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Asphalt Technical Information

What is asphalt?
Asphalt is a natural mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons. When heated, it varies in consistency from a solid to a semisolid, and is classified as a thermal plastic. Asphalt is also used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes, giving products an intensely black color. Asphalt, simply put, is glue.

Hot Mix Asphalt

Paving grade binders (asphalt cement) are derived from the refining of crude petroleum. Today, more than a thousand products are obtained from dividing crude oil in the cracking process; including polymers, anti-oxidants, epoxy’s, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, gasolines (distillates), and super-refined asphalt binders. After lighter distillates are removed, the heavier asphalt component remains and is used to make paving grade binders for use in constructing Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Pavements.

Our ultra-modern refineries break or shorten hydrocarbon chains into shorter pieces at the molecular level than ever before. As a result, much of the strength is diminished while also making binders much more susceptible to break-down and environmental degradation from ultraviolet radiation, exposure to water and freeze thaw and oxidation. In addition, binders display diminished resistance to the physical effects of friction wear and traffic volume.
Today’s asphalt pavements experience accelerated degradation leaving pavements hard, dry, and brittle long before their time.

While current HMA pavements meet current standards and specifications their performance in the field has been altered. The trend in refining to further fraction petroleum and remove vital components beyond what has been extracted in the decades prior, is wreaking significant negative side effects like pre-mature loss of jet black color, oxidation and early on-set cracking, cold joint raveling and shortened life cycle performance to name a few. The good news is that when properly designed, constructed and then preserved, a quality HMA pavement will remain flexible and like new while providing a high level of service for many years.

Close-up of GSB-88 ® Penetration

Gilsonite is Naturally Occurring Ore
Found in only two locations on earth, Vernal Utah, and Saudi Arabia, Gilsonite is 99.85% pure mineral "petroleum asphalt" and is compatible with every type of asphalt surface, chip seal, slurry coating or asphalt based process. Raw Gilsonite has not gone through the process of fractioning and therefore retains ALL of the most desirable properties for binding aggregates. When Gilsonite ore is liquified,the mineral resin is the key component in the highly effective
GSB-88 ® preservation treatment, and also widely use as a hot mix modifier in many road-building applications including hot mix asphalt curbs.

No GSB-88 Asphalt Preservation

Once your binder is exposed to the elements, the aging process is accelerated and you will need to schedule repairs sooner than you think!

GSB-88 is quick curing

GSB-88 ® is quick curing and safe for the environment

GSB-88 Asphalt Preservation

GSB-88 ® asphalt preservation treatments can double pavement life

GSB-88 vs. typical seal coats

GSB-88 ® Penetrates Into the Matrix

GSB-88 High Density

GSB-88 ® asphalt preservation treatments can double pavement life

Liquid Gilsonite resin (GSB-88)

Gilsonite is 99.85% pure mineral "petroleum asphalt". When melted into a resin, it is used as a preservation treatment (GSB-88 ®) with superior bonding properties and as a modifier in road-building materials.

Gilsonite Ore

Gilsonite is the base material for GSB-88 ® asphalt preservation treatments

GSB-88 ® Awarded the Nation’s First Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

This is a rigorous, internationally accepted Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). GSB-88 ® received high scores in every category.

If utilized globally, GSB-88 ® could save 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year and billions of dollars in savings.

Read the EPD document by clicking here.


Gee Asphalt Systems, Inc. has hundreds of pavements available for viewing that have had continuous GSB-88 ® preservation applications from the beginning. Gee Asphalt has pavements that have been on a continuous preservation program for 44+ years and counting!


​Preserving pavement flexibility with GSB-88 ® improves the performance of an asphalt pavement's load carrying ability over time making true perpetual pavement a reality.


Call us today!  1-800-747-8567

Asphalt preservation with GSB-88 ® (Gilsonite Sealer Binder)

GSB-88 ® Keeps on Improving!
"As a result of continuous product improvement, customers are now noticing shorter drying ("curing") times, which helps move projects along faster and thereby saves even more money. In normal weather conditions and when applied as a dilute fogseal, GSB-88 ® now starts "breaking" on pavement within 15-minutes, which ultimately reduces the overall traffic-ready drying time significantly. This improvement is especially valuable for nighttime projects and in high-humidity locations. And most importantly, it does not negatively affect any other aspect of GSB-88 ® performance and user-friendliness."
           - ASI

GSB-88 ® Is Very Different From other competing processes:

While modern fractioning techniques are proven to have significant negative effects on binder strength and durability, GSB-88 ® skips the refining process entirely leaving the strength, durability, and longevity of the Gilsonite resin totally intact, they are both quantifiable and predictable!

