Kraton Polymers LLC (Kraton), a leading global producer of engineered polymers announces an innovation with proven ability to double styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) modification levels in pre-modified asphalt emulsions. These new high polymer content (HPC) emulsions are a result of Kraton Polymers utilizing its latest development in high vinyl products. The effects of the enhanced mechanical properties can enable a transformation of traditional modified asphalt emulsion applications as well as open the door to new opportunities.
The modification levels in atmospheric emulsification systems historically have been limited to three to four weight percent of SBS polymer based on asphalt. Higher percentages can result in increased average and broad particle size distribution leading to insufficient emulsion stability and viscosity or inadequate drying and curing behavior. The pressurized emulsification systems have the capacity to increase the level to five or six weight percent.
Kraton Polymers' innovation allows for low pre-modified asphalt viscosity and emulsions to be created with polymer contents up to eleven weight percent in atmospheric emulsification systems. The polymer content can be substantially higher in pressurized emulsification systems. The performance advantages can be tuned through selection from Kraton Polymers' portfolio of high vinyl polymer grades. The potential applications for the HPC emulsions also include:
- Surface dressing/Chip Seals
- Fog seal
- Micro surfacing
- Cold-applied crack or joint sealant
- Slurry Seals
- Pre-modified SBS emulsions for warm mix
- Stress-absorbing membrane interlayer (SAMI)
- Tack coat / Trackless tack coat
The new high polymer content can also be applied in asphalt emulsion-based waterproofing applications; modified roofing membrane base sheets, bridge deck seals and standard or below-grade residential and commercial waterproofing membranes. They can be formulated as temporary, permanent as well as spray-applied systems. In addition, the benefits of HPC emulsions can be achieved in several other industrial applications such as pipe and metal coatings. Kraton Polymers is the world's leading supplier of SBS block copolymers for asphalt modification and continues to be the gold standard in the asphalt industry. For decades, its SBS grades have been widely used in pre-modified asphalt emulsions. Kraton Polymers will continue its long tradition of pushing innovation to new heights and providing solutions to its customers in the asphalt emulsion industry.