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Bituminous treatment


Discovery of petroleum and its products and by-products has given the construction industry an indispensable product in the form of bitumen. Bitumen is more commonly used in the form of felt or flexible membrane formed by sandwiching jute fabric or fibreglass/polypropylene mats with chemically modified bitumen. These membranes are laid on the roofing over a bitumen primer. There are two types of membranes one is cold applied and the other hot applied which means one needs to heat the edges of the felt with a torch so that they melt and stick to the second layer in the overlap area.

On the RCC flat roofs the bitumen felts have not been successful because of the unacceptable black appearance and inaccessibility of the terrace for other social uses. Technically it is not preferred because bitumen layer or felt on the terrace not only makes it watertight but also airtight. Concrete has the breathing property. It takes water/moisture and breathes out water vapour. Hindrance of this breathing property of concrete develops pore pressure, which causes blisters in the felt.

After a few seasons the blisters multiply and eventually delaminate the felt from the concrete surface. Hindrance of breathing property of concrete makes the concrete weak. But on the asbestos cement sheets and zinc sheets in factory roofs, this bitumen felt is the only dependable waterproofing system. Hence all factory roofs in India adopt this water proofing system.

Bitumen is very effective in waterproofing of basements from outside. Bitumen primers have very successfully been used as damp-proof course in earlier days. This practice is slowly discontinued for whatever reasons now very few engineers now believe that this was in practice once. As consequence of this absent DPC we have a lot of cases of rising dampness, which we tend to attribute to wrong reasons such as the quality or salinity of sand etc. Bitumen still is the product of first choice where it is commonly recommended, in areas such as industrial roof waterproofing, basement waterproofing, and damp-proof course. More over bitumen is the most economical product available for waterproofing. 

Bitumen coating is primarily used as a waterproofing membrane/ layer in concreting of flat rooftops, it is also used as a filler for construction and expansion joints. on the other hand, epoxy coating is primarily used as a sealant to existing cracks and is used in an exposed-to-the-atmosphere state. bitumen, because it is cheap is also used as bond agent for gravel in bituminous pavements called asphalt but is not suitable in cold and wet areas because it disentegrates in cold weather. Epoxy is also used as protection for metals exposed in salty weather like shorelines. Comparing which is better between the two, it depends on the use actually For sealing something, use epoxy and to make waterproofing membranes, use bitumen because it is cheaper and still serves the purpose

Bitumen is a mixture of organic liquids that are highly viscous, black, sticky, entirely soluble in carbon disulfide, and composed primarily of highly condensed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. 

Bitumen is the residual (bottom) fraction obtained by fractional distillation of crude oil. It is the heaviest fraction and the one with the highest boiling point. 

Bitumen is primarily used for paving roads. Its other uses are for general waterproofing products, including the use of bitumen in the production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs. It is also the prime feed stock for petroleum production from tar sands currently under development in Alberta, Canada. Bitumen from tar sands is projected to account for 80% of Canadian oil production by 2020.

In the past, bitumen was used to waterproof boats, and even as a coating for buildings. It is possible that the city of Carthage was easily burnt due to extensive use of bitumen in construction. 

Epoxy or polyepoxide is a thermosetting epoxide polymer that cures (polymerizes and crosslinks) when mixed with a catalyzing agent or "hardener". Most common epoxy resins are produced from a reaction between epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. 

Epoxies will not stick to mold-release compounds recommended for use with epoxy, and polyethylene sheeting, like disposable paint tarps and sandwich bags. Epoxy does not stick to the shiny side of packaging tape or paraffin wax. 

Fusion Bonded Epoxy Powder Coatings (FBE) are extensively used for corrosion protection of steel pipes and fittings used in the oil & gas industry, potable water transmission pipelines (steel), concrete reinforcing rebar etc. Epoxy coatings are also widely used as primers to improve the adhesion of automotive and marine paints especially on metal surfaces where corrosion (rusting) resistance is important. Metal cans and containers are often coated with epoxy to prevent rusting especially for foods like tomatoes that are acidic. Epoxy resins are also used for high performance & decorative flooring applications especially terrazzo flooring, chip flooring and colored aggregate flooring

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