Thursday, May 23All That Matters

The massive Fatigue Carousel helps keep roads safe


The massive Fatigue Carousel helps keep roads safe




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22 Comments

  • LickItAndSpreddit

    I read about this facility once. They were over a third of the way through the test and they had to start over. The road surface was to be used in the UK so they had to dismantle it and reassemble it to go the opposite direction because of the left-hand-traffic.

    The excess cost was in the tens of thousands of pounds.

  • scotty_the_newt

    Too bad they can’t modify the weather. -I’d imagine freeze thaw cycles have a massive influence as well.

  • asdaaaaaaaa

    Huh, could have sworn that exact facility was featured in another video. Specifically remember the testing arms that “drive” along the roads parts. Wonder if it was this dude’s previous video, or someone else entirely. Also wonder if they’re using old or “modern” aircraft parts, since they’re designed for so much abuse/weight.

  • lolcatandy

    When it cut to the French guy saying “fatigue carousel”, I thought it’s still Tom, but making a funny accent

  • FrankMiner2949er

    I’m wondering about the tyres. Are they especially resistant to wear? How often do the tyres need changed?

  • notgoingtotellyou

    Sometimes Tom Scott seems like an intelligent individual but then says something as blatantly stupid as “helps keep roads safe.”

  • Beardgardens

    I wonder if, when they do these month long tests, they run the machine 24/7 and have a rotating day/afternoon/overnight shift to monitor it all?

  • Twoehy

    I feel like there was a real missed opportunity at the end when he talks about the limitations of modelling to work in a “where the rubber meets the road” pun.

  • JeepChrist

    I don’t know how putting extra pressure on the tires while quickly rotating them around on a test road surface makes for a useful or scientifically sound experiment.

    If you want to do a useful experiment on different road surfaces, just divert a section of freeway traffic like they do in the US. That way you’re getting real world data and not just data on overloaded tires constantly administering perpendicular forces to the experimental surface.

  • cobarbob

    I legit thought that the “Fatigue Carousel” was a reference to everyone being super tired and still commuting to and from work.

    Was interested to understand how we were keeping the roads safe.

  • MathPerson

    I developed a great deal of respect for civil engineers and civil engineering when I was assigned to work for a resident *mathematician* at the Texas Transportation Institute. A topologist, no less. He was developing a set “definitions” and “measures” of “road qualities” for the entire range of vehicles, and of methods to calculate these measures.

    I noticed that Texas created a “brown” asphalt – not as thermally absorbent of the sunlight. The chemists worked out that degradation of asphalt is related to the off-gassing of plasticizers that keep asphalt flexible. So they created new plasticizers that would not vaporize as readily as the original compounds. Lighter colors, new chemistry = better roads.

    I remember driving roads where there were paint stripes applied perpendicular to the road, across the road. Those were tests of various paint samples.

    Today’s civil engineering is not just digging ditches and pouring concrete. Lotsa high tech, lotsa mathematics.

  • bfnnhy

    Much respect to the small inner ring of apparently indestructible material, quietly holding up without being part of the test.

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