Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Surface Characteristics of Roadways: International Research and Technologies
By
WE Meyer
WE Meyer
1
The Pennsylvania State University
,
University Park, PA
;
symposium cochairman and coeditor
.
Search for other works by this author on:
J Reichert
J Reichert
editor
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN-10:
0-8031-1391-9
ISBN:
978-0-8031-1391-6
No. of Pages:
590
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
1990

Like low pavement skid resistance, the aerodynamic phenomena of splash and spray are evident only when the pavement is wet. However, unlike low pavement skid resistance, splash and spray are separable and uniquely identifiable: (1) Splash is the mechanical action of a vehicle's tire forcing water out of its path. Splash is generally defined as water drops greater than 1.0 mm (0.04 in.) in diameter which follow a ballistic path away from the tire. (2) Spray is formed when water droplets, generally less than 0.5 mm (0.02 in.) in diameter and suspended in the air, are formed after water has impacted a smooth surface and been atomized. Several factors must be present: (a) water in the tire path (the thicker the water film, the greater the quantity of splash and spray generated); (b) pavement surface characteristics (thicker water films are retained on a nonporous surface); and (c) turbulent and high-velocity air masses generated by the combination of vehicle configuration and speed.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) splash and spray research included driver simulator and wind-tunnel experiments, full-scale component, vehicle configuration, and countermeasure evaluations on test tracks, and cost-effectiveness analyses. The main findings were sixfold: 1. The driver simulator—A driver would not lose control of the vehicle due to the temporary visual obscurity due to the spray cloud, the turbulent air mass suspending the water droplets. 2. The wind tunnel—The areas were found where the spray cloud would be the densest, that is, the vehicle bow wave, around the wheels, and at gaps. 3. The full-scale component evaluations—Splash is water thrown away from the tire to the front (tire bow wave), to the side (side wave), and to the rear (tread pickup). Spray is water that the tire has picked up due to capillary adhesion and is stripped from the tire as it rotates and is atomized as it impacts the vehicle undercarriage. The splash from the tire that impacts the vehicle undercarriage will also be atomized and contribute to the spray cloud; however, only tread pickup is a major contributor to the cloud. 4. The full-scale configuration evaluations—these confirmed the wind tunnel findings. 5. The full-scale countermeasure evaluations—Spray can be effectively reduced by on-board countermeasures, such as baffles, dams, and drag shields, which reduce the size of the turbulent air mass. 6. The cost—effectiveness analyses-The most appropriate on-board countermeasures are cost effective on both regional and annual bases.

However, like improvement of skid resistance, the most effective and global countermeasures to reduce splash and spray are those applied at the pavement surface to reduce the amount of water in the tire path.

