Self repairing roads are the need of India’s dreadful road infrastructure:
Netherlands, a small country in Europe, is working on self repairing roads. The scientific community in the Netherlands is working on the universal problem of fixing potholes. In a country like India, we can simply say that it is the need of the hour.
In India, there is increase in the number of fatalities due to potholes. The majority of accidents are happening only due to poor road infrastructure. Misappropriation and mismanagement of resources are some other problems associated with falling road infrastructure.
Self repairing roads may be the cure. These roads can increase the life span of the road. As a result, the expenditure on road infrastructure can be reduced drastically. Hence, we will get good roads with less to almost no maintenance.
Generally the roads consist of two materials; asphalt and concrete. The scientists are working on same materials by changing properties of these materials. Large amounts of roads worldwide are built on these two materials and working on these materials will save millions of dollars.
How self repairing roads work?
Eric Schlangen, a material scientist at Delft University in The Netherlands, is working on self healing asphalt. His asphalt can heal itself when cracked by external forces. He added small steel fibres in asphalt, making it conductive. When external heat is applied by an induction machine, the asphalt and steel fibres also heat up. As a result, the cracks heal themselves.
This technology is in nascent stage as it is not entirely self healing. We still need an external induction source like a large magnet. But, similar conditions could be achieved thru' the sun. With further development in materials, the countries having better sunshine may implement this technology.