Underlining emissions and visualising carbon savings impact in the highways industry

Underlining emissions and visualising carbon savings impact in the highways industry

Project Highways Zero started in 2020 to highlight how carbon savings can be made across our highway and transportation infrastructure concerning line marking and surface repairs. The campaign is backed by industry experts Meon Ltd, who are passionate about delivering environmentally great surfaces.

Project Highways Zero's purpose is to highlight how carbon savings can be made with line marking and surface repairs across our highways infrastructure. This is underpinned by the fundamental elements that all line marking and surface repair systems used in the UK should focus on Safety, Durability and Sustainability.

Starting with the safety element, this starts with the benefit to the applicator but then comes down to the road user itself. The visibility of our road markings is crucial for improving the safety of our road networks. This was established with a case study carried out back in 2012 in Cheshire were on an accident blackspot, improving the marking visibility resulted in a significant reduction in road incidents.

When it comes to durability, this is something most councils will be looking at with cuts from the government as much as £3.4bn for our national highways. This means that product durability is even more crucial than before. This is why it's essential to make sure that you are using the right product to maximise the whole life cost of any system that is being used. When you look at the variation between traditional methods and cold applied systems, we see a significant advancement in whole-life cost reduction when making that transfer to the use of cold applied systems.

With the final word sustainability, the UK government has committed to achieving the Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050. As an industry, we need to act now and start that journey on that transition to transfer by making the change to cold applied systems. These systems have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions.

So to summarise on safety, durability and sustainability; cold applied systems offer an excess of 60% of improved visibility during wet night time conditions. At least 300% improved durability and up to 90% reduction in carbon emissions during the application process.

hot applied systems vs cold applied

During the study in which we achieved these numbers we were using a product called methyl methacrylate (MMA). Methyl methacrylate technology has been around for many years. The Germans initially developed the technology in the early 1900s.

During the 1950's it became a 'go-to' substrate for making acrylics due to its high-stress properties. Its exceptional adhesive properties offered opportunities to be utilised within the automotive industry. The ability to adjust the rigid properties of the formulation enabled the technology to be used in the manufacturing of robust education equipment.

The medical industry identified the potential to utilise the technology for dental fillings and bone repairs. The low water absorption properties meant the technology could be used in cosmetic applications.

All these properties can be adjusted, and the combination developed further to formulate high durability line marking systems. It was first used in the UK in the early 2000s and is now widely used as cold applied, high-performance line markings.

Contact us today if you want to know more about how you can do your part or need help with your transition.