Penetration grade bitumen is one of the most common types of bitumen used in road construction. It is a petroleum-grade bitumen that is manufactured at different viscosities through fractional or vacuum distillation of crude oil.

This refinery bitumen consists of a wide category of bitumen, which includes more than 5 subgrades: bitumen 30/40, 40/50, 50/70, 60/70, 85/100, and 100/120. These subgrades differ in their level of stiffness—the lower the number, the harder the bitumen is. The level of stiffness of each subgrade is determined through the penetration method.

In this process, an expert pierces the bitumen while it is being maintained at 25ºC using a standard needle and measures the speed of penetration. For example, bitumen 30/40 has a penetration of between 30 to 40 mm, while the penetration of bitumen 60/70 is between 60 to 70 mm.

What are the Properties of Penetration Grade Bitumen?

Penetration grade bitumen has thermoplastic properties, causing it to soften and harden depending on the temperature set. The bitumen softens at high temperatures, while it hardens at lower temperatures.

Its distinctive temperature-viscosity relationship is essential in determining various performance parameters, such as the following:

  • Rheology
  • Adhesion
  • Durability
  • Application temperatures
road construction penetration grade bitumen

Where is Penetration Grade Bitumen Used?

Penetration grade bitumen is commonly used in road surfacing and industrial projects. It is one of the standard bitumen that is used as a paving grade bitumen and is essential in the production of high-quality asphalt pavements. This type of bitumen is also important because it bounds the aggregates and helps the bituminous mix become more stable and cohesive.

Among all the subgrades of penetration grade bitumen, the 60/70 is one of the most commonly used in road construction projects. It is usually mixed with aggregates to form hot mix asphalt and pave roads. Since it provides additional strength when mixed with the aggregates, the 60/70 bitumen is ideal for paving high-traffic roads. Additionally, this bitumen has excellent workability and cures quickly, meaning that roads can be paved faster and open to motorists sooner.

Another commonly used bitumen subgrade is the 85/100. It is a type of penetration grade bitumen with high heat-retention properties. Because the 85/100 bitumen holds heat longer, it allows the asphalt to be easily molded on the road.

Its heat-retention properties also allow the asphalt not to crack even in low temperatures. This makes the 85/100 bitumen the perfect choice for constructing sturdy and long-lasting roads in high-altitude and cold climate areas.

Why Choose Penetration Grade Bitumen?

Knowing the penetration grade of the bitumen you are using on your project will allow you to predict how it will behave in different conditions. For example, you will need lower penetration grade bitumen when constructing a road in areas with hot climates. This will help prevent the asphalt from softening too much in high temperatures. Additionally, using penetration grade bitumen on your road construction projects can help you save energy because of its better workability and compatibility with aggregates. This type of bitumen also offers better pavement performance, which means that the road you construct will last much longer

Choose a Bitumen Supplier You Can Trust

Acquiring first-rate penetration grade bitumen for your project is important to ensure the quality of its outcome. To accomplish this, you need to work with a reputable company that offers only the best products in the market. They should also be able to provide you with the information you need in order to choose the right subgrade for the job.

Contact us at Rua Seguridad if you would like to purchase penetration grade bitumen for your road construction project. We can also address any questions you may have regarding the product.