1.
Sherard
,
T. D.
, “
Suppression of Vehicle Splash and Spray
,” SAE Paper No. 730718,
Society of Automotive Engineers
,
Warrendale, PA
,
1973
.
2.
Kirsch
,
J. W.
, “
Informal Comments on the Road Spray Problem
,” Document No. SSS-IR-72-1352,
Systems, Science and Software
,
La Jolla, CA
,
10
1972
.
3.
Characteristics of Trucks and Truck Combinations
, 1st ed., Subcommittee on Splash and Spray,
Western Highway Institute
,
San Francisco
,
01
05
1973
.
4.
Weir
,
D. F.
,
Ringland
,
R. F.
,
Heffley
,
R. K.
, and
Ashkenas
,
I. L.
, “
An Experimental and Analytical Investigation of the Effect of Truck-Induced Aerodynamic Disturbances on Passenger Car Control and Performance
,” Interim Report, Report No. FHWA-RD-71-3,
Federal Highway Administration
, Washington, DC,
10
1971
.
5.
Forbes
,
T. W.
, “
A Study of Accident Hazards in Relation to Fenders and Mudguards for Motor Vehicles
,”
Michigan State University
,
East Lansing, MI
,
1960
.
6.
Maycock
,
G.
, “
The Problem of Water Thrown Up by Vehicles on Wet Roads
,” RRL Report No. 4,
Road Research Laboratory
, Harmondsworth, U.K.,
1966
.
7.
Adverse Weather, Reduced Visibility and Road Safety
,” Road Research Group on Driving in Reduced Visibility Conditions due to Adverse Weather, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris,
08
1976
.
8.
Sabey
,
B.
, “
Accidents: Their Cost and Relation to Surface Characteristics
,”
Cement and Concrete Association
,
London
,
1973
.
9.
Sabey
,
B. E.
, “
The Risks We Run: The Highway
,” RRL Report 567,
Transport and Road Research Laboratory
, Crowthorne, U.K.,
1980
.
10.
Sandberg
,
U.
, “
Efficiency of Spray Protectors-Tests 1979
,” Rapport No. 199A,
Swedish National Road and Traffic Research Institute
, Linkoping, Sweden,
1980
.
11.
DeLCan
, “
On Highway Evaluation of Splash and Spray Under Cold Weather Operating Conditions-Phase I
,” Report No. 041201A-00,
Transport Canada
, Ottawa, ON,
05
1981
.
12.
Onderko
,
W. E.
, “
Study of Truck Splash Guards-Final Report
,” Report No. F-A2090,
The Franklin Institute Research Laboratories
, Philadelphia,
04
01
1960
.
13.
Kamm
,
I. O.
,
Wray
,
G. A.
, and
Kolb
,
R. G.
, “
The Formation of Truck Spray on Wet Roads-Final Report
,” Report No. 1431,
Stevens Institute of Technology
, Hoboken, NJ,
10
1969
.
14.
Ritter
,
T. E.
, “
Spray Protector Testing on Trucks
,” Report No. AR-848,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, Washington, DC,
10
1972
, reprinted,
1975
.
15.
Ritter
,
T. E.
, “
Truck Splash and Spray Tests at Madras, Oregon
,” Report No. AR-955,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, Washington, DC,
10
1974
, reprinted,
1975
.
16.
Montoya
,
L. C.
and
Steers
,
L. L.
, “
Aerodynamic Drag Reduction Tests on a Full-Scale Tractor-Trailer Combination with Several Add-on Devices
,” Report No. NASA TM X-56028,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
, Washington, DC,
12
1974
.
17.
Reduction of the Aerodynamic Drag of Trucks-Proceedings of the Conference/ Workshop Held at California Institute of Technology
,
Lissaman
P. B. S.
, Ed.,
National Science Foundation
,
Washington, DC
,
1974
.
18.
Weir
,
D. H.
,
Strange
,
J. F.
, and
Heffley
,
R. K.
, “
Reduction of Adverse Aerodynamic Effects of Large Trucks
,” Report No. FHWA-RD-79-84,
Federal Highway Administration
, Washington, DC,
09
1978
.
19.
Pilkington
,
G. B.
, II
, “
Reduction of Truck-Induced Splash and Spray
,”
Public Roads
 0033-3735, Vol.
46
, No.
1
, Federal Highway Administration,
06
1982
.
20.
Sandberg
,
U.
, “
Spray Protectors; Testing of Efficiency
,” Rapport No. 171A,
Swedish National Road and Traffic Research Institute
, Linkoping, Sweden,
1978
.
21.
Chatfield
,
A. G.
,
Reynolds
,
A. K.
, and
Foot
,
D. J.
, “
Water Spray from Heavy Goods Vehicles: An Assessment of Some Vehicle Modifications
,” Report No. VSE 513,
Department of Transport
, London,
04
1979
.
22.
Allan
,
J. W.
and
Lilley
,
G. M.
, “
Reduction of Water Spray from Road Vehicles in Wet Conditions: A Further Investigation with Improved Trials, Measurement Equipment and Technique
,” AASU Memo 80/5,
University of Southampton
,
Southampton, U.K.
,
07
1981
.
23.
Allan
,
J. W.
and
Lilley
,
G. M.
, “
The Reduction of Water Spray from Heavy Road Vehicles
,”
Technological Advances in Vehicle Design: Impact of Aerodynamics on Vehicle Design
, International Journal of Vehicle Design Special Publication SP3,
Interscience Enterprises, Ltd.
,
U.K.
,
1983
.
24.
DeLCan
, “
On Highway Evaluation of Splash and Spray Under Cold Weather Operating Conditions-Phase II, Final Report
,” Report No. TP 4400,
Transport Canada
, Ottawa, ON,
06
1982
.
25.
Johnson
,
W. A.
,
Stein
,
A. C.
, and
Hogue
,
J. R.
, “
Full-Scale Testing of Devices to Reduce Splash and Spray
,” Report No. DOT-HS 806 694,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, Washington, DC,
01
1985
.
26.
Esser
,
R.
and
Neill
,
A.
, “
The Effectiveness of Spray Reduction Devices
,” Report No. DOT HS-806-483,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, Washington, DC,
02
1984
.
27.
Koppa
,
R. J.
,
Zimmer
,
R. A.
,
Ivey
,
D. L.
, and
Pendleton
,
O.
, “
Heavy Truck Splash and Spray Testing-Summary Final Report
,” Vol.
1
,
Texas Transportation Institute
,
College Station, TX
,
09
1984
.
28.
Koppa
,
R. J.
,
Zimmer
,
R. A.
, and
Ivey
,
D. L.
, “
Heavy Truck Splash and Spray Testing-Final Report
,” Vol.
2
,
Texas Transportation Institute
,
College Station, TX
,
09
1984
.
29.
Pendleton
,
O.
, “
Heavy Truck Splash and Spray Testing-Final Report
,” Vol.
1A
,
Texas Transportation Institute
,
College Station, TX
,
11
1984
.
30.
Clarke
,
R. M.
, “
Heavy Truck Splash and Spray Suppression: Near and Long Term Solutions
,” SAE Paper No. 831178,
Society of Automotive Engineers
,
Warrendale, PA
,
1984
.
31.
Koppa
,
R. J.
,
Pendleton
,
O.
,
Zimmer
,
R. A.
,
Pezoldt
,
V. J.
, and
Bremer
,
R. J.
, “
Heavy Truck Splash and Spray Testing: Phase II-Executive Summary and Final Report
,”
Texas Transportation Institute
, College Station, TX,
08
1985
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal