Use cases for asphalt and bitumen testing

Using analytical instruments at key points in asphalt and bitumen quality testing helps increase productivity and maximize returns.

Analysis of asphalt and bitumen and their additives at the refinery ensures that they meet the specifications. Anton Paar’s measuring instruments and dedicated asphalt testing solutions deliver valuable insights into material properties which affect processing of your asphalt and bitumen, such as long-term stability and consistency, as well as behavior in storage and during transportation. The right measuring instruments optimize your products so they withstand all environmental conditions.
Area
  • Asphalt and bitumen analysis at refineries
  • Asphalt and bitumen testing during distribution
  • Asphalt and bitumen testing for consumers and testing labs
  • Show all
Use case
  • Accurately measuring and matching the density of bituminous semi-solids, asphalt binders, and mixtures with paving requirements
  • Calculating asphalt and bitumen mass for quick, flawless trading
  • Checking the behavior of roofing shingles at different temperatures and humidities
  • Classifying bitumen based on accurate penetration testing
  • Determining sample behavior over a wide range of frequencies
  • Determining the rheological low-temperature properties of asphalt binders
  • Determining the viscosity of asphalt binders to assure pumpability, mixability, and processability in compliance with ASTM or AASHTO
  • Developing asphalt and bitumen emulsions with long-term stability
  • Developing asphalt/bitumen emulsions with long-term stability
  • Developing bitumen emulsions to meet design specifications and performance criteria
  • Developing new DSR software templates from scratch, or adapting existing ones
  • Ensuring bitumen complies to fire safety regulations and product specifications during transportation and storage
  • Ensuring bitumen complies to fire safety regulations and product specifications for further processing
  • Ensuring that asphalt doesn't crack in winter
  • Fulfilling all international standards for asphalt and bitumen testing
  • Increasing sample throughput when measuring density and specific gravity of bitumen and asphalt binders for mass-to-volume conversion
  • Measuring rheological properties of asphalt binders regularly and quickly
  • Measuring the behavior of ground tire rubber modified asphalt binders
  • Performing temperature calibration at regular intervals to ensure constant measurements
  • Receiving new DSR software protocols after release of country-specific standards updates for bitumen testing
  • Sample preparation for elemental analysis, asphalt / bitumen quality and properties assurance
  • Sample preparation for elemental analysis, asphalt / bitumen quality, and properties assurance
  • Verifying the material behavior of bitumen or asphalt mastics in solid state at low or intermediate temperatures
  • Viscosity analysis of asphalt and bitumen samples at different temperatures, with the benefit of fast heating and cooling rates
  • Show all

Asphalt and bitumen analysis at refineries

Performing temperature calibration at regular intervals to ensure constant measurements

RheoCompass™ rheometer software, in combination with the temperature calibration sets and sensors provided by Anton Paar, allows fully automated temperature calibration and verification procedures, even overnight. With Active Peltier systems, temperature calibration is just a click away at a deviation of ≤0.1°C – compliant to bitumen testing standards like AASHTO / ASTM / DIN EN / IS / GOST. 

Relevant products:

Fulfilling all international standards for asphalt and bitumen testing

Regulatory requirements for asphalt binder and bitumen testing have intensified significantly in recent years, especially as they relate to elasticity and flexibility. Analysis with high-performance instruments ensures that modern asphalt and bitumen products meet these requirements both in quality control and during product development. Anton Paar’s dynamic shear rheometers can analyze unmodified as well as modified asphalt binders and bitumen across a wide temperature range, for all kinds of bitumen, according to international standards methods.

Anton Paar offers a wide portfolio of measuring equipment fulfilling all current and upcoming standards for the asphalt and bitumen industry, including rotational rheometers and viscometers with a temperature range of up to 180 °C, a density meter for heavy petroleum samples, instruments to determine the consistency and brittle behavior of bitumen at low temperatures, and flash point testers for maximum safety during transportation and storage.

Product specifications

  • AASHTO M320, M332
  • ASTM D6373, D8239, D449, D2521, D3381, D5078, D6114
  • EN 13108, EN 14023, EN 12591

Standards

  • Density: D8188
  • Penetration: D5, EN 1426
  • Softening point: D36, EN 1427
  • Fraass Breaking Point: EN 12 593
  • Cleveland flash & fire point: D92, ISO 2592
  • Rheology:
    • AASHTO T315, T316, T350, TP101 UL, TP123, TP126
    • ASTM D7175, D4402, D7405, D7552
    • DIN EN13302, EN13702, EN16659

Relevant products:

Classifying bitumen based on accurate penetration testing

The patented sensor plunger with automatic surface detection enables more reliable and more accurate penetration test results in a fraction of the time required by manual methods. This ensures good repeatability at different locations due to the reduction of potential human error. The penetration value is crucial to determining the correct degree of bitumen hardness, and, in turn, the right bitumen type for the asphalt mixture.

Relevant products:

Measuring rheological properties of asphalt binders regularly and quickly

The rheometer's active Peltier elements, covering the upper and lower plate, help set the temperature in minutes, significantly reducing measurement and cleaning time. Additional functionalities, such as the Toolmaster™ feature, save even more time as the zero gap doesn’t have to be determined again before each measurement.

SmartPave 92’s air-cooled plates make the use of liquid counter-cooling devices obsolete, reducing maintenance costs and freeing up lab space.

Relevant products:

Developing bitumen emulsions to meet design specifications and performance criteria

Developing useful bitumen emulsions which can be easily stored, transported, and further processed usually means producing an emulsion with relatively low viscosity and high solid content. To better understand and fine-tune the application-relevant properties of your bitumen emulsions, you can use Anton Paar’s particle size analyzers to evaluate and optimize:

  • the size of bitumen emulsions from colloids, influencing coagulation and separation, bitumen-film formation, and adhesion strength of the final layer 
  • bitumen emulsion composition
  • particle size distribution

Relevant products:

Sample preparation for elemental analysis, asphalt / bitumen quality, and properties assurance

Multiwave 5000, in combination with Rotor 8, offers prime operating parameters and optimal reaction control, so samples can be fully digested for subsequent analysis. Setups for (chloride) extractions are available as well.

Easy-to-use Multiwave 7000 permits digestion of different asphalt binder / bitumen samples and sample amounts within a single run, delivering superior digestion quality at up to 300 °C and 199 bar for error-free elemental analysis.  

Relevant products:

Viscosity analysis of asphalt and bitumen samples at different temperatures, with the benefit of fast heating and cooling rates

The easy-to-use, stand-alone rotational viscometer ViscoQC 300, equipped with air counter-cooled PTD 175, allows fast heating (typically 9.4 K/min) and cooling (typically 2.3 K/min) between 45 °C and 175 °C (competitive systems are typically electrically heated and have no cooling functionality, so they need to cool down overnight before further analysis can be performed). Small sample adapter systems deliver the same results as your current rotational viscometer equipment. The optional V-Curve software package allows step programming on the stand-alone viscometer, as required for automated speed/shear rate tests and analyses, compliant to AASHTO T316 and ASTM D4402. 

Relevant products:

Determining the viscosity of asphalt binders to assure pumpability, mixability, and processability in compliance with ASTM or AASHTO

The RheolabQC rotational viscometer, equipped with air counter-cooled C-PTD 180/AIR/QC, allows for fast heating and cooling of the sample between 0 °C and 180 °C. Optional disposable cups reduce cleaning, and constant speed/shear rate tests as required per AASHTO T316 (and ASTM D4402) can be easily performed to analyze apparent viscosity.

Relevant products:

Asphalt and bitumen testing during distribution

Fulfilling all international standards for asphalt and bitumen testing

Regulatory requirements for asphalt binder and bitumen testing have intensified significantly in recent years, especially as they relate to elasticity and flexibility. Analysis with high-performance instruments ensures that modern asphalt and bitumen products meet these requirements both in quality control and during product development. Anton Paar’s dynamic shear rheometers can analyze unmodified as well as modified asphalt binders and bitumen across a wide temperature range, for all kinds of bitumen, according to international standards methods.

Anton Paar offers a wide portfolio of measuring equipment fulfilling all current and upcoming standards for the asphalt and bitumen industry, including rotational rheometers and viscometers with a temperature range of up to 180 °C, a density meter for heavy petroleum samples, instruments to determine the consistency and brittle behavior of bitumen at low temperatures, and flash point testers for maximum safety during transportation and storage.

Product specifications

  • AASHTO M320, M332
  • ASTM D6373, D8239, D449, D2521, D3381, D5078, D6114
  • EN 13108, EN 14023, EN 12591

Standards

  • Density: D8188
  • Penetration: D5, EN 1426
  • Softening point: D36, EN 1427
  • Fraass Breaking Point: EN 12 593
  • Cleveland flash & fire point: D92, ISO 2592
  • Rheology:
    • AASHTO T315, T316, T350, TP101 UL, TP123, TP126
    • ASTM D7175, D4402, D7405, D7552
    • DIN EN13302, EN13702, EN16659

Relevant products:

Classifying bitumen based on accurate penetration testing

The patented sensor plunger with automatic surface detection enables more reliable and more accurate penetration test results in a fraction of the time required by manual methods. This ensures good repeatability at different locations due to the reduction of potential human error. The penetration value is crucial to determining the correct degree of bitumen hardness, and, in turn, the right bitumen type for the asphalt mixture.

Relevant products:

Measuring rheological properties of asphalt binders regularly and quickly

The rheometer's active Peltier elements, covering the upper and lower plate, help set the temperature in minutes, significantly reducing measurement and cleaning time. Additional functionalities, such as the Toolmaster™ feature, save even more time as the zero gap doesn’t have to be determined again before each measurement.

SmartPave 92’s air-cooled plates make the use of liquid counter-cooling devices obsolete, reducing maintenance costs and freeing up lab space.

Relevant products:

Calculating asphalt and bitumen mass for quick, flawless trading

Measuring density is a well-established method for asphalt testing and characterization, quality control, and precise account settlement, where known volumes of bitumen need to be converted to mass. This requires sample handling (pre-heating) as well as measurements at elevated temperatures.

The unique digital density meter DMA 4200 M with its robust Hastelloy C276 measuring cell is ASTM D8188 compliant and by far the quickest method to determine bitumen density. It is also safe at temperatures up to 200 °C. The instrument has a number of benefits over traditional methods (including hydrometers and pycnometers):

  • automatic temperature control for only 2 mL sample volume
  • convenient cleaning routines with reduced solvent consumption, producing only minimum waste
  • results in a few minutes, freeing up operator time
  • minimum manual steps per operator, reducing potential human error

Relevant products:

Developing asphalt and bitumen emulsions with long-term stability

Bitumen emulsions must remain stable to avoid sedimentation during storage and transportation. Specifically tailored mixtures of emulsifiers and other additives are required. You can investigate the effects of emulsifiers and additives on the stability of the bitumen emulsion by measuring the zeta potential with Anton Paar’s particle analyzer Litesizer 500, using the patented cmPALS technique. Knowing the zeta potential can help you understand and modify the coagulation of bitumen particles, giving insights into long-term stability. Absolute zeta potential values higher than +/- 30 mV indicate a stable emulsion.

Relevant products:

Ensuring bitumen complies to fire safety regulations and product specifications during transportation and storage

Anton Paar’s flash point tester portfolio allows you to evaluate flammability and volatility to meet regulations and assign a hazard classification according to internationally accepted referee methods.

The automatic flash and fire point testers PMA 500 (closed-cup tester) and CLA 5 (open-cup tester) have the features you need to perform flash point tests for bitumen or other viscous samples which require preheating. Both instruments provide maximum safety for the operator. Manual flash point testing procedures, in comparison, are difficult to handle and error-prone.

PMA 500's electric igniter saves operational costs (more than 10x the lifetime of other comparable electric igniters), and its advanced cooling technology reduces measurement time by up to 10 %. For challenging bitumen and asphalt samples, the instrument is easy to clean: There are no open cables and the test cup can be easily disassembled.

Relevant products:

Asphalt and bitumen testing for consumers and testing labs

Performing temperature calibration at regular intervals to ensure constant measurements

RheoCompass™ rheometer software, in combination with the temperature calibration sets and sensors provided by Anton Paar, allows fully automated temperature calibration and verification procedures, even overnight. With Active Peltier systems, temperature calibration is just a click away at a deviation of ≤0.1°C – compliant to bitumen testing standards like AASHTO / ASTM / DIN EN / IS / GOST. 

Relevant products:

Fulfilling all international standards for asphalt and bitumen testing

Regulatory requirements for asphalt binder and bitumen testing have intensified significantly in recent years, especially as they relate to elasticity and flexibility. Analysis with high-performance instruments ensures that modern asphalt and bitumen products meet these requirements both in quality control and during product development. Anton Paar’s dynamic shear rheometers can analyze unmodified as well as modified asphalt binders and bitumen across a wide temperature range, for all kinds of bitumen, according to international standards methods.

