Say goodbye to potholes and other damages caused by rain on the streets! Thanks to Israel Antonio Briseño Carmona, a Civil engineering student at Coahuila Autonomous University (UAdeC), who invented the first self-repairing rubber flooring made from recycled tires combined with additives that allow it to self-regenerate on contact with the water.
The innovative flooring that earned him one of the James Dyson-Mexico Foundation awards can solve a problem of damaged potholes and sidewalks in rainy Mexican cities.
Rain filters through the pavement and reaches its base, “digging” in-depth and ending up creating small cracks. The passage of cars and pedestrians progressively worsens the picture, until the road collapses. Thus, the idea was to transform the main material that deteriorates into one that can recover. This project transforms water from the cause of problems to maintenance factors.
“The pavement was inspired by concrete that regenerates with bacteria, transferring its chemical functionalities to the pavement without the use of bacteria,” explains the Mexican student.
The regeneration is created by a putty, which is formed by heating the tire rubber and other additives into one homogenous mixture. This putty is in contact with water creates calcium silicates – one of the components of the regeneration and physical-chemical improvement of the pavement – healing any cracks.
There are other self-regenerating pavement materials in the world, but none that use water as a catalyst element and uses recycled tires for its production. In Mexico, 80% of the pavement is asphalt and 20% of hydraulic concrete.
The self-healing rubber floor could solve several problems: road maintenance and tire recycling, for example. Of course, it is the healthiest solution for the longevity of roads (and people).
Currently, Paflec is in the process of certification before the National Organization for the Standardization and Certification of Construction and Building (ONNCCE). Then, Briseño intends to offer his invention to the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, waiting for it to apply on all roads in Mexico.