Different Tests on Bitumen

As we know Bitumen is a binding material that binds mineral materials like aggregate, sand,etc together.

Generally bitumen which is used for exposed work have life period of about 10 years and 15-20 years for non-exposed works.

Many tests are carried out to check the quality and properties of bitumen. Some of them are :

1.Penetration Test

The main purpose of penetration testing is to determine the hardness and consistency of a bitumen.

Penetration Value is a vertical distance penetrated by a needle on bitumen under specific conditions of temperature, load, time,etc.


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2.Ductility Test

Ductility test is carried out for determining ductility of bitumen. Ductility is the capacity of bitumen to undergo significant plastic deformature before breaking or bursting.


3.Softening Point Test

This test is done to determine the softening of a bitumen under specific temperature.


4.Viscosity Test

viscosity test is used to determine viscosity of liquid bitumens. In this test, time in seconds is noted for 60 ml of the liquid bitumen at specified temperature to flow through an orifice of a specific size. The higher the viscosity of the bitumen more time will be required for a quantity to flow out


5. Specific Gravity Test

This is done for calculating rates of spread, asphaltic concrete mix properties etc.


6. Flash & Fire Point Test

Bitumen leaves out volatile at higher temperature. Volatile quantity depends upon grade of bitumen and temperature. These volatiles can catches fire which is very hazardous and therefore it is essential to qualify this temperature for each bitumen grade. BIS defined the flash point as the temperature at which the vapour of bitumen momentarily catches fire in the form of flash under specified test conditions. The lowest temperature under specified test conditions at which the bituminous material gets ignited and burns is fire point.


7. Float Test

Generally, The consistency of bituminous material is measured either by penetration test or viscosity test. But for certain range of consistencies, penetration and viscosity test is not applicable. So, Float test is used.


8. Water Content Test on Bitumen

We know that the bitumen contains minimum water content to prevent foaming of the bitumen when it is heated above the boiling point of water. Water content in bitumen is determined by mixing known weight of bitumen specimen in a pure petroleum distillate free from water, heating and distilling of the water .


9. Loss on heating

When bitumen is heated , it leaves out volatiles and causes loss in mass or weight. So this test is carried out to determine lossed mass.


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