Vast new 'road train' reprocesses and relays asphalt on the fly
Did you know that there is more than 15 million kilometres of paved roads and highways worldwide? That’s about twenty trips to the moon and back.
Equally, governments and local authorities worldwide spend an estimated US$100 billion every year in an attempt to keep the roadways functional and safe, or at least, they should do. In fact roads everywhere are left to crumble or simply patched-up with corrections being left until it is too late.
Of course, uneven and pot-holed roads are not good for any vehicle, and can be downright dangerous when run over by trucks. The condition of the tarmac is also affected by the climate. In answer to this, a special asphalt recycling machine has landed in the region.
Built by Canadian firm Martec, the hot-in-place road ‘train’ reduces, recycles and re-lays blacktop on the fly. The equipment was revealed in the scorching afternoon sun in Jebel Ali on Monday.
Already popular in both north and south America, the makers claim that the machine can slash repaving costs by more than a third, and over half the amount of time, without sacrificing road quality.
The core of the recycling machine is the AR2000 Super Recycler, which comprises of a pre-heater unit to melt the tarmac. The product is then milled on the machine while hot, and various admixtures are introduced as required.
From there, the mix goes through a post-heater and dryer which ensures the mix is consistent, and has no excess water in it. From this point, the mix is relayed directly to a paver.
Hot in Place
The leviathan hot-in-place paver is the first in the Gulf, and has arrived in the UAE as the county’s first generation of macadam roads are in need of resurfacing. Initially, the equipment is to see service in Abu Dhabi, and then, the maker hopes, the technology will be taken up across the rest of the GCC.
Martec has formed an alliance with local firm Bund Contracting to bring the machine to the Middle East. Speaking at the launch, Vincent Barboza, an executive manager at the Martec-Bund corporation said: “The machine will reduce time and costs – and in most cases actually increase paving quality.”
Industrial recycling for the municipalities has come a long way in 2010. Apart from the tarmac machine, we have also seen the launch of a tyre recycling plant in Sharjah. The plant run by environmental body Bee’ah also turns waste material into road surface – in this case by turning rubber crumb into blacktop.
Elsewhere, a building waste reprocessing plant has opened in Abu Dhabi. Among other roles, the Lippman-powered plant turns rubble into hard core for use in road beds.