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, from organic 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. A continuous film of bitumen thus protects the seeds and accelerates germination. Indeed, this film limits water 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 this reason, 70 % of the ink composition is a liquid phase known as the « vehicle », whose role is to transport the pigment onto the paper and to fix it there. Traditionally, producers used a natural hydrocarbon. Now, it has been replaced by a bitumen from the refinery. Three quarters of the black inks used for the printing of daily newspapers are consequently made from 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 on one side to help prevent the material from sticking together while in roll form and to provide protection from 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 application of a layer of stone chippings that are rolled to embed them into the surface. Emulsions and cutbacks are usually 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 hot bitumen is delivered to a fixed asphalt plant where the hot mixture is produced and then transported to the

road site for laying and compaction to produce the finished road surface. Different specification binders allow the road construction industry to create surfaces that facilitate different performance. One great advantage of asphalt is that it can be laid on a dam or reservoir face in a continuous manner, thus eliminating joints which can become points of weakness and leaks

6. Proofing material
Bitumen has unique waterproofing properties, due largely to its impermeability and lack of reactivity, which make it an ideal sealant for many civil engineering, property and DIY waterproofing applications . Self adhesive bitumen waterproofing membrane is made of SBS elastomer and and bitumen as basic material. Polyethylene film, aluminium foil as surface finished material. One kind is with polyester reinforcement, the thickness has 1. 5mm, 2mm, 3mm, another kind is without reinforcement, any thickness is available.

1. Self adhesion without bonding agent and torching. 2. Good rubber elasticity and elongation 3. Excellent binding power 4. Good self-coalescence 5. Safe application, no pollution

It is widely used for the waterproof and dampproof of the roofs, basements, swimming pool, tunnies, etc.

Other application
- Sound insulation of automobile and electrical appliance components (reduction of noise caused by vibration and resonance, by capitalising on the sound-deadening capacity of bitumen) ; - jointing mastic for works of art ; - coatings for wrapping papers ; - insulation in electric batteries ; - protective sheathing for pipes and electric cables ; - condensers ; - carpet linings ; - pulverised bituminous ‘mulch’ for treating cultivation areas or fixing bare surfaces and paintwork ; - material for containment of many types waste, including nuclear waste -Its insulating properties and its vibration-absorption capacity mean that it can contribute to the thermal and acoustic insulation of buildings. -Bitumen enters into the composition of paints and varnishes to ensure protection against humidity and corrosion.

Early Uses
The earliest recorded use of something like bitumen was by the Sumerians, who ruled from the ancient city of Ur on the Euphrates river (near present-day Kuwait). There is evidence, too, that Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar used it for waterproofing and even as grouting for stone roads. The use of bitumen spread further West, and the Bible records a bituminous substance (tar, asphalt or bitumen, depending on the translation) was used in building the Tower of Babel. In 1595 Sir Walter Raleigh discovered a thick viscous lake in the jungles of Trinidad. This was to be the largest natural deposit of bitumen ever found and was used extensively until the mid 1970s. In the late nineteenth century, however, bitumen began to be used for the major industrial uses common today, and with those began synthetic production. Shell began major bitumen production in the UK in 1920, after opening the Shell Haven refinery. Today, Shell produces bitumen all over the world, and is at the forefront of research into new applications for this substance people have used since the dawn of civilization.

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