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Improve the quality of bitumen using UMB-6 plant

How can I improve the quality of bitumen? What is the difference between modified bitumen and common non-modified bitumen? What equipment is used for bitumen modification?

Bitumen is one of the most common materials in construction. It is used in roofing and waterproofing works, construction and repair of road surfaces, the protection of pipelines, the lining of canals,

But with all the advantages, bitumen has one drawback, which is its fragility in low temperatures. In severe climate conditions, bitumen coatings fail before their expected life time. In warm climate under sun rays and in high temperatures the bituminous asphalt layer is dulling and aging a lot more intensely.

Modifying bitumen to improve its quality

With introduction of polymers, it is possible to improve the properties of bitumen – reduce brittleness and increase heat resistance. Modifying additives extend the life of bitumen coatings – by resisting deformation in the range of operating temperatures, water resistance and strength.

Equipment for bitumen modification from GlobeCore

GlobeCore produces equipment for modified bitumen for the needs of construction industry. One of the latest achievements of our design department is the improvement plant for mixing bitumen in cycle  UMB-6 (productivity 6 m3 / h).

This equipment can work with various forms of additives (liquid, solid, powder), and its dimensions are adjusted for transportation in a container by road and by sea. In one production cycle, bitumen passes twice through the colloid mill, which allows to increase its quality without loss of productivity. Also the number of bitumen pumps is reduced from three to two: one for pumping in, and the other for a colloid mill and pumping out.

If you are interested in purchasing a UMB-6 bitumen modification unit, please get in touch with one of our contacts.

UVB-10PK Bitumen Complex Commissioned in Ghana

GlobeCore team successfully completed all works according to the contract to supply and commission a UVB-10PK bitumen complex, including operating personnel training.   

The main feature of this equipment is versatility. The UVB-10PK can accept and prepare bitumen for further use, produce, store and output all types of bitumen emulsion. This optimizes the time and labor costs of automobile road repairs and construction.

Provided a duly prepared site is available, the bitumen complex can be deployed within two weeks (including commissioning time). Only one operator is required to control operation in normal operation modes (although using hot bitumen and heat carrier makes two operators a better solution).

Other advantages of the UVB-10PK is its ability to perform several operation at the same time and automation of all operating modes. The operator simply selects the mode and starts/stops the equipment.

Bitumen Laboratory Equipment: the Colloid Mill

Colloid Mill

Colloid Mill. Colloid mills are used for creation of bitumen emulsions in laboratory conditions. It consists of a body, a conical rotor on a shaft, a stator and a product supply funnel.

The body is made of cast metal with openings for anchor bolts to secure the mill to the bench. There are two horizontal shelves in the body with seats for shaft bearings.

The walls of the body has an opening for drive belt, a seat for the drive wheel and emulsion outlet. There is also a stator seat in the mill’s body.

The stator is case of carbon steel as two cylinders of different diameters, connected by the conical parts. There is a threaded opening in the small diameter cylindrical part for the load funnel and two openings for handles. The conical part features two openings for heating connectors. A conical part is installed into the larger threaded cylindrical part and secured with four bolts. The internal surface of this part is used for emulsification and must be thoroughly machined.

Steam or a hot liquid is supplied into the space between the outer surface of the part and the internal surface of the stator. A gasket seals the gap between the part and the stator. When the part is worn or damaged, it can be replaced.

The rotor is made of steel in the shape of a cut cone with thoroughly machined working surface. The corresponding part has the same conical shape. The toros is installed on the conical part of the shaft and is secured accordingly.

To prevent emulsion from entering the bearings, a guard disk with a downward bend is installed on a support and secured with a pin.

A wheel with a smooth surface for a flat belt is secured to the shaft.

The loading funnel is made of steel sheets with double walls for heating. The inlet is screwed into the stator. The heating jacket of the funnel is connected to the heating chamber of the stator by a flexible hose.

To prevent foreign metallic objects from entering the mill, the funnel is quipped with a 1 mm metal mesh.

The gap between the rotor and the stator is adjusted by vertical movement of the stator along the threading of the body, turning it by handles.

The mill operates as follows. Materials (bitumen and emulsifier solution) are supplied to the funnel, and from there into the gap between the rotor and the stator, where the materials are pulverized and emulsified. The emulsion is ejected to the outlet by rotating vanes.

After operation, the mill is flushed with a hot emulsifier solution. The funnel is removed, the stator is extracted and all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Continuous Bitumen Emulsion Production Equipment for Road Construction

Bitumen Emulsion Production

Bitumen Emulsion Production. Continuous bitumen machines can be of two types: rotary or piston. This division indicates not only the nature of the forces causing emulsification (inertia in the former type of machines and piston pressure in the latter), but also on the design of the machines: a rotor and a stator in the first case and a closed emulsification chamber in the second. Rotary machines are most commonly used in road construction material production. Plunger homogenizers found wide use in food production.

