/Penetration Bitumen
Penetration Bitumen

Penetration Bitumen

Penetration Bitumen:

Bitumen 60/70, 80/10040/50, 160/220 ,…. are black semi solid heavy hydrocarbon which is last product of extract tower which by cool down of ambient temperature will convert to solid. In addition by increasing temperature, it will become semi solid then liquid. Main content of bitumen us hydrocarbon with high molecular weight contenting oil, resin and asphalten. Penetration Bitumen value test  is a measure of hardness or consistency of bituminous material. A 80/100 grade bitumen indicates that its penetration value lies between 80 & 100.

Production condition in various geographical

Nominal capacity of bitumen in Iran is approximately 4.5 million tons and actual production is 3.5 million tons which local consumption is 2.8 million tons and rest exporting. Also it`s preparing from seven refineries around Iran and biggest one is in Isfahan-Arak-Shiraz-Tabriz-Bandar Abbas- Abadan and Tehran. Before 2001 production of bitumen was under responsibility of Iran production and distribution and of national Iranian oil company. After that responsibility of domestic and export market referred to private companies. Furthermore 85%  of bitumen  is using in road construction, repair and  rest distributing in insulation and roofing industry.

Statistical of bitumen production in Iran

Total productions of bitumen during 8 years remain the same and each year 3.5 million tons bitumen produced in Iran. In addition Problem of bitumen production in Iran is its Daily usage. that main reason that there isnt any research and development in this sector also whatever bitumen refineries producing there is demand for that in market. The second issue is selling in bulk and using second hand drum.


Problem to export bitumen and solutions

The main problem in export of bitumen is packing and purchase from refineries which has too much relation and lobby. Normally European countries importing bitumen in bulk since oily drum has too much extra cost for them to transfer to special zone of oil garbage. Paying subside to bitumen exporter from 1998 to 2009 Export of bitumen from Iran had some support from government but now all exported who exporting bitumen and other oil products has to pay tax. International bitumen exhibitions and syndicate. There is special and dedicated annual bitumen exhibition in Iran and most of bitumen producer all participating in.

Bitumen is including all road bitumen grades for paving application as asphalt cement and penetration starting from 10/20 up to 160/220 but specialist on bitumen 40/50, bitumen 60/70, 80/100 and 85/100 which is most consumable our bitumen in worldwide market. Iran bitumen is famous quality of bitumen since raw material “vacuum bottom” is very light compare to other countries.


Penetration Bitumen Available packing is new steel drum, polybag, jumbo bag, Bulk bitumen, also in Bitutank.

  1. Steel drum: Size of drum bitumen is 110, 150 and 185kg and our bitumen is available just in new steel drum
  2. Polybag: Polybag is a composite bag with different two sizes of 25Kg and 50Kg available in loss and palletized packing.
  3. Jumbo bag: It should be stuffed in container only one layer. Each jumbo bag is 850Kg.
  4. Bulk vessel: We are able to supply bitumen in bulk starting from 1000MT up to 36000MT.
  5. Bitu-tank:  Bitu-tank and trainers should be arranged by customer, we can support up to FOB of BND.


manufacturing process:

pub-ltd Bitumen made by selected crude oils via fractional process distillation. Crude oil heated to temperatures of between 300-350 °C also fed into a distillation column leting lightest fractions of crude to apart, by vaporization, from heavier fractions, which remain liquid. Higher boiling point fractions drawn – off via a heat exchanger and enter vacuum distillation column. Pressure and temperature conditions within vacuum process will determine hardness of short residue, so the grade of bitumen produced. Furthermore short residue can modified by air blowing residue at temperatures of 250 – 300 °C.

Quality of Penetration Bitumen:

penetration Bitumen is vertical distance traversed or penetrated by the point of standard needle in bituminous material under specific conditions of load, time and temperature. This distance measured in 0/1 mm. Test is used for bitumen aiming consistency. It`s not regarded as suitable for use in connection with testing of road tar because of high surface tension exhibited by these materials.

Penetration Test on Bitumen:

examination consistency of a sample of bitumen by determining the distance in tenths of a millimetre that a standard needle vertically penetrates bitumen specimen under known conditions of loading, time and temperature. This method especially used for measuring consistency of bituminous material at given temperature. It`s a means of classification rather than a measure of quality.


Penetration Apparatus
Water Bath
Thermometer for Water Bath
Stop watch

It measures hardness or softness of bitumen by measuring depth in tenths of a millimeter to which a standard loaded needle will penetrate vertically in 5 seconds.

Heat sample until it becomes fluid.
Pour it in container to a depth till it cooled, depth of sample is at least 10mm greater than the expected penetration.
Allow it to cool in an atmospheric temperature.
Clean the needle and place a weight above the needle.
Use the water bath to maintain the temperature of specimen.
Mount the needle on bitumen, such that it should just touch the surface of bitumen.
Then start the stop watch and allow the penetration needle to penetrate freely at same time for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds stop the penetration.
Result will be bitumen grade.
Take at least three reading.

Specific gravity of bitumen

Softening point of bitumen

Solubility of bitumen in TCE

Ductility test on bitumen

Flash point on bitumen

Spot test on bitumen

Drop in penetration of bitumen after loss on heating

Change of mass

Retained penetration

Ductility at 15C

Usages and Importance of tests:

Penetration test uses to measuring consistency of bitumen, also classified it to standard grades. Largest penetration value, shows softer consistency. Higher penetration bitumen is uses in cold climate and smaller penetration bitumen uses in hot areas.

It measures hardness or softness of bitumen by measuring depth in tenths of a millimeter to which a standard loaded needle will penetrate vertically in 5 seconds
Penetrometer also consists of a needle assembly with a total weight of 100g and a device for releasing and locking in any position
Bitumen is softened to a pouring consistency, stirred thoroughly and shed in containers at a depth at least 15 mm in excess of expected penetration.
Test should conducted at a specified temperature of 25 °C
Furthermore penetration value is largely influenced by any inaccuracy with regards to size of the needle, weight placed on the needle and the test temperature
A grade of 40/50 bitumen means penetration value is in the range 40 to 50 at standard test conditions
In hot climates, a lower penetration grade is preferred.