Students of Vidyavardhaka Engineering College develop pothole-filling machine — a quick fix for cratered city roads
Mysuru: Each year, Mother Nature and travellers leave a stamp on highways, roads and parking lots in the form of potholes. Born from both harsh, cold winter and dry, hot summer weather, potholes show up many times throughout the year and in all regions and climates — no area is immune.
All those seemingly small holes littered throughout our cities pack a lot of punch and they cause major damage to vehicles. Though there is no sure-fire way to stop their occurrence, a group of final year students of Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering have come with a pothole-filling machine that will facilitate speedy filling up of potholes and ensure comfortable stretches for road users, especially during rainy season.
The miniature low-cost and less time consuming pothole-filling machine was developed by students as part of their project. The students — Sujay Dev, B. Rohith, B. Rahul and S. Shashank — under the guidance of Dr. G.B. Krishnappa, Dean – Research and Development and Prof. Thamme Gowda, Project Coordinator, have developed the machine keeping in mind the traditional pothole-filling techniques that take a lot of manpower and a lot of heavy machinery, which is an expensive process.
The objectives of the project was to decrease the amount of manpower and the time required to fill the pothole, to reduce road closure due to repair of roads by creating compact machine to work in tandem with the traffic and to reduce the amount of money required to fill a pothole.
The advantages of the pothole-filling machine is that the initial investment is less and easy to maintain. It reduces labour because of single equipment. By using a single machine, all the processes are done simultaneously and efficiently. And there is no need to close the complete road and only a portion of the road can be closed.
The machine includes a two-stroke petrol engine, roller, hopper and a chassis as its principal parts and it takes a maximum of 50 minutes to fill a pothole of 1.5 ft width. The time taken to clean the pothole of 450 mm X 450 mm X 100 mm (length X breadth X depth) is around 5 to 10 minutes, the time required to heat the tar is 20 minutes and mixing it with gravel is 10 minutes. The total time required for the process is around 50 minutes for the size mentioned. The labour requirement is a maximum at two persons. The students explained that coconut husk is used to heat the tar and over 1.5 kg of husk is required to heat three kg of tar and 18 kg of gravel to fill it. The total cost of filling the pothole comes to just Rs.190 and the total cost of the pothole-filling machine is Rs.31,250.
Moreover, the machine is easy to operate and easily manoeuvrable and the tar applied was compacted properly in the pothole. The machine can be used without disturbing the traffic and without closing the roads and can be easily transported from place to place. Multiple operations such as rolling and tar discharge can be performed by the machine simultaneously.