Tire-Road Consortium


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Road pavements are key elements of a modern integrated transport system that ensure the mobility of people and goods, thereby strengthening the countries’ global competitiveness. However, this mobility is also associated with multiple undesirable effects. For instance, every year enormous quantities of natural resources and energy are consumed in the construction of new and maintenance and rehabilitation of existing road pavements. Similarly, rough pavement surfaces and inadequate surface texture are responsible by additional vehicle fuel consumption and emissions. Road traffic injuries, some of which related to the poor quality of road pavements, kill millions of people each year, and are the top cause of deaths worldwide among those aged 5 to 29. Noise from road traffic alone is the second most harmful environmental stressor in Europe, behind air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The harmful effects of noise arise mainly from the stress reaction it causes in the human body, which can also occur during sleep. While friction between tyres and roads is needed for grip on the road, it also leads to abrasion of both the tyre and road generating particles. These particles, commonly considered microplastics, are deposited on the road, transported to soils near the roadside or to surface waters, causing negative impacts on the environment and human health.

Road authorities, local communities, road pavement construction companies and tires manufacturers are making efforts to address these undesirable effects. However, more often than not, the initiatives are carried out independently, which might lead to suboptimal solutions due to the conflicting nature of the objectives.

The Tire-Road Consortium, based at the University of Twente, brings together expertise from various disciplines relevant for the tire-road contact system and engages with multiple stakeholders, to tackle from a holistic and integrated approach the main challenges involving this system. The mission of the Tire-Road Consortium is to improve the sustainability of road pavements and tires, the safety of road users and the livability of the communities through multi-disciplinary research and innovation, in partnership with national and international organizations.