9 tests to check the quality of bitumen for use in roadwork

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Several kinds of tests can be undertaken to check the quality of bitumen for use in roadwork. These tests will help to assess the temperature, consistency, and safety of the bitumen to be used in the whole process. The list of tests which can be undertaken with the help of bitumen testing equipment is mentioned as follows:

1.     The Penetration Test: This test will help in measuring the hardness or the level of softness of the sample of bitumen by taking measurements of the depth in tenths of a millimetre. The test has to be undertaken at temperatures of 25° Celsius. The penetration value of the test is largely affected by inaccuracy about the needle size and temperature-related things.

2.     The Ductility Test: This test will test its ability to undergo deformation or elongation under stress. The ductility can be defined as the distance in centimetre to which a normal sample of the material can be easily stretched without any kind of breaking. This kind of test can also get affected by several factors, and the minimum ductility value of 75% is considered ideal by the BIS.

3.     The Softening Point Test: This test will help in denoting the temperature at which the bitumen will be attaining a particular degree of softness. The temperature is also noted throughout the process when the softened bitumen will touch the plate. The higher level of the softening point will indicate lower susceptibility of the temperature, and it is also preferred in very hot climates.

4.     The specific gravity test: This is defined as the ratio of the mass of the content in a given volume to the mass of an equal volume of water at 27° Celsius. Special equipment is there to undertake this kind of test. The density is also affected by the chemical composition.

5.     The Viscosity Test: This kind of test will help in denoting the fluid properties of the whole bitumen material. The viscosity at the time of compaction is to be observed to find out the results in lower stability related values.

6.     The Flash and Fire Point Test: The fire point is termed as the lowest temperature under several specified conditions of the test at which the whole bitumen material will get ignited and will burn. The quality of the sample also affects this overall test.

7.     The Float Test: For a certain type of consistency of bitumen, the float test is used. Specific apparatus is used in this test, and the whole assembly is floated in the water bath at 50°C.

8.     The Water Content Test: It is always desirable that bitumen should contain minimum content of water so that foaming is prevented when it will be heated above its boiling point. So, for this purpose, this test has to be conducted.

9.     The Loss on the Heating Test: When the material is heated, it will lose the volatility and will get hardened. So, for this purpose, such kinds of tests help to find out the accuracy in the bitumen material.

Hence, the bitumen testing machine can also be used to conduct these kinds of tests to judge several qualities of the bitumen.

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