A common name for the organic, or hydrocarbon, portion of asphalt. Bitumen is a dark brown or black solid to semisolid material. It was used by ancient Egyptians as an adhesive. Bitumen is currently is used in hot-melt adhesives, coating, paints, sealants, roofing and road coating. The name bitumen has been used as a synonym for asphaltum, tar, and pitch and was also used as a commercial product name for a transparent, brown artists pigment made from asphaltum.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Bitumen (Deut.); bitume (Fr.); bitumen (Esp.); bitume (It.); betume (Port.); asphaltum; tar; pitch; asphaltum; tar; pitch;
Soluble in carbon disulfide.
|Refractive Index||1.64 - 1.66|
Hazards and Safety
Combustible. Softens at slightly elevated temperatures.
Ages poorly in dried oil films resulting in movement, disfigurement and/or cracks.
° R.White "Brown and Black Organic Glazes, Pigments and Paints" National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 10:58-71, 1986.
° Georgiana Languri, Molecular studies of Asphalt, Mummy and Kassel earth pigments, MOLART report 2004, available through Archetype Publications, London.
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