Technology


UNIQUE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC – PERMANENT POTHOLE REPAIRS USING THE MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY

Road potholes represent a huge issue, annoying not only drivers, but also mayors of municipalities. The poor condition of roadways has effect not only on the vehicle wearing out, but also mainly on the road traffic safety.

A unique patented technology ensures in-depth heating up of asphalt layer of the place of repair up to the technological temperature without the asphalt mixture degradation, enabling to achieve high strength and durability of the repaired area.

To determine exactly the place of technological heating up, the edge of pothole is simply covered with liquid penetrating agent.

The liquid agent has got a high-level capability of absorbing the microwave energy and convert it to heat.

This will ensure sufficient energy concentration in the defined area in the pothole surroundings and the optimum heating through of the material across the whole cross section of the wearing course up to the depth of 10 cm.

Repair method using the microwave heating up proves to be energy efficient, environmentally friendly, with uniform penetration through the asphalt layer and without undesirable burn-out and asphalt binder degradation and as a whole this repair method is more advantageous than other asphalt surface and mixture heating up methods.

This method is suitable also for the repairs of wet or frozen areas, because thanks to the effects of the microwave radiator a complete dryout of the area being repaired will occur.

 


Heating up the asphalt surface – for what reason and which method is the most suitable?

When repairing asphalt surface potholes, the basic prerequisite consists in closing up the original roadway surface in the best possible manner, which means to bind the original surface with the newly added material. Various asphalt emulsions have been normally used for this purpose, these, however, do not accomplish to ensure permanently an ideal binding of both surfaces.

The ideal binding may be achieved only by heating the original surface up to the technological temperature by adding hot asphalt mixture and their homogenization – binding.

Various solutions, working mostly on the principle of infrared radiator, are currently used. These, however, proved to be totally unsuitable for local pothole repairs due to direct heat action and thus caused burn out of the asphalt binder including the possibility of its surface blazing up.

The second crucial issue is the shallow heating through of the asphalt layer thanks to low heat conductivity of asphalt. These issues may be solved by using the microwave technology generally known from common life.

These issues have been completely eliminated by using the microwave heating.


POTHOLE REPAIRS USING MICROWAVE RADIATION

MICROWAVE RADIATION – IT MAY BE USED ALSO FOR POTHOLE REPAIRS AND NOT ONLY IN HOUSEHOLDS.

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves, where mainly 2450 MHz frequency is used. This includes non-ionizing non-destructive low energy radiation, which, at low outputs, is not dangerous to living organisms.

Microwaves penetrate through most of materials (air, glass, plastics, nonpolar substances and alike), in the same way the light penetrates glass. In materials, absorbing the microwaves, the microwave energy is converted to heat. The third case is the situation, when the material neither absorbs the microwaves nor they penetrate it, i.e. the microwave reflection occurs as in the case e.g. metal materials.

In case of substances absorbing the microwaves, in the electric field will occur the orientation of molecules, depending on the polarity, which, in case of high frequency electromagnetic field, changes several times per second. This will trigger oscillating vibrations, rotation, friction and molecular collisions (dielectric loss). This will show itself as the heat, i.e. the conversion of microwave energy to heat energy will occur.

This principle is currently used, beside the home use, also in industry for food defrosting, drying timber, books and alike.


Advantages of microwave heating of asphalt material

  • Material is heated up across the whole cross section – microwave radiation runs through the whole wearing course of the asphalt surface  
  • No asphalt binder degradation by material overheating occurs – thanks to uniform heating up, the temperature, to which the material is heated up, may be controlled in the optimum manner.

Main differences between FUTTEC technology and the traditional one:

  • Longer life cycle and durability of the repaired surface of the asphalt surface thanks to the homogenization of the repair mixture and the original surface,
  • Reduction of the repair time (savings in terms of human resources and shortening of traffic limitations with the impact on the traffic safety and fluidity),
  • Minimization of technical means required for the repairs (e.g. no need for milling of the impaired area, carrying away material, or sealing of the formed gaps),
  • Minimum waste material – solely impurities (dust, fallen leaves or water will be simply vacuumed) to be removed,
  • Using the repair material solely to the extent of the surface fault – pothole,
  • No need for any binding agent or sealant – joints are perfectly solid and homogeneous,
  • Ecology – simplification of the technological process and the amount of material required and energy used. Possibility of use of recycled asphalt,
  • All year-round operation without outside temperature limitations.

 


POTHOLE REPAIR PROCESS USING MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY

1. Pothole identification

This technology is intended for quick pothole repairs already at their formation. Precautionary repairs of already minor potholes prevent their further expansion.

Minor potholes may be repaired up to a size of 500 × 700 mm, where subbase layers have not been significantly impaired. Major impairment may be repaired in several steps.

2. Cleaning up and penetration

In the following step will occur the removal of all loose parts of the original surface and other impurities in the pothole using compresses air, or, eventually, drying.

Penetration – the absorption solution has got two main functions: making the absorption of microwave radiation more efficient, which is ensured by almost homogeneous heating of the areas, where the solution has been applied and by upgrading the quality level of the surface of the impaired area of the roadway by the fact that it causes the asphalt substance polymerization. Longer polymers of asphalt components have got better mechanical and physical properties and longer durability.

3. Heating

Action of 7,2 kW microwaves concentrated in the penetrated area. The heating time duration depends on the initial surface temperature and its humidity. With the falling temperature and higher humidity, the time required for heating up to a temperature over 110 °C will be extended.

4. Adding asphalt mixture

The asphalt mixture is preheated up to a temperature of 120–140°C. The mixture is added and graded in a slightly higher layer. The asphalt mixture is heated in parallel with road surface heating up. Thanks to heating up in the place of repair, the system is not depending on the operation of the pre-coated asphalt mixture production plants and may use the hot asphalt mixture prepared in advance in cold state.

By using the FUTTEC microwave technology will be ensured also the saving of asphalt mixtures, with which is filled only the missing mass of the asphalt layer without unnecessary milling and material disposal. In case of deeper repairs, may be used various types of mixtures on surface load and wearing course. Thus, may be achieved the maximum quality of the repair of impaired roadway and pothole.

5. Compaction

The hot asphalt mixture is graded to the level of the surrounding surface, by which will occur, at the same time, also binding of the added repair material with the original surface in the whole surroundings of the pothole.

6. Permanent pothole repair

The result consists in the repair with homogeneously bound layer of asphalt surface and the repair mixture without gaps.

This technology will be appreciated not only by companies dealing with asphalt roadway repairs, but also by cities and municipalities, to which potholes represent a huge issue. This technology is suitable for private owners of roads (motor-racing circuits, airports and alike), to whom the safety issue is crucial.


We collaborate with prominent masterminds:

This technology was developed in the Czech Republic in collaboration with the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Moreover, in an extensive international competition and as one of few companies from the Czech Republic we have become successful applicant in the framework of the grant title called EU HORIZON 2020 SME Instrument - Phase 1. Through this funding instrument SMEs are provided with a systematic support to the development of innovative products and services.

We offer currently the below products. In addition to sale, we offer our clients routine, warranty and post-warranty service.

Akademie věd České republikyÚstav chemických procesů akademie věd ČRConsultest s.r.o.Vysoké technické učení v BrněEvropská komise HORIZON 2020Technologické centrum AV ČRIWME a.s.


We offer currently the below products. In addition to sale, we offer our clients routine, warranty and post-warranty service.

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