Cutback bitumen

Cutback bitumen

Cutback bitumen is one of the most applicable types among the other bituminous products.

Generally speaking, bitumen is available in seeps and the oil sands, however

refineries can manufacture this material by removing lighter fractions from crude oil during

the refining process. Different refining processes lead to the production of several

types and grades of bitumen that each differs in specification, application, and appearance.

In order to become more familiar with cutback bitumen types, we need to know about the history, production

and a general description of bitumen.

Bitumen production

Once they extract crude oil from the ground, the production of bitumen starts.

In the following process, they pump crude oil from

the storage tanks and through a system that heats the crude oil up to 200°C.

The oil then moves to a boiler, where it melts in even higher temperatures to approximately 300°C.

In fact, the substance will be evaporated partly into a distillation column.

In this step, the separation of the different components of crude oil occurs.

While lighter components rise to the top, heavy components—including the bitumen—fall to the bottom of the column.

This process is fractional distillation. Ultimately

they obtain bitumen by extra distilling the residue in a vacuum distillation column.


The grade of the bitumen depends on how much volatile material remains in the refined bitumen.

Having more volatiles will result in a less pure, more liquid bitumen.

Bitumen application

Bitumen is mainly suitable for industrial use. This is also true for the cutback bitumen types.

They first applied bitumen for its natural adhesive and waterproofing properties.

This substance is also suitable for binding building materials together, as well as lining the bottoms of ships.

It is essential to know that under heavy loads, cutback bitumen and other types can deform permanently, however,

it largely depends on the composition of the asphalt mixture, the climate, and the rate of pressure on the material.

More about cutback bitumen types

Cutback Bitumen is a liquid type that is dissolved in a solvent.

Typical solvents are Naphtha, gasoline and kerosene, white spirit, etc.

The type of solvent controls the curing time while the amount defines the viscosity rate of the Cutback Bitumen.

According to the aforementioned details, this grade divides into 3 main types

which are SC, MC, and RC. Moreover, each of these groups has several sub categories.

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