BITUMEN AND ASPHALT
Generally, Bitumen is a black or dark-colored, solid, semi-solid, dense, amorphous, and cementitious product. It’s available as rock asphalt, gilsonit (natural bitumen or mineral bitumen), tar and bitumen derived from oil as petroleum bitumen.
Nowadays, most of the roads in the world are built with bitumen. The world’s needs are more than 100 million tons per year which equals to approximately 700 million barrels of bitumen.
Bitumen has different forms:
Complex form: This form of Bitumen can be easily broken into pieces.
Semi-hard form: This form of Bitumen is something between complex form and soft form.
Mild form: Most kinds of this form is viscous materials which are present in tar sands. Moreover, Petroleum processing is another way to obtain Bitumen.
In this manner, bitumen is essentially a residue yielded thru the petroleum distillation process. In addition, a condensate is obtained from the processing of coal, oil-shale, wood or other organic materials. Whenever tar is distilled partially, we get tar pitch, in which the volatile components have evaporated.
Types of Bitumen:
Oxidized Bitumen or Blown Asphalt
Viscosity Grade Bitumen
Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB)
Performance Grade Bitumen
We produce all these types of bitumen in Pub-Ltd available with high quality, suitable for the specific needs of various industries. They are produced through a meticulously carried out refinery process. You can find detailed information about each type of bitumen products on our website. Also you can consult us for expert knowledge about bitumen and asphalt to support your projects.
Generally, bitumen is called asphalt. For instance, in Europe and North America, bitumen means liquid binder, asphalt, or asphalt cement, respectively.
Are there any differences between bitumen and asphalt?
The answer is yes. Bitumen and asphalt differences are listed as below:
Bitumen plays a liquid binder role that holds asphalt pieces together. In other words, Bitumen can be used in bitumen – asphalt combination.
Natural asphalt is a mixture of bitumen and sand; this mix has smoother and more durable results in road construction.
The composite mix of bitumen and sand is applied through a road paving machine as a solid material at a nominated place with specified thickness by the user.
From past to present, the words asphalt and bitumen are used instead of each other. In American English, refined heavy products obtained from crude oil in the distillation tower are usually called asphalt or asphalt cement. Although outside United States this product is often called Bitumen. Geologists around the world commonly prefer to use the word bitumen for natural varieties.
A more common slang term for the word Bitumen is ‘tar’, which is derived from the name of La Brea Tar Pits. Natural asphalt sometimes defines the Crude Bitumen (or Refined Bitumen) obtained from the distillation of crude oil at a high temperature (525°C or 977 °F).
The primary use of bitumen is road paving. Also, it’s used in waterproofing products, production of flat roof and roof insulation. Crude bitumen is found in tar sands and it is the main source for obtaining petroleum products like gasoline. This usage of crude bitumen is currently under development in Alberta, Canada.
Historical Use of Bitumen
In the past, people used bitumen to waterproof boats and construction combined with special additives. Herodotus, the Greek historian says, “Hot bitumen was used as mortar in the Babylon walls. Also, the city of Carthage was easily burnt down most probably due to the excess use of bitumen in it’s construction.”
Bitumen was also used in primal photographic technology. Research has shown that using bitumen on pewter plates and shining light on these, creates a black and white image.
Furthermore, bitumen plates are used in the hard drives of computers and in the high-end dishwashers to provide sound isolation.
The world is in danger because of the climate change due to the effects of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. These gases are released in the atmosphere with the burning of fossil fuels. This has led the world to search for alternative, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and renewable materials for asphalt binding, such as sugar, molasses, rice, corn and potato starch.
Non-petroleum bitumen can be produced in light colors. Nowadays, light-colored asphalts are used to pave roads in developed countries like Qatar. These types of roads absorb less heat from solar radiation. These roads don’t heat up and form heat islands as much as the dark surfaces.