Application of bitumen
1. A bituminous emulsion that accelerates growth
Mulch is a term used in agronomy to designate a protective layer formed, more often than not, fromorganic material. For example, after the harvest, the haulm, or straw, is left on the surface of the field,where it serves as protection for the newly-sown seeds and during the early growth period of the plants.A variant, « petroleum mulch », is produced from a bituminous emulsion applied by pulverisation. Acontinuous film of bitumen thus protects the seeds and accelerates germination. Indeed, this film limitswater evaporation, prevents leaching of soils and raises soil temperature.
2. Bitumen in printing ink
Nowadays, in the printing works which turn out our daily newspapers, the paper passes so rapidly over the rotary printers that there is only a fraction of a second of contact with the printing cylinder. For thisreason, 70 % of the ink composition is a liquid phase known as the « vehicle », whose role is to transportthe pigment onto the paper and to fix it there.Traditionally, producers used a natural hydrocarbon. Now, it has been replaced by a bitumen from therefinery. Three quarters of the black inks used for the printing of daily newspapers are consequently madefrom Venezuelan bitumen.
3. The use of bitumen in the production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.
Roofing felt is a fiberglass or polyester fleece impregnated with bituminous impregnating agents (tar,asphaltic bitumen); it is produced in roll form. In some cases mineral materials (e.g. sand) is applied onone side to help prevent the material from sticking together while in roll form and to provide protectionfrom atmospheric conditions. A distinction is drawn between tarred board and bitumen board.
4. Surface Dressing
This is a process commonly used for road maintenance. It normally consists of spraying a thin film of binder onto the road surface using a mobile spray vehicle. This is immediately followed by the applicationof a layer of stone chippings that are rolled to embed them into the surface. Emulsions and cutbacks areusually used in the spray application.
5. Road construction
90 % of all bitumen is used in road construction and maintenance of roads.Bitumen is used as a binder for aggregates to produce hot mix asphalts and macadams. Typically hotbitumen is delivered to a fixed asphalt plant where the hot mixture is produced and then transported to the