14 Nov, 2023
Simtec Materials Testing Laboratory

Asphalt, a petroleum-based material, finds widespread use in the construction and resurfacing of roads, car parks, driveways, airport runways, athletic tracks, and various other paved surfaces.

This versatile material undergoes rigorous testing, encompassing both on-site and laboratory assessments, to ensure its quality and suitability for diverse applications.

The Significance of Asphalt Testing

Conducting regular asphalt tests plays a pivotal role in the effective design, construction, and maintenance of roads and paved surfaces. The long-term benefits of thorough asphalt testing are substantial. They include:

  1. Cost Reduction: Regular testing enhances asphalt quality, reducing the need for maintenance and minimising repair costs.
  2. Extended Lifespan: Identifying factors contributing to the deterioration of roads or paved surfaces can significantly increase the lifespan of the asphalt.
  3. Performance Optimisation: Analysing various asphalt materials and mix combinations helps pinpoint the ideal mixes to achieve desired performance characteristics.

Whether you are embarking on a new construction project or resurfacing, asphalt testing is essential to ensure that the materials meet necessary quality standards and perform as expected in the field.

Our Asphalt Road Testing Methods

At Simtec, our experienced asphalt testing specialists employ a comprehensive approach to assess asphalt quality, starting from on-site testing and culminating in detailed laboratory analyses.

On-Site Asphalt Testing:

Key on-site tests include:

Temperature Testing

Utilising infrared apparatus to measure bituminous material temperatures, ensuring sufficient heat for asphalt placement and compaction.

Bituminous Compaction Control

Employing Pavement Quality Indicators (PQI) to calculate bituminous material density on site is essential for assessing its levels of compaction and an indication of in situ air voids.

Surface Texture Testing

Utilising the Volumetric Patch Method to indicate skid resistance by applying and spreading engineered glass beads to the surface of the asphalt.

Rolling and Transverse Straightedge

Employing a straightedge mounted on wheels with a centre-point sensor to measure surface regularity. Or a supported 3-metre fixed beam and wedge.

Bond/Tack Coat Rate of Spread

Ensuring consistent application of bond and tack coats as per site requirements.

Bituminous Material Sampling

Retrieving samples from various sources for in-depth laboratory examination and analysis.

Diamond Coring

Extracting road core samples with hydraulic drilling equipment equipped with diamond-tipped cutters for further analysis.

Our technicians conduct these on-site checks to evaluate parameters such as temperature, thickness, compaction, and more, leaving the site in optimal condition.

Asphalt Testing Laboratory:

Upon receiving bituminous material and road core samples, our laboratory conducts various tests to verify material quality and workmanship.

Key laboratory tests include:

Needle Penetration Testing

Employing needle penetrometers to determine bituminous binder characteristics, such as stiffness and workability.

Compositional Analysis

A standard quality control method involving the dissolution of bitumen binder, aggregate particle distribution, and other compliance checks.

Road Core Samples

Used to assess thickness, air void content, softening point, residual penetration, and visual condition.

Binder Recovery

Extracting bituminous binder from asphalt for ring and ball softening point testing and binder penetration.

Our laboratory analysis ensures the materials meet the required specifications and are optimised for performance in every project.

The Benefits of Combined on-Site and Laboratory Testing

In the construction industry, where asphalt is subjected to high levels of impact, weight, and wear - enhancing material longevity and performance is essential for long-term use.

By integrating on-site and laboratory testing, we consistently provide clients with accurate and comprehensive results, reducing the need for repairs and minimising costs.

Choose Simtec Materials Testing Ltd for Your Asphalt Testing Needs

Simtec is committed to delivering top-tier services to various sectors.

Our team of highly trained experts is readily available to assist you with your asphalt testing requirements. 

Contact us today to discuss our asphalt and bituminous materials testing services.