Improving the Aging Resistance of Asphalt by Addition of Polyethylene and Sulphur

Maria Iqbal, Arshad Hussain, Afaq Khattak, Kamran Ahmad


With the increase in demand of flexible pavements, due to their various advantages over rigid pavements, there is a need to improve the aging properties of the bitumen in order to enhance its resistance against different types of distresses such as rutting, fatigue cracking. This research focus on the use of one polymeric additive Polyethylene (PE) and one non polymeric additive Sulphur (S) to enhance the aging resistance of asphalt. These modifiers are evaluated for their effect on the aging mechanism in comparison with the unmodified bitumen. Aging of the original and modified bitumen is realized by the Rolling Thin Film Oven (RTFO) and Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV). Physical properties of the aged and unaged asphalt binders are evaluated through empirical testing like penetration, ductility and softening point test. Optimum content of the modifiers is obtained by comparing the results of conventional properties before and after aging. Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) are performed to bring out the chemical and morphological changes in the modified binder. Rheological properties of modified asphalt are evaluated with the help of a Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR). Results indicate improvement in physical properties of the modified asphalt even after the aging. Penetration index increased which shows less temperature susceptibility of the modified binders. Carbonyl and sulfoxide index are used as aging indicators which shows reduction in case of modified samples. Decrease in the sulfoxide and carbonyl index indicates better oxidation resistance of the modified samples. Morphological analysis proves good compatibility of the modifiers with asphalt binders. DSR results indicate improved viscoelastic properties of the modified binders. Hence it can be concluded that Polyethylene and Sulphur are good options to improve the aging resistance of asphalt in terms of their cost effectiveness and environment friendly nature.


Bitumen Modification; Aging; Binder Aging; Polyethylene; Sulphur.


S. Division, “National Health Accounts Pakistan 2015-16,” pp. 1–99, 2018.

Chen, Zihao, Henglong Zhang, Chongzheng Zhu, and Bin Zhao. “Rheological Examination of Aging in Bitumen with Inorganic Nanoparticles and Organic Expanded Vermiculite.” Construction and Building Materials 101 (December 2015): 884–891. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.10.153.

Singha, Bhupendra, and Praveen Kumarb. "Effect of modifiers on the ageing properties of bitumen: A review." (December 2015).

Tauste, R., F. Moreno-Navarro, M. Sol-Sánchez, and M.C. Rubio-Gámez. “Understanding the Bitumen Ageing Phenomenon: A Review.” Construction and Building Materials 192 (December 2018): 593–609. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.10.169.

Çalışıcı, Mustafa, Metin Gürü, M. Kürşat Çubuk, and Ömer Faruk Cansız. “Improving the Aging Resistance of Bitumen by Addition of Polymer Based Diethylene Glycol.” Construction and Building Materials 169 (April 2018): 283–288. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.03.018.

Yu, Jian-Ying, Peng-Cheng Feng, Heng-Long Zhang, and Shao-Peng Wu. “Effect of Organo-Montmorillonite on Aging Properties of Asphalt.” Construction and Building Materials 23, no. 7 (July 2009): 2636–2640. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2009.01.007.

Kumbargeri, Yogesh Shamsunder, and Krishna Prapoorna Biligiri. “Understanding Aging Behaviour of Conventional Asphalt Binders Used in India.” Transportation Research Procedia 17 (2016): 282–290. doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2016.11.094.

W. D. Fernández-Gómez, H. R. Quintana, and F. Reyes Lizcano, “A review of asphalt and asphalt mixture aging El fenómeno de envejecimiento en asfaltos y mezclas asfálticas. Una revisión,” 33, no. 1 (2013): 5–12.

Diab, Aboelkasim, Mahmoud Enieb, and Dharamveer Singh. “Influence of Aging on Properties of Polymer-Modified Asphalt.” Construction and Building Materials 196 (January 2019): 54–65. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.11.105.

Ragni, Davide, Gilda Ferrotti, Xiaohu Lu, and Francesco Canestrari. “Effect of Temperature and Chemical Additives on the Short-Term Ageing of Polymer Modified Bitumen for WMA.” Materials & Design 160 (December 2018): 514–526. doi:10.1016/j.matdes.2018.09.042.

