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Published by Steve K Wanyiri

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Published by: Steve K Wanyiri on May 29, 2012
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Test Procedures Bitumen Guide

• • • • • • Characteristics Test Development Specifying Authorities Paving Grade Bitumens Cutback Bitumens Bitumen Emulsions

The main characteristics that bitumen must have are as follows: Consistency: the degree of fluidity or viscosity of the bitumen at a standard temperature. As the viscosity of bitumen varies according to its temperature, when comparing grades of bitumen it is essential to carry out the tests at a standard temperature. Safety: to ensure that bitumen may be used safely, it is essential that its flash point occurs at a much greater temperature than that at which road construction work is carried out. The flash point is the temperature at which the heated bitumen will release fumes that will ignite (flash) in the presence of a naked flame or a spark.

Test Development
Experience in using bitumen in engineering projects has led to the adoption of certain test procedures that are indicative of the characteristics that identify adequate performance levels. However, there are two important points to be taken into account when considering these test procedures. First, some of the tests have evolved with the development of the industry and are empirical methods. Consequently it is essential that they are carried out in strict compliance with the recommended procedures if they are to be accurate measurements of the bitumen's properties. Modem technology is continually being employed by major bitumen manufacturers at their research centres and in industry sponsored university research projects to find new ways of measuring the physical properties of bitumen, and translating these into specifications relating to 'road performance'.

Specifying Authorities
Second, various organisations representing bitumen manufacturers and users have laid down standard test procedures. Major internationally used methods are: ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials (USA) AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials (USA) DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm (Germany) IP Institute of Petroleum (UK) LCPC Laboratoire Centrale des Ponts at Chaussées (France) SA Standards Australia (Australia)

Paving Grade Bitumens

The test measures the percentage of matter that is insoluble in toluene. the following test is included in specifications: • Distillation test Bitumen Emulsions Bitumen emulsions are subject to their own test procedures. the ductility is measured after treatment. The viscosity is measured before and after treatment. Also. Cutback Bitumens For cutback bitumens. in addition to the viscosity and flash point tests.The test procedures used for paving grades of bitumen are as follows: • • • • • • • Penetration test Viscosity Flash Point Ductility Solubility Effect of Heat and Air Softening Point Solubility: indicates the degree of contamination of the bitumen by other matter and therefore the presence of pure bitumen. Some of the tests used for determining their properties are as follows: • • • • • • • Consistency (Engler Viscosity test) Water Content test Sedimentation test Stone Coating Ability and Water Resistance test Particle Charge test Sieve Residue test Residue from Evaporation test . the active adhesive or binding element. In the Rolling Thin Film Oven Test a movi ng film of bitumen is heated in an oven at 163°C for 60 minutes. Effect of heat and Air: is determined to simulate the conditions obtained when the bitumen is used to manufacture hot-mix.

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