Quieter roads

Heavier traffic and more homes in densely populated areas mean that significant efforts are required to reduce traffic noise. One way is to increase the use of noise-dampening road surfaces.

Disruptive noise from traffic is a major health problem. It's a fact that around 250 million inhabitants in Europe are regularly subjected to traffic noise that exceeds 55 decibels, the guideline value for a good environment.

Alongside noise barriers and insulation of windows, noise-dampening road surfaces are an effective means of improving this situation. The distinctive characteristic of noise-dampening asphalt is that it has a relatively high cavity content, which helps to reduce noise levels. At best, this means a reduction of 8-9 decibels, a figure that then falls slightly from year to year.

One problem is that this kind of open surface wears relatively quickly, especially in the Nordic climate where most vehicles use studded tyres in the winter. Nynas has therefore been involved in developing customised binders that hold the aggregate together more effectively thanks to the fact that they contain polymers.

Ongoing development work is taking place together with many leading contractors. The aim is to further develop the technology that controls how aggregates and binders interact, and thus to extend both the technical and the acoustic useful life.