Back in 2012, the President of the Russian Federation gave the order to double the pace of road construction. According to analysts, to implement this plan, it is necessary to commission 700-1000 km of federal highways annually. The total length of domestic roads today is 500 thousand km, among which federal roads occupy only 50 thousand km, and the rest falls to the share of regions.
According to experts, the reason for poor-quality pavement in most regions lies in insufficient funding. Thus, some European countries and the United States allocate 3-4% of GDP to the road industry. In Russia, this figure is incomparably less. However, even despite the crisis, road construction is one of the few areas that was not affected by budget cuts.
Long-lasting road surface depends on a whole range of reasons. Materials, technologies, preparation of land, qualifications of builders - all this directly affects the quality of the road. It is important to remember that Russia is a unique country, each region of which has individual climatic and landscape features. It is characterized by population density and, of course, traffic intensity.When designing, building and repairing the road network, all these factors must be taken into account, taking into account the presence of certain materials for road pavement in the region. Indeed, the cost of the latter, according to some estimates, is 60–70% of the cost of building the entire facility. Properly selected components ensure the longevity of the road and determine the level of traffic safety.
The main task that now stands in the way of the development of the domestic road industry is to create conditions under which the construction of high-quality roads with a long maintenance-free life will be beneficial for everyone. Of course, in this matter, the rejection of obsolete materials and the transition to a new stage of development, which is characterized by the use of innovative technologies and solutions, are of particular importance.Contrary to a strong belief, building innovations may be economically viable. Indeed, new materials significantly extend the life of the roadway, eliminating the need for frequent and expensive repairs. In this case, special attention should be paid to areas with permafrost soils and regions with difficult climatic conditions, which are characterized by seasonal freezing of soils.
Road construction in such regions is complicated by changes in the subgrade, which inevitably entails the laying of asphalt concrete pavement. The most common type of deformation in such areas is swelling, which occurs due to the expansion and movement of water into permafrost layers from warm. In addition, changes in groundwater movement can lead to their breakthrough to the surface.
Many years of experience and scientific research have proved that the durability and strength of the road surface are directly related to the correct regulation of the water-thermal regime of the subgrade. In this regard, the introduction of modern technologies and materials that can ensure long maintenance-free operation of roads in any climatic conditions, including the harsh regions of the Russian North, plays a special role.Today we can confidently say that the road network is ready for positive changes. Indeed, a recession in the economy for some industries opens up very important opportunities aimed at steady growth. The crisis forces road workers to look for new solutions designed to significantly reduce costs and at the same time increase the efficiency and quality of domestic roads.
The company "IC Glass" offers a brand new product for the Russian road industry - foam glass rubble. Foam glass was first used as a heat insulating material in the middle of the last century in the construction of one of the buildings in Canada.Due to its excellent physical and mechanical characteristics, the material quickly became widespread in road construction in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries and Germany. In Russia, for some time now, the popularity of foam glass was not so high. Experts attribute this to the lack of production technology. However, with the opening of the IC Glass production, the market situation began to change for the better.The company produces products that have no analogues in quality either in Russia or in the CIS countries. The production is based on the technology of nanostructured modification of the surface of dispersed glass.
The foam-glass crushed stone produced by the company has all the necessary test reports, technical specifications, a GOST-R certificate of conformity, a declaration of conformity with the technical regulations on fire safety requirements, a sanitary and epidemiological report, a technical certificate and technical assessment, and an expert assessment of the material's compliance with LEED, BREAM standards.
The Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship of the city of Moscow, fractioned foam glass rubble, manufactured by "IC Glass" is included in the list of priority materials and technologies used in urban sectors.
History of the invention of foam glass.
Foam glass was invented in the 1930s by Soviet academician I.I. Kitaygorodsky and in the USA in the early 1940s by Corning Glass Work. At first it was supposed to use foam glass as a floating material, but it soon became clear that it additionally has high heat and sound insulation properties, is easily machined and glued, and has been universally recognized as durable insulation for roofs, partitions, walls and floors for all types of buildings.
But in the USSR, foamglass was not widely used due to the high cost and not developed production technology. Glass for the production of foam glass was cooked on special orders, which was very expensive.
In the Soviet Union, foam glass was widely used only in the navy - in submarines (including nuclear submarines). In industrial construction for highly specialized purposes - for thermal insulation at large power plants (including nuclear power plants), at aggressive chemical plants.
Due to the high cost of Soviet foam glass, the material was not used in mass civil engineering. However, in many important civilian buildings, foamglass was still used as thermal insulation, for example, the Rossiya Hotel, the Moscow Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, the Russia Hotel, the White House, the Olimpiysky Sports Complex, the Grand Kremlin Palace (sidewalks and driveways) and etc.
Nowadays, the problem of expensive raw materials is completely solved; glass cullet is used as raw material for the production of foam glass. A very important point is the possibility of recycling glass breaks, due to which an important environmental mission is being fulfilled.
The raw material for the production of foam glass is ordinary glass, more precisely bottle cullet.
