Making Roads Safer to Drive

Maurizio Manzo and Zhenhua Huang, researchers in UNT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, are using a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation's Research and Implementation Division to solve a common problem that affects safety on roads -- road striping. Changing the yellow or white lines is not a simple task for highway departments, and many of the methods currently used can cause major safety concerns because various striping patterns can appear on the road under different light conditions. The goal of Manzo and Huang's project is to find an economic way to eliminate existing striping. Their solution uses thermal ablation through lasers that will attach to TxDOT trucks to clean the paint off the roadway quickly and completely. The duo believes their method will have less environmental impact and be faster -- depending on the material used -- than conventional methods.