Potholes can soon reach the end of the road, as a village in Oxfordshire is organizing the first British test with graphene-based wonder material to prevent cracks.
Graphene is a super strong material made of specially structured carbon.
Today, a start will be made on laying the 820 meter (750 meter) length of the wonder material on the main road through Curbridge, west of Oxford.
The construction should be completed within ten days – ready to test the finished road against the demands of a wet, pothole-cultivating British winter.
The surface product combines graphene with recycled asphalt and will be less likely to soften in the heat or cure and crack in colder temperatures.
According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, the current backlog of lapsed roads in England and Wales will cost ten years and £ 9.8 billion ($ 12.6 billion) to repair.
Poor road surfaces contributed to 517 accidents in 2018 – including eight deaths and 348 seriously injured – the Ministry of Transport has reported.
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Potholes can soon reach the end of the road, as a village in Oxfordshire is organizing the first British test with graphene-based wonder material to prevent cracks
Graphene is a form of carbon – such as diamond and the graphite that make up pencil lead – in which the constituent atoms are structured like a honeycomb leaf.
The material has several unusual properties – including in its crystalline form the strongest material ever measured – and was first discovered by researchers from the University of Manchester in 2004.
The new surface material, Gipave, is made by adding a small amount of graphene-based additive to partially recycled asphalt, a common road covering.
Although about 20 percent more expensive than conventional asphalt, experts believe that durability and longer lifespan result in long-term savings.
The graphene-reinforced asphalt is being developed by two Italian companies – Directa Plus and Iterchimica – who provide financing for the trial in Oxford.
& # 39; Road deterioration will be monitored in the coming year, with results that help to prove the business case for the use of Gipave instead of conventional asphalt, & # 39; told Directa Plus CEO Giulio Cesareo the times.
If tests in Oxford prove to be successful, the graphene substrate can be used to repair roads at other locations in Great Britain.
& # 39; Discussions are ongoing with other highway authorities in Europe and the Middle East for further testing in various climatic conditions. & # 39;
Tests are already planned for both Oman and the US, and the commercial sale of Gipave is expected to start next year.
The new surface material, Gipave, is made by adding a small amount of graphene-based additive to partially recycled asphalt, a common road surface
The work begins today with the laying of a 750 meter long piece of pothole-resistant wonder material on the main road through the village of Curbridge, pictured, west of Oxford
Graphene is a form of carbon – such as diamond and the graphite that make up pencil lead – in which atoms are structured like a honeycomb leaf. The material has various unusual properties – including in its crystalline form the strongest material ever measured
The Gipave material was tested for the first time in September last year on the outskirts of Rome, on a stretch of Via Ardeatina, where the first results suggest that the use of the new pavement could considerably extend the life of a road.
& # 39; The results are excellent after a year of testing, including a winter and summer season, & # 39; Iterchimica CEO Federica Giannattasio told the Times.
& # 39; The material has been shown to last two and a half times as long as a conventional asphalt road. & # 39;
According to the developers, Gipave is a greener alternative to conventional road surfaces because it can be recycled and requires lower temperatures.
& # 39; Our technology has 20 tons of plastic per kilometer of road & # 39 ;, says Giannattasio.
& # 39; The only current alternative is to burn the plastic. & # 39;
Work will begin today with the laying of a 750-meter-long piece of wonder material on the main road through the village of Curbridge, west of Oxford
WHAT IS GRAFENE?
Graphene is a single atomic layer of carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal network.
It not only promises to revolutionize semiconductor, sensor and display technology, but can also lead to breakthroughs in fundamental quantum physics research.
It is often depicted as an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds.
Scientists believe it could someday be used to make transparent conductive material, biomedical sensors and even extremely light but strong aircraft of the future.
Like another important nanomaterial – carbon nanotubes – graphene is incredibly strong: about 200 times stronger than structural steel.
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