Low-temperature rheological and morphological characterization of SBS modified bitumen

Olli Ville Laukkanen (Corresponding Author), Hilde Soenen, H. Henning Winter, Jukka Seppälä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Polymer modification is widely used to improve the engineering properties of bitumen, the most commonly used polymer modifier being styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) block copolymer. Although extensive studies have been performed on polymer modified bitumen (PMB), no reliable data is currently available on the effect of polymer modification on the dynamic rheological properties at low temperatures. In this study, we focus on the rheology of SBS modified bitumen near and below the glass transition temperature (Tg) using the 4-mm DSR technique. In addition, fluorescence microscopy and temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry are used to study the phase behavior and interactions in the SBS-bitumen blends. At high SBS concentrations, thermorheological complexity is observed in the investigated temperature range, attributable to the formation of a continuous SBS-rich network structure. In the case of compatible SBS-bitumen blends, a linear correlation is established between the flexural creep stiffness measured by bending beam rheometry (BBR) and the complex shear modulus measured by 4-mm DSR. Deviations from this linear trend are shown to result from the macro-phase separation induced by the poor compatibility of SBS and bitumen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 4-mm DSR
  • Bending beam rheometry
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Glass transition
  • Phase separation
  • Polymer modified bitumen
  • Rheology
  • Temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry
  • Thermorheological complexity


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