The Future of Self Healing Asphalt Pavement
Asphalt is known to be easy to be applied as pavements. Although it is easy, asphalt is not that durable, as it is susceptible to weariness and damages, for example, potholes. Potholes occur when water separates the adhesion bond between the aggregate and bitumen. Recently, new breakthroughs are popping as scientists have found what could be the solution for potholes. They found out that by applying certain additives, asphalt self-healing properties can be improved greatly.
The self-healing properties can be greatly improved under certain temperatures. As for the additives themselves, there are three known additives or methods that could be done: by incorporating nanoparticles, induction heating, and rejuvenation. However, the most promising method is the induction heating pioneered by Minsk back in 1968. The induction heating is done by adding steel fibres in the asphalt mixture and when cracks are seen to be developing, electrical current flows into the asphalt which is a result would “warm” the asphalt which ultimately will promote the asphalt to fill the problematic cracks.
As of now, this method has been experimented on public road pavements in the Netherlands by Erik Schlangen, a professor from Delft University. Schlangen stated that even though incorporating this method would cost 25% more than the conventional asphalt pavement, the life of the pavements would be doubled and could save millions in costs. Applying this method might be a good solution to minimize cost and reducing pollutions, as asphalt needs to be reapplied every time it shows damages.
Tabaković, A., & Schlangen, E. (2015). Self-healing technology for asphalt pavements. In Self-healing materials (pp. 285-306). Springer, Cham.