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Self Healing Asphalt for Road Pavements


The SHARP project aims to develop a unique self healing technology for asphalt pavements, whereby the encapsulated rejuvenator within the asphalt mix is used as the healing catalyst. The principle underpinning this technology is that when micro cracks begin to form within the pavement, they encounter a microcapsule. The fracture energy at the crack-tip will open the capsule, thereby releasing the rejuvenator. The rejuvenator then diffuses with the asphalt binder to seal the crack, preventing its further propagation.
Researchers at TU Delft have pioneered this technology by successfully developing a rejuvenator encapsulation method that thermally and mechanically survives the asphalt production process. Despite progress to date, the functionality of this self healing technology remains unknown and as a result, self healing technology is not accepted as standard within the road industry. The SHARP project builds on the TU Delft research to translate self healing technology for asphalt pavements from theory into practice. The SHARP project has four main objectives:
1) to select the most suitable, commercially available rejuvenator for encapsulation, with an emphasis on low temperature diffusion and ecologically friendly rejuvenators,
2) to develop a numerical model for simulating the release of healing agent from the capsule and its diffusion into the asphalt binder to optimise the size, amount and distribution of capsules within the asphalt pavement mix,
3) to investigate the physical and mechanical performance of asphalt mix containing the encapsulated rejuvenator and
4) to develop a plan for transferring self healing asphalt technology from laboratory to site/roadside.
The SHARP project presents an opportunity to progress the field of self-healing asphalt pavements, to generate new knowledge, to apply that knowledge to the road network. In so doing, the SHARP project will contribute to a revolution in the road design and maintenance.

Call for proposal

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Stevinweg 1
2628 CN Delft
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 243 847,80
Administrative Contact
Erik Schlangen (Prof.)