Asphalts and Bitumen
Asphalts and bitumen are used heavily in road and highway construction as they have been developed as an improved, more efficient alternative to the use of concrete.
The study of hydrocarbons and procedures to chemically modify the asphaltic and bituminous materials has created an enhanced product capable of improved load-bearing and more resistant to air oxidation, weather attack, cracking, and the instance of pot-holes.
While asphalt is naturally present in most crude oils, the manipulation of light and heavy distillates allows for variation among different products and grades. To produce asphaltic cement, light and heavy distillates are removed to provide a semi-solid to solid consistency.
If an oil fraction remains or is blended with an oil distillate, then road oil is produced. A blend of asphalt cements with light distillates such as naphtha, gasoline or kerosine creates cutback asphalts, while asphaltic cements blended with chemically-treated water produces emulsified asphalts. From the base asphalt cement, these three liquid asphalts can be developed.
Asphaltic cement is a thermoplastic material that can be classified into different grades depending on its firmness or hardness at normal temperature. The basis of the grade classification is the penetration test, which measures consistency or relative hardness.
Cutback asphalts are made from a base asphalt of selected hardness or viscosity which is dissolved in a solvent of high, medium or low volatility to provide distinct differences for construction purposes among the types. ASTM D 2399 is a standard for the selection of cutback asphalts for various paving and related road construction uses. Thirteen different grades are defined based on rate-of-cure and on viscosity.
Depending on the curing type, various types of liquid asphalts are produced. For slow curing, road oils are produced while medium and rapid curing produces cutback asphalts. Each curing type also has its own ASTM D specification: ASTM D 2026 for slow curing type, ASTM D 2027 for medium curing type, and ASTM D 2028 for fast curing type. At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we use the appropriate specification for each type of test product.
Glycols and Engine Coolants
Automotive engine coolants for light duty service are based on ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. They are provided either as concentrates (40 to 70% glycol), or as pre-diluted, ready to use glycol base engine coolants (50 vol% minimum). The specification for engine coolants for heavy-duty use is ASTM D 6210.
ASTM D 3306 specification relates to engine coolants made from new or virgin ingredients. It also applies to coolants made from recycled or reprocessed glycol coolant or from reprocessed industrial source glycol. The glycol for the ASTM D 3306 specification must meet the freezing point requirements of ASTM D 1177.
There are separate specifications in ASTM D 6471 and ASTM D 6472 for engine coolants prepared from reprocessed and recycled glycols which do not meet the freezing point requirements according to ASTM D 117. These coolants must be further evaluated to identify the trace metals and other chemical compounds that may be present.
At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we analyze the quality and characteristics of the glycols, coolants, and any additives to allow maximum performance retention. Testing general properties along performance parameters allows us to evaluate the glycols and coolants so that they are operating at their optimum levels and capacity.
Applications for glycols also include gas dehydration which is a liquid desiccant system for removal of water from Natural Gas Liquids (NGL). The test package for Rich and Lean glycol identifies the water-rich (wet glycol) and the water-lean (dry-glycol) o the dehydration process along with other characteristics.
Triethylene glycol (TEG) is the most common desiccant although other glycols are sometimes used. The Gas Producers Association (GPA) has a specification for pipeline quality gas that sets the allowed moisture from the dehydration process.
Solvents and Intermediates
Solvents are typically found in the form of liquids or gases and serve the purpose of dissolving or cleaning. They are often used to dissolve paint, pigments, oils, grease, and pesticides, or to clean various machinery and tools. In addition, traders blend composites of odd lots and end-of-run materials into useful products and other chemicals.
Solvents and intermediates require advanced testing to ensure that they are safe for human exposure. Some solvents are listed as carcinogens, and may affect the health of anyone who experienced prolonged exposure or application. As a result, testing solvent properties is extremely important, since many everyday products make use of solvents and intermediates in their resulting solutions.
A large number of paint solvents, chemical intermediates, and aromatic hydrocarbons are produced in the Texas Gulf Coast region. For your convenience, we can provide sample containers, courtesy sample pickup, and rapid turnaround for quality control testing in our Houston-based laboratory.
Petrochemical plants are tasked with producing different compounds including ethylene, propylene, butadiene, and aromatics for industry processes, sourcing them from natural resources such as crude oil, natural gas, ores and minerals. In addition, traders blend composites of odd lots and end-of-run materials into useful products. End users of these initial products rely heavily on the data that represents their composition and impurities. Excessive contaminants have a major impact on the final product quality of the end user.
TOL can support you with a full range of high quality analytical solutions, including the routine determination of purity of Paint Solvents, Chemical Intermediates, and Aromatics by GC, HPLC, and, where necessary the more advances GC-MS techniques to help the researchers, process managers QA/QC managers to achieve their goals. In addition, we offer the more traditional determinations of basic physical parameters such as viscosity, density, acid or base number, flash point, and color. Our assessment can help characterize raw crude oil and natural gas by monitoring the production of refined chemicals
Polymers and Olefins
The study of polymers and olefins has been a relatively new development in the field of chemistry. Polymers and macromolecules can be broken down elementally to be useful for a wide variety of purposes, including silicones, extenders, and lubricants. Identifying the molecular composition is key to understanding how the polymers can be applied.
Texas OilTech Laboratories can support you with a full range of high quality analytical solutions, including the routine determination of purity of chemical intermediates by Gas Chromatography, HPLC, and, where necessary, the more advances GC-Mass Spectrometry techniques to help the researchers, process managers, and Quality Analysis/Quality Control managers to achieve their goals.
In addition, we offer the more traditional determinations of basic physical parameters such as viscosity, density, flash point, and color. Our assessment can help characterize raw materials and the main gas stream by monitoring the production of refined chemicals.