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Visit to TRBA’s trial section, using its new slipform paver Wirtgen SP1500


Last 30 January 2018 our partner TRBA held a technical visit in Peruwelz (Belgium) to introduce their new machine, the Wirtgen SP1500. For the occasion a 40 cm thick concrete test section was built in preparation of the construction project of the Luxembourg airport extension.

The day started with a presentation by Filip Covemaeker of TRBA highlighting the advantages of sustainable concrete pavements, explaining the essential factors for a high quality achievement and showing the company’s construction capacities, in particular their range of slipform paving machines.  Finally, he presented the project of the Luxembourg airport extension.  The owner is the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastruture of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and TRBA is part of a contractors association with CDCL and Felix Giorgetti.  The design is by TR-Engineering in collaboration with ARCADIS and AB-Roads.

The first phase of this jobsite includes 60 000m² of a 40 cm thick double layered jointed plain concrete pavement, equipped with dowels and tie-bars.

Filip Covemaeker introducing TRBA’s new project

Special attention was given to the newly procured machine for this project: the Wirtgen SP1500, 15.5 meters large and weighing 70 tons. There are only 7 of these machines in Europe including one in Belgium. Technicians from Wirtgen helped TRBA setting up the machine.

Wirtgen SP1500

The presentation was followed by the site visit where the participants attended the construction of the test section of a jointed plain concrete pavement.  This trial aimed at testing the compatibility of the concrete mixes with the new machine, the construction of the pavement in different slopes, the installation of the different types of joints and the inclusion of embedded items such as manholes and gutters.

Characteristics of the pavement:

  • Bottom layer: 33 cm
  • Top layer: 7 cm
  • Insertion of dowels diam. 25 mm, length 600mm, spaced 250mm, by the slipform paver in transverse contraction joints
  • Mechanical insertion of dowels in longitudinal construction joint
  • Insertion of tie-bars, diam. 18 mm, length 800mm, spaced 1000mm, by the slipform paver in longitudinal bending joints
  • Use of a bituminous interlayer or a geotextile between hydraulically bound base layer and concrete pavement

Characteristics of the concrete mix:

  • C35/45
  • Limestone aggregates, Dmax 32 mm
  • Maximum w/c: 0,45
  • Cement type: CEM I 42,5 N
  • Characteristic tensile splitting strength on cores fctk,core ≥ 4 MPa
  • Average air content 5%

Construction of the concrete test board 1

Members and partners of EUPAVE which are involved in the project:

TRBA: construction
AB-Roads: design
WIRTGEN: slipform paver
HeidelbergCement Group : cement

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