Asphalt Technology for Civil Engineers & Civil Engineering Contractors


Endorsed by CIHT for CPD                                                                                                                                                   Approved by IHE

Engineers and contractors need to understand the significant changes that have taken place arising from the introduction of the European Standards for Asphalt in January 2008 and how these affect the contract process and more importantly compliance with contract requirements.

Also available as an online training course.

Please note the online version of this training course will be split into modules.


This course is aimed at those individuals who are not directly involved in asphalt technology but do need a thorough grounding in the relevant fundamental aspects. The content would also be suitable for recent graduates and those currently involved with asphalt materials who would benefit from refreshing their knowledge. 

Aims & Objectives:

On completion of this course delegates will be able to:

  • Have an understanding of asphalt as a product, its constituents and its manufacture
  • Describe asphalts in accordance with the new BS EN 13108 and PD 6691 designations
  • Define the options available using the different material types in pavement construction
  • Understand the fundamental requirements of the European Asphalt Standards, and to interpret these using the UK National Guidance Document
  • Appreciate the implications of the Construction Products Regulation implemented from 1st July 2013
  • Appreciate the concept of Design asphalts for the lower pavement layers
  • Understand the new concept and benefits of Asphalt Type Testing, Factory Production Control and CE marking and their relationship to the contract
  • Avoid the pitfalls through an understanding of the important criteria associated with the transportation, laying and compaction of asphalts as covered within BS 594987 and the 900 Series of the Specification for Highway Works
  • Appreciate the implications of the additional and more onerous requirements applicable to asphalt laying and compaction introduced by the Highways Agency in January 2008.
  • Appreciate the basic testing requirements associated with performance based, performance related and empirical specification methodology
  • Understand how asphalt properties testing results are used in the design of flexible pavements
  • Identify those key factors relating to the handling and laying of asphalt that could ultimately affect the contractual acceptance of the pavement and its performance under traffic
  • Appreciate the concepts of surface dressing state the differences when comparing the short term benefits against the longer time disadvantages
  • Understand the concept of high friction surfacing and its application when compared to the use of asphalt which utilises high skid resistance/PSV aggregates

On satisfactory completion of the course, employers and clients will benefit from the improved understanding of asphalts and their use in pavement construction. This will be achieved through:

  • Better utilisation of products
  • Greater opportunity to achieve an optimum quality pavement
  • Durability and cost effectiveness best suited to the specific demands of the contract
  • Reduction of material and laying defects costs
  • Optimisation of resources on site
  • Timely resolution of any material or pavement construction issues.

Course Outline:

Session 1 Asphalt constituents and production.

The types, sources and properties of the constituent aggregates, bitumen and additives. The different manufacturing processes used and any potential effects on the products supplied.

Session 2 The types and applications of different asphalt material groups.

Identification of the differences in the composition of the main asphalts used in the UK with focus on Asphalt Concretes (formerly known as Macadams), Hot Rolled Asphalts, Stone Mastic Asphalt and Thin Surfacing Systems. Particular reference will be made to EME2 under SHW Clause 930, Thin Surfacing Systems Clause 942 requirements.

Session 3 Specification, composition and the design of asphalts.

Consideration of the BS EN 13108 family of mixture Standards and their methodology of defining mixture composition/performance and in particular those mixtures covered within PD 6691. Interaction between E standards for asphalt and the SHW with particular reference to Design Base and Binder Course Mixtures requirements under SHW Clause 929. A brief outline of Type Testing and CE marking and their relationship to the contract and the implications of the Construction Products Regulation implemented on 1st July 2013.

Session 4 The transportation, laying and compaction of Asphalts.

The key elements of the very important document, BS 594987 and the additional more
onerous requirements of Clause 903 of the Specification for Highway Works.

Session 5 Testing and the properties of asphalts

The new testing standards will be compared to the old BS 598 series. An examination of performance based, performance related and empirical specification and testing with particular emphasis on NAT stiffness, Wheel Tracking, voids and fatigue.

Session 6 Design of the flexible pavement.

The requirements of the Design Manual for pavement design including selection of PSV for the surface course and developments with reduced texture requirements for Thin Surfacings.

Session 7 Surface dressing and other specialist treatments

The principles of surface dressing and the requirements of Road Note 39 sixth edition.

Session 8 Review and Discussion.

On successful completion of the course, delegates will possess enhanced product and pavement technology skills with the resultant capability to be able to select the appropriate materials for pavement construction and the confidence to communicate more effectively and coherently with suppliers, site engineers and specialists in asphalt technology.

Intended For:

This course is suitable for supervisory staff employed by Civil Engineering Contractors, Civil Engineers, Surfacing Contractors and clients whose activities may involve the specification, supervision or laying of asphalts in the UK.