LEESBURG, VA (September 7, 2011) – Leading construction firms gather this week at a Virginia conference to ponder new ways to build and repair the nation’s aging highway infrastructure. One disarmingly simple innovation on display – Mechanical Concrete® – offers attendees a compelling value proposition: low cost, greater strength, extraordinary simplicity and unmatched environmental benefits.
Mechanical Concrete provides a virtually indestructible engineered foundation for roads of all types. The key to this innovation is literally piling up around us: tires. Mechanical Concrete is built with cylindrical tension bands created from used auto tires from which both sidewalls have been removed. These tire-derived cylinders are placed side-by-side on the ground covering the footprint of a road’s foundation, and nailed together into a grid. When appropriately sized stone aggregate is poured into the cylinders, the stones tightly lock together and behave as a solid, immovable mass: Mechanical Concrete. This construction method uses less stone, requires no compaction or curing, and is instantly ready to support heavy construction loads.
Compared to the sophisticated techniques of modern road building, this technology seems almost primitively simple. Yet it’s proving a transformational success across the country. Road projects using this green, sustainable construction technique have been completed or are under construction for more than 15 projects in five states – West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona and California. Customers include multiple public sector and commercial organizations.
Samuel G. Bonasso, civil engineer and former West Virginia DOT Secretary, is the inventor of Mechanical Concrete. “This is a new, U.S. patent-protected way to build roads, walls, and other civil engineering constructions,” said Bonasso. “It uses no cement, resins, adhesives or asphalt and is extremely simple, strong, fast, economical – and profitable. It is being successfully used as the base for unpaved gravel roads, concrete paved roads, and asphalt roads to carry heavy industrial loads in the mining, energy exploration and energy generation industries. Above all, it’s Green. As Green as you can get, since it reduces construction time and the construction-related carbon footprint, while efficiently reusing a widely-generated industrial waste product – the scrap tire,” he added.
Mechanical Concrete road bases deliver successful operating results with surface toppings of all types: crushed stone, asphalt, concrete or sprayed resin. Depending on sub-grade soil and surface load conditions, Mechanical Concrete may be placed directly on the soil subsurface or it may be used with geo-synthetics or fabric underlayment materials.
When a tire-derived cylinder is placed in the ground it is inert and thus has absolutely no adverse environmental impact. In the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s formal hierarchy of solid waste management, reuse of materials has greater environmental value than recycling the same products. In other words, reusing tires achieves a significantly greater environmental benefit than recycling tires. The U.S. annually generates over 300 million waste tires, so tire-derived-cylinders are available in abundance. It takes about 12,000 cylinders to build a 12-foot lane-mile – a density of about 8,000 tire cylinders per acre.
Michael P. Jackson, former Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, serves on the Reinforced Aggregates Company (REAGCO) board of advisors. “Mechanical Concrete offers a compelling solution for building stronger roads at less cost, faster and with extraordinary safety and environmental properties,” said Jackson. “As a patented product, this technology also gives our contractors opportunities to get a leg up in markets where the competition is forced to build with yesterday’s technology. Sam Bonasso’s invention is the essence of disruptive technology – one that also comes at a time when our nation’s infrastructure is so badly in need of repair,” added Jackson.
REAGCO has begun to assemble a network of highway and heavy/civil contractors who are being licensed to use this new construction method in key markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. At the same time, REAGCO is developing a network of tire-derived cylinder providers to support domestic and overseas projects using Mechanical Concrete. With a Mechanical Concrete patent license, highway and heavy/civil contractors obtain the training, professional support and contractual right to deliver this technology efficiently to their customers in a specific state, province or region. Exclusive rights are also available.
About REAGCO. Reinforced Aggregates Company (REAGCO), located in Morgantown, W.Va., has developed, patented (U.S. Patent 7,470,092 B2) and now licenses the Mechanical Concrete technology. Technical specifics for Mechanical Concrete are described in more detail at www.reagco.com.