epion Pioneers in engineering

From city streets to expressways, from racetracks to runways

We  build pavements that endure

PAVING OUR WAY
TO A BETTER FUTURE

Defective asphalt pavements are incredibly dangerous, disruptive to traffic and damaging to the economy. Until very recently, no method existed to reverse, halt, nor even slow down asphalt disintegration. When defects started to occur, the only way to ensure driver safety and road functionality was to replace the top asphalt layer. Epion’s co-founder Professor dr. ir. Erik Schlangen of the Delft University of Technology has paved the way for a more prudent approach. The innovative induction-healing technology he developed can reverse asphalt disintegration long before pavement functionality and driver safety are compromised. Complemented by rejuvenation capsules, healing treatment also reverses aging of the bituminous binder; protecting the pavement against degenerative forces.

THE END OF THE ROAD(s)?

Asphalt aging & decay

Asphalt pavements consist of mineral aggregates, bound together by a bituminous binder. As a result of various exposure conditions, this bitumen ages over the course of a pavement’s service-life, restricting its capacity to bind the aggregates together. This aging process makes the pavement vulnerable, and micro-cracks will start to emerge in the binder. Without repair, the cracking-process accelerates with the passage of time, resulting in the separation of aggregate particles from the pavement. This most commonly occurs on the pavement’s surface, a phenomenon known as raveling. In turn, raveling and similar degradation mechanisms can quickly develop into potholes and other serious safety concerns. The rate of decay varies greatly depending on the type of asphalt, traffic density and environmental conditions. The latter include, among others: exposure to UV-radiation, freeze-thaw cycles and imposed thermal deformations.

 

Porous asphalt is especially susceptible to such degenerative influences compared to its dense graded alternative. Porous asphalt may already start to ravel a mere 2 years after paving, accompanied by a loss of skid-resistance. When raveling has set in, it will develop into more serious safety hazards within months. Because of its susceptibility to raveling, the average service life of (conventional) porous asphalt roads (8 - 10 years) is much shorter than that of dense-graded pavements (18 years). Depending on the circumstances however, (partial) replacement of the (top) asphalt layer may be required much earlier to ensure driver safety. Besides being incredibly costly, such maintenance operations have a big environmental impact.

 

 

THE TECHNOLOGY

Epion offers both cutting-edge healing products and unique expertise. With the world’s leading expert  in the field of self-healing materials at our helm, we enable our customers to exploit the full potential of these exciting new technologies. Whether our products are applied in express ways, city streets or runways: we build pavements that remain safe and retain their functionality over longer periods of time. Healing pavements not only have a much longer service-life, they also require fewer and less invasive maintenance activities. Needless to say, applying self-healing asphalt therefore also results in a significant cost reduction when compared to conventional alternatives. Hence there is a lot to be gained by implementing our technologies: increasing the durability of asphalt means (1) saving lives, (2) cutting costs and (3) sparing the environment.

EPION'S MISSION

Building roads that endure

We are committed to creating value for all our stakeholders and self-healing technology is a perfect means to this end. Everyone benefits from epion's more durable roads as they have social, economical and environmental advantages over the conventional alternatives.

THE BENEFITS

of

self-healing asphalt

 

 

LEARN MORE

A BEND IN THE ROAD IS NOT THE END OF THE ROAD ....

UNLESS YOU FAIL TO MAKE THE TURN

EPION'S SOLUTION

Self-healing asphalt

We at epion keep pushing the boundaries of self-healing technology to construct the world’s most durable pavements and to generate added value for our clients and the community at large. With these aims in mind, we offer a wide range of cutting-edge healing products & services.

APPLICATIONS

Epion caters to a global market, providing knowledge and innovative self-healing products to any organization interested in building more durable pavements. We make an effort to understand the specific needs of our clients and the industry they operate in, bringing made-to-measure solutions wherever they might be needed.

