US20060074152A1 - Polymers and their use in asphalt compositions and asphalt concretes - Google Patents

Polymers and their use in asphalt compositions and asphalt concretes Download PDF

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US20060074152A1
US20060074152A1 US11201342 US20134205A US2006074152A1 US 20060074152 A1 US20060074152 A1 US 20060074152A1 US 11201342 US11201342 US 11201342 US 20134205 A US20134205 A US 20134205A US 2006074152 A1 US2006074152 A1 US 2006074152A1
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block
weight
asphalt
copolymer
preferably
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US11201342
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Daniel Graves
Peter Boerner
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Firestone Polymers LLC
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Firestone Polymers LLC
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    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C08ORGANIC MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS; THEIR PREPARATION OR CHEMICAL WORKING-UP; COMPOSITIONS BASED THEREON
    • C08LCOMPOSITIONS OF MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS
    • C08L95/00Compositions of bituminous materials, e.g. asphalt, tar, pitch
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01CCONSTRUCTION OF, OR SURFACES FOR, ROADS, SPORTS GROUNDS, OR THE LIKE; MACHINES OR AUXILIARY TOOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIR
    • E01C7/00Coherent pavings made in situ
    • E01C7/08Coherent pavings made in situ made of road-metal and binders
    • E01C7/18Coherent pavings made in situ made of road-metal and binders of road-metal and bituminous binders
    • E01C7/26Coherent pavings made in situ made of road-metal and binders of road-metal and bituminous binders mixed with other materials, e.g. cement, rubber, leather, fibre
    • E01C7/265Coherent pavings made in situ made of road-metal and binders of road-metal and bituminous binders mixed with other materials, e.g. cement, rubber, leather, fibre with rubber or synthetic resin, e.g. with rubber aggregate, with synthetic resin binder
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C08ORGANIC MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS; THEIR PREPARATION OR CHEMICAL WORKING-UP; COMPOSITIONS BASED THEREON
    • C08LCOMPOSITIONS OF MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS
    • C08L53/00Compositions of block copolymers containing at least one sequence of a polymer obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds; Compositions of derivatives of such polymers
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C08ORGANIC MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS; THEIR PREPARATION OR CHEMICAL WORKING-UP; COMPOSITIONS BASED THEREON
    • C08LCOMPOSITIONS OF MACROMOLECULAR COMPOUNDS
    • C08L53/00Compositions of block copolymers containing at least one sequence of a polymer obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds; Compositions of derivatives of such polymers
    • C08L53/02Compositions of block copolymers containing at least one sequence of a polymer obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to-carbon unsaturated bonds; Compositions of derivatives of such polymers of vinyl-aromatic monomers and conjugated dienes

Abstract

A modified asphalt composition comprising a naphthenic asphalt, and a high-vinyl block copolymer is presented. The modified asphalt composition is prepared by combining a naphthenic asphalt and a high-vinyl block copolymer. Further an asphalt concrete is presented, such concrete comprises an asphalt, a functionalized block copolymer, and a siliceous aggregate. A diblock copolymer is presented, such copolymer comprises a vinyl block comprising conjugated vinyl aromatic units, a diene block comprising conjugated diene units and substantially devoid of a tapered block section between the vinyl block and the diene block wherein the diblock copolymer comprises a vinyl content of at least about 20%, and a molecular weight of at least about 50,000.

Description

  • [0001]
    This application references Provisional Application No. 60/615,438, filed on Oct. 2, 2004. The entire disclosure of this referenced provisional application is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This invention relates to polymers and their use in asphalt compositions and asphalt concretes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    It is known to combine bitumen compositions, particularly asphalt compositions, with aggregate to form compositions that are useful in the preparation of road surfaces. The mixture of asphalt and aggregate may be referred to as asphalt concrete. The asphalt serves as a binder for the aggregate. Interaction between the binder and the aggregate is therefore desirable.
  • [0004]
    The asphalt may itself be reinforced or modified with a polymer. The polymer can improve many properties of the asphalt such as penetration, softening point, toughness, tenacity, and heat resistance. Known polymers or polymeric additives include symmetric radical block copolymers comprising arms having diene polymer blocks and vinyl aromatic polymer blocks; block copolymers of a monoalkenyl aromatic hydrocarbon monomer and a conjugated diolefin; olefin homopolymers and copolymers, particularly i-butene homopolymer and copolymer; and isoolefin homopolymers.
  • [0005]
    While asphalt concretes have proven useful in the preparation of road surfaces, failure is, however, inevitable. Failures generally occur through bleeding, fatting up, cracking, and chip loss. The time until failure varies with several factors such as the amount and weight of traffic and various weather factors such as temperature and rainfall. Unfortunately, failure frequently occurs at shorter time intervals than desired.
  • [0006]
    There is therefore a continued need to improve the asphalt compositions and asphalt concretes.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    In general the present invention provides a modified asphalt composition comprising a naphthenic asphalt, and a high-vinyl block copolymer.
  • [0008]
    The present invention further provides a modified asphalt composition comprising the product of combining a naphthenic asphalt, and a high-vinyl block copolymer.
  • [0009]
    The present invention still further provides a method of preparing a modified asphalt composition comprising combining a naphthenic asphalt and a high-vinyl block copolymer.
  • [0010]
    The present invention further includes an asphalt concrete comprising an asphalt, a functionalized block copolymer, and a siliceous aggregate.
  • [0011]
    The present invention also includes an asphalt concrete comprising the product of combining an asphalt, a functionalized block copolymer, and a siliceous aggregate.
