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For many years, researchers and development chemists have experimented with modified bitumens, mainly for industrial uses, adding asbestos, special fillers, mineral fibres and rubbers. In the last thirty years many researchers have looked at a wide spectrum of modifying materials for bitumens used in road construction. Table 5.1 details the majority of bitumen modifiers and additives that have been examined.
Table 5.2 contains a summary of some of the modifiers used with bitumens and asphalts in service situations and V indicated where they enhance the performance of asphalt.
For the modifier to be effective and for its use to be both practicable and economic, it must:
- Be readily available
- Resist degradation at asphalt mixing temperatures
- Blend with bitumen
- Improve resistance to flow at high road temperature without making the bitumen too viscous at mixing and laying temperatures or too stiff or brittle at low road temperatures.
- Be cost effective
The modifier, when blended with bitumen, should:
- Maintain its premium properties during storage, application and in service
- Be capable of being processed by conventional equipment
- Be physically and chemically stable during storage, application and in service
- Achieve a coating or spraying viscosity at normal application temperature
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