Modification Comes into Play Improving Properties of Bitumen

The term “bitumen” is derived from the Sanskrit word “jatu”, and then Latin “gwitu-men” which at that time meant pitch-producing (referring to resinous trees). Ancient Greeks used a slightly different word – “asfales”, which meant “certain”.

The latter fact is not accidental, because bitumen is the most ancient building material of all currently known to mankind. Our ancestors noticed the amazing durability of this material. Historical evidence shows a surviving swimming pool lined with natural asphalt five thousand years ago in Pakistan (Mohenjo Daro). In Syria there are waterproofed tunnels under the Euphrates, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were waterproofed in the 4th century BC .

Bitumen is mainly composed of three groups of substances: oils, resins and asphaltenes. The material is a complex disperse system in which the dispersion medium is oils and resins, and the dispersed phase is the asphaltene.

The fields of application of bitumen are construction, roofing and road paving. For many years, the material satisfied all requirements, but over time the situation has changed. Traffic intensity, load on roads and climatic conditions have significantly intensified. With all these factors, bitumen is no longer providing the necessary durability, crack resistance, elasticity and frost resistance.

Builders and roofers need either a completely new material with better performance, or improvement of an existing one. The studies agree not to reject bitumen but to adjust its properties through the introduction of special additives – modifiers.

The modern concept of bitumen modification is aimed to improve its properties by combining with polymer additives. A proper selection of polymer modifier gives bituminous materials a greater heat and frost resistance, elasticity, increased resistance to fatigue and durability.

General properties of polymer-modified bitumen:

  • wide range of operating temperature;
  • low-temperature flexibility and elasticity;
  • reduced softening at high temperatures;
  • high resistance to fatigue under cyclic loading and temperature changes;
  • good adhesive properties;
  • fast stress relief interlayer.

For the production of modified bitumen GlobeCore recommends the UVB-2 unit. It allows:

  • bitumen modification production rate of 4 – 40 m3/h;
  • works with virtually all polymers known to date;
  • uses various forms of polymers: powders, granules, etc.;
  • implements any technological process of bitumen modification;
  • introduces additional amount of polymer in transfer mode;
  • introduces additional plasticizing additives that improve adhesion;
  • reduces electricity bill with oil heating system.