Are you ready for the future of transportation innovation?
Presenting, “specialized asphalt” that has a capacity to heal road cracks and holes, introduced by a student from US.
Christopher Schlangen, the proponent of the innovation, at Deflt University has developed an altered form of asphalt that can be heated in order to heal cracks and holes. The special asphalt has numerous benefits to individuals and governments.
Recently, developers at Delft University have developed a steel-infused asphalt that can be heated to get rid of potholes, cracks and loose stones, thereby saving millions on road repairs.
The new technology works by adding steel wool to bitumin, the binding agent that asphalt usually uses to hold the tiny stones together.
Schlangen, a PhD student at the same university, has shown that if asphalt that contains these steel fibers is heated using an induction machine, the bitumin melts and therefore cracks and potholes rejoin. This could double their lifespan.
He uses a microwave rather than an induction machine in the recent TED Talk, but it sounds enough to show you the premise of his invention.
The technology has a lot benefits not just for the individuals but also for the government.
The potential to heal roads has a multitude of positive consequences.
Firstly, there are the economic impacts: Schlangen estimates that the Dutch government could save 9 million by implementing his roads, despite the 25% more money they require to install.
Furthermore, self-healing roads would mean fewer loose stones to flick up and chip windscreens, fewer potholes to damage axles or wheels, and fewer roads being closed for repair.
Schlangen is focusing more on a means of perfecting his healing formula, but he also envisions a possible future use: charging cars at traffic lights.
“Putting steel fibers in the asphalt means that you can send information to it, so it might be possible to charge electric cars on the road they’re driving on,” he said.
These PhD student’s discoveries are similar to recent developments made in self-healing concrete by Cardiff University.
Cardiff University’s project involves using bacteria to create self-healing concrete, according to the same principles as bone remineralization.