Understanding Bitumen

A brief overview of this exciting new technology that is capable of modifying feedstock bitumen to produce multigrade bitumen, how it works and the results it achieves. What is multigrade bitumen and why is it so important to the industry? As with all new technology, there are also key learning points and future plans to be shared.

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Sound HSE practices are essential in the handling of bitumen and bituminous products and this presentation gives us a good overview. Learn about safe and responsible handling of bitumen, hazards to watch for, procedures to follow, how to plan for transportation and storage, and how to carry out drum decanting successfully. Not forgetting quality control, you will also get the basics of the all-important sampling and testing procedures.

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In this second presentation of the series, Jacques van Heerden continues with a definition of bitumen and explains classifications of bituminous binders and traditional bitumen testing. The meaning of rheology is clarified, and our understanding of bitumen improves with details of its chemistry, ageing and bitumen blowing. Readers will also discover that bitumen is a versatile product with many uses outside the asphalt industry.

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Jacques van Heerden takes us through all the background we need to know about bitumen. Starting with the history of bitumen including ancient uses and deposits, he brings us up to date with the sources, properties, composition and chemistry of crude oil, as well as an overview of crude oil exploration and refining. The presentation concludes with a synopsis of bitumen production in SA and the differences between bitumen and tar.

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For those who need a deeper understanding, it is all included in this detailed summary – versatility, water resistance, ductility, cohesion, adhesion, elastic recovery, softening point, penetration, temperature susceptibility, viscosity, oxidation, specific gravity and durability.

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