It’s a new month…a new year! Often, the New Year is a time to look back at where we came from and look forward to what lies ahead. Inspiration and innovation typically go hand in hand, which is why for this month’s Love 2 Pave article, we’re exploring the paving possibilities yet to come.
Dutch civil engineer Erik Schlangen turned heads with his 2012 TED Talk…all about asphalt. The concept is simple, but revolutionary—by throwing strands of steel wool into the bitumen/aggregate mix that comprises asphalt, it becomes self-healing. Just add induction heating…and the asphalt becomes liquid and malleable again. Schlangen estimates that roadways using this technology would only require repairs every 4 years or so, and could double the life of the pavement.
Again, the Dutch seem to be at the forefront of revolutionary paving technologies. Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands has several futuristic concepts in the works for their “Smart Highway.” Glow-in-the-dark pavement lining, which absorbs energy during the day and glows bright at night, has already been implemented as a pilot for a stretch of road near Oss. Other projects include temperature-sensitive paint incorporated into the pavement, which light up when road conditions could be icy, and an induction lane for electric cars, which will charge the cars as they drive on it.
The pavement of the future might not even be asphalt—it might be glass! Solar Roadways is a company that has created a modular system of solar panels that can be walked and driven on. They contain LED lights that can create lines and signage without paint. They can even be heated in the winter to keep snow and ice from accumulating on surfaces. And it’s all done with clean, renewable solar energy.
Whatever the future holds for asphalt and paving, you can be sure that Black Diamond will be there—evolving with the new trends and technology—keeping your property looking as beautiful and timeless as a diamond.