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Laboratory Individual Asphalt Binder Tests of the Asphalt Institute

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Individual Asphalt Binder Tests


Individual Asphalt Binder Tests

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Direct Tension (DTT) | Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR)
Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) | Rolling Thin Film Oven (RTFO)
Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV) | Absolute Viscosity
Kinematic Viscosity | Rotational Viscosity | Penetration | Specific Gravity
Softening Point | Flash Point | Solubility (ASTM D2042) | Ductility
Elastic Recovery | Force Ductility | Screen Test | Thin Film Oven
Separation | Apparent Viscosity of Non-Newtonian Bitumens (ASTM D4957)
Direct Tension (DTT)
Used to measure failure properties of an asphalt binder at low (i.e., -12ºC) temperatures. Provides an
indication of the failure stress and strain of an asphalt binder. The Direct Tension Test was originally used as a
referee test when the m-value from BBR results passed but the estimated stiffness failed and was between 300
and 600 MPa. If the average strain value from the DTT was 1% or more, it could be assumed the binder was
sufficiently elastic at the tested low temperature range.
More recently, the Direct Tension is being implemented as one test in the determination of low temperature
critical cracking. Used in conjunction with the Bending Beam Rheometer and software that incorporates the
data from both tests we are able to better characterize low temperature binder properties. The critical cracking
temperature is considered to be the point at which the maximum stress at a given temperature exceeds the
strength of the material.
Bending Beam Rheometer (BBR)
Used to measure the flow properties of liquid asphalt binders at low (i.e., -12ºC) temperatures. Is analogous
to the DSR – which is not used at low temperatures because of the torque capability of the equipment.
Operates on engineering beam principles. A fixed static load is applied to an asphalt binder beam of known
dimensions. The resulting deflection is measured and the flexural stiffness reported as a function of time.
Provides an indication of the low temperature stiffness and cracking potential of an asphalt binder.
Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR )
Also known as an oscillatory shear rheometer. Is used to measure the flow properties of liquid asphalt binders
at intermediate (i.e., 20ºC) to high (i.e., 64ºC) temperatures. Works by applying a sinusoidal shear stress to
produce a resulting shear strain. The complex shear modulus (G*) is a ratio of the applied shear stress ( t ) to
the resulting shear strain ( g ). The phase angle, d , (related to the time lag between input and output signals)
provides a relative indication of the viscous and elastic behavior of the asphalt binder.
Materials with a phase angle of 90 degrees are completely viscous; while materials with a phase angle of 0
degrees are completely elastic. At intermediate temperatures, such as 20ºC, asphalt binders are said to be
viscoelastic (phase angle near 45 degrees).

Contents Top
Rolling Thin Film Oven (RTFO)
The RTFO simulates the ‘thin films' of binder as they are exposed to heat and forced air during the mixing
process and placement. A sample is poured into a cylindrical bottle and rotated horizontally at approximate
mixing temperatures. As the bottle rotates and air is blown over the sample, new thin films are exposed
simulating the binder coating on the aggregate during mixing.
Lighter oils are driven off and some oxidation occurs. A mass change determination is made and because
RTFO-aged asphalt binder is approximately 2-3 times the viscosity of the unaged asphalt binder, it is tested to
determine whether the desirable viscoelastic properties have been maintained.


