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Duhok Polytechnic University.



Asphalt Technology.
Second Stage.

Softening point
Prepared by : MUHAMMAD Akram
Place of the test: laboratory of duhok polytechnic University

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Introduction about this test

This test is highly important for blown asphalt because
the softening point of these materials should be well
above the temperature that they reach when exposed
to sun and which may higher than 65.6 0C

The range in softening point for paving asphalt is

very little.

Asphalt has never proved very great importance and

for paving asphalt many specifications are written
without softening point requirements
In general with materials of these types, softening
does not take place at a definite temperature
As the temperatures rise, these materials gradually
and imperceptibly change from brittle or exceedingly
thick and slow-flowing materials to softer and less
viscous liquids.

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Scope of this test:

This method of test describes a procedure for determination of the
softening point of asphalt and tar pitches having a softening point in
the range of (30-200 0C) by means of the ring and ball apparatus.

Softening point is the temperature at which a disk of the sample held
within a horizontal ring is forced download a distance of 1 in under the
weight of a steel ball as the sample is heated at a prescribed rate in a
water or glycerine bath.

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Ring-a brass ring 5/8 dia.
Ball-A steel ball,9.53 mm (3/8) in diameter, weighting between
3.45 and 3.55 g
Ball centering guide-A guide for centering the ball
Batch. A glass vessel , capable of being heated, not less than
8.5cm in diameter and not less than 12cm in depth from the
bottom of the flare
Ring Holder. The rings shall be supported on the ring holder as
shown in the assembly figure below.
Ring shall be supported in a horizontal position with bottom of the
ring 1 in above the upper surface of the vessel bottom. The depth
of liquid in the bath should be not less than 4 in
Thermometers , An ASTM Low softening point having a range -2
to 80 0C
An ASTM high softening point having a range of 30 to 200 0C

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Ring-a brass ring

Beaker of water with thermometer

Control burner machine

(Beaker of water with thermometer in going the asphalt to on a downward on
the plate)
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Liquid asphalt

Steel ball in

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center of mold

Ring a brass

Steel ball

Preparation of Sample:

Heat the sample with care to prevent local overheating with

constant stirring until it has become sufficiently fluid to pour
In no case however, should the temperature be raised to more than
560C above the expected softening point for tar pitch or 111 0C








incorporating air bubbles in the sample

Bring the asphalt sample to the pouring temperature in not more
than 2 hrs. Coal tar pitch should be brought to the desired pouring
conditions in minimum time, not exceeding 30 min.
Pour the heated sample into ring preheated to approximately the
pouring temperature. While being.
While being filled, the ring should rest a brass plate while has been
amalgamated to prevent the bituminous materials from adhering to it.
Cool for a minimum of 30 min. in no case should more than 240 min.

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Elapse before completion of test, samples which are soft at room

temperature, should be cooled a minimum 30 min. at a minimum of
80C below expected softening point.
After cooling, cut the excess material off cleanly with a slightly
heated knife or spatula. In case the test is repeated. Use a clean
container and fresh sample.

Procedure for materials having softening points 80 0C or below:

Assembly of Apparatus: assemble the apparatus with ring,

thermometer and ball centering guides in position and fill the bath
with freshly boiled distilled water 51 0C TO a depth not less than 4
in and not more than 4.25 in in maintain the bath temperature at 5

C for 15 min, placing the test container in ice water if necessary.

Using forceps, place a ball, previously adjusted to the bath

temperature each ball centering guide.
Heating. Apply heat in such a manner that the temperature of the
liquid is raised of 5

C per min. avoid the effect of drafts, using

shields if necessary.

Permissible variation in rise of temperature

The rate of rise of temperature shall be uniform and shall not be

averaged over the period of the test. The maximum permissible
variation for any minute period after the first three shall be 0.5 0C
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reject all tests in which the rate of rise does not fall within these

Record for ring and ball the temperature shown by the

thermometer at the instant the sample surrounding the ball touches
bottom vessel.

Signification and use

Bitumen does not suddenly change from solid to liquid state, but as the
Temperature increases it gradually becomes softer until it flows
readily. All semi-solid state bitumen grades need sufficient fluidity
before they are used for application with the aggregate mix. For this
purpose bitumen is sometimes cutback with a solvent like kerosene. The
common procedure, however, is to liquefy the bitumen by heating. The
softening point is the temperature at which the substance attains a
particular degree of softening under specified condition of test.
Softening point is found to be related with viscosity. Bitumen with
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higher softening point is also sometimes used to specify hard bitumen

and pitches.

Calculation and results:


Ball 1

Ball 2

48 C0

49 C0

Softening point (T)


Average value (C0)

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48.5 C0

Softening point / its a Soften of asphalt whishs determine sensitive
of asphalt with temperature till temperature increase the sensitive
asphalt will be decreased the asphalt is so good, but until the
temperature is lowed the sensitive asphalt will be increased.
Till the sensitive asphalt high it means that asphalt will be used in cold
place and until the sensitive low it means that asphalt will be used in
hot place.
However our machine was breaking down and we did not use it perfectly
so, our result was not a real softening point but

48.9 (C0)


good result .
Too many factor have effect to incorrect determine for instance
temperature of water need to gradually increase but we heated rapidly.
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First need the temperature of water will be increase in 5 C 0 till the

asphalt go downward on the plate.
The most important thing in this experiment is , the difference
between temperature of two balls must be 1 or 2 (C0)
would be better .

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but 1(C0)