Fabian Demicoli

FP7 Project looking for partner: Road works:Materials supplier/ producer with experience

 Integrated System for Quality
Assessment and Automating Filling of Potholes with a Synthetic Substance for
Reinforcing Patching Materials – The
Commercial Need and or Opportunity – Potholes are a problem plaguing a wide
variety of countries and climates. They represent a consistent and re-occurring
problem impacting EU road networks. Current costs to governments are
excessively high. There was an estimated €550 million directly attributed to
potholes (EU 2010), which still left a significant shortfall, and a growing
backlog of unresolved cases.

 

Although the main costs result from road repairs,
these are compounded by additional problems. A significant number of incidents
result from potholes – direct damage and injury is not uncommon and vulnerable
road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are particularly
at risk. The hazard to larger vehicles and their drivers is heightened by
indirect accidents which commonly occur as divers swerve to avoid, or lose
control after hitting potholes. Although typical claims are for minor injury
and damage to equipment, a number of cases have resulted in serious injury or
even death. The time taken to treat potholes is typically excessive. The
reality is that the total time for site survey, site preparation, treatment,
and review can reach up to 4 hours. There is also a direct impact on traffic
disruption which occurs during repairs.

Current attempts to resolve these
problems are numerous and varied. Manual labour is the most common form of
repair, involving site assessment, preparation of the hole and application of
either temporary (faster) or longer term patching materials. This is labour
intensive and slow, leading to longer disruptions, higher cost, and creating
heightened safety. Several current systems provide a more automated method,
however costs can prohibit use and there are some major restrictions – many of
them cannot operate anything but perfect weather conditions, and they still
require significant manual input, as well as sometimes producing poor results.

The Proposed
Technological Solution

The project solution is to develop an
integrated system for quality assessment and automated filling of potholes. A
new synthetic substance for reinforcing existing patching materials would also
be developed. HoleInOne follows a holistic approach to deliver a fully
automatic (a self-propelled unit assuming no repair crew and one supervisor
only) pothole patching process and machine by:

Integrating mature technologies to automate site
evaluation, pothole preparation and patch application

Implementing an end-to-end process control and in-line
quality controls with adaptive characteristics

Incorporating an expert system to facilitate the
computer-aided evaluation and decision support process

Together with the development of new,
nano-engineered, emulsified asphalt emulsion that virtually fit any application
and will lend themselves into the new (automated) process, the proposed
HoleInOne solution has the potential to achieve faster and cheaper pothole
repairs under any conditions.

Potential
Impact for the Consortium members

The companies who will decide to
participate could have long term economic benefits after the dissemination of
the idea. We believe that a realistic target is to achieve sales to value of
€10 million per annum, five years following the project's completion.

If
interested contact Abigail Mamo at GRTU.

 

 

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