Experts Approve Polymer Technology to Minimize Road Construction Costs and Time

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| Updated:
July 23, 2022 8:59:57 PM


Road construction experts expect to drastically reduce the time and cost of constructing sustainable roads and highways across Bangladesh with the introduction of new technology, opening a new horizon for the communications sector fast-growing country, reports BSS.

“We can build 100 kilometers of road in a month using this nanotechnology product – the acrylic polymer,” Fazle Rabbe, additional chief engineer of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), told the state-run news agency.

He said an initial study by a panel of experts concluded that the technology was suitable for all soil types in Bangladesh and would reduce road construction costs by at least 30%.

The RHD official, who led the six-member expert team in carrying out the study, said roads constructed from acrylic polymer would also require minimal maintenance costs due to their durability.

“We can foresee that echo-friendly technology will pave the way for Bangladesh to enter the 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) era and, more importantly, it is now within our reach,” Rabbe said.

Over the past few years, Bangladesh has witnessed a steady increase in budget allocation for the communications sector in view of the demands for expansion of road networks.

A total of 312.96 billion taka has been sanctioned for the road transport and highways division in the current fiscal year budget, or 12.7% of the total development budget. The amount was Tk 280.42 billion in the outgoing 2021-22 financial year.

According to construction literature, “Acrylic Polymer” emerged as part of nanotechnology, proved to be an extraordinary soil stabilizer having high strength and water resistance capability which also requires minimal use chemicals and energy or fossil fuels.

The technology is environmentally friendly as it is non-toxic and non-flammable.

Experts involved in Rabbe’s study team predicted that roads built with the technology would last at least 50 years, keeping their maintenance costs to a minimum.

Engineer Abul Hossain, a senior member of the team, said he carried out a field test of the acrylic polymer in Matarbari area, Maheshkhali area of ​​Cox’s Bazar, and found it “very effective”. .

He said that they collected soil from 22 districts in different parts of the country and tested them in different ratios with K.31 APS Acrylic Polymer and the results suggested that it is suitable for all types of soil in the country. Bangladesh.

Hossain, also the acting team leader of the consultancy firms involved in the road infrastructure component of the Matarbari ultra-supercritical coal-fired power project, said they also carried out a financial analysis and also found it very profitable.

“It turned out to be a very cheap, durable and easy road construction method and the soils in Bangladesh are also exceptionally suitable for mixing with acrylic polymer,” Rabbe said.

The team conducted a ten-month in-depth study of the technology’s effectiveness and feasibility from April 2021 to January 2022.

They recommended that it be used by organizations such as the Water Development Board (BWDB) for embankment constructions alongside RHD and the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).

The study team members said it looked like the acrylic polymer could also be used to build dams and embankments at a much lower cost in a faster time frame.

Road transport and highways division officials said they had an in-depth meeting on the use of acrylic polymer for road contractions with its ABM secretary Amin Ullah Nuri in the presidency when RHD was asked to follow up with technology.

Construction literature suggests that acrylic polymer is currently used in the United States, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and several countries in the Middle East, while India and Bhutan have also started using it. for road construction.

They said the Indian Army used the K.31 APS brand of acrylic polymer in their rugged and hilly region of Ladakh and in the Shiliguri region along the borders of Bangladesh.

The United States Marine Forces first developed the product which the United States Army and Air Force later began using at home and elsewhere.

Other members who took part in the study are: Matarbari Project RHD Component Manager Engineer Md Shahriar Rumi, Deputy Project Manager (RHD) Md Yunus Ali, Road Builder Project Manager Mir Akhter -WMCG JV Abu Sadat Sayem and K.31 APS Exclusive Distribution Partner for Bangladesh Waliul Islam.

Explaining the technique, Rabbe said that in the traditional method, bricks and stone chips are used as the main ingredient to build the road base and the road sub-base “but no stone or brick will be needed in the proposed process”.

This means, he said, that the new technology would improve air quality in Bangladesh by abandoning the process of burning bricks.

“The chemical reaction creates a nano-cured grid to form a special layer that would make the road foundation (base and sub-base) much stronger than that of traditional road infrastructure,” Rabbe said.

He said that the use of acrylic polymers would significantly reduce the demand for imported stones and that if “we adopt the technology, almost 70% of the materials will be available in the country”.

“It will save a huge amount of foreign currency,” he said.

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