Bitumen Standards

Bitumen in drum
In different regions and countries, different standards and grading systems are used for determining the quality of petroleum bituminous binders.

The most recognized for petroleum bitumen standards

1. European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

  • Deutsche Industrie Norm (DIN EN)
  • Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR – NF EN)
  • BSI Standards – the UK’s National Standards Body (NSB – BS EN)

2. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

3. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

4. South African Standard Organization (SABS)

5. Standards Australia (AS).

Most Commonly Used Bitumen Specifications

1. Bitumen Standards Grade

  • ASTM D 946 and AASHTO M 20 (Penetration @ 25°C)
  • ASTM D 3381 and AASHTO M 226 (Viscosity @ 60°C)
  • ASTM D 6373 and AASHTO M 320 (PG-Graded Binder)
  • EN 12591 (Penetration @ 25°C) → NF EN; BS EN; DIN EN; etc.
  • AS 2008 (Viscosity @ 60°C)
  • SABS 307 (Penetration @ 25°C; Viscosity @ 60°C after RTFOT)
  • IS 73 (India) changed in 2006 from PEN grades to VG Grades (based on Viscosity @ 60°C); however, CRMB modified bitumen is still graded based on penetration.

2. Polymer Modified Bitumen

  • ASTM D 5976; ASTM D 5840; ASTM D 5841 (based on polymer type; now outdated and not used in the USA, but still used in some developing countries)
  • ASTM 6373 and AASHTO M 320 (PG-Graded Binder; applicable to Unmodified and Polymer Modified Bitumen)
  • EN 14023 (Framework Standard for Polymer Modified Binder)
  • AUSTROADS Framework Specifications (Australia)


  • USA Anionic Emulsions: ASTM D 977 and AASHTO M 140
  • USA Cationic Emulsions: ASTM D 2397 and AASHTO M 208; Polymer Modified Cationic Emulsion: AASHTO M 316
  • Europe: Harmonized Framework Standard EN 13808 for Cationic Unmodified and Polymer Modified Emulsions; many different national
  • Annexes.

(Note: Internationally there exist a very broad range of emulsion specifications; many of them are technically inaccurate and confusing.)


  • ASTM D 2026, D 2027 and D 2028 for Slow, Medium and Rapid Curing Cutback
  • AASHTO M 81, M 82 for Rapid and Medium Curing Cutback
  • EN 15522 Cutback and Fluxed Bituminous Binder

This Post Has One Comment

  1. This is very helpful and informative. A very good read.

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