During ageing the chemical composition of bitumen changes, which is reflected by the change in the distribution of bitumen fractions. By measuring the spectrum of fractions, and by correlating fractional changes during ageing within bitumen with the corresponding spectra, a connection between bitumen’s age and the fluorescence spectrum can be drawn. While the age of bitumen increases, its fluorescence emission intensity decreases.
Therefore non-aged, laboratory aged (rolling thin film oven test (RTFOT) and RTFOT + pressure ageing vessel) bitumen and bitumen extracted from asphalt slabs from a test field after different time periods were investigated. The test field confirmed the connection between intensity and ageing time, further the development of an oxidation gradient over the vertical cross section of the asphalt slabs could be observed.
A modified RTFOT was conducted to study the effects of different temperatures and operating times on the fluorescence emission spectrum, as well as the influence of air (containing traces of atmospheric radicals) by conducting the test with nitrogen. Even under nitrogen atmosphere the intensity decreased, which is assigned to internal reactions.
Grossegger, D., Grothe, H., Hofko, B. and Hospodka, M., 2017. Fluorescence spectroscopic investigation of bitumen aged by field exposure respectively modified rolling thin film oven test. Road Materials and Pavement Design, pp.1-9.
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Category: Material & Chemical