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The “fever” of graphene reaches the roads: in the United Kingdom they are going to try to insert it into an existing motorway for the first time

Graphene is a material that caused a lot of excitement after its discovery about 15 years ago due to its resistance and other qualities that placed it in the future of many instruments and areas, from components to genetics. And the last thing is a project to create the world’s first road with graphene.

The idea comes precisely from the resistance which has been shown to have graphene, theoretically 200 times greater than steel and greater than kevlar (in fact, it is used, among other things, as bulletproof armor). A quality that they hope will be useful in creating roadways that can last longer.

Something less than 5 kilometers to roll on it in November

The test will be done on an existing road in the UK, adding a layer of this material after modifying the initial road. As they have communicated on the British government website, will cover three miles (about 4.83 kilometers) of the motorway, more or less between the city of Newton on the Moor and West Cawledge, towards the northeast of Great Britain.

The idea is that the useful life of roads is prolonged with this addition. As they comment, it is the first time that graphene will be combined with recycled asphalt, although there have already been previous experiments and it is an idea that has been considered for a long time. In the BBC they explain that, in this regard, tests have previously been done with gipave, which incorporates plastic pellets.

Graphene Structure

Graphical representation of the graphene atom pattern. Image: AlexanderAlUS

The elements of the periodic table are present in everything around us.  This graph shows it

Graeme Watt, Head of National Highways, explains that the lab tests have been successful and they hope this will carry over to this first road test. What will be done is scraping the existing asphalt on the road (the A1) and integrating the graphene, so that a new road does not have to be created.

The approximate section that will be used for the test.The approximate section that will be used for the test.

The reform will begin on September 19 and is expected to finish on November 1. After that, on November 3 the tests and the useful life of the road will be monitored, studying whether effectively with graphene it can be prolonged and have a less demanding maintenance, as they seek.

Although graphene may not have turned out to be as miraculous as it has been possible to think (nor is it spared from having an environmental impact), it is an element that continues to be useful in some fields and after this experiment it may be proposed that it be so in the commonly used roads. Of course, here we already saw that borophene came strong to snatch the podium from graphene from the most exotic and promising element, so let’s not rule out that there are road experiments with it.