The quality of the bitumen that is used to manufacture asphalt can have a considerable influence on both the asphalt’s longevity and its performance. Asphalt is an essential component in the building and paving of roads. In recent years, there has been a growth in the usage of mixed bitumen, which is a combination of several types of bitumen. This type of bitumen has become more popular. Using mixed bitumen for asphalt comes with a number of possible dangers, despite the fact that doing so can result in cost savings and other advantages.
warning about mixed bitumen for asphalt with a shape of cracked asphalt

What is mixed bitumen?

A mixture of two or more distinct types of bitumen, such as petroleum or natural bitumen, is referred to as mixed bitumen. The main component of asphalt is bitumen, which is a sticky, black, and very viscous liquid. By combining several types of bitumen, either at the production facility or on-site, mixed bitumen is created.

Benefits of mixed bitumen:

It is possible to make a customized mixture of bitumen using mixed bitumen, which is one of the primary benefits of using mixed bitumen. Some conditions must be satisfied. This can include enhancing the asphalt’s longevity and performance, lowering associated expenses, and expanding the available supply of bitumen. One further advantage is that it lessens the reliance on a one supply of bitumen.

Risks of using mixed bitumen:

The use of mixed bitumen comes with a few possible advantages, but there are also a few potential hazards that should be taken into consideration. One of the main dangers is that the quality of the bitumen mixed cannot be uniform, which has the potential to have an effect on the characteristics and performance of the asphalt. The mixing process can also add impurities or pollutants, both of which can have a detrimental influence on the asphalt’s longevity and performance. In addition to this, there is a possibility that the mixed bitumen will not be up to the needed standards or requirements of the project.

Quality control for mixed bitumen:

It is very necessary to implement a stringent quality control procedure in order to guarantee that the mixed bitumen will be of a high standard. This can include evaluating the various types of bitumen separately before they are mixed together, as well as testing the resulting mixture to verify that it satisfies the necessary criteria. Verifying that the blending process is consistent and that the appropriate amounts of bitumen are utilized is another crucial step in the process.

Standards for mixed bitumen:

For example, the European Standard EN 12591 and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) M320 are only two of the many standards and requirements that pertain to the mixed bitumen that is used in asphalt. These standards outline the characteristics and conditions that must be met by the mixed bitumen in order to guarantee that it is appropriate for use in asphalt.


A piece of mixed asphalt

Effects of mixed bitumen for constructing roads negatively:

In recent years, mixed bitumen, which combines two or more distinct types of bitumen, has grown in popularity for use in road building. Although utilizing mixed bitumen has certain advantages, there are also a number of drawbacks to take into account. We’ll talk about a few of the drawbacks of using mixed bitumen for constructing roads in this post.

Inconsistent Quality

The possibility for uneven quality is one of the main drawbacks of mixed bitumen. The features and attributes of the finished product may change based on the types of bitumen used and the amounts of each, since mixed bitumen is a combination of many types of bitumen. Poor quality may provide an inferior bitumen and asphalt mixture, which will have a negative impact on the performance and longevity of the pavement.

Reduced Asphalt Durability

The performance and lifetime of asphalt are significantly influenced by its durability. Since the bitumen mixture is inconsistent, using mixed bitumen might result in less durable asphalt. The characteristics of the bitumen used in the mixture may significantly affect how long the asphalt will last. For instance, the final pavement may be susceptible to cracking and other types of damage if the bitumen blend used in the mix lacks the appropriate viscosity or binding qualities.

Increased Risk of Pavement Failure

The likelihood of a pavement failing may also rise with the usage of mixed bitumen. The resultant pavement may not function as planned if the quality of the mixed bitumen is inconsistent or does not fulfill the necessary standards. Rutting and other types of pavement irritation may result from this, in addition to early wear and tear.

Potential for Contamination

Contamination might happen during the mixing process, which would have a detrimental effect on the asphalt’s characteristics and performance. For instance, if there are pollutants or impurities in the bitumen mix, they may decrease the asphalt’s binding capabilities and cause early failure.

Difficulty in Quality Control

While utilizing mixed bitumen for road building, maintaining quality control is crucial. Controlling the end product’s quality might be difficult, nevertheless, due to the mixing process’ intricacy. This is particularly true when mixing is carried out on-site, where it may be challenging to guarantee that the right amounts of bitumen are used and that the mixing procedure is constant.


While utilizing mixed bitumen for road building, it is important to take into account the possible drawbacks even if it might have certain advantages. The drawbacks of employing mixed bitumen include inconsistent quality, decreased asphalt durability, elevated risk of pavement breakdown, possibility for contamination, and difficulties in quality management. Road construction experts may use mixed bitumen wisely and take action to minimize any negative consequences by being aware of these possible problems.


Prepared by the PetroNaft Co. research team.


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