Paving the Way

Around the world, washboard roads and potholes are a serious obstacle to development in rural areas. However, that could change now thanks to a new road-paving product.

Imagine having to walk two kilometers to the nearest paved road. Summer and winter, trudging through mud or choked by the clouds of dust raised by passing cattle trucks. This is the daily routine for over a billion rural dwellers around the world, according to a UN report. And the consequences are serious. Children don’t attend school regularly. Newborn babies die before their parents can reach the clinic. Fresh produce from local farmers often spoils on its way to market. This is how rural areas miss out on economic growth. Not to mention the fact that unpaved roads regularly cause serious accidents.

Permanent asphalt roads like those familiar in Europe are built on several base courses. However, this complicated construction method is beyond the infrastructure budgets of many territorial states. A new product from WACKER now gives cause for hope.

“Unpaved roads can now be transformed into weatherproof highways at a relatively modest cost,” explains Christophe Berset, Global Strategic Marketing Manager for Flooring & Concrete Polymer Additives at Wacker Chemie. The binder experts in Burghausen have developed a new product family especially for the purpose: ETONIS® 1000 S.

“The fascinating thing about this modifier is that, when combined with cement, it binds to almost any conceivable subgrade.”

Christophe Berset, Global Strategic Marketing Manager for Flooring & Concrete Polymer Additives, Wacker Chemie AG

The new solution has the advantage that it is no longer necessary to shift tons of sand, gravel or asphalt into remote areas. Instead, the roadbuilders use locally available material, be it ballast, gravel or sand. “The fascinating thing about this modifier is that, when combined with cement, it binds to almost any conceivable subgrade,” says Berset. After it has hardened, a permanent roadway is obtained with a shear strength that even withstands heavy goods vehicles. It can also be used to rapidly repair forestry tracks and shunting areas for silo tankers. The polymer-modified hydraulically bound base courses also mean longer maintenance intervals.

From a Track to a Highway

How repair with ETONIS ® 1000 S works …

Step 1

Applying a layer of cement to the substrate

Step 2

Milling the cement into the subgrade to the desired depth while adding ETONIS® polymer-dispersion-modified cement to achieve the desired water content and consistency

Step 3

Compacting the surface

Step 4

Forming the desired road slope

5. Step 3

Spraying the ETONIS® solution as a sealing surface treatment

WACKER’s engineers have calculated that this type of road paving is much more economical than the previous method using foamed bitumen. A construction company in New Zealand already has a successful track record using ETONIS® 1000 S. It was used to stabilize a highway in Queensland, Australia, with a very fine clayey aggregate within a very short time. Certain villagers in the island nation of Fiji are also happy to have a permanent road at last connecting them to the world at large.

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