IKA mixing technology for the bitumen industry

IKA mixing technology for the bitumen industry

Bitumen, a component of asphalt, is a mixture of various organic substances. Due to its properties, bitumen is often used as a binder, for example in road construction.

At a temperature of between 150 and 200°C bitumen becomes fluid, allowing it to be mixed with other substances. This is how products that are necessary for the preservation and improvement of our quality of life are created. Examples include road and highway surfaces, airfields, building and roof waterproofing, bituminous protective agents for buildings, and many more.

IKA offers complete systems for the production of bituminous emulsions and polymer modified bitumen (PMB). It is also possible to purchase single machines from these systems.

The most popular equipment

ProductgroupMachines and plants
Inline dispersers / Mills Colloid Mill MK 2000/05 Flow rate (max.) : 2500 l/h
Colloid Mill MK 2000/20 Flow rate (max.) : 20000 l/h
Colloid Mill MK 2000/10 Flow rate (max.) : 7500 l/h
Process plants EPB 200 Flow rate (max.) : 200 l/h
EPB 2500 Flow rate (max.) : 2500 l/h
EPB 7500 Flow rate (max.) : 7500 l/h
EPB 15000 Flow rate (max.) : 15000 l/h
EPB 40000 Flow rate (max.) : 40000 l/h
EPB 60000 Flow rate (max.) : 60000 l/h


Bituminous emulsions
Polymer modified bitumen (PMB)

Bituminous emulsions
Production in a continuous inline process
Bituminous emulsions are used as insulation against moisture (hydrophobization) and as adhesives, for example for road surfacing and roofing felts. Depending on the intended use, the emulsions need to have special mechanical and chemical properties. In addition to the general composition, the droplet size distribution is the most important criterion for ensuring the required requirements with regard to stability, refraction, adhesion, etc.

Two immiscible phases (bitumen and water) are emulsified in a single step to form a finely divided emulsion. This crucial step takes place at the heart of the emulsion facility, the MK2000 colloid mill. Here, droplet sizes of 3 microns or less can be achieved.

The IKA EPB emulsion facility generally contains at least 2 dosage devices, each of which consists of pumps and inline measuring instruments. In the production plants, a PLC control regulates the dosing automatically. In order to ensure the most flexible test operation possible using the laboratory system, the control is carried out manually.

The system is typically fitted with feedback control electronics. In the event of a deviation from specified limit values or when non-permissible operating states occur, the system moves to a controlled state in a controlled manner.

Further features:
  • All bitumen-conducting piping, machines and equipment in the emulsifying plant are heated
  • Innovative design
  • High precision grinding and mixing tools
  • Available in six different sizes, 200-60,000 l / h
  • Scale-up from lab to production thanks to seamless scale-up technology
  • The use of special materials allows for the production of cationic and anionic bitumen emulsions with no need to convert the bitumen plant
  • All system components are in an easy-to-clean design
  • Good accessibility to all of the main system components
  • The entire emulsifying facility can be operated via touch screen

Polymer modified bitumen (PMB)
Production in an inline process
In order to expand the application of asphalt and to improve its properties, the bitumen it contains is modified. High-quality, polymer-modified bitumens (PMB) are special, high-performance binders. They are characterized by their high strength and high temperature stability. You will find them, for instance, in areas of airports and roads which are heavily used.

At room temperature, bitumen is an extremely tough, black mass. Only when it is heated does it begin to liquefy slowly. When PMB is produced, the polymer is added to the hot bitumen and stirred. This is usually done to date in a batch process (in a large vessel with a moderately efficient stirring mechanism). This process is very time consuming due to the fact that clumping delays the mixing process.

By contrast, the production of polymer-modified bitumen in the inline process is efficient in every respect. In one step, the liquid bitumen and solid polymer are added, mixed together and finely dispersed and homogenized at the same time. The latter takes place using the DISPAX-REACTOR DR 2000-PB inline disperser, which accelerates the dissolving process and reduces the mixing time.

Manufacturers thus enjoy significant advantages compared to traditional batch processes:
  • Better product quality due to consistent mixing technology
  • Fewer process steps: The polymer / bitumen premix is completely eliminated!
  • Less time required: Up to 50% reduction compared to a standard batch process
  • Less space required for machines and storage
  • Higher flexibility in terms of the production quantity
  • Lower energy costs
The largest IKA PMB system achieves a throughput of up to 30 tons per hour.