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Apart from its properties. It oozed out of the ground in certain places and was even found floating in lumps on waterways that were so useful for moving it to where it was wanted. the word asphalt means a mixture of bitumen and mineral aggregates laid as a road surface. Rock asphalt and the Trinidad lake were the sources of bitumen first used to bind mixtures of aggregates in road building in the modern style. With the passing of centuries. About 600 BC King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had the city wall. serious attention was being given to the problem of the dust raised by the horse-drawn traffic in towns. it defines a mineral substance that may be impregnated with bitumen or pitch. As civilisation developed in Europe. archeologists excavating the site of the ancient city found traces of the bitumen that had been used for building. The Romans were enthusiastic about the medicinal qualities of bitumen for preventing and curing a number of ailments including boils. Its importance in paving was also appreciated. brooks and rivers and is collected with buckets or other pots. growing in some countries of Asia. others with used axle oil to make it thicker. watercourses and grain silos. toothache and ringworm. bitumen and clay. As bitumen production grew with the rise of the motorcar and the universal demand for paved highways. The realisation that the horseless carriage was here to stay and would need streets and roads constructed to a hitherto unimagined standard of smoothness and durability resulted in serious attention being given to the elements needed for their creation. Christopher Columbus and Sir Walter Raleigh found the lakes of asphalt in Trinidad useful for re-caulking their ships for the return voyage. The system was so successful that they were able to build towers up to twelve storeys high. They also sculptured votive offerings out of a mixture of bitumen and clay. In the USA.basics Index 03 Introduction and Historical Perspective 04 Bitumen Sources and Types 07 Applications 12 Manufacturing Process 14 Test Procedures 18 Optimising Bitumen Performance 19 Glossary 26 BP Bitumen Australia Introduction and Historical Perspective The description of bitumen as ‘mankind's oldest engineering material’ can be supported by a considerable amount of evidence from scholars. it became the standard material used in civil engineering and architectural projects to hold bricks and stones together and line drains. also from liquid bitumen and from rocks containing bitumen. Apart from maritime usage. bitumen was used mainly for medicinal. which was used as the basis for small carvings. The residual oil is used for different purposes and some people mix it with pitch. The bitumen easily adheres to these objects and is collected in big copper or iron vessels and the lighter fractions evaporated by heating. It is said to have been used in the building of the Tower of Babel and for the waterproofing of Noah's Ark and Moses' wicker basket. cosmetic and crop protection purposes. intended to restrain the waters of the Euphrates. Some thousand years later. 03 . the reason why bitumen was widely used in this area was its availability in various forms. high quality bitumen was being exploited on a small scale. Nearly two thousand years later. Liquid bitumen sometimes floats in large quantities on the surface of wells." By the middle of the nineteenth century. rebuilt with burnt bricks and bitumen because the wall of dried clay bricks had failed to keep the waters at bay. bitumen was being used by the early Babylonians as a building material because of its properties as an adhesive and water-proofing agent. bitumen is referred to as asphalt or asphalt cement. By the turn of the century the potential of petroleum as a readily available source of low-cost." On the other hand. The availability of a regular supply of tar from local coal-gas works led to their use in treating streets and pavements. like pitch. Small quantities are collected by means of feathers. it is not surprising that bitumen has a part to play in many of the great legends of Biblical and pre-Biblical times. It was also used to create damp courses and seal the flat roofs of the houses in the same way as it is used today. the German metallurgist Georg Agricola was writing in the early part of the sixteenth century that "Bitumen is produced from mineral waters containing oil. it did so without significant use of bitumen as it was not a widely available material. The extent of knowledge about bitumen in these times was quite variable. The Babylonians developed a technique for building houses from layers of bricks. It was also in favour amongst Roman ladies as a means of beautifying their eyebrows. Given its general availability. reinforced with reeds. Oustide the USA. On the one hand. Nearly 3000 years BC the Sumerians in Mesopotamia used bitumen to fasten into the eye sockets of statues the materials such as ivory or mother-of-pearl pieces that represented the eyes. linen towels and the like. so too did the proportion of bitumen derived from petroleum refining to the extent that today most bitumen is sourced from the distillation of crude petroleum oil. the entry for bitumen in Blount's Glossary published in 1656 defined it as "…a kind of clay or slime naturally clammy. It was also available as a solid material in the form of bituminous limestone. In the term rock asphalt.

the petroleum bitumen is a colloidal dispersion of black solids (hydrocarbons). Their application requires controlled breaking and setting. sulphur. 05 Bitumen gives controlled flexibility to mixtures of mineral aggregates. from the construction of transcontinental highways to the waterproofing of flat roof surfaces. Its durability is essential to major engineering projects such as roads and waterways where it must perform for up to 20 years or more. These droplets or particles of bitumen are normally in the 5-10 micrometre size range but may be even smaller. alkalis and salts and does not contaminate water. Bitumen is a thermoplastic material: it softens and becomes liquid with the application of heat and hardens as it cools. once in place. It is costly to move around and to process. as petroleum oils are taken away by distillation. Although coal tar is black and viscous like bitumen. Bitumen may also be found as asphaltite. but for most purposes it is petroleum on which the world relies for its supplies of bitumen. it should break quickly so that the road can be in service again without delay. tends to be found away from the places where bitumen is needed. It will have been moved over many thousands of years through porous rocks such as limestone or sandstone. the emulsion can usually be easily restored by gentle agitation to redisperse the droplets. 40 micrometres Limit of visibility to the naked eye 100 micrometres Grain of salt Types of Bitumen There are six major classifications of petroleum bitumen produced by the refining and manufacturing process: Paving grade bitumen (or asphalt cement in the USA) is the most widely used bitumen and is refined and blended to meet road engineering and industrial specifications that take into account different climatic conditions. A cutback varies in behaviour according to the type of cutter or flux used as the diluent with white spirit commonly used for RC grades. known as the maltenes fraction. It is important to draw the distinction between bitumen and coal tar. The bitumen content of crude petroleum oil can vary between 15% and 80%. for example the Middle East. but the more normal range is 25% to 40%. water and emulsifier are processed in a highspeed colloid mill that disperses the bitumen in the water in the form of small droplets. Cutbacks are classified according to the time it takes for them to cure. they become closer to one another and their size increases.basics 04 Bitumen Sources and Types What is Bitumen? Bitumen is a non-crystalline. or in a true solution. Natural bitumen. Classifications are rapid curing (RC). It consists essentially of hydrocarbons and typically comprises at least 80% carbon and 15% hydrogen. Bitumen emulsions have a low viscosity compared to the bitumen from which they are produced and can be workable at ambient temperatures. medium curing (MC) or slow curing (SC). more viscous material found in tar sands and so-called asphalt lakes. occurs as the result of the special decomposition of marine Bitumen is a strong and durable adhesive that binds together a very wide variety of other materials without affecting their properties. Paving grade bitumen may also be considered as the parent bitumen from which the other forms are produced. Bitumen emulsions are dispersions of bitumen in water. It also resists action by most acids. nitrogen and traces of various metals. Cutback bitumens consist of bitumen that has been diluted in solvent (cutter or flux) to make it more fluid for application. bitumen is present either in the form of a colloidal dispersion. In some areas notable for their petroleum resources. The remainder is oxygen. Sources of Bitumen Depending on the type of crude petroleum oil. it occurs naturally. easily crumbled bitumen in rock asphalt to the softer. The emulsion must not break before it is laid on the road surface but. Properties Bitumen is insoluble in water and can act as an effective waterproofing sealant. It is commonly mixed with varying proportions of mineral or vegetable impurities that need to be extracted before it can be used effectively as an engineering material. which are dispersed in an oily brown-yellow liquid. At the point when the distillation process is usually stopped. If the bitumen starts to separate from the water solution in storage. These are known as asphaltenes. rely on the particular properties of bitumen. Also present to act as a stabilising agent to keep the asphaltenes in suspension are another group of hydrocarbons known as resins. Crude petroleum oil processed by the petroleum industry provides all but a small percentage of this vital material. kerosene for MC and diesel for SC. Engineering projects in every part of the world. which is why so much of the total annual production is used in road building. with its variable and relatively low content of bitumen. semi-fluid bitumen can be found oozing out of fissures near hot springs or seeping out of the ground. 