First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.


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    This is coming out of the Netherlands as best I can tell. Thunderf00t did a good breakdown as usual:

    Plastic Roadways BUSTED! – 23:38
    — Thunderf00t

    Why? Why would anyone think this is a good idea? Fiber-reinforced plastic has a tiny fraction of the resistance to abrasion that asphalt or concrete do. They also think they will make it hollow so that utilities can be routed through it easily, which will never work. There is not enough rigidity without major steel reinforcing.

    They also want to pre-fab the panels off-site and drop them in to place and claim that will speed construction time up significantly. No, it won't. Most of the time spent in building roads is spent on preparing the subgrade. Drying, grading, stabilizing and compacting the earth. Putting down stone for drainage and a physical separator between the paving section and the subgrade. Putting in storm water drainage and other associated utilities.

    All of this will still have to be done. You could not just drop these panels on an unimproved surface and turn traffic loose on it. Asphalt itself actually goes down really quickly and as it is put down loose and then compacted and cooled in place it forms a single cohesive layer that resists deflection and spreads the load. If you lay down prefabricated panels, the intersection points of the panels will be subject to deflection and what we refer to as "pumping" at the joints causing a very quick degradation of the road surface as the panels misalign. Offhand I cannot think of any way to lock those panels together rigidly enough that they could share the load. Not in plastics. In other road surfaces this is a solved issue by doweling in to the existing surface, but plastic would not have the holding strength of asphalt or concrete. Plus, doweling is a very time expensive process.

    The construction person in me just sees so many issues with this that are nearly insolvable problems, like issues with cumulative errors in construction that are non-point with current construction methods but would be huge issues for them.

    Finally, they claim that their road product would be completely recyclable, but they also spec a fiber-reinforced plastic. They did not even do the most basic of research:

    It can be recycled, but usually isn't due to the fiber-reinforcing.


  • mod

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    They did not even do the most basic of research

    Research :barrier: to :moneybag: from :drooling_face::necktie:



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    They also think they will make it hollow so that utilities can be routed through it easily, which will never work. There is not enough rigidity without major steel reinforcing.

    0_1487086648952_road.PNG

    How do you place or exchange a section when there are pipes running through it?



  • @Polygeekery We actually have older Autobahn stretches in Germany where they were doing something like that - just not with plastics but with concrete.

    Turned out to be a bad idea in some places because summer's heat caused some of those plates to literally explode upwards. With the obvious result if there should be a car directly in front of this explosion.


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    @coldandtired said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    How do you place or exchange a section when there are pipes running through it?

    ....yet another thing they have not really thought about.

    Also, what is this fascination behind being able to run utilities through a road surface? There are reasons we currently do not do this. If you have any issue with a utility that requires a spot repair (which is, BTW, super fucking common) then you would have to shut down traffic over 1-3 lanes in order to service them. In general, when utilities are run under roads, they tend to cross perpendicularly whenever possible in order to minimize the length of them that run under the road, for this exact reason.



  • @Polygeekery I have these and it's enough of a ballache


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    @Rhywden said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    We actually have older Autobahn stretches in Germany where they were doing something like that - just not with plastics but with concrete.

    Doing what? Prefab?

    Paving with concrete is very widespread here in the USA. It is generally more durable than asphalt due to the higher abrasion resistance and compression strength and rigidity (when steel reinforced, of course). The technologies behind it are pretty fascinating.



  • I would also guess that most time is not spend on straight sections but bents, crossroads, overpasses, off and on ramps, connectors ... stuff that requires custom fits


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    From the FAQ:

    The idea behind the concept is that the aim is to produce the plastic Road as much as possible recycled plastic: plastic that is currently disposed of (incinerated or dumped) is. Because of this plastic waste has a much higher value return in the chain and a much smaller CO 2 footprint. In addition, the innovation is consistent with the philosophy of Cradle to Cradle. Moreover, the expectation is that a plastic Road at the end of its life can be recycled back to the elements for a new plastic Road (circular economy). The idea is to build the Plastic Road directly on the sand bed. This means there is no foundation necessary. In addition, you save the current heavy construction, which also needs to be no longer produced. First calculations show that the path comprising elements PlasicRoad 85% lower transport costs than a traditional way.

