Motorway

Highways England to explore graphene for roads

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Nicola Byrne

The government company has partnered with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre, GEIC, to address challenges experienced by the road network in England, such as the deterioration of surfaces.

Highways England, which is responsible for motorways and major A roads, believes adding graphene into maintenance and renewals operations has the potential to extend asset life and make the network perform at an industry changing level.

The partnership will explore the operational and road user benefit of incorporating graphene into assets such as road surfacing and road markings, as well as help to drive the development of a low carbon and digital road network.

Discovered at The University of Manchester in 2004, graphene is the world’s first two-dimensional material, stronger than steel and more conductive than copper and one million times thinner than a human hair.

Paul Doney, innovation director at Highways England said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to explore leading edge materials and what this might lead to for our road network. GEIC is at the forefront, and by building a collaboration with our operations teams who understand the challenges, we are looking to deliver improved safety and performance of our roads.”

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