Excess waxes in asphalts may contribute to poor binder cracking and rutting performance as well as to steric and physical hardening.
The Waxphaltene Determinator (WD) method is a high-performance liquid chromatography based separation, developed by WRI, to rapidly separate waxes and other fractions of asphalts and petroleum materials. For this separation, waxes and other asphalt components are precipitated onto a column at –24°C. A low molecular weight wax enriched fraction is then eluted with heptane while maintaining the column temperature at –24°C. The column is then heated to 60°C to melt the remaining waxes and elute them with the warm heptane. This fraction contains high molecular weight n-paraffin microcrystalline waxes.
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Joseph F. Rovani, Jr.
Manager of Analytical
Asphalt and Petroleum Technologies