Bitumen in UAE
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Asphalt, also known as Bitumen is a black, sticky semi-solid or liquid form of petroleum with a high viscosity. Bitumen is a substance which is classified as a pitch and is commonly found in natural deposits or can even be a refined product. Up until the 20th century, this substance was referred to as asphaltum, derived from the greek word asphaltos. The primary application of bitumen, which covers almost 70 % of its use, is in the construction of roads and highways. In road construction, asphalt is used as a binder or a binding mixture with aggregate particles, forming asphalt concrete. In addition to this, its other applications extend to bituminous waterproofing, sealing flat roofs and in the production of roof felt.
Bitumen is of two types, the crude or naturally occurring substance and the refined substance which is a by-product of crude oil processing. Though the terms asphalt and bitumen are used to refer to both the naturally occurring and the manufactured forms, asphalt is the refined residue from crude oil distillation. This thick black substance is more commonly known as tar. Naturally occurring tar is known as crude tar, which has the viscosity as that of cold molasses, while the by-product of crude oil fractional distillation is known as refined tar. Its modern applications mainly include Rolled asphalt concrete for road surfaces, as well as mastic asphalt used in the construction industry for waterproofing flat roofs, asphalt emulsion used to create low-cost heavy-duty pavements, synthetic crude oil, non-upgraded crude, fence-post treatment, in paints and marker inks, and to waterproof fabrics.
In the UAE, Bitumen is supplied by a number of distributors and refinery businesses, to many industrial sectors. The suppliers of bitumen in the UAE are prominent entities in various industry markets like construction, contracting and public works. A few of these suppliers of bitumen are located at places like the Ajman New Industrial Area, Mussafah M2 in Abu Dhabi and in Deira Dubai, with processing plants and facilities across the UAE and outside the UAE.