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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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