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The softening point is defined as the mean of the temperatures at which the bituminous material is softened and sagged downward at a distance of 25 mm under the weight of steel ball. In general, with materials of these types, softening does not take place at the definite temperature. As the temperature rises, the bituminous material gradually and imperceptibly changes from brittle or exceedingly slow flowing material to softer and less viscous. For this reason, the determination of the softening point must be made by a fixed, arbitrary and closely defined method if the results are to be comparable (MS 687: 1995).
This method is useful in determining the consistency of bituminous material assign element in establishing the uniformity of shipments or sources of supply. (The engineering term consistency is an empirical measure of the resistance offered by a fluid to continue deformation when it is subjected to shearing stress). The consistency is a function of the chemical constituents of bituminous material viz. the relative proportions of asphaltenes, resins and oils. The type and amount of these constituents are determined by the source of crude petroleum and the method of processing at the refinery plant (ASTM Designation D36).
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Page | 2 . To determine the temperature at which a given bituminous material specimen reaches a certain degree of softness. forceps. tapered ring made of brass. spatula. ii. thermometers.2. ball-centering guides. APPARATUS Two steel balls of diameters 9. ice cubes.5 mm and each weighing 3. stop watches. ring moulds and suspended ring holder.50 ± 0. magnetic stirrers. beakers and heaters.05 g. To deduce the penetration index (Pl) value of the specimens directly from PI Nomograph in Figure 2.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test OBJECTIVES The OBJECTIVES lives of this experiment are: i.
the steel balls was placed in the ball-centering guides using a forceps.5°C per minute and no more than 7°C. Temperature and the corresponding time was noted and recorded at instant the bituminous material was sagged downward. The temperature of the water bath was measured by a thermometer. The water bath which should be heated up at 5° ± 2°C per minutes were monitored and make sure it is increasing uniformly. A suspended ring holder was then put in the water bath.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test PROCEDURES i. The specimens in the ring holders were placed once stabilizing the temperature. Some water was poured in a beaker to prepare a water bath. vii. iii. After 15 minutes. that is. A few minutes before a-fifteen minute conditioning period was set. A magnetic stirrer was put in the water bath. Page | 3 . Some ice cubes was also put into the beaker. vi. The temperature of the water bath was maintained at 5° ± 2°C for 15 minutes. an electric heater was positioned just next to the suspended ring holder and switches it on. iv. the increment of 4° . dropping at the base plate of the suspended ring holder. ii. followed by placing the thermometer in the centre part of the suspended ring holder. v.
5 minutes Page | 4 .5 °C and 20.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test RESULTS OF OBSERVATIONS Timer Reading (Minutes) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Temperature (°C) Timer Reading (Minutes) Temperature (°C) 5 7 8 10 11 13 15 19 20 23 25 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 27 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 45 46 NOTE: The test is recommended to be done all over again if the difference between the two temperature of the water bath for two steel balls exceeds 1OC (MS 687: 1995). Softening point. R = (R1 + R2) / 2 = (45 + 46) / 2 = 45. R= average temperature of the water bath for two steel balls.5 Where. The temperature and the corresponding time at which a tested bituminous material specimen reaches a certain degree of softness: Softening point: 45.
the temperature of the first specimen to drop is 45°C while for the second specimen is 46°C. It is observed that the softening point increases by the addition of polymer to the bitumen. we can determine the softening point by taking the average. The influence over the softening point is depended on the chemical nature of the polymer added. This will differ in the classification of bitumen. Page | 5 . It can also. and the value that we get is 45. One drawback of the PI system is that it uses the change in bitumen properties over a relatively small range of temperatures to characteristic as bitumen. 1. 2. extrapolations to extremes of the behaviour can sometimes be misleading.5°C. From the data above.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test DISCUSSION Table 1. PI range between -1 < PI < +1 is suitable for road construction.0 Characteristic of bitumen according to PI value PI values can be used to determine the stiffness (modulus) of a bitumen at any temperature and loading time. be used to identify a particular type of bituminous material. to a limited extent. From these last two data.
Compared to the other group that used a grade of 60/70. the maximum temperature for this specimen to sagged downward is at 46°C. 4. Based from the result.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test 3. we can determine that the penetration index or PI for grade 80/100 is -3. the softer the bitumen. For this experiment.4. As the temperature rises. the type of bitumen is Temperature Susceptible Bitumen (Tars). According to the table of characteristic. Page | 6 . since the value is less than -2. Thus the higher the grade. After relate to the depth of penetration. Bitumen can be classified into several grades and each grade has different softening point and physical characteristics. the grade used is 80/100. the bitumen gradually becomes softer and less viscous. the temperature for the specimen to soften is a bit higher.
2. Page | 7 . The mean temperature of the two specimens (which shall not differ by more than 1oC) is recorded as the softening point. The softening point is useful in the classification of bitumen. Rigid adherence to the prescribed preparation of specimens and heating is absolutely essential for reproducibility of the results. 3. and is indicative of the tendency of the material to flow at elevated temperatures encountered in service.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test CONCLUSION 1. which the difference is 1 ºC. This test method covers the determination of the softening point of bitumen in the range from 30 to 157°C (86 to 315°F) using the ring-and-ball apparatus immersed in distilled water (30 to 80°C). as one element in establishing the uniformity of shipments or sources of supply. This temperature is to be used in conjunction with the penetration value to obtain the Penetration Index (PI). The temperature of the two specimens is 45 oC and 46 oC.
Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test RECOMMENDATIONS Recommended value of Softening point indicates the temperature at which binders possess the same viscosity. Softening point has particular significance for materials to be used as joint and crack fillers. Higher softening point ensures that they will not flow during service. Bitumen with higher softening point is preferred in warmer places. Rather. lesser the temperature susceptibility. Bitumens are viscoelastic materials without sharply defined melting points. Page | 8 . Higher the softening point. the change of state from solid to liquid is gradual over a wide range of temperature.
 ASTM D0036 . Annual Book of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards... Abd Rahman. S.06: 2008. Volume 04.  Malaysia. Shah Alam: SIRIM Board. M. ASTM International. Karim.  Website Google search : http://theconstructor. 5 8. Roofing Standards. Tey. L.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test REFERENCES  AB.  Historical Standard: ASTM D36-95: 2000 el.. S.04.Y. 1995. PA. (2010). Ishak. Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM)..Z. PA. and Adnan. Annual Book of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards. Standard Test Method for Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-andBall Apparatus). N. USA. University Publication Centre (UPENA) : UiTM.04. Roofing Standards..Edition. M. ASTM International. Standard Test Method for Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-and-Ball Apparatus).A. USA. Malaysian Standard: Method of Test for Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-And-Ball Apparatus) (First Revision). Volume 04. 2nd . Highway engineering laboratory manual.S.org/practical-guide/softening-point-of- biuminous-material/2571/ Page | 9 . MS 687: 1995.
Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test APPENDICES Sample of hot bituminous Beaker and heater Ring mould Magnetic stirrer Steel Ball Thermometer Suspended ring holder Page | 10 .
Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test i) Before the experiment starts ii) Ice cubes were put into beaker to reduce the temperature iii) The bituminous material is sagged downward Page | 11 .
Page | 12 . Siti Aishah and Nur Asyikin. Nur Insyirahnadia.Ring and Ball (R and B) Softening Point Test Group members (from left) : Siti Sarah. Nurul Hidayah.
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