Fuel resistance of polymer modified binders in asphalt pavements

Shayur Dayanand, ARRB Systems


Bitumen is one of the most used materials in the world, constituting most road designs and applications. Given the extensive use of bitumen, it is important to understand the material and limit all possible drawbacks for better utilisation.

Although bitumen has many desirable properties, one disadvantage that bitumen has is its susceptibility to the action of fuel and other petrolic substances. This can be fatal to the pavement as the bituminous binder dissolves when exposed to fuel, leaving behind only loose aggregate, resulting in a failed pavement.

This study compares the fuel resistance of different polymer modified binders commonly used in South African roads and identifies the best polymer modifier from those tested. This was done by subjecting the test specimens to the Fuel Immersion and Brush Test, Indirect Tensile Strength and the Hamburg Wheel Tracker Test. The test was done on conditioned (diesel saturated) and unconditioned samples and the results were compared.