A new empirical diffusion model for solvents in sprayed seals based on evaporation measurements

Afifa Tamanna, Ezzatollah Shamsaei, Robert Urquhart, Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil, Wenhui Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Prediction of solvent diffusion and evaporation rate in the initial days after construction of a sprayed seal is of special concern for pavement performance assessment. It is still a major challenge as solvent evaporation is a very complicated process. In this study, laboratory tests were conducted on bitumen-solvent binder films, under different experimental conditions and varying solvent properties. A solution of Fick’s diffusion equation was then used to calculate solvent diffusion coefficient (D) values for the initial 7 days. While a strong correlation was found between D and solvent viscosity as well as D and solvent distillation range, no relationship was found between D and solvent aniline point nor aromatic content. These findings were utilised in developing a multiple linear regression (MLR) diffusion model for the initial 7 days of evaporation. The evaluation of the model indicated close agreement between the predictions and experimental values (R 2= 0.95). The model enables road agencies to predict solvent diffusion and residual solvent for the early life of a sprayed seal without needing to conduct extensive experiments thereby saving time and labour cost. Accurate prediction of residual solvent via the developed model will further ensure long-term performance of sprayed seals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3592-3602
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • chip seal
  • diffusion
  • evaporation
  • performance prediction and evaluation
  • residual solvent
  • Sprayed seal

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