Applying Bitumen Emulsions and Polymer-Modified Binders

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Bitumen emulsions for chipsealing offer some significant advantages over hot bitumen cutbacks in terms of safety, total energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and reduced risk in damp and cool environments.

Polymer-modified binders (PMB’s)extend the range of engineering materials available to contractors and designers to solve many of the practical road-surfacing problems that arise due to such things as cracked pavements, high surface stresses and wide temperature ranges.

However, the ways that these particular materials behave, both when applying them and in service on the road, are markedly different from conventional bitumen binders.

It is essential that those designing and constructing surfacings incorporating PMB’s or emulsions, have a good understanding of the material properties and in particular the limitations that these place on construction methodology and timing.

The course introduces the materials, looks briefly at manufacture and covers properties in detail with a strong emphasis on how this influences application techniques and on-the-road performance separately for emulsions and PMB’s.

Guidelines are given to assist contractors to minimise the many risks associated with the use of these materials and show how to plan and successfully carry out this type of work.  Effects on design are noted briefly.


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1 day course.

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Phillip Muir

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$495 per person + GST

(Minimum numbers apply before a course is confirmed)

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Topics include

  • Manufacture, properties and how they work
  • Storage, handling, sampling and testing
  • Planning the work - special preparations
  • Chipseal and SAMI construction considerations
  • Effects on chipseal design
  • PMB’s in Hot Mix Asphalt
  • Trouble-shooting
  • Treatment selection and design considerations
  • Advantages and limitations
  • Recent advances in technology
  • Adhesion and Cohesion, how they work
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On completion of this course participants will

  • Understand basic bitumen emulsion behaviour and how to handle it properly
  • Understand the basic principles of polymer modification of bitumen binders and how to handle properly
  • Advise on when to use or when not to use emulsions or PMB’s
  • Make appropriate adjustments in chipsealing techniques to successfully apply emulsions and PMB’s
  • Understand the need for appropriate chipseal design adjustments for emulsions and PMB’s
  • Understand the practical effects of PMB’s in Hot Mix Asphalt
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Who should attend

All staff involved in the supervision or design of bitumen emulsion chipseals; polymer-modified binder chipseals; stress-absorbing membrane interlayers; polymer-modified hot-mix asphalt mixes.

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