Project Background

The aim of this 18-month project is to achieve an affordable high-volume road resilient to climate change and traffic demands, by assessing the suitability of three global best practice types of road surfacing technologies for use in LICs to counter the impacts of climate change, namely Modified Epoxy Chip Seals (MECS), Modified Epoxy Asphalt Surfaces (MEAS) and Fibre Mastic Asphalt (FMA) respectively.

To achieve the above a team of world leading academic institutions, practitioners and an international road membership organisation have been assembled. The consortium is led by the University of Birmingham (UoB) in collaboration with the University of Auckland (UoA), the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the International Road Federation (IRF).

The research will utilize a modelling approach which considers life cycle analysis and via the practical application of the approaches in Ethiopia. An anti-fraud methodology for testing the components of the technologies using neutron beam particle analysis will also be trialled. The objectives of the research are:

  1. The development of models of the behaviour of the three technologies under the variety of current and future environmental (i.e., climate and subgrade/ base course) and traffic conditions found in HVT roads in LICs in Africa and S. Asia.
  2. A scoping exercise to identify existing chip seals in LICs that are at risk and could benefit from MECS, MEAS or FMA and for new roads.
  3. The development of life cycle models for the technologies, considering the effects of climate change, both for the construction of new roads and for resurfacing (overlay).
  4. Scoping inexpensive anti-fraud in-situ testing methodologies for MEAS, MECS, based on neutron beam particle analysis.
  5. Building and testing in Ethiopia innovative low-cost easy application methods for the three technologies.