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Penetration Grade Bitumen

Penetration bitumen, also called as refinery bitumen or petroleum bitumen, is produced in a variety of viscosities by fractional / vacuum distillation of crude oil.
Penetration Grade Bitumen or Paving Grade Bitumen is a standard bitumen which is known as a crucial element for road construction to make asphalt with excellent properties and some industrial applications. It is very important in binding the aggregates and providing unique cohesion and stability to the bituminous mix. This grade of bitumen is mainly used in the production of hot mix asphalt for base and surface courses.
The penetration grading system was developed in the early 1900s to characterize the consistency of semi-solid asphalts. This method categorized bitumen based on their hardness. A sample’s hardness is assessed by putting a certain type of needle into it and measuring the depth to which the needle can penetrate the sample in a given time and temperature. This is known as the standard penetration test, and the bitumen tested in this manner is known as paving or penetration bitumen (Paving grades).
The penetration grade of bitumen is specified and graded based on penetration and softening point tests. The essential premise of penetration grading is that the deeper the needle penetrates, the less viscous the asphalt. This penetration depth is experimentally correlated with the performance of the asphalt binder. As a result, Bitumen or asphalt binders with a lower penetration rate (known as “hard”) are utilized in regions with warm climates, whereas bitumen or asphalt binders with a greater penetration rate (known as “soft”) are used for cold climates.
The penetration numbers acquired by the penetration test reflect the bitumen’s hardness. The hardest bitumen is 15 “pen” bitumen, while the softest is 450pen bitumen. The phrase “penetration grade bitumen” is frequently shortened to “pen bitumen” or simply “pen bit” in the construction sector.

Application

Penetration grade bitumen: An Ideal Bitumen for Road Construction

Penetration grades are ideal bitumen for asphalt and Road Construction due to their durability and temperature resistance.
This type of bitumen is most commonly used for manufacturing of bitumen emulsions, polymer modified binders and cutback bitumen and also for the manufacture of hot mixed asphalt as a tack coat in surface treatment.

The bitumen penetration can be classified into the following grade types:

Bitumen Penetration Grade 30/40 Specifications

30/40 bitumen means penetration grade bitumen type which its penetration is in the range 30 to 40 mm at 25 degree Celsius. Bitumen 30/40 is a hard grade of bitumen. This grade is one of the most used bitumen grades for road construction in tropical areas.

As the hot weather of these regions can be a challenge for mixtures of asphalt, bitumen 30/40 is offered due to its high air blowing and penetration value.

Bitumen grade 30/40 is produced from the vacuum residue in a refinery. 

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm3040
Softening PointASTM D36°C5160
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.5
Drop in Penetration after HeatingASTM D5%-20
Flash PointASTM D92°C250-
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT99.5-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 40/50 Specifications

Bitumen 40/50 indicates that the penetration value is in the range of 40 to 50 at standard laboratory conditions.

To be more specific, the penetration value of this grade is between 4 to 5 mm. This grade of bitumen is also known as the paving grade of bitumen. It is produced by aeration of vacuum bottoms in bitumen production units.

Bitumen 40/50 is suitable for road construction and asphalt pavements. This type of bitumen is applicable in manufacturing hot mix asphalt for bases and wearing courses. Another usage of this product is on the roads in tropical regions.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm4050
Softening PointASTM D36°C5260
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.5
Drop in Penetration after HeatingASTM D5%-20
Flash PointASTM D92°C250-
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT99.5-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 50/70 Specifications

Bitumen 50/70 is a semi hard type of bitumen which is mostly applied in construction and asphalt repair.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sEN 1426 0.1mm5070
Softening PointEN 1427 °C4654
Kinematic Viscosity@135 °CEN 12595 CST295-
Penetration Index EN12591mm-1.5 + 0.7
Flash PointEN 2592 °C 230-
Solubility in Toluene or Xylene EN 12592%WT 99-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 60/70 Specifications60

Bitumen 60/70, just like other penetration grades, is produced through a blowing process in a refinery. Visit the bitumen production process page to know more details about air blowing process in a refinery.

