A polymer-modified bitumen mix is being applied to a section of highway in the UK’s Northamptonshire like an anti-aging cream. The Total Styrelf binder mixture is designed to prolong the flexibility of the road surface and reduce oxidative aging.
A section of dual carriageway in Northamptonshire has become the first in the country to be resurfaced with Total Styrelf Long Life.
Total has several Styrelf polymer-modified binder (PMB) bitumen mixes, including Total Styrelf GP for racetracks and Total Styrelf Extreme for heavily trafficked roads.The new mix being trialled is Total Styrelf Long Life. This is based on Total Styrelf Extreme but with additives to reduce the propensity for oxidative ageing.
Slowing down the ageing process means that the road surface stays flexible for longer, and so the binder’s initial performance characteristics, such as resistance to fatigue, fretting, and thermal cracking, are retained for longer.
Total UK has worked with Highways England and Tarmac to resurface a busy section of the A43 near Silverstone with the new mix. Three sections of the road have been surfaced, the first with a standard bitumen, the second with Total Styrelf Extreme 100 and the third with Total Styrelf Long Life.
The trial could run for up to 15 years. Total UK’s team will take samples from each section of the carriageway at regular intervals to measure the ageing performance and key characteristics of the bitumen, and to understand the degradation caused by oxidation and UV exposure.