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Cutback Bitumens (liquid Bitumens) are Bitumens that are dissolved in a petroleum solvent (cutter). Typical solvents include naptha (gasoline) and kerosene. The type of solvent controls the curing time of the cutback and thus when it will obtain its ultimate strength. Rapid curing cutbacks use naptha (gasoline) while medium curing cutbacks use kerosene. The amount of cutter affects the viscosity of the cutback Bitumen. The higher the cutter content, the lower the viscosity and the more fluid it will be.
The advantage cutbacks have over emulsions is a much higher residual Bitumen percent, typically over 80 percent. This compares with just over 65 percent for Bitumen emulsions. The result is more Bitumen cement left on the roadway after curing, for the same volume of binder applied.
Cutbacks are divided into two classifications, Rapid-Curing (RC) and Medium-Curing (MC)
depending on the solvent used. They are further defined by a number which indicates the minimum kinematic viscosity (fluidity) of the cutback. The lower the number, the more fluid the cutback is.