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Increasing climate intensity and resulting recovery costs can be daunting; but we must continue focusing on updating our infrastructure with the advanced materials-science-based technology available today.
To address changing weather conditions — due in part to climate change —
scientists and engineers are developing new technologies to create resiliency in
our ever-evolving world. However, many solutions already exist to help us better
prepare for an uncertain future.
September is National Preparedness Month; and
FEMA’s national preparedness
goal is to
create “a secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the
whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover
from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
Considering this objective, let’s explore how we can implement technology where
it matters most today to create more resiliency tomorrow and many more years to
Infrastructure is a primary part of security and resiliency across the nation,
but US infrastructure — including bridges, roads, pipes, power grids,
telecommunications and more — is aging and
Updating these networks that are critical to our way of life should be a
priority in the pursuit of better preparedness as climate change intensifies.
Fortunately, innovation in material science has resulted in technologies capable
of updating this infrastructure with improved performance and weatherability.
Here are three ways we can use these innovations to create systems with safer,
more durable and longer-lasting infrastructure:
Above-ground electrical and communication cable lines are vulnerable to extreme
and natural disasters. But keeping this key infrastructure intact means
communities can recover faster. When these cable lines are installed underground
with proper insulation materials, they are more durable and last
in the face of increasingly severe weather.
For example, Dow’s ENDURANCE™ Compounds for Power Cable
offer outstanding reliability and longevity for insulation, semiconductive and
jacketing applications in extra-high-voltage, high-voltage and medium-voltage
cable systems. The ENDURANCE HFDC-4202 EC Compound for Cable Systems has a
best-in-class life expectancy — helping create resiliency in power and
As demand for 5G
and broadband connectivity soars in the US, another way innovation in materials
science can help enable reliable communication is with infrastructure
advancements targeted at fiber optic networks. AXELERON™ Telecom Cable
Compounds with CONTINUUM™
Bimodal Polyethylene Resins can
enhance the performance and deployment of these networks, creating more
opportunities for increased reliability, efficiency and ease of installation
along with lower life-cycle costs and overall longevity.
Pipes, which allow for the distribution of assets like energy and provide
drainage for water, are another critical part of our infrastructure. Damaged
pipes can lead to issues such as water delivery disruption, flooding,
electrocution risk and more.
As concerns about aging pipe systems rise, Dow has developed a vast offering of
pipe solutions. CONTINUUM Bimodal Polyethylene Resins are also a key solution
for developing extremely durable, leak-resistant pipelines that can provide
communities with resources such as natural gas and water in virtually any
If you’ve ever driven on a pothole-filled, cracked street or highway, you’ve
seen the result of outdated, crumbling infrastructure. Traditional pavement
often fails from rutting, stripping and cracking, causing roads to deform over
time and making them susceptible to further damage in times of natural disaster.
Such damage can inhibit emergency personnel and community members in times when
efficient transportation is critical.
Polymer-modified asphalt (PMA) offers one solution — roads made with PMA
offer increased durability by up to 30
An additional benefit for the planet is that post-consumer recycled (PCR)
content can be used to create recycled polymer modified
(RPMA) for roads, parking lots and other pavement — helping curb the flow of
plastic waste into landfills and the environment.
Dow’s ELVALOY™ Reactive Elastomeric
Terpolymer (RET) can help
enhance PMAs and has been doing so with proven results for more than 30 years.
The result is elevated performance, long service life and lower lifecycle costs
compared to conventional, neat asphalt. Dow is also collaborating with
organizations such as the National Asphalt Pavement
to use its asphalt modifiers to help achieve safer, longer-lasting roadways.
Increasing climate intensity and resulting recovery costs can be daunting; but
we must continue focusing on updating our infrastructure with the advanced
materials-science-based technology available today. With these and many more
innovative solutions around the globe, we can build more resiliency into our
society and weather the storms to come.
Published Sep 29, 2023 11am EDT / 8am PDT / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.
Everyone has a role to play in creating a more sustainable world: Dow is taking action to address the full scale of challenges, collaborating with partners to improve the industry’s processes and through innovation to help communities become more sustainable.