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1 - Bituminous_Materials

1 - Bituminous_Materials

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Published by: Tapani Henrik Saarinen on May 17, 2011
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ME 20263: MATERIALS SCIENCE 2Lecture 1 Bitumen and Bituminous Materials1.
is a highly viscous, black, organic liquid that is obtained from crude oil. It is the stickyresidue left when all of the lighter components of crude oil have been removed during the distillation process. It is similar to tar, which is a residue obtained during the distillation of coal.Bitumen was once commonly used as a waterproofing sealant in boats and in building construction, but its principle use now is as a binding agent mixed with mineral aggregate for paving roads.Bitumen is also known as 'asphalt', particularly in North America. In the UK the term '
'usually refers to the paving mixture of bitumen and aggregate, which is known as 'asphalt concrete' in North America. In Australia, 'bitumen' is often used as a generic term for any surfaced road, asopposed to un-surfaced or 'dirt' roads.Bitumen-based road surfacing material is also known in some parts of the world as 'tarmac', short for 'tar macadam', a type of road construction surfaced with a penetrating tar or bitumen sealant.
Bitumen is a product of oil-refining. It is an industrial by-product which has found an obvious use inroad construction.However, there are also:
Tar: a by-product of coal-gas production
 Natural asphalts: The best known of which is Trinidad Lake Asphalt, it comes from a largelake of bitumen formed in an extinct volcano; natural asphalts are sometimes blended with bitumen from oil-refining to improve the physical properties.Bitumens are complex hydrocarbons containing the following typical element properties:Carbon 82-88%Hydrogen 8-11%Sulfur 0-6%Oxygen 0-1.5% Nitrogen 0-1%Broadly, bitumen consists of:
– insoluble, polar, large particles
– which act to dispense asphaltenes (= resins, aromatics, saturates)
Depending on the ratio of asphaltene/maltene there are two extreme types of bitumen, with most real bitumens being between the two.Figure 1: SOL (The Shell Bitumen Handbook 1991)Figure 2: GEL (The Shell Bitumen Handbook 1991)Bitumens have three important physical characteristics:
– they flow like any other liquid
– there is a recoverable strain component
– they crack if strained too quicklyIn a bituminous mix:Viscosity affects the resistance to ruttingElasticity affects the stiffnessFracture affects the resistance to fatigue cracking
Cut-backs and Emulsions
To make a bitumen easier to handle, e.g. for spraying, it is useful to lower its viscosity at ambienttemperatures. This can be done by:(a)
adding kerosine = cut-back (b)
creating an emulsion:The use of cutback bitumens is decreasing because of:
 Environmental regulations
. Cutback bitumens contain volatile chemicals that evaporateinto the atmosphere. Emulsified bitumens evaporate water into the atmosphere.
 Loss of high energy products
. The petroleum solvents used require higher amounts of energy to manufacture and are expensive compared to the water and emulsifying agents usedin emulsified bitumens.In many places, cutback bitumen use is restricted to patching materials for use in cold weather.Emulsifiers are chain molecules, one end of which has an affinity for bitumen. The other end is ionic(either cationic or anionic) and attached itself to water molecules.To create an emulsion a high shear blender is used.Emulsions “break when the emulsifier molecules react with aggregate particles and are pulled outfrom around the bitumen droplet, generally leaving the bitumen adhering to the aggregate.

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