Bitumen is a product of crude oil distillation. It's a black, sticky and viscous material commonly used in road construction and waterproofing applications. The penetration
grade of bitumen refers to its level of hardness or stiffness, which is measured using a standard penetration test. Bitumen penetration test is done to evaluate the consistency and hardness of bitumen which helps to determine the penetration value.
Standard test method for bituminous penetration test is ASTM D5. ASTM International, known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization which develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services.
Steps to Bitumen Penetration Test:
The penetration value obtained would indicate how hard or soft the bitumen sample tested. Lower the penetration values indicate harder the bitumen and higher values
indicate softer bitumen. Based on the specific ranges of penetration values obtained, different penetration grades are assigned which will allow engineers and contractors to
select the appropriate bitumen grade for their intended applications.
Bitumen penetration grade testing is just one of several tests used to evaluate bitumen properties. Other tests, such as viscosity, softening point, and ductility tests, are often performed to obtain a comprehensive characterization of bitumen's behavior and suitability for various applications.