Micromechanical investigation of phase separation in bitumen by combining atomic force microscopy with differential scanning calorimetry results
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The thermo-rheological behaviour of bitumen depends largely on its chemical structure and intermolecular microstructures. Bitumen is a complex mixture of organic molecules of different sizes and polarities for which the micro-structural knowledge is still rather incomplete. Knowledge at that level can have great implications for behaviour at a larger scale and will help to optimise the bitumen in its production stage. The present study is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms behind the micro-structural phase appearance and the speed or mobility at which they change. To do so, atomic force microscopy was utilised at different temperatures to investigate the phase separation behaviour for four different types of bitumen and co-relate it with the differential scanning calorimetry measurements. Based on the experimental evidences, it was found that the observed phase separation is mainly due to the wax/paraffin fraction presence in bitumen and that the investigated bitumen behaves quite differently. Recommendations are made to continue this research into qualitative information to be used on the asphalt mix design level. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
author list (cited authors)
Das, P. K., Kringos, N., Wallqvist, V., & Birgisson, B.