We drive on it, walk on it, it waterproofs and protects buildings and structures, but many never realise the science, engineering and chemistry behind asphalt and bitumen.A very large number of organic molecules are found in bitumens ranging from the simplest organic molecule, to large polymeric molecules having molecular weights in excess of 15,000. Hundreds of organic molecules representing paraffinic, olefinic, aromatic and heterocyclic structures with various functional groups have been identified. The ever increasing demands to improve the material properties of this complex material has resulted in interesting developments. It’s not just about roads and paving - bitumen itself is used in a whole range of materials. Dr Fred Parrett (Chair of SCI’s London Group) spent 30 years as a development consultant for a major UK asphalt producer and his lecture will cover the story behind these fascinating materials and their many uses.
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Dr. Fred Parrett, Parrett - Technical Developments and Chairman SCI London group