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Bitumen for paving applications

09/11/2015 10:37

More than meets the eye

From deciding how to produce bitumen to what type to make, refiners face numerous challenges and questions in order to create the best product for customers

There are many factors, including technical and economical, that will influence a refiner’s choice to produce bitumen. For instance, the configuration of the refinery may mean it is technically not viable, and a refiner’s level of competence and knowledge about blending bitumen can pose a challenge.

Another key factor is commercial viability. Out of the total global oil production, bitumen currently represents only approximately two percent of the products produced out of the oil barrel. Therefore, this relatively niche market for refiners will need to demonstrate commercial benefits.

With 85 percent of bitumen used in road applications, refiners should understand which properties are important for the asphalt industry – high durability, more long-lasting roads and a higher level of quality. Refiners can alter bitumen to some degree in order to prepare a solution more tailored to the customer’s needs. Of course, costs and logistics will determine what is possible.

By optimising their production and continually increasing their bitumen specialist knowledge, bitumen producers can provide the road industry with the optimum product for different requirements.

Read the full article in Performance Magazine Issue 2/2015

Further reading

Better roads = improved competitiveness

The upgrading and maintenance of road networks are effective tools for countries wishing to improve their competitiveness. Roberto Crotti from the World Economic Forum explains why.

Read more about Better roads = improved competitiveness

Keeping cool when it’s needed

Bitumen is handled at elevated temperatures. There are many important precautions that need to be taken to minimise the risk of burn injuries.

Read more about Keeping cool when it’s needed

Rheology rethink

A proposed new method for studying the rheology of bitumen and binders at low temperatures proves promising. Hilde Soenen explains the method’s potential.

Read more about Rheology rethink