PRODUCTION PROCESS

Bitumen is a material commonly obtained from refining, which is solid at ambient temperature. Its color varies from black to dark brown, it is thermoplastic and it has excellent properties of adhesion and impermeability.
In the field of bitumen production techniques, fractional vacuum distillation is to be considered a primary process. Alma Petroli uses this method. The crude is heated and injected into the fractionation column at atmospheric pressure, the heavier fractions that remain on the bottom of the column (atmospheric residue) are in turn processed in a second vacuum column from which the bitumen is extracted from the bottom. Usually, bitumen of this type are indicate as “straight run” or by direct distillation and not for mixing.

PAVING GRADE BITUMEN

Bitumen is used as a binder. Its properties of adhesion, cohesion and high impermeability make it resistant to most acids and solid salts at ambient temperature; it can be laid either heated or emulsified with water, and it can be recycled. Thanks to these properties, bitumen is a material extensively used for the construction and maintenance of road paving.
In line with the requirements established by the European norm EN 12591:200, prescribing the CE certification on bitumen, Alma Petroli has defined its operational area through the following bitumen categories: 20/30, 35/50, 50/70, 70/100 and 160/220.

INDUSTRIAL BITUMEN

When Bitumen is meant for industrial use, such as production of bituminous membranes, electrical and thermal insulations, etc. it becomes fundamental for the product to acquire features granting resistance to hostile weather conditions, aging, and oxidization, but also to ensure protection, provide flexibility and impermeability. Alma Petroli produces pro-modified industrial bitumen which can be branched as it follows: pro-modified with SBS (elastomeric polymers), and pro-modified with APP (plastomer polymers). One additional classification can be made in relation to winter industrial bitumen and summer industrial bitumen, showing respectively a lower and a higher penetration level, depending on the technical specifications required by the client.

BULK OXIDIZED BITUMEN

One of the methods for producing special bitumen is to oxidize the residue from vacuum distillation by blowing air under controlled conditions at high temperature (230-260°C) and for a certain period of time.
Following the process just described, the bitumen consistency and its associated properties are subject to radical changes. In particular:

  • Reduction in Penetration
  • Considerable increase of the Softening Point
  • Increase in the positive values of the Penetration Index
  • Increase in Viscosity values

The lower thermal susceptibility of these products makes them particularly suitable for many uses other than road applications, for example in the field of waterproofing, hydraulic works and thermal and electrical insulation. Alma Petroli produces oxidized bitumen with a specific Ring & Ball range (65-130°C) and a Penetration range (8-40 dmm). The company can always produce oxidized bitumen in line with the specifications required by the client.

OXIDIZED BITUMEN IN BLOCKS

The blocks, weighing about 29 Kg and measuring about 60x50x12 cm, are wrapped in a film of polythene and are packed on pallets (105x125cm) of 32 or 40 blocks.

Oxidized bitumen blocks has the same properties as bulk oxidized bitumen and they are undertaken for the following uses :

  • Protective covering of cement surfaces
  • Connecting layer between compatible cement and heat insulation surfaces
  • Connecting layer between compatible heat insulation material

Normally, Alma Petroli produces the following categories of oxidized bitumen in blocks:  90-100 in winter season, 100-110 in summer season.

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