Emulsions Handling

Handling Asphalt Emulsions - DO's & Don'ts

  • Set the clearance on pumps for emulsions to prevent binding and to prevent breaking of the emulsion.
  • Clear lines, valves, and pumps of emulsion. Drain pumps and remove plugs during freezing weather.
  • Drain pumps and remove plugs when not in service. No 1 or No 2 fuel oil may be used to keep pumps free.
  • Warm the pump casings and packing glands to ~ 150°F (65°C) to ease start up.
  • Store emulsions in vertical tanks to prevent excessive skin formation.
  • Gently circulate emulsions when heating or after prolonged storage.
  • Dilute medium and slow-setting emulsions by adding warm water to the emulsion.
  • Check compatibility of water and emulsion in a flask prior to use on a larger volume.
  • Place inlet and return lines near the bottom of the tank to prevent foaming.
  • Drain tanks to no measurable quantity before adding an emulsion of different type.
  • Emulsions with the same designation may be very different in performance.
  • Provide adquate ventilation. Heat only to reasonable temperatures.
  • Consult your AEMA Member Company for additional emulsion information.

  • Use tight clearance pumps, they may seize.
  • Leave emulsion in pumps, valves or lines during freezing weather.
  • Hold emulsion in lines and pumps for extended periods.
  • Apply severe heat to pump casings or packing glands. The pump may be damaged and the emulsion may break.
  • Store emulsions in horizontal tanks.
  • Circulate emulsions excessively. Emulsions tend to lose viscosity when pumped.
  • Dilute rapid-setting emulsions with water. Never add emulsion to water. 
  • Dilute emulsions with non-potable water or cold water.
  • Pump emulsions into open air or have inlet lines near the top of the tank.
  • Place outlet lines in mid tank.
  • Mix emulsions of different chemical types or designations. Anionic and Cationic emulsions may coagulate when mixed.
  • Subject emulsion or the open air above it to open flame or strong oxidants.
  • Never heat the emulsion over 190°F (88°C).