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Bitumen emulsion: area of application

bitumen emulsion

Bitumen emulsion is a high demand material used in a number of road-construction operations, such as:

  • macadamizing;
  • gravel road construction;
  • road-surface treatment;
  • preparation of “cold” emulsion mineral mixes (slurry seal);
  • manufacturing of cold stored mixes;
  • tack coating;
  • road patching;
  • thin carpet overlap coating.

Road construction is not the only sphere of bitumen emulsion application. This material is also used for protection of concrete structures, for subsoil penetration, as well as for painting of metal parts.

In industrial engineering, bitumen emulsions are used to make heat and electric insulation materials.

Paper industry uses bitumen emulsion for production of waterproof cardboard, while agriculture uses it for quick sand strengthening, as well as for support of soil temperature and water balance.

This wide application of bitumen emulsion became possible due to the capability to be used in cold state. This provides a variety of important advantages, compared with “hot” technologies. So let’s review the most effective applications of this construction material.

Tack coating

Tack coating is the application of bitumen emulsion by spraying a thin layer, assuring reliable adherence of asphalt-concrete mix and the underlying layer. This binder layer is not just advisable, but essential in construction of most types of road coatings, including cement concrete subgrade and the underlying courses.

Application of primary coat is one kind of tack coating. The nature of this operation is in spraying emulsion on granulated subgrade to prepare it for further asphalt concrete laying. It is better to select a slow setting emulsion with bitumen content of 55-60% by weight.

The actual quantity of applied emulsion depends on subgrade properties and is generally around 0.4-1.4 l/m2.

Road-surface treatment

Road-surface treatment is mostly connected with new asphalt-concrete coatings (various kinds of black and cement concrete coatings), as well as used road top. It assures sufficient tire traction with the coating surface and also extends road life.

With the surface layer, the road top becomes even, waterproof, wear resistant and compact.

These operations are relatively inexpensive, both for surface treatment of secondary roads and for application of wear resistant coating on roads with high traffic loads. The road bed will have adequate strength.

Treatment of crushed stone with penetration

Pavement layers can be created by repeated application of gravel, its consolidation and penetration with bitumen emulsion. For such treatment, slow breaking emulsion is usually used with bitumen content 50-65% by weight.

Road patching

Application of bitumen emulsions expands the capabilities of road patching considerably. First, it makes the process much simpler. Second, it expands the seasonal window of repair works. Due to bitumen emulsion properties, repairs can be performed in early spring and late autumn, as long as the ambient temperature is above 5ºС.

It is also possible to use wet materials: cationic bitumen emulsion allows fast forming of binding film and ensures strong adhesion to the surface of most mineral aggregates.

Bitumen emulsion consumption for patching usually amounts to 1.3-1.6 l/m2 for each centimeter of depth.

If cracks appear on the road surface, bitumen emulsion can help also. It is mixed with fine-grained sand; then the cracks are filled with this mix, leaving several millimeters to the surface. This substance should then harden, and afterwards the remaining space is filled with pure bitumen emulsion. At the final stage, surface is covered with sand to avoid loss of patch material.

Bitumen emulsions are also used as waterproof materials.

Table 1 shows the binding material consumption in the leading countries of the world.

Table 1

Bitumen emulsion in binding materials consumption in leading countries


Amount of bitumen, used for

Part of bitumen emulsions in binding consumption, %

Making bitumen emulsions, thous. t/year

In road construction, thous. t/year





























Total globally




The world   leader in bitumen emulsion production (by volume) is the USA. As for the relative fraction of this material in binding consumption, France is in the lead.

Production of bitumen emulsion

Special bitumen emulsion plants are used to make this product on industrial scale. The production rate of the plant is chosen based on the customer requirements. GlobeCore manufactures the UVB-1 bitumen emulsion plants. With this equipment, it is possible to easily commercialize bitumen emulsion by meeting the global quality standards both for civil and road construction.

Depending on customer requirements, GlobeCore can supply equipment with production capacity from 1 to 32 m3/hour.

LABORATORY EQUIPMENT for Bitumen emulsion and modified bitumen production


laboratory1 laboratory2

Perfection of water-bitumen emulsion/modified bitumen recipe saving costs of components for sample production produce small samples for bitumevn emulsion/modified bitumen

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UVB-L laboratory system

GlobeCore offers the UMB-L laboratory unit and UVB-L laboratory equipment to research laboratories, research institutes and enterprises, specializing in the production of asphalt concrete mixtures, construction and repair of roads, bridges and overpasses. This type of equipment is intended for developing recipes of modified bitumens and conducting all kinds of experiments. GlobeCore offers to laboratories, research institutes and industrial enterprises, specializing in the production of bituminous materials.

