Differential Scanning Calorimetry Applied to Bitumen: Results of the RILEM NBM TG1 Round Robin Test

  • Hilde Soenen
  • Jeroen Besamusca
  • Lily D. Poulikakos
  • Jean-Pascal Planche
  • Prabir K. Das
  • Niki Kringos
  • James Grenfell
  • Emmanuel Chailleux
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 8)


The application of Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) has been proven useful in characterizing bituminous binders, distillates and crude oils. In this paper, results of the round robin test, organized by the Rilem TC 231 Nanotechnology-based Bituminous Materials (NBM) TG1 group are reported. The purpose is to investigate the repeatability and reproducibility of standard DSC measurements when applied to bituminous binders. In the full test program of the Rilem NBM group, DSC measurements are further compared to observations made in atomic force microscopy (AFM), AFM measurements are reported in a separate paper. Seven laboratories have participated in this round robin test. Four bituminous binders were investigated, containing various amounts of natural or added wax. The test program consisted of a well-defined isothermal annealing procedure, followed by a first heating and cooling scan, and afterwards followed by a second heating scan. At this stage, the data, as they were reported by the different participants, were compared. For the glass transition (Tg), mid temperatures, can be defined with a reasonable reproducibility, which improves if natural wax is not present. Regarding melting and crystallization, the shape of the melting curve is highly dependent on the thermal history of the samples. Peak temperatures of melting and crystallization phenomena were reported with a good reproducibility, while the reproducibility of melting enthalpies (or surface area’s under the melting and crystallization signals) was not satisfactory. Different reasons for this and recommendations for improving the results are discussed in the paper.


Differential Scanning Calorimetry Glass Transition Differential Scanning Calorimetry Measurement Melting Enthalpy Round Robin Test 
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© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilde Soenen
    • 1
  • Jeroen Besamusca
    • 2
  • Lily D. Poulikakos
    • 3
  • Jean-Pascal Planche
    • 4
  • Prabir K. Das
    • 5
  • Niki Kringos
    • 5
  • James Grenfell
    • 6
  • Emmanuel Chailleux
    • 7
  1. 1.Nynas NV, Bitumen ResearchAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Kuwait Petroleum R&TEuropoort (RT)The Netherlands
  3. 3.Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland
  4. 4.Western Research InstituteLaramieUSA
  5. 5.Highway and Railway EngineeringKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Nottingham Transportation Engineering CentreUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  7. 7.Département Matériaux / Groupe Matériaux pour les Infrastructures de TransportsIfsttar, Centre de NantesBouguenaisFrance

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