We need more of such solutions.
Over the years, different materials, from asphalt to concrete, have been experimented in terms of road building. However, nothing is resistant to weathering.
In 2014, Indian-Origin Canadian Professor Nemkumar Banthia and his team came up with ultrahigh-strength concrete and special fibers technology for building roads that are self-repairing and sustainable. Thondebavi village in Karnataka, situated 90km from Bengaluru, was selected for the trial demonstration project to tet this technology.
The roads built using this technology have greater longevity and cheaper to build. The thickness of trail road built in Thondebavi village is about 100mm, which is s much s 60% less than the regular Indian roads. It simply reduces the material input and laying out the cost of such roads by up to 30%. They are more sustainable from an environmental perspective too. While the cement used in making the standard concrete roads generates greenhouse gases, these self-repairing roads use 60% fly-ash and only 40% cement, leading to further lessening of the road’s carbon footprint. However, the built-in crack healing is the most amazing this about this road.
As explained by Nemkumar Banthia, “The high strength concrete is reinforced with fibers having a hydrophilic nano coating on them. Hydrophilia means they attract water. When a crack appears, this water gives hydration capability to un-hydrated cement, and produces more silicates, which actually close the crack in time.” The roads have been designed to integrate with water recovery systems, providing additional water resources to communities
Professor Banthia expects the road durable for another 15 years, which is a massive leap from the average two-year lifespan of most Indian roads. Discussions are underway to implement the project in other Indian states a well. This may come as a relief for citizens from bumping along roads full of potholes and getting more accessibility to the remote areas.
Feature image: drivespark.com