Gilsonite in bitumen is often used as an additive in bitumen to improve its performance characteristics. Gilsonite is called Natural Asphalt also and Here are three common methods of mixing Gilsonite with bitumen:
- Dry Blending:
- In this method, the Gilsonite powder is added directly to the bitumen in a dry form.
- The bitumen and Gilsonite are heated to a temperature above the softening point of the bitumen.
- The Gilsonite powder is gradually introduced into the bitumen while continuously stirring to ensure proper dispersion.
- The mixture is further heated and stirred until the Natural Asphalt particles are completely dissolved or dispersed in the bitumen.
- Solvent Dilution:
- In this method, a solvent is used to dissolve the Natural Asphalt before mixing it with bitumen.
- The Gilsonite is first ground into a fine powder to increase its surface area.
- A suitable solvent, such as toluene or xylene, is added to the Gilsonite powder in a separate container.
- The mixture is stirred or agitated until the Natural Asphalt is completely dissolved in the solvent.
- The Gilsonite-solvent solution is then added to the bitumen, and the mixture is heated and stirred to remove the solvent, leaving behind a homogeneous Natural Asphalt-bitumen blend.
- Wet Grinding:
- Wet grinding is another method that can be used to mix Natural Asphalt with bitumen.
- In this method, the Gilsonite is mixed with bitumen and a small amount of solvent to form a slurry.
- The slurry is then passed through a mill or grinder that reduces the particle size of the Natural Asphalt and promotes its dispersion in the bitumen.
- The grinding process helps to break down the Natural Asphalt particles and enhance their interaction with the bitumen.
- After grinding, the solvent is typically evaporated by heating the mixture, leaving behind a well-mixed Natural Asphalt-bitumen blend.
Please note that the specific mixing method may vary depending on the desired application and the equipment available. Additionally, the optimal Natural Asphalt to bitumen ratio and mixing conditions should be determined through testing and evaluation to achieve the desired performance characteristics in the final asphalt mix.