The design of the rotary machines is simpler, with a lot less friction parts, and they are better suited for the use in road construction.

To create the best conditions of emulsification, the surfaces of the rotor and the stator come in various shapes (conical, cylindrical, parabolic, irregular etc). Irregular and scalloped surfaces also cause shear forces promoting dispersion. Elliptical shape creates a varying cross section of the gap between the rotor and the stator, maintaining liquid pressure. In case of a conical form, depending on the cone angle, the forces pushing the liquids through the gap change. Conical and cylindrical shapes are simple to manufacture.

Beside single rotor, there are homogenizers which use several rotor disks on the same shaft, pushing the emulsified liquids consecutively through all gaps. This emulsification is referred to as multistage emulsification, and in practice it is often used to introduce additional components into the emulsion.

To increase production capacity of single rotor homogenizers, they often come with several gaps and simultaneous emulsification in all active zones.

Plunger batch machines are only used in road construction as mixers for preparation of highly concentrated water in oil and oil in water emulsions. In terms of design, agitators can be equipped with vanes or vane screws. Multipass vane agitators are used for preparation of concentrated water-in-oil emulsions.

Bitumen Equipment for Road Construction Emulsion Production

Bitumen Equipment

Bitumen Equipment. Emulsion are made by machines and equipment with different designs and operation principles. Below is a classification of bitumen emulsion machines.

There are three methods of emulsification currently in use:

  1. mechanical emulsification
  2. acoustic emulsification
  3. physical (spontaneous) emulsification.

Accordingly, there are three types of machinery.

The first type of equipment emulsifies fluids by pushing them through a narrow gap between a stator and a rapidly rotating rotor, under the influence of centrifugal forces. In some machines, fluids are pushed through a narrow conical passage between two fixed parts using a plunger system. The first type of machines also includes mixers where liquids are emulsified by their turbulent motion.

The principle of operation of the second type of equipment is the use of sonic and ultrasonic waves created by a vibration device. The manner in which acoustic waves act in the process of dispersion is explained differently by various researchers. Some suggest that the ultrasonic wave, passing over a particle, create varying accelerations acting on different points of the particle, thus breaking it. Others point at the forces, created by the ultrasonic waves between the rapidly moving emulsifier solution and the suspended particles of the binder. Most researchers explain the effects of ultrasonic waves by cavitation. Cavitation is the emergence of cavities in the liquid, which then collapse. The process of collapse results in high pressure, breaking particles. Hydrodynamic and electromechanical devices generate ultrasonic waves in bitumen emulsification equipment.

The physical/chemical (spontaneous) emulsification is based on using increased amount of emulsifier which sharply reduces the interfacial tension on the boundary between emulsified liquids. Emulsion may form spontaneously or with the use of very simple equipment.

Mechanical dispersion machines are the most commonly used. This type includes machines which operate continuously or in batches. The former are referred to as homogenizers, dispersers and colloid mills. Some of the names are indicative of the design (e.g. colloid mill), some refer to the process (disperser). Of the listed names, the one which describes the process of emulsification is “homogenizer”. The emulsification process, regardless of its technology, includes dispersion, that is, pulverization of the suspended phase, and homogenization, i.e. making a uniform mix, the end result of the process. When an emulsion machine is called a homogenizer, this means that its product is dispersed homogeneous material.

At this time, homogenizer means a machine, in which prepared coarse emulsion is mixed to a finer state.

Properties and Advantages of Bitumen Emulsions

Bitumen Emulsions

Bitumen Emulsions. During road and civil construction and repairs, bitumen emulsion are used in the same manner as non-emulsified binders, such as bitumen.

When mixing mineral materials with emulsions, the latter separate and the surface of the rock is covered with a thin layer of the binding materials. The strength of adhesion of this film depends on the properties of both the emulsion and the mineral. Adhesion is best when treating basic mineral surfaces.

The rate of emulsion breaking on contact with the mineral is important. All jobs have a certain tempo, and the longer the job, the more stable the emulsion should be.

The emulsion used currently can be quick, medium or slow setting.

A quick breaking emulsion separates soon after application to the mineral. Average time of breaking is 10 to 30 minutes. Medium breaking emulsion separate in a moderate amount of time, such as 30 to 60 minutes, while slow breaking emulsions separate in hours or days. Separation of quick and medium breaking emulsions occurs due to the presence of water and the influence of the mineral material, while slow breaking emulsions separate primarily due to water evaporation. Water-in-oil emulsions are medium breaking.

The rate of separation depends on the quantity and properties of the emulsifier in the emulsions. Increasing the amount of emulsifier slows the separation.