Anton Paar offers a wide portfolio of measuring equipment fulfilling all current and upcoming standards for the asphalt and bitumen industry, including rotational rheometers and viscometers with a temperature range of up to 180 °C, a density meter for heavy petroleum samples, instruments to determine the consistency and brittle behavior of bitumen at low temperatures, and flash point testers for maximum safety during transportation and storage.

Product specifications

  • AASHTO M320, M332
  • ASTM D6373, D8239, D449, D2521, D3381, D5078, D6114
  • EN 13108, EN 14023, EN 12591

Standards

  • Density: D8188
  • Penetration: D5, EN 1426
  • Softening point: D36, EN 1427
  • Fraass Breaking Point: EN 12 593
  • Cleveland flash & fire point: D92, ISO 2592
  • Rheology:
    • AASHTO T315, T316, T350, TP101 UL, TP123, TP126
    • ASTM D7175, D4402, D7405, D7552
    • DIN EN13302, EN13702, EN16659

Relevant products:

Receiving new DSR software protocols after release of country-specific standards updates for bitumen testing

It’s crucial that testing labs receive the latest protocol updates for their DSR software. If there’s a change to a standards method, the RheoCompass™ rheometer software adapts or implements accordingly.

In addition to the methods for asphalt and bitumen, satisfying relevant international standards, such as DIN EN, AASHTO, ASTM FGSV, IS, SATS, GOST, and AGPT, additional templates from different industries, in various languages, are available.

Relevant products:

Developing new DSR software templates from scratch, or adapting existing ones

For asphalt/bitumen end consumers, obtaining easy access to new DSR software templates and easy adaptation of existing ones can be challenging. The RheoCompass™ rheometer software allows the user to easily build a completely new template from scratch or adapt a large selection of existing ones. There’s the option to quickly generate and adapt customized test definitions, covering all test steps, from sample preparation and measurement to analysis, post-processing, and reports, ensuring a high degree of automation, specifically for quality control purposes.

Relevant products:

Determining the rheological low-temperature properties of asphalt binders

With SmartPave 102e, low-temperature tests with different specimen shapes are possible – an ideal replacement for existing low-temperature testing methods. With the use of Peltier elements, you can quickly reach temperatures down to -40°C. Our Gas Chiller Unit enables attainment of temperatures down to -90°C without liquid nitrogen.

Relevant products:

Determining sample behavior over a wide range of frequencies

Each SmartPave 102e rheometer comes with the mastercurve analysis package (included in RheoCompass™ software), allowing users to view rheological data over a wide range of frequencies and temperatures – a requirement for several draft methods, such as the AASHTO phase angle method. The mastercurve package allows the use of commonly applied models.

Relevant products:

Checking the behavior of roofing shingles at different temperatures and humidities

SmartPave 102e, together with CTD 180 and a humidity generator, allows you to check the behavior of roofing materials from -20 °C to +180 °C, while controlling humidity and simulating real conditions as accurately as possible.

Relevant products:

Measuring the behavior of ground tire rubber modified asphalt binders

A dynamic shear rheometer's (DSR) regular plate-plate geometry system is, due to the large particles, usually not suitable to measure rubber modified binders. Anton Paar’s special Ground Tire Rubber (GTR) set can be used for a large number of tests in oscillation and rotational mode.

Relevant products:

Verifying the material behavior of bitumen or asphalt mastics in solid state at low or intermediate temperatures

The SmartPave series permits testing of solid bitumen, mastics, and mortar samples. Fixtures and molds are available in multiple shapes and diameters. Use the state-of-the-art fixtures to perform fatigue testing over a wide temperature and frequency range.

Relevant products:

Measuring rheological properties of asphalt binders regularly and quickly

The rheometer's active Peltier elements, covering the upper and lower plate, help set the temperature in minutes, significantly reducing measurement and cleaning time. Additional functionalities, such as the Toolmaster™ feature, save even more time as the zero gap doesn’t have to be determined again before each measurement.

SmartPave 92’s air-cooled plates make the use of liquid counter-cooling devices obsolete, reducing maintenance costs and freeing up lab space.

Relevant products:

Increasing sample throughput when measuring density and specific gravity of bitumen and asphalt binders for mass-to-volume conversion

Measuring density is a well-established method for asphalt testing and characterization, quality control, and precise account settlement, where known bitumen volume-to-mass conversion is necessary. This requires sample handling (pre-heating) as well as measurements at elevated temperatures.

