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The difference between bitumen and asphalt is the added components to asphalt. These components are added to make the asphalt more flexible. For example, roofing grade asphalt can come in different varieties. Most asphalt roofing is now carried out using mastic asphalt which is modified with additional polymers for better handling and performance. Mastic asphalt is used by combining suitably graded limestone with bitumen and asphaltic cement.
1) Type R988 B. This asphalt is composed of 100% bitumen with polymers.
2) Type R988 T25. This asphalt is composed of 75% bitumen and 25% lake asphalt with polymers.
3) Type R988 T50. This asphalt is composed of 50% bitumen and 50% lake asphalt with polymers.
With bitumen there are two main varieties SBS and APP. APP is best used in the summer. And SBS is best used in the winter as it will not crack.
APP Modified Bitumen
APP stands for atactic polypropylene. It behaves like plastic.It has a higher softening point than SBS modified bitumen. This means it copes better with higher temperatures without softening. The benefit of this is it reduces issues with foot marking during installation.
SBS Modified Bitumen
SBS stands for styrene butadiene styrene. It behaves more like rubber as opposed APP modified bitumen which behaves more like plastic. It is better able to cope with a wide range of temperatures than APP. This ability to maintain flexibility during temperatures swings makes it better suited for use in winter months as it will not crack.