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Chemical Composition and Microstructure of Bitumen – a Matter of Terminology?

  • Bernhard HofkoEmail author
  • Daniel Maschauer
  • Daniel Steiner
  • Hinrich Grothe
  • Johannes Mirwald
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 20)

Abstract

Bitumen is an organic material derived from crude oil refinery. It exhibits a highly complex chemical composition, time- and temperature dependent viscoelastic material behavior and distinct microstructural features. Ongoing efforts try to link these three material characteristics by combining physico-chemical with mechanical analysis. Two different theses that explain which chemical constituents trigger the materials’ microstructure: one group of researchers is in favor of the idea that waxes are responsible, the other group favors asphaltenes as the crucial factor. Both groups base their assumptions on experimental evidence. However, no final proof for either theses exists. A recent study on high mass resolution analysis of bitumen and its constituents shows that in fact both groups might be referring to the same thing and simply using different terminology. This paper suggests a temporary solution for overcoming the differences by substituting the controversial terms “wax” and “asphaltene” by the more general but still correct term “n-heptane insolubles” for the time being.

Keywords

Bitumen Microstructure Composition Chemo-mechanics Asphaltenes Waxes 

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Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Hofko
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Maschauer
    • 1
  • Daniel Steiner
    • 1
  • Hinrich Grothe
    • 2
  • Johannes Mirwald
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of TransportationTU WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Materials ChemistryTU WienViennaAustria

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