A New Green Rejuvenator: Evaluation of Structural Changes of Aged and Recycled Bitumens by Means of Rheology and NMR
The functionality of a green additive, acting as bitumen rejuvenator was considered in the presented experimental work. The additive’s effects on aged bitumen have been investigated through advanced rheological and NMR-relaxometry measurements. Bitumen ageing encompasses volatilization and oxidation which enable changes in the material molecular structure. Volatilization occurs mainly at high temperatures during production, transport and laying of the asphalt concrete. The oxidation, also caused by atmospheric oxygen and UV radiation, leads to an increased fragility and development of cracks in the asphalt layer. Fresh, aged, and doped recycled bitumens were tested. Rheology and NMR have been used to assess the structural differences between the bitumens and to understand the role of the proposed additive. A real rejuvenator helps to rearrange the colloidal structure of the oxidized bitumen, thus recreating one similar to the fresh bitumen. As a novel approach to bitumen characterisation, an inverse Laplace transform of the NMR spin-echo decay (T2) was here applied.
KeywordsBitumen Rejuvenator Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Rheology
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