Bitumen emulsion around us

The modern world is moving on, attempting to perfect the already known information and make new discoveriries. The development brings forward a very understandable question: How and for what purpose do we use things and materials? The other side of the same question is: How do we NOT use things and materials YET?


In this article we would like to give several examples of the use of bitumen emulsions. The first thing to consider is the road construction industry, one of the largest consumers of bitumen emulsions. The growth of truck fleets and axle loads complicates operation of automobile roads, which is especially important with highways, international freeways and busy streets of large cities. The mail problem stemming from high axle load and traffic densities is deforemation of asphalt-concrete road top (rutting). To increase durability of the roads, it is recommended to use bitumen emulsions modified with polymer materials. The wide use of modified bitumens instead of regular bitumens is due to their improved performance. Asphalt-concrete, prepared with modified bitumens, are highly resistant to deformation due to the higher elasticity of the bitumens used. Besides, aging of the asphalt-concrete is significantly slowed. Research shows that bitumens extracted from 10 year old road top do not show much change in viscosity. Bitumen emulsions, unlike using hot bitumen binding, ensure significant savings of bitumen (up to 30%), gravel (up to 40%) and energy (1.5 times). The use of emulsions facilitates high traction between the existing top and the new top, increased durability of the surface, possibility of work from early spring till late fall (ambient temperature above 5ºС) and possibility to apply the cover to a wet surface. Emulsions are environmentally friendly and simple in transportation and handling. The second largerst consumer of emulsions is the construction industry. In this industry the so called liquid rubber is used for roof repair and seamless waterproof coating. This innovation optimized the process of repairs and extended the lifetime of roofing and proofing coatings. The EU has been using bitumen emulsions for quite some time already, however, legislation prohibits the use of emulsions based on organic solvents and the release of such solvents into the air. The 65 year experience of using bitumen emulsions in Europe illustrates the advantages of using this technology, which is not only economically profitable, but also environmentally friendly.