Innovation in Road Construction Technologies
It is undeniable that the road construction industry every day is looking for a greater effectiveness and efficiency in its techniques and methods. However, change in the construction environment is not willingly embraced by the construction industry and this conflict to change compromises innovation performance, and unenthusiastically impacts customer and industry goals. In other words, with rising globalisation, roads have become a very vital infrastructure in enabling the transfer of freight as well as people, making the better and sustainable development of roads very important. Innovation in road construction offers important industry and community benefits. This refers to the use of better materials for the purpose of road construction, such as solar roads, eco-friendly roads, recycled materials, foamed bitumen etc. It can be technology innovation that includes the usage of better technologies for the integration of successful innovation in this sector. Advanced technology includes the automated computerised systems of traffic indicators, having better databases, use of solar road technology or process innovation that can be implemented in this sector, including the use of better engineering practices, more harmony between the private and the public sectors, and employing better quality control in processes by the use of techniques such as Six Sigma. Moreover, there is high government spending in road construction as well as maintenance, so there is also a need for the use of innovation to find methods that will be cost effective. Also, environmental concerns around reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and reduction in pollution encourage the use of innovation for the adoption of greener methods of road construction as well as maintenance.
Discussed below are some the best innovations across the world in regard to road construction technology.
Quiet asphalt pavement options fall into four general categories. These are fine-graded surfaces, open-graded friction courses, rubberized asphalt and stone-matrix asphalt. Fine-graded surfaces are conventional asphalt mixes that are mostly composed of fine-grained particles; reducing the apparent road noise generated by the expelled air by altering its frequencies. Open-graded friction courses (OGFC) are a porous mix; with more connected voids through which air and water can escape. Rubberized asphalt contain crumbs of recycled tires that provide some flexing in the road surface as tires pass over it, allowing the air a bit more time to be forced out at lower pressure. Stone-matrix asphalt mainly uses coarse aggregate to create a stone skeleton, tied together by asphalt binders and fibers. Each of these options come with different wear, climate resistance and cost considerations. No one solution fits all roads. The downside to quiet asphalt pavement is the price tag. Depending on the option chosen, it can cost more to prepare and lay quiet asphalt roads than conventional solutions.
This is why quiet asphalt pavement tends to be financially justifiable in high-traffic urban areas where road noise is a serious concern.
Computer modelling in road construction
The use of computers and Computer Aided Design software (CAD) revolutionized highway design in the early 90´s. Standardized digital data formats have allowed engineers to exchange projects at different planning levels. Horizontal alignments, cross sections profiles and quantities on earth movements can be produced for numerous scenarios at fairly little extra amount of work once the initial planning stage has been computerized.
Dust can be suppressed before it becomes airborne. A series of nozzles discharge a chemical compound in a fine spray to materially reduce the amount of water or other liquids necessary to saturate fly ash and eliminate dust. An unpaved road stabilized with calcium chloride retains a smooth dustless surface serves as a viable cost-effective alternative to an asphalt surface treatment. controls dust and reinforces stabilization. helps improve roads when used over time. Dust Suppression uses a blend of our polymers for erosion control and dust suppression for all side Blatter and medium strips for road developments.
Porous pavement, or pervious pavement, is the newest development in green technology for road construction. It contains more rock and less oil than traditional asphalt. This combination provides a higher amount of air voids in the paved surface, causing it to be much more permeable than regular asphalt. Instead of rainwater stopping when it hits traditional asphalt and becoming runoff, porous pavement allows the rainwater to flow through its voids into a rock bed underneath. Once the rainwater passes through this filtering rock bed it is returned to the groundwater system.
Drivers on a road in the Netherlands are now being guided by glow-in-the-dark road markings. The N329 in Oss is being used to pilot the concept, which is part of the Smart Highway project by construction firm Heijmans and design firm Studio Roosegaarde. Glowing Lines is aimed at increasing visibility and safety. The idea for Glowing Lines and the broader Smart Highway project were conceived by Heijmans and Studio Roosegaarde in 2012. The Smart Highway nomenclature is perhaps a little misleading, as none of the concepts that come under its umbrella involve internet connectedness, but they are certainly smart in the sense of being clever. The project is aimed at using different technologies to create the “interactive and sustainable roads of tomorrow. Glowing Lines uses luminescent paint that is charged by solar energy during the day and then glows for up to 10 hours when it gets dark. This means that the road markings have higher visibility than those using standard paint, whilst still not requiring electricity. Glowing Lines uses luminescent paint that is charged by solar energy during the day and then glows for up to 10 hours when it gets dark. This means that the road markings have higher visibility than those using standard paint, whilst still not requiring electricity.
