Polymer Modified Asphalt: From Niche to Norm

This article describes several key aspects of the history of polymer-modified bitumen (PMB). Initially, bitumen was solely used for its waterproofing properties. Later, it was used as a road pavement binder, and as such, rheological and mechanical requirements were needed. Softening point, penetration, and performance tests were introduced. In the 1960s, Kraton Polymers scientists invented a polymer known as Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene (SBS) block copolymer, which is a thermoplastic elastomer. Its solvency parameters are so close to those of bitumen that it can absorb bitumen component up to ten times its original volume. Asphalt mixes offers much better resistance to permanent deformation, cracking, and aggregate loss when modified with SBS polymers. SBS polymer has engendered growth in the use of PMB. This has resulted in an approximate 65% share of the global roads’ modifier market. Currently, SBS is used primarily in wearing courses, but the benefits of SBS modification will show applications for other asphalt layers as well. Close to five million tons a year of PMB are used globally in the roads industry.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01011004
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2005 6:16PM