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Since 2014, Nynas has had a laboratory at the University of Antwerp. This January the equipment was augmented with a new, advanced rheometer. This makes it possible to conduct all standard rheological tests in a temperature range from -30°C to 200°C. The new rheometer also has an especially high torque, which means that it can exert a high stress on the sample.
“Among other things, we’re planning to conduct fracture tests on binders and to evaluate the effect that ageing or polymer modification can have on the material performance,” says Hilde Soenen, Nynas Bitumen Research Manager.
Collaboration with the university started in 2014. Both parties are satisfied with the way the partnership has progressed, and the agreement has now been extended until 2024.
“It’s very positive, as it means that we can conduct laboratory experiments using the University’s equipment, experience and knowledge. The agreement also provides the University with access to our equipment and expertise,” explains Hilde.
With the new agreement signed and sealed, joint projects already under way will continue. These include studies to analyse the chemistry around how bitumen ages and the microstructure of bitumen.
In addition to the importance of the partnership to Nynas own research, there is also direct added value for customers.
“For example, we can lend a hand if laboratory work is needed that’s linked to a particular product or customer,” concludes Hilde.
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