Dynamic Paint envisages the use of temperature sensitive paint on the roads to provide contextual information. For example, if it were to be very cold, then the usually transparent paint would become visible and display warning messages.
Anti Icing Roads
Many people have heard the term deicing, which is the melting of ice and snow. But anti-icing is less understood, even though it has become increasingly important in recent years, as evidenced by the sight, reassuring to motorists, of trucks spraying salt brine before a snowstorm. Anti-icing prevents frozen precipitation from bonding to a road’s surface. In some circumstances, anti-icing can significantly cut the cost of maintaining a safe road surface when compared to conventional deicing. The main anti-icing material used is a saturated solution of road salt in water, called brine.
Anti-icing has several advantages:
The roadway surface never becomes impassable.
Anti-icing returns road surfaces to normal faster, resulting in fewer accidents and delays.
Crews can cover more territory by beginning treatment in advance of a storm.
Salt is used more efficiently because carefully controlled brine spray doesn’t bounce or blow off the road surface.
This saves money and minimizes potential losses to the environment. If a storm is delayed, salt residue remains on the road, ready to.
Pavement piezoelectric energy harvesting technique is to use a Piezoelectric Energy Harvester (PEH) to convert the mechanical energy of vehicles into electrical energy. A lot of research has been done on the technology of piezoelectric energy collection, but it is mainly focused on the theoretical model and the laboratory tests and lacks the on-site performance evaluation. In this paper, a stacked array type PEH is designed with protection package, which can improve the performance and the service life of the PEH.
Piezoelectric energy generation utilizes the strain caused by vehicles over asphalt road surface due to gravity and harnessing kinetic energy or vibrations from moving vehicles. These vibrations from moving vehicles are nothing but imbalance caused by strain of a tire on gravel road (asphalt road). In order to capture and harness such an energy, a piezoelectric transducer by nature is a perfect device as piezoelectric materials react to “compression” to produce electrical output. Since asphalt road comprises finer gravel and a structure almost similar to cement roads, piezoelectric generator has to be highly sensitive and closer to impact in theory. In order to achieve a highly sensitive piezoelectric transducer, the selection and structure of material are vital, such that the material withstands various load conditions along with environmental factors. This leads to investigations amongst the existing material that exhibits maximum displacement such as barium titanate(BiTiO3) and lead zirconate titanate (PZT) as performed in our previous study. It was reported that California was supposedly aim to Test Using Road Rumbles as a Power Source. Most energy-harvesting schemes are on a human scale, like using your swinging arms to power a wristwatch or your dancing legs to power a nightclub’s sound-and-light show. Why not go big by harvesting the road vibrations caused by cars and trucks? That’s the idea behind California’s newly funded experiment to turn road rumble into watts. It would rely on piezoelectric crystals, which produce a bit of current when you squeeze them. Such crystals are often used in audio equipment to turn sounds into signals or vice versa, but if you put enough of them together, they could run streetlights, sensors and other useful highway equipment.
Intelligent Network Highways
Travelling in a self-driving vehicle at 150kph along an intelligent highway that offers automatic charging and toll-paying functionality on the go will no longer be a sci-fi concept in China.
A super highway, extending 161km and equipped with intelligent transportation sys-tems to support autonomous vehicles, is ex-pected to break ground by 2022 in Zhejiang province, its transport authority said.The highway, connecting Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Ningbo three relatively prosperous cities is designed to ease traffic congestion on the highway linking Hangzhou and Ningbo, and aims to reduce travel time by a third to just 60 minutes.The ultimate goal is to realise a top speed limit of 150kph, or even eliminate speed limits, like on German highways, said Ren Zhong, deputy director of transport for Zhejiang.The intelligent highway system will allow vehicles to freely flow past toll booths, which means drivers do not need to stop and charges will be automatically billed, he said.
The highway will have an emphasis on electric vehicle support with charging piles and solar-power electricity generators. Ren said it will also employ charge-as-you-drive battery-charging technology that will be realised in 2022.