Polymer Modification of Arabian-Asphalt to meet Performance Requirements of The Arabian Gulf


Hamad I. Al-Abdul Wahhab, Professor 

Isam A. Mahmoud, Lecturer B,

Baig  Ghouse M., Research Engineer,


 Department of Civil Engineering King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia



Arabian Gulf has a unique harsh environment which presents a real challenge to construction and material specialists; particularly when dealing with an asphalt concrete material due to thermo-plastic nature of the asphalt binder. In fact, behaves as elastic solid at low service temperatures or during rapid loading while, at high temperature or slow loading, it behaves as a viscous liquid. This has led to an increasing demand to modify the asphalt binders in the area to improve road performance and minimize the cracking stresses that occur at low temperatures and plastic deformation that occur at high temperatures. Different techniques have been used to modify and upgrade the properties of asphalt binders; One of the most common techniques, to meet the required performance standards SUPEPAVE (Superior Performance Pavement specification), is the use of polymer-modified asphalt binder. It appears to be logical, practical, and economical approach.

            The objectives of this paper is to highlight the study conducted to explore the performance grade (PG) of asphalt produced in the Gulf Countries (GCs) and the polymer modification of these binders using local and commercial polymers. The results indicated that the properties of the GCs' asphalt can be significantly upgraded by adding polymers. The rheological analysis of the modified asphalt indicated an increasing performance and improved properties. The final properties were found to be dependant not only on the polymer type, but also on the asphalt type. Also some important parameters for the modification process were determined including: blending time, blending temperature, and polymer content. In general, the results have shown the effectiveness of the polymers in modifying performance behavior of the GCs' asphalts.