, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 951-959

Styrene butadiene styrene polymer modification of road bitumens

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This paper describes the polymer modification of road bitumens with SBS. Six polymer modified bitumens (PMBs) were produced by mixing bitumen from two crude oil sources with an SBS copolymer at three polymer contents. The rheological characteristics of the SBS PMBs were analysed by means of dynamic mechanical analysis using a dynamic shear rheometer (DSR). The results of the investigation indicate that the degree of SBS modification is a function of bitumen source, bitumen-polymer compatibility and polymer concentration. When the polymer concentration and bitumen-polymer compatibility allow a continuous polymer network to be established, modification is provided by a highly elastic network which increases the viscosity, stiffness and elastic response of the PMB, particularly at high service temperatures. However, ageing of the SBS PMBs tends to result in a reduction of the molecular size of the SBS copolymer with a decrease in the elastic response of the modified road bitumen.