70 micrometres Diameter of human hair 25 micrometres White blood cells 8 micrometres Red blood cells 2 micrometres Bacteria Figure 2: Particles of bitumen dispersed in water to make bitumen emulsions are usually between 5 and 10 micrometres in size. often by volcanic action. It can be spread relatively easily in the areas where it is required because it can readily be liquefied by one of three methods: • bitumen based Bitumen is found in nature in several forms. This diagram gives an indication of relative size. such as toluene and carbon disulphide. the proportion of oil to bitumen particles changes. which is extracted through the refining process. which is substantially soluble in organic solvents. and which possesses adhesive and water-proofing qualities. . Bitumen emulsions normally comprise between 30% and 80% bitumen by volume. natural bitumen without impurities that varies in the extent to which it is soluble in carbon disulphide. It is available at an economic cost virtually all over the world. Figure 1: The decomposition of marine debris over millions of years produces natural bitumen in a petroleum residue. The fluidity of cutback bitumens (or cutbacks as they are known) depends on the degree of hardness of the bitumen and the proportion of diluent. The emulsifier assists in forming and maintaining the dispersion of fine droplets of bitumen. black or dark brown viscous material. During the refining process. The three broad classifications for crude oils are: • applying heat • dissolving it in petroleum solvents • paraffin based • dispersing it in water (emulsification). so it can be used to line watercourses. Hot bitumen. debris. or become solid due to the evaporation of the diluent. from the hard. it is obtained from the carbonisation of coal and therefore has very different chemical properties. • bitumen and paraffin based. As mentioned earlier. like petroleum. Rock asphalt. Instead of these particles being dispersed and relatively few in number. Bitumen can be obtained from various sources.

safety and environmental considerations. resistance to ageing. almost all bitumen and bituminous products must be heated to make them sufficiently fluid for bulk distribution and application. Industrial bitumens (or oxidised bitumens) are made by blowing air through hot paving grade bitumen. Its effectiveness depends on the aggregate specification. Bitumen emulsions are divided into three categories: • Anionic with negatively charged droplets • Cationic with positively charged droplets • Non-ionic with neutral droplets. This ensures that neither the ground supporting the road nor the individual layers are permanently deformed by these concentrated stresses. The main grades for bitumen emulsions are classified as follows: Coarse Figure 3: Microscopic representation of emulsion structures. The courses must also be made weather resistant and durable. The bitumen percentage in asphalt is usually between 4-8%. storing or applying it can cause severe skin burns at the recommended handling temperatures. Aggregate is the term used to describe hard non-metallic minerals such as crushed rock. gravel. whilst providing reduced stiffness at low service temperatures than exhibited by a similar normal paving grade bitumen. Where appropriate. The first emulsions were the anionic types. Bitumen Handling Anionic Cationic ARS CRS Rapid setting AMS CMS Medium setting ASS CSS Slow setting The four major factors involved in handling bitumen are: • the high handling temperatures and the need for purposedesigned storage and transport tanks and equipment • the flammable nature of certain grades.basics Applications 06 Fine The mechanical performance of bitumen emulsions can be tailored like that of other construction materials. They are currently less favoured than the cationic types because the positively charged globules of bitumen in cationic emulsions better coat the majority of aggregate types and result in greater adhesion. It adds to the strength of the road and is an even surface foundation for the top layer. Variable Design Factors The exact make-up of a road will depend on several variable factors such as the weight and volume of traffic it has been designed to carry. polymers such as styrene butadiene styrene (SBS). each designed to do a specific job (see Figure 4 on page 9). For example. provide improved resistance to deformation and reduce the detrimental effects of high service temperatures. Modified bitumens are formulated with additives to improve their service performance by changing such properties as their durability. The remainder is used for various purposes. It is essential that anyone working with bitumen or bituminous products make themselves familiar with the necessary health. A minor secondary road may use bitumen only for its top two courses. The use of bitumen in road maintenance can be up to four times its use in road construction. Contact with bitumen or the equipment involved in transporting. but for an old road this layer consists of whatever has been left by generations of traffic. The so-called blowing process results in harder bitumen that softens at a higher temperature than that at which paving grade bitumen softens. local climatic conditions and the availability of mineral aggregates. according to their relative strengths. Multigrade bitumens • the training of personnel. the entire road structure is called the pavement. The subbase is the first layer put down by the road builder and consists of compacted granular material — stone. Polymer modified binders (PMB) are a major advancement in bituminous binder technology as these materials better satisfy the demands of increasing traffic volumes and loads on our road networks. sand and slag. Its function is to contribute towards the strength of the road and give the road building machinery an operating platform. because of asphalt's superior load bearing properties. surface characteristics and size. Aggregates must meet engineering specifications that include shape. By sealing the gaps. . It must also be as weather-proof as possible and resist the continual action of the abrasive forces imposed by the vehicles as they pass along it. The wearing course should also disperse surface water effectively to minimise the danger of skidding. particularly cutbacks • the need to safeguard the health and safety of personnel The development of bitumen emulsions is an area where technological progress is still being made to meet current and emerging engineering demands. As well as natural rubbers. Multigrade bitumen is a chemically modified bitumen that has the properties of a hard paving grade bitumen at high service temperatures coupled with the properties of a soft paving grade bitumen at low temperatures (i. from as low as 15mm thickness using 5mm maximum stone size up to 250mm layers using up to 40mm maximum stone size. Road Construction and Maintenance Over 80% of the 100 million tonnes of worldwide annual bitumen consumption is used for paving applications in the construction and maintenance of roads. Modern road design and construction techniques are aimed at building flexible road layers or courses so that the tensile and compressive stresses imposed by passing traffic are distributed evenly through these layers. strength. bitumen consumption can amount to 1. with tack coats in between. For a new road the subgrade is carefully prepared by modern machinery. polybutadiene (PBD) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) are commonly used to modify bitumen. The most important modifiers are polymers. 07 The base course is a mixture of aggregates and bitumen used as a structural layer. In most cases. Industrial bitumens also have more rubber-like properties and their viscosities are much less affected by changes in temperature than is the case with paving grade bitumen. the size and number of voids and the type of bitumen. An understanding of how roads are built is necessary for an appreciation of the importance of the role played by bitumen. Owing to their high viscosity. GENERAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE APPLICATIONS Paving grades Examples of use C50 C170 C320 Cutback grades C600 Emulsions Modified bitumens Low High viscosity viscosity Cutback manufacture Emulsion manufacture Hotmix asphalt Sprayed seals Tack coat Table A: This table defines some typical road construction and maintenance applications for different types of bitumen. it has properties that span multiple grades). bitumen will be needed for its properties of waterproofing and durability and as the cheapest adhesive generally available. Use of cationic emulsions is therefore preferred in most applications. The lowest layer of a road is the natural soil of the subgrade. Bitumen plays a major part in meeting this requirement because it strongly binds the aggregate particles and seals and fills the voids between them. gravel or sand. at the rate of 7 tonnes per kilometre. Its role is to act as a smooth running surface for traffic. a tack coat of bitumen may be applied between courses to ensure adhesion of the layers. In this case.000 tonnes per kilometre. Users are advised to always refer to product Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for a full description of hazards associated with the use of bitumen products.e. even a fleeting touch at 80°C can be expected to burn unprotected skin. A highway engineer may call for three asphalt courses. The rest of the road is made up of layers of aggregates and bitumen. The layers of asphalt in a road pavement can vary widely in maximum stone size used and thickness laid. The wearing course is the top layer normally consisting of a more finely textured mixture of aggregates and bitumen. elasticity and/or plasticity. bitumen makes it difficult for water to penetrate the road courses and damage the natural foundation of the road. In the context of road building.

