Bitumen is the oldest known thermoplastic material in use today. Its usefulness and appeal derive from its simple thermoplastic property of being a thin liquid at high temperature and a virtual solid at ambient temperature. For the vast majority of applications, bitumen is used in the temperature range 140 to 230°C at a viscosity of around 200 cSt (20 Pa.$). For many applications, these conditions are both essential and desirable allowing rapid throughput from hot bulk bitumen delivery through to final use without any reheating. There are limitations to the coating film thickness that can be achieved using hot-applied techniques and for some applications, it is necessary to apply at a lower temperature and/or viscosity. The reasons may be a combination of the process requirements, the application techniques, safety and environmental requirements or final product properties.
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