop, focused on the development of innovative equipment/kits, as well as embedding 4IR accessories into pavement layers. The centre facilitates the development of 4IR prototypes in the asphalt and concrete pavement industry.
The Technology Innovation Centre facility supports the country’s drive towards the 4IR. It incorporates a mechanical workshop that allows it to participate in the validation of existing technology as well as the development of new technologies aligned to 4IR integration in the transport sector.
- Supports research, investigations into road failures and industry specifications through performance-related tests;
- Supports the sustainable use of waste material in road construction;
- Acts as reference laboratories for the road pavement industry;
- Runs an RDI programme linked to an annual intake of internships that focuses on value adding initiatives;
- Maintains a foothold in advanced equipment and methods and is well equipped to include 250-300 test methods conducted by technicians with diverse skill sets;
- Develops cost-effective sensor technology;
- Offers smart mobility technology for the fourth industrial revolution; and
- Develops customised equipment.
- Supports research, development and innovation activities;
- Offers laboratory quality management systems training and support;
- Provides training opportunities to interns;
- Conducts a series of traditional and performance-based tests in all laboratory sections to support research and the industry;
- Develops prototype sensors from first principles for the road construction sector;
- Develops prototype sensors that assist CSIR research projects;
- Offers product manufacturing; and
- Demonstrates innovative technologies for industry.