Self-healing roads may be the future against evil potholes
Car owners can rejoice as Nottingham engineers are resolving that age old issue of miniature craters...
Clever clogs at The University of Nottingham have devised a way of making roads better for drivers in the future. Not only will this magical asphalt be good for tyres for car owners, but also may save a grotesque amount of government money. So what is this 'self-healing' road?
Engineers at the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre develop new types of road materials and test them out each day of the week. Normally, asphalt is created by combining mineral aggregates (sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete) alongside bitumen. The bitumen is the sticky stuff that keeps it all together and fills the gaps made by cracks in the surface.
Sadly, this takes too long, which leads to potholes, the scourge of the motor industry! But these local heroes of mine are on the front-line fight against the holes... with oil. Science is a great thing, especially when its influenced by cooking.
The idea came from an episode of the Spanish version of Masterchef, a contestant used molecular gastronomy to create spheres of liquid. This same technology can be used to create tiny spheres of oil - sunflower or tall - that can break open when cracks form. It's so effective, they show off how well it works in the video below, prepared to be amazed.
This potentially cheap and easy way to repair roads in future could save local counsels and the government, millions of pounds. Last year alone, it cost the UK government £120 million to fill in a massive 2 million potholes. Think how this tiny drop of oil can change how our roads will be in years to come.