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)