Kazakh scientists developing super asphalt

In the Kazakh capital of Astana, scientists are creating super asphalt for roads. A specialized technology tailored to weather conditions, load capacity, and traffic intensity in the country has been developed at the Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU). Its distinctive feature lies in its ability to significantly extend the service life of asphalt concrete when applied in highway construction. Comprising minerals, binders, and special additives, the composition developed by scientists yields highly robust road surfaces. Consequently, the country’s highways will serve much longer, with repairs becoming unnecessary for up to 10 years. Experts anticipate that this innovation will be a breakthrough in the field of road construction.

“To enhance water resistance, we utilized industrial waste - basalt wool. Through a chemical reaction, we transformed it into powder. For example, if I add this powder to water now, it will not absorb it. This modification will greatly improve hydrophobic properties,” said Samal Kosparmakova, researcher at ENU department.  

“As part of bitumen modification, we are also working on developing polymer-bitumen, which is a polymer additive. This material will enhance the properties of bitumen, matching its viscosity, to improve the quality of the asphalt concrete mixture during road laying. All this will be developed in Kazakhstan,” said Assel Dzheksembayeva, Director of the ENU Innovation Development Department.

The technology is undergoing its first trials at the construction and technical engineering center. A grant of four billion tenge was provided through the Science Fund for its establishment. The center features a laboratory equipped with modern machinery for testing samples identical to real road sections. If the testing is successful, the mixture will be used in highway construction across the country as early as next year.