Practical Introduction to Asphalts - Their Use, Specification & Supervision



Endorsed by CIHT for CPD                                                                                                                                                   Approved by IHE

Asphalts are used in the vast majority of roads in the UK. This Course provides an introduction to this technology. It is aimed at individuals who, in the course of their professional activities, are involved in designing and/or specifying asphalt roads and/or supervising the laying of asphalt in highways. The course is suitable for those who are new to this area of Civil Engineering including recent graduates or those who wish to update their knowledge of this important subject.

The notes were written and the course will be delivered by a very experienced Chartered Engineer with many years devoted to asphalt-related matters. He has contributed to and edited a number of leading, recognised texts in the field.

Aims & Objectives:

To enable delegates to:

  • become familiar with the various codes, standards and specifications relating to asphalts
  • gain a comprehensive understanding of the various processes and stages of specification, use and supervision relating to asphalts
  • appreciate the range of alternative asphalts
  • develop a raise awareness of asphalts technology
  • On completion of the course delegates will:


  • Understand the key properties of asphalts, the different types of asphalt that are available, their functions, how and where to specify particular asphalts, and
  • Be able to supervise asphalt works on highway construction or maintenance


Course Outline:

  • Session 1 – Current European Standards Introduction to BS EN 13108 – Product Standards BS 594987 – Specification for transport laying and compaction, BS EN 12697 – Test Standards, PD 6691 (interpretation of BS EN 13108 for use in the UK), PD 6692 (interpretation of BS EN 12697 for use in the UK)
  • Session 2 – Constituents of Asphalts Aggregates, bitumen, classification of bitumen, bitumen modification, bitumen grades
  • Session 3 – Asphalt Pavements Flexible pavements, surface level tolerances, surface regularity requirements, options for capping, sub-base, base, binder course, surface course (chipped hot rolled asphalt surface course systems often erroneously described as stone mastic asphalts and other types of surface course)
  • Session 4 – Key Issues Affecting Stress and strain in loaded pavements, deformation (rutting), importance of stiffness, long-life pavements
  • Session 5 – Types of Asphalts/Asphalt Layer Thickness Traditional descriptions, grading tables, grading envelopes, current descriptions of asphalt concretes and hot rolled asphalts, asphalt layer thicknesses
  • Session 6 – Transport, Laying and Compaction of Asphalts Transportation, use of tack coats/bond coats, pavers, tamping/vibrating/combination screeds, high compaction screeds, paving operations, compaction, different roller types, rolling procedures, number and types of roller, rolling patterns, thin layers, thick layers
  • Session 7 – Relevant Documents Overview of the key documents including series 700, 800 and 900 of the Specification for Highway Works, BS 594987 and PD 6691
  • Session 8 – Review and Discussion

Mode of Delivery:

At the start of the course, delegates will be asked to introduce themselves and give details of their employer, job title, describe their duties and indicate their knowledge of the subject area. Discussion is encouraged throughout the course. The presentation includes photographs of relevant equipment and operations.

Intended For:

Those who are designing highway works, involved in specifying asphalts in highway construction or involved in supervising highway related contracts where asphalts are employed.

Pre-Course Requirements:

The course assumes that delegates have no knowledge of the subject. Delegates must bring along a copy of BS 594987:2015 to the course.