Apart from the required breaking rate, bitumen emulsions for road construction must meet the following criteria:

  1. The content of bitumen in the emulsion must be 50-60% by weight.
  2. Emulsion must be uniform. This is tested by filtering the emulsion theough a 0.15 mm sieve. The remaining material must not exceed 0.5% of the emulsion weight.
  3. Viscosity of the emulsion must be sufficient for distribution by available machines and to form a thick enough film on the mineral material after application. Viscosity measured by a standard viscometer with 3mm orifice at 20ºС must be 10-30 s.
  4. The emulsion must be stable in storage of 1-2 months, including mechanical shocks which occur during transportation and handling.

Using emulsions for road construction has several advantages over straight bitumen:

  • emulsion can be applied cold, eliminating the need for special heating equipment;
  • emulsions can be applied to moist mineral material, and work can continue in damp and cold weather with ambient temperature as low as +10ºС, if water-in-oil emulsions are used with oil-in-water emulsions. This factor extends the construction season and improves the annual efficiency of construction machinery;
  • formation of a thin binder film on the mineral surface, saving up to 25-30% of the binder without degrading material strength.

GlobeCore manufactures equipment for bitumen emulsions of any type. For independence from the construction material market, a UVB-1 machine is sufficient to make enough emulsions for current construction projects. GlobeCore equipment are compact, equipped with a  protective measures and makes emulsion which meets all the leading world standards.

Bitumen Emulsion Plants

Bitumen Emulsion Plants

Bitumen Emulsion Plants. The design of modern bitumen emulsion production units allows for quick installation and dismantling for rapid transportation to a new construction site. This is sufficient for long road construction projects.

If emulsion in the area is supplied from a single site, stationary plants and storage bases are a better choice.

It is especially viable to set up emulsion production in the territory of bitumen storage bases and asphalt plants. It is possible to use the existing communication and transportation lines, storage, mixers etc.

Construction of emulsion facilities in bitumen storage bases is a reasonable solution to make bitumen emulsion for road construction on site or for transporting it to other sites. Setting up the production at asphalt plants is a good choice in production of black mineral salts.

It is best to transport bitumen emulsions long distances with low water content. Once delivered, the emulsion is diluted with water or a water solution of emulsifier to the required concentration.

When choosing the production capacity of emulsion plants located in bitumen storage sites or asphalt plants, consider the capacity of the current equipment production capacity (asphalt mixers, bitumen boilers etc).

The number of days for production of bitumen emulsion is larger than that of using the hot materials for construction, and varies from region to region.

Also, while calculating the production rate, the storage capacity of emulsion and black mineral salts in the winter months must be taken into consideration.

The main emulsion production equipment, regardless of the intended use of the emulsion is continuous process machines, such as colloid mills, dispersers, homogenizers etc.

Comparing continuous machines with batch machines (vane agitators), the following advantages of the former are apparent:

  • continuous emulsification process with better precision and automation capability;
  • smaller footprint;
  • adjustment of emulsion dispersion;
  • simple production process. Some temperature deviations are allowed, and the precision requirements of bitumen and water solution of emulsifier dosage are not as strict.

Where to Buy Bitumen Emulsion Production Equipment?

Bitumen Emulsion Production Equipment

Bitumen Emulsion Production Equipment. The condition of automobile roads is one of the objective indications of nation development and well-being of its citizens. Besides, good roads mean comfortable passenger and cargo transportation and a significant reduction of accidents. Design and construction of roads require a responsible approach.

The main binding material in modern road construction is bitumen. However, its practical use is only possible with a certain minimum bitumen viscosity. This can be achieved by heating, adding petroleum based solvents or emulsification.

In the first case, it is possible to make asphalt concrete of increased strength, which is especially important for the construction of high traffic roads. There are limitations, however. The energy costs of making hot mixes are quite high. There are also the environmental problems and the limited time for construction of road top.

The second method involves environmental issues due to the toxicity of the solvents, in addition to fire hazard. These, as well as the cost of the solvents, led the road construction business to search for alternatives.

Invention and perfection of bitumen technology solved the problems of energy costs and harmful environmental effects. Bitumen emulsion can be used with moist and cold mineral materials.

What is good about bitumen emulsions?

Beside the advantages mentioned above, emulsions offer the following:

  • simple permeation of even the smallest pores with bitumen
  • high adhesion to surfaces of various nature and texture
  • working in low temperature and high humidity
  • improved precision of binder dosage and uniformity of distribution across the surface
  • fuel savings.

Practical experience of bitumen emulsion use shows that they improve quality of works and labor efficiency.

Buying bitumen emulsion equipment

Complete or partial transition to bitumen emulsions brings about the problem of procuring the corresponding equipment, either manufacturing it or buying from another manufacturer. Bitumen market is prone to fluctuations and it is better to protect oneself from supply interruptions by owning bitumen emulsion production equipment.

