Design of a new prefabricated road subsurface drainage system

E. Blanco-Fernandez, J. Norambuena-Contreras, J.J. Del Coz Díaz, D. Castro-Fresno

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Water flow through road structures is a topic of great interest in civil engineering, as water is one of the factors that most affects the hydraulic and mechanical behavior of road materials. Efficient design of subsurface drainage improves the performance of road pavement. Conventional drainage systems, such as trench drains may not be wholly effective in reducing water-related problems, and in fact, may inadvertently reduce pavement performance and service life. This can be because conventional drainage is projected in saturated conditions; however, most water flow near the surface occurs under unsaturated conditions. This paper presents an experimental study to design a new prefabricated prototype for the subsurface drainage of road pavements (SubDrain). SubDrain has been designed by using rapid prototyping Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) with powder polyamide material and experimental validation tests, with the aim to evaluate the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of the prototype. The results of this study show that the new prefabricated prototype is a potential technology solution to replace the conventional trench drain systems currently used in road projects. Findings in this study are limited to a prototype tested only under laboratory conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)124 - 134
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Research and Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


    • Construction
    • Prefabricated
    • Rapid prototyping
    • Subsurface drainage
    • Water flow


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