NACOE paves the way for future road construction using Intelligent Compaction

The National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACOE) has been investigating Intelligent Compaction (IC) technology and the role it can play in constructing roads in Queensland. The aim of this research is to assess the suitability of IC for quality control in future road construction and establish a consistent data standard/protocol for IC technology.

Intelligent Compaction uses vibratory rollers fitted with an integrated measurement system and onboard computer reporting system, global positioning system (GPS) and instruments that measure the stiffness of road materials such as soil, gravel or asphalt being compacted.

IC rollers facilitate real-time compaction monitoring and timely adjustments to the compaction process by integrating measurement, documentation, and control systems.

To date, the project has identified the following potential benefits from IC technology –

  • Improved construction quality control
  • Reduced construction and maintenance costs through improved uniformity and consistency
  • Real-time operator feedback
  • The ability to ‘pre-map’ the condition of existing layers before placing the next layer (allowing the Contractor to understand if the area is suitable for being compacted over or if additional effort may be needed in some locations)
  • Capturing and securely storing the compaction process information as permanent geo-referenced records.

The project is now in its third year with trials being undertaken on a live project in Queensland. The research findings are expected to be completed by 2022.