 

EXPRESSWAYS

CITY STREETS

AVIATION INDUSTRY

EXPRESSWAYS

 

Induction healing technology can be applied fruitfully in any type of asphalt pavement. Since it significantly extends service-life however, its application is particularly advantageous in porous asphalt pavements. With an average service life of 8-10 years, (conventional) porous asphalt roads have much shorter life cycles than dense graded pavements (18 years). Despite of this drawback porous asphalt is often used in the construction of important expressways, as it outperforms its counterpart in several respects. Due to its open graded nature, porous asphalt reduces traffic noise and facilitates water drainage. The latter greatly improves road safety because it prevents splash-and-spray and aquaplaning.

 

In the Netherlands, 80% of expressways are surfaced with porous asphalt on account of its superior performance. In an effort to remediate porous asphalt’s one major flaw, its relatively short service-life, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment commissioned the implementation of induction healing technology at several locations in the Netherlands. An early experiment in the A58 express-way near Vlissingen is particularly worthy of note. Here a 400 meter long strip of self-healing pavement has been open to traffic since 2010. This strip has already been healed successfully via induction-heating. According to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure, implementing induction healing in all expressways in the Netherlands could save 90 million euro's in maintenance costs per annum.

 

By extending its service-life, healing technology removes the most important barrier to the implementation of porous asphalt. Epion’s products thereby remove the need to choose between durability and performance: with self-healing porous asphalt, you can have both.

 

 

CITY STREETS

 

Maintenance of city streets comes with its own special set of difficulties, presenting a challenge epion gladly takes on. Situated in busy urban areas, performing repair activities on these roads is exceptionally disruptive to traffic and/or complicated by lack of space. These maintenance difficulties make the implementation of self-healing technology in new pavements an attractive option in metropolitan areas. Compared to conventional alternatives, healing pavements require less invasive maintenance, less frequently.

 

With our revolutionary induction-based repair method I-Aid, epion offers a far less invasive, less time-consuming alternative to conventional  on-site repair procedures. Pavement defects in city streets are prevalent in zones surrounding traffic lights, roundabouts, intersections and the like. These areas are subject to more forces, as a result of the frequent acceleration and deceleration of vehicles in these zones. Hence certain segments of the road might urgently require repair, while the rest of the pavement is still in good condition. With I-Aid, epion offers a cost-effective method to replace defective segments of the road with pavement of unmatched quality.

 

AVIATION  INDUSTRY

 

Airports demand more from their pavements than any other organization. Rightly so, for when runways have to be closed for maintenance, airports do not just lose revenue as a result of having to turn down business. A burden is also placed on other runways, those that have to compensate for the loss of capacity, and airports may even suffer legal penalties as a result of failing to meet flight demand. Given these large costs, airports have an added incentive to minimize downtime and extent pavement service life by implementing epion’s products.

Induction healing technology has two additional benefits that deserve mention here, as they make application in runways particularly worthwhile:

 

(1) Airports in cold climates use a variety of methods to clear runways from snow and ice. In addition to mechanical methods and de-icing fluids, runways can be equipped with integrated heating systems. De-icing fluids are either harmful to the environment or to aircraft, damaging carbon brakes and corroding cadmium-plated plane components. Integrated heating systems, however, are incredibly expensive as they involve embedding either an array of pipes to hold a heating fluid or electric wires into the pavement. Both systems distribute heat inhomogenously, thereby imposing restrained thermal deformations that cause damage to the pavement.

Aceso, epion’s induction-heating vehicle, heals two proverbial wounds with one kiss when applied to runways. The steel fibers that induction healing requires to be incorporated into the pavement can also serve as a superior alternative to the integrated heating systems used at present. Because these steel fibers are distributed evenly over the pavement’s surface, imposed retrained thermal deformations are less likely to occur. Since induction technology also extends pavement service life, it is a much more attractive investment than any stand-alone heating system. The appeal of this double-functionality will result in decreased use of harmful de-icing fluids, since a more sustainable alternative is available for runways equipped with self-healing technology.

