Researchers at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) have developed composites that could be used to develop tyre-friendly and skid-proof roads. The project was initiated by Department of Materials Engineering (DME) to deliver the highest quality of composite road structure from waste rubber that can help in constructing wear,UV,water and abrasion resistant roads.
The group consisting of Sachin Jadhav,Prajith P,Prashant B Rule,Kishor J Khandale,DD Gunjal headed by Dr Balasubramanian K,head,DME,developed and carried out the initial trial in lab campus. Provisional patent has been approved and the final patent for this technology is pending.
“The existing roads use a large quantity of bitumen and gravel. Over a period of time,the binding property of bitumen deteriorates resulting in loosening of gravels and skidding of vehicles. Heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions damage bituminous roads,thus requiring frequent repairs and increases maintenance cost,” said Balasubramanian,in an e-mail.
The composite road structure developed by the researchers uses shredded tyres and tubes of military vehicle with some binders along with UV/ water/ freeze/ flame resistant additives. A trial was carried out within the DIAT campus to ensure field validation. The patch was chosen on a junction within the campus to experience maximum usage by all types of vehicles. “The road (patch) was laid layer-by-layer using hand layup process in order to obtain better and uniform distribution of mechanical properties and load in all the directions with excellent binding properties. The structure doesn’t soften easily and has good resistance to weak acid mimicked acid rain test. The roads (constructed using these composites) exhibit good crack resistance properties even at low temperature (- 20 0C). They exhibit anti-skidding properties even on sharper turns. The composite road structures will be claiming to have advantages like long lasting,heat and crack resistance,good skid resistance as well as better grip and cornering,” he added.
The use of easily available,low cost additives to impart additional properties and minimum utilization of binder formulates this as a very cost effective technology. “One km normal road requires 11-12 tonnes of bitumen each tonne costs about Rs 60,000. For every km at least a tonne of bitumen can be saved in this process. This technology is very useful for a city like Pune,” he said.