28 November 2008

Special road surface to dampen noise

A new road surface dampens road noise by 7dB, according to the readings from a pilot project on a highway near Augsburg, Bavaria. The noise reduction is achieved by using a new road surface structure with two layers and porous asphalt.

Road noise is a main part of the general noise around us that causes increasing numbers of us to suffer hearing loss. The new road surface is designed to absorb some of the road noise.

Because of its two layers and more porous texture than regular asphalt its noise absorbing composition reduces noise levels by 7dB, according to test results recorded in Augsburg, Bavaria, for the Bavarian institute for the environment, health and consumer protection. The significance is illustrated by the fact that a 10 dB reduction is equal to a 50 percent reduction in noise.

Widespread use

The investigation also demonstrated that the asphalt can be adapted to meet the various demands associated with speed limits and changing traffic.

The German authorities see clear reductions in health risks by introducing the new type of road surface. Noise is associated with hearing loss and cardiovascular disease, and the new road surface is slated to be adopted in other German regions, as well as Bavaria.

Source: Hörakustik 5/2008.
Published on hear-it on November 28, 2008.