Published: November 30, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Bitumen Mean?

Bituminous materials are those that are held together by bitumen and used in both conventional and trenchless construction projects. Bitumen is an amorphous, viscous substance varying in color from brown to black. It is a naturally occurring substance available in large quantities as a byproduct of petroleum but is also artificially manufactured. It is used as a sealant, water proofing material and adhesive and is widely used in the construction industry as a topping on roads.

Bitumen is also used as a metal reinforced impermeable layer on channel banks for the purpose of preventing erosion.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Bitumen

Bituminous materials include asphalts that may occur in nature or may be obtained as a byproduct of petroleum, and tars that are not naturally occurring but are obtained as condensates during the processing of oil, petroleum coal or any other organic matter.

Bituminous materials are used for a variety of purposes such as erosion control in:

  • Basins and catchment areas
  • Embankment protection
  • Dam grouting and lining
  • Ditch lining
  • Drainage gutters
  • Waterproofing and membrane linings
  • Sewage lagoons, etc.

Since bitumen is insoluble in water, it is a preferred material where water tightness is required.


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