Macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of surface friction of airport pavements

Jian-Shiuh Chen, Shih Fan Chen, Min Chih Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Rubber deposits accumulated on the runway surface pose a distinct threat to the operational safety of aircraft during landings and take-offs in adverse weather. This paper is to evaluate the microscopic and macroscopic effect of rubber deposits on the friction characteristics of runway pavements. A concrete runway at Kaohsiung International Airport was chosen for friction and texture measurements on the pavement surface for analyses. This study comprised field testing and laboratory testing. The surface friction tester, the British Pendulum Test and the grease-patched method were regularly conducted on site for runway pavements over a 24-month period of time. An optical microscope and a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used for the microscopic evaluation of rubber deposits taken from runway pavements. Results indicated that runway friction characteristics changed over time primarily due to the buildup of rubber deposits. The accumulation of rubber filled the macrotexture of the pavement surface and caused loss of the skid-resistance of a runway. An increased macrotexture led to a rise in the friction value. The difference between friction values measured in the forward direction and those measured in the backward direction was significant. The directional distribution of rubber deposits as observed by SEM was shown to raise friction level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-594
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Research and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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