What is emulsion in road construction?

Road emulsions are road construction materials. Traditionally, they are made up of three components: bitumen,  emulsion, and water.  These materials are used in highway construction and highway repairs and can be applied by hand or spray tanker. 

What are the characteristics of bitumen road emulsions?

Road emulsions have become increasingly popular for the above applications due to their many advantages over a pure bitumen application. 

The first and largest advantage of road emulsions is that they do not need to be heated to the same levels as bitumen alone – negating the need for an oven. Furthermore, the ‘paint’ like nature of the product means it is easily spread over an entire surface in a more uniform way than pure bitumen. This also makes it ideal for pavement waterproofing, as the material can be applied like a sealer. 

Likewise, because this emulsion is much thinner than traditional bitumen applications, it can be used for road markings, such as warning signs, without making the road surface unusable or impacting skin resistance.  

Road emulsions are also a popular choice because they can be used in low temperatures and humid conditions – conditions which are quite common in the United Kingdom. For these reasons, they are often used in road patching, restoration works and as a surface treatment to roads during preventative maintenance.

What are the uses of emulsion in road construction?

Road emulsion in road construction, repair and maintenance can be used for:

  • Mist spraying
  • Patching
  • Velocity Patching
  • Re-treading
  • Surface dressing (particularly following pothole repair)
  • Micro asphalt Surfacing
  • Grouting
  • Concrete Curing

What are the advantages of road emulsions?

There are 4 clear advantages of using road emulsions for the applications listed above.

  1. The way it is made means that the high viscosity of bitumen is kept in a form that can be used at low temperatures.
  2. The low temperature of storage means that the thermal degradation of the binder is minimised, as well as hazards from fuming.
  3. It offers an ‘all-in-one’ solution with superior wetting and adhesion properties – meaning that it can be used for permanent waterproofing.
  4. The low temperature of storage and application means that energy use is minimised, and the risk of fire is much reduced.

Surface Dressing & Road Emulsions from BituChem

At BituChem, we offer a comprehensive range of polymer-modified highway bituminous products and surface dressings which are HAPAS approved for use with our key partners. These are:

  • SuperCoat
  • FortCoat
  • PolBit
  • FortSeal

We also offer an aesthetically pleasing surface dressing emulsion called LockChip which can be used to seal down newly dressed highway surfaces. This emulsion creates a good-looking, waterproof and durable finish and is suitable for patching, repairs and preventative maintenance.

As highway bond coat specialists, we are also able to produce a range of bespoke polymer-modified bituminous emulsions including PolyBond and BituTack, a cationic emulsion available as a conventional tack coat and as a higher-grade emulsion for traditional ‘tar spray and chip’ projects.

Contact BiuChem Today

To learn more about any of our products and how they can be used to repair roads and pavements, please contact our team today. 

Our road emulsions are effective with many different types of aggregate. As a company, we are ISO9001, 14001 and 18001 certified, so you can be sure our highway emulsions meet the high standards. Our products are exceptionally cost-effective, designed to extend the life of your existing road by decades, and ensure the continued safety of road users and pedestrians.

Contact BituChem today for more information about any of our bituminous materials.