Pavements & Materials

Pavement & Materials Overview

Pavement management is focussed on the optimisation of expenditure on the road pavement to meet budgetary requirements and user expectations. This requires a detailed knowledge of pavement behaviour throughout the pavement life-cycle.

In addition to our skills in pavement construction and design, and knowledge of pavement materials you can benefit from our extensive research and understanding of pavement deterioration processes (see ALF - the Accelerated Loading Facility), and our road asset data collection services.

Pavement and materials consulting services include:

  • optimum use of pavement materials
  • assessment of alternative materials
  • laboratory assessment of material performance
  • impact of heavy vehicles on pavement performance
  • accelerated pavement testing using the Accelerated Loading Facility (ALF)
  • new materials test procedures and guidelines.

Our expertise includes not only traditional asphalt pavements in urban environments but also low-cost unbound and spray seal pavements.

We can assist your organisation in the following pavement management areas:

  • implementation and development of pavement management systems (PMS)
  • pavement analysis and program development
  • implementation and application of HDM-4.

For more information on ARRB's long term pavement performance research, please visit

Technical and strategic research program

Pavement technology research continues to focus on improving understanding of the response of flexible pavements to changing vehicle loads and new-generation heavy vehicles. Emphasis is being placed on unbound granular pavement materials.

Materials testing laboratories

ARRB Group have NATA accredited laboratories and equipment for testing the properties of materials in road pavements and concrete structures. We have facilities to test:

  • bitumen and binders
  • asphalt
  • concrete and structures
  • unbound materials
  • stabilised and recycled materials.
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In Australia, asphalt is mainly used in urban areas and on heavy trafficked routes.

ARRB offers objective exerptise in:

  • the use of asphalt
  • asphalt mix design
  • material testing.

ARRB Group has extensive experience in the characterisation of both conventional and modified mixes for a range of loading and environmental conditions.


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Bitumen & Binders

Australia relies heavily on sprayed seals which surface about 80% to 90% of the all-weather network so our research places the emphasis on binders for sealing use. Binder improvement also brings high returns for asphalt surfacings.

ARRB Group has developed test equipment and procedures to characterise polymer modified binders (PMBs) and to relate binder properties to field performance.

Field trials have been organised by Austroads and reports are available on enquiry to assist you in the selection of the polymer modified binders which will be appropriate to your conditions.

Bituminous binder testing includes:

  • dynamic shear rheometer
  • elastometer and extensiometer
  • sliding plate and capillary viscometry
  • rolling thin film oven
  • other specialized testing available upon request.

Sprayed seal physical testing includes:

  • seal behaviour
  • viscosity of recovered binders.

Click here to make a sales enquiry regarding the ARRB Elastometer.


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Unbound Materials

Flexible pavement structures comprising unbound granular materials with thin bituminous surfacings are by far the most common type of Australia’s 300,000 km of sealed road network. Almost $6 billion is spent annually on enhancement and preservation works.

Traditionally, only high quality unbound materials (such as local gravels or crushed rock manufactured in local quarries) that meet State Road Authority prescriptive specifications are permitted to be used in road construction. However, the use of marginal and modified materials, including materials manufactured from recycled or waste material, which might be considered as marginal under traditional specifications, is becoming more common.

We offer objective expertise in the use and construction of unbound materials, material testing, the evaluation of existing pavement condition and the development of maintenance strategies.

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Stabilised & Recycled Materials

ARRB provides services in:

  • property testing and assessment
  • field trials
  • life-cycle performance analysis
  • cost and benefit analysis
  • design processes and assessment techniques.

Recycled products in roads:

  • recycled truck tyres
  • insitu stabilisation with cement, bitumen and other binders
  • recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) as an unbound material for new asphalt
  • crumbed rubber and rubber aggregates in bituminous binders.

The Austroads Guide to Pavement Rehabilitation, and our Sealed Local Roads Manual provide information about recycled materials and design processes and techniques adopted by road authorities.

Recycled materials in concrete:

  • recycled pot lining from smelters
  • recycled glass
  • recycled concrete aggregate (RCA)
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