26.06.20

Kent County Council to trial sustainable graphene asphalt

Kent County Council will trial sustainable graphene asphalt on roads in Dartford, to prevent cracks and potholes for longer at a greater benefit to the evironment. 

The extra-strong material will be used to resurface damaged roads as the graphene-enhanced asphalt is less likely to soften in the heat of harden and crack in colder temperatures.

If successful, graphene on roads will lower costs for Councils as maintenance for repairs will be less frequent as well as reduce carbon emissions and disruption to road users. It is hoped that the graphene will eventually be rolled out across the country.

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 (June 25) 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.”

Research in Italy shows 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.

It supports the Council’s many other trials of innovations through the ADEPT Smart Live Labs project in Kent to improve highways using data, including intelligent traffic modelling devices, computer vision that will assess road surface degradation and inform staff making decisions on future road schemes.

The ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport and represents local authority, county, unitary and metropolitan Directors.

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