National Highways will be trialling the use of graphene - a material only one atom thick - in its road surfacing to see if it prolongs its lifespan.
If successful, using this high-tech product could see the operational life of key road features extended by a number of years, reducing the frequency of roadworks and making journeys for road users smoother and more reliable. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Graphene Market & 2D Materials Assessment 2021-2031.
The revolutionary resurfacing will take place along three miles of the northbound carriageway between Newton on the Moor and West Cawledge, south of Alnwick, from Sunday 19 September to Monday 1 November.
National Highways Asset Needs Manager Graeme Watt said: "This is an exciting time for National Highways. We are constantly striving to improve the journeys of our customers and graphene has real potential to do that. Laboratory trials have been a success and the on-site trials in Northumberland will be a world first use of graphene in road production, which enforces our commitment to innovation and helps to push the industry towards more carbon-friendly maintenance with longer-lasting solutions which we all benefit from. Graphene's benefits are industry-changing. It's stronger than steel and adding it to other materials can turn them into super materials. From what we've seen so far, it could make some of our assets last significantly longer."
Graphene is the name for a single sheet of carbon atoms, arranged in a honeycomb pattern. It is the building block of graphite — pencil lead — and is an incredibly strong, conductive and flexible material. It can be used in a wide range of applications, from aerospace engineering to digital electronics and biomedicine.
National Highways is carrying out the trials with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester and Pavement Testing Services (PTS).
Source and top image: Uk Government