Building materials supplier and road-surfacing specialist Tarmac has launched an electrically powered bond coat sprayer for UK roads in a bid to support the transition to net-zero.
Tarmac supplier and highways equipment specialist DE Plant, part of the Thriplow Group, developed the all-electric vehicle, which is said to be the first of its kind.
Tarmac said the technology could replace its diesel-powered counterparts, “offering huge carbon savings alongside on-site safety benefits.”
Bond coat sprayers are used country-wide to distribute a thin layer of heated bitumen, sprayed between layers of asphalt, to bind them together when laying a road.
Tarmac and DE Plant have partnered with Volvo and Schäfer-technic to develop an all-electric, zero-emission sprayer, which offers carbon savings of 1.12kg CO2e/km – equivalent to driving 6,000km in a diesel car.
The electric sprayer was used for the first time on the A120 in Essex.
Once fully operational, the sprayer is set to service the area surrounding the M25 and help contractors to cut carbon emissions on road surfacing projects across East Anglia and the south-east of England.
DE Plant worked with Volvo to develop the chassis.
Custom construction machinery manufacturer Schäfer-technic has developed the specialist tanker, sprayer, and nozzles.
As part of the project, Tarmac has also worked with BituChem to develop a new product to replace traditional bitumen.
In the absence of a diesel generator to keep the bitumen warm and ready for spraying, the company’s Bondcoat Duo was created to be used as a cool product, meaning the battery’s energy can be conserved as there is no requirement for hot material on site.
Phil Greenin, framework delivery manager at Tarmac, said: “Tarmac has ambitious sustainability goals to be at the forefront of implementing low CO2 transport and logistics solutions across the highways and construction industries.
“Playing a part in the delivery of the world’s first electric bond coat sprayer has been incredibly exciting for the team, and further demonstrates our commitment to supporting the delivery of net-zero targets.”
“Being the world’s first all electric bond coat sprayer demonstrates how a collaborative approach can really work to change the operation when others said it couldn’t be done.”
National Highways has approved the use of Bondcoat Duo on the strategic road network.
Steve Elderkin, director of Environmental Sustainability at National Highways, said: “Reaching net-zero highways is going to require big thinking, ongoing innovation, and the continued development of low-carbon technology and materials.
“The environmental challenges we face can only be achieved by working together.
“It’s great to see Tarmac and DE Plant doing that – an example of partnership working within the field resulting in a new technique being introduced on our road network.
“I look forward to further collaboration working with our supply chain partners and stakeholders to achieve our environmental commitments.”
Image: Tarmac’s new all-electric bond coat sprayer vehicle. Credit: Tarmac
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