Our first patent
In 1923 we patented Shell Bitumen, and since then we've added more patents to our brand every decade. Here's a look at some of our innovations over the years...
The Shell Bitumen Handbook
1949 saw the inaugural launch of our handbook which explores the latest technical trends within the industry. It’s now a leading industry publication and into its 6th edition.
In the mid 1950s, C Van der Poel, a researcher at the Shell Laboratory in Amsterdam developed a nomograph that could be used to estimate the stiffness of bitumen.
A splash of colour
This year saw the development of the world’s first synthetic binder, Colouradd, which was developed from Mexphalte C©. This new binder enabled the first durable, coloured tarmacs to be laid, paving the way for the special road markings and cycle paths we now take for granted.
ShellGrip© is a high-friction surfacing often used on the approach to roundabouts or hairpin bends.
In the mid-eighties we developed our first multi-grade binder called Multiphalte©. Multiphalte is formulated to greatly enhance the rutting resistance of asphalt whilst maintaining its flexibility and the fatigue characteristics of the mixture.
Shell Tixophalte© is a sealant and was a game changer as it’s such a versatile product. It’s now used on everything from large-scale industrial dams to DIY projects, and even works when applied underwater.
In 2007 we pioneered Shell Bitufresh©, our first ever odour-eliminating binder solution, and the first step in our continuing efforts to reduce the nuisance odours that go hand in hand with bitumen production and installation.
In 2018, we were the first major supplier of bitumen to develop a solution that addresses impact on local air quality. Using Shell Bitumen FreshAir© reduced the emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2),nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and particulate matter (PM) by an average of 40% during asphalt production and road paving when compared to conventional bitumen.