Graphene Trial

case study

Graphene Trial

We are proud to be involved in a new trial that could revolutionise the way public highways are resurfaced in the UK

All of us behind the project hope the addition of a new strengthening compound to traditional surfacing material could double the lifespan of roads, greatly reducing future maintenance - and the associated traffic delays - as well as halving the carbon footprint associated with such work.

The trial in Chelmsford is being undertaken by our team at Essex Highways which supplies highway services to Essex County Council. Crucial to the project has been our ability to bring in the expertise of one of our shareholding companies Eurovia UK, and, in particular, their specialist asset management consultancy Jean Lefebvre UK (JLUK), and partners.

Key to the innovation is a technology called Gipave, developed by the Italian company Iterchimica which, for the first time in the UK, is being added to traditional surfacing material.

Gipave contains graphene – which is 200 times stronger than steel yet extremely flexible – making the asphalt far less susceptible both to hardening and cracking in cold temperatures and softening in warm temperatures. It also increases the elasticity and strength to reduce the wear, particularly under high loading.

Gipave further reduces environmental impacts and carbon emissions (up to 70%) as it contains a specific type of selected hard plastic, which is usually considered non-reusable, avoiding less sustainable disposal methods such as landfill.

JLUK has been fully testing and developing the materials used in the trial in the UK, which have been produced locally through one of Eurovia’s East London asphalt manufacturing facilities.

It’s an exciting project and we look forward to seeing the results of the trial and what potential environmental and economic benefits the graphene solution might bring to the county – and indeed the rest of the UK.

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