    OK, ignore the horrible Google Translate on that. I will go ahead and assume that it was said properly in the original language. :)

    The point we need to focus on is:

    The idea is to build the Plastic Road directly on the sand bed.

    I sincerely hope that is a translation error and they are not planning on building this on a bed of sand? Most sands are not suitable for dynamic rolling loads. The particle size is too small and it does not sufficiently interlock and distribute load for a primary paving surface. Sand in the Netherlands may be different, but in the areas that I have worked it is typically required that all sand be removed 18-24" below the paving section and replaced with #53 stone or stabilized clay. Sand tends to move like a fluid at high dynamic rolling loads.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Remember, folks, before "plastic" meant "a class of oil-based polymers" it meant "easily bendable and shapeable."

    This is the exact opposite of what you want in a roadway paving material: you want it to be as hard, rigid, and durable as possible.





  • It should keep :fox: happy anyway, all this oil returning to the ground.


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    @masonwheeler said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    This is the exact opposite of what you want in a roadway paving material: you want it to be as hard, rigid, and durable as possible.

    Not necessarily. Asphalt is more suitable for some areas as it does deflect a small amount without breaking.



  • @Polygeekery Stop denying the revolution of plastic roads.

    They did serious simulations of the solution, with Minecraft


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    From the FAQ:

    Of itself, plastic is not stiff enough. However, in road construction (asphalt) we have a lot of knowledge and experience in dealing with (a lack of) stiffness. We can use this knowledge to make the PlasticRoad stiff enough. We will first investigate whether we can make the plastic itself stiff enough. If this is not possible, we could also add sand or crushed stone into the surface of the PlasticRoad (by pressing or printing) to provide the required stiffness.

    Congratulations, you just created asphalt.



  • Won't animals gnaw on the PlasticRoad?
    We do not expect this because the PlasticRoad will consist of a hard plastic. Hard plastics are generally ignored by rodents. Research will have to show whether this is actually the case.


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    @coldandtired yeah, they have NFC about anything.

    Also, I find it amusing that is in the FAQ.



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Rhywden said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    We actually have older Autobahn stretches in Germany where they were doing something like that - just not with plastics but with concrete.

    Doing what? Prefab?

    Paving with concrete is very widespread here in the USA. It is generally more durable than asphalt due to the higher abrasion resistance and compression strength and rigidity (when steel reinforced, of course). The technologies behind it are pretty fascinating.

    Yes, prefab but quite old so it had its share of problems. As I said, the summer's heat in Southern Germany caused the slabs to expand which in turn caused shear pressure which in turn let some of them explode upwards at the seams.


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    @Rhywden interesting. They must not have used expansion joints. Or the material was inadequate for the temperature differences.



  • @Polygeekery There are a fair few 'answers' in that FAQ which amount to 'We'll have to wait and see.'


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    @coldandtired I think it is all of them. There are no real answers there. I have a feeling that they have not even built the first panel yet.



  • At this time, our aim and focus is to first apply the PlasticRoad as a bike path. Based on the findings of the pilot, we will develop the concept for other and increasingly higher-grade applications. We will examine which applications are feasible. This includes residential streets, through roads, provincial roads, highways and maybe even airports. These are scenarios for the longer term however.

    Yeah...I'd buy that you could ride bikes on something like this. I still can't understand why you'd want to build them with something like this. It can't possibly be cheaper than paving with asphalt, the most recycled material on the planet.



  • @coldandtired said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    How do you place or exchange a section when there are pipes running through it?

    Vewy vewy cawefully...

    edit: Fixed for proper pronunciation.



