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What Is The Thickness Of An Asphalt Runway?  
User currently offlinemehairy7 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2010, 3 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13590 times:

From a civil engineering view, can you build an asphalt runway without using concrete underneath it?

Any input or links much appreciated.



15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecobra27 From Slovenia, joined May 2001, 1017 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 13574 times:

I don't know about the runway, but I think than terminal 5 at Heathrow has around 40-50 cm of asphalt or concrete

User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6810 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 13475 times:

Quoting mehairy7 (Thread starter):
can you build an asphalt runway without using concrete underneath it?

Yes, though there is a hardcore of gravel/crushed stone to provide a base layer. The thickness and design of the runway depends on the expected loads which, of course, depends on the aircraft using the airport.

This document probably covers how things are done

http://www.eapa.org/usr_img/position_paper/airfield.pdf

"Airfield uses of Asphalt"



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 13259 times:

Three general types of runway construction are used...

Concrete
Asphaltic concrete
Asphalt.

Concrete is classified as rigid pavement, and can be as much as six feet thick.
Asphaltic concrete is classified as semi-rigid, and can be as much as six feet thick.
Asphalt is classified as flexible pavement, and is laid over a bed of crushed stone (agregate) and is generally in excess of four feet thick...at airline airports.


User currently offlinerolypolyman From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13082 times:

Holy cow... six feet thick. To extend a 200 ft wide runway just 1 ft, that's 44 cu yd, or about $4400 last time I checked the price of concrete, not counting rebar and labor. Of course I'm sure that the airport gets hefty discounts because of the volume.

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12890 times:

The pavement data section of the ACAP documents gives a good overview of how this is handled, and provides references for the detailed calculations if you want more:
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/7772sec7.pdf

Tom.


User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 12647 times:

Is the runway the same everywhere or are the "touchdown zones" stronger?

Can you revamp a runway or do you need to redo it from scratch?


User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 12635 times:

Quoting A380900 (Reply 6):
Is the runway the same everywhere or are the "touchdown zones" stronger?

Sometimes, it depends on the agreed to specifications with the local airport authority.

Quoting A380900 (Reply 6):
Can you revamp a runway or do you need to redo it from scratch?

It largely depends on the underlying original base material.
Some concrete runways, just as one example, can be very successfully re-paved with asphalt, with good results.

However, one runway in particular (34L in JED) was completely torn up twice, and the touchdown zone twice again, because...the original contractor did not take into account the very high sub-surface water table, and the underlying subsurface composition...coral.
The airport opened six years late, as a direct result of this fiasco.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3627 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 12245 times:

The thickness is hardly surprising. Even german Autobahn-motorways are already 2-3 feet thick of asphalt, with crushed stone beyond it.

User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 12216 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
Even german Autobahn-motorways are already 2-3 feet thick of asphalt, with crushed stone beyond it.

20 years ago I've heard a French engineer saying that highway in Germany were built to incredibly high standard. So maybe that's not an average comparison.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4840 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 12036 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):
The thickness is hardly surprising. Even german Autobahn-motorways are already 2-3 feet thick of asphalt, with crushed stone beyond it.

Most of the older ones were built out of thick concrete so that one Herr Hitler's tanks could use them to move around the country.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2807 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11846 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Well that explains the extreme costs of building a runway. I always thought it just had to have a strong base underneath it and they just put down a light layer of concrete/rebar or asphalt like they would on an interstate.
Blue



All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3627 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 11821 times:

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 10):

Most of the older ones were built out of thick concrete so that one Herr Hitler's tanks could use them to move around the country.

Thats more or less an urban myth, but it is correct that the Autobahn-motorways are indeed built of high standards. This pays off, of course, as the tracks last several decades before needing replacement. The old concrete surfaces of pre-ww2 autobahnen are still beneath some asphalt motorways, like the A8 between Munich and Salzburg. They are usually replaced when the motorways are expanded, because they get constructed after entirely new standards then.

But even modern tracks are built to high standards. I have once read that the Autobahn has the double price per km compared to US interstates. Still, runways are build to even higher standards.

One illustration about the Autobahn-thickness:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Oberbau.Autobahn.jpg


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15780 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 11816 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
I have once read that the Autobahn has the double price per km compared to US interstates.

   But I don't know if that is purely construction costs, or if that includes the better maintenance of German roads or their more advanced traffic control systems.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3627 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 11729 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
But I don't know if that is purely construction costs, or if that includes the better maintenance of German roads or their more advanced traffic control systems.

It can also mean higher prices for the expropriated land, more efforts for noise protection and the like (since Germany is more densely populated than some stretches of the US). However I do think it also, at least to some extent, means better quality.


User currently offlineSP90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11414 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 8):

The thickness is hardly surprising. Even german Autobahn-motorways are already 2-3 feet thick of asphalt, with crushed stone beyond it.

The roads around NYC are mostly asphalt but there is concrete underneath for a roadbed. I'm unsure as to the thickness but the top layer of asphalt is only about 4-6 inches maybe. The section of the I-90 that runs from Syracuse to Rochester (NY) is getting redone in all concrete. Quick look as I was driving by I would guesstimate it's about 2 feet thick. What strange is they would choose to use concrete there because of all the salt they put down during the winters. With runways its not a problem since they don't use salt for snow melting.


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