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Screening of modern chemical and physical methods to analyse bituminous binders (VSS2002/404)

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Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

By means of an evaluation of the results in literature and daily use of the European and American domain as well as personal contacts and interviews with leading personalities in this area, there will be generated an overview of the limits and possibilities of the known analytical methods. The most important methods with the greatest potential for the analysis of bitumen will be summarized in an understandable manner.

This work should serve as a basic for new innovative new research projects for bituminous binder in future.


The analysis of bitumen is of increasing importance for research and for business world. To better understand the processes of aging (oxidative and thermal during distillation) of bitumens with and without polymer additives, modern analytical methods are of great importance.

Research work and publication of the last years showed different known methods (IATROSCAN) as well as some newer methods (XRF, FTIR). The aim of this research work should show the examination of newer methods from neighbouring areas like polymer and petro chemistry on a possible application of the analysis of bitumen. The limits and possibilities will be studied on practical problems like polymer degradation and changes of the molecular structure during recycling. The availability of the methods (including the instruments) in Switzerland and the judgement of the cost-profit proportion is also a part of the project.


Literature review
Quantitative detection of the latest analytical methods from the fields of polymer chemistry and petro-chemistry in the European and American literature.

With the help of personal contact requests and subsequent interviews with leading figures in this field to be explored, the overview is to be deepened and respect updates the possibilities and limitations of chemical-analytical measurement methods in the bitumen analysis.

Work-up and evaluation of the collected literature
Description of recognized analytical from the territories polymer chemistry and petro-chemistry.

Processing of the evaluated methods
Evaluation of analytical methods evaluated with respect to their applicability to the bitumen analysis. Investigation of the possibilities and limitations of specific, bitumen-related issues (eg: analysis of polymer degradation, changes the molecular structure of the bitumen in the recycling, etc.).
Processing and description of these main methods taking into account an understandable, basic research presentation.

Further investigations
Evaluation of methods for availability (analysis instruments resp. Methods) in Switzerland
and assess the cost / benefit ratio.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)



In the following work, "Screening of chemical-physical methods to analyze bituminous building materials", there was made a try to show a variety of analytic methods, which are used to analyse bituminous building materials, respectably there exist a possibility in addition. The background of the interest was particularly the future investigations of aging processes at modern, partly modified bitumens as well as molecular changes it selves in general. The rising requirements on the used bitumens during the past years require appropriate possibilities to examine with one or more analysis methods the basic qualities and the modifications on the insert bitumens concerning polymer dismantling, changes of the molecular structure during recycling, aging procedures, etc. By this evaluation of existing results from the literature and practice, among neighbouring results of well known analysis of polymers and petrochemical products, the basis for the development of principles for future research work within the range of bituminous binders could be formed. The appropriate application potential of an analysis method was described in each case concerning the material bitumen. The estimation of the availability of the different individual methods (devices, applications, cost/use relationship) in Switzerland was tried to form in each case to produce a conclusion of a respective chapter.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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