What is cold mix bitumen?
There are many conditions that can cause road surfaces to become deformed, cracked, or damaged. Weather conditions and excessive friction can cause erosion or loss of aggregate which, if left unattended, can lead to serious deterioration and dangerous road conditions.
During road repairs, surface dressings and asphalt patches can be used to resurface these sections and prevent further wear and tear. They can also be used to seal the roads, creating a waterproof layer which stops water from infiltrating to the damaged surface underneath.
One of the products that can be used to achieve this is cold mix bitumen. In this article, we will explore this type of road preservative and take a look at its core benefits.
What Is Cold Mix Bitumen?
Cold mix bitumen emulsion is formed of mineral aggregate, water and binder. It is usually supplied in bulk packaging or a polybag for efficient transportation and application.
This product is known as ‘cold mix’ because it does not need heat for the application process, unlike hot asphalt. Instead, it is applied straight from its packaging to the road surface before being tamped down and left to cure.
What Are the Benefits of Cold Mix Bitumen?
There are many benefits to using cold mix bitumen. It is:
As it requires no heating or specialist equipment to lay, cold mix bitumen is a cost-effective choice for road repairs. As it can be bought in bulk and kept in storage for longer while remaining stable, it can be purchased in higher quantities to keep costs in line with budgets. Furthermore, unlike hot asphalt, cold mix bitumen does not need heating up, therefore no specialised equipment (such as hot boxes) is required, eliminating another expense in the course of road preservation and highway maintenance.
In the event of reactive and emergency road repairs, the ability to mobilise quickly and repair damaged surfacing with minimal impact to traffic flows is paramount. Furthermore, in emergency situations, it is simply not tenable to leave a highway or roadway in dangerous conditions, as this presents a risk to other road users. As cold mix bitumen can be kept in storage for long periods of time (approximately 6 months), it can be mobilised much quicker in these types of situations. Furthermore, as curing times for cold mix bitumen are typically quicker than hot asphalt, roadways can be repaired efficiently and reopened faster while remaining safe for drivers.
An All-Weather Solution
Hot asphalt can be tricky to lay in colder weather. This is because, when a surface is cold, it causes bitumen to cool which inhibits the flow of the material. Therefore, laying hot asphalt in snowy, icy or wet conditions can be less than ideal as the resulting surface course is likely to be vulnerable to cracks and deformation much sooner. Cold mix bitumen, however, can be made and laid at any time of year, in all kinds of weather conditions.
Great For Pothole Repair
Every year, potholes cause millions of pounds worth of damage and are also a leading cause in accidents. To help prevent this, quick and efficient patching of potholes is paramount. Not only does this save local authorities money, but also ensure the safety of all road users. During pothole repair, cold mix bitumen is a fantastic choice for patching as it is quick, efficient and cost-effective to use throughout the year.
Cold Mix Asphalt from BituChem
Here at BituChem, we offer a range of solutions for asphalt patching and pothole repair. These solutions include EasyPatch, which is applied cold. EasyPatch is a specifically formulated cationic bituminous emulsion, which ensures excellent adhesion with all types of aggregates. Application of EasyPatch is quick and simple to use, it requires no compacting, and can be applied to any shape hole without the need for squaring off.
If you would like to learn more about EasyPatch or any of our other asphalt patching or pothole repair solutions, contact us. Our team would be thrilled to answer your questions about cold mix bitumen, bituminous emulsions and surfacing appropriate for your project.