mixing. This precision in delivery calls for a high degree of commitment on the part of the supplier in terms of capital equipment. often within thirty minutes of the target time based on the moment when the aggregates have been heated to the right temperature for mixing with bitumen. This. Direction of load Bitumen supplies are ordered daily to meet the production schedules on the road gangs' programs for the following day. at a temperature of up to 160°C. Wearing course Tack coat Base course Tack coat Sub-base Formation level Subgrade (natural soil) Figure 4: Distribution of load through a bituminous road . Any delay means that expensive fuel is wasted in keeping the aggregate at the right temperature. The above describes. Various sizes of aggregate dry out. The supply of aggregates is continuously weighed by scales linked to the pump metering the bitumen to ensure that a constant ratio of aggregate to bitumen is maintained. or hot mix. The durability of the mixture will be impaired if the mixing process takes too long. As bitumen storage capacity is usually limited. otherwise the bitumen film will harden due to oxidation as it is exposed to air. means that all parts of the operation must be integrated so there are no hold-ups as the drying. in turn. The mixing time should be no longer than is necessary for the uniform distribution of the bitumen as a coating for the aggregate particles. in simple terms.basics 08 09 Hot Mix The mixing of aggregates and bitumen to produce asphalt may take place at a purpose-built plant located away from the road construction site. Their temperature must be controlled so that the bitumen does not cool when it is mixed with the aggregates. Continuous operation of the plant is required to provide consistent high quality mixtures. Controlled amounts of various size aggregates. The hot mixture. which have been carefully blended and graded to meet the required specification. gain and retain heat at different rates. All this takes place in a purpose-built plant. are dried and heated before being mixed with a measured quantity of hot bitumen. transporting and laying processes are carried out. logistics and technical expertise. screening. a process in which skill and experience are combined with computerised control systems to carry out a complex series of operations. or it may be done at the site itself. is carried to the construction site and laid while still hot. delivery has to be made on a 'when required' basis.

It is nevertheless important to those manufacturers and engineers who rely on its particular properties as an economical binder and protector. sound deadening felts hidden inside car bodies and undersealing compounds beneath them. crushed and reprocessed with varying proportions of fresh aggregate. Sprayed Seal: also known as surface dressings and chip seals. . The process may be carried out on site (in situ). often in the form of shingles. having a carefully controlled air void content. continuously graded mixture of coarse and fine aggregates. bitumen is also used in damp-proofing and floor tiles. which may be simply stated as: Dense-graded Asphalt or Asphaltic Concrete: a dense. (Pictures courtesy of Boral Asphalt). are impregnated with bitumen to improve their performance as insulators. if necessary. Bituminous Slurry Surfacing: an important maintenance treatment for the surface in which a mixture of fine aggregates. or the reclaimed material can be transported to and from the site to be mixed in a dedicated static plant. Asphalt and Other Treatment Types Asphalt mixtures have been classified into a number of different types. Other materials. new bitumen or bitumen emulsion and. which is a coat of bitumen emulsion applied to an existing surface to seal cracks as a maintenance treatment. which are strips of felt first impregnated with bitumen and then covered on both sides with harder bitumen and a coating of mineral granules. Either a single or double coating of aggregates or stone chippings is applied. Industrial Usage The use of bitumen in industrial applications accounts for less than 20% of world bitumen consumption. particularly felts and papers. Tack Coat: a thin layer of emulsified or cutback bitumen that bonds a layer of road to the layer beneath. between and above them. Sprayed seals can be sprayed as an emulsion. In many parts of the world it is used extensively to waterproof the roofs of houses. Such reclaimed material is known as RAP or reclaimed asphalt pavement.basics 10 11 Road Recycling COMPOSITION OF ROAD SURFACE Dense-graded Asphalt Hot Rolled Asphalt Stone Mastic Asphalt Open-graded Asphalt Bitumen content % 4-7% 6-9% 8-12% 5-7% Air voids content % 3-5% 3-5% 3-5% 18-20% Table B: Asphalt mixture compositions s Figures 5 and 6: This purpose-built asphalt mixing plant grades and dries the aggregates and then mixes them with bitumen. All aspects of the mixing plant are carefully controlled from the computer console. filler and emulsified bitumen is applied to a structurally sound road surface for minor shape correction and to improve skid resistance. Current practice is to favour the use of bitumen emulsions in place of cutbacks in this application. An example of a remedial treatment is a fog seal. Open-graded Asphalt: a mixture of graded aggregates and bitumen produced to provide an open texture and high air voids content to allow ready drainage of water through the finished asphalt layer – also known as Porous Asphalt and Drainage Asphalt. Hot Rolled Asphalt: a sand-based material. linoleum. mineral filler and bitumen. a recycling agent. electrical insulating compounds and battery boxes are some of the hundreds of industrial and domestic products likely to contain industrial grade bitumen. Stone Mastic Asphalt: a high stone content mixture where the large stones form a load-bearing matrix within the mixture to provide high resistance to deformation with the interstices substantially filled with bitumen/filler mastic. The layers of road surface are ripped up. These treatments are applied to renovate and waterproof old roads that require maintenance or to protect unbound granular pavements in new constructions. The techniques of road recycling reclaim the materials used to build roads. It has the advantage that it can be applied rapidly and at a relatively low cost by a truckmounted mixing plant. Packaging papers. a cutback or as neat paving grade bitumen. and having approximately 30% selected stone content. these involve spraying a coating of bitumen onto the surface of a wearing course or granular pavement. A similar construction technique involves sheets of bitumensaturated felt laid onto a flat roof with layers of bitumen below. By contrast. printing inks. with larger stones rolled into the surface. bound with high viscosity grade bitumen. They offer benefits in terms of reduced demands for aggregates and energy.

