Rapid all-weather repair systems for bomb-damaged runways, potholes, etc.

Furfuryl alcohol based polymer systems were successfully used in all-weather conditions during (the Vietnam and other) wars to repair bomb-damaged runways, quickly [1]. The resulting compressive strength and durability is equal to that of the original surface.

 This system has been adopted to South African conditions [2] and the field tests demonstrated that biobased chemicals, in this case sugarcane bagasse derived furfuryl alcohol, compete well (or better) against crude-oil derived epoxy resins. The following features  were reported

The formulatuion selected for use in South Africa polymerised within 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, a compressive strength of 20 MPa is attained.

 It proved stable under adverse chemical conditions and was able to withstand elevated temperatures of up to 200°C

 Tests on road pothole rehabilitation slabs showed that polymer concrete can resist high stresses successfully under repeated loads.

It can be installed in less than 30 minutes in order to minimise traffic hold-ups and reduces labour hours spent on repairs.

It can be used in wet weather conditions (no work stoppage, due to rain).

image Also suitable for remote roads: Rapid & tough repair solutions for potholes, based on proven systems for bomb-damage runway repairs


[1] See below: Water-Compatible Polymer Concrete Materials For Use In Rapid Repair Systems For Airport Runways, T. Sugama, L.E. Kukacka and W. Horn

[2] See below: Development of Furfuryl Alcohol Concrete For South African Applications, D. Kruger, Rand Afrikaans University


 Rapid Repair System For Airport Runways
 Development of Furfuryl Alcohol Concrete For South African Applications

Editor's note: The above developments go back to the 1970s and 80s. The South African project was not commercialised, mainly due to a lack of resources/industry interest. However, the global focus on using green chemicals as well as the increased labour costs for sending a crew out to remote locations to effect road repairs, provide in our view a new opportunity to re-evaluate the use of biomass derived chemicals for such applications.

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