The objective of the DURABROADS project is the design, development and demonstration of cost-effective, eco-friendly and optimised long-life roads, more adapted to freight corridors and climate change by means of innovative designs and the use of greener materials improved by nanotechnology. The optimisation of current construction, maintenance and rehabilitation procedures is also aimed at in this project.
Existing constraints concerning these procedures and techniques to withstand challenges as the climate change impact and the high vehicle traffic loads of freight corridors will be identified and evaluated in order to provide to highway managers with more affordable, safer and environment-friendly practices to manage the road asset.
Concerning the innovative road designs, an analysis, characterisation and selection of the most suitable carbon nanomaterials will be carried out in this project to perform different polymer-modified and nanocarbon-modified binders. Following, several warm mix asphalts (WMA) incorporating these binders will be designed and characterised. Furthermore, the maximum use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and by-products in substitution of natural resources will be incorporated to these mixtures taking advantage of the expected improved properties of the new DURABROADS-modified bitumens.
Subsequently, long-life pavement sections for different climate conditions and traffic loads including DURABROADS advanced WMA will be dimensioned using the finite element method (MEF).
Regarding the demonstration, two DURABROADS pavement sections will be implemented in a real case scenario. Furthermore, LCA and LCC studies will be performed for the new asphalt materials developed, and results will be compared with conventional ones.
Finally, the criteria to include the DURABROADS solutions into Green Public Procurement procedures and the recommendation about the next steps for their future standardisation will be defined.