GSB-88 ®, at the molecular level, is a naturally high density (un-broken by refining) long-chain hydrocarbon. GSB-88 ® naturally has a high nitrogen content which enables the Gilsonite resin to bond tenaciously to aggregates, halt water intrusion from above and prevent medium and heavy oils in the pavement from escaping. These properties create a unique, proven, extremely durable in-depth penetrating sealer and binder that is not a “top-coat”. GSB-88 ® is absorbed into the pavement to become part of the matrix adding rejuvenating maltene oils and asphaltenes down into the pavement surface. AND GSB-88 ® retains vital oils and flexibility down inside the pavement where it belongs.

GSB-88 ® is simple to use and requires minimal preparations minimal down time. Many GSB-88 ® projects are re-opened to traffic with just 1 - 2 hours total closure time. The outcome is a preservation process like no other with unmatched performance.


​​When and Where should I use GSB-88 ®?

According to FHWA research data, up to 80% of pavement flexibility is lost during the first five years. If that is true, when should preservation begin? With GSB-88 ®, as soon as possible after construction, or until such time as the structural integrity is compromised. When the aging process is halted early in the life-cycle of the pavement, maintenance is less invasive and much less expensive and pavements perform their function much longer. GSB-88 ® can be successfully applied on pavements that are structurally sound of any age, and can even be applied immediately following construction — ideally before pavements begin to show signs of age and oxidation — allowing pavements to be preserved in their original condition. GSB applications should be repeated on a continuing basis at four-to five-year intervals to achieve optimum pavement life extension.


What research is available for GSB-88 ®?

Lots! First, paving engineers should note that while GSB-88 ® toughens and stabilizes the asphalt surface it does not harden the binder as some believe, rather it preserves oils and therefore pavement flexibility is preserved. According to a recent NAVFAC Study “Cline” published 2011 GSB-88 ® is the least expensive with the lowest life-cycle cost and the highest benefit ratio of ten most common coatings, treatments and rejuvenators. GSB-88 ® lowered viscosity by over 30%, increased binder ductility by 30%, and maintained Marshall Stability at a value 40% higher than non treated samples after just 5 years.​ GSB-88 ® halts the aging process better and longer and keeps your asphalt pavement performing like new for many years — normally extending pavement life more than twice as long as without it.


What applications are GSB-88 ® best suited for?

First and foremost, GSB-88 ® should be applied to all asphalt pavements that are new, good condition, and/or still exhibit sound structural integrity. GSB-88 ® should be applied to airport pavements including runways, taxiways, shoulders, aprons and pavement both inside and outside the fence. GSB-88 ® may be applied over grooved, PFC, OGFC runways without affecting their design parameters. Also GSB-88 ® should be applied to streets, roadways, highways, Interstates, on and off ramps, paved medians, shoulders, rumbles, cold joints, chip seals, slurry coatings, micro surface, shopping centers, sports complexs, intermodal-office and university parking lots and trails. GSB-88 ® should be applied over chip seals to bind down loose chips that are raveling or coming loose and breaking windshields. GSB-88 ® should be applied to slurry coatings and microsurfaces to stop raveling and deterioration, and in many cases halt chipping and peeling of the coating layer from coming off. GSB-88 ® should be applied over centerline and shoulder rumbles where water stands to prevent water intrusion flushing and water stripping caused by hydraulic effects of traffic driving over them with water present. GSB-88 ® should be applied over cold joints, where density may have been less than design and oxidation along with raveling have set in. 


What's the Difference Between GSB-78 ® & GSB-88 ®?

GSB-78 ® is classified as a cutback (solvent borne) and is most frequently used in commercial applications or during early and late season applications where lower temperatures might impede curing of water born processes. GSB-88 ® is an emulsion (water borne) most typically utilized in both public and private sector projects for optimum life extension of all asphalt pavement surfaces. There are many applications however where possible crossover may occur, and either GSB-78 ® or GSB-88 ® could work for you. In most situations each process provides the same dependable performance. Each are high performance preservation treatments that out perform traditional asphalt coatings, fog seals, chip and slurry seals, coal tar emulsions and coal tar rejuvenator applications. We’ll help you determine which best suits your specific needs.




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