A self-repairing pavement has been invented by a student in Mexico.
Israel Antonio Briseno Carmona, a student at Coahulia Autonomous University, created a rubber pavement made from a combination of recycled tyre material and additives which allow the pavement to self-regenerate when it comes into contact with water.
To create the pavement, a putty is formed by heating the tyre rubber along with the additives to create a mixture. This putty can absorb rainwater from the pavement and then creates calcium silicates which heal any cracks in the pavements.
This is how the idea that turning the greatest degradation agent into a recovery agent was born
This isn’t the world’s first self-generating pavement material but it is the first to use water and waste tyres in its creation. Typically, concrete is used alongside limestone-producing bacteria to make pavements self-repairing.
"Damage is caused by rain filtering to the base of pavements, weakening it and creating subsidence," said Carmona.
"This is how the idea that turning the greatest degradation agent into a recovery agent was born."
Carmona’s invention earned him this year’s James Dyson Award for Mexico. The award recognises the best inventions from engineering and design graduates on a global level. This year’s UK winner was University of Sussex graduate Lucy Hughes, created a bio-degradable alternative to single-use plastic with a combination of fish skin and scales.
The winners from each country are automatically nominated for the grand prize, with the winner selected by James Dyson himself. The winner of the international prize takes away £30,000 with an additional £5000 awarded to university.
Last year’s grand prize winners were UK duo Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Nocrani, who invented the O-Wind Turbine for cramped urban environments.