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1. Introduction The penetration test is an empirical test used to measure the consistency of asphalt cement.

Generally, the penetration of a bituminous substance may be defined as distance in hundredths to which a standard needle penetrates the material under known conditions of time, loading and temperature. This test is used for evaluating the consistency of asphalt material before and after heating. 2. Objective To measure the penetration value of asphalt, this is melted and cooled and kept at a room temperature of 25C. 3. Apparatus i. Penetration Needle

Figure 3.i: Penetration needle ii. Water bath

Figure 3.ii: Water bath

iii. Time device

Figure 3.iii: Time device iv. Penetration Container

Figure 3.iv: Penetration Container v. Penetrometer

Figure 3.v: Penetrometer vi. Asphalt sample

Figure 3.vi: Asphalt sample

vii. Thermometers

Figure 3.vii: Thermometers 4. Methodology i. The penetration needle is clean with toluene and dried with a clean cloth.

ii. Needle is inserting carefully in the penetrometer. iii. Sample container (100g) place directly on the submerged stand in the penetrometer. The sample container is keep completely cover with water at the 25 0.5C temperature.

iv. The pointer of penetrometer is set to zero.


v. The needle position is slowly lowering until its tip with the surface of the sample. vi. Needle holders are released for the specified period of time (5sec) and get the 1/10mm reading. Ignore the result if the container moves. vii. Three determinations are makes at point of the surface of the sample not less than 10mm from the side of the container and not less than 10mm apart.

5. Results Number of penetration 1 2 3 Average Penetration 129 105 103 112.33

Calculations Penetration = (R1 + R2 + R3) 3 = (129 + 105 + 103) 3 = 112.33 6. Discussions i. There should be no movement of the container while needle penetrates into sample. ii. The sample should be free from any extraneous matter. iii. The needle should be cleaned with benzene and dried before penetration.

iv. Type of needle to be used is brass.


7. Recommendations i. Container is place in water bath to avoid container move while needle penetrates.

ii. Sample prepared in a few days before the experiment and keep in clean
place.

iii. Clean cloth and benzene must around the penetrometer to make sure
needle can be clean during experiment.

iv. Needle materials must be standard steel to avoid error in reading and the needle to be bent during penetrates process.

8. Conclusion Penetration test is a commonly adopted test on asphalt to grade the material in terms of its hardness. An 80/100 grade bitumen indicates that its penetration value lies between 80 & 100.Grading of asphalt helps to assess its suitability in different climatic conditions and types of construction. In Malaysia, lower penetration grades are preferred to avoid softening whereas higher penetration grades like 180/200 are used in colder regions to prevent the occurrence of excessive brittleness. High penetration grade is used in spray application works.

9. Reference

a. The constructor Civil Engineering. Penetration value of Bitumen. 1(1):


[4screen]. Available from: URL: http://theconstructor.org/practicalguide/penetration-value-of-bitumen-2/1627/

b. NPTEL. Pavement Materials. 1(1): [8 screen]. Available from: URL:


http://www.cdeep.iitb.ac.in/nptel/Civil%20Engineering/Transportation %20Engg%20I/23-Ltexhtml/nptel_ceTEI_L23.pdf

c. Muniandy R., Radin Umar Radin Sohadi. Highway Materials, A Guide


Book For Beginners. University Putra Malaysia: Penerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia; 2010.

d. Paul H.W., Karen K.D. Highway Engineering [Seventh Edition]. USA:


John Wiley & Son; 2003.