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Maintaining reliable performance of roads is becoming more difficult.

Huge investments are needed every year to cope with three major challenges: aging, increased traffic demand and increased truck traffic. In this sense, road authorities need to consider more innovative and less costly technologies.

The solution is already coming from the scientific world which is now oriented on the asphalt, concrete, and metals that heal themselves. Considering that a majority of the road network in Europe is asphalt-based, the development of the self-healing asphalt technique has put researchers in the right direction towards a stronger, smarter and more durable road network.

Futuristic results are now a reality. Latest developments have attracted media attention and both CNN and TED have dedicated spaces to Erik Schlangen, Professor “Experimental Micromechanics” and director of the Microlab at Delft University.