  • [0012]
    The present invention further includes a diblock copolymer comprising a vinyl block comprising conjugated vinyl aromatic units, a diene block comprising conjugated diene units and substantially devoid of a tapered block section between the vinyl block and the diene block wherein the diblock copolymer comprises a vinyl content of at least about 20%, and a molecular weight of at least about 50,000.
  • [0013]
    The present invention still further includes a method of preparing the diblock copolymer comprising anionically polymerizing a first charge of diene monomer with a functionalized initiator in the presence of a vinyl modifier thereby forming a polymer having a vinyl content, and whereby said polymerizing comprises consumption of substantially all of said diene monomer, and polymerizing a second charge of vinyl aromatic monomer in the presence of said polymer forming a diblock copolymer comprising a diene block and a vinyl block, whereby said diblock copolymer comprises a vinyl content of at least about 20%, and a molecular weight of at least about 50,000.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS
  • [0014]
    In a first embodiment, the invention provides a modified asphalt composition that includes a naphthenic asphalt and high-vinyl block copolymer. This modified asphalt composition can be used to prepare asphalt concretes that are especially useful for paving roadways, highways, exit ramps, streets, driveways, parking lots, airport runways or airport taxiways utilizing conventional procedures.
  • [0015]
    It has been unexpectedly discovered that the mixture or combination of naphthenic asphalt and the high-vinyl block copolymer overcomes some of the shortcomings associated with modifying naphthenic asphalts. In particular, surprisingly good results have been observed as compared to asphalts modified with conventional block copolymers when these compositions are subjected to the Softening Point Separation Test, which is preferred under the Superpave System of the Strategic Highway Research Program. It is believed that the high-vinyl block copolymer and the naphthenic asphalt synergistically interact to provide these advantageous results. This is especially advantageous because naphthenic asphalt sources are strategically located around the globe and conventional block copolymers have proven to have a high degree of separation from these naphthenic asphalts.
  • [0016]
    Asphalts include bitumens that occur in nature or are obtained in petroleum processing. Asphalts typically contain very high molecular weight hydrocarbons called asphaltenes, which are soluble in carbon disulfide, pyridine, aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and THF. Asphalts or bituminous materials are typically solids, semi-solids or liquids, and a penetration test is typically employed for consistency or viscosity. In this classification, solid materials are those having a penetration at 25° C. under a load of 100 grams applied for 5 seconds, of not more than 10 decimillimeters (1 millimeter). Semi-solids are those having a penetration at 25° C. under a load of 100 grams applied for 5 seconds of more than 10 decimillimeters (1 millimeter) and a penetration at 25° C. under a load of 50 grams applied for 1 second of not more than 35 millimeters.
  • [0017]
    Naphthenic asphalt or bitumens are generally characterized by including a net excess of acidic compounds. Preferably, the acid value (mg KOH/g) is about 1.5 to about 5. The base value (mg KOH/g) of naphthenic bitumens is preferably from about 0 to about 1.
  • [0018]
    One particularly useful source of naphthenic asphalt is obtained from China and the coastal regions thereof. Other sources of naphthenic asphalt include those obtained from South and Central America.
  • [0019]
    The high-vinyl block copolymer is preferably a diblock copolymer that includes one block including vinyl aromatic units and one block including diene units. The vinyl aromatic block preferably includes vinyl aromatic units deriving from vinyl aromatic monomer. Useful vinyl aromatics include those having 8 to about 20 carbon atoms such as styrene, α-methylstyrene, p-methylstyrene, vinyl anthracene, and vinyl naphthalene; styrene is the preferred vinyl aromatic. The diene block preferably includes diene units deriving from conjugated dienes. Suitable conjugated dienes include those having from about 4 to about 12 carbon atoms such as 1,3-butadiene, 1,3-cyclohexadiene, isoprene, 1,3-pentadiene, 1,3-hexadiene, 2,3-dimethyl-1,3-butadiene, 2-ethyl-1,3-butadiene, 2-methyl-1,3pentadiene, 3-methyl-1,3-pentadiene, 4-methyl-1,3-pentadiene, and 2,4-hexadiene; 1,3-butadiene is the preferred conjugated diene. The block copolymer may include a tapered section, which includes both styrene and butadiene units. In preferred embodiments, the tapered section is minimized; in other words, the block copolymer includes less than 5% by weight, more preferably less than 3% by weight, and even more preferably less than 1% by weight of a tapered section. In one embodiment, the block copolymer is devoid of a tapered section.
  • [0020]
    The high-vinyl block copolymer is generally characterized by having a weight average molecular weight of at least 50 kg/mol, preferably at least about 75 kg/mol, more preferably at least about 100 kg/mol, and even more preferably at least about 125 kg/mol; also, the block copolymer has a weight average molecular weight that is 500 kg/mol or less, preferably 250 kg/mol or less, more preferably 200 kg/mol or less, and more preferably 150 kg/mol or less, as determined by GPC analysis using polystyrene standards.
  • [0021]
    The block copolymer is also generally characterized by having a molecular weight distribution that is less than about 2, preferably less than about 1.5, more preferably less than about 1.2, and even more preferably less than about 1.05.
  • [0022]
    In one embodiment, the high-vinyl block copolymer includes greater than 10% by weight, in another embodiment, the high vinyl block copolymer includes greater than 15% by weight, and in another embodiment, greater than 20% by weight, and in yet another embodiment, greater than 23% by weight vinyl aromatic units; also, in one embodiment, the block copolymer includes less than 50% by weight, and in another embodiment, less than 35% by weight, and in another embodiment, less than 30% by weight, and in yet another embodiment, less than 27% by weight vinyl aromatic units. The remainder of the copolymer preferably includes the diene block.
