Celebrating the Next Generation of Concrete Surfaces

Feb. 25, 2020

To achieve a concrete pavement surface that has good frictional characteristics and decreases pavement noise, the Next Generation Concrete Surface (NGCS) was developed. This surface not only has the benefit of decreasing tire/pavement noise by 75%, but is shown to provide a smooth, uniform ride and increase driver safety, especially in wet weather conditions. Longitudinal grooving improves lateral stability for vehicles on the roadway and reduces hydroplaning potential.

While maintaining concrete’s durability and low maintenance, NGCS reduces trade-offs associated with tire/pavement noise. Additionally, friction testing conducted over the last decade has indicated that NGCS provides good frictional characteristics. The technique was developed through research and testing conducted by various state DOTs, the American Concrete Pavement Association, and the International Grooving and Grinding Association (IGGA) and its member contractors.

NGCS’ creation focused on diamond ground textures along with the effect of transverse joints on tire/pavement noise level. After evaluating a range of diamond blade and spacer widths, researchers hypothesized that rather than being dependent upon the geometric configuration of the blades and spacers, noise was associated with variability in the fin/land profile height resulting from the grinding process. Textures with low variability were quieter than textures with high variability.

NGCS is typically constructed as a two-pass operation (where flush grinding occurs first and is followed by a grooving pass) using diamond-tipped saw blades mounted on conventional diamond grinding and grooving equipment. It can be used for both new construction and rehabilitation of existing surfaces.

As of its 10th anniversary, NGCS has been installed in 15 states. It has made quieter concrete pavements a reality in the U.S. and across the globe. Continued adoption of the surface will ensure better driving conditions for countless travelers for years to come. For more information, read the IGGA white paper.

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