S. Nahar, A. Schmets, A. Scarpas, G. Schitter:
"Temperature and thermal history dependence of the microstructure in bituminous materials";
European Polymer Journal, 49 (2013), 8; S. 1964 - 1974.

Kurzfassung englisch:
Bituminous materials are known to possess microstructures, which can be imaged by
atomic force microscopy (AFM). The main objective of this work is to determine the influence
of temperature and thermal history on the microstructures of bitumen by means of
AFM. Three bitumen samples from different crude sources are studied. Their microstructures
are imaged in real time by AFM for various thermal scenarios such as (slow) heating
and cooling. It is found that the microstructural features show a tendency to align themselves
with increasing temperature. Moreover a hysteresis-like effect in the microstructural
properties is observed between the heating and cooling paths. Finally it is found
that bitumen possess a `memory´ for its maximum processing temperature. Different maximum
processing temperatures lead to different room temperature microstructures of the
material. Thus, a bituminous material may be characterized by a `reset temperature´ above
which memory of its previous microstructural state is completely erased.

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