Minimising the risk of boil-over

It is extremely important that the driver always makes sure that the tank is free of water or aqueous products before loading bitumen.

When water comes into contact with hot bitumen, a powerful reaction occurs. This is because when water is heated to the temperature of the bitumen, it vaporises and expands. The risk of these kinds of accidents, known as boil-over, is particularly high if hot bitumen is loaded into a tanker that previously transported emulsion or another product with a high water content.

Other risk factors are if the tank has not been used for a long time, as condensation can easily form, or if it has been left standing open. In just a few seconds, 10 litres of water can expand to form 20,000 litres of steam. When the pressurised steam passes through the liquid bitumen, a hot foam is formed that is forced out through the manhole or, if the tank is closed, causes an explosion.

In other words, it is extremely important that the driver always makes sure that the tank is free of water or aqueous products before loading.


To raise the safety awareness regarding boil-over, Eurobitume has produced a practical manual in four steps. You can find it here.

Projects

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Älvsborg Bridge spans the estuary of the Göta Älv river at the entrance to Gothenburg and the biggest port in Scandinavia. The bridge, officially opened in 1966, has a total length of 930 m and a suspended span of 418 m. To guarantee the bridge's functionality and extend its useful life, extensive maintenance work has been under way since 2019, the third and final stage being completed this summer.

Talking point

Road infrastructure in North-Western Europe

Even though many successful road projects have been completed in Western Europe in recent years, the durability and availability of the road infrastructure needs to be improved.

Interview

Paving the way for asphalt 4.0

Digitalisation is making inroads in the asphalt industry. The latest Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E) Congress was held virtually in June. It was a success, but the next E&E event will allow industry stakeholders to meet face-to-face.

6
Sustainable Development

The way forward for Wales

Over ten years in the making, the Welsh Government’s new surface course specification centres around stone mastic asphalt (SMA) and hopes to significantly increase the service life of the road surface materials.

Noted

All the key players are working together to achieve the best possible result.

Katri Eskola, Specialist Road Maintenance Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Talking point: The COVID-19 pandemic


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