Polymer Modified-Natural Bitumen Thermal Aging Resistance Studies.

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Olabemiwo, O.M., Esan, A.O., Bakare, H.O., Agunbiade, F.O.
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Taylor and Francis
Bitumen is used as a binder in flexible road pavement but it reacts with atmospheric oxygen and hardensl leading to road failures. This study therefore investigates the viability of using some polymers/modifers to modify Agbabu natural bitumen (ANB) to reduce its susceptibility to oxidation and hence gives its road pavement longer service life. Purifed ANB (base) sample was modifed using melt blend technique. Three polymers: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Poly(ethylene-co-vinyl-acetate) (PEVA) and Poly(styrene-cobutadiene) (PSCB) were used in 2, 4, and 6wt% for modifcation. Thereafter, long-term aging was thermally simulated on the base and polymer modifed ANB samples at 60 oC. Both aged and unaged samples were then subjected to Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometric Analysis and Oscillating Disc Rheometer (ODR) test to study the effects of aging on physicochemical and rheological properties of the samples. Our fnding showed that PEVA modifed samples at 2 and 6wt.% showed comparatively, improved resistance to fatigue cracking and rutting. However, the three modifers used are capable of reducing the rate of thermal aging of the base sample.