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By Sugna
#19703
To decrease costs of resurfacing a road and reduce amount of asphalt used. The idea would be to design a paving machine which uses microwaves to heat up old asphalt on the road and enabling it to be picked up easily. The machine would then remix the asphalt to the proper ratio by adding extra asphalt tar and then resurface the road all in a single operation with the same machine. This machine would eliminate the system used presently whereby pavement is stripped, new pavement is brought in days later and the road is resurfaced weeks later.

Reward: New roads resurfaced cheaply with less noise and disruptions.
By archion
#23506
Unfortunately microwaves don't usually affect oil. Tar is essentially a oil byproduct of crude, and thus microwaves would not affect it. second the energy needed to melt tar is so immense that is is not feasible in the slightest.
Think about this:
It takes about a minute to melt a half dozen ice cubes (6Cu" or about .0147CuFt (144cu" = 1 cubic ft)) in a 1500 watt microwave.
Scaling that up to a small section road size mass (20' x 30' x 1.5') 900cubic feet
calculations:
1/.0147 x 1500watts / 5minutes = approx 20,400watts applied for 5 min per cubic foot.
now multiply that times the number of cubic feet in that small section 900cubic ft x 20,400watts@5min
Since tar has a much larger temperature span between solid and liquid than water;
You would have to apply at-least 18,360,000 watts for five minutes to even soften the road...
that's basically funneling the power from a high-voltage transmission line in to a small road surfacing machine...
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