ORLEN Asfalt to help provide better quality roads

​ORLEN Asfalt is committed to developing and implementing advanced technologies that help reduce construction costs and improve the durability of roads. Jointly with Grupa LOTOS and Budimex, ORLEN Asfalt has signed an agreement with a scientific consortium comprising the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Warsaw University of Technology and the Road and Bridge Research Institute to carry out research into upgrading bitumen surfaces by means of polymer modified bitumens.

The companies and scientists want to confirm the positive effect of modified bitumens on the durability of road surfaces, translating into lower road construction and maintenance costs. Findings of the research, which will be available next year, should demonstrate the benefits of polymer modified bitumen surfaces and their competitive advantage over cement-based concrete.

“The network of roads is a key element of the national economy. As an ORLEN Group company, ORLEN Asfalt feels co-responsible for the road engineering industry. Therefore, as a supplier of advanced bitumens, for years we have placed a strong focus on research into and development of these materials. The project we have just launched is intended to widely draw on the latest developments in technology and knowledge of material properties to help optimise construction of the road network. It will bring measurable benefits to our country and road users. The support our joint project is to receive from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways proves that it is an important step forward in the development of road engineering technologies in Poland,” said Marek Pietrzak, President of the Management Board of ORLEN Asfalt.

The work will be carried out under a programme named ‘Structural enhancement of bitumen road surfaces through the use of modified bitumens’.The scientists will investigate the effects of using modified bitumens and PMB HiMA instead of the currently used road bitumens in various layers of the road surface structure.

At present, the sequence and thickness of surface layers are usually determined based on the Catalogue of Typical Surface Structures. However, the layer thicknesses indicated there were only calculated for unmodified road bitumens. The planned research is intended to help make the relevant recalculations so it is possible to add new sheets to the Catalogue concerning road surface structures made of polymer modified bitumens and highly modified asphalts.

ORLEN Asfalt is one of the largest suppliers of bitumen binder for road surfaces in Poland and Central Europe. It offers bitumens produced at five of its plants, located in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. In 2014, it was the first company in Poland to launch a line of polymer modified products – ORBITON HiMA, which is now one of the fastest developing technologies in road surface engineering.