Concrete saves energy, lasts longer

International and local studies have confirmed the long-term economic and environmental sense in using concrete instead of asphalt for highways.

Recent studies done by the National Research Council of Canada has proved that concrete pavement saves vehicles on fuel costs because of its firmer structure as against the more flexible structure of asphalt which takes up much energy from heavier vehicles.

Concrete is composed of cement, sand, aggregate (stones, gravel, etc.), and water. A key ingredient whose composition and fineness determine the properties of concrete, cement comprise only between 7% and 15% of the components of concrete.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Civil Engineer Emmanuel C. Torres, who holds vast experience in working on varied highway conditions says that experience bares out the fact that “concrete strengthens as it grows older”. “It is a rigid material and can therefore withstand substantial load and thus, lower-risk of damage versus asphalt which actually weakens and deteriorates from vehicular pressure,” Torres said. “Because it is more durable, concrete thus proves to be more earth- and energy-friendly, the PLDT highways expert said.

Aside from energy and fuel savings, concrete prevents vehicular accidents. “Its lighter color compared to asphalt is more visible at night. It deflects light from a vehicle and makes a driver see the road with a clearer view,” Torres explained.

Studies show that concrete pavement expected life is longer than any other construction materials; it can last for about thirty-four years or more while asphalt only lasts for seventeen years or less depending on the durability of the mixture. On the other hand, maintenance and repair is frequently done to asphalt-made roads which deteriorate from vehicular pressure as well as from continuous rains. “This alone makes concrete a better choice for the Philippines where traffic inconvenience becomes even worse during the rainy season,” Torres said.

The Canadian study has also confirmed that concrete pavement performed well in terms of ride quality and comfort, and has a minimal noise level. This pavement stays intact and doesn’t rut or washboard similar to asphalt. It has smooth surface that can provide riding comfort to passengers.

“Our earth’s resources are only limited and by sustaining them we have to build a lasting utilization out of these resources. It is important to build an infrastructure than can last for a lifetime and with minimal restorations. A concrete road has indeed developed into a vital and invaluable component of the dominant construction industry and lasts longer compared to asphalt,” thus explained by Eng. Torres.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.

News Archive