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Thickeners for Bitumen Emulsions

Thickeners are natural or synthetic substances which are used to increase the viscosity of a liquid system. A thickener can be liquid or a solid depending on the source of raw material and intended applications.

To increase the viscosity of bitumen emulsions, mostly the residual bitumen is increased which in turn increases the cost to a very high level and require higher dose of emulsifier and other additives. Few emulsifiers claim to increase the viscosity and storage stability of Cationic Bitumen Emulsion but a fine balance of dose is required as low dose do not increase viscosity and a slight higher dose develop lumps in final emulsion causing it to fail in sieve test. Also prolonged storage of Bitumen Emulsion in open under hot and cold conditions cause the Bitumen Emulsions to cream (separation of water and formation of hard bitumen layer) and site dilution of Bitumen Emulsions by road contractors causes the breaking of emulsions which are serious issues for emulsion manufacturers.

Cationic Bitumen Emulsions contains cationic emulsifiers which are stabilized using strong acids like HCl under very low pH. Most of the natural and synthetic thickeners are not stable on this pH and disintegrate within hours of addition causing sharp fall in viscosity. Our products are a class apart.

(Liquid Thickener)

"PSEM-THX" is liquid thickener specially designed to remain stable in low pH conditions and can be conveniently blended with any Cationic Bitumen Emulsion. Unlike solid thickeners which require blending with soap water before making Bitumen Emulsion, "PSEM-THX" can be easily mixed after making bitumen emulsions and provide excellent viscosity increase with low dose requirement.

"PSEM-THX" in addition to increased viscosity, also make Bitumen Emulsions better stable on storage. A Cationic Bitumen Emulsion stabilized with "PSEM-THX" remains fully usable for minimum 1 year even when stored in open area during summers and winters. "PSEM-THX" also prevent breaking of Bitumen Emulsion on addition of water (even in high volumes).

Physical Properties :

Turbid white thick liquid at room temperature with characteristic odour,. Miscible with water and Cationic Bitumen Emulsions of all grades. Ready to use product for post-addition after formation and cooling of Bitumen Emulsion. Improves viscosity, storage stability and the water dilution properties of bitumen emulsion. Stable even on very low pH.


Chemical Properties :

  • Chemical Name       : Synthetic Polymer.

  • Specific Gravity        : ~ 1.0

  • Flash Point               : Not Flammable.

  • Viscosity                   : ~ 4000 cps.

  • pH                             : 2 - 4

  • Shelf Life                   : 1 Year from the date of production in sealed containers.

  • Colour                       : Yellowish white turbid liquid.

  • Odor                         : Almost odorless.

  • Compatibility            : Most grades of Cationic Bitumen Emulsions.

Typical Doses :


RS-1 / CRS-1 / MS

CSS-1 / CSS-2

Cationic Bitumen Emulsion

1000 Kgs

1000 Kgs

PSEM-THX Liquid Thickener

5 - 20 Kgs

3 - 10 Kgs

Available Packings:

  1. PSEM-THX Liquid Thickener in 200 Kg. HDPE Drums.

(Solid Powder Thickener)

Bitumen Emulsions have a lot of variation in their viscosities depending on the type of bitumen used, type of emulsifier, dose of acid, particle size distribution etc. Most of the time an external viscosity improving agent is required to meet specifications and coating properties.

Solid thickeners are the powders obtained from complex natural products modified by chemical cleavage and re-formation to provide stability in low pH medium. "BeGel" is a modified polygalactomanan type low dose product which is compatible with most grades of Bitumen Emulsion and emulsifiers. This product is added into hot water before formation of Bitumen Emulsion to obtain high viscosity.

Fine Power in light yellow colour with chararcteristic Odour, substantially non-hazardous but irritant on prolong contact. Dispersible in water, giving thick colloidal dispersion. Shows mild alkaline pH in water.

  • Chemical Name       : Modified Galactomannan

  • Water Content         : Max. 15%

  • Flash Point               : Not Flammable.

  • Viscosity                   : ~ 3000 cps (0.5% aqueous solution)

  • pH                             : 8 - 9 (0.5% aqueous solution)

  • Shelf Life                   : 1 Year from the date of production in sealed bags.

  • Colour                       : Yellow Fine Powder.

  • Odor                         : Characteristic.

  • Compatibility            : Most grades of Cationic Bitumen Emulsions.

Chemical Properties :

Physical Properties :

Typical Dose & Method of Addition :

BeGel should be used between 0.1% to 0.5% w/w of Water. BeGel should be added to hot water (Temperature between 50 and 80 Degree centigrade) in smaller quantities using a dispersing device like sieving through 0.6 mm sieve with constant stirring to avoid lumping. Stirring should be continued for 15 minutes and then the liquid can be used normally in place of water. If lumping occurs, the liquid can be filtered through 0.6 mm sieve to avoid agglomeration.

Available Packings:

  1. BeGel Solid Powder Thickener in 25 Kgs. LDPE Lined HDPE Bags.

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