Due to its medium air blowing and penetration, it is suitable for mild areas. It’s applicable in road constructions. As it is neither hard or soft, it’s highly recommended in a temperate climate.

This grade of bitumen is mainly used for pavement of roads suitable for commercial traffic.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.06
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm6070
Softening PointASTM D36°C4956
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.2
Drop in Penetration after HeatingASTM D5%-20
Flash PointASTM D92°C250-
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT99-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 70/100 Specifications

70/100 Penetration Grade Bitumen is used as the base bitumen for the manufacture of the majority of bitumen emulsions and polymer modified binders.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CEN 15326 kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sEN 1426 0.1mm70100
Softening PointEN 1427 °C4353
Ductility at 25 °CEN 13589 Cm100-
Loss on Heating EN 12607 %WT-0.5
Flash Point EN 2592 °C 225-
Solubility in Trichloroethylene EN 12592 %WT 99-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 80/100 Specifications

Bitumen 80/100 grade is a semi-soft grade of bitumen which is appropriate for cold regions.

This grade is notably used in northern Africa especially Kenya and Tanzania market. 

Although this bitumen grade has been used in many countries, it has been mostly used in East African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.

Infinity Galaxy company is proud to have the responsibility of exporting bitumen grade 80/100 to great costumers of these two countries.

If you require to know the steps of buying bitumen in Kenya, you can read the page Buy Bitumen in Kenya, to get more information.

It should be noted that having PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) and GIS (Government and Institution Services) documents is mandatory for exporting bitumen grade 80/100 to Mombasa port of Kenya. Besides, the drums must have the specific marking approved by Mombasa customs in Kenya. For exporting to other East African countries, PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) and GIS (Government and Institution Services) inspection are not required anymore. Only SGS inspection is needed for the commodity entrance.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm80100
Softening PointASTM D36°C4252
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.5
Flash PointASTM D92°C250-
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT99.5-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 85/100 Specifications

Bitumen 85/100 grade is a type of bitumen with the penetration value of 85 to 100 mm.

Due to its low air blowing and penetration value, it is suitable for cold regions. 85/100 grade does not crack in low temperatures.

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm85100
Softening PointASTM D36°C4252
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.5
Flash PointASTM D92°C225-
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT99-

Bitumen Penetration Grade 100/120 Specifications

Bitumen 100/120 is a standard penetration grade

Specification Test MethodUnitMin. Max.
Specific Gravity at 25 °CASTM D70kg/m³1.011.05
Penetration at 25 °C, 100g, 5sASTM D50.1mm100120
Softening PointASTM D36°C4249
Ductility at 25 °CASTM D113Cm100-
Loss on Heating ASTM D6%WT-0.2
Flash PointASTM D92°C-250
Solubility in TrichloroethyleneASTM D2042%WT-99.5

Bitumen Penetration Grade 10/20

Bitumen Penetration Grade 20/30

Bitumen Penetration Grade 30/40

Bitumen Penetration Grade 35/50

Bitumen Penetration Grade 40/50

Bitumen Penetration Grade 40/60

Bitumen Penetration Grade 50/70

Bitumen Penetration Grade 60/70

Bitumen Penetration Grade 70/100

Bitumen Penetration Grade 80/100

Bitumen Penetration Grade 85/100

Bitumen Penetration Grade 100/120

Bitumen Penetration Grade 100/130

Bitumen Penetration Grade 100/150

Bitumen Penetration Grade 120/150

Bitumen Penetration Grade 150/200

Bitumen Penetration Grade 160/220

Bitumen Penetration Grade 200/300

Bitumen Penetration Grade 250/330

  • The softest degree is called Bitumen Penetration 250/330.
  • The hardest degree is called Bitumen Penetration 10/20.