ASTM D3461 - 97(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Softening Point of Asphalt and Pitch (Mettler Cup-and-Ball Method)

    Active Standard ASTM D3461 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Asphalt and pitch do not go through a solid-liquid phase change when heated, and therefore do not have true melting points. As the temperature is raised, they gradually soften or become less viscous. For this reason, the determination of the softening point must be made by an arbitrary, but closely defined, method if the test values are to be reproducible.

    4.2 This test method is useful in determining the consistency as one element in establishing the uniformity of shipments or sources of supply.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the softening point of asphalt and pitch in the range from 50 to 180°C by the cup-and-ball apparatus, and gives results comparable to those obtained by Test Method D36.

    Note 1If the softening point of asphalt by this Mettler cup-and-ball method fails to meet specified requirements, tests may be rerun using the Test Method D36 (ring-and-ball) softening point apparatus as a referee method.

    1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    A314 Specification for Stainless Steel Billets and Bars for Forging

    D36 Test Method for Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-and-Ball Apparatus)

    D140 Practice for Sampling Bituminous Materials

    D4296 Practice for Sampling Pitch


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.50 (Binders. Sealing materials); 93.080.20 (Road construction materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 30121601(Asphalt); 30121602(Pitch)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D3461-97R12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D3461-97(2012), Standard Test Method for Softening Point of Asphalt and Pitch (Mettler Cup-and-Ball Method), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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