Characterisation of cold mixes with regard to workability and cohesion build-up

This paper belongs to a series of publications presenting the findings made within a European project entitled Optel: “Optimisation of slow-setting cationic bitumen emulsions for the construction and maintenance of roads”.
The Optel project (BE-1516) has been initiated within the 4th framework programme BRITE-EURAM III and run by 7 industrial partners or research organisations:

  • Probisa, Spain and Entreprise Jean Lefebvre, France;
  • Nynas NV, Belgium, CECA, France;
  • Laboratoire Central des Ponts & Chaussées (LCPC), Centre de Recherches Paul Pascal (CRPP-ENSCP Bordeaux), France, University of Las Palmas (Eupitop), Spain.

The Optel project has represented an overall effort close to 300 man.months over a period of more than 3 years (June 1996 to December 1999). A synthesis of this project has been published in the beginning of 2001.
Optel participates to an effort aiming at an increased market share for cold mixes and bituminous emulsions in road building activities. In this frame, the scientific objective of Optel was the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms which control the behaviour of cold mixes so as to develop a more rational formulation and optimisation methodology for these products.
The previous publications have essentially been devoted to fundamental issues in relation to the properties of constituents (emulsion, aggregates) and their interactions (coalescence and breaking phenomena). The last publications will deal with cold mixes in a more global way. Before relating
the trials at the Nantes test track and our thoughts on a possible formulation methodology (coming papers), this communication presents some results with regard to laboratory methods which may be used for characterising the workability and the build-up of cohesion of such materials.


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