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Effect of ageing on the morphology and creep and recovery of polymer-modified bitumens

Cuciniello, Giacomo; Leandri, Pietro; Filippi, Sara; Lo Presti, Davide; Losa, Massimo; Airey, Gordon


Giacomo Cuciniello

Pietro Leandri

Sara Filippi

Davide Lo Presti

Massimo Losa

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Professor of Pavement Engineering Materials


Polymer additives are used to improve the properties of road bitumens including their oxidative resistance. However, their usage as anti-oxidative materials remains relatively unclear. This study aims to investigate the changes in the morphology and the rheological response of polymer modified bitumens used in road pavement construction caused by ageing. An elastomer (radial styrene butadiene styrene, SBS) and a plastomer (ethyl vinyl acetate, EVA) polymer were mixed with one base bitumen at three polymer concentrations. The bitumens were RTFO and PAV aged. The morphology of the bitumens was captured by fluorescence microscopy while the rheological properties were measured by means of the multiple stress creep and recovery (MSCR) test. The results show that the morphology of the SBS modified bitumen degrades with ageing as a function of polymer concentration and dispersion, with higher dispersion being more resistant. The morphology of the EVA modified bitumen has a low ageing susceptibility irrespective of polymer concentration. The MSCR response of EVA modified bitumens does not differ from that found for unmodified bitumen, where the hardening produces a decrease in the non-recoverable compliance. In the case of SBS modified bitumen, the degradation of the polymer backbone affects the bitumen hardening as much as the polymer phase dispersed and networked in the bitumen phase. Furthermore, in the case of the elastomer, the average percent recovery is in agreement with the variation of the morphology with ageing. Therefore, the use of the average percent recovery as a valuable rheological index of the integrity of the polymer network can be advocated.


Cuciniello, G., Leandri, P., Filippi, S., Lo Presti, D., Losa, M., & Airey, G. (2018). Effect of ageing on the morphology and creep and recovery of polymer-modified bitumens. Materials and Structures, 51,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 25, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 3, 2018
Publication Date 2018-10
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2018
Print ISSN 1359-5997
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Article Number 136
Keywords Polymer-modified bitumen; Ageing; Morphology; Percent recovery; MSCR
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