Standard Historical Last Updated: Jan 24, 2019
ASTM D3461-14

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

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.


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

Note 1: If 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 05.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D02.05
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/D3461-14
ICS Code: 91.100.50; 93.080.20