Investing in customer value

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.

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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