Top New Tech For Road Construction Projects
For novices, a road surface may be a thick layer of concrete or asphalt. But new road construction technologies are doing a lot to convert the simple looking road surface into smart roads.
These new developments include noise-lessening features, conservation of water, and fissure-free pavements, to name just a few. For example, roads are now being fitted with digital road flares that cancel the need for traditional fire-based road flares.
In this post, we will discuss some of the latest technologies being employed in the road construction sector.
1. Use of 3D printing
Now, bridges and components for road bridges are 3D printed. This allows the bridges’ model to be created on the computer and 3D printed in the workshop. Once the bridge is printed, it can be installed. For more complex bridge projects, individual parts can be 3D printed and assembled on the site.
2. Self-healing concrete
Highway concrete mixes are now being infused with certain kinds of bacteria that thrive when there is contact with water. Concrete structures interact with water and often become brittle, losing some of their dry material.
Over time, a concrete road can lose a substantial amount of its body and structure to run-off waters. But the self-healing concrete where the bacteria excrete calcite, the loss of concrete is instantly made up with the bacteria’s waste.
Calcite solidifies and becomes as strong as the concrete. This way, many highways around the world are able to save millions of dollars that may be spent on repair and maintenance.
3. Digital road flares
Digital road flares are now a commonplace thing on most highways in developed countries. Whenever there is an emergency on the road, a digital road flare pops up at the nearest intersection and warn the traffic from going further up until the problem is resolved.
4. Noise-reducing road surfaces
Busy roads and highways create a lot of noise that spread in all directions. Nearby residential areas suffer due to extreme noise pollution. As a remedy, sound wall barriers are constructed along the roadside.
Now, some companies have developed noise-reducing asphalt that can be used to top the road surface. Best for roads and highways, this kind of asphalt has the same properties as for hot-mix asphalt.
5. Eco-friendly asphalt
We all know hot mix asphalt causes a lot of smoke to arise from the process. Now asphalt mixes are available in the eco-friendly market as these products don’t cause rise to so much smoke.
These products work at a lower temperature, do not cause foul smell or emissions, and use less fuel in the road construction process. They leave at least 20% less carbon footprint than the standard asphalt.
6. Eco-friendly ingredients
Now, many road construction projects are using recycled materials to build more sustainable and environment-friendly roads. A Canadian company has introduced a plant-based renewable road construction material.
This can be used for building walking and biking paths. This can also be used on major roads. It does not use any petrochemical ingredients, so there is no threat of pollution from run-off water.
7. Perpetual pavements
Pavements are now being designed to last for 50 years or so. This is possible by working on the design of the pavements. The pavements crack because, with growing traffic, the pavement’s weight increases the tensile strength of the pavement’s base.
So, now the pavements are being designed from the bottom up. The base is prepared with indestructible asphalt cement, while the middle and top layers use materials that allow rutting, cracking, or wear. The result is a pavement that’s never going to crack or break.
8. Water-saving pavement
Asphalt that can give a porous surface has been developed and is being used in different road projects. The porous surface allows water to be drained through the surface to a catchment tank where the water can be used for irrigation.
The porous asphalt surface also makes it possible to filter the sediments so that you get clean run-off water in the catchment tank. This kind of road surface can help conserve water.
There are many advanced technologies at work in the road construction sectors. Each of these technologies is bringing solutions to small but important aspects of our roads and highways. Many of them are aimed at environmental protection, while others are intended to help the road become safer and more efficient.