 

(2) The surface of runway pavements has to be much more resilient, due to the higher impact load of aircraft. This is a lasting concern, since modern-day airports have to accommodate increasingly heavier aircraft and a growing number of flights. The steel fibers necessary for induction healing can help airports meet these demands, as they also enhance the pavement’s structural integrity, allowing it to withstand heavier loads.

 

These added advantages, combined with healing technology’s ability to minimize downtime and extent pavement  service life, make the implementation of epion’s products an absolute no-brainer for the aviation industry.

 

 

 

  • VIEW

    The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is committed to improving quality of life, access and mobility in a clean, safe & sustainable environment. Epion has found a partner with the same aspirations in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. Together we will realize a more sustainable Dutch road-network.

  • VIEW

    For successful innovation, constructive cooperation is as important as knowledge and creativity. In order to be able to transform technological innovations into applications that bring added value to society, the TU Delft engages in helping external partners. By working with industry, government and civil society organizations or directly with individuals, TU Delft offers knowledge for the benefit of society. Epion’s partnership with the TU Delft allows us to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

  • VIEW

    Aizawa Concrete Corporation is a family business specialized in building materials, based in Hokkaido, which operates all over Japan. Aizawa is our strategic partner and distributor of self-healing asphalt in Japan.

MEDIA  COVERAGE

 

VIDEOS

ARTICLES

PRESS RELEASES

VIDEOS

 

TEDxDelft

 

A TED-talk on induction-healing

featuring a live demonstration

by Professor Schlangen.

 

Read more >

 

TECH DEMO

 

A demonstration on induction-healing

by Professor Schlangen.

 

Read more >

 

CNN

 

Professor Schlangen explains

the benefits of implementing

induction-healing in expressways in

an interview with CNN.

 

Read more >

IBC 2017

 

Presentation on self-healing asphalt

by Professor Schlangen at the 29th

International Baltic Road conference

in Tallinn, Estonia .

 

Read more >

TV3 TALLINN

BROADCAST

 

A TV3 Tallinn City interview on induction-healing.

 

Read more >

NEWS ARTICLES

 

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO READ THE ARTICLES

PRESS  RELEASES

 

PRESS RELEASE
21 July 2018

READ MORE  >

Epion & Aizawa form strategic partnership to conquer the Japanese market with self-healing asphalt

  •  

    Tokyo, Japan, July 21 2018 – Epion Asphalt & Aizawa Concrete Corp. announce the formation of Epion Japan.

     

    Epion has partnered up with Aizawa to form Epion Japan, expanding its presence to the region. The new partnership is a strong strategic fit, leveraging Epion’s technological know-how and expertise and Aizawa’s experience, network and drive for innovation.

     

    Epion Japan will offer groundbreaking alternatives to conventional pavement maintenance for more durable city streets, express-, and runways. With Epion’s innovative technologies, asphalt disintegration can be reversed long before pavement functionality and driver safety are compromised.

     

    Induction-healing

    Induction-healing technology uses induction energy to repair micro-cracks in (modified) asphalt pavements, extending pavement service-life by 50-100%.

     

    Rejuvenation capsules

    Rejuvenation capsules are embedded in the asphalt mixtures of new pavements to revert bitumen aging. Especially when applied in tandem with induction-healing, rejuvenation capsules greatly extend pavement service-life.

     

    Both self-healing asphalt technologies prolong pavement service-life considerably, which (1) reduces expenditure, (2) promotes safety & (3) spares the environment.

     

    The Induction-Aid repair method

    Induction-Aid (I-Aid) utilizes the same induction-heating technology employed with induction-healing to replace defective pavement segments with prefabricated asphalt patches. Because I-Aid requires minimal on-site maintenance activity, it is particularly suitable for crowded or hard-to-reach areas. The procedure produces little debris and is considerably less disruptive to traffic and the public.

     

    A durable partnership

    - Epion Asphalt will supply specialized equipment and transfer its technological know-how to Epion Japan.

