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Hot road technology quadruples runway life

DUTCH 'HOT ROAD' technology is to be tried out at Schipol Airport this autumn on a 200,000m 2government-funded demonstration project that could extend the life of runway asphalt by up to 20 years.

Jointly developed by Swedish and Dutch researchers and Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University, the hot road concept, now dubbed Winnerway, was first trialled in Zeeland in 1997.

Reinforced plastic pipes up to 50mm in diameter are cast into a layer of foamed concrete and topped with 175mm of asphalt.

Cold water is circulated through the pipes in summer, with the option of warm water in winter to combat icing.

Results from the first trials suggested a fourfold reduction in asphalt rutting and cracking in summer. This equates to an extra two decades of life, researchers claim. In addition, solar energy recovered from a 6m wide, 1km long stretch of road was enough to supply 100 family houses.

It is predicted that enough energy to supply 3,500 houses will be produced at Schipol. Use of heated water for de-icing is also claimed to be much cheaper than other methods currently employed.

A number of Dutch bus stations and cinemas now use Winnerway under carparks, and work starts this month on a Winnerway hangar apron at Frankfurt International Airport.

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