Amey, Iterchimica to trial sustainable graphene-based asphalt in the UK

WCN Editorial Team 26 Jun 2020 EUROPE TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Amey, a UK-based infrastructure management company, has collaborated with Iterchimica, an Italian asphalt additives company, to trial sustainable graphene-based asphalt in Kent, UK.

The trial will take place as part of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) Smart Places Live Labs programme funded by the Department for Transport.

It will involve resurfacing an existing road on East Hill, Dartford, with new Gipave asphalt product, bringing several benefits to the local authority.

Gipave is a polymeric super-modifier that has graphene and a selected type of hard plastic. It was used in trials on asphalt resurfacing at several sites in Italy including a number of roads and airport runways.

Developed by Iterchimica, the product is claimed to have been the result of a three-year research in collaboration with Directa Plus, G.Eco and the University of Milano Bicocca.

The graphene used in the super-modifier is produced by Directa Plus, a supplier of graphene-based products.

Amey business director David Ogden said: “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to provide best value for our customers and their communities, so we’re delighted to be working with Iterchimica and our client, Kent County Council to trial this new product as part of our Live Labs programme.

“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.”

Some of the benefits include extending the life cycle of the asset while the cost and maintenance requirements could also be reduced, along with the reduction to carbon emissions and the amount of disruption to road users through a limited amount of road works taking place.

In addition to the recycling of selected waste plastics, the Gipave asphalt could also be recycled entirely.

Iterchimica CEO Federica Giannattasio said: “We are proud of working together with Kent County Council and Amey on this trial, which allows us to assess the effectiveness of graphene-enhanced asphalt pavements.

“Gipave, enhanced by G+ graphene produced by our partner Directa Plus, is an innovative technology that allows to obtain longer-lasting, high-tech, sustainable and 100% recyclable asphalt pavements.

“Moreover, we are confident that it will represent a technological breakthrough also for the purposes of maintenance and new construction works, generating environmental and economic benefits.”

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport. Nine local authorities are working on projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways, maintenance, data, energy and communications.

The project is supported by project partners including SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP.

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Amey and Iterchimica to trial graphene asphalt in UK. (Credit: Amey Plc.)

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