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    I have a feeling that they have not even built the first panel yet.

    From the page:
    The development of a first prototype will start soon. Once the PlasticRoad meets all the technical, environmental and safety requirements, a pilot installation will be built to perform practical tests.

    Still playing with it in Minecraft :wink:


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    @boomzilla said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    asphalt, the most recycled material on the planet.

    I forgot to come back to that. Asphalt and concrete are very literally infinitely recyclable. Asphalt can be ground in place and either added to the road base as a stabilizer or used for other paving or even taken right back to the asphalt plant and reprocessed straight back in to asphalt.

    Concrete can be broken up and used just like any other aggregate. A friend of mine owns a mobile concrete crushing business. They can come on-site and crush up concrete in to whatever size aggregate you need and due to the very sharp points on it, it locks together better than conventional aggregated that are quarried.



  • @boomzilla said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    asphalt, the most recycled material on the planet.

    Those machines that grind it, heat it and lay it back down are pretty cool. (If I hadn't gotten into software, pretty sure I'd be doing construction...)



  • You also get to permanently surround your electricity and data cables with water

    0_1487089923693_15832_rijweg_shot.jpg


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    We expect the PlasticRoad to last three times as long as a traditional road structure. However, this will have to be proven in practice. Our expectation is based on the lifetime of other plastic products. This includes plastic manhole covers, plastic decking, plastic bridges etc. We also see great added value in the fact that these roads are prefabricated, which is always an advantage in conditioning the quality.

    Plastic manhole covers?? Why? Why would you do that? Iron is used for manhole covers because it is heavy. If you make lighter manhole covers, you would have to lock them in place to keep them from being sucked off the manhole from the airflow of passing traffic. This is a solution looking for a problem.

    As for the rest of it, I think these guys are a prime example of "If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails".



  • @boomzilla said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    asphalt, the most recycled material on the planet.

    I thought that was steel. The Internet seems to think so. Well, some parts of it do, anyway.


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    @coldandtired said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    You also get to permanently surround your electricity and data cables with water

    Yeah, they don't even realize that there is a reason that there is a ton of storm water infrastructure that goes along with roads in order to carry the water away from the road.



  • A public campaign has to have some sort of moral or environmental claim. You can't just say "we should do this thing because it will be cheaper". The people who would benefit from that have already checked.

    A road costs about 3M€ per km. Do the math on all the roads built around the world in, say, the last decade (to assume the materials used would have to be recently developed), and the ones being built right now, it comes out to a shitload of money spent on roads every year. And they think no one has ever stopped to check if there are cheaper ways to do it? Like they will just say "oh, plastic, we hadn't thought of that! Stupid us!"

    It's like those people who spend 20 minutes reading Wikipedia articles and then proceed to write a long blog post debunking quantum physics.


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    @coldandtired said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Polygeekery You could also go to https://www.plasticroad.eu/en/ :)

    I think they just ran it through Google Translate. It all seems like a Dutch form of Chinglish.



  • @anonymous234 said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    It's like those people who spend 20 minutes reading Wikipedia articles and then proceed to write a long blog post debunking quantum physics.

    I'm pretty sure our resident piss artist doesn't spend anything like 20 minutes before declaring himself an expert.



  • Great, with this we can have so much more microscopic hard-plastic particles everywhere!


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    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    It all seems like a Dutch form of Chinglish.

    Dunglish?


  • mod

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    Asphalt itself actually goes down really quickly and as it is put down loose and then compacted and cooled in place it forms a single cohesive layer that resists deflection and spreads the load

    I think people forget that comparatively, Asphalt is already cheap and quick. Ditto for Concrete for the sidewalks. That's why we use them.


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    @Yamikuronue said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    I think people forget that comparatively, Asphalt is already cheap and quick. Ditto for Concrete for the sidewalks. That's why we use them.

    They can also be produced, and are produced already, in every developed area in the world. They require no sophisticated machinery. The Romans made concrete. They are building materials that are produced in quantity relatively close to the point of use with locally available materials (in most cases).