The unique digital density meter DMA 4200 M with its robust Hastelloy C276 measuring cell is ASTM D8188 compliant and is by far the quickest method to determine bitumen density – safe at temperatures up to 200 °C. The instrument has a number of benefits over traditional methods (hydrometers, pycnometers):

  • automatic temperature control for only 2 mL sample volume
  • convenient cleaning routines with reduced solvent consumption, producing only minimum waste
  • results in a few minutes, freeing up operator time
  • minimum manual steps per operator, reducing potential human error

Relevant products:

Ensuring that asphalt doesn't crack in winter

To evaluate the performance and quality of asphalt and bitumen under the conditions of later application, many consistency-describing parameters must be checked. Anton Paar devices determine the Fraass breaking point (according to EN 12593) and bitumen consistency by needle penetration. Detect the brittle behavior of bitumen down to -45°C. This way you’ll be using the right bitumen for the asphalt mixture, ensuring streets make it through a cold winter without cracking.

Anton Paar’s automated test devices have clear advantages over manual methods:

  • guarantee of better repeatability through consistent measurement processes
  • less human input – fewer errors
  • reduction of required lab staff hours

Relevant products:

Developing asphalt/bitumen emulsions with long-term stability

Bitumen emulsions must remain stable to avoid sedimentation during storage and transportation. Specific tailoring of mixtures of emulsifiers and other additives is necessary. You can investigate the effects of emulsifiers and additives on the stability of the bitumen emulsion by measuring the zeta potential with Anton Paar’s particle analyzer Litesizer 500, using the patented cmPALS technique. Knowing the zeta potential can help you understand and modify the coagulation of bitumen particles, giving insights into long-term stability. Absolute zeta potential values higher than +/- 30 mV indicate a stable emulsion.

Relevant products:

Accurately measuring and matching the density of bituminous semi-solids, asphalt binders, and mixtures with paving requirements

Determination of bitumen purity and composition for quality control and manual classification of mixtures according to ASTM D70 using breakable glass pycnometer bottles is time-consuming and error-prone. Anton Paar's Ultrapyc gas pycnometer 5000 – with disposable metal cups – significantly reduces measurement time, and eliminates potential operator errors.

Relevant products:

Ensuring bitumen complies to fire safety regulations and product specifications for further processing

The automatic flash and fire point testers PMA 500 (closed-cup tester) and CLA 5 (open-cup tester) have the features you need to perform flash point tests for bitumen or other viscous samples which require preheating. Both instruments provide maximum safety for the operator. Manual flash point testing procedures, in comparison, are difficult to handle and error-prone.

PMA 500's electric igniter saves operational costs (more than 10x the lifetime of other comparable electric igniters), and its advanced cooling technology reduces measurement time by up to 10 %. For challenging bitumen and asphalt samples, the instrument is easy to clean: There are no open cables and the test cup can be easily disassembled.

Relevant products:

Sample preparation for elemental analysis, asphalt / bitumen quality and properties assurance

Multiwave 5000, in combination with Rotor 8, offers prime operating parameters and optimal reaction control, so samples can be fully digested for subsequent analysis. Setups for (chloride) extractions are available as well.

Easy-to-use Multiwave 7000 permits digestion of different asphalt binder / bitumen samples and sample amounts within a single run, delivering superior digestion quality at up to 300 °C and 199 bar for error-free elemental analysis.  

Relevant products:

Viscosity analysis of asphalt and bitumen samples at different temperatures, with the benefit of fast heating and cooling rates

The easy-to-use, stand-alone rotational viscometer ViscoQC 300, equipped with air counter-cooled PTD 175, allows fast heating (typically 9.4 K/min) and cooling (typically 2.3 K/min) between 45 °C and 175 °C (competitive systems are typically electrically heated and have no cooling functionality, so they need to cool down overnight before further analysis can be performed). Small sample adapter systems deliver the same results as your current rotational viscometer equipment. The optional V-Curve software package allows step programming on the stand-alone viscometer, as required for automated speed/shear rate tests and analyses, compliant to AASHTO T316 and ASTM D4402. 

Relevant products:

Determining the viscosity of asphalt binders to assure pumpability, mixability, and processability in compliance with ASTM or AASHTO

The RheolabQC rotational viscometer, equipped with air counter-cooled C-PTD 180/AIR/QC, allows for fast heating and cooling of the sample between 0 °C and 180 °C. Optional disposable cups reduce cleaning, and constant speed/shear rate tests as required per AASHTO T316 (and ASTM D4402) can be easily performed to analyze apparent viscosity.

Relevant products: