Kent County Council set to trial sustainable graphene asphalt on roads

A trial of an extra-strong resurfacing material is being carried out by Kent County Council to prevent potholes and cracks for longer.

Gipave, a graphene-enhanced asphalt, is being used in Dartford and is less likely to soften in the heat or harden and crack in colder temperatures.

If successful, it is hoped the durable material will be rolled out across the county , lowering the costs to the council for maintenance as well as reducing carbon emissions and the amount of disruption to road users.

KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “We’ll be trialling 350m of this new material on East Hill in Dartford, alongside a further 350m with traditional surfacing, and we very much look forward to seeing the results.

“Work will start today (Thursday) and we’ll be laying it on the western side which we’ve chosen to give the material a rigorous test due to the nature of the road layout and gradient.

“Once work is complete on July 2, we’ll be closely monitoring the scheme to see how it holds up against traffic, the summer and the winter weather. We will also be carrying out laboratory testing to have a comparison against traditional materials.”

KCC, along with its contractor Amey, has been working with Italian graphene specialist Iterchimica as the material has been used in Italy’s roads and airport runways.

Laboratory testing in Italy reported improvement in asphalt lifetime of up to 150% for like-for-like replacement and a reduction of raw materials being used of up to 60% over the road’s life cycle.

David Ogden, Business Director at Amey, said: “The Live Labs project is all about working in collaboration to find innovative solutions to sector challenges. We’re always looking for new ways to provide best value for our customers and their communities, so we’re delighted to be working with Kent County Council to trial this new product.

“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.”

This trial forms part of the ADEPT Smart Live Labs project in Kent and is one of many trials of key innovations taking place that will enable highways staff to make intelligent operational decisions based on machine learning and data science analytics.

Some of the trials that have been identified include intelligent traffic modelling devices, computer vision that will assess the rate at which the road surfaces degrade and provide information that will assist staff when making decisions on when a new road scheme needs to be built.

ADEPT represents local authority, county, unitary and metropolitan Directors.

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9 million project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP.

Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.

Notes to editors

For more information about ADEPT and the ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme, please contact Julie Everett at Coast Communications on 07866002635 or email julie@coastmarcoms.co.uk

About the ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme
The ADEPT SMART Places Programme is a five-year project examining and developing innovation to enable the adoption of innovative and digital technology across the local highway network.

The initial research report ‘Digital Innovation: The route to the highways systems of the future’ was published in October 2017. In January 2019, ADEPT secured £22.9 million funding from the Department for Transport for Phase 3 of the programme which will see the development of eight individual Live Labs projects led by local authorities with university and private sector partners.

The Live Labs are piloting innovation across SMART communications, transport, highways maintenance, energy, materials and mobility. The ADEPT SMART Places programme has been developed with partners: SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, 02, Ringway and WSP.

About ADEPT
The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) represents local authority county, unitary and metropolitan Place Directors. Operating at the strategic tier of local government, members are responsible for delivering public services that primarily relate to the physical environment and the economy, but which have a significant impact on all aspects of the nation’s well-being.

ADEPT represents members’ interests by proactively engaging central Government on emerging policy and issues, promoting initiatives aimed at influencing Government policy and through the development of best practices and responding to European and UK Government initiatives and consultations.

Out wider membership includes Local Enterprise Partnerships, Combined Authorities, Sub-national Transport Bodies and Corporate Partners.
For more information on ADEPT please visit the website: www.adeptnet.org.uk

About Iterchimica
Iterchimica S.r.l. is an Italian company founded in 1967 by Gabriele Giannattasio that operates in over 90 countries in the market of asphalt additives. It manufactures and sells products that enhance asphalt properties and road surfaces, making them safer, more environmentally sustainable, more efficient, and better performing.

The technologies developed by Iterchimica allow to use very high percentages of reclaimed asphalt (up to 100%), reducing the extraction of new materials from quarries and first-use bitumen. Moreover, the use of specific additives ensures the production and laying of asphalts at lower temperatures, with consequent savings in energy consumption and reductions in the emissions of CO2eq.

The company works together with Contracting Authorities, construction firms, General Contractors, and design studios during design and construction as well as maintenance, providing technical support and products. Iterchimica’s laboratories have been certified by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (M.I.U.R.). The company maintains ongoing partnerships with leading Italian and international universities specialised in road surfaces and chemical-technological research. Iterchimica is a member and founder of Siteb (Strade ITaliane E Bitumi), the Italian roads and bitumen association.

Kent County Council set to trial sustainable graphene asphalt on roads was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Thom Morris