Kent County Council trial sustainable graphene asphalt on roads
A trial of an extra-strong resurfacing material is being carried out by Kent County Council (KCC) to prevent potholes and cracks for longer. This work is being carried out in partnership with KCC’s contractor Amey Plc, working with Italian graphene specialist Iterchimica.
Gipave, a graphene-enhanced asphalt, is less likely to soften in the heat or harden and crack in colder temperatures. If this trial is 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.
350m of the graphene enhanced material has been laid on the western side of East Hill in Dartford which was chosen to give the material a rigorous test due to the nature of the road layout and gradient. The graphene enhanced asphalt has been laid alongside a further 350m of traditional surfacing so that comparisons in durability can be made over the next few months and years. Laboratory testing will also be carried out to give a comparison against traditional materials.
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.
The scheme started on the 25th June and finished on the 4th July. We laid circa. 600 tonnes of Gipave and 600t of SMA, equating to a Gipave area of approximately 2,700m2 of full-width carriageway resurfacing (on a scheme with 5,578m2 total)