Raw materials are cleaned in special equipment, all non-glass elements (labels, dispensers, corks, etc.) are screened out.
Next, the purified cullet is crushed to 90 microns, and glass flour is obtained.
An environmentally friendly blowing agent glycerin is added to the glass flour and the raw material is ready.
Next, the finished raw material is fed to the production line (tunnel kiln), there are four of them at the plant.
Fiberglass canvas is used as a base, which will prevent glass flour from dripping and burning when foaming.
Raw materials are fed to fiberglass.
Upon entering the oven, the mixture is leveled.
The resulting homogeneous mixture is baked in a tunnel oven at a temperature of up to 950 ° C.
The glass foams and leaves the tunnel kiln already in the form of a foam glass pie. In this case, only glass remains in the product, under the influence of temperatures, all glycerin is evaporated.
Next, the finished foam-glass cake comes out of the conveyor straight into the street. Due to the large temperature difference, the cake breaks into fractions of a certain size. The size of the fractions and the density of the material are regulated by the operator and the technologist. Each batch of the product is checked by OTC controllers for compliance with the specified indicators.
Material is stored directly in the open air factory. He is not afraid of any environmental influences; he does not lose his properties over time.
The material is ready for shipment in bulk, but if necessary, the material is packed in big bags of 1.3 m3 or bags of 0.07 m3.
Important characteristics of foam glass.
Along with an attractive price, foam glass has a whole range of unique properties:
• low thermal conductivity;
• high fireproof characteristics (the material retains its original properties in the temperature range from -200 to +550 ° C;
• non-hygroscopic (softening coefficient of foam glass is 0.95, which is comparable with the performance of granite stone; in addition, the material shows tremendous resistance to aggressive environments);
• high strength with low weight (foam glass weighs only 240 kg / m³ and compressive strength is 2,038 kPa, which means that foam glass is the most durable of all existing heat-insulating materials);
• durability (the material has a record service life, which is determined, as a rule, by the life of the entire structure);
• frost resistance;
• environmental safety.
Due to the combination of heat-insulating and draining properties, the use of foam glass from ICM Glass reduces the cost of erecting a roadbed. According to experts, the use of foam glass reduces the cost of construction by 10-20%, and labor costs are reduced to 20%. The secret of such economic efficiency lies in the high simplicity and manufacturability of the installation of a layer of foam glass. Indeed, for its installation it is only necessary to set the required thickness, compact and wedge the road roller with vibration mode.
The use of foam glass eliminates the need for separate drainage structures, sand layers and reduces the bearing layer of crushed stone. This is especially true for regions in which these building materials are not available. Let's not forget that the traditional drainage products used most often in road construction have a number of significant drawbacks. As a rule, they have an extremely high weight and make the entire structure heavier, have a low compression density and are susceptible to aggressive environments. All this ultimately leads to premature aging and deformation of the roadway.
"IC Glass" offers an innovative solution that is ahead of the usual natural materials in terms of economic efficiency and the list of unique properties. After all, the layer of foam glass rubble is half that compared to traditional sand, while it performs several functions at once: drainage, which carries the base and protection against frost heaving. This, in turn, also allows you to optimize the cost of excavation (trough) and soil removal.
At the same time, foamglass compares favorably with extrusion polystyrene foam, which has recently gained distribution in road construction. Along with indisputable advantages, the latter, being a porous organic material, is inevitably susceptible to chemical destruction. In turn, foam glass demonstrates resistance to aggressive environmental influences due to both the structure of the material and its chemical composition (inert quartz glass). The use of foam glass rubble as a frost protection and drainage layer makes the road base stable for many years of operation.
The most important transport arteries already today trust the quality of products of ICM Glass. The company’s foam glass was used as a heat-insulating material during the construction of the interchange in the Lyubertsy area of the Ryazan highway of the M-5 federal highway connecting Moscow and Chelyabinsk.
The company's technologies were also recognized in the construction of an innovative road at the Fiztehpark scientific and educational complex in the city of Dolgoprudny, founded at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The facility was built as part of the state program for the creation of technology parks and is rightfully considered one of the most modern and high-tech centers in Russia. The new complex occupies about 30 thousand m² and includes research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, office rooms, leisure areas. The status of the project assumed the use of only innovative solutions and materials capable of ensuring the high quality of the facilities being built. For this reason, when arranging the roadway, ICC Glass foam was used.
Innovations in road construction are designed to significantly extend the durability and strength of the domestic road network. According to the report of FSUE “ROSDORNII”, the use of ICG Glass foam rubble is possible both during construction and reconstruction or major repairs of highways, that is, during any type of work affecting the design features of the coating. FSUE “ROSDORNII” estimates the potential use of foam-glass rubble of LLC “IC Glass Kaluga” by 48.4% of the length (42.5% by area) of existing federal highways.Experts and scientists agree that the use of innovative materials becomes economically viable at the stage of construction and subsequent operation of the pavement. It is the new technologies that are designed to improve road safety in our country.