Key asphalt technology initiatives in Western Cape


Key asphalt technology initiatives in Western Cape Key asphalt technology initiatives in Western Cape

Much Asphalt is playing a key role in various projects aimed at improving asphalt quality and performance, including two exciting initiatives in the Western Cape that will directly impact the quality of our asphalt roads.

“As a major player in the southern African asphalt sector, we have a responsibility to ensure that the industry stays abreast of the latest global asphalt and plant technology and that world best practice is implemented in South Africa,” says Herman Marais, plant and technical director at Much Asphalt.

“The South African asphalt industry is very dynamic and new innovations are rigorously tested and tried before full scale implementation. It is important that we keep on developing our products to the benefit of our clients and our road infrastructure.”

Grey water

Just one current example is the Grey Water Study by BVi Engineers jointly funded by the City of Cape Town and the Southern African Bitumen Association (Sabita). Grey water damage to paved streets in Cape Town is a major problem and it is difficult to keep grey water off the paved surfaces.

BVi Engineers is undertaking research using different mix types and modifiers to develop a more grey water resistant asphalt mix. Much Asphalt was approached to compact samples and also developed the mix for the study.

“The asphalt mix that performed the best was a continuously graded fine mix with bitumen modified with EVA, Sasobit and Zycotherm,” says Marais.

Academic involvement

In another project to promote asphalt research at tertiary learning institutions, Much Asphalt, BVi Engineers and Sabita launched an asphalt briquette making competition at Stellenbosch University. This has triggered keen interest in asphalt technology among engineering students.

Much Asphalt and BVi Engineers are co-funding the competition, which is now being rolled out to other educational institutions around South Africa.

“The asphalt industry is not as appealing to engineering students as large civil engineering and construction projects, and very little marketing of the industry has been done at our tertiary educational institutions,” explains Marais.

“The competition is a good example of how different aspects of the asphalt sector come together for the good of the industry and ultimately of our roads.”

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