Asphalt and Other Bituminous Materials

Simtec Materials Testing provides several asphalt and bituminous testing services, including diamond coring. Simtec's experienced site specialists are ready to help. They can gather test data for a complete reconstruction or to test the ride quality of a new road.

Working throughout the UK, Simtec support all construction and maintenance projects with expert materials testing solutions, including both CBR and Plate Load Testing services. 

We can help make informed decisions, manage risk, and minimise cost by performing UKAS-accredited testing. This testing can be used for resurfacing or carrying out a new project.

Specialist Asphalt Testing Services From Simtec:

  • Qualified field technicians
  • Competitively priced
  • 24/7 nationwide service
  • Nuclear and non-nuclear density meter surveys (density and air voids)
  • Pavement investigation
  • Lightweight Deflectometer (LWD)
  • Falling Weight Deflectometer
  • Texture and macrotexture analysis
  • Coring of pavement surfaces CS229
  • Skid resistance (Pendulum)
Asphalt Site Testing

Bituminous Materials Testing Services

  • Nuclear and non-nuclear Compaction Control (density and air voids)
  • Bituminous Material Sampling
  • Temperature and material laying records
  • Bond/Tack Coat Rate of Spread
  • Rate of Spread of chippings
  • Surface Texture Testing
  • Surface regularity (rolling and transverse straight edge)
Asphalt testing on site

Bituminous Material Sampling

Correct sampling is essential to gain truly representative samples for testing. Simtec technicians are fully conversant with this specification and can obtain good quality representative samples free from contamination and segregation.

Delivered loads can be sampled directly from the truck, paving machine hopper, augers, or workable heaps tipped on site. Recovered samples are returned to our laboratory in Leicester for further examination or testing as required.

Bitumen testing

Temperature Testing

Simtec use infra-red apparatus to sample bituminous material. This allows them to test the temperature of the material. They do this to ensure that enough heat is retained for placement and compaction. Simtec is one of the few operators to hold UKAS accreditation. This accreditation covers both traditional methods and the new infra-red method outlined in BS EN 12697-13.

Testing newly laid bitumen

Bituminous Compaction Control using the Pavement Quality Indicator (PQI)

All highway contracts require a layer of bituminous material to support the design load caused by traffic. This ability is a necessity and needs to be checked on a regular basis.

The PQI is an electromagnetic instrument. It calculates the density of a layer of material by affecting an induced magnetic field.

Features include:

  • Small and easily portable for on-the-spot monitoring
  • Effective way to control compaction levels on-site
  • Rapid testing for a reliable guide to levels of compaction
Testing new bitumen samples

Other Asphalt Testing Services

Bond/Tack Coat Rate of Spread

Tack coats and bond coats are sprayed at a constant fixed rate according to the individual site requirements. Simtec can supply technical staff to monitor the rate of spread.

Surface Texture Testing using the Volumetric Patch Method

A newly laid Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA) surface is spread with highly engineered chippings to give the maximum skidding resistance.

Rolling Straight Edge

This tests for surface irregularity to determine the ride quality of new highway surfacing and newly completed utility reinstatements.

Transverse 3m Beam or Straight Edge

Used on highway works and runways, this tests the transverse regularity across the carriageway.

Asphalt Diamond Coring Services

Simtec provides diamond coring services at an affordable price. We use the latest hydraulic drilling equipment, and our core barrels are fitted with high-quality diamond tips of varying sizes. Reinstatement is carried out to the highest standard.

Diamond coring* testing carried out on extracted asphalt cores includes:

  • Logging and photography of cored specimens
  • Bulk density and air voids
  • Maximum density
  • Binder and grading analysis
  • Bitumen recovery
  • Bitumen needle penetration & softening point
  • Tar content

* Diamond Coring* is outside of our UKAS accredited scope of works.

Simtec’s reliable, professional diamond coring service comes with no minimum charge. Call today to find out more or for some friendly advice and guidance on project requirements.

Concrete coring on site

Road Core Reinstatement

Coring is a regular part of Simtec's operations. Many clients trust the quality of the service to determine the pavement's thickness, compaction and air void content. Simtec pride ourselves on the quality of the reinstatement of core holes with prime materials.

Road surface testing

Frequently Asked Questions

Why test asphalt?

Testing asphalt ensures it meets quality standards, exhibits durability, complies with regulatory requirements, and performs safely and efficiently in construction projects.

How to test asphalt?

At Simtec, we offer various onsite and laboratory methods for testing asphalt. 

Is asphalt tarmac?

In everyday language, "tarmac" is often used informally to refer to paved surfaces, including those made with asphalt. However, technically, "tarmac" specifically refers to road surfaces made with tar as a binding agent, while "asphalt" refers to a mixture of aggregates and asphalt binder.

What is asphalt made of?

Asphalt is made of a mixture of aggregates (such as sand, gravel, or crushed stone) and asphalt binder, a sticky, black, and petroleum-based substance.

Explain why the penetration test of bitumen is done?

The penetration test of bitumen is done to measure the consistency or softness of bituminous material, indicating its suitability for specific applications in road construction.

How can you tell the quality of asphalt?

The quality of asphalt can be assessed through various tests used to evaluate properties such as stability, compactness, consistency, deformation resistance, and flow characteristics.