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On the investigation of the bulk microstructure of bitumen - Introducing two new techniques

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Author: Fischer, H.R. · Dillingh, E.C.
Source:Fuel, 118
Identifier: 485032
doi: doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2013.11.008
Keywords: Structures Traffic Materials · AFM · Bitumen microstructure · Scanning Acoustics Microscope · Industrial Innovation · Mechanics, Materials and Structures · MIP - Materials for Integrated Products · TS - Technical Sciences


Bitumen, the residue of oil distillation and applied e.g. as binder in asphalt pavements displays a rich microstructure at the bitumen surface-to-air surface with several clearly distinguishable phases. However, uncertainty still remains whether this micro-structure is just present at free surfaces or a similar structure exists in the bulk of the material. Two new experimental techniques in bitumen research (i) one based on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) on a freeze-fracture surface and (ii) one technique employing a Scanning Acoustic Microscope (SAM) offer the required spatial resolution and show the presence of two phases in the bulk showing similarities with the known surface structures in bitumen. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.