The notoriously congested M25 has undergone a revolution of late. Recently, a new concrete repair technique has been trialled on a stretch of road that saw countless crashes over the past couple of months, and the results are outstanding. The trial, surprisingly, involves a new concrete repair system, and initial testing shows that it is cutting driver delays by around 80%.
The joint venture on behalf of a number of companies has seen lane closure fall from 1,500 hours a year to just 300 and has significantly reduced traffic congestion in the area as a direct result.
How Does it Work?
First used in the aviation industry, rapid cure concrete works has lowered road closure times by limiting the amount of time that it takes for the concrete to dry after repairs are carried out. A standard concrete mix is used to carry out the repairs but, while it is being mixed, a super-plasticiser and curing accelerator are added to the mixture; making it set quickly.
This is not the only product on trial as part of the scheme, and other techniques have been in use to prevent road closure. As well as quick drying concrete, the scheme has piloted the idea of pre-cutting the old concrete, eyelet fitting for quick removal and quick dry heating tents. All in all, the process has been reduced by 24 hours on average, with one overnight closure rather than two now being sufficient in most instances.
What Are The Advantages?
Well, as well as drying quickly and preventing road closures as much as possible, the scheme has also made sure that the road repair service is safer for those involved as they spend far less time exposed to oncoming traffic.
With concrete making up 10% of the M25 and 4% of UK motorways in general, the cost of repairs is also incredibly large and comes at great expense to the tax payer. A reduce in labour costs due to a shorter drying time should limit this cost as much as possible.
Is There A Home Renovation Use?
Also quick dry concrete would be useful for home renovation plans, the cost would be an issue for those looking to renovate or construct using the substance. However, time saving measures are now engulfing the market and, if you’re looking to save on labour costs, companies such as JP Concrete have started supplying precast concrete moulds that are suitable for commercial and domestic use.
Concrete may have a ‘brutal reputation’ of sorts in the construction industry, but these technological innovations are making it more accessible and practical than ever before. So, with technological improvements and aesthetic improvements combining, 2014 could very well be the year of concrete construction.