United Kingdom – Deep sea starfish are the inspiration for a new type of ‘self repairing’road tarmac, currently being trialled by John Henry Group, from today (April 1, 2016)
The new tarmac – dubbed ‘Star-mac’ after the well-known sea creature – works by utilising special organic and artificial hybrid compounds, which respond by artificially replicating slowly in hot and cold air temperatures.
This enables Starmac to effectively ‘regenerate’ its surface (wearing course) in the event of wear and tear from heavy vehicles, or cracks in the road left by frost.
It’s hoped that Star-mac, which was developed by scientists in Cambridge’s world famous science park, will ensure the longevity of resurfaced or new road surfaces, due to its self ‘regenerating’ capabilities, offering cost reduction in from a maintenance perspective.
About 1,500 species of starfish occur on the seabed in all the world’s oceans, from the tropics to frigid polar waters, existing up to 20,000 metres below the depth of the ocean surface.
They must endure the harshest conditions -making them an ideal inspiration for the wearing coarse on a road surface, which can be prone to seasonal and vehicle damage.
John Henry Group is one of the first companies set to trial the new type of surface in the United Kingdom.
“We are delighted to be trialling this new type of surface material, as a company we have a history of introducing new revolutionary products and techniques during the planning and construction process of highways works and telecommunications networks deployments,” a spokesperson from John Henry Group, said.
“We’re sure that Star-mac will offer fantastic longevity and a hard wearing surface for many more years than standard asphalt and its regenerative capabilities will reduce the risk of maintenance and repair – making it a cost-effective option for local authorities.”
*Please note, this news piece has been entirely prepared for April Fool’s Day (April 1st). No starfish were harmed.
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