Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPA4ROADS (Sustainable polymers application for preventive maintenance and upgrading of resilient and secureroads)
Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31
Over the last decades a large investment in infrastructures for ground transportation has been made by the member countries of the union. The aging of the pavement increases which causes a serious problem for road safety making necessary to invest in road conservation.
In the accesses to the cities a great number of accidents are concentrated, due, among other factors, to the great intensity of circulation, the type of maneuvers and the state of maintenance of the pavement. In critical weather conditions due to rain and snow, the chances of accident increase due to the lack of grip between the tire and the road surface.
Traditional methods for preserving pavements consist basically in the demolition and replacement of the surface layer. These procedures generate a lot of waste to be treated and replenishment needs a great contribution of natural resources. The entire process involves a large amount of CO2 emissions and other pollutants
• Why is it important for society?
Environmental contamination (reducing emissions), depletion of natural resources and road safety are relevant issues shared by all citizens and are part of the common policy of the European Union concerns. These aspects are important factors in our project.
Nature is our life support system, so we must take care of it. Just as we share resources such as water and air, natural habitats and the species they host, we also share environmental standards to protect them. As the world population grows and the number of people living in cities increases, global environmental challenges become more pressing. Further action is needed to ensure: cleaning the air, oceans and other water resources, sustainable land use and ecosystems and acceptable levels of climate change.
Exhaustion of natural resources
The vast majority of Europeans believe that the most efficient use of natural resources and protection of the environment can boost economic growth in the EU.
Surveys reveal a growing awareness of the pressure exerted on natural resources. When asked about solutions, eight out of ten participants encourage companies to do more to use natural resources more efficiently. Seven out of ten want the national government to take more measures and almost seven out of ten believe that citizens themselves should do more.
Given the data obtained every year from road accidents, road safety is a major social concern. Traffic accidents, in addition to the psychological and social impact that have on the victims, family and friends, also have a great social cost, mainly associated to hospital expenses, maintenance of the road network and the implementation of measures intended to reduce accidents.
The period 2011-2020 has been designated by the UN as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. In this ""Decade for Action"" EU member countries are challenged to reduce the number of deaths by 50%, a challenge which was previously launched by the European Union in the decade from 2000 to 2010 and reiterated in 2011-2020.
• What are the overall objectives?
SPA4ROADS aims to take advantage of the shift in investment towards sustainable infrastructure conservation aiming to bring to the market a product that can improve the situation in the above points.
Our objective is to contribute to the sustainable conservation of infrastructures, reducing CO2 emissions, consumption of materials and increasing road safety in the processes of pavement conservation. It will also mean significant economic savings for the EU member states.
Presentation of the solution to current customers of the company.
Currently we work with different public entities with competence in road maintenance, local, regional and national, taking advantage of the different works carried out at this time, we have presented the project obtaining very good feedback from the potential clients. They themselves have provided us with current cost data, investment needs and market volume.
Contact with potential manufacturers and suppliers.
During the previous six months we have made contact with different companies in the sector of the manufacture of materials, specialists in civil works or not. Evaluating its manufacturing capacity and associated costs. We have several viable options to choose from as an ally in this field, some even very close geographically.
Analysis of the current market situation.
The assessment of the current road heritage to local, regional, national and European level, has been one of the main actions. Our deep knowledge regarding conservation pavement industry allows us to estimate the costs of traditional maintenance. According to this analysis we have detected the existence of a market opportunity that fits perfectly with SPA4ROADS.
Identification of technologies and competitors.
We have explored the methods used by competitors, the associated costs, durability and introduction into the market. The conclusion drawn is that SPA4ROADS is able to compete with all existing solutions.
Construction of the first prototype application machinery.
During these months a small scale prototype for applying SPA4ROADS on paved surfaces has been built. This prototype consists on a trailer which is able to spread the treatment quite effectively, thus making us able to verify the proper operation, and has helped us to identify the main problems arising from the application.
A great social, economic and environmental impact is expected, due to the improvements it incorporates to the current solutions, increasing the road safety conditions of the areas of application.
So far we have improved the road safety of a dangerous curve in Cenes de la Vega (Granada, SPAIN) by applying a high adhesion corrective treatment.