Effect of Pavement Texture on Tire-road Noise

Report No: 76-R2

Published in 1975

About the report:

Because of the potentially conflicting considerations for cost, durability, environment and safety the design engineer must have information on each such subject on which to base his decisions. The great variety of pavement textures for affecting the noise levels generated by traffic on the highway, made the need for information on the effect of pavement texture on tire road noise obvious. Noise measurements were made at 19 sites, including both bituminous (I-2, S-5, S-8 surface treatment) and portland cement concrete (aggregate exposed and grooved) pavements that had a wide variety of textures. A 1971 Plymouth 4-door sedan was used as the test vehicle. Both rib treads and snow treads were used in the tests. The data were analyzed in the linear (dB) and A-weighted (dBA) modes. Frequency analyses were made on ten recordings that were representative of most of the data. It was determined that pavement parameters such as density, type of aggregate, and the flat-mosaic aspect had very little effect on the intensity of the noise generated. The parameter that had the greatest effect was the degree of protuberance. From the analyses of the frequency content of the noise it was determined that the 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) transverse grooved and the dimpled textures generated relatively pure tones in the high frequency range most easily sensed by humans. Recommendations are made concerning the use of the various pavement surfaces tested.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • David F. Noble

Last updated: January 29, 2024

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