asphalt cements have been classified into standard grades. Samples of asphalt loaded with steel balls are confined in brass rings suspended in a beaker of water. Contents Top Flash Point Used to determine the temperature at which asphalt binder fumes first may flash. Asphalt Binders are exposed to high temperature (100ºC) and air pressure (2.07 MPa) for 20 hours to simulate long-term aging. this temperature is usually 230ºC or higher. The elastic recovery test determines these characteristics by using the ductility apparatus to stretch a sample. it is cut and allowed to recover. but it is equally important for it to recover to its original shape. Absolute Viscosity Traditional method of determining the viscosity of asphalt binders at 60ºC. After mixing and placement. “Dog-bone” shaped specimens are pulled at a constant rate until the sample 25ºC).Laboratory Individual Asphalt Binder Tests of the Asphalt Institute Page 2 of 3 Pressure Aging Vessel (PAV) One of the limitations of some of the older grading systems is the inability to simulate actual aging conditions of asphalt binder as it goes through production. For common paving asphalt binders. glycerine or ethylene glycol. Solubility (ASTM D2042) A measure of purity of the asphalt cement. Resistance to flow is measured as the torque applied to a spring and converted to viscosity. Resulting viscosity of the PAV-aged asphalt binder is approximately 8+ times the viscosity of the unaged asphalt binder. In testing. Contents Top Kinematic Viscosity Traditional method of determining the viscosity of asphalt binders at 135ºC. A needle is allowed to bear on the surface of the asphalt cement for 5 seconds. The inability to do this results in permanent deformation. Uses viscosity tubes and vacuum.. 25 o C. particularly. Similar to absolute viscosity except that an oil bath is used (instead of a water bath) and no vacuum is required. further oxidation will occur over the service life of the pavement. Another method to check continuity. Used in mix designs to provide representative temperatures for mixing and compaction of asphalt mixtures. http://www. The liquid is heated at a prescribed rate.asphaltinstitute. A prerequisite of eligibility to be graded in the Superpave system. Apparent Viscosity is performed in a similar fashion as Absolute but uses several points or vacuum levels. Contents Top Elastic Recovery When a tire passes over a section of pavement. 135ºC). Contents Top Penetration An empirical measure of asphalt 9/18/2014 . An indication of temperature susceptibility. Also used to check continuity in source and process. the temperature of the water is considered the softening point. in a temperature controlled water bath. it is desirable for that pavement to have the ability to "give". The distance that needle penetrates is the penetration measurement. May also be used to determine the fire point (temperature at which the asphalt binder ignites and burns).e. insolubles cannot exceed 1%. After the sample has reached a specified elongation. Viscosity is calculated from the time required for the asphalt binder to flow between two successive marks. or spark. An element of the Viscosity Grading system. When the asphalt touches the plate. Active cementtious constituents will be soluble in trichloroethylene while non-cementing matter is not. Specific Gravity Softening Point Used primarily as a consistency check for modified asphalts. As the asphalt cement softens. mixing placement and. Operates as a rotating cylinder within a fixed sample cylinder (within a thermal-controlled chamber). Performing absolute viscosity (AASHTO T202) assumes that the material is newtonian or that its viscosity does not depend on the applied shear rate. Based on this test. long term aging. Rotational Viscosity Used to measure viscosity (kinematic) at high temperatures (i. the balls and asphalt sink a plate. The PAV was refined during the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) to subject asphalt binders to the long-term aging expected after 5-15+ years of service in an asphalt pavement. Ductility Used to determine the ductile (ability to stretch) behavior of asphalt binders at intermediate temperatures (4. a container of asphalt cement is heated to the standard test temperature. Apparent Viscosity of Non-Newtonian Bitumens (ASTM D4957) Measures viscosity at different shear rates.

org/lab_services/individual-asphalt-binder-tests. this method uses tubes that have been filled with binder and stored for a period of time in an TFO is an element of both the Penetration and Viscosity grading systems. Asphalt Institute. To determine if a binder is susceptible to separation. Primarily used on polymerized binders. Separation After lengthy storage at elevated temperatures. all rights reserved. a method of determining the homogeneity of a sample. a computer measures stress at time intervals as a sample is 9/18/2014 .Laboratory Individual Asphalt Binder Tests of the Asphalt Institute Page 3 of 3 Force Ductility Utilizing the ductility apparatus. some binders can separate and cause properties to vary from the top to the bottom of the storage tank. Contents Top Thin Film Oven This test produces mass change data and a residue that approximates changes that occur during mixing and the condition of the asphalt as placed in the pavement.asphaltinstitute. The specimen is poured through a sieve and retained particles are noted. favoriteroad. Triangle logo.O. http://www.T. force ductility is a method to determine the stress. R18LabQMS and Asphalt magazine are all trademarks of the Asphalt Institute. Contents Top Request more information about any of the Asphalt Institute Laboratory services. strain characteristics of a given binder. The tube is frozen and cut so that measurements can be made on the top and bottom thirds of the material. Contact Us | Industry Links | Screen Saver | News | Events | ASPHALT Magazine | About AI | Our Members | Search | Disclaimer | Unsubscribe © Asphalt Institute. Screen Test Used by selected D.s.