    - Epion Japan will utilize Aizawa’s understanding of the local market, clientele, existing business infrastructure and personnel to further the implementation of self-healing technologies in Japan.

     

     ‘We expect the new partnership to spark transformative changes in the Japanese road construction industry, resulting in more durable, sustainable and cost-effective pavement construction practices on the islands’, Martin Megalla, managing partner of Epion Asphalt reported.

     

    Epion Japan made its first appearance at a three-day event in the Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Center, where Professor Schlangen gave a live demonstration of Epion’s self-healing asphalt technology.

     

    Strike while the iron is hot!

    Two global trends set the perfect stage for the wide-scale adoption of self-healing asphalt across the world. First, mounting concerns over the environment are increasingly forcing the public sector to look for sustainable solutions. Due to the extension of service-life they can achieve, self-healing technologies can significantly reduce the road construction industry’s environmental impact. Solely applying induction-healing, for example, already reduces carbon emissions by an estimated 40%.

    Global investment rates in infrastructure persistently lag behind GDP growth, resulting in what is called a ‘global infrastructure gap’. Self-healing technology can contribute to bridging this gap:

    1. Our products provide superb long-term investment opportunities. While applying self-healing technology raises initial construction costs, the added expenditure is more than compensated for over the course of the pavement’s prolonged service-life.

    2. Governments often fail to mobilize the necessary funds to carry out proper preventative maintenance – even in developed economies with aging infrastructure networks. In the long term, such negligence is incredibly costly; restoring a defective road to an acceptable condition is up to 20 times more expensive than carrying out preventive maintenance over its life cycle (Eurobitumen2014, p. 16). The application of self-healing technologies effectively removes this problem, as it commits pavement owners to an optimal preventive plan.

     

    About Epion Asphalt

    Epion Asphalt takes its cue from Professor dr. ir. Erik Schlangen’s foundational research at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Epion’s core mission is to employ its co-founder’s technologies in order to build the most durable pavement, minimize life-cycle costs and reduce the social and environmental harm caused by the global paving industry.

    In pursuit of these aims, Epion offers franchises for the production and sale of its maintenance solutions. Epion is a conversion franchise-network, which means only well-established construction firms are eligible to join. An Epion franchise entitles its owner to the continued use of our self-healing pavement maintenance solutions, name & trademarks, unique expertise, advise and support. Franchisees are awarded designated business territories.

     

    About Aizawa Concrete Corp.

    Aizawa Concrete Corporation is a family business specialized in building materials, based in Hokkaido, which operates all over Japan. The company’s core business is the manufacture and sale of cements, ready-mixed concretes, pre-stressed concretes, concrete piles and other housing materials. Under the direction of C.E.O. Yoshihiro Aizawa , the company became a leading innovator in construction, always on the look-out for promising innovations to extend its business operations. In addition to self-healing asphalt, the company also makes use of concrete 3D-printing and offers self-healing concrete in cooperation with Green Basilisk - another TU Delft spin-off company.

     

     

     

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AT THE CROSSROADS BETWEEN  INNOVATION & INDUSTRY

 

The world is changing at an ever faster pace, presenting the construction industry with a novel set of challenges. A changing climate urges the industry to look for sustainable alternatives, urbanization forces it to adapt to crowded areas and, in an economy where time is becoming an ever more valuable commodity, the industry faces increasing pressure to limit downtime.

 

Fortunately, technological innovation also proceeds at an accelerating pace. Indeed, many dearly needed solutions already exist, but have yet to enter the market. Because construction companies have a hard time keeping up with scientific developments, the road from discovery to implementation is a long one. Too long, as a matter of fact, considering the pressing problems that need to be addressed.

 

Epion’s founders recognized the gap between industry and academia as an important bottleneck, and created epion to facilitate constructive cooperation between the two. By bridging this gap, epion functions as a catalyst for the implementation of innovative technologies that answer the challenges faced by the road construction industry in the twenty-first century.

 

 

THE TEAM

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PRODUCTS

&

SERVICES

Our portfolio includes a variety of products & services that can be tailored to any specific project.

