Asphalt, also known as bitumen is a sticky, black, highly viscous liquid or semi–solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product, and is classed as Gilsonite or a pitch. Before the 20th century, the term Asphaltum was also used. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek. The largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world, estimated to contain 10 million tons.
The primary use (70%) of asphalt is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs. In material sciences and engineering, the terms “asphalt” and “bitumen” are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance, although there is regional variation as to which term is most common. Worldwide, geologists tend to favor the term “Bitumen” for the naturally occurring material. For the manufactured material, which is a refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils, “bitumen” is the prevalent term in much of the world.
Naturally occurring asphalt is sometimes specified by the term “crude bitumen or Gilsonite“. Its viscosity is similar to that of cold molasses while the material obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil boiling at 525 °C (977 °F) is sometimes referred to as “refined bitumen“. Asphalt properties change with temperature, which means that there is a specific range where viscosity permits adequate compaction by providing lubrication between particles during the compaction process. Low temperature prevents aggregate particles from moving, and the required density is not possible to achieve. Computer simulations of simplified model systems are able to reproduce some of asphalt’s characteristic properties.
What is Gilsonite used for?
The use of Gilsonite in driveway construction is very economical and reasonable. High–level tension tests such as indirect tension tests, freezing tensile stress, and expansion and fracture tension prove that Gilsonite significantly increases the properties of bitumen. The results from periodic measurements and comparisons of the status of asphalt surfaces using Gilsonite are monitored by special computer software by the US Federal Highway Administration have shown that asphalt life is increased from 18 to 29 years.
In places such as tolls, airport runways, highway exits, loading terminals, U–turns, installations, intersections, bus stations, bus lanes, loading docks, parking lots, and squares, Gilsonite is used which is resistant to deformation under pressure, and using Gilsonite increases the passing loads at low or static speeds.
- Gilsonite makes surfaces more resistant to shear forces in areas such as runways, highways, and racetracks, facing heavy traffic or high speeds.
- Gilsonite can also be used on all types of pavement asphalt, such as mastic asphalt, cement asphalt, smooth asphalt, and ordinary bituminous asphalt.
- Gilsonite also improves the properties of asphalt at high temperatures by improving component adhesiveness. As a result, the composition shows more hardness at higher temperatures and less phase change. Gilsonite is widely used in recycling asphalts up to 50%.
Advantages of using Gilsonite in Asphalt:
- If you use Gilsonite in asphalt, there is no need for other polymer modifiers to modify the bitumen.
- Higher stability, less deformation, more water resistance, resistance against low temperatures is the characteristics of asphalt made with bitumen modified by Gilsonite.
- Increase load–bearing capacity.
- The lowest ratio of Gilsonite compared to other modifiers.
- Reduce the degree of bitumen penetration.
- Increasing the softening temperature of bitumen.
- Increase the viscosity of Brookfield bitumen.
Gilsonite Mixture in Road Asphalt:
It has been discovered that asphalt cement can be toughened with natural bitumen and thinned with reactive oil. Reactive oil is oil that contains a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. By using a reactive oil, the oil would cure or react after application of the asphalt cement to the highway, thereby allowing for a lower viscosity application by curing later to prevent rutting.
Gilsonite preferably one having a melting or softening point of about 148 ºC (300 °F) will allow it to be easily softened and blended with the petroleum asphalt at such temperatures.
An asphalt composition consisting essentially of:
- 100 Parts by weight of a petroleum asphalt;
- From about 1 to about 10 parts by weight of a natural bitumen;
- From about 1 to about 10 parts by weight of a thinning reactive oil comprising at least about a 60;
- Percent unsaturated fatty acid content having from about 14 to 24 carbon atoms, and;
- From about 1 to about 10 parts by weight of an elastomer.
Gilsonite uses are in industries as Gilsonite powder that does not clump during storage. Due to the nature of this hydrocarbon, Gilsonite powder dissolves completely in bitumen and forms very close molecular bonds with the bitumen that are inseparable.
- Gilsonite is used in the construction of driveways.
- Gilsonite asphalt is resistant to deformation, resistant weather conditions and high temperature.
- Gilsonite asphalt reduces the thickness of roads.
- Gilsonite asphalt is resistant against water and condensation erosion.
- Gilsonite asphalt insulates the seams and sidewalks.
- Gilsonite powder is reasonable as it decreases the cost of repairing the asphalt or replacing it.
- Gilsonite reduces the possibility of cracks in cold weather at low temperatures.
- Gilsonite has many advantages in areas with traffic.
- Gilsonite is strongly adhesive in insulations.
- Gilsonite properties are long.
- Gilsonite asphalt is not permeable.
- Gilsonite is a good additive in rust and epoxy industry and it can be used as primers, anti–corrosion paint, wood paints and pipe coverings.
- Gilsonite stabilizes the color against UV sunlight which is harmful for the paint.
- Gilsonite is also used to insulate water tanks with bitumen–based paints; it is also used to insulate fishing boats and protection walls.
- Gilsonite is used as adhesion in the toner printer and inkjet industries in printing newspapers and magazines. You can have the pure black with high quality on printed papers.
- Gilsonite decreases the mold and the molten material reaction in the foundry industry.
- Gilsonite can resist very hot temperature places (The softening point is from 175 ºC (347 ºF) to 235 °C (455 ºF).
- Gilsonite in the drilling mud industry prevents possible damages to drill parts. Gilsonite prevents drilling mud stickiness with oil base.
- Gilsonite helps to polish the top layer of drilling wells and removes extra mud and drilling place.
- Gilsonite also prevents the rocky soil compounds from bulkiness and storage.
Packing of Natural Bitumen Lump and Powder Micronized form:
■ Gilsonite in Lump form like rock packed in the 500 – 1000/Kg. Jumbo Bag
■ Gilsonite 200 Mesh packed in the 500 – 1000/Kg. Jumbo Bag
■ Gilsonite 300 Mesh packed in the 500 – 1000/Kg. Jumbo Bag
■ Gilsonite 30 – 40 Mesh packed in the 500 – 1000/Kg. Jumbo Bag
■ Gilsonite 100 Mesh packed in the 500 – 1000/Kg. Jumbo Bag
■ Gilsonite 300 Mesh packed in the 25/Kg. PP Bag
■ Gilsonite 200 Mesh packed 25/Kg. Multi–Paper Bag
■ Gilsonite 200 Mesh packed 50/lbs Multi–Paper Bag
■ Gilsonite 30 – 40 Mesh packed PP Bag on Pallet
■ Gilsonite Bulk on vessel