MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Researchers at the University of Minnesota-Duluth have developed a revolutionary new treatment for those pesky potholes: Just nuke them.
A decade of work has uncovered the unlikely combination of magnetite and microwave energy, a mixture that could lead to smoother roads and fewer orange barrels.
Here’s how it works.
Powdered magnetite — an iron mineral found in taconite ore — is mixed into the traditional asphalt patch filling. Next, a 50-kilowatt generator on a truck produces microwaves, which move through an aluminum tube to a stainless steel box that is placed over the pothole and surrounding pavement.
When zapped with microwave energy, the mixture quickly reaches temperatures of 250-300 degrees.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Colin Smith Reports