Bitumen emulsion is a liquefied type of bitumen with a low viscosity. By dispersing bitumen in water and adding an emulsifier, ordinary bitumen turns into a low viscosity liquid that can easily be used in a variety of applications, including repairing and maintaining roads, waterproofing, spraying, etc.

Emulsions can be formed by any two immiscible liquids but in most emulsions one of the phases is water.

Emulsions make it easy to handle, store, transport and apply bitumen at a lower temperature: Since this type of bitumen is liquid, there is no need to heat it before applying. Moreover, applying bitumen emulsions using cold techniques reduces the consumption of energy and makes road construction environmentally friendlier.

Bitumen emulsions are usually made using a colloid mill, although other dispersion devices are possible. In the colloid mill energy is applied to the system by passing the mixture of hot bitumen and water phase between a rotating disc, cone or flywheel and a stator. The rotor as well as stator may be grooved or have teeth in order to create a turbulent flow.

Rapid-setting emulsions set quickly in contact with clean aggregates of low surface area such as the chippings used in chip seals (surface dressings). Medium-setting emulsions set sufficiently less quickly that they can be mixed with aggregates of low surface area such as those used in open-graded mixes. Slow-setting emulsions will mix with aggregates of high surface area. Some national standards define additional super-stable emulsion grades with extremely slow setting characteristics. All aspects of the emulsion formulation can affect its classification including emulsifier type and concentration, choice and concentration of acids or base used to adjust pH, and the grade and source of the bitumen used.

Bitumen emulsions can be divided into three classes, based on surface charge:

  • Cationic bitumen emulsions
  • Anionic bitumen emulsions
  • Nonionic bitumen emulsions

Here is Kiapetro bitumen emulsion products: