Demand for penetration grades of bitumen has remained steady in recent years, despite the fact that scientific evidences have shown that the specifications of penetration grades bitumen are not accurate enough to guarantee its performance in road construction.
An overview of bitumen consumption in European countries shows that bitumen pen grades were winners of the market in the last 10 years. In 2015, for instance, around 11.000 million tonnes of bitumen were used in Europe, and 9.000 million of them were bitumen pen grades.
Called also as “air-refined bitumen”, pen grade is the simplest types of bitumen in terms of production, testing, and grading. Unlike other grades of bitumen, penetration grades do not need any further processing in the refinery.
Testing and grading of penetration bitumen is also implemented without any complexity. According to Eurobitume, this type of bitumen is graded by the depth to which a standard needle will penetrate the BITUMEN sample under specified test conditions.
What is the Most Widely Used Grade of Penetration Bitumen?
Each grade of penetration bitumen has its own properties and applications. However, bitumen 60/70 grade is the most widely used among all other grades. This grade of bitumen can be used in a wide range of temperatures (from -22 to +76), therefore, it can be easily applied to asphalt pavements in various regions across the world.
Additionally, bitumen pen grade 60/70 is fundamental in assessing the global price of bitumen. In fact, major pricing benchmarks across the world, such as Argus Media and ICIS, focus on the bitumen 60/70 rate. All bitumen suppliers and traders focus on the price of bitumen 60/70 for a successful presence in the market.
What are the Applications of Bitumen Penetration 60/70?
Bitumen pen grades are mainly used in the manufacturing of hot mix asphalt for road base and wearing courses. To choose among various grades of bitumen penetration, many factors should be taken into account, including, the average temperature of the region, the level of traffic loads, and type of soil.
The bitumen 60/70 grade is recommended for using in roads where traffic is very heavy such as highways and intersections. Also, as noted above, this grade of bitumen is suitable for road construction in a wide range of temperatures (from -22 to +76). However, hot regions of the world are the leading consumer of bitumen pen grade 60/70.
The main advantage of bitumen penetration 60/70 to other grades of bitumen is its reliability. This type of bitumen is capable of extending the performance of the final asphalt by its unique penetration index and softening point. It can also be used in treating the cracks in the time of maintenance.
Another advantage of bitumen 60/70 is its affordable price. According to Infinity Galaxy, a leading supplier of bitumen in the Middle East, bitumen 60/70 is a cost-effective type of bitumen that reduces the expenses, without affecting the quality.
Factors Affecting Properties of Penetration Grade 60/70
There are a number of factors affecting the properties of penetration bitumen 60/70. Therefore, all refineries are in charge of testing this grade of bitumen after production and provide buyers with specifications table. This table includes items such as penetration value, flash point, softening point, ductility and specific gravity.
Penetration value indicates the level of bitumen hardness. For bitumen 60/70, penetration is between 6 to 7 mm. Various types of bitumen have also different softening points, which indicates the temperature at which bitumen starts to melt. The softening point of bitumen grade 60/70 is between 49 to 50° C.
For more information on affective factors on the quality of penetration grade bitumen, watch the below video by Infinity Galaxy:
Bitumen 60/70 Price
The bitumen 60/70 that is produced in major refineries across the globe, is petroleum based, manufactured by the distillation of crude oil. The quality of this bitumen is guaranteed with an acceptable amount of valuable hydrocarbons present in it.
Since the production of bitumen penetration grade 60/70 is possible with the simplest available technologies, its price is lower than other grades of bitumen. This means that many traders and retailers find bitumen 60/70 absolutely profitable.