Elvaloy® RET helps pave the world's highest road
With its surreal "desert-in-the-sky" panoramas, Ladakh in Kashmir is often referred to as "Moonland." It is home of the world's highest-elevation motorable road, following an ancient silk and wool trade route, through Khardungla Pass. Summer temperatures often reach 80ºF, and winters drop to -40ºF or lower, causing excessive expansion and contraction in the 20-mm-thick bitumen. Paving materials containing DuPont™ Elvaloy® RET were used for a test section of this roadway.
Osnar Chemical Pvt. Ltd., of Mumbai, India, chose the RET-modified bitumen for its resistance to thermal cracking and easy workability using hand-tools in the exhaustingly thin air at this high altitude. "If weather interrupts a work crew, the stored mixture can be reheated and used later without worry about the Elvaloy® RET separating from the binder, as the mix is totally homogenous," says Samir Degan, the company's director.