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Physical & Chemical properties

Melting point / freezing point

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Description of key information

The softening point is measured using the ASTM D36 method. Bitumens have softening points in the range of 30 to 128°C.

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

For complex hydrocarbon substances like bitumen, a melting point is not a meaningful parameter, since they become gradually softer as the temperature rises. The softening point, measured using ASTM method D36/EN 1427, is normally used to describe this property. For penetration grade bitumens, the values are mandatory and are specified in CEN technical specifications (CONCAWE 1992a; Shell 2003). Some grades of bitumen are too soft to measure the softening point according to available methods, which do not allow measurement below 5°C. In theory, values for these grades could be calculated but instead, viscosity is measured beginning at 60°C.