Using the foam effect in the process of bitumen preparation simplifies mix stirring and ensures uniform distribution of the binder across the surface of the mineral material.
Foam bitumen in asphalt mix is economically efficient due to the reduction of bitumen consumption, mix temperature, while increasing the production rate of the mixing equipment.
Foam bitumen is relatively new, research is still ongoing in the US, Australia, Germany, South Africa, New Zealand and other countries. For instance, 3 million sq. kilometers of asphalt road top with foam bitumen has already been laid in Australia.
Bitumen can be foamed in several ways:
- using hot water (steam) from a steam generator or a heating system;
- watering the bitumen with subsequent increase of pressure when heating the material to 100ºC.
Foam bitumen was first used in Western Europe in the 1930s. It was due to the rising cost of the existing road construction materials and the need to find a new more economical solution. Foam bitumen was used to make cold and hot asphalt mix in stationary batch or continuous mixers. This material can also be used for cold reclamation of asphalt pavement. US experience shows that hot asphalt mix based on foamed bitumen performs very well and demonstrates good quality in pavements of high intensity traffic roads.
Asphalt mix based on foam bitumen can be made in a continuous or batch asphalt mixer, which includes water supply line, a foaming device and a sprayer.
The same equipment can be used for transportation, paving and compacting of materials based on foam bitumen.
GlobeCore offers the UVB-L laboratory unit for labs, research facilities and asphalt producers. This product makes samples of foam bitumen (production rate is 600 liters per hour.
Foam bitumen can be produced practically on any asphalt production facility without major retrofits or footprint increase.