HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF ASPHALT TESTING APPARATUS AND ASPHALT SPECIFICATIONS

The early beginnings of asphalt construction are traced, and some of the milestones with respect to the development of specifications and test methods for asphalt materials are recorded. Only the major sources of asphalt obtained from native deposits and from the refining of petroleum are considered. Comments are made on some of the first asphalt pavements, and on some of their advantages. From 1878 to 1900 most of the asphalt used in the construction of sheet asphalt, penetration macadam and mixed macadam (asphalt concrete) was obtained from Trinidad Lake. Petroleum asphalts came into use about 1900. The development of test methods and specifications is reviewed from the first specification for asphalt based on the appearance of crude Trinidad asphalt and analytical tests to determine the amounts of bitumen insoluble organic and inorganic matter, to the 1903 penetration test method (for measuring consistency), the ductility test (for measuring adhesion and cementing characteristics), the loss on heating test and the penetration of the residue (to determine the stability of asphalt during heating and mixing), solubility in carbon disulphide and petroleum naphtha, and a water resistance test. A 1918 bulletin (No. 691) giving typical specifications for bituminous road materials is outlined. Standard methods of test are reviewed, and a list of test methods for bituminous and related materials are tabulated. Major steps in the development of standard specifications for asphalt are noted. Various types of liquid asphalts are described, and the development of, and tests for emulsified asphalts are outlined. Methods of design and control of asphalt paving mixtures are briefly covered.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 50th Anniversary Historical Review and Index of Proceedings, 1928-1974.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    155 Experimental Engineering Building
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Authors:
    • Halstead, W J
    • Welborn, J Y
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 89-120
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 43A

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127523
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 7 1976 12:00AM