Researchers at Brunel University London are putting the heat on potholes. They have applied infrared heating technology in a way that could save local UK authorities £3.5bn in 2019 by making repairs cheaper and longer-lasting.Brunel University London researchers and their Controlled Pothole Repair System. Source: Brunel University LondonBrunel University London researchers and their Controlled Pothole Repair System. Source: Brunel University London

While road maintenance teams already use commercially operated heaters to repair potholes, most just deliver hot material for filling and compaction.

The researchers maintain that “this leads to a higher risk of pothole failure due to inadequate heating at the interface between the pavement and fill material. A lack of temperature control deep within the mass also causes failures.”

Backed by engineering firm, Epicuro, the researchers developed the Controlled Pothole Repair System, a portable machine that uses infrared heating to heat pothole surface and deep underneath before repair. A 3D thermal model is used to model and control the repair process.

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