  • [0023]
    The diene block is preferably characterized by including a vinyl content (i.e., 1,2 microstructure) that is preferably at least about 15% by weight, more preferably at least about 20% by weight, more preferably at least 23% by weight, even more preferably at least about 25% by weight, and still more preferably at least about 27% by weight based upon the weight of the diene content of the block copolymer (i.e., the diene block). Also, in another particular embodiment, this diene block may be characterized by a vinyl content that is preferably 34% by weight or less, more preferably 33% by weight or less, more preferably 32% by weight or less, and still more preferably 31% by weight or less, based upon the weight of the diene content of the block copolymer.
  • [0024]
    The block copolymer is also generally characterized by having a gel content of less than about 1.5% by weight, preferably less than about 1.2% by weight, more preferably less than about 1.0% by weight, and still more preferably less than about 0.7% by weight as determined by the amount of insoluble material when a sample is dissolved in toluene at room temperature.
  • [0025]
    The high-vinyl block copolymers are preferably prepared by anionic, living polymerization techniques. Anionically-polymerized, living polymers are formed by reacting anionic initiators with certain unsaturated monomers to propagate a polymeric structure. Throughout formation and propagation of the polymer, the polymeric structure is anionic and “living.” A new batch of monomer subsequently added to the reaction can add to the living ends of the existing chains and increase the degree of polymerization. A living polymer, therefore, is a polymeric segment having a living or reactive end. Anionic polymerization is further described in George Odian, Principles of Polymerization, ch. 5 (3rd Ed. 1991), or Panek, 94 J. Am. Chem. Soc., 8768 (1972), which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0026]
    The preparation technique employed in this embodiment preferably includes polymerization of a first block followed by the sequential polymerization of a second block. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, this sequential polymerization includes charging initiator and monomer that will give rise to the first block, and once the monomer giving rise to the first block is consumed (or consumed to a desired degree), monomer that will give rise to the second block can subsequently be charged.
  • [0027]
    The diene block can be the first block synthesized or the vinyl aromatic block can be the first block synthesized. In either event, in one embodiment it is preferred that the monomer charged or provided for synthesizing the first block be consumed to an extent such that tapering is limited as defined above. In preferred embodiments, at least 90%, more preferably at least 95%, even more preferably at least 98%, and still more preferably at least 99% of the monomer available or charged to the reactor for synthesizing the first block is consumed prior to charging or providing the monomer for synthesizing the second block.
  • [0028]
    Any anionic initiator can be employed to initiate the formation and propagation of the living polymers. Useful initiators include functionalized initiators, the residue of which will impart the head of the polymer with a functional group, as well as non-functionalized initiators. Exemplary anionic initiators include, but are not limited to, alkyl lithium initiators such as n-butyl lithium, arenyllithium initiators, arenylsodium initiators, N-lithium dihydro-carbon amides, aminoalkyllithiums, and alkyl tin lithiums. Other useful initiators include lithiohexamethyleneimine, N-lithiohexamethyleneimide, N-lithiopyrrolidinide, and N-lithiododecamethyleneimide as well as organolithium compounds such as the tri-alkyl lithium adducts of substituted aldimines and substituted ketimines, and N-lithio salts of substituted secondary amines. Exemplary initiators are also described in the following U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,332,810, 5,329,005, 5,578,542, 5,393,721, 5,698,646, 5,491,230, 5,521,309, 5,496,940, 5,574,109, 5,786,441, and International Publication No. WO 2004/020475, which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0029]
    The amount of initiator employed in conducting anionic polymerizations can vary widely based upon the desired polymer characteristics. In one embodiment, it is preferred to employ from about 0.1 to about 100, and more preferably from about 0.33 to about 10 mmol of lithium per 100 g of monomer.
  • [0030]
    Anionic polymerizations may be conducted in a polar solvent such as tetrahydrofuran (THF) or a nonpolar hydrocarbon such as the various cyclic and acyclic hexanes, heptanes, octanes, pentanes, their alkylated derivatives, and mixtures thereof, as well as benzene.
  • [0031]
    In one embodiment, to control vinyl content within the elastomeric segment, a vinyl modifier may be added to the polymerization ingredients. Amounts range between o and go or more equivalents per equivalent of lithium. The amount depends on the amount of vinyl desired, the level of styrene employed and the temperature of the polymerization, as well as the nature of the specific vinyl modifier (modifier) employed. Suitable polymerization modifiers include, for example, ethers or amines to provide the desired microstructure and randomization of the comonomer units. In one embodiment, about 30% of the polymer chains have an amine.
  • [0032]
    Compounds useful as vinyl modifiers include those having an oxygen or nitrogen heteroatom and a non-bonded pair of electrons. Examples include dialkyl ethers of mono and oligo alkylene glycols; “crown” ethers; tertiary amines such as tetramethylethylene diamine (TMEDA); linear THF oligomers; and the like. Specific examples of compounds useful as vinyl modifiers include tetrahydrofuran (THF), linear and cyclic oligomeric oxolanyl alkanes such as 2,2-bis(2′-tetrahydrofuryl) propane, di-piperidyl ethane, dipiperidyl methane, hexamethylphosphoramide, N-N′-dimethylpiperazine, diazabicyclooctane, dimethyl ether, diethyl ether, tributylamine and the like. The linear and cyclic oligomeric oxolanyl alkane modifiers (OOPs) are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,429,091, incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0033]
    Synthesis of the diene block, particularly synthesis of a polybutadiene block by way of polymerizing 1,3-butadiene, preferably occurs in the presence of a vinyl modifier. While certain modifiers may randomize the copolymer when employed in particular amounts, in one embodiment the amount of vinyl modifier that is used is insufficient to randomize the copolymer. Useful vinyl modifiers include OOPs. Those skilled in the art will be able to readily select the amount of vinyl modifier that will be useful in achieving the desired properties set forth above. For example, when a OOPs vinyl modifier is employed, the amount present within the polymerization is generally from about 0.001 to about 1.0 and based upon the amount of lithium charged into the reactor.
