Materials


Highway/Infrastructure Materials

Technical Applications

Summary

Highway and infrastructure materials include new pavings made from recycled asphalt and such familiar materials as cement.

Characteristics

In addition to materials that are being created specifically for infrastructure applications, older materials, such as cement, are being improved through a better understanding of their structure and the incorporation of microscopic fibers forming a composite structure.

ImpactEconomy

The effect on job creation and economic growth would be both direct, through the creation of jobs in the transportation sector, and indirect, through the creation of jobs in other sectors which rely on the availability of better and more economical transportation. The United States has been a leader in the development of and use of high performance concrete (HPC), with compressive strengths above 10 ksi. Several other countries are moving aggressively to exploit HPC technology, including Canada, France, Japan, Norway and Sweden. In France, for example, designers routinely use HPC with strengths from 8 to 14 ksi in bridges and buildings. In addition to HPC, several countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Sweden are making significant advances in chemical-resistant concrete and high-precision concrete construction. Strengths to 100 ksi may soon be possible and are currently being studied in France.

WorldView

Currently, the United States enjoys a leading role in advanced-composites technology, essentially based upon defense work.