    These panels would have to be produced in a factory and then shipped. They are wanting to move from a decentralized method of production that works very well, to one using a centralized model that will have supply chain issues.


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    @Yamikuronue said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    I think people forget that comparatively, Asphalt is already cheap and quick. Ditto for Concrete for the sidewalks. That's why we use them.

    I don't know how much the numbers have changed since I left the construction world, but we usually estimated $400/square where a "square" is 100 sq/ft. That would be for a typical 7" paving section here in the Midwest. That is an installed/landed cost.

    If we operate off the assumption that basically all the other work would remain the same except substituting plastic road panels for asphalt, and that the maximum reasonable shipping size would be roughly 10'x40', and the assumption that the numbers have not changed too much, they would have to get the installed cost of the panels down to $1,600/per panel to be cost competitive.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    Asphalt and concrete are very literally infinitely recyclable.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics begs to differ...



  • @anonymous234 said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    It's like those people who spend 20 minutes reading Wikipedia articles and then proceed to write a long blog post debunking quantum physics.

    It all began when someone performed a very sloppy experiment with two slits. They couldn't imagine that other particles could also be a wave at the same time. So, they went on the assumption that they were only firing particles, which shouldn't impact on itself....

    Wait....



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    Chinglish.

    I'm offended.

    It's Americanese.



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    This is a solution looking for a problem.

    Absolutely.

    They started off with. "Green stuff is popular. How can we use our expertise to make something and convince people it's green." "Well, trash dumps are full of plastic, and we build roads." "Will that work though?" "Who cares. People will throw money at someone to pretends to have a green solution."


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    @xaade said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    This is a solution looking for a problem.

    Absolutely.

    They started off with. "Green stuff is popular. How can we use our expertise to make something and convince people it's green." "Well, trash dumps are full of plastic, and we build roads." "Will that work though?" "Who cares. People will throw money at someone to pretends to have a green solution."

    Yeah, they forgot the part where it needs to be better than existing solutions in some way. It is kind of an important piece they are missing.



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    Yeah, they forgot the part where it needs to be better than existing solutions in some way. It is kind of an important piece they are missing.

    Well, it works for Apple (AirPods), so why not ?


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    @TimeBandit said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    Yeah, they forgot the part where it needs to be better than existing solutions in some way. It is kind of an important piece they are missing.

    Well, it works for Apple (AirPods), so why not ?

    Because "boutique roads for idiots" is not likely to be successful. :)



  • Dunning-Kruger meets Chesterton's Fence?



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @xaade said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    This is a solution looking for a problem.

    Absolutely.

    They started off with. "Green stuff is popular. How can we use our expertise to make something and convince people it's green." "Well, trash dumps are full of plastic, and we build roads." "Will that work though?" "Who cares. People will throw money at someone to pretends to have a green solution."

    Yeah, they forgot the part where it needs to be better than existing solutions in some way. It is kind of an important piece they are missing.

    I'm ok with it being worse than the existing solution if it meets its goal, and then we can put the goal and the deficit on a balance scale to make a decision.

    But there's no indication that it will reach its goal or that the deficit won't be greater than the current forms value in total.

    IOW, it's highly likely it will be impossible to balance the scales at all.
    IOW2, it doesn't even pass a basic smell test.





  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    They are wanting to move from a decentralized method of production that works very well, to one using a centralized model that will have supply chain issues.

    I would want that too, if I were the supply chain of the latter but had no role in the former.



  • @Polygeekery said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @coldandtired said in First there were SolarRoads, now there will be PlasticRoads.:

    @Polygeekery You could also go to https://www.plasticroad.eu/en/ :)

    I think they just ran it through Google Translate. It all seems like a Dutch form of Chinglish.

    Having to use google translate to turn a Dutch text into English tells you quite a bit about a Dutch person's education level.


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