Directa Plus has announced its collaboration with Iterchimica, am Italy-based producer and distributor of specialized additives for asphalt. The collaboration with Iterchimica is focused on developing a graphene-enhanced asphalt additive, which is patent-pending, that can significantly improve the durability and sustainability of asphalt road surfaces.
The new additive incorporating the Directa’s Graphene Plus (G+) has been launched by Iterchimica as "Eco Pave". As per reports, the success of laboratory and small-scale trials convinced Iterchimica to conduct a pilot test where Eco Pave will be used as an additive for asphalt covering several kilometers of road surface.
The Company anticipates receiving an initial order for G+ before the year-end for the pilot test. The presence of G+ reportedly produces a technically-advanced, sustainable additive that significantly enhances the performance of asphalt used for road surfacing. In particular, due to the thermal management properties of G+, the asphalt is less susceptible to hardening and cracking in cold temperatures as well as to softening in warm temperatures. It increases the elasticity and strength to reduce the wear, particularly with high loads, which is especially beneficial for maintenance purposes such as repairing potholes.
In addition, road surfaces built with asphalt containing Eco Pave will be recyclable with up to 100% of the milled asphalt being repeatedly re-used to build a new pavement, which avoids the landfilling of the exhausted material as well as the extraction of new bitumen.
Based on their research, Iterchimica estimate that the addition of Eco Pave will extend the life of an asphalt road surface from the current average of 6-7 years to 12-14 years. Thanks to the joint R&D process undertaken by Directa Plus and Iterchimica, the parties have been able to produce Eco Pave at a commercially viable selling price. As a result, asphalt containing Eco Pave could significantly reduce maintenance costs.