Fuel Ghoul loves chemistry in action! And we love to see new twists on tired 'civic cliches' that impose social expectations on young people. Take for example the ridiculose idea they need to give their lovers a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day, and turn it on its head.
This year SMOJoe worked alongside Dan Sheridan of ToughRoof flat roofing repair company in Toronto to make tar covered black roses for folks to give away, which really started the ball rolling and brought a lot of interest to this otherwise tired holiday subject. Eligible Magazine is featuring a story on Black Roses on Valentines Day this year. Turns out there's a lot of people sick and tired of giving red roses on that special day.
Enter Matthew Robert White and his Pop-Up Retail vision for selling black roses on Valentine's Day but that's another aspect of this story and this Fuel Ghoul entry focuses more on the science of the subject.
I wrote about how I made Black Roses for Valentines on Smart Canucks and this left this piece on D.I.Y bitumen covered black roses on Medium after photographing and comprehensively documenting a visit to a flat roofer's tarpots which are known in the industry as ‘tar boilers’, but which are in fact filled with 500 degrees bubbling hot petroleum bitumen.
The act of coating objects with bitumen, especially wooden baskets, bowls, and boats, and even people in hot pitch (with a side order of chicken feathers) is thousands of years old. The word comes from 15th century Middle English bithumen meaning a mineral pitch, from Latin bitumin-, bitumen. This was used all over the country, and in the Royal Navy as watersealing agent and probably used for building projects and roofing jobs too.
Most people think flat roofing tar is made from coal tar, and there was a time when this was indeed the case. And if you ask them today, those same ill informed people think 'pitch' is made from pine tar, but these days its all made from petroleum bituman. Even with low oil prices the tar sands in Alberta is spewing out so much bitumen as a petroleum refining biproduct, it makes economic sense that this material be repurposed for other industries.
Websters Dictionary defines bitumen as 'a mixture of tarlike hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. Black or brown, it varies from viscous to solid; the solid form is usually called asphalt. Bitumen occurs in nearly every part of the world and in nearly the whole range of geologic strata. The term may also refer to synthetic hydrocarbon compounds'.
Bitumar comes in 20lb blocks and is heated to liquid in giant propane boilers that are towed behind vehicles.
The liquid petroleum bitumen is pumped to the roof direct from the boiler.
Behold a beautiful black rose that has been dipped in Petroleum bitumen is difficult to photograph because its so shiny and reflective.
This is how commercial roofers fix leaks and resurface flat roofs in Toronto, which is a cold weather climate with lots of rainfall that gets real hot in the summer. Its a challenging arena for roofers. Many roofs are made of a bitumen substructure thats covered with either tar paper or gravel. Liquid hot bitumen is sticky and makes excellent roofing tar that can be used to fix leaks in existing roofs or used as an adhesive to bond other material to fix a leaky roof. Since formulations for roofing tar vary by brand and type, it’s important to pick the right product.
Roofing tar is sensitive to temperature; temperatures lower than 70F means the substance will take a long time to set. However, in extremely high temperatures, roofing tar will turn into a liquid. Roofing tar’s unique liquid/solid properties make it ideal for flat and low slope roofs, where it can be self healing and fix leaks. However, roofing tar should not be used on high slope roofs, since it will turn liquid at high temperatures and drip off. Also, roofing tars should not be used on asphalt products or thinned with water or other solvents.
Dave from ToughRoof gave me lots of good information and was very accommodating as we delved even deeper in the art and science of black roses.
Roofing 'Bitumar' comes in solid ten pound blocks at room temperature. It gets delivered to the job as a black solid block that when heated to 500 degrees becomes an oily liquid used on flat roofs to fix leaks. It is made from coal tar and petroleum byproducts. Coal tar is a deep brown or black residue, which is made during coal production process. Coal tar must be refined and processed to meet standards for roofing use.
ToughRoof can make white roofs. Bitumar is black as molasses, but modern science is such that the colour can be altered in stages. The liquid material goes on hot and seals, bonds and repairs areas on the roof that damaged or are slowly deteriorating and then colour has options like white coating under white gravel or flagstones. Newer formulations of roofing tar are asbestos free, but may contain solvents, surface adherents, plastics and mineral fillers/fibers. Coal tar roof cement by contrast must be applied by trowel, while other types of roofing tars are applied like paint or caulk.
Some manufacturers have created silver and white products by which builders can deliver on a promise to make white roofs which have proven efficiencies. Some brands of roofing tar can be painted when dry to match the roof’s original color scheme. Roofing tar stains and drips and ugly mistrowels can be removed by using a tar remover, but be warned such removers may cause damage to paint and other membranes.
Roofing tar is solid at room temperature. It gets delivered to the job as a black solid block that when heated to 500 degrees becomes an oily liquid used on flat roofs to fix leaks. It is made from coal tar and petroleum byproducts. Coal tar is a deep brown or black residue, which is made during coal production process. Coal tar must be refined and processed to meet standards for roofing use.
ToughRoof seals, bonds or repair areas on the roof that damaged or are slowly deteriorating. Newer formulations of roofing tar are asbestos free, but may contain solvents, surface adherents, plastics and mineral fillers/fibers. Coal tar roof cement is applied by trowel, while other types of roofing tars are applied like paint or caulk.
Most roofing tar formulas are black in color, but some manufacturers have also created versions in lighter colors like silver and white. Some brands of roofing tar can be painted when dry to match the roof’s original color scheme. Roofing tar can be removed by using a tar remover, but removers may cause damage to certain roofing surfaces.
These black roses are certainly beautiful, and have inspired both pop-up holiday retailers and copy cats.
Matthew Robert White is also experimenting with wax roses and waterproof roses, or what were once red roses that have been dipped in a waterproofing compound that can be any colour. I've decided to do an entire write-up on that subject next week, closers to valentines Day as the waterproofing compound in another whooly original product of modern science.
People get pretty excited when i show them my photos of Black Rose Valentines, and I think Matt will have lots of success selling them in Toronto. Here's what folks were saying about Black Rose Valentines on Erotic Canada forums and even more chimed in on Black Rose Valentines on Just Put discussion forums.