Bitumen Emulsions have being developed and exponentially increased sinned they were created in 1900. Estimated presently at 20% of the global bitumen use, bitumen emulsions are basically an O/W – Oil on Water solution – A dispersion of bitumen particles on water, stabilized with the addiction of surfactants – Surface active agents – or most commonly known as emulsifiers, that will permit the bitumen to de diluted in water. They are primarily used for tack coats for use in between hot mix asphalt layers and prime coats for thin hot mix surfacing layers or a chip seal pavements.
In the production of bitumen emulsion, water is treated with an emulsifying agent and other chemicals and is pumped to a colloid mill along with bitumen. The colloid mill breaks the bitumen up into tiny droplets. The emulsifying agent migrates to the asphalt-water interface and keeps the droplets from coalescing. The emulsion is then pumped to a storage tank.
Bitumen emulsions have a low viscosity and can be workable at ambient temperatures, which makes them ideal for use in road pavements and surfacing. This application requires controlled breaking and setting. The emulsion must not break before they are laid on the road surface but, once in place, they should break quickly so that the road can be in service again without delay.