The authorities in Irkutsk, in Siberia, have decided to start repairing local street roads using what’s known as ‘nanoasphalt,’ a new product tested last year on one of the city streets, the Baikal office of Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.
According to Irkutsk Mayor Viktor Kondrashov, the move will add another 8% to the overall cost of new asphalt.
“The local asphalt factory is beginning this year to use all necessary additives to produce nanoasphalt which we will be using from now on to repair large sections of roads. It will cost us more, but we have consciously decided to do so to increase the quality of our roads,” the mayor said.
Last fall, a small 400 square meter testing area on Voronezhskaya Street was repaired using the new asphalt-bitumen coating based on nanomodified components. The modified asphalt has reportedly proven stronger and more durable than conventional one. The softening temperature for its binder agent is plus 60 degrees Celsius, and the product withstands freezing temperatures of as low as minus 32 degrees Celsius, which is expected to triple the service life of such a road carpet.
The product has been developed by local Nanotechcenter. To make this new asphalt the company first makes polymers using aluminum and silicon production waste.
According to Nanotechcenter, the technology calls for the use of the developer’s proprietary polymer- and nanomodifier-based mineral compound which is added to asphalt-concrete. Polymers are added into what’s known as dolomite flour, a mandatory ingredient of asphalt-concrete, rather than into bitumen itself. In the additive, a special composition is used which includes carbon nanoparticles. Such molecular compounds are believed to possess unique properties.
Center for Vibration Diagnostics opened in Tomsk, first in Russia’s Asian part
A new Center for Vibration Diagnostics and Balancing, Russia’s first east of the Ural Mountains, has opened at Tomsk Polytechnic University in Siberia, TPU announced in its press release.
In addition to training students and re-training industrial staff the Center is expected to help introduce counter-emergency systems to industry.
The $700+K Center is a joint effort by TPU, Diamech 2000, a sizable local equipment maker, and Russia’s Bortnik Fund. According to Sergei Bukhanchenko of TPU’s Research Institute of Cybernetics, the Center will “exclusively” run equipment developed in Russia and “second to no foreign analogs in quality.”
“All oil refineries, energy facilities or aircraft-building factories face problems with vibration diagnostics and balancing. Russia needs such centers… as vibration has an ominous destructive power,” Mr. Bukhanchenko emphasized.
Vibration analyzers and balancing systems are necessary for timely detection of flaws in turbines and other mechanical engineering parts, as well as for the testing of new parts.
The TPU scientist pointed out that “Siberian hydropower stations have already expressed interest in the new Center.” He believes that “had the Sayano-Shushenskay Dam been able to use the services of such a Center, the tragedy could perhaps have been avoided.” (He referred to the catastrophic accident the hydropower plant on the River Yenisei in Siberia suffered on August 17, 2009; the emergency took 75 lives and left a lot of equipment damaged; experts later found in their formal report that “the accident was primarily caused by vibrations of turbine #2 which led to fatigue damage of the mountings of the turbine, including its cover”—Editor’s note)
Nizhny Novgorod hopes to open first IT Park in November
The Nizhny Novgorod Region in the mid-Volga area plans to launch the inaugural stage of its first IT park this November, East-West Digital News, the first all English-language online resource dedicated to Russian digital industries, reported earlier this week, citing an announcement from the Russian Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications that followed a top-level on-site inspection by the Ministry in late March.
The long-awaited $430m Ankudinovka IT Park is one of seven high-technology technoparks around the country mandated by a federal Cabinet decision in 2006.
The government program under which the parks have been funded expires later this year, and the selected regions and technopark residents they have attracted are expected to take over the projects themselves.
The Nizhny park will focus on developing information and telecommunications technologies; medical and biomedical technologies, including innovative cardiovascular disease and cancer therapies, obstetrics equipment, etc.; and technologies for instrument making, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemistry, and new materials.
According to the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Ministry of Investment Policy, Ankudinovka will become home to as many as 100 resident companies that are expected to create about 1,750 new local jobs as they develop. Regional officials hope innovative solutions that will make some high-tech imports redundant will account for up to 65% of the residents’ overall output. There will be enough social infrastructure in the park’s territory to ensure comfortable work and leisure, the local officials said.
Of the total investment required to kick-start the effort, only 3.1 billion rubles (about $88.5 million) will have come from federal and regional coffers, the regional Ministry said. The lion’s share is expected to be contributed by yet-unspecified private investors. The investment is projected to pay off in six years.
The ambitious Nizhny project broke ground in 2012 – much later than most of the other regions picked for the program – and already has a history of delays. In March 2013 the Russian business daily Kommersant reported that federal auditors had expressed “concern over the efficacy of the use of government money in Nizhny’s Ankudinovka.” Last summer government plans were to launch the technopark’s first business center “by the spring of 2014.” In September word came from Ankudinovka’s top management that the IT park would open even earlier – in December 2013. But in October CNews.ru broke the news that the $88m spent so far had brought negligible results and further funding had been “suspended.”
As of today, the only fully built facility in the Ankudinovka Technopark is a data center belonging to Sberbank, the national savings bank.