Some Aspects of Foamed Bitumen Technology

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Although foamed bitumen has been widely applied in pavement construction some of its aspects are still not yet understood. In this study, some of these aspects including: effects of the foaming process on binder chemistry, characterization of foamed bitumen and development of a rational method to optimize foam characteristics, evaluation of aggregate particle coating within foamed bitumen treated materials, and development of a gyratory compaction procedure for laterite gravels treated with foamed bitumen were addressed. The effects of the foaming process on bitumen chemistry were investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy techniques. Also, foam characteristics of three binders were established and a rational method to optimize foam characteristics proposed. Aggregate particle coating with foamed bitumen was studied using the concepts of surface energy and Rice density. In addition a gyratory laboratory compaction procedure for laterite gravels treated with foamed bitumen was established using the modified locking concept. Infrared techniques have shown that foaming does not cause any changes in the binder chemistry, suggesting that foaming may be a physical process. Further, foam characteristics are greatly influenced by binder viscosity. Also, the equiviscous temperature seems to produce foam with optimum foam characteristics. Rice density results showed that aggregate size fraction, binder expansion ratio and viscosity influenced aggregate particle coating. Surface energy results revealed that foamed bitumen exhibited better coating attributes than neat bitumen. A new compaction procedure for laterite gravels treated with foamed bitumen based on the modified locking point was developed.

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