Gone are the days when road construction was an arduous task that involved tedious labour and was spread over several years. With the advent of high-quality polymer stabilisation products, road construction has become a much more cost-effective and time-saving process. Various road construction-related companies have come up with innovative products in this field; for example: IPPL provides polymerstabilised products such as Soiltech, Asphal Tech, Pot-Tech and Dust Tech etc. for various types of construction. We take a look at the finer nuances of these products.
SoilTech polymer uses water as a carrier means to lubricate soil particles at the molecular level. Under mechanical compaction, the chains of SoilTech polymers are interlocked. The more the compaction, the stronger these bonds become and the stronger the soil stabilisation. As water between the soil particles evaporates, a firm layer is formed which, in turn, prevents water ingress. SoilTech polymers contain poly/methacrylate PMMA that is hydrophobic and does not dissolve in water. Water merely acts as transport mechanism in assisting the polymer in lubricating the soil particles.
IPPL’s range of products provides the following benefits to developers:
Better roads, and faster and more economical construction
Substantially increases the soil strength by a minimum of 300 percent
High-tensile strength, yet flexible
Time saving-saves up to 70 percent of the construction time
Reduction in equipment wear and tear
Minimal requirement of human resources
Quick and easy skills transfer
|On the Road to Success
India Poly roads Pvt. Ltd (IPPL) has its manufacturing plant located in Uttrakhand. The company manufactures high quality polymer stabilisation products for the road construction industry under its technical collaboration with Polymer Pavements, South Africa. IPPL focuses on research and development of industrial polymerbased products for the highway construction industry. In order to consult engineers to familiarise themselves with the technology and alternate performance based design, IPPL has realised the need to provide an empirical alternate highway design for their products. The company has roped in Prof. Alex Visser from the University of Pretoria for testing and to research improvised newgeneration Polymer Soil Stabiliser. During 2011–12, IIPL will set up several similar ‘pocket factories’ to cater to the growing international demand for faster and economical infrastructural development. The company has expanded rapidly and now has representative agencies in more than 30 countries around the world. Quality control is kept to the highest standard, with all products being manufactured to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.
Nurturing the Environment
Carbon dioxide emission in case of polymer is 1,211 t, as compared to 50,450 t in other materials. This translates into 98 percent less carbon emission. Polymer-based soil stabiliser is environment-friendly across three levels:
Micro – Direct impact on construction site
Macro – Usage of natural resources
Universal – Carbon footprint and emissions
P Ghosh – CEO, IPPL comments, “Before launching this product in India, extensive trials were conducted by competent bodies such as IIT Kharagpur, Civil Engineering Department and Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), and their results were taken into consideration. Some of their findings were compared with the conventional stabilisation method. Our designed layer was found to be one of the strongest layers for use in any highway construction or runway.”
Innovating with IIPL
SoilTech MK-III Polymer Soil Stabiliser: SoilTech is used for the stabilisation of base and sub-base layers. It reduces the crust layers so that roads can be built three times quicker with substantial savings as compared to traditional roads. SoilTech is used for roads, hardstands or container depots.
AsphalTech: Polymer based ‘asphalt’ allows the application of thinner seals and reduces costs. There is no bleeding in the heat, as it comes with cold applications.
Pot-Tech: This is usually a pre-packaged cold application used to repair potholes.
Dust-Tech: Eliminates dust, and is a costeffective seal. The product is mixed with water and sprayed over the desired area. A film forms over the soil, binding the sand particles. A colour tint can be applied to the product. The product finds application in the following usage. For example; a helicopter landing in dust-free environment can help to avoid a brown-out. Dust-Tech is re-applied every 18 months or so, subject to actual wear and tear. It can be used on mines and dirt roads.
SoilTech MK-III Polymer Road Stabiliser: SoilTech MK-III polymer is a third-generation road stabilising polymer and a dust suppressant. An innovation by IPPL, this product is used extensively for stabilising the base and sub-base layers of roads, mine haul roads, parking lots, hard stands and container depots.
SoilTech MK-III has been used widely in the US, especially in the State of California including extensive usage by the US Military in the Middle East and Afghanistan. It has been found to be highly reliable for heavy and fast mobilisation and transport of defence services. The product gains excellent strength from mechanical compaction and is an excellent solution for heavily trafficked roads and hard stands.
SoilTech MK-III Polymer Solutions: This product is ideal for stabilising base and sub-base layers. In most instances, the in-situ soils in the area can be used for stabilisation. The stabilised road is opened to heavy traffic within 72 hrs after construction, as the additional traffic on the stabilised road actually assists in dissipating the water in the base and sub-base, thereby speeding up the polymer binding process and the structural strength of the road. After checking the moisture content, prime coat application followed by a bituminous wearing course is undertaken.
Rural roads (sealed or unsealed) – SoilTech is ideal for providing a tough base layer. Cost-effective aggregate seals can be applied as a wearing course.
In some instances, due to economic reasons, the rural roads may be left unsealed with no wearing course. In this instance, a light clear polymer binder can be sprayed over the existing stabilised road as a cost-effective interim measure. It may be necessary to apply a diluted polymer spray over the stabilised area every 6 months.
Mine Haul Roads – IIPL has specific designs for unsealed polymer stabilised layered roads, which provide the structural load bearing capacity for heavy-haul vehicles.
Railway embankment – SoilTech stabilises the railway embankment/base to its best requirement of load bearing capacity of the tracks.
Shipping yards, container depots, helipads, airstrips and parking lots — With its flexible base and sub-base layers, SoilTech provides excellent strength for stated applications, which thereafter can be paved as per requirements.
Colonel Rajat Rastogi – VSM Project Director, IIPL, observes, “We have used these products on various roads and the result so far has been successful. For National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), we undertook the creation of six lanes of the Panipat-Jhalandhar Section of NH-1 in the state of Haryana and Punjab under the Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) Scheme, Reliance Group (ADAG) – EPC Sasan Power Plant, Madhya Pradesh; Adani Group EPC – Tiroda Power Plant, Maharashtra; Patel IT Park – Patel Engineering Group, Bengaluru, Karnataka; Treasure Town – Internal Roads of Real Estate Projects, Indore, MP; to name a few.”
The government has envisaged an investment of over `3,000 bn in the road sector in the 11th Plan period (2007–12). Private investment has been estimated at nearly `1,070 bn, or over a third of the total. Roads and highway projects contracts worth `2 lakh cr. will be awarded over the next two years. The Indian government is looking to attract investors to 135 Indian road projects, which will cost an estimated $20.68 bn. The total size of the roads programme up to 2015 is worth approximately `3.3 lakh cr. “To cater to these projects, the Indian roads industry is actively seeking specialised road design methods and state-of-the-art equipment and materials. Our products provide a solution to this,” adds Manish Gupta – MD, IPPL.