Bitumen MC30


Bitumen MC30 can be done on original (as-supplied) asphalt binder samples (called AC grading) or aged residue samples (called AR grading). The AR viscosity test is based on the viscosity of aged residue from the rolling thin film oven test. With AC grading, the asphalt binder is characterized by the properties it possesses before it undergoes the HMA manufacturing process. The AR grading system is an attempt to simulate asphalt binder properties after it undergoes a typical HMA manufacturing process and thus, it should be more representative of how asphalt binder behaves in HMA pavements. Table 1 lists key advantages and disadvantages of the viscosity grading system.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Viscosity Grading as stated below

Unlike penetration depth, viscosity is a fundamental engineering parameter.The principal grading (done at 25°C (77°F)) may not accurately reflect low-temperature asphalt binder rheology.

Test temperatures correlate well with:

  • 25°C (77°F) – average pavement temp.
  • 60°C (140°F) – high pavement temp.
  • 135°C (275°F) – HMA mixing temp.
When using the AC grading system, thin film oven test residue viscosities can vary greatly with the same AC grade. Therefore, although asphalt binders are of the same AC grade they may behave differently after construction.
Temperature susceptibility (the change in asphalt binder rheology with temperature) can be somewhat determined because viscosity is measured at three different temperatures (penetration only is measured at 25°C (77°F)).The testing is more expensive and takes longer than the penetration test
Testing equipment and standards are widely available.

The new method of grading the product has now rested on the viscosity of the Bitumen (at 60°C and 135°C). The new grades have thus evolved with nomenclature:

StandardGrading based on Original Asphalt (AC)Grading based on Aged Residue (AR)
AASHTO M 226AC-2.5AC-5AC-10AC-20AC-30AC-40AR-10AR-20AR-40AR-80AR-160
ASTM D 3381AC-2.5AC-5AC-10AC-20AC-30AC-40AR-1000AR-2000AR-4000AR-8000AR-16000
StandardGrades Minimum of AbsoluteViscosity, Poise@ 600°CApproximate penetration grade
IS73:2013VG 1080080-100
VG 201600
VG 30240060-70
VG 40320030-40/40-50

Viscocity grade over penetration grade several key issues are addressed, like:

Performance at high temperatures by adopting a viscosity-graded bitumen specification (based on viscocity at 60 °C), in place of the current penetration-graded specification (based on penetration at 25 °C)
Issues relating to compaction, which the tender asphalt mixtures create as push and shove under the roller wheels, have also addressed by having a requirement of minimum viscosity at 135°C, it will be helpful in minimizing the tender mix problems in the field.
Adoption of viscosity-graded paving bitumen specifications will also reduce the number of total tests to 7 Without compromising the quality of bitumen and also no new tests are required in implementing this specification.
Viscosity grades Bitumen are categorized according to Viscosity (degree of fluidity) grading. The higher the grade, the stiffer the Bitumen. In Viscosity Grade, Viscosity tests are conducted at 60°C and 135°C, which represents the temperature of road surface during summer and mixing temperature respectively. The penetration at 25°C, which is annual average pavement temperature, has been also retained in Specifications.

Viscosity Grade Bitumen Specification (ASTM D3381-09)

PropertyUnitsAC-10AC-20AC-30AC-40Test Methods
Viscosity, 140°F (60°C)P1000±2002000±4003000±6004000±800ASTM D-2171
Viscosity, 275°F (135°C), MincSt150210250300ASTM D-2171
Penetration, 77°F (25°C), 100g, 5sec, Min0.1MM70403020ASTM D-5
Flash point, Cleveland open cup, Min°C219232232232ASTM D-92
Solubility in trichloroethylene, Min%Wt99999999ASTM D-2042
Tests on residue from thin-film oven test:
  – Viscosity, 140°F (60°C), MaxP5,00010,00015,00020,000ASTM D-2171
  – Ductility, 77°F (25°C), 5cm/min, MinCM50201510ASTM D-113

Viscosity Grade Bitumen Specification (IS 73:2013)

PropertyUnitsVG-10VG-20VG-30VG-40Test Methods
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5sec, Min0.1MM80604535IS 1203
Absolute viscosity at 60°CP800-12001600-24002400-36003200-4800IS 1206 (Part 2)
Kinematic viscosity at 135°C, MincSt250300350400IS 1206 (Part 3)
Flash point (Cleveland open cup), Min°C220220220220IS 1448 [P : 69]
Solubility in trichloroethylene, Min%Wt99999999IS 1216
Softening point (R&B), Min°C40454750IS 1205
Tests on residue from thin film oven test:
  – Viscosity ratio at 60°C, Max 4444IS 1206 (Part 2)
  – Ductility at 25°C, MinCM75504025IS 1208

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