Shaping the future

Eurobitume is the focal point for the bitumen industry in Europe, and one of our key functions is helping shape the future of the industry through the development and evolution of comprehensive international product standards:

  • Robust, harmonised European standards manufacturers produce to
  • Standards specifiers can use with confidence
  • Standards that end-users can rely upon to receive performance that is fit for purpose.

The revision of the European standard for the most commonly used bitumens in Europe's asphalt roads, paving grade bitumens, is a good example of how our Technical Committee - and the specialist task forces and working groups which report into it - bring together a wealth of detailed expertise from member organisations and utilise it to the benefit of bitumen industry stakeholders.


EN 12591 – European standard for paving grade bitumens

The CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) revision process of EN 12591 commenced in January 2015.

In 2016, following expert input from national standardisation bodies, and also from members of Eurobitume´s Technical Committee, CEN/TC336 WG1 proposed a revised standard draft. The working group, chaired by Eurobitume UK’s manager Chris Southwell, also took into account practical feedback, requirements from the implementation of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and findings from the Eurobitume Data Collection project. The findings focused on the suitability of various test methods.

The revised standard is expected to go to Formal Vote in 2017, with the new standard available in 2018.

EN 14023 – European standard for polymer modified bitumens

The review process for EN 14023 has also begun and proposals for revision were formally submitted to CEN/TC336 WG1 in 2016. These proposals, together with comments from the CEN Systematic Review Process, are under discussion by TG5 and a CEN Enquiry is possible in 2017.


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Performance Related Specifications

The first generation of bitumen standards for road pavements is used in all European countries.

Another example of how Eurobitume draws upon the expertise of its members was in the development of a position paper which summarises the European bitumen industry’s position on the next generation of performance related specifications.

A dedicated task force was set up to look at this issue and this TF PRS has produced a position paper summarising Eurobitume’s position.

Key recommendations of TF PRS include:

  • A new type of specification is suitable for rheologically ‘complex‘ bitumens, such as polymer modified bitumens or hard paving