Bearing Capacity Assessment (FWD)

The Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) is an internationally recognized method for assessing the bearing capacity and is commonly used for the analysis of different pavements.

The method is non-destructive and delivers precise and reliable results in a short time. These results support the decision making process for the assessment of the substance, the analysis of possible causes of damage and the selection of suitable repair measures.

HELLER carries out FWD measurements in cooperation with the Institute for Road Engineering at Darmstadt University of Technology. The institute has a modern FWD and a RAP-Stra-certified testing laboratory. The FWD is calibrated annually as part of the FWD comparison measurements at the Federal Highway Research Institute.

Services at a glance

  • Planning, execution and evaluation of FWD bearing capacity measurements on road, industrial and airfield pavements
  • Assessment of the bearing capacity
  • Identification of weak areas and possible causes of damage
  • Recommendations for remediation measures
  • Formation of homogeneous sections
  • Prioritization of maintenance measures
  • Expert opinions on specific issues regarding the bearing capacity of pavements

Road pavements

Detailed knowledge of the bearing capacity is of great importance for maintenance planning and prioritization. Along with the data from the condition survey and assessment (ZEB), it is possible to assess the structural substance non-destructively and compare it with the respective load class. Recognized backcalculation methods provide information on the bearing capacity of the bound and unbound layers. Thus, purposeful maintenance planning is possible. The method is suitable for all asphalt constructions. In addition, the shearing force transmission in concrete pavements can be evaluated.

Airfield pavements

Airfield pavements have to withstand heavy loads. Due to the high workload, maintenance measures must be planned precisely and carried out within short periods of time.

Using the FWD, areas with reduced bearing capacity can be identified to the point. With a maximum load transmission of 250 kN, the FWD of the Technical University of Darmstadt is perfect for assessing airfield pavements. The assessment is based on the Pavement Classification Number (PCN). In this way, the shearing force transmission of the concrete slabs can be determined.

Industrial pavements

Industrial pavements are exposed to heavy static and dynamic loads. Any impairment often results in a production stop and high economic losses.

With the FWD, measurements can be carried out during operations. Possible damage can be localized and the causes can be analyzed.

The results are used for planning sustainable remediation measures.

State of the art

The measurements are carried out with a modern quality-assured FWD. The device is calibrated annually as part of a comparative study conducted by the Federal Highway Research Institute. Recognized standard procedures are used for evaluating the data.

All relevant data are visualized in such a way that they can be optimally used for decision-making. For this, the online information system OnKo3 is used.


For good reason

Information on bearing capacity facilitates the planning and prioritization of maintenance measures. Our experts will support you in the planning, execution and evaluation of FWD bearing capacity measurements on roads, industrial and airfield pavements. We look forward to hearing from you.

  •     Non-destructive tests
  •     Fast analyses
  •     Statements on possible causes of damage
  •     Technical expertise
  •     Convincing presentation of the results

HELLER: Quality worthwile.