Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

To seal or not to seal

Should I Seal? Road Science and MetService Unite to Create Innovative Online Forecasting Tool


Should I Seal (SIS) is an innovative new online tool designed to provide clear advice to Downer’s roading sector on when to spray bitumen emulsion. A collaborative journey between Road Science and MetService, the tool will revolutionise the chipsealing process by integrating forecasting technology to reduce the risk of wash-off from a rain event. Workers can use the tool on their PCs, smartphones and tablets. Once logged in they are taken to an interface with simple icons showing whether or not it is safe to seal on a particular day. Factors taken into account include product type, humidity, temperature and rain forecasts.

Most of New Zealand’s 11,000kms of state highways and 50,000kms of local roads are sealed in chipseal - a thin layer of aggregate chip set in bitumen. Maintaining New Zealand’s roading infrastructure costs over $500 million NZD per annum.

Road travellers and workers can testify that the spraying of hot cutback bitumen is a hot, dangerous process with a poor environmental impact. However, this sealing technique has been absolutely necessary for economic development and road safety.

Downer New Zealand is a leading provider of engineering and infrastructure management services in New Zealand. The company’s specialist research and design facility Road Science, based in Mount Maunganui, has created new generation emulsion products as an alternative to hot cutback bitumen.

Emulsification is the process of combining two liquids that cannot be mixed. It is, in essence, the same process by which many foods, including tomato sauce, remain suspended and pourable without the elements separating or settling.

Remarkably Road Science new generation emulsions are sprayed using the same techniques as hot or cutback bitumen, however they have the following advantages:


Greater safety. The ability to spray at less than 90oC means Road Science emulsions are safer for workers. The cooler temperature dramatically reduces the risk of burns and eliminates the risk of explosion.


Reduced carbon footprint. A recent study by CarboNZero* has proven the new generation emulsions have a lower carbon footprint in every area of the products’ lifecycle.


Superior thickness. This leads to less run off and the ability to spray on very steep slopes.


By working with the MetService, Road Science has developed an online sealing forecast tool to provide chipsealing workers with clear advice on when and where they are able to spray bitumen emulsion to prevent the risk of wash-off from a rain event. Workers can use the tool on their PCs, smartphones and tablets. Once logged in they are taken to an interface with simple icons showing whether or not it is safe to seal on a particular day. Factors taken into account include product type, humidity, temperature and rain forecasts.

Road Science General Manager Dean Riley believes this collaboration has closed the last remaining potential risk in undertaking bitumen emulsion sealing within New Zealand. “It will provide the contractor, road controlling authorities and environmental protection agencies with increased confidence in the use of bitumen emulsions for the chipsealing of their networks.”

MetService Business Development Manager, Peter Fisher, says the business relationship between Road Science and MetService is an example of science-based collaboration. “The weather forecasting intelligence provided to Road Science enables them to plan with a high-level of accuracy when environmental conditions will enable the successful application of their emulsified products.”

“The relationship with Road Science is a superb example of how companies can collaborate to deliver outcomes of greater value across multiple horizons: commercial, environmental, and health and safety.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Statistics: Annual Inflation Hits A Three-decade High At 5.9 Percent
The consumers price index increased 5.9 percent from the December 2020 quarter to the December 2021 quarter, the biggest movement since a 7.6 percent annual increase in the year to the June 1990 quarter, Stats NZ said today... More>>



Digitl: Bumper year ahead for NZ IT sector

Gartner says New Zealand spending on technology products and services will grow 7.4 percent this year. The company’s latest forecast says the market will total NZ$15.3 billion in 2022... More>>



Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $8.90 - $9.50 per kgMS, up from NZD $8.40 - $9.00 per kgMS. This increases the midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off... More>>



Skoltech: Study Probes Earth’s Turbulent Past To Explain Where Oceans Came From

The origin of water on our planet is a hot question: Water has immense implications for plate tectonics, climate, the origin of life on Earth, and potential habitability of other Earth-like planets. In a recent study in Physical Review Letters, a Skoltech professor and his Chinese colleagues suggest... More>>


Statistics: Household Net Worth Grows In The September 2021 Quarter But At A Slower Pace Compared To March 2021

Household net worth grew by $60.7 billion in the September 2021 quarter compared with the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. This represents an increase of 2.5 percent, a similar result to the June 2021 quarter, which was up $60.6 billion or 2.6 percent... More>>

TradeMe: Job Market Ends 2021 On A High With Record Number Of Vacancies
The New Zealand job market finished 2021 on a high note, with the ball still firmly in the job hunters’ court, according to the analysis of 69,600 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs for the quarter ending 31 December (Q4)... More>>