Penetration Grade Bitumen

MC-70 cutback bitumenA complete overview of grades, specifications, and applications See the Specifications Bitumen Penetration Grades

Penetration grade bitumen is unique for road construction in various environmental conditions. These grades of bitumen are named due to their level of hardness and consistency, which leads to the classification of bitumen in a range of grades from 30 to 120.

The main goal for grading bitumen based on penetration is to determine their suitability for use in various construction methods and under different climatic conditions. Known also as paving grade bitumen,  PEN grades are classified based on the depth into which a certain laboratory needle penetrates them. A penetration test is performed to indicate the hardness of bitumen. If the achieved figures were high, the tested bitumen is soft. It means that the needle has penetrated in more depth. On the contrary, lower figures show that the tested bitumen is hard and the penetration depth is shallow. For instance, when we say bitumen 60/70, the first number stands for minimum penetration, and the second one stands for maximum penetration.

Bitumen pen grades include 40/50, 60/70, 80/100, 85/100. Among all grades, bitumen 85/100 is the softest, and bitumen 40/50 is the hardest one. Below you can find a detailed guide on various grades of bitumen, their specification, and applications.

Slidebitumen penetration gradesVarious Grades of Bitumen Penetration Various grades of pen bitumen have different propertise and specifications

Bitumen PEN Grade 30/40

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.

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bulk

Specification of Bitumen Penetration Grade 30/40
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.05
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 30 40
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 51 60
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.5
Drop in penetration after heating ASTM D5 % 20
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 250
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99.5

 

Bitumen PEN Grade 40/50

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 bottom 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.

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bulk, Bitutainer

Usage and Application: Road construction, Asphalt pavements

Specification Bitumen Penetration Grade 40/50
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.05
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 40 50
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 52 60
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.5
Drop in penetration after heating ASTM D5 % 20
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 250
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99.5

 

Bitumen PEN Grade 50/70

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

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bitutainer, Bulk

Usage and Application: Asphalt, Paving

 

Specification Bitumen Penetration Grade 50/70
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s EN 1426 mm 50 70
Softening Point (Ring&Ball) EN 1427 °C 46 54
Kinematic Viscosity@135 C EN 12595 mm/S 295
Penetration Index EN 12591 – 1.5 + 0.7
Flash point (Cleveland Open) EN ISO 2595 °C 230
Solubility in Toluene or Xylene EN 12592 % 99

Bitumen PEN Grade 60/70

Bitumen 60/70, just like other penetration grades, is produced through a 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 nor soft, it’s highly recommended in a temperate climate.

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

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bitutainer, Bulk

Usage and Application: Road constructions and paving, especially where traffic is very heavy.

Specification of Bitumen Penetration Grade 60/70
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.06
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 60 70
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 49 56
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.2
Drop in penetration after heating ASTM D5 % 20
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 250
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99

Need to buy bitumen 60/70 for

less than its usual price?

Bitumen PEN Grade 70/100

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

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bitutainer, Bulk

Usage: Construction of single seals, double seals, and Cape seals, either as a tack Coat or penetration sprays

Specification Bitumen Penetration Grade 70/100
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.05
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 70 100
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 43 53
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.5
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 225
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99

 

Bitumen PEN Grade 80/100

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.

Specification of Bitumen Penetration Grade 80/100
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.05
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 80 100
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 42 52
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.5
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 225
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99

 

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.

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bitutainer, Bulk

Usage: road constructions, Asphalt, Paving

Country of use: Northern Africa, Kenya and Tanzania market

Need to buy bitumen 80/100 for

less than its usual price?

Bitumen PEN Grade 85/100

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.

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bitutainer, Bulk

Usage: Asphalt, Paving, Insulation

Specification of Bitumen Penetration Grade 85/100
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.05
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 85 100
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 42 52
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.5
Flash point ASTM D92 °C 225
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99

Bitumen PEN Grade 100/120

Bitumen 100/120 is a standard penetration grade.

Available Packing: New Steel Drum, Jumbo Bag, BituBag, Bulk

Usage: Road construction, Asphalt repair, Roof insulation

Specification of Bitumen Penetration Grade 100/120
CHARACTERISTICS TEST METHOD UNIT MIN. MAX.
Specific Gravity at 25°C ASTM D70 °C 1.01 1.04
Penetration at 25°C, 100g, 5s ASTM D5 mm 100 120
Softening Point ASTM D36 °C 42 49
Ductility at 25°C ASTM D113 Cm 100
Loss on heating ASTM D6 % 0.2
Flash point ASTM D92 °C  250
Solubility in Trichloroethylene ASTM D2042 % 99.5

Slidebitumen penetration grade applicationApplications of Bitumen Penetration Grades

Bitumen pen grades are mainly used in the manufacturing of hot mix asphalt for road base and wearing courses. To choose among various grades of bitumen penetration, many factors should be taken into account, including, the average temperature of the region, the level of traffic loads, and the type of soil.

The higher the penetration grade, the softer the bitumen. So 80/100 is much softer than 40/50. Soft bitumen is more suitable for soils with high particle density such as clay. On the other hand, high penetration graded bitumen works better for soils with low particle density.

Air temperature is another crucial factor in selecting penetration grade. If you are paving a road in a very cold or even hot region, be careful. If the bitumen is too soft or hard in the environment temperature, the possibility of cracking or deformation increases. Therefore, soft bitumen performs better in cold climates and hard bitumen works better in hot climates.

Considering the traffic load is also necessary when it comes to penetration grades. Softer grades like 60/70 show more durability exposing to heavy traffic loads. Accordingly, lower grades are used for paving roads with high traffic loads.

Before using penetration grade bitumen, pay attention to test results and other factors such as penetration grade, flash point, softening point, ductility, and specific gravity. Find out more details in this video. 

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