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Asphalt Emulsions as Adhesives and Sealants

SpecialChem / Edward Petrie – Jun 18, 2008

Asphalt or bitumen materials have had wide application in the adhesives and sealants industry for many years. In fact, they were used as hot melt coatings for construction as early as 6000 B.C. because of their waterproofing properties. (Many believe that the ancient city of Carthage was consumed by fire due to the extensive use of bitumen in construction.) Today, asphalt adhesives and sealants are still used extensively. Their utility and service life is significantly increased by the use of additives and modifiers, and their application characteristics are made much easier with the development of cold applied formulations. There are two methods for formulating an asphalt adhesive so that it can be applied cold: (1) cutback or solvent based and (2) water based emulsion. A broad range of useful products is produced by both methods, with each type having its own characteristics and uses. Modern asphalt emulsions provide greater safety and improved environmental properties, and their end-use properties are remarkably similar to those of hot melt or solvent based asphaltic formulations.

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