Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Stiffer road surface implies reduced fuel consumption

Credit - MIT
Study by civil engineers at MIT has revealed that building stiffer road surfaces can bring down the vehicle fuel consumption by as much as 3%.
This 3% would amount to a massive reduction in CO2 emission as well as savings worth billions of dollars of crude oil.

Professor Franz-Josef Ulm and PhD student Mehdi Akbarian of the civil engineering department at MIT have successfully shown the deflection under the tires is similar to that of beach sand underfoot: With each step, the foot tamps down the sand from heel to toe, requiring the pedestrian to expend more energy than when walking on a hard surface.

On the roadways, even a 1 percent increase in aggregate fuel consumption leaves a substantial environmental footprint. Stiffer pavements — which can be achieved by improving the material properties or increasing the thickness of the asphalt layers, switching to a concrete layer or asphalt-concrete composite structures, or changing the thickness or composition of the sublayers of the road — would decrease deflection and reduce that footprint.
“We’re wasting fuel unnecessarily because pavement design has been based solely on minimizing initial costs more than performance — how well the pavement holds up — when it should also take into account the environmental footprint of pavements based on variations in external conditions,” Akbarian says. “We can now include environmental impacts, pavement performance and — eventually — a cost model to optimize pavement design and obtain the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact with the best structural performance.”

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1 comment:

  1. There is a simpler way to reduce fuel consumption ! I bought a product called Metabond C and poured it into my engine oil as per the instructions and I’m as sceptical about these type of products as anyone, but it worked ! Just one can cost me £39.95. My Renault Modus 1.5Dci was doing 57mpg. After using the Metabond, the same car returns 63mpg no matter how you drive it. That’s an improvement of 6mpg or 10.5% and it works on our commercials too. One 250ml can of Metabond lasts 20,000 miles which means that you are getting more than 2,000 miles free motoring – for more info, go to


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