Israel Antonio Briseño Carmona, a civil engineering student at the Autonomous University of Coahuila in Torreón, Mexico

Mexican Student Invents Rubber Road Pavement That Self-Repairs When Exposed To Rainwater

A Mexican student has created a rubber road pavement made from recycled tires, that regenerates every time it rains. His solution is very promising and might save billions of dollars on costs for governments and construction companies. 

Companies are constantly struggling to develop new methods and improve common solutions in the industry to reduce costs and lower their impact on the environment.

Well, the innovation of one Mexican student does exactly that!

Many great inventions came for young Mexicans last few years. Last year, an 8-Year-Old Girl From Mexico that Won Nuclear Sciences Prize for her invention. The self-repairing road pavement can have many useful applications and can change the world to better.

Namely, Israel Antonio Briseño Carmona, a civil engineering student at the Autonomous University of Coahuila in Torreón, Mexico, created a rubber pavement made from recycled tires, that self-repairs every time it rains!

His creation addresses the issue of damaged pavements and potholes in cities where it often rains, so it could dramatically reduce the infrastructure costs.

His invention has brought him the national top spot as a 2019 James Dyson Award winner for Mexico.

Briseño explains:

“Every time it rains in my city roads [get] damaged and it takes a lot of time to maintain a damaged street. I was determined to create a pavement capable of withstanding the rain.

What happens is that when it rains, water filters down to the subbase [of the pavement], creating a fault, and when cars pass over it, it collapses. That’s why I wanted to turn the main material that deteriorates into one that can recover. This project [can allow] water to instead be a source of maintenance for our roads.”

His formula creates a putty that fills cracks when exposed to water, and the road regenerates instead of caving in, due to the combination of additives and old rubber tires.

When it rains, the putty produces calcium silicates that fill any cracks. The youngster came up with this idea after initially experimenting with asphalt.

Then, he tested a formula using recycled rubber from tires, which would make building roads cheaper and more sustainable. He patented his invention in April last year, naming it Paflec.

According to the James Dyson Award website, rainwater turns the rubber and various additives into a putty-like substance, allowing for the “regeneration and physical-chemical improvement of the pavement.”

Briseño hopes to join forces with a construction company from whom he could get a 5 percent commission on whatever the total costs would amount to, but he hasn’t found this partner yet.

Such a partnership is very significant for him to certify and tender the project.

To overcome this obstacle, Briseño has developed a three-step plan that would make the concept come true:

“The first phase involves meeting with an engineer to “resolve doubts” about the project and then building a short section of road to ensure that it functions as envisaged. The second phase is to certify the construction system with the national building certification organization ONNCCE and the third phase is to gain approval from the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.”

He stated:

“Damage is caused by rain filtering to the base of pavements, weakening it, and creating subsidence. This is how the idea [for] turning the greatest degradation agent into a recovery agent was born.

At present, there are already pavement types that can regenerate, but none use water as a means of regeneration [nor are they] made of tires.”

Currently, 80 percent of the pavement in Mexico is asphalt and 20 percent is hydraulic cement, which, according to him, are substandard materials considering the fact that the roads are the crucial infrastructure for society.