HOUSTON, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc. (NYSE: "KRA"), a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers or SBCs, announces the first commercial sale and application of its highly modified asphalt (HiMA) technology in the United States.
HiMA uses a styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer with a low-enough viscosity that allows use in high percentages, 7 1/2 percent, while still allowing a paving mix to remain workable and compactable. Conventional polymer modifiers, when used in high percentages, result in a mix that is too viscous and hard to compact. Modification of liquid asphalt binders with polymers improves resistance to rutting, raveling and fatigue of asphalt mixes, but there is a practical limit to polymer concentration. Usually, as polymer concentration exceeds about three percent, the viscosity of the binder increases such that the mix becomes more difficult to produce in the plant and less workable for the paving crew.
"Kraton Polymers' HiMA formulation allows durable asphalt pavement with a reduced pavement thickness that lowers costs thus permitting larger resurfacing opportunities within fixed budgets," said Bob Kluttz, Senior Research Scientist, Kraton Polymers. "HiMA technology enables the installation of roads that last longer and require less maintenance," he continued.
"Our goal is to make pavements more cost-effective," said Kluttz. "The Kraton formulation allows us to add more polymer into the mixes to achieve an asphalt thickness reduction of up to 50%, which we expect will make the pavement less costly upfront," he concluded.
"I expect to see an asphalt pavement that's a lot more resilient, something that's stronger and stiffer that will last a lot longer by being rut resistant," said Stuart Gragg, project manager for Haskell Lemon Construction Co., the paving contractor. "Superpave designs, together with this highly modified asphalt cement, will help us prolong the lifespan of this pavement," he continued. "It should be more rut-resistant and should help fight fatigue cracks. If we can go from a 10- to 12-year-life span on an overlay to a 15 to 20-year life span, that will save a lot of dollars in maintenance costs," he concluded.
For additional information about Kraton Polymers' HiMA technology, please contact Marcie Coronado at 281-504-4975 or visit www.pavewithkraton.com.
About Kraton Polymers
Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., through its operating subsidiary Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is a leading global producer of engineered polymers and styrenic block copolymers ("SBCs"), a family of products whose chemistry was pioneered by us almost fifty years ago. SBCs are highly-engineered thermoplastic elastomers, which enhance the performance of numerous products by delivering a variety of attributes, including greater flexibility, resilience, strength, durability and processability. Our polymers are used in a wide range of applications, including adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, sealants and lubricants, and medical, packaging, automotive, paving, roofing and footwear products. We currently offer approximately 800 products to more than 700 customers in over 60 countries worldwide, and are the only SBC producer with manufacturing and service capabilities on four continents. We manufacture products at five plants globally, including our flagship plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as plants in Germany, France and Brazil, and a joint venture plant operated in Japan.
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