 

Contact one of our team members today to see how we can outperform the conventional for you.

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APPLICATIONS

WE BUILD PAVEMENTS THAT ENDURE

DURABLE

100 %

Prolonged service-life

SUSTAINABLE

-40 %

CO2 emission

CLIENTS

100 %

Customer satisfaction

PARTNERS

Together with our partners

we pave our way to a more

durable future

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THE LATEST NEWS


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EPION CATALYST IN ROAD INNOVATION

INDUCTION HEALING

REJUVENATION CAPSULES

INDUCTION AID (I-AID)

INDUCTION  HEALING

 

Induction-healing is the first method capable of healing micro-cracks in pavements, thereby preventing asphalt raveling and similar more advanced degradation mechanisms from occurring.

 

Steel fibers are incorporated in the asphalt mixture, rendering it electrically conductive. When micro-cracks in the pavement are on the verge of evolving into raveling, these fibers are heated by an alternating magnetic field, generated by an induction coil. The produced heat melts the bituminous binder, allowing bitumen to flow into the cracks. This restores the bond between asphalt constituents, closing of the cracks and halting accelerated degradation processes that would otherwise give rise to raveling (and related phenomena). The heating treatment can be repeated at later dates, when degradation processes again threaten to compromise the pavement’s structural integrity.

REJUVENATION  CAPSULES

 

Epion’s rejuvenation capsules are embedded in the binder of a new pavement to revert the effects of aging on bitumen. As micro-cracks develop in the bituminous binder the capsules are opened, and a liquid rejuvenator is released which flows into the cracks. Diffusion of the rejuvenator in the bitumen remits its stiffening, restoring the binder to its original state. Although rejuvenation capsules can be implemented separately, induction-heating allows for more effective diffusion of the rejuvenating fluid. Hence, embedding rejuvenation capsules in healing pavements significantly boosts their performance.

INDUCTION  AID

 

Induction-Aid or ‘I-Aid’ is a perfect example of epion’s ability to unearth the untapped potential of self-healing technology and illustrates the value of our expertise. Whereas induction healing prevents potholes and other dangerous defects from occurring, I-Aid can be employed to repair the pavement after they have. I-Aid uses prefabricated asphalt patches, encased in a bonding-layer containing conductive steel particles. Segments of the pavement surrounding the potholes are cut out with a hole saw and replaced with these asphalt patches. Once in place, a bond between the repair patch and the old road is established by applying induction heating and light compaction. Although epion will also offer standardized patches, both their dimensions and the asphalt mixture they contain can be modified if needed.

 

Our induction-based repair method has many advantages over conventional alternatives, primarily because it relies on in-factory prefabrication. Since replacement patches are made beforehand, on-site maintenance activities are safer, take up far less time and produce comparatively little debris. In addition, epion can guarantee delivering high-quality products, as it can oversee the manufacturing-process.

 

 

 

 

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JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
ES

 

The benefits of epion’s healing products at a glance

Epion’s healing technologies greatly reduce long-term expenditure. While only requiring an extra initial investment of roughly 25%, induction healing extends pavement service life by 50-100%. When rejuvenation capsules are also embedded in a healing pavement, its lifespan will be lengthened even further. Because our products remove the need to replace defective segments of the road during its (longer) service-life, healing pavements also cost comparatively little to maintain.

 

Naturally, pavements with a longer service-life and less invasive maintenance cycles also benefit society at large. Induction treatment is much less disruptive to traffic (and the economy) than having to close a stretch of road for a few days to conduct repairs. Consequently, healing pavements are safer, both for construction workers and commuters. Healing technology also presents an important opportunity for the road construction sector to reduce its impact on the environment. Due to the addition of steel fibers to the asphalt mixture, constructing pavement suitable for induction healing has a slightly larger environmental impact. Since healing pavements have a much longer service-life however, an estimated 40% reduction in CO2 emissions can be achieved by utilizing induction-healing.

 

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