  • [0034]
    Anionically polymerized living polymers can be prepared by either batch or continuous methods. A batch polymerization is preferably begun by charging monomer and solvent to a suitable reaction vessel, followed by the addition of the vinyl modifier (if employed) and an initiator compound. The vinyl modifier or the initiator may be added in either order to the monomer in the reaction vessel. The reactants are preferably heated to a temperature of from about 20 to about 130° C. and the polymerization is allowed to proceed for from about 0.1 to about 24 hours. This reaction preferably produces a reactive polymer having a reactive or living end. Preferably, at least about 30% of the polymer molecules contain a living end. More preferably, at least about 50% of the polymer molecules contain a living end. Even more preferably, at least about 80% contain a living end.
  • [0035]
    In preferred embodiments, a terminating agent or quenching compound is added to the polymerization medium in order to terminate the polymerization reaction. In general, the addition of these agents or compounds neutralizes the anionic nature of the living polymer. In one embodiment, the polymerization is quenched by the addition of a proton donor that can protonate the living polymer. Exemplary proton donors include isopropyl alcohol. These proton donors typically include non-functionalized terminating or quenching agents that simply provide the terminal end of the polymer with a hydrogen atom. In other embodiments, functionalized terminating agents are employed. These terminating agents typically neutralize the anionic character of the living polymer by adding to the terminal end of the polymer and leave a functional group at the terminal end. Numerous terminating agents are known and practice of this embodiment is not limited by the selection of any particular terminating agent.
  • [0036]
    After formation of the block copolymer, a processing aid or other optional additives such as oil can be added to the polymer cement. In one particular embodiment, the polymer is oil extended. In another particular embodiment, the polymer is extended to about 10 to 20% extended. Oil extending the polymer is advantageous in that it increases solubility of the polymer during subsequent manufacturing processes, and speeds the rate at which the polymer dissolves during subsequent manufacturing processes such as mixing the polymer and curing agent with asphalt. The block copolymer and other optional ingredients are then isolated from the solvent and are preferably dried. Conventional procedures for desolventization and drying may be employed. In one embodiment, the block copolymer may be isolated from the solvent by steam desolventization or hot water coagulation of the solvent followed by filtration. Residual solvent may be removed by using conventional drying techniques such as oven drying or drum drying. Alternatively, the cement may be directly drum dried.
  • [0037]
    Curing agents can be added to the modified asphalt compositions of this embodiment. Curing agents often used in asphalt compositions include phenolic resins and elemental sulfur. One preferred curing agent is a bismaleimide curing agent, which is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,486,236, which is incorporated herein by reference. Conventional amounts may be employed in practicing this invention.
  • [0038]
    In one embodiment, a premix includes a curing agent added to the block copolymer without completely curing the polymer. The gel content of the polymer increases as the polymer is cured. The gel content may be indicated by measuring the relative weight of polymer that is insoluble in toluene at room temperature. In one embodiment, the curing agent is added without substantially increasing the gel content of the polymer. In another embodiment, the curative, in solution with hexane, is added to the completed polymerization reaction after the addition of the terminating agent. The polymer and curative are mixed at about 200° F. for about 5½ minutes. In one particular embodiment, before the solvent is removed and the polymer is dried, the polymer is oil extended. In one particular embodiment the polymer is extended to about 10 to 20% extended. In this embodiment, the curing agent may be present during the extending of the polymer. Oil extending is advantageous in that it increases solubility of the polymer during subsequent manufacturing processes, and speeds the rate at which the polymer dissolves during subsequent manufacturing processes such as mixing the polymer and curing agent with asphalt.
  • [0039]
    Suitable curing agents include Sulfur, Santocure (available from Flexsys, of Akron, Ohio), ZnO, Stearic Acid, HVA-2 (available from DuPont of Delaware), Vanax PY (available from R.T. Vanderbilt of Connecticut), Slufasan (available from Flexsys, of Akron, Ohio), and PAXL (available from ATOFina of Philadelphia, Pa.). In one embodiment, the amount of curing agent is less than about 2%, in another embodiment less than about 1%, in a further embodiment less than about 0.5%, and in yet another embodiment about 0.2%.
  • [0040]
    A premix is more desirable than mixing the curing agent along with the other components of the PMA because less time is required to mix the premix and asphalt than is required to mix the polymer, asphalt and cure package. Another benefit is that less curing agent is required in the premix than if the curative, asphalt, and polymer are added as separate components. Typically, if the curative and polymer are added to the asphalt as separate components, the end user of the asphalt would mix at least the asphalt, polymer and curative. Another advantage to the premix is that the end user would need to add one fewer ingredient, resulting in less opportunity for error in mixing.
  • [0041]
    The modified asphalt compositions of this embodiment may also include those other ingredients or constituents that are commonly employed in the industry. For example, the compositions may include anti-stripping compounds, fibers, release agents, and fillers. Some specific examples of additives that can be employed include kaolin clay, calcium carbonate, bentonite clay, sanders dust and cellulose fibers.
