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Bitumen is used in road construction because of its unique features and benefits over other paving materials. Bitumen obtains certain qualities that are incorporated into it during the manufacturing process. Bitumen as a raw material in flexible road construction and bitumen as a mix (comprising additional materials such as aggregates/pozzolans) provide significant benefits, prompting its widespread usage in road construction.

Bitumen Application in Flexible Road Construction

The following are the reasons behind the widespread use of bitumen in flexible pavements:

  1. Bitumen production is cost-effective and economical.

Bitumen is produced as a byproduct of the crude oil distillation process. Crude oil is a hydrocarbon-based substance. The most common products are petrol, diesel, high octane fuels, and gasoline. The bitumen is left behind after these fuels are processed from crude oil. Pure bitumen is obtained after further processing of the by-product to remove contaminants. Because the principal product need is critical to civilization, bitumen as a byproduct has a lengthy lifespan. This byproduct is used as a new construction material, rather as a new resource.

  1. Bitumen’s Physical and Rheological Properties Provide Versatility

Bitumen’s physical and chemical characteristics are discovered to be dependent on load level, temperature, and loading time. It is both thermoplastic and viscoelastic. These dependencies require us to really access the traffic on the road so that the qualities of a bitumen mix may be adjusted based on the calculated stress levels. Bitumen’s adaptability results in a wide range of bitumen mixes depending on the road use.

  1. Bitumen has a low point of melting.

It is much appreciated since bitumen has a favorable melting point, which aids in both surface dressing and wearing resistance. The bitumen’s melting point should not be so high that it melts readily while paving the pavement. Simultaneously, bitumen has a melting point, which prevents the already cast road pave from melting and deforming at high temperatures. Along with this bitumen quality, the aggregate mix serves to conceal the effect of high temperatures in high-temperature locations.

  1. Bitumen may be recycled

Because bitumen has a low melting point, it may be remelted to its original state. This is known as the asphalt recycling process. Instead of being disposed of in landfills, the damaged asphalt fragments are sent to a recycling factory. This recovered mixture is reusable. If required, the old bitumen is combined with new bitumen and aggregates to bring the mixture back to life.

  1. Adhesiveness of Bitumen

As previously stated, bitumen is devoid of hydrocarbons and hence non-toxic. The byproduct is processed to remove organic compounds and contaminants. Because bitumen is very adhesive, the components in the road mix are held together by strong bonds. When the mix is suitable for vehicle movement, these get stronger.

  1. Bitumen comes in a variety of colors.

Bitumen is traditionally black in colour. This is due to the dark hue of the thick organic substance contained inside bitumen. When particular pigments are added to bitumen, we may now get the desired hue. These are bits of colored bitumen. It is more expensive than regular colored bitumen. Colored bitumen has the drawback of requiring additional chemical additions and resources.

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