GlobeCore is ready to assist. Our company offers bitumen emulsion production equipment (UVB-1 units), with the following capabilities:

  • production of quality bitumen emulsions independent of the initial bitumen properties. The required result is achieved by using special thinners, adhesion additives and plasticizers
  • production of anionic or cationic bitumen emulsion
  • minimized service and maintenance cost by eliminating rotary mills from hydrodynamic mixers
  • dilution of concentrated blend solution with water in the unit.

Bitumen emulsions from GlobeCore equipment fully meet the standards of ASTM D 2397-98 and D977-98. The UVB-1 units are compact, easy to service and operate.

Modernization of the UVB-2 unit (20 m³/h) reduced the set up time

GlobeCore anticipates the needs and preferences of its customers – by producing new equipment and upgrading the existing ones. The latest achievement is– an upgrade of bitumen modification plant UMBP-22.

Despite the cost of modified bitumen being more expensive than the cost of usual bitumen its use is practical for the following reasons:

  • temperature resistance of road surface;
  • resistance to cracking of road surface;
  • reduce surface loads;
  • considerable life extension of road surface.

Operating of UVB-2 UMBP-22 plant

Plant is operated by a touch screen control panel. Every part of the device can be activated separately (manual mode) and with preprogrammed algorithm (automatic mode). Control panel also displays readings of temperature parameters and bitumen pressure at different stages of treatment.

Bitumen is preheated to temperature 180°С then pumped from the boiler by external pump. Temperature and pressure parameters are regulated by controls. The flow of bitumen is divided into three parts. First part of bitumen is supplied by a dosing pump to a mixer where it mixes with polymer; second part goes to second mill for more dispersion and homogenization; and the third part is discharged back to collection tank.

Polymer is supplied onto a spiral conveyer/mixer then by horizontal conveyer it is transported into mixer of bulk and liquid materials where it mixes with liquid bitumen. Polymer supply is regulated by rotation rate of electric motor and consequently by the spiral. Dosing of polymer to the plant is set by an operator.

This blend of bitumen and polymer is pumped to a hydrodynamic mixer of the 1st stage. Plasticizer can be also added into the mixer. The mixture is then sent to a colloid mill. Mill cutters coarse grind and blend polymer granules (it is possible to control the gap) and supply the substance to second hydrodynamic mixer.

The second progressive stage consists of the same set of components. High-pressure pump of the second stage takes second part of bitumen from from a boiler and injects it under pressure into the mixer. In the mixer the concentrated polymer bitumen mixture after the first stage and the second part of pure bitumen are mixed. Then it is supplied to the colloid mill of the second stage, for the final grinding of polymer.

After the second stage the modified bitumen is supplied for maturing (storage) to collection tank.

After completion of process the plant initiates algorithm for flushing with fresh bitumen to avoid hardening of left over components.

Specifications of plant UMBP-22 (upgraded)

Parameter Value
1. Capacity, ton/hour, minimum 16 (max 20)
2. Amount of polymer per 1m³ bitumen, kg 10…60
3. Amount of plasticizer per 1 m³ 10…100
4. Amount of adhesive additive per 1 m³ bitumen, litters (max) 10
5. Mode of operation
6. Nominal power, kW
-mill 2х55=110
-1st bitumen pumps 5,5+18,5=24
-2nd bitumen pump 18,5
– polymer mixer 11
-plasticizer supply pump 4
-adhesive additive supply pump 0,37
-screw conveyor drive 3
-spiral conveyer drive 0,25
-screw mixer drive 3
-total 175
7. Electric current parameters
– voltage, V 380
– AC frequency, Hz 50
8. Dimensions, mm max
– length 5700
– height 2420
– width 2140
8. Weight, kg, max 7500

UVB-2 UMBP-22 Plant assembly components

The unit is supplied mounted on a frame complete with spiral conveyor for polymer supply and quantity calibration and horizontal belt conveyor. Also it includes a loading platform.

UVB-2 Upgrading

Plant is now equipped with temperature and pressure control units of input bitumen, regulating these parameters both before and during process.

Inlet is also equipped with bitumen dosing pump adjusting bitumen amount and frequency with polymer supply in mixer.

Also UMBP-22 was upgraded with an additional polymer mixer. This is a rotor-type aggregate, belt driven by electric motor. Polymer is supplied from a dosing tool into a mixing chamber -a screw conveyer where it is wetted by bitumen from dosing pump and discharged from mixer to pump for further dispersion in the first stage.

There is a new HTF (heat transfer fluid) circulation pump. It preheats a plant before starting work – preparation for work (warming) takes much less time.

Unit has standard transportation size. Equipment inside is laid out to give access to all controlling devices As a result the operating safety of UMBP-22 has been improved.

Container case has shutters at all sides – this gives not only convenient access to plant aggregates but also ensures additional air circulations preventing pumps and engines overheating.