Predicting the wear of high friction surfacing aggregate

David Woodward, Shaun Friel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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High friction surfacing (HFS) is a specialist type of road coating with very high skid resistance. It is used in the UK at locations where there is significant risk of serious or fatal accidents. This paper considers the aggregate used in HFS. Calcined bauxite is the only aggregate that provides the highest levels of skid resistance over the longest period. No naturally occurring aggregate has been found to give a comparable level of in-service performance. This paper reviews the historical development of HFS in the UK relating to aggregate. In-service performance is predicted in the laboratory using the Wear test which subjects test specimens to an estimated 5–8 years simulated trafficking. Examples are given of Wear test data. They illustrate why calcined bauxite performs better than natural aggregate. They show how the amount of calcined bauxite can be reduced by blending with high skid resistant natural aggregates. Data from the Wear test can be related to every HFS laboratory experiment and road trial carried out in the UK for over the last 50 years. Anyone considering the prediction of HFS performance needs to carefully consider the data given in this paper with any other test method currently being considered or used to investigate HFS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalAsphalt Professional
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 May 2017


  • high friction surfacing
  • skid resistance
  • wear test
  • Road Test Machine


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