  • [0042]
    The modified asphalt compositions of this embodiment can be prepared by using conventional techniques. This typically includes blending the asphalt with a desired amount of block copolymer at a desired temperature. This mixing step can occur prior to or in conjunction with the addition of a curative or the other additives. In one embodiment, the block copolymer is dissolved in molten asphalt at temperatures greater than about 120 C. Mixing is preferably continued for about 25 to about 400 minutes at a temperature of about 145 to about 205 C. (preferably from about 160 to about 193 C.). Preferably, a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
  • [0043]
    The asphalt compositions of this embodiment include at from about 0.1 to about 10 parts by weight (pbw), in another embodiment the asphalt compositions include from about 0.3 to about 5 pbw, and in another embodiment, from about 3 to about 6 pbw of the block copolymer per 100 parts by weight of the asphalt.
  • [0044]
    The modified asphalt compositions of this embodiment may be employed to prepare asphalt concrete compositions that include the modified asphalt and an aggregate. Conventional aggregate that is used in the paving industry can be utilized in the practice of this embodiment. Aggregate typically includes rocks, stones, crushed stone, gravel, sand, silica, or mixtures of one more thereof. Specific examples of aggregates include marble, limestone, basalt, dolomite, sandstone, granite, and quartzite.
  • [0045]
    Aggregate typically has a wide distribution of particle sizes ranging from dust to golf ball size. The best particle size distribution varies from application to application. In certain embodiments, it may be advantageous to coat the aggregate with latex in accordance with the teachings of U.S. Pat. No. 5,262,240, which is incorporated herein by reference, to improve resistance to stripping by water.
  • [0046]
    The asphalt concrete, which is prepared by mixing the modified asphalt with aggregate, can be prepared by using standard equipment and procedures. In one or more embodiments, the aggregate is mixed with the asphalt to attain an essentially homogeneous asphalt concrete. For instance, the aggregate can be mixed with asphalt to produce asphalt concrete on a continuous basis in a standard mixer.
  • [0047]
    When preparing an asphalt concrete, generally from about 1 weight percent to about 10 weight percent of the modified asphalt and from about go weight percent to about 99 weight percent aggregate (based on the total weight of the asphalt concrete) is mixed. Preferably, the asphalt concrete contains from about 3 weight percent to about 8 weight percent of the modified asphalt cement and from about 92 weight percent to about 97 weight percent of the aggregate. More preferably, the asphalt concrete contains from about 4 weight percent to about 7 weight percent of the modified asphalt cement and from about 93 weight percent to about 96 weight percent of the aggregate.
  • [0048]
    In a second embodiment, the invention provides an asphalt concrete composition that includes an asphalt, a functionalized block copolymer, and a siliceous aggregate. This asphalt concrete is especially useful for paving roadways, highways, exit ramps, streets, driveways, parking lots, airport runways or airport taxiways utilizing conventional procedures.
  • [0049]
    It has been unexpectedly discovered that the use of the functionalized block copolymer can alleviate some of the shortcomings that are associated with the use of siliceous aggregate in preparing asphalt concrete. In particular, the resulting pavement is surprisingly characterized by less cracking and crumbling than similar pavements that employ siliceous aggregated and unfunctionalized block copolymer and unfunctionalized block copolymers. It is believed that the siliceous aggregate synergistically interacts with the functionalized block copolymer to provide these advantageous results. These advantages can prove to be significant inasmuch as many sources of siliceous aggregate can be found around the globe and the use of siliceous aggregate could prove to be technologically useful.
  • [0050]
    The functionalized block copolymer includes at least one diene block, at least one vinyl aromatic block, and at least one terminal functional group. The functional group may be located at the head or tail of the block copolymer and may be attached to either the diene block or the vinyl aromatic block. In one embodiment, the functionalized block copolymer includes two terminal functional groups positioned at opposite ends of the copolymer. While the block copolymer may include various molecular architectures including triblocks, the preferred functionalized block copolymers include di-blocks that include one elastomeric block and one thermoplastic block.
  • [0051]
    In one embodiment, the functionalized block copolymer can be defined by the formula I
    α-Π-θ-ω
    where α is a hydrogen atom or a functional group, Π is a diene block, θ is a vinyl aromatic block, and ω is a hydrogen atom or a functional group, with the proviso that at least one of α or ω is a functional group.
  • [0052]
    The vinyl aromatic block preferably includes vinyl aromatic units deriving from vinyl aromatic monomer. Useful vinyl aromatics include those having 8 to about 20 carbon atoms such as styrene, α-methylstyrene, p-methylstyrene, vinyl anthracene, and vinyl naphthalene; styrene is the preferred vinyl aromatic. The diene block preferably includes diene units deriving from conjugated dienes. Suitable conjugated dienes include those having from about 4 to about 12 carbon atoms such as 1,3-butadiene, 1,3-cyclohexadiene, isoprene, 1,3-pentadiene, 1,3-hexadiene, 2,3-dimethyl-1,3-butadiene, 2-ethyl-1,3-butadiene, 2-methyl-1,3 pentadiene, 3-methyl-1,3-pentadiene, 4-methyl-1,3-pentadiene, and 2,4-hexadiene; 1,3-butadiene is the preferred conjugated diene. The block copolymer may include a tapered section, which includes both styrene and butadiene units. In preferred embodiments, the tapered section is minimized; in other words, the block copolymer includes less than 5% by weight, more preferably less than 3% by weight, and even more preferably less than 1% by weight of a tapered section. In one embodiment, the block copolymer is devoid of a tapered section.
  • [0053]
    The functionalized block copolymer is generally characterized by having a weight average molecular weight of at least 50 kg/mol, preferably at least about 75 kg/mol, more preferably at least about 100 kg/mol, and even more preferably at least about 125 kg/mol; also, the block copolymer has a weight average molecular weight that is 500 kg/mol or less, preferably 250 kg/mol or less, more preferably 200 kg/mol or less, and more preferably 150 kg/mol or less, as determined by GPC analysis using polystyrene standards.
  • [0054]
    The block copolymer is also generally characterized by having a molecular weight distribution that is less than about 2, preferably less than about 1.5, more preferably less than about 1.2, and even more preferably less than about 1.05.
  • [0055]
    The vinyl block copolymer, in one embodiment, includes greater than 5% by weight, and in one embodiment, greater than 10% by weight, and in another embodiment greater than 20% by weight, and in yet another embodiment, greater than 23% by weight vinyl aromatic units; also, the block copolymer in one embodiment includes less than 45% by weight, and in another embodiment less than 35% by weight, and in another embodiment less than 30% by weight, and in yet another embodiment less than 27% by weight vinyl aromatic units. The remainder of the copolymer preferably includes the diene block.
  • [0056]
    The diene block in one embodiment includes a vinyl content (i.e., 1,2 microstructure) that is at least about 15% by weight, and in another embodiment at least about 20% by weight, and in another embodiment at least 23% by weight, and in another embodiment at least about 25% by weight, and in yet another embodiment at least about 27% by weight based upon the entire weight of the functionalized block copolymer. Also, this diene block is characterized by a vinyl content that in one embodiment includes 34% by weight or less, and in another embodiment, 33% by weight or less, and in another embodiment, 32% by weight or less, and in yet another embodiment 31% by weight or less, based on the entire weight of the diene block.
  • [0057]
    The block copolymer is also generally characterized by having a gel content of less than about 1.5% by weight, preferably less than about 1.2%. by weight, more preferably less than about 1.0% by weight, and still more preferably less than about 0.7% by weight as determined by the amount of insoluble material when a sample is dissolved in toluene at room temperature.
  • [0058]
    In one or more embodiments, the functional group α or ω includes those groups or substituents that can react or interact with siliceous aggregate. In one embodiment, these groups or substituents are characterized by the ability to chemically bond with the siliceous aggregate. The preferred functional groups include silicon-containing functional groups. Accordingly, a preferred functionalized block copolymer can be defined by the formula II
    [Block Copolymer]-Si(R1)3
    where each R1 is individually selected from hydrocarbyl, substituted hydrocarbyl, or alkoxy groups. Preferably, at least on R1 is an alkoxy group. In preferred embodiments, the functional group α or ω includes a silyl group that is attached to the elastomeric block, which is preferably a polybutadiene block.
  • [0059]
    The hydrocarbyl or substituted hydrocarbyl group includes, but is not limited to, alkyl, cycloalkyl, substituted cycloalkyl, alkenyl, cycloalkenyl, substituted cycloalkenyl, aryl, allyl, substituted aryl, aralkyl, alkaryl, and alkynyl groups, with each group preferably containing from 1 carbon atom, or the appropriate minimum number of carbon atoms to form the group, up to 20 carbon atoms. These hydrocarbyl groups may contain heteroatoms such as, but not limited to, nitrogen, boron, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, and phosphorus atoms.
  • [0060]
    The alkoxy groups may be defined by the formula OR, where R is a monovalent organic group that is preferably a hydrocarbyl or substituted hydrocarbyl group.
  • [0061]
    Exemplary silicon-containing groups include trimethoxysilyl, triethoxysilyl, tripropoxysilyl, tri t-butyoxysilyl, dimethyoxymethylsilyl, diethoxy ethylsilyl, dipropoxypropylsilyl, tri t-butoxybutylsilyl, and triphenoxysilyl groups; the preferred functional group includes triethoxysilyl groups.
  • [0062]
    The functionalized elastomeric block copolymers are preferably prepared by employing anionic, living-polymerization techniques, which are disclosed above. The functional group can be attached to the copolymer head by use of a functionalized initiator, to the copolymer tail by use of a functional terminating agent, or to both the copolymer head and tail by use of both a functional initiator and a functionalized terminating agent. The functional group is preferably attached to the tail or terminus of the living polymer by employing a functionalized terminating agent. The terminating agent is preferably added after peak polymerization temperature has been achieved for the second charge of monomer (i.e., the charge that gives rise to the second block). In preferred embodiments, the terminating agent is added to the polymerization medium within 30 minutes, more preferably within 15 minutes, and even more preferably within 7.5 minutes of the peak polymerization temperature resulting from the second charge of monomer.
  • [0063]
    Useful terminating agents include, but are not limited to, those represented by the formula
    (R1)4-zSi(OR2)z
    where R1 is independently a halogen or a hydrocarbyl or substituted hydrocarbyl group, each R2 is independently a hydrocarbyl or substituted hydrocarbyl group, and z is an integer from 1 to 4. Suitable examples of siloxane terminating agents include tetraalkoxysilanes, alkylalkoxysilanes, arylalkoxysilanes, alkenylalkoxysilanes, and haloalkoxysilanes.
  • [0064]
    Examples of tetraalkoxysilane compounds include tetramethyl orthosilicate, tetraethyl orthosilicate, tetrapropyl orthosilicate, tetrabutyl orthosilicate, tetra(2-ethylhexyl) orthosilicate, tetraphenyl orthosilicate, tetratoluyloxysilane, and the like.
  • [0065]
    Examples of alkylalkoxysilane compounds include methyltrimethoxysilane, methyltriethoxysilane, methyltri-n-propoxysilane, methyltri-n-butoxysilane, methyltriphenoxysilane, ethyltrimethoxysilane, ethyltriethoxysilane, ethyltri-n-propoxysilane, ethyltri-n-butoxysilane, ethyltriphenoxysilane, dimethyldimethoxysilane, dimethyldiethoxysilane, dimethyldi-n-propoxysilane, dimethyldi-n-butoxysilane, dimethyldiphenoxysilane, diethyldimethoxysilane, diphenyldimethoxysilane, 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPMOS), γ-methacryloxy propyl trimethoxysilane and the like.
  • [0066]
    Examples of arylalkoxysilane compounds include phenyltrimethoxysilane, phenyltriethoxysilane, phenyltri-n-propoxysilane, phenyltri-n-butoxysilane, phenyltriphenoxysilane, and the like.
  • [0067]
    Examples of alkenylalkoxysilane compounds include vinyltrimethoxysilane, vinyltriethoxysilane, vinyltri-n-propoxysilane, vinyltri-n-butoxysilane, vinyltriphenoxysilane, allyltrimethoxysilane, octenyltrimethoxysilane, divinyldimethoxysilane, and the like.
  • [0068]
    Examples of haloalkoxysilane compounds include trimethoxychlorosilane, triethoxychlorosilane, tri-n-propoxychlorosilane, tri-n-butoxychlorosilane, triphenoxychlorosilane, dimethoxydichlorosilane, diethoxydichlorosilane, di-n-propoxydichlorosilane, diphenoxydichlorosilane, methoxytrichlorosilane, ethoxytrichlorosilane, n-propoxytrichlorosilane, phenoxytrichlorosilane, trimethoxybromosilane, triethoxybromosilane, tri-n-propoxybromosilane, triphenoxybromosilane, dimethoxydibromosilane, diethoxydibromosilane, di-n-propoxydibromosilane, diphenoxydibromosilane, methoxytribromosilane, ethoxytribromosilane, n-propoxytribromosilane, phenoxytribromosilane, trimethoxyiodosilane, triethoxyiodosilane, tri-n-propoxyiodosilane, triphenoxyiodosilane, dimethoxydiiodosilane, di-n-propoxydiiodosilane, diphenoxydiiodosilane, methoxytriiodosilane, ethoxytriiodosilane, n-propoxytriiodosilane, phenoxytriiodosilane, and the like.
  • [0069]
    Other useful silanes include bis-(trimethoxysilane)-ether, 3-mercaptopropyltriethoxysilane, 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane, 3,3′-bis (triethoxysilylpropyl) disulfide, Si-69 (bis-(3-triethoxysilylpropyl)tetrasulfide) and the like.
  • [0070]
    Preferred hydroalkyoxy silane terminating agents include tetraethyl orthosilicate.
  • [0071]
    In one embodiment, siliceous aggregate is generally characterized by including at least 30% by weight, in another embodiment at least at least 40% by weight, in still another embodiment at least 50% by weight, in yet another embodiment at least 60% by weight, in another embodiment at least 70% by weight, in still another embodiment at least 80% by weight, and in yet another embodiment at least 90% by weight silica (i.e., silicon dioxide). Exemplary siliceous aggregates including sandstone, granite, quartzite, flint, and diatomite.
  • [0072]
    Besides the use of the functionalized block copolymer and the siliceous aggregate, the asphalt concretes of this embodiment may be prepared in a conventional manner. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the functionalized block copolymer is added to an asphalt in order to prepare a modified asphalt composition. Virtually any type of asphalt can be employed in making the modified asphalt of this embodiment. Asphalt has been generically disclosed above; asphalt is also generically disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,145,322, 5,955,537, and 5,986,010 and U.S. Publication Nos. 2003/0191212 A1, which are all incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0073]
    This modified asphalt, which includes the functionalized block copolymer, is then combined with the siliceous aggregate to form the asphalt concrete of this embodiment. As is conventional in the art, the modified asphalt and/or asphalt concrete may include other additives that are conventionally employed in the art including, but not limited to, curatives and the like.
  • [0074]
    The methods employed to prepare either the modified asphalt or the asphalt concrete include those procedures that are conventional in the art and therefore the disclosure above with respect to the first embodiment is relied on for a description of these techniques.
  • [0075]
    The amount of functionalized block copolymer employed may vary. In one embodiment, and with reference to the preparation of a modified asphalt composition, the modified asphalt may include at least about 0.001% by weight, more preferably at least about 1.0% by weight, and even more preferably at least about 3.0% by weight of the functionalized block copolymer based on the entire weight of the modified asphalt composition; on the other hand, the modified asphalt composition preferably includes less than about 10% by weight, more preferably less than about 8% by weight, and even more preferably less than about 6% by weight of the functionalized block copolymer based upon the entire weight of the modified asphalt.
  • [0076]
    The amount of functionalized block copolymer may also be described with reference to the asphalt concrete. In one embodiment, the asphalt concrete includes preferably at least about 0.001% by weight, more preferably at least about 1.0% by weight, and even more preferably at least about 3.0% by weight functionalized block copolymer based upon the entire weight of the asphalt concrete; on the other hand, the asphalt concrete preferably includes less than about 10% by weight, more preferably less than about 8% by weight, and even more preferably less than about 6% by weight functionalized block copolymer based on the entire weight of the asphalt concrete.
  • [0077]
    The asphalt concrete preferably includes at least about 57% by weight, more preferably at least about 75% by weight, and even more preferably at least about 90% by weight of the siliceous aggregate based upon the entire weight of the asphalt concrete; on the other hand, the asphalt concrete preferably includes at less than about 99% by weight, more preferably less than about 95% by weight, and even more preferably less than about 93% by weight siliceous aggregate based on the entire weight of the asphalt concrete.
  • [0078]
    Practice of this embodiment does not generally alter the amount of other ingredients that are employed in the preparation of the modified asphalt or the asphalt concrete. For example, the asphalt concrete may include conventional amounts of asphalt, which are known in the art and are generally described hereinabove with respect to the first embodiment. The asphalt concrete may also include other aggregates that are known in the art including those described herein.
