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Pavements and Materials for Transport Infrastructures Laboratory

The Pavements and Materials for Transport Infrastructures Laboratory (UPAVMAT) is integrated in the Transport Infrastructures Unit (NIT) of LNEC’s Transportation Department.

This laboratory performs accredited tests (holds Certificate No. L0184) and is integrated in LNEC - EM (Testing and Metrology). It was created in 1995 in order to support the construction industry, as well as research, technological development and innovation.

Additional information can be found at this laboratory's flyer.

Fields of expertise

UPAVMAT is focused on laboratory characterization of road, airport and railway materials, including aggregates, bituminous binders, bituminous mixtures and materials treated with cement and non-traditional binders. It is also dedicated to support the in situ characterization of transport infrastructures by performing field tests aiming at the evaluation of surface and structural characteristics of those infrastructures.


The UPAVMAT performs, among others, the following tests:

Laboratory tests

  • Determination of particle size distribution – Sieving method;
  • Determination of particle shape – Shape index and flakiness index;
  • Determination of resistance to fragmentation – Los Angeles method;
  • Determination of resistance to wear (micro-Deval);
  • Assessment of fines – Methylene Blue Test;
  • Assessment of fines – Sand equivalent test;
  • Determination of the voids of dry compacted filler;
  • Determination of the affinity between aggregate and bitumen;
  • Determination of bulk density of bituminous specimens;
  • Determination of the maximum density;
  • Wheel tracking test;
  • Marshall test;
  • Determination of the water sensitivity of bituminous specimens;
  • Soluble binder content – Extraction method by centrifugation;
  • Identification of the presence of tar in bituminous mixtures.

Field tests

  • Load test with Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD);
  • Ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey;
  • Determination of skid resistance with grip tester equipment;
  • Measurement of transverse and longitudinal surface roughness profiles using laser profilometer;
  • Measurement of pavement surface macro texture depth using volumetric patch technique;
  • Measurement of slip/skid resistance of a surface – The pendulum test;
  • Determination of field dry density by the sand replacement method.

Other services

In addition to laboratory and field characterization, giving a direct support to the construction industry, UPAVMAT also provides support to activities in different areas, including:

  • the study of materials and construction technologies to be applied in pavements;
  • the quality control during construction, operation and rehabilitation;
  • the characterization of transport infrastructures behaviour, support to maintenance management and life cycle analysis.