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IN THE UNITED STATES, THE TERMS “BITUMINOUS” and “asphaltic” are often used interchangeably. In Europe, bitumen usually refers to the mixture of heavy hydrocarbons, free of inorganic impurities. Asphalt is often considered the impure form of the generic material . For our purposes, the ASTM definitions will be used. ASTM Standard Terminology Relating to Roofing, Waterproofing, and Bituminous Materials (D1079-09)  defines bitumen as either “(1) a class of amorphous, black or dark colored, (solid, semi-solid, or viscous) cementitious substances, natural or manufactured, composed principally of high molecular weight hydrocarbons, soluble in carbon disulfide, and found in asphalts, tars, pitches and asphaltites; or, (2) a generic term used to denote any material composed principally of bitumen.” Asphalt is similarly defined as “a dark brown to black cementitious material in which the predominating constituents are bitumens which occur in nature or are obtained in petroleum processing.” While the term has historically implied the natural deposits (the Trinidad Lake asphalts on the Island of Trinidad or the Bermudez Lake, Venezuela, asphalts), most asphalt used in the United States today for coatings applications is from petroleum processing .
Carlozzo, Ben J.
DCA Coatings, Cleveland, OH