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120/150 Penetration Grade Bitumen / Asphalt Cement


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Penetration Grade Bitumen: An Ideal Bitumen for Road Construction

When it comes to constructing durable and reliable road infrastructure, the choice of bitumen is paramount. Penetration grade bitumen, particularly the 120/150 bitumen, has emerged as a favored choice in road construction due to its exceptional properties and versatile applications. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of penetration bitumen 120/150, exploring its applications, production process, properties, specifications, and packaging.

What are the Applications of Penetration Bitumen 120/150?

Penetration-graded bitumen 120/150 finds extensive use in road construction and maintenance due to its intermediate level of hardness and durability. This type of bitumen is ideal for producing asphalt mixtures that can withstand the stress and strains of heavy traffic loads and adverse weather conditions. It is commonly used in the construction of flexible pavements, where the asphalt layers need to be flexible enough to accommodate dynamic loads.

Moreover, 120/150 penetration asphalt cement is used in the manufacturing of bituminous products like emulsions, cutbacks, and modified bitumen. It serves as a key ingredient in surface treatments, sealing and jointing compounds, and waterproofing materials. Its versatility makes it an essential component in the construction industry, ensuring the longevity and reliability of road infrastructure.

How is 120/150 Bitumen Produced?

The production of 120/150 bitumen involves the refining of crude oil through a process called fractional distillation. During this process, crude oil is heated and separated into various fractions based on their boiling points. Bitumen is obtained from the heaviest fraction of crude oil, which is then further processed to meet the desired specifications.

To produce penetration bitumen 120/150, the bitumen is subjected to a series of tests to determine its penetration value, which indicates the hardness of the material. The penetration value refers to the depth in tenths of a millimeter to which a standard needle penetrates the bitumen sample under specified conditions of time, temperature, and applied load. 120/150 Asphalt Cement has a penetration value ranging between 120 and 150 decimillimeters, hence its denomination. 

Properties of Penetration Grade 120/150 Bitumen

Penetration bitumen 120/150 exhibits a set of essential properties that make it suitable for road construction. Its intermediate hardness ensures that it strikes a balance between flexibility and stability. This property allows it to withstand traffic loads and temperature fluctuations without undergoing excessive deformation. The bitumen’s adhesive properties ensure proper bonding between aggregates, providing strength to the asphalt mixture.

Furthermore, 120/150 bitumen has excellent water resistance, preventing moisture from seeping into the road structure and causing damage over time. Its thermal properties contribute to its ability to expand and contract with temperature changes, reducing the risk of cracking and rutting on the road surface.

Specifications of Penetration Grade Asphalt Cement 120/150

Various international standards define the specifications for penetration bitumen 120/150. These standards lay out the requirements for penetration values, softening points, ductility, and other important characteristics. For example, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the European Standard EN 12591 provide guidelines for the properties and testing methods of penetration grade bitumen, and the base for the product specifications are found in the M 20-70 (2004)  Penetration Graded Asphalt Cement AASHTO (American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials) specification, described ahead. 

What is 120/150 Bitumen?

The numerical values in the term “120/150 bitumen” correspond to the penetration range of the bitumen. The first number, 120, represents the lower limit of penetration in decimillimeters, while the second number, 150, represents the upper limit. This classification gives users a clear idea of the bitumen’s hardness and suitability for various applications.

Packing of Penetration Bitumen

Penetration bitumen 120/150 is typically supplied in bulk or packed in various containers, including drums, bags, and bulk shipments in tanker trucks. At Pro-Road, the most common way of packing is the big bags or bitu-bags, since they are a practical and cost-efficient way of shipping and storing asphalt dement. Proper packaging ensures that the bitumen remains in optimal condition during transportation and storage, ready to be used in road construction projects.

In conclusion, penetration grade bitumen 120/150 has established itself as an indispensable material in road construction due to its versatile applications and exceptional properties. Its balance between hardness and flexibility, water resistance, and thermal stability makes it a prime choice for creating robust road infrastructure that can withstand the challenges of heavy traffic and changing weather conditions. With meticulous adherence to specifications and proper packaging, bitumen 120/150 continues to contribute to the development of durable and reliable roads worldwide.

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