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Muhammad Farhan Bin Ibrahim, Muhammad Efendi Bin Asmat, Mohamad Adlan Bin Zamri,
Muhammad Afif Rusydi Bin Md Khalil, Nur Izzati Emalia Bt Azhar, Erin Marissa Bt Ramlan ,
Maizatul Aqmar Bt Yusup, Zaila Maizuroh Bt Abd Muin


The morphology of this test is that softening point is the temperature at which the
substance achieve a specific degree of softening under specified condition of the
test.The Softening Point of bitumen is the temperature at which the substance achieve
specific of softening. When heated under water at specified condition and specific
temperature in C at which a standard ball passes through a sample of mould and falls
through a height of 2.5 cm. The purpose of softening point helps to know the
temperature up to which a bituminous binder should be heated for different road use
application.The ring and ball apparatus determine the softening point .

Keywords:softening point,temperature,bitumen,degree of softening,ring and balls


The ring and ball test is for determining

the softening point of bitumen. The temperature at which each ball
Softening point can be defined as the touches a bar near the bottom is called
temperature at which a substance the softening point. A high softening
achieve a specific degree of softness point is preferable to a low one. In
under specified condition test. The addition, if the two balls drop at
softening point is useful in the temperatures more than 2 degrees apart,
classification of bitumen. the test is invalidated and must be
repeated.The ring and ball test is
The ring and ball softening point test important for testing the bitumen
involve heating two small samples of the material for road/highway project.Being
bitumen in a container of water.The ring very simple in concept and equipment
is immersed to a depth such that its the ring and bell has remained a valuable
bottom is exactly 25mm(1in) above the consistency test for control in refining
bottom of the bath. The temperature of operations particularly in the production
the bath is then gradually of air blown bitumen. It is also an
increased,causing the bitumen to soften indirect measure of viscosity is evident.
and permitting the ball to sink The softening point value has particular
eventually to the bottom of the bath. A significance for materials which are to
metal ball is placed on top of each ring be used as thick films such as joint and
sample. crack filters and roofing material. A high
softening point ensures that they will not
flow in services. For bitumen of a given
penetration determined at 25C the
higher the softening point the lower the
temperature sensitivity.


To determine the Softening Point of

Bitumen by ring and ball method.
The temperature which the bitumen
achieve consistent under the specified
condition of the test is called softening
point of bitumen.At give the temperature
at which the bitumen plastic state to PROCEDURE
liquid state.

Apparatus 1. The bitumen was melted and the

liquid was poured into a pair of ring
placed on plate.
1. Standard ring-and-ball test
apparatus 2. Some water was in a beaker to
prepare a water bath.The magnetic
stirrer was put in the beaker.Some
2. Thermometer ice cubes were put in the beaker.

3. Bath 3. After the bath had cold,ring was

suspended in the distilled water in
the beaker at 5C 2C.The
4. Bath liquid (water) temperature is measured by
5. Stirrer
4. Bath temperature is maintained for
15 minutes.
6. Heater
5. The steel ball were put on the
7. Stopwatch surface of the bitumen in the ring

6. The bath liquid was stirred and

heated for 5C 2C per minutes.

7. The temperature just noted just after

the ball was passed and dropped
into the base plate


The result which obtained from the test

is as follow:For bitumen grade 80/100

Instant Softening
Ring No. Temperature, Point,
C Average C
A 60
B 52 56
Figure 1:Ring and Ball softening point

Example calculation =56 C

Average = ball 1 + ball 2 DISCUSSION

=60C + 52C

Based on the result that we obtained the lesser the temperature susceptibility.
from the experiment, the temperature for Higher softening point ensures that they
the bitumen to be soft for test number 1 will not flow during service. Bitumen
(ball 1) is 60C while for the test number with higher softening point is preferred
2 (ball 2) is 52C. Besides that, the in warmer places .
average temperature of softening point
that we calculated is 56C. The
theoretical value of the optimum CONCLUSION
temperature of bitumen softening point
is between 48C to 52C according to To conclude, the final temperature of
Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) standard. The the softening point is 56C which does
temperature we recorded is 56C which not match the theoretical standard which
is not situated in theoretical standard. is 48C to 52C. The objective of the
experiment is not achieved. During
Cause and error during the experiment: conducting the experiment, some errors
i. The bath temperature is not that occurs will affects the final result.
maintained for 15 minutes Before doing the experiment, make sure
ii. The bath temperature is not in the the ring ball does not hold the ball guide
5C 2C range. in stationary. Adjust the ring until the
iii. The brass ring is not placed ball can pass through freely. In addition,
correctly in the center of the plate. to get good result, ensure you conduct
iv. The stirrer is not function correctly the experiment in room temperature
v. Surrounding temperature may affect condition. The purpose of this test in the
the temperature.. industry is to estimate the viscoelastic
properties of both bitumen and paving
While doing the temperature, some mixture especially in road design. This
safety measures has to be follow. Be is to test the consistency of bitumen.
alert and make sure your hand doesnt
touch the heater while taking the
readings as it may cause severe burn.
After the experiment, the apparatus are
washed thoroughly with clean water or
using hazard chemical.

RECOMMENDATION B.L. Pearce, Comparison of
Temperature Variations For
Bituminous materials do not have a Softening Point Apparatus With
melting point.Softening point specify the Varying Filler: Binder Ratio, Cape
temperatures at which binders posses the Technikon, Department of Civil
same viscosity. Rather, the change of Engineering PO Box 652, Cape
state from solid to liquid is slowly over a Town,8000
wide range of temperature. Softening
point has certain importance for ASTM(1998).D26-95 Standard test
materials to be used as joint and crack method for softening point of
fillers.The higher the softening point , bitumen(Ring-and-Ball Apparatus)

1998 Annual Books of ASTM Penetration is related to viscosity and

Standards, Volume V04.04, empirical relationship have been developed
American Society for Testing and for Newtonian materials. If penetration is
Materials, Philadelphia, PA 19103- measured over a range of temperatures, the
1187. temperature susceptibility of the bitumen can
be established. The nomograph as given in
ASTM (1978): Standard Tests Table 1 enables the PI to be deduced
Method for Resistance to Plastic approximately from the penetration at 25C
Flow of Bituminous Mixtures using and the softening point temperature. Typical
Marshall Apparatus. Annual Book values of PI are
of ASTM Standards, Part 15, pp.425
-433. Bitumen Type PI
Blown Bitumen >2
Conventional Paving Bitumen -2 to +2
Temperature Susceptible Bitumen <-2
Table 1

PI values can be used to determine the

stiffness (modulus) of bitumen at any
temperature and loading time. It can also, to a
limited extent, be used to identify a particular
type of bituminous material. One drawback
of the PI system is that it uses the change in
bitumen properties over a relatively small
range of temperatures to charactize bitumen;
extrapolations to extreme of the behavior can
be sometimes be misleading.
As we have done the both test, When the ring
and ball test is compared to the penetration
test, the value of penetration index (PI) is
almost zero (refer to appendix) it means
-2<PI<+2. So from the Table 1 we can say
that the bitumen will classify as Conventional
Paving Bitumen .