Oxidized Bitumen, also known as blown or air-blown bitumen, is a specialized form of bitumen that has undergone a controlled oxidation process. It is produced by blowing air through hot bitumen at elevated temperatures, causing it to undergo chemical changes and increase in viscosity.
The oxidation process involves the introduction of air into the bitumen at temperatures ranging from 150 to 200 degrees Celsius. This causes the bitumen to react with oxygen, resulting in the formation of polar compounds and increased molecular weight. The degree of oxidation can be controlled to achieve the desired properties.
Oxidized Bitumen is characterized by its higher softening point, increased stiffness, and improved resistance to temperature variations. It has a higher penetration resistance and lower susceptibility to deformation under high temperatures compared to conventional bitumen.
Due to its enhanced properties, oxidized bitumen is commonly used in various applications. It is widely used in the manufacturing of roofing materials, such as roofing shingles and membranes, as it provides excellent waterproofing and weather resistance. The increased stiffness and durability of oxidized bitumen make it suitable for withstanding extreme weather conditions and prolonging the lifespan of roofing systems.
Oxidized Bitumen is also used in the production of industrial and automotive coatings, adhesives, sealants, and soundproofing materials. Its high viscosity and adhesive properties make it an ideal choice for these applications, providing excellent bonding and sealing capabilities.
In road construction, oxidized bitumen is utilized for pavement preservation and maintenance. It is commonly used as a binder in chip seals and surface dressings to improve the durability and skid resistance of the pavement. The increased stiffness of oxidized bitumen helps prevent the loss of aggregates and reduces pavement cracking.
Overall, oxidized bitumen is a versatile material that offers enhanced properties compared to conventional bitumen. Its increased stiffness, improved resistance to temperature variations, and excellent durability make it suitable for a wide range of applications, including roofing, coatings, adhesives, and road construction.