To date, few methods allow distinguishing a fluxing effect of an additive for bitumen from a regenerating effect. This research aims at identifying a method to accurately establish whether an oxidized bitumen has been regenerated or has simply been fluxed by a softener. Oxidized bitumens, simulating the aging process that results in road pavement lifetime, were prepared by the Rolling thin film oven test (RTFOT) procedure for 225 min and the Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV) procedure. Their asphaltene parts were extracted and analyzed by calorimetry (Differential Scanning Calorimetry DSC), and the results were compared with the presence and absence of a fluxing agent and real rejuvenators. The self‐consistent results showed that the thermal properties of the asphaltene fractions is a sound probe to monitor the effect of rejuvenation clearly distinguishable from the mere fluxing effect. This preliminary study might allow the creation of standard protocols capable of identifying a priori the rejuvenating effect of an additive in the future. Furthermore, given the widespread use of calorimetry for the characterization, it tends to become a widely accessible and useful tool for this purpose in material characterization laboratories.
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