Porto, Michele, Paolino Caputo, Valeria Loise, Shahin Eskandarsefat, Bagdat Teltayev, and Cesare Oliviero Rossi. “Bitumen and Bitumen Modification: A Review on Latest Advances.” Applied Sciences 9, no. 4 (February 20, 2019): 742. doi:10.3390/app9040742.

Napiah, Madzlan, Noor Zainab Habib, and Ibrahim Kamaruddin. “Creep Behavior of Polyethylene Modified Bituminous Mixture.” APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014): 202–206. doi:10.1016/j.apcbee.2014.01.036.

Padhan, Rabindra Kumar, and Anand Sreeram. “Enhancement of Storage Stability and Rheological Properties of Polyethylene (PE) Modified Asphalt Using Cross Linking and Reactive Polymer Based Additives.” Construction and Building Materials 188 (November 2018): 772–780. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.08.155.

Ghuzlan, Khalid A., Ghazi G. Al-Khateeb, and Yazeed Qasem. "Rheological properties of polyethylene-modified asphalt binder." Athens Journal of Technology and Engineering 10 (2013): 1-14.

Punith, V. S., and A. Veeraragavan. "Behavior of asphalt concrete mixtures with reclaimed polyethylene as additive." Journal of materials in civil engineering 19, no. 6 (2007): 500-507. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0899-1561(2007)19:6(500).

Ghaly, N. F. "Effect of sulfur on the storage stability of tire rubber modified asphalt." World Journal of Chemistry 3, no. 2 (2008): 42-50.

Rezvani, Vahid, and Hassan Saghi. "Characteristics and preparation method of sulfur extended asphalt mixtures." Am J Civ Eng Spec Issue Res Pract Civ Eng Dev Ctries 3, no. 2-2 (2015): 69-74.

S. R. Reddy and G. S. Pavani, “Engineering Characterization and Evalution of Sulphur Modified Bituminous Binders” M. Tech (Transportation Engineering), Department of Civil Engineering, Viswabarathi college of Abstract,” vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 235–244, 2017.

Ali, Asim Hassan, Nuha S. Mashaan, and Mohamed Rehan Karim. “Investigations of Physical and Rheological Properties of Aged Rubberised Bitumen.” Advances in Materials Science and Engineering 2013 (2013): 1–7. doi:10.1155/2013/239036.

Elkholy, S.A., A.M.M. Abd El-Rahman, M. El-Shafie, and Z.L. Abo-Shanab. “Physical and Rheological Properties of Modified Sulfur Asphalt Binder.” International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology (August 2018). doi:10.1016/j.ijprt.2018.07.005.

Kumar, Praveen, and Nikhil Saboo. "Rheological Investigations of Sulfur Modified Bitumen." (October 2014): 703-713.

Ehinola, Olugbenga A., Olugbenga A. Falode, and George Jonathan. "Softening point and Penetration Index of bitumen from parts of Southwestern Nigeria." Nafta 63, no. 9-10 (2012): 319-323.

Dony, Anne, L. Zyian, Ivan Drouadaine, Simon Pouget, Stéphane Faucon-Dumont, Delphine Simard, Virginie Mouillet et al. "MURE National Project: FTIR spectroscopy study to assess ageing of asphalt mixtures." In Proceedings of the E&E congress. 2016.

Feng, Zhen-gang, Shu-juan Wang, Hui-juan Bian, Qi-long Guo, and Xin-jun Li. “FTIR and Rheology Analysis of Aging on Different Ultraviolet Absorber Modified Bitumens.” Construction and Building Materials 115 (July 2016): 48–53. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.04.040.

Wu, Hong, Lian Li, Jianying Yu, Song Xu, and Dong Xie. “Effect of Layered Double Hydroxides on Ultraviolet Aging Properties of Different Bitumens.” Construction and Building Materials 111 (May 2016): 565–570. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.02.140.

M. Panda, J. Ojha, and S. Purohit, “Development and evaluation of sulphur modified bitumen binder,” 8th Int. Conf. Maint. Rehabil. Pavements, MAIREPAV 2016, pp. 774–783, 2016.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2020-03091525


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 maria iqbal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.