Towards understanding asphalt compaction: An action research strategy (in special issue for the IPRC)

Seirgei Rosario Miller, Henderikus L. ter Huerne, Andries G. Doree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) construction, compaction rollers provide the energy required to produce a specified density. However, little is known about the heuristics used by the roller operators. This study forms part of a larger action research project focussing on the improvement of the HMA paving process – taking into account the importance of “on-site operations” for the control over quality, continuous process improvement and the adoption of new technologies. The primary aim is to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between and the effect of operator heuristics, motion patterns, coverage patterns, temperature differentials and other characteristics during the compaction process. This paper describes the importance of the compaction process; discusses the role of the roller operator and presents developments in the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to assist the compaction process. The results justify an action research methodology involving the researcher, innovative technologies and most importantly, operators involved in the compaction process. The movements of the compaction equipment are logged successfully using a GPS system. The operational choices made by the operators are made explicit. This explicit information will provide the leverage for the next steps in the research process. Firstly, to discuss and confront the operational choices made during construction operations, and secondly, to develop and implement revised operational strategies with those closest to the paving process namely the asphalt paving team.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)11-24
JournalBuilt & human environment review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • IR-86934
  • METIS-249256

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