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BITUMEN

    Bitumen

    For naturally occurring bituminous sands used for petroleum production, see Oil sands.

    For other uses, see Asphalt (disambiguation).

    Note: The terms bitumen and asphalt are mostly interchangeable, except where asphalt is used as an abbreviation for asphalt concrete. This article uses "asphalt/bitumen" where either term is acceptable.

    Asphalt US also known as bitumen is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch. Until the 20th century, the termasphaltum was also used.[5] The primary use of asphalt/bitumen is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs. The terms asphalt and bitumen are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance. In American English, asphalt (or asphalt cement) is the carefully refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils. Outside the United States, the product is often called bitumen. Geological terminology often prefers the term bitumen. Common usage often refers to various forms of asphalt/bitumen as "tar", such as at the La Brea Tar Pits. Another term, mostly archaic, refers to asphalt/bitumen as "pitch". The pitch used in this mixture is sometimes found in natural deposits but usually made by the distillation of crude oil. Naturally occurring asphalt/bitumen is sometimes specified by the term "crude bitumen". Its viscosity is similar to that of cold molasses[6][7] while the material obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil [boiling at 525 °C (977 °F)] is sometimes referred to as "refined bitumen".

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