Christopher Schlangen, a PhD student at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, has developed a steel-infused self-healing asphalt that can be heated to get rid of potholes, cracks and loose stones, Futurism reports. The technology adds steel wool to bitumin, the binding agent that asphalt uses to hold the stones together. If asphalt that contains these steel fibers is heated using an induction machine, the bitumin melts, healing the cracks and potholes, which could double the lifespan of the asphalt.
According to the news agency, Schlangen estimates that the Dutch government could save $9 million by using the new asphalt on roads, even though it costs 25 percent more to install it. He is working to perfect his self-healing asphalt and even sees a possible future use for charging cars at traffic lights. He said that “putting steel fibers in the asphalt means that you can send information to it, so it might be possible to charge electric cars on the road they’re driving on.”
Similar recent developments made in self-healing concrete by Cardiff University involves the use of bacteria to create self-healing concrete using the same principles as bone remineralization.