Equipment Type

Asphalt, Heal Thyself

Adding steel wool to the bitumen recipe will allow pavement cracks to rejoin

May 25, 2017

Erik Schlangen, professor at Deflt University of Technology and Chair of Experimental Micromechanics in the Netherlands, has developed an elegantly simple way to cause asphalt to repair itself.

His self-healing asphalt blend contains small steel fibers which when heated, usually with a huge induction machine run over the asphalt, will bind the pavement's bitumen and pebbles together again to 'heal' the crack.

Proactively stopping the pavement cracks before they become potholes should provide drivers with a safer, cleaner and more comfortable ride. As importantly, transportation departments charged with maintaining asphalt roads will see lower repair costs and longer lasting surfaces.

Watch Schlangen's TED Talk here:

For more of Schlangen's work, click here for his website:

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