How we operate:


Inquiry from the customer


Analysis of the objective and preparation of technical and commercial offer.


Production of your customized equipment


Shipment and start-up

Our offices:


GlobeCore GmbH is one of the world leaders in industrial manufacturing. Globecore is a company involved in developing and manufacturing of industrial machinery for road construction (bitumen emulsion production units,bitumen modification plants, bitumen emulsion and modified bitumen laboratory plants, optional equipment).
The head office is located in Oldenburg, Germany. Our systems have been supplied to and are successfully operated in 70 countries. A network of 17 dealers supports global sales and services.
GlobeCore established representative offices in United States, and South Africa and in United Arab Emirates to extend reach and improve efficiency. We actively expand production and sales territories, develop our infrastructure and introduce new additional services.

bitumen emulsion units


Equipment for Asphalt Emulsion Production

German quality, worldwide delivery.



  • You can start the asphalt emulsion production business
  • Independence of bitumen emulsion producers
  • Bitumen economy
  • Energy reduction

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What Is an Asphalt Emulsion?

An asphalt emulsion is liquid bitumen emulsified in water. It is composed of asphalt, water and an emulsifying agent. The emulsifying agent is sometimes called the surfactant, which is composed of large molecules. These soap molecules are like tadpoles, having a hydrocarbon tail soluble in liquid asphalt and an electrically charged or ionic head soluble in water. The asphalt particles are surrounded by the ionic charge, which causes the droplets to repel each other and stay suspended in the water.

bricks+bitumen+emulsion bricks+globecore
All asphalt emulsions are designed to eventually break, or revert to asphalt and water. Some emulsions break by chemically destabilizing the surfactant, others by a simple evaporation of the water. Still others break by a combination of chemical destabilization and evaporation.
Today’s emulsion manufacturers have many new chemistries available to design the emulsion for the optimal break time and specific use.

How Are Emulsions Made?

Asphalt cement is the basic ingredient of asphalt emulsions. In most cases, it makes up from 50 to 75 percent of the emulsion. Some properties of the asphalt significantly affect the finished emulsion. But there is not an exact correlation between the properties and the ability to emulsify the asphalt. The properties of the asphalt cement do affect the performance of the residual asphalt on the road.
Water is the second ingredient in an asphalt emulsion. Minerals or other materials in water can affect the production of stable emulsions. Water that is suitable for drinking may not be suitable for asphalt emulsions.

The chemical used as an emulsifier greatly influences the properties of an asphalt emulsion. The emulsifier keeps the asphalt particles in suspension and controls the breaking time. It also determines whether the emulsion is cationic or anionic (or non-ionic). Chemical compatibility of the emulsifying agent with the asphalt cement is essential for producing a stable emulsion.

The emulsion is produced by separately metering the soap and water solution and hot liquid asphalt into a colloid mill at predetermined rates and temperatures. The colloid mill shears the asphalt into microscopic particles. The size of the particles affects the physical properties of the emulsion.
Sometimes additional ingredients, including latex, polymers, acids and other additives are fed into the emulsion to further modify its physical characteristics.


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Bitumen emulsion collection tank (UVB-1)

SBE bitumen emulsion collection and storage tank is designed for storage of bitumen emulsion produced with the UVB-1 bitumen emulsion unit. It can be supplied without agitator with facilities of circulation pump collector. The system is equipped with Dinel and Wika temperature and level sensors as well as overflow sensors.

Bitumen Pump

The SN-1 pump assembly is designed for pumping of high viscosity organic binding materials with viscosity up to 3 500 mm2/second and temperature up to +180°C. This pump is used for pumping of waterproofing, roofing, asphalt repair mastics and emulsions, as well as pumping of oil, tar and bitumen emulsions.



Bitumen Emulsion Sprayer

This Equipments is for tack coat and Bitumen Spraying application. It is capable of applying a uniform unbroken coating of bitumen emulsion on specified surface in prescribed quantity.

Bitumen filter

The filter is intended for integration into input, storage and output processes involving regular or modified bitumen, bitumen emulsions and other high viscosity liquids which require heating.
This filter has two filter cartridges so as to operate continuously. It also features temperature and pressure sensors for increased reliability and safety.


About Manufacturer

Globecore: Asphalt Emulsion Plant Manufacturer

GlobeCore GmbH is one of the world leaders in industrial manufacturing. Products of GlobeCore are used in production of asphalt (bitumen) emulsions and modified bitumens.
The head office is located in Oldenburg, Germany. Our systems have been supplied to and are successfully operated in 70 countries. A network of 17 dealers supports global sales and services.
GlobeCore established representative offices in United States, and South Africa and in United Arab Emirates to extend reach and improve efficiency. We actively expand production and sales territories, develop our infrastructure and introduce new additional services.

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