History of binders

Published on 29 January 2008

 

Lion sculpté dans le mastic de bitume découvert à Suse (IIIe millénaire avant JC)
Lion sculpté dans le mastic de bitume découvert à Suse (IIIe millénaire avant JC)
(Réunion des musées nationaux/ H. Lewandowski)

The use of hydrocarbon binders - asphalt and natural bitumen - in civil engineering goes back to very ancient times, at least 3000 years B.C.

Scientific and technical progress and individual achievements in the early nineteenth century made it possible to use hydrocarbon binders in road construction.

The first stages in this process were as follows:

  • Use of asphalt after the discovery in 1712 by Eyrini d’Eyrinis of the deposit at Travers in Switzerland.
  • Use of coal tar following an English patent of 1681.
  • Bitumen (derived from oil) appeared slightly later, in 1848, after the first oil field was opened in the United States (Titusville in the State of Pennsylvania).