  • [0079]
    Various modifications and alterations that do not depart from the scope and spirit of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art. This invention is not to be duly limited to the illustrative embodiments set forth herein.

Claims (29)

  1. 1. A modified asphalt composition comprising:
    a naphthenic asphalt; and
    a high-vinyl block copolymer.
  2. 2. The composition of claim 1, where the naphthenic asphalt comprises a net excess of acidic compounds.
  3. 3. The composition of claim 2, where the naphthenic asphalt comprises an acid value of from about 1.5 to about 5 mg KOH/g.
  4. 4. The composition of claim 1, where the high-vinyl block copolymer comprises a diblock copolymer that comprises one block including vinyl aromatic units and one block comprising diene units.
  5. 5. The composition of claim 4, where the block copolymer is substantially devoid of a tapered section.
  6. 6. The composition of claim 4, where the block copolymer comprises a styrene content that is greater than about 10% by weight of the block copolymer.
  7. 7. The composition of claim 4, where the block copolymer comprises a weight average molecular weight of at least 50 kg/mol and a molecular weight distribution of less than about 2.
  8. 8. The composition of claim 4, where the diene block comprises at least about 15% by weight of its units in the vinyl configuration.
  9. 9. The composition of claim 4, wherein a gel content of the block copolymer comprises less than about 1.5% by weight when tested by the toluene insoluble test.
  10. 10. The composition of claim 1, wherein the high-vinyl block copolymer further comprises a curing agent.
  11. 11. An asphalt concrete comprising:
    an asphalt;
    a functionalized block copolymer; and
    a siliceous aggregate.
  12. 12. The asphalt concrete of claim 11, where the functionalized block copolymer includes at least one diene block, at least one vinyl aromatic block, and at least one terminal functional group.
  13. 13. The asphalt concrete of claim 12, where the functionalized block copolymer is defined by the formula

    α-π-θ-ω
    where α comprises a hydrogen atom or a functional group, π comprises a diene block, θ comprises a vinyl aromatic block, and ω comprises a hydrogen atom or a functional group, wherein at least one of α or α comprise a functional group.
  14. 14. The asphalt concrete of claim 13, where the diene block comprises units deriving from conjugated dienes and where the vinyl aromatic block comprises groups deriving from vinyl aromatic monomer.
  15. 15. The asphalt concrete of claim 14, where the at least one functional group comprises a silicon-containing group.
  16. 16. The asphalt concrete of claim 18, wherein the at least one terminal functional group comprises the formula

    Si(R1)3
    where each R1 comprises one of the group consisting of hydrocarbyl, substituted hydrocarbyl, and alkoxy groups.
  17. 17. The asphalt concrete of claim 15, where the silicon-containing group comprises a siloxane derived compound comprising the formula

    (R1)4-zSi(OR2)z
    where each R1 comprises one of the group consisting of a halogen, a hydrocarbyl and a substituted hydrocarbyl group, each R2 comprises either a hydrocarbyl or substituted hydrocarbyl group, and z comprises an integer from 1 to 4.
  18. 18. A diblock copolymer comprising:
    a vinyl aromatic block comprising conjugated vinyl aromatic units;
    a diene block comprising conjugated diene units and substantially devoid of a tapered block section between the vinyl aromatic block and the diene block wherein the diblock copolymer comprises a vinyl content of at least about 15%, and a molecular weight of at least about 50,000.
  19. 19. The diblock copolymer of claim 18, where the styrene content comprises from about 25% by weight of the diblock copolymer to about 35% by weight of the diblock copolymer.
  20. 20. The diblock copolymer of claim 18, where the diblock copolymer comprises a molecular weight distribution of less than about 1.2.
  21. 21. The diblock copolymer of claim 20, where the weight average molecular weight comprises from about 100 kg/mol to 500 kg/mol.
  22. 22. The diblock copolymer of claim 21, where the gel content comprises less than about 1% by weight when tested by the toluene insoluble test.
  23. 23. The diblock copolymer of claim 18, further wherein the block copolymer comprises a functional group attached to either the vinyl block or the diene block.
  24. 24. The diblock copolymer of claim 23, where the functional group comprises a silicon-containing functional group.
  25. 25. The diblock copolymer of claim 24, where the silicon-containing functional group comprises the formula

    Si(R1)3
    where each R1 comprises one of the group consisting of hydrocarbyl, substituted hydrocarbyl, and alkoxy groups.
  26. 26. A method of preparing a diblock copolymer comprising:
    anionically polymerizing a first charge of diene monomer with a functionalized initiator in the presence of a vinyl modifier thereby forming a polymer having a vinyl content, and whereby said polymerizing comprises consumption of substantially all of said diene monomer; and
    polymerizing a second charge of vinyl aromatic monomer in the presence of said polymer forming a diblock copolymer comprising a diene block and a vinyl block, whereby said diblock copolymer comprises a vinyl content of at least about 20%, and a molecular weight of at least about 50,000.
  27. 27. The method of claim 26, where the consumption of said diene monomer comprises at least 90% of the first-polymerized monomer.
  28. 28. The method of claim 26, where the amount of vinyl modifier present comprises less than an amount necessary to randomize the vinyl aromatic monomer or the diene monomer.
  29. 29. The method of claim 26, further comprising functionalizing the copolymer with a silicon-containing functional group of the formula

    Si(R1)3
    where each R1 comprises one of the group consisting of hydrocarbyl, substituted hydrocarbyl, and alkoxy groups.
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