Interview of:

Gilberto Del Zoppo

Road Engineering Line

From Realtà Mapei International n° 85 - 5/14/2021

Bituminous conglomerates: research is our driving force

Interview with Gilberto Del Zoppo, Road Engineering Line, R&D, Mapei Spa

The Road Engineering product line is Mapei’s eighteenth dedicated line. Why has this new line been created? What areas of application do you operate in?

This new line of technologies and solutions forbitumen conglomerates  completes what, for Mapei, was already a comprehensive, well-structured range of solutions for the building and infrastructure sectors. However, since we have specific knowledge and expertise within the company, it was decided to explore this potential.

We create products and solutions for anything concerning the world of bituminous conglomerates, which is widely used not only in large-scale projects such as airports and motorways, but also for simple courtyards, areas of paving in historic town centres and local and provincial roads, providing our support from the design stage right up to the application stage.


Is this product line also available through the Mapei Group's subsidiaries overseas?

At the moment we are supplying our technologies to a number of countries and training our personnel at various subsidiaries in order to rapidly expand the market for our line of admixtures. Also, we are using local production facilities in different countries to be more competitive and respond more quickly to meet market demand.


The products for the bituminous paving line were developed in the Research & Development laboratories: how important is research in this sector? Which are the most innovative technologies offered by Mapei?

Research is our driving force: and it is from the research work that come up the development of our products, the answer to our clients’ problems and new solutions for the entire sector. Our most advanced technologies at the moment are the thermostable ACFs (Functional Chemical Admixtures) containing a high percentage of renewable raw materials, such as ACF-L3 and L5, which allow a high amount of RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement) to be used in conglomerate, or the new stabilizers for bituminous emulsions that prevent separation during storage. But the really innovative technologies are those we are currently working on which should be released shortly, such as a family of biodegradable adhesion promoters and ACFs.


All around the world, roads are in an increasingly poor state and the demand for remedial work is far greater than the need for new structures. What is Mapei proposing for restoration work on roads that have become badly deteriorated?

MAPE-ASPHALT REPAIR 0/8, for example, is hygro-hardening asphalt we already sell and is used to carry out permanent repairs to potholes. We are currently working on solutions that are even more technologically advanced and cost-effective, as well as being eco-friendly.


Mapei has always taken great interest in environmental sustainability and the health and safety of operators. How are you demonstrating this commitment in the bituminous paving sector?

One of the constants we always take into consideration when developing our products is the use of raw materials that have a low impact on the environment, such as those of plant origin or secondary raw materials, and aiming to reduce the use of hazardous substances to a minimum to help safeguard not only the environment, but also the health of operators.


Issues such as waste and recycling are important for this sector too, particularly the handling, treatment and re-use of recycled bituminous conglomerate. What is Mapei proposing?

We are developing technologies that extend the service life of paving, such as antioxidants for the bitumen; technologies that help reduce the rate of deterioration, such as waterproof and permanent repairs; and others that limit the need or frequency of interventions, such as bituminous membranes to stop cracks coming upwards from the underlying layers. And as far as the mountains of asphalt chippings to be recycled are concerned, our ACFs allow an increasingly higher percentage to be used in new layers of bituminous conglomerate.


Another particularly important topic for Mapei regards durability: how can Mapei technology help create more durable paving?

To extend the service life of paving you just need to limit oxidation of the binder, improve adhesion to the aggregates and make the paving more resistant to heavier fatigue cycles. Mapei has admixtures and polymers available, like the ones developed in partnership with Iren, which, if used correctly, can help to achieve all these things.


What are your team’s main strong points?

We are able to count not only on the knowledge of people who are highly experienced in this specific sector, and by that I mean our Italian and foreign colleagues and consultants; but also on the experience and knowledge of colleagues from all the other Mapei research groups. Specific examples of this are the synergic collaborations that have been created between our group and the polymer synthesis team at Vinavil (a subsidiary of the Mapei Group) and between the epoxy resin line and the polyurethane products line at Mapei SpA's R&D centre.

Another of our strong points is the relationship we create with our clients when working together on site, which often becomes a partnership in every sense of the word.


Realtà Mapei Tags: #road #insights #sustainability

Keep in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter to get Mapei news