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Determining Specific Gravity of Bitumen

This test is done to determine the specific gravity of semi-solid bitumen road tars, creosote and anthracene oil as per IS: 1202 – 1978. The principle is that it is the ratio of mass of a given volume of bitumen to the mass of an equal volume of water, both taken at a recorded/specified temperature.
The apparatus needed to determine specific gravity of bitumen is


i) Specific gravity bottles of 50ml capacity
ii) Water bath
iii) Bath thermometer – Range 0 to 44oC, Graduation 0.2oC
Take the sample (half the volume of the specific gravity bottles).

Procedure to determine specific gravity of bitumen
i) Clean, dry and weigh the specific gravity bottle along with the stopper (Weight ‘A’).

ii) Fill the specific gravity bottle with freshly boiled distilled water and insert the stopper firmly. Keep it in the water bath having a temperature of 27.0 + 1oC for not less than half an hour and weigh it (Weight ‘B’).

iii) Weigh the specific gravity bottle about half-filled with the material (Weight ‘C’).

iv) Weigh the specific gravity bottle about half-filled with the material and the other half with distilled water (Weight ‘D’).

v) Weigh the specific gravity bottle completely filled with the material (Weight ‘E’).


i) Specific gravity (Solids and semi-solids) = (C-A )/[ ( B-A) – (D-C)]
ii) Specific gravity (Liquids) = (E-A)/(B-A)
The average of the two results should be reported.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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15 comments on "Determining Specific Gravity of Bitumen"

Atul D Gautam says:

Kindly tell me in Detail the whole method of determination of
Fineness of cement by blaines air permeability method.
(With calibration of Instrument )as early as possible.

Eng Dilawar khan says:

hi dear sir
i am a new civil engineer and i need a guide book for design of road structures
if u help me it will be your pleasent

sangith balu says:

sir i am fresh civil Engineer i want all test of highway road

shriram b. dangre says:

sir, this type question asked in competitive examination ,like mahagenco,i need answer that question not a procedure.

thanking you.

shriram dangre


khushboo... says:

can i exactly know d use of dis test

apurv says:

The application of this test is u can find out viscosity through which u can this knowledge is required while construction of highway

eng zana says:

hello dear ,iam zana from iraq .can u send me the tests of highway road ?.thank u for sending ,i wait……

Muhammad Wazir says:

dear sir,
plz tell the max. and min. value of all test the bitumen material like
ductility,softing point ,viscosity,flash and fire point,float,water content ,loss on heat,spacific gravity
thanks for anticipation
Muhammad wazir
lab technician (KRC)

apurv says:

Sir can u please tell me the application of the test and of penetration test
thanks is advance

Hafizullah Noori says:

Dear Sir,
I am a new graduated Civil Engineer,and I need for guidance for the bitumenuos materails testing, and I waiting for your response.


Maka says:

Respectd Sir, i wanted to know the aim and use of the following test of bitumen. i.e, Ductility test, Solubility test, Volatization test, softening point test, flush & fire point test.

nikhil ranjan pal says:

Sir, I want to know,how to determine the individual specific gravity of stone materials

Rajendra Lohar says:

What are the field tests for bitumen tests with all standard results

Shrikant says:

If specific gravity of bitumen is less than one, why doesn’t it float in water????

Maryam basil says:

Sir , can you give me an information about specific gravity test of bitumen and it should be between what range ??? And what is its property if it was not within the range ??

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