UK-based highway contractor Amey and the Kent County Council are getting ready to test out a new graphene-based asphalt supermodifier called Gipave, an Italian-produced material that promises to extend the usable life of pavement.
The trial kicked off on June 25 and is set to run through July 2. Amey and the Kent County Council have surfaced a 1,150-foot (350 meter) stretch of road in East Hill in Dartford with the Gipave asphalt, which was placed right beside a stretch of regular asphalt. The two stretches of pavement will then be compared after the conclusion of the trial period.
Gipave is made from hard plastic and graphene, and it’s already seen successful tests in resurfacing roads and airport runways in Italy. Tests have shown Gipave to boost the usable life of paved roads by more than 2.5 times that of conventional asphalt.
“Using this technology as part of our maintenance programmes could see us create more durable asphalt that could improve customer safety, the lifespan of our roads, as well as reducing impacts on journey time which brings with it many environmental and carbon reduction benefits,” said Amey director David Ogden.
Gipave was developed by Iterchimica, in collaboration with Directa Plus, G.Eco and University of Milano Bicocca, with Directa Plus providing the G+ graphene for the endeavor. The team hopes the breakthrough will lead to longer-lasting roadways that lead to more sustainable paving.