Self healing concrete and asphalt: Erik Schlangen at TEDxDelft

Self healing concrete and asphalt: Erik Schlangen at TEDxDelft

Translator: Bob Prottas
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo (Crackling) (Thud) (Laughter) (Microwave beeping) You probably all agree with me
that this is a very nice road. It’s made of asphalt. Asphalt is a very nice material
to drive on. But, not always,
especially not on days as today, when it’s raining a lot. Then you have a lot of splashing
water on the asphalt, and especially if you ride
your bicycle and cars pass you, then that’s not very nice. Also, asphalt can create
a lot of noise. It’s a noisy material, and if we build roads,
like in the Netherlands, very close to cities,
then we would like a quiet road. We have solutions for that. The solution for that is
to make roads out of porous asphalt. Porous asphalt material
that we use now in most of the highways
in the Netherlands, it has pores, and water
can just rain through it, like you see in this image. So all the rain water
will flow away to the side, and you have a road easy to drive on, so no splashing water anymore. Also the noise will disappear
into these pores, because it’s very hollow,
all the noise will disappear, so it’s a very silent road. It also has disadvantages, of course. A disadvantage of this road
is that reveling can occur. What is reveling? You see that in this road
the stones at the surface come off. So what actually happens,
first you get one stone, then several more, and more, and more, and more, and then they — I will not do that. (Laughter) But they can damage your windshield, so you’re not happy with that. Finally, this reveling can also lead
to more and more damage like you see in the next image, sometimes you can create
potholes with that. (Microwave beeping) Hah, it’s ready. Potholes, of course,
can become a problem. But we have a solution. Here you can see how the damage
appears in this material. It’s a porous asphalt, like I said, there is only a small amount
of binder between the stones, and this binder,
due to weathering, due to UV light, due to oxidation,
this binder, this bitumen, the glue between the aggregates
is going to shrink. And if it shrinks, it gets microcracks, and it delaminates from the aggregates, and then if you drive over the road you kick out the aggregates,
which we just saw here. To solve this problem,
we thought of self-healing materials. If you can make these materials
self-healing, then probably, we have a solution. So what we do is use steel wool, used to clean pans,
like you see in the picture, and the steel wool we can cut
into very small pieces, and these very small pieces,
we can mix into the bitumen. Then you have asphalt with
very small pieces of steel wool in it. Then you need a machine,
like you see here, that is used for cooking,
an induction machine. Induction can heat especially steel,
it’s very good at that. And then what you do is you melt — you heat up the steel,
you melt the bitumen, and the bitumen will flow
into these microcracks, and the stones are again
fixed to the surface. Today I used a microwave, because I cannot bring the big
induction machine to heat on the stage, so I microwaved, it’s a similar system. So I put the specimen in,
which I’m going to take out to see what happened. I need my gloves again. This is the specimen coming out now. We have such an industrial
machine in the lab, to heat up the specimens. We tested a lot of specimens there, and then the government,
they actually saw our results, and they thought, Well, that’s very interesting.
We have to try that. So they donated to us
a piece of highway, 400 meters of the A58,
close to Vilssingen, where we had to make
a test track to test this material. So that’s what we did here, you see
where we’re making the test road, and then, of course,
this road will last several years, without any damage,
that’s what we know from practice. So we took a lot of samples
from this road, and we tested them in the lab. So we did aging on the samples, did a lot of loading on it, healed them with our induction machine, healed them, tested them again. Again broke them, healed them,
several times we can repeat that. So actually the conclusion
from this research is that if you go on the road every
4-years with our heating machine– this is the big version we have made
to go on the real road — if you go on the road every 4-years we can double the service life
of this road, which, of course,
saves a lot of money. To conclude, I can say
that we made a material using steel fibers,
additional steel fibers, and using induction energy, to really increase
the service life of the road, even double the service life, really save a lot of money
with very simple tricks. And now you’re of course
curious if it also worked. So I still have the specimen
here, it’s quite warm. Actually it has to cool down first, before I can show you
that the healing works, but I will do a trial. Let’s see — Yeah, it worked! Thank you. (Applause)

Comments (22)

  1. now what are you going to do about the HIGH LEVELS of TOXICITY of the substance? IN California, it was one of the first group of Prop 65 Substances–industrial substances in such common use they needed to have serious restrictions put on them. Asphalt exposure changed my life! Toxic Encephalopathy, BLIND & on supplemental oxygen for more than 5 years. I beat what MD's said I'd never beat & got back my sight–I still have neurological issues that demand a constant lifestyle of self-healing.

  2. You are supposed to drive on it not eat it.

  3. How do you get asphalt in your system, did you pulverize it and then inhaled it or something, the fuck.

  4. Ever been at a red light next to an asphalt truck & feel sick? That's cos it's TOXIC. Industrial installations of asphalt (like on a street) in Cali require at least 24 hours notice before installation within 75 feet of a residence–to allow residents a chance to go away during the most dangerous time–when it is mixed, prepped, hot & the fumes are at their most toxic. Read asphalt’s MSDS. & my story’s in my TED bio.

  5. Maybe in the USA, but in the netherlands nah.

  6. im sure that industrial waste and scum from garbage incineration is dumped into asphalt worldwide 😉

  7. Terminator house that regenerates itself, The terminator city that regenerates itself. 😀

  8. Not really 'self healing' if you need to use a machine to do it, but I guess it's still better than having to keep laying new road

  9. I'm not sure this video has the right title, it's appears to only be self-healing asphalt, not concrete, I've never heard of concrete with bitumen in it, and this technology is directly correlated with bitumen (and mixing in steel threads)

  10. HEaling? you put it in a machine. You heat it, and thats not healing. I may as well put a glue on it. Healing is when you left it there to crack and found out later that its together again..

  11. If you look closely, the crack was still there. What exactly does this do?

  12. The water laying on the road surface which then being struck by a tire at speed causes cavitation is the main factor for road destruction, so the porous surface is the best structure, but wouldnt the sun every summer at peek heat do pretty much the same thing.


  14. "Buttholes.. but of course that can become a problem." – Jorgen von Strangle

  15. interesting !!! good work Erik

  16. 4 years ago today!

  17. Thanks to TEDx Talks for engineering talks, Kindly bring more and more research scholar to present their research on TEDx Talks.

  18. i want know what is that solution at first he dipped in to

  19. There is a concrete that heals itself. It is mixed with a bacteria that creates calcium when the concrete cracks and fills it in.

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