Characterization and classification to asphalt industry standards and beyond

Asphalt, or bitumen, is a petroleum product used in the road (pavement), roofing and construction industries. A mixture of aromatic hydrocarbons (varying with geographical source), this black viscoelastic material is considered to be a complex colloidal system including inorganic elements such as S, Ni and V.  

Asphalt is used as a binder with aggregates in road (pavement) construction and as such determines performance and lifetime. Additives such as polymers, crumb rubber, oils, REOB (Re-refined Engine Oil Bottoms) and pH adjusters are used to enhance mechanical properties in modified asphalt binders. Asphalt emulsions are also used as water-proofing and re-surfacing materials.

With our asphalt industry and application knowledge, Malvern Panalytical systems enable:

Blending recycled materials (e.g. REOB, RAP, and GTR) in asphalt could give enhanced properties and reduce cost while being environmentally conscious.  Used automobile oil can be re-refined to recycle its hydrocarbons. The asphalt-like residue from recycling engine oil, known as Re-refined Engine Oil Bottom (REOB) contains a concentration of the inorganic elements used in manufacturing engine oil lubricants, including Ca, P, and Zn and sometimes Mo and Ba. Other elements derived from burning fuel and engine wear may also be found in REOB such as Fe, Cl, S, Si and Cu as well as others. REOB is primarily used to soften the asphalt binder, but may also cause premature failure and is banned in some areas. Consequently, it is necessary to be able to detect the presence of REOB, and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) is commonly used for this purpose.

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