By Cara Sulieman
A SCOTS company has harnessed infra-red technology to fix potholes without the usual noise and disruption of traditional road-works.
And they have now been given a six month contract from Fife Council to repair the roads in the Kingdom quicker and greener than other methods.
But it’s not the first successful contract for Nu-Phalt, who now supply their unique machines to countries around the world including America, India and Hungary.
The technology is a world first and uses LEDs to heat up the pothole before adding fresh tarmac to the mix.
Repairs can be fixed in just 20 minutes and the process produces just one seventh of the CO2 of the traditional method.
Based in Rosyth, the company – which has another office in England – had already had international success with their unique system.
Iain Gardner, the regional business manager, explained how the company came up with the technology.
He said: “It’s a very unique infrared technology system. The heat medium we use is a world first; we are the only company that use it.
“The heater itself was invented from a burner used for burning off landfill gases without the use of flares. We took that technology and turned it upside down and invented a road tarmac heater.”
The infra-red radiation is used to heat up the pothole and loosen any existing road material – allowing it to be mixed with new asphalt and binding liquid to fill the hole.
The speed of the operation means that the road can be opened after just a few hours, one of the many reasons people are queuing up for the system.
The six-month trial in Fife will hopefully lead to a long-term contract for the company.
Dr Bob McLellan, head of transportation services at Fife Council, said: “We aim to quantify the benefits of the process and are particularly keen on realising the significant environmental benefits of using Nu-Phalt.
“Working in partnership, we mutually wish the trial to be a resounding success – benefiting all those travelling on Fife’s extensive road network.”
The contract comes just months after the firm won the Green Business Fife Award for Environmental Innovation.
It was the environmental, social and economic benefits of the Infrared Road Repair System that clinched the accolade for the company.
Councillor Martin said: “The Green Business Fife Awards represent the very significant commitment made by companies to put Fife on the map as a place to do business in a sustainable and competitive way.
“In recognising and rewarding companies that have introduced new initiatives and projects for better sustainable business practice, the Green Business Fife Awards aim to promote greater awareness and environmental innovation throughout Fife.”
Scottish councils have dished out £1.2 million in compensation in the last five years to drivers whose cars were damaged by potholes.