São Paulo’s University creates test road made with concrete pavement for road use

Polytechnics School of São Paulo's University (USP) concluded on January 26th, the paving of a lane section with concrete, where for the first time in Brazil, this kind of pavement will be tested. The work it's being conducted by the Transports Engineering Department of Polytechnics School and has the support of a pool of companies led by Votorantim.

The test consists in the construction of a "test-road" in the university Campus, with a total length of 200 meters. The construction is now an object for scientific analysis over a period of five years, going through different types of evaluations.

According to Transports Engineering chief of department, Professor José Tadeu Balbo, responsible for the study, the said model has a durability and resistance much higher than asphalt. "Due to the resistance of concrete, this type of pavement virtually dismisses maintenance expenses of the road for a much longer period in comparison to asphalt pavements", says Professor Balbo.

Furthermore, according to the professor, the pavement is inspired by building experiences of American interstate highways, model that contributed to the development of US base industry and to expand the competitiveness of the US economy, especially since the post- war (1950).

 "Issues such as access to technology, exchange of academic knowledge and construction costs always limited the import and application of this model of highways in Brazil", says Professor Balbo. The partnership of the university with the private initiative enabled this unprecedented test in Brazil. According to the general manager of Governmental Relations of Votorantim, Lucélio de Moraes, the construction of the "test-road" of USP reflects the synergies of the company's operation model for the development of the Brazilian industry. "Votorantim supported the project through the supply ofcement and concrete, the steel rebar, and zinc, which was applied as a protective layer of rebar corrosion, a process called galvanization", explained Moraes.

The research foresees the evaluation of the test road track initially for a period between six months to one year, including the bus line traffic circulating the Campus, which should be initiated at approximately one month. During the tests, it will be observed the pattern of cracks generated by the highway in climate conditions and the local frequency of use characteristics.

Lastly, over five years, the researchers of the university will verify the steel oxidation levels of the steel that gives foundation to the pavement base. In the 200 meters of test-road, half of the used steel was galvanized and the other half didn't had the same treatment – with the objective of scientifically prove the corrosion resistance of each over time​.

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