or to meet particular specifications. Blending The viscosity of bitumen is reduced by blending in various amounts of flux oil (solvents). such as air blowing of the residue. This leaves a residue called atmospheric residue. Vacuum Distillation Atmospheric residue is split into different boiling-point fractions. e. which is then further distilled under vacuum. It is this. When bitumen is moved by sea. the crude oil being processed is separated into different ‘cuts’ on the basis of their boiling range. Therefore the delivery of paving grade bitumen not only calls for the supply of bitumen to be provided at the right quality and quantity at the right time. The selection of crude is an important aspect of bitumen manufacture.g.basics 12 Manufacturing Process Refinery Processes In an oil refinery. Air Blowing By blowing air through bitumen at high temperature under controlled conditions. Few of the nearly 1500 available crude petroleum oils are suitable for the manufacture of good quality bitumen. but because of the applied vacuum. insulated rail cars are sometimes used. In atmospheric distillation. the vacuum residue may be used directly as bitumen without further processing. The temperature of the hot-loaded bitumen is maintained by high pressure steam or hot oil passing through coils in the bitumen tanks. The air blowing process demands careful selection and control of process temperature. the temperature can drop by about 7°C-10°C and continue to fall by a further one or two degrees per hour while in transit. The product is therefore also known as ‘air-blown’ 13 or ‘oxidised’ bitumen. Kerosene. Figure 8: A refinery process diagram illustrating a typical off-take for bitumen products. For example. it can be shipped in a variety of vessels from 300 tonne barges to ocean-going tankers of up to 30. Main Refinery Processing Industrial Bitumen Wax Distillate Severe Air Blowing 350° 390°C Water and Emulsification Agent Vacuum Distillation Vacuum Residue Bitumen Emulsion Emulsification 220° 260°C Polymer Bitumen Emulsion Polymer Air Blowing Polymer Modified Binder Atmospheric Distillation Mixing The crude oil is split into different boiling-point fractions. For some crude oils though. Their capacity ranges from 10 tonnes to 50 tonnes and they are also fitted with electric heaters or direct oil-fired flame tube heaters. the heavy molecules are enlarged. The production of high quality bitumen relies on a combination of skills. it gradually becomes unworkable.000 tonnes capacity. are distilled off. Steam or hot oil is pumped through heating coils in the heavily insulated tanks so that the bitumen remains fluid. which is called vacuum residue. chemicals are also added to stabilise the emulsions. which is the first stage of this continuous process. Cutback Bitumen Emulsification In an emulsion mill bitumen is dispersed in water. experience and modern refinery technology. To transport bitumen to intermediary depots with reheating facilities. Mixing High energy mixing process to disperse polymer into bitumen.000 tonnes. in order to produce a material that will soften at a higher temperature than paving grade bitumen of equivalent penetration. the further effective distillation cut point is 500°C-560°C. For industrial bitumens. typically heated by electricity or flame heater tubes. This vacuum distillation process yields further volatile products known as vacuum distillates and leaves a non-volatile residue of high viscosity. Cutter Oil Flux Oil Blending Fluxed Bitumen Paving Grade Bitumen . The actual processing temperature of the residue is 350°C390°C. usually with some kind of heating such as heating tubes. but the product must also be kept between 150°C-190°C throughout the supply chain. air rate and residence time to ensure consistent product. Bitumen emulsions are made in a colloid mill by dispersing paving grade bitumen in water with the aid of an emulsifying agent. Depending on the crude origin. additional processing may be required. petrol and kerosene. When it is loaded into a road tanker. that gives industrial bitumens their special physical properties. severe air blowing is required. Gas-oil Crude Oil 300° 350°C Atmospheric Distillation Storage Bitumen is stored at refineries and large depots in large permanent tanks made of mild-steel plate. These are used extensively to ensure the suitability of feedstocks and to monitor and control all stages of the process. the crude oil is heated to 300°C-350°C and the more volatile components. Light Distillate:– Naphtha. Within the Australian context. combined with severe blowing. requiring expertise and experience to yield a satisfactory product – not all crude can be used to make bitumen. with capacities of between 100 and 10. They have insulated single-compartment tanks. Road tankers with capacities of between 10 and 40 tonnes are normally used to take most of the bitumen from the refineries. Distribution As bitumen cools. Smaller depots and big users store bitumen in small permanent or semi-mobile tanks of up to 60 tonnes capacity. propane-precipitated asphalt (PPA) is commonly used in the manufacture of bitumens when lubricating oils are produced at the same refinery. Sometimes bitumens are produced by blending vacuum residue with asphaltenes derived from the manufacture of lubricating oils. a very small number of crude oils are able to be used to manufacture bitumen compliant with the current Australian Standard. Typically the blower feedstock has a lower initial boiling point than for paving grade bitumens. Cutback bitumens are produced by diluting the paving grade bitumen with a cutter or flux.

The time taken for the bitumen to flow between two points is taken and multiplied by a calibration factor to give a value in Pascal seconds. The viscosity of bitumen varies according to its temperature. A modified Pensky-Martens closed tester is used in the Australian Standard test. Modern Brookfield Viscometers utilise digital displays which directly show the viscosity of the material being tested. therefore when comparing grades of bitumen. the relationship between these units depending on the specific gravity of the bitumen. Various tests are used to measure the resistance to flow of bitumen and to thereby define its consistency. The flash point is the temperature reached when the vapour causes an instantaneous flash. This measures in seconds the time a specified quantity of bitumen takes to flow through an orifice of specified dimensions under standard temperature conditions. The time taken for its passage is also multiplied by a calibration factor and the result is expressed in Pascal seconds. Major test methods specifiers are: Penetration Test: used to determine the consistency of bitumen by measuring the distance that a standard needle will penetrate vertically into a sample under specified conditions of loading. A fourth viscometer is the Brookfield Viscometer. i. Before test Dial set at zero Time = 0 seconds After test Dial reading Time = 5 seconds 100g Viscosity: is a more scientific measure of consistency than Penetration.e. 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. Another type of viscometer used for cutbacks and bitumen emulsions is the efflux viscometer. A spindle is suspended in a sample of bitumen. Thermometer Temperature is noted when flash occurs Vapour rising from sample Cleveland brass cup Naked flame to be passed over sample at specified intervals Water bath heated to 25°C Sample Needle set just touching surface Needle position after test = dial reading in tenths of a millimetre Heat source Figure 9: The penetration test as applied to bitumen. Flash Point: used to measure the temperature to which a sample of bitumen may be safely heated by establishing the temperature at which a small flame causes the vapour above the sample to ignite or flash. it is critical that its flash point occurs at a much greater temperature than that at which road construction work is carried out.e. load of 100g at a temperature of 25°C for 5 seconds. Standards Australia AusSpec Joint Venture between Standards Australia and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials (USA) AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (USA) DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm (Germany) IP Institute of Petroleum (UK) LCPC Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées (France) Test Development Paving Grade Bitumens 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. flash point. reported in tenths of a millimetre. centistokes (cSt) or Pascal seconds (Pa s) as standard units of measurement. Strict adherance to the specified test procedures.basics 14 Test Procedures 15 Characteristics SA The main bitumen characteristics of interest are its viscosity and its ability to be handled safely. . A vacuum is sometimes not required when testing paving grade bitumen at 135˚C as the bitumen is fluid enough to pass through the tube within a reasonable time under gravity alone. there are two important points to be taken into account when considering these test procedures. Lower filling mark Sample Figure 10 a) b): The recognised methods used to measure viscosity. The test procedures used for paving grades of bitumen are as follows: 1. Figure 11: This test establishes the temperature at which a sample of bitumen will ignite. Different specifying authorities use different standard test procedures. Vacuum viscometer Gravity viscometer To vacuum Vent to atmosphere Upper filling mark Sample Water bath heated to 60°C Water bath heated to 135°C Timing marks Timing marks The capillary tube viscometer with a means of applying a partial vacuum is most commonly used for testing paving grade and cutback bitumens at 60°C. temperature and time. and translating these into specifications relating to road performance. Some of the tests have evolved with the development of the industry and are empirical methods. Different types of viscometers are used according to the type of bitumen being tested and the preferences of local specifying authorities. Results are given in units of Poise (P). Various methods may be used but the most common is the Cleveland Open Cup (COC) test in which a brass cup filled with a specified amount of bitumen is heated and a flame is passed over the top at specified intervals of time. Modern technology is continually being employed by major bitumen manufacturers at their research centres and in industrysponsored university research projects to find new ways of measuring the physical properties of bitumen. 2. 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. it is essential to carry out tests at standard temperature. Austroads The association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities Viscosity: the degree of fluidity of the bitumen at a standard test temperature. i. the resistance to rotation is recorded through a calibrated spring connected to a dial where the reading is taken. Safety: to ensure that bitumen may be used safely. Specifying Authorities Various organisations representing bitumen manufacturers and users have laid down standard test procedures. When the spindle is twisted. However.

the following test is included in specifications: Distillation test: a measured quantity of cutback is heated to 360°C in a distillation flask. It is used as an indication of the temperature at which bitumen has a particular viscosity – or more simply. spraying it with water until the water coming from it is clear. this measures the rate of flow of the bitumen emulsion at 25°C. the temperature at which it softens. The volatile constituents vaporise and pass into a water-cooled condenser flask where they are measured to show the percentage of the volume of the cutback that has been driven off. the solvent and the water are separated in a trap so that the amount of water can be measured. Residue from evaporation is calculated from the mass of the sample and residue after evaporation. Water Content test: determines the weight percent of water in an emulsion. coat them as completely as possible and not be washed off by any water that may fall on it once the mixing is completed. and Below: the points of failure. the emulsion is anionic. The Australian test measures the percentage of matter that is insoluble in toluene. expressed in centimetres. Sedimentation test: indicates the extent to which the components of an emulsion sample will separate during storage. Thermometer Water coolant supply Draught shield Sample heated to 360°C Wire gauze Softening Point: a measurement of the temperature at which a sample of bitumen held in a ring in a water bath allows a steel ball of specified weight to fall to a point at a specified distance below it. Cutback Bitumens Each failure is indicated here Figure 12: Ductility testing of bitumen samples: Above: illustrates the position at the start of the test. Sieve Residue test: shows the presence of coarse binder particles in the emulsion. In the Rolling Thin Film Oven Test a moving film of bitumen is heated in an oven at 163°C for 60 minutes. Particle Charge test: identifies the charge on the bitumen particles in an emulsion. Solvent Water content collected here Sample with solvent mix Heat source Figure 15: The ‘Dean and Stark test’ (‘Water Content Test’) records the percentage volume of water in a bitumen emulsion . Samples are taken from the top and bottom of a 500mL sample that has stood undisturbed for three days. The difference between the water content of each sample is an indication of the degree to which sedimentation has taken place. Effect of Heat and Air: is determined to simulate the conditions obtained when the bitumen is used to manufacture hot-mix. A standard briquette of bitumen. Chimney Heat source Figure 14: The Distillation test indicates the volatility of a sample of cutback bitumen. Residue from Evaporation test: indicates the percentage mass of binder present in an emulsion. The emulsion is heated to 25°C and poured into a standard container. The sample is strained through a 150µm sieve and the percentage mass of emulsion retained on the sieve is calculated and reported as sieve residue. These particles may be in the form of relatively large globules or strings and may indicate instability or result in poor coating performance or clogging of equipment. Some of the tests used for determining their properties are as follows: Consistency: Also known as the Engler Viscosity test. the emulsion is dissolved in a solvent and titrated with a Karl Fischer reagent. This can be performed by Dean and Stark distillation or Karl Fischer titration. The length of the thread of bitumen at the moment when it breaks. Bitumen emulsions are subject to their own test procedures. The viscosity is measured before and after treatment. During the distillation process. A positive and a negative electrode are left in a sample of emulsion for half an hour. is the ductility of the sample. The material that remains in the distillation flask is treated as paving grade bitumen for further testing for viscosity and solubility. For cutback bitumens. The time taken by 200mL of emulsion to pass through a standard orifice at the bottom of the container is measured. which reacts with the water in the emulsion. In the Dean and Stark distillation. An emulsion sample is heated so that water and other volatile components are evaporated. a sample is heated with a solvent that is immiscible with water. The amount of Karl Fischer reagent consumed is used to determine the water content of the emulsion. Water coolant supply . placed in a mould in a water bath heated to 15°C. is pulled apart. The samples are tested for water content. If there is bitumen deposited on the negative electrode at the end of the test the emulsion is cationic. Stone Coating Ability and Water Resistance test: it is essential that a bitumen emulsion stands up to the action of being mixed with aggregates.basics 16 17 Ductility: gives an indication of the extent to which a sample of the material can be stretched before breaking. Bitumen Emulsions Thermometer Temperature is noted at end of test Balls Ring When ball has dropped a previously set specified distance test has ended Sample Water Water bath heated to 15°C Three samples set up for test Heat source Mark indicates start of test Samples are drawn through bath at a speed of 5cm per minute Figure 13: The Softening Point test (‘Ring and Ball Test’) measures the temperature at which bitumen has a particular viscosity. This test shows the extent to which a sample meets these requirements. if bitumen is deposited on the positive electrode. usually at a speed of 5 cm per minute. This indicates the volatility of the cutback. in addition to the viscosity and flash point tests. The coating on the sample is assessed. It involves coating a sample of aggregate with emulsion. In the Karl Fischer water content method. Solubility and the Presence of Insolubles: indicates the degree of contamination of the bitumen by other matter and therefore the presence of pure bitumen.

Its production involves a heavy investment in high-technology equipment and a commitment to quality management at all stages of crude oil selection. application rate (aggregate) – The amount of aggregate spread in a sprayed seal expressed as square metres per cubic metre (m2/m3). and affiliated businesses. on the basis of what is known about bitumen itself. transported and compacted to the specified density. lake – A highly viscous natural bitumen found in well-defined surface deposits e. Avoid contaminating the bitumen. but insoluble in aromatic-free low-boiling petroleum solvents. the temperature in the mixing operation may be too low ARF – Australian Road Federation • if the mixture looks stiff and dull rather than black and shiny there may be too little bitumen in the mixture. 19 asphalt. until it reaches the optimum. advice on how to avoid and correct errors would need to cover many factors and types of applications. Asphalt Institute (AI) – An association of international petroleum bitumen producers. It depends on friction and cohesion within the mixture. The cohesion. slag. Stability is an essential quality in the performance of asphalt. the strength of which is predominantly provided by stone-on-stone contact of the coarse aggregate particles. storage and distribution. usually expressed at 15°C. To quote the Asphalt Institute of America directly: “Finished mix should be frequently observed. The maximum bitumen storage temperature relating to the grade should not be exceeded during the mixing process.1% diesel in an asphalt mixture can lower the flash point and viscosity. Commonly known as the spray rate. air voids – The spaces within the bulk of a material. stone mastic (SMA) – An asphalt with a high coarse aggregate content and a high volume of both filler and bituminous binder. • if the distribution of bitumen on the aggregate is not uniform. Commonly known as the aggregate spread rate or coverage. application rate (binder) – The amount of bituminous binder applied in a sprayed seal expressed as litres per square metre (L/m2). asphalt. anti-foaming agent – A substance (e. or internal binding force in the mixture. filler and bituminous binder. Too much bitumen will act as a lubricant for the aggregate particles. or overheating has excessively oxidised the binder ARRB – Australian Road Research Board. No testing method or device is as quick and convenient as the human eye. Sprayed seal performance depends on similar factors and can be significantly affected by weather conditions at the time of spraying and the cleanliness of the aggregate. aggregate – A material usually produced by crushing rock. It is therefore likely to reduce the bitumen’s performance as an adhesive. manufacturers.g. Also commonly known as an anti-stripping agent. Austroads – The association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities. When hot bitumen comes into contact with water it will foam. Also known as base or binder course. Common in the UK. asphalt. However. asphalt. asphaltic concrete – See asphalt. increases as the proportion of bitumen in the mixture is increased. mainly in hot mix asphalt. open-graded (OGA) – An asphalt comprised of a large proportion of a single size aggregate. manufacture. In extreme cases it will violently boil over from storage vessels due to the presence of small quantities of water.basics 18 Optimising Bitumen Performance Glossary Background AAPA – Australian Asphalt Pavement Association Petroleum based bitumen is a product of consistently high quality. Also known as hot mix or hot mix asphalt (HMA). spread and compacted while hot. The actual performance of the bitumen when it is doing its job is just one part of the total performance of an asphalt mixture or sprayed seal. filler and a bituminous binder. with or without mineral filler.g. fine aggregates. General Advice Minimise the time during which hot bitumen is exposed to air. including the design of the mixture. asphaltenes – High molecular weight compounds in bitumen which are soluble in carbon disulphide. Bitumen hardens and loses some of its adhesive property when it is exposed to a combination of air and excessive heat. particularly with petroleum based solvents that reduce the flashpoint and the viscosity. based in the USA. such as an asphalt mix. This subject is outside the scope of this booklet. filler and bituminous binder. which has an interconnecting voids content of about 20% to 25%. the composition and quality of the bitumen at the time it was delivered to the contractor can be confirmed. Usually produced hot in a mixing plant and delivered. and increase the penetration. dense-graded (DGA). ALGA – Australian Local Government Association anionic bitumen emulsion – A bituminous emulsion in which the suspended bitumen droplets are negatively charged. Keep bitumen within the range of temperatures recommended for the type and grade. Some of the points are mentioned elsewhere but they have been repeated in this section for convenient reference. Careless mixing of bitumen and aggregate is an example of a practice that exposes bitumen to the air and heat for longer than the minimum time required to coat the aggregate. asphalt. stability decreases. which is placed hot and then compacted to a dense state as a road pavement layer.” The following are useful examples of what can be seen by simple observation. blending. now known as ARRB Group Limited • if the mixture lies slumped on the floor of the truck the mixture may contain too much bitumen asphalt – A mixture of bituminous binder and aggregate. which is not occupied by solid matter or filled with bituminous binder. Keep asphalt at the lowest temperature that will permit it to be thoroughly mixed. . AustStab – Australian Stabilisation Industry Association base course – One or more layers of material immediately below the wearing course of a pavement. dense-graded (DGA) – An asphalt comprised of coarse and fine aggregates. Trinidad Lake Asphalt. They can be treated as early warning signs that further checks should be made: • blue smoke coming from the mixture can indicate overheating • steam coming from the mixture indicates the presence of too much moisture adhesion agent – A substance added to a bituminous binder to improve adhesion between the binder and aggregate. By retaining and checking samples of consignments of bitumen. The term is usually applied to adhesion in the presence of water. Asphalt performance depends on a number of factors. Just 0. Temperature control is a major factor in the quality control of asphalt mixes. The aggregate gradation of dense graded asphalt is considered to be continuous and the intimate interlocking of the aggregate particles is a major factor in the strength of the compacted asphalt. Also known as porous asphalt and drainage asphalt. the way it was mixed. As bitumen is an integral part of both asphalt mixtures and sprayed seals. If the amount of bitumen increases further. Keep bitumen dry and away from contamination by water at all times. atmospheric residue (atres) – The residue obtained in the atmospheric distillation of crude petroleum oil. the quality of mineral aggregate used and how it was laid and compacted. gravel. it is possible to put forward the following essential guidelines to optimising the performance of bitumen. hot rolled (HRA) – An asphalt material used as a dense wearing course. basecourse or roadbase material and which consists of a mixture of gap-graded coarse aggregate. It is therefore essential to ensure that the optimum proportion of bitumen is used in any mixture. Bitumen solidifies as it cools and becomes unworkable and the viscosity may increase due to oxidation if it is overheated. sand or similar material and screened to provide a specific size distribution. such as n-heptane. Also known as Splitt Mastic Asphalt. age hardening – Hardening of a bituminous binder due to loss of volatiles and oxidation of the binder resulting from exposure to weather over a period of time. and increase the penetration significantly. asphaltic cement – North American term for bitumen. reducing friction and therefore the stability of the mix. Also known as asphaltic concrete. silicone oil) added to bitumen to reduce the surface tension and hence the frothing tendency of hot bitumen in the presence of water.

with or without added filler. break (of a bitumen emulsion) – The separation of a bitumen emulsion into free bitumen and water. Also known as residual bitumen. bitumen – A viscous liquid or solid. dynamic viscosity – The ratio of shear stress to shear (strain) rate of a fluid. which is produced warm or cold in a mixing plant and can be delivered in a workable condition suitable for stockpiling. dense-graded asphalt – See asphalt. blown. For bitumen. bitumen. Usually. DOTARS – Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services emulsifier – A chemical that stabilises an emulsion by reducing the coalescence of dispersed droplets. Energy and Infrastructure: the South Australian State Road Authority. cutter oil – A light petroleum distillate. the measurement under standard specified test conditions of the long term effect of heat and air is known as the Durability and is based on the accelerated aging of bitumen to determine the time required for it to reach a specified viscosity level that has been associated with distress in pavement surfacings. is used to calculate the elastic recovery. such as asphalt. distillation. oxidised – Bitumen. drainage asphalt – See asphalt. to alter its viscosity characteristics. generally measured under constant stress. dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) – An instrument that measures the rheological properties. known as a cutter oil. The grading curve has a smooth concave shape without abrupt changes in slope.basics 20 21 binder – A material that is used to hold aggregate particles together or to a substrate. chip seal – See sprayed seal. crumb rubber – Either natural or styrene butadiene rubber recovered by comminuting used vehicle tyres into small crumbs which are then graded to conform to a specified size range for use as a bitumen modifier. crumb rubber modified seal (CRM seal) – A sprayed seal in which the binder consists of bitumen modified by the incorporation of crumb rubber. double seal – A sprayed seal constructed by applying two successive sprayed seals. compaction – The process of producing a closer packing of aggregate and filler particles in asphalt by rolling or other mechanical means. of bituminous binders. such as kerosine. cold mix – A mixture of bituminous binder and aggregate. bitumen emulsion – A liquid mixture in which bitumen is suspended as small droplets in water by means of emulsifying and stabilising agents. Vacuum distillation is carried out at reduced pressure to separate higher boiling components that would otherwise decompose if higher distillation temperatures and normal atmospheric pressures were used. blown – Bitumen through which air has been passed (blown) at high temperature for the purpose of altering its viscosity characteristics. cohesion – The magnitude of internal forces that resist the separation of a material into its constituent particles. bitumen. industrial grade – See bitumen. usually at high temperature. ductility recovery – A modification of the ductility test whereby the sample is stretched to a thread of fixed length and then cut in the middle. paving grade – Bitumen manufactured specifically for use in road pavement applications. bitumen. such as deformation and flow characteristics. dense graded. cape seal – A surfacing treatment incorporating the placement of a bituminous slurry over a sprayed seal to provide an asphalt-like appearance. consisting essentially of hydrocarbons and their derivatives. fluxed – A bitumen to which a flux oil has been added to provide a long-term reduction in its viscosity. It is black or brown in colour and possesses waterproofing and adhesive properties. petroleum – Bitumen obtained from crude petroleum oil by a refinery processes. Ductility values are defined as the distance to which a standard-sized sample of bituminous binder can be elongated before the thread so formed breaks under standard specified test conditions. such as toluene and carbon disulphide. which is added to bitumen to temporarily reduce its viscosity (cutback bitumen). bituminous slurry – A mixture of bitumen emulsion (with or without added polymer modifier). filler. continuous grading – An aggregate grading or particle size distribution where all sizes or fractions from the maximum particle size down are represented. usually due to the progressive loss of water and other volatile materials following emulsion break. Atmospheric distillation is carried out at normal atmospheric pressure. such as bitumen in asphalt and sprayed seals. bitumen. Also known as air blowing. spreading and compaction. Also known as industrial grade bitumen. cure (of an emulsion) – The increase in cohesive strength of a bituminous binder following application in emulsified form. consistency – A general term describing the relative resistance to deformation or flow of a semi-fluid or plastic material. ductility – The characteristic of a bituminous binder that allows it to be elongated without rupture when stretched. DIER Tas – Department of Infrastructure. boil over – The sudden overflow of a tank contents caused by the rapid evaporation of water within hot bitumen. which occurs as a result of coagulation of the dispersed bitumen droplets to form a continuous phase. the first sprayed seal uses a larger aggregate size than the second sprayed seal. durability – The maintenance of performance properties of bitumen and bituminous materials to traffic. has been added for the purpose of temporarily reducing its viscosity. It is typically used in areas where it is impractical to do repair work using hot mix. It is either obtained by refinery processes from petroleum or is found as a natural deposit or as a component of naturally occurring asphalt. that has been subjected to a prolonged blowing process to substantially change its viscosity characteristics. Vacuum distillation is usually carried out on the residue obtained from atmospheric distillation. to which other refinery products such as paraffinic oils may have been added. mineral aggregate. DTEI SA – Department for Transport. atmospheric – A refinery process that separates components in a crude petroleum oil by virtue of their different boiling points. Usually aimed at achieving a desired voids content. cationic bitumen emulsion – A bituminous emulsion in which the suspended bitumen droplets are positively charged. creep – The slow deformation of a material. . which develops after a standard period of time. in which it is associated with mineral matter. straight run – Bitumen produced from crude petroleum oil solely by a process of distillation (atmospheric & vacuum). cutback – See cutback bitumen bitumen. The distance between the ends of the half threads. bitumen. bituminous – A material that resembles or contains bitumen. DPI NT – Department of Planning and Infrastructure Northern Territory blowing – A refinery process involving the blowing of air through bitumen. Energy and Resources Tasmania distillation. oxidised. and is substantially non-volatile and softens gradually when heated. DTMS ACT – Department of Territory and Municipal Services Australian Capital Territory. elastomer – A polymeric material that exhibits predominantly elastic properties. or cement in concrete. cutback bitumen – Bitumen to which a suitable volatile diluent. additives and water properly proportioned to form a slurry which can be spread evenly on a road surface (as in bituminous slurry surfacing). bitumen. blown bitumen – See bitumen. weather and other external factors. open graded. bitumen. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the elongation length. Also known as asphalt in North America. emulsion – A colloidal suspension of a liquid (the dispersed phase) in another liquid (the continuous phase) in which it is not soluble. which is substantially soluble in organic solvents. vacuum – A refinery process that separates components in a crude petroleum oil by virtue of their different boiling points.

IRF – International Road Federation. penetration index (PI) – The penetration index represents a quantitative measure of the temperature susceptibility of bitumen and is determined by calculation from two penetration values determined at different temperatures. such as automotive diesel fuel. mineral aggregate – See aggregate. The role of a prime is to penetrate and bind the substrate surface and provide a waterproof bonding layer between the existing pavement and the subsequent sprayed seal or asphalt layer. fluxed. or more often a blend of bitumen with flux or cutter oils. when applied to the surface of aggregate particles. fog seal – See surface enrichment.075mm in size. usually during hot storage. polymer – Long thread-like molecule made up from small. primer binder – A material which is more viscous than a primer that is used to act both as a primer and binder and used in primer sealing. Adhesion agents may also sometime be added. high stress seal (HSS) – A sprayed seal which is applied specifically to withstand heavier than normal traffic loading due to braking. serves to enhance the adhesion of those particles to bituminous binders in sprayed seal applications. ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) – A plastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen. reseal – A sprayed seal applied to a surface which has an existing seal. single/double seal – A sprayed seal constructed by applying a single application of bituminous binder followed by a double application of aggregate. A multigrade bitumen will exhibit a higher viscosity at a high service temperature and a lower viscosity at a low service temperature than an equivalent normal paving grade bitumen. Polymers typically used in bitumen have molecular weights of several hundred thousand. Eurobitume – European Bitumen Association. rubber – See crumb rubber. sand – A non-cohesive granular material. bitumen – See bitumen emulsion mineral filler – See filler. Also called stiffness. Portland cement – Hydraulic cement made by heating to a high temperature a mixture of clay and limestone and grinding the resulting clinker to a fine powder. scrap rubber – See crumb rubber. and which may be reutilised in new asphalt pavement layers. or more accurately. kinematic viscosity – The ratio of dynamic viscosity to density of a material. but does not continue to burn. hot mix (HMA) – See asphalt. rolling thin film oven test (RTFOT) – A laboratory test to simulate the ageing a bituminous binder will undergo in an asphalt mixing plant. primer – A bituminous material of low viscosity and low surface tension used in priming. which is constructed by applying a primer binder with a fine cover aggregate. prime – An application of a bituminous material (primer) to a prepared base as a preliminary treatment to a more permanent surfacing. particle size distribution – The percentages of the various sizes of aggregate or filler as determined by sieving. reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) – Material reclaimed from an asphalt pavement. SA – Standards Australia. accelerating and turning vehicles. softening point and viscosity measurements. Typically derived from crushed aggregate. which is used to produce a longterm reduction in the viscosity of bitumen. pyrophoric deposit – A deposit often found on the inside surfaces of bitumen storage tanks and normally formed in an oxygen depleted environment. rheometer – An instrument for measuring the rheological properties (deformation and flow characteristics) of materials. flash point – The lowest temperature at which the vapour of a material momentarily catches fire when a flame is applied. time and temperature.36 mm in size. polymer and other additives made under carefully controlled conditions and which has enhanced binder performance for particular applications. which results from the natural disintegration of rock and consists mainly of mixtures of irregular or subangular and rounded particles. ethylene methyl acrylate (EMA) – A plastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen. segregation – The separation of polymer from bitumen. QDMR – Queensland Department of Main Roads. May be used for creep tests. flux oil – A substantially non-volatile petroleum diluent. paving grade. Precoats can be water-based. polybutadiene (PBD) – An elastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen.basics 22 23 emulsion. microsurfacing – A bituminous slurry. rheology – The study of flow and deformation of materials. Alternative equations exist that calculate PI from a combination of penetration. seal coat – See sprayed seal. primer seal – A preliminary sprayed seal treatment intended to carry traffic for an interim period. which can be selfheating when its temperature or the surrounding oxygen concentration is increased. Often a cutback bitumen. residual bitumen – See bitumen. which is normally less than 0. multigrade bitumen – A bitumen produced in a special refinery process to modify the temperature susceptibility otherwise characteristic of normal bitumen. viscosity measurement. paving grade bitumen – See bitumen. is a liquid that. polymer modified binder (PMB) – A pre-formed blend of bitumen. repeating units or monomers. RTA NSW – Roads and Traffic Authority New South Wales. which sometimes results in polymer concentrations increasing in the top layers and decreasing in the bottom layers of PMBs held in storage. set up – To harden or cure. plastomer – A polymeric material that exhibits predominantly plastic flow properties. Also known as grading. dynamic tests. maltenes – Lower molecular weight compounds in bitumen which are soluble in normal heptane. precoat – A precoat. either by evaporation of volatiles or natural oxidation by air. open-graded asphalt – See asphalt. foamed bitumen – Hot bitumen to which steam or water has been added to temporarily greatly expand its volume by creating a foamed state. IPWEA – Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia. Normally derived as a by-product of lubricant base oil manufacture. fluxed bitumen – See bitumen. straight run. usually under 2. correction courses and wearing courses. propane-precipitated asphaltenes (PPA) – Asphaltene material obtained as a precipitate from a mixture of vacuum residue in propane. Molecular Weight may range from a few thousand to millions. that is capable of being applied in variably thick layers for rut-filling. neat diesel. Typically applied to new granular pavements prior to the placement of an asphalt overlay. . polyethylene (PE) – A plastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen. pavement – The road structure placed above the subgrade. filler – A finely divided mineral powder. penetration – An indication of the softness of a bituminous binder and measured as the vertical distance penetrated by a standard needle entering a bituminous binder sample under specified conditions of load. an aggregate precoating fluid. sedimentation – The process whereby the more dense bitumen droplets settle out of the less dense continuous aqueous phase of a bitumen emulsion to form a sediment. modulus – The ratio of a component of stress to a component of strain. open-graded (OGA). although cement and lime are also used as filler. usually by cold milling. etc. which usually contains polymer.

usually without added polymer. stone mastic (SMA). stone mastic asphalt (SMA) – See asphalt. stabilisation – The treatment of a road pavement or subgrade material by the introduction of a bituminous binder to improve its engineering strength. which is typically obtained by the destructive distillation of coal. styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) – An elastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen. viscometer – An instrument for measuring the viscosity of a material. sprayed seal – A thin layer of bituminous binder sprayed onto a pavement surface followed by the application of a layer of single-sized aggregate. Usually determined by the ring and ball softening point test. the polymer backbone of which is made up of randomly distributed styrene and butadiene monomers. through internal friction. vacuum residue (vacres) – The residue obtained in the vacuum distillation of atmospheric residue. softening point – The temperature at which a bituminous binder softens under standard specified conditions. to fall through the disc for a prescribed distance.basics 24 25 single/single seal – A sprayed seal constructed by applying a single application of bituminous binder followed by a single application of aggregate. which measures the temperature at which a disc of the binder softens sufficiently to allow a standard steel ball. Used to waterproof an underlying cracked pavement surface. styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) – An elastomeric polymer used in the modification of bitumen. VicRoads – The Victorian road authority. voids – See air voids. slurry seal – A surface treatment consisting of a thin layer of bituminous slurry. straight run.e. A high temperature susceptibility indicates a large change in viscosity with temperature. wearing course – The surface layer of a pavement that is in direct contact with traffic. tar – A viscous solid. temperature susceptibility – The change in viscosity of a bituminous binder with change in temperature. polybutadiene and polystyrene polymer blocks in either a linear or radial formation. viscoelasticity – The rheological characteristic of a bituminous binder represented by both viscous and elastic behaviour. slurry surfacing – See bituminous slurry. straight-run bitumen – See bitumen. behaviour which is like that of both a solid and a liquid. strain alleviating membrane (SAM) – A sprayed seal in which the bituminous binder is formulated to reduce reflective cracking. surface enrichment – A light application of bituminous binder to an existing sprayed seal for the purpose of increasing its binder volume and extending its service life. strain alleviating membrane interlayer (SAMI) – Similar to a SAM. . Also known as synthetic rubber. semi-solid. usually by the incorporation of polymer. the polymer backbone of which is made up by joining polystyrene. black in colour and having adhesive properties. or to provide a working platform for placement of the base course. in response to an applied stress. Also known as surface dressing (UK) and chip seal (NZ). i. it resists movement and expressed as the stress divided by the strain rate. initially placed on the surface. viscosity – The property of a fluid whereby. wood or shale. to prevent intrusion of the subgrade into the base. or liquid material. subbase – The material laid on the subgrade to either make up additional pavement thickness. tack coat – A light application of a bituminous binder to a prepared base as a preliminary treatment to promote surface adhesion of the subsequent asphalt layer. but provided as an interlayer between pavement layers to reduce the likelihood of cracks reflecting through the top asphalt layer from the underlying pavement. stiffness – See modulus. subgrade – The soil foundation below a pavement.

and licensed to BP Australia Pty Ltd for use in Australia.l. Newtown.basics BP Bitumen Australia For advice on which product to use to meet your specific job requirements. Western Australia PO Box 2131. please contact us: On the web: www. BP. 360 Elizabeth Street. The material contained in this Guide is protected by copyright. Tasmania PO Box 282. © BP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 53 004 085 616. Melbourne 3000. loss or damage incurred in connection with use of the information provided in this By e-mail: Altona North. Aquabit and the Helios Design are registered trade marks of BP p. Altona North VIC 3025 Telephone: (03) 8368 8700 Facsimile: (03) 8368 8702 Western Australia BP Bitumen Kwinana Mason Road. Victoria PO Box 495. Australia. Victoria PO Box 495. 27 .BPBitumen. BP and its subsidiaries are not liable for any Technical Helpline: 1800 24 88 66 Or contact the BP Bitumen sales manager in your region. Melbourne Central. Multibit. Please contact BP Bitumen staff to ensure you have access to the most current information and for advice relating to any particular circumstances. BP Bitumen Offices Head Office BP Bitumen Australia 55 Toll Drive. wam9774.c. BP Australia Pty Ltd (BP) makes no warranty as to the completeness or accuracy of the information provided and. 701 Kingsford Smith Drive Hamilton. Printed October 2007. Altona North VIC 3025 Telephone: (03) 8368 8700 Facsimile: (03) 8368 8701 Queensland / New South Wales / Northern Territory BP Whinstanes Building B. Rockingham WA 6167 Telephone: (08) 9419 9712 Facsimile: (08) 9419 9820 The information provided in this Guide is of a general nature and should only be used as a guide. to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. Moonah TAS 7009 Telephone: (03) 6278 1310 Facsimile: (03) 6278 2205 Victoria / South Australia BP Bitumen Altona 55 Toll Drive. Queensland 4007 PO Box 718. Altona North. Kwinana. Hamilton QLD 4007 Telephone: (07) 3364 7093 Facsimile: (07) 3364 7102 Tasmania BP Bitumen Selfs Point Selfs Point Road. Olexobit.

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