Breaking value of bitumen emulsions

The determination of the Breaking Value of Cationic Bitumen Emulsions (IREC in french, also known as “Breaking Index”) is a fundamental test for the classification of emulsions into Rapid-Setting (RS), Middle-Setting (MS) and Slow-Setting (SS), in accordance with the specification standard for cationic emulsions NF EN 13808. This test also allows the formulator to characterize the chemical stability of emulsions by studying its behavior in contact with fine reference silicones, the Forshammer and Q92 fillers. Its study makes it possible, during the formulation stages, to adjust the behavior of the emulsion to the aggregates or the conditions of storage and use.

During the test, dried reference fines (Q92) are added at constant speed (0.25 to 0.45 g / sec) to a known quantity of bitumen emulsion (100 g), with manual or mechanical stirring. When the emulsion is completely broken (when the mixture cannot be stirred properly anymore), the mass of fines added is determined by weighing to the nearest 0.1 g. This mass in then multiplied by 100 and divided by the mass of emulsion, which gives the breaking value of this cationic bitumen emulsion. The greater this index is, the more stable the emulsion is in contact with the aggregates, and therefore the slower the emulsion. Conversely, a low breaking index suggests that the emulsion is rapid, and therefore classified as rapid-setting.

EN 13075-1 | Manual procedure | Semi-automatic procedure