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May 2024

Why Redicote EM44 emulsifier from Nouryon is best for sustainability-minded businesses

It’s ironic, but for an industry that focuses on creating smooth black ribbons of road for our cars to drive on, the highway sector has been on rocky ground for some time.

Issues around the quality and availability of resources like bitumen mean that costs can be unpredictable, and some projects might have to be delayed. Refinery closures and industry restructuring can mean the distances logistics operations have to cover are increasing, which is increasing demand on couriers. This demand is going unmet due to the global truck driver shortage1, so supply chains are becoming a volatile series of bottlenecks and headaches for project planners.

Add in the surface-degrading effects of climate change and increased extreme weather events, ageing infrastructure, and skilled labour shortages, and you have a tangled mess of problems with no simple solution. Addressing them will take a comprehensive, 360-degree approach – and the foundation of that approach has to tap into the massive range of innovative materials and additives that are available today.

Why Redicote EM44 emulsifier from Nouryon is best for sustainability-minded businesses

Sustainable surfacing for tomorrow’s roads 

Slurry seal and microsurfacing are key techniques when restoring and carrying out preventative maintenance on road surfaces. As many aspects of the material supply chain remain uncertain, ensuring these systems are complemented and enhanced by the right additives is essential.

Redicote EM44 is one such additive that offers a host of benefits to formulators. It’s an emulsifier designed for cationic rapid and medium-setting bitumen emulsion, and it can be used to enhance chipseal, open graded cold mix, and tack coat applications.

Bolstering the performance of cold mix asphalt formulations supports businesses looking to improve the emissions profile of their operations without compromising on the performance of the surfacing once applied.

As the first UK distributor to achieve Level 2 of the prestigious Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) accreditation, which is backed by the UK government, we understand the importance of taking a deeper, more holistic view of sustainability. Yes, cold mix overlays are, on the surface, more sustainable than many other mixes. Each time manufacturers lower the production temperature of asphalt by 12°C, they release 50% fewer emissions into the atmosphere. However, if their performance is compromised to the degree that they need to be re-laid every few years, consuming more resources each time, is that really the sustainable option?

Additives like EM44 are a way to help formulators strike this balance more easily, enabling slurry surfacing systems to be used in preventative maintenance on all kinds of asphalt surfaces, creating an impermeable black sealed finish that lasts. It enables the production of high quality, stable emulsions that are particularly useful for those working with polymer-modified bitumen mixes.

Benefits for bitumens

However, EM44 offers many benefits outside of sustainability. For one, it is simple to handle and store, and is very easy to dissolve in cold water if required. This adds a whole new degree of agility to formulators looking to provide high quantities of performant, reliable emulsions. Given the unpredictability in the bitumen market now, this acts as a small island of stability in otherwise choppy waters.

Despite its high level of stability, EM44 only requires low use levels of between 0.15 and 0.22% for rapid-setting emulsions. And, as it’s a medium-viscosity formula, it is useful when dealing with viscosity-building bitumens.

EM44’s versatility and reliability mean it makes for an excellent addition to our Flomac portfolio of road surfacing products. It enables the creation of quick-set and quick-traffic mixes and is ideal for cool weather and night work. This means it opens new doors for sustainability-minded businesses that are committed to using cold mixes.

If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of EM44, our range of emulsifiers, or the rest of the Flomac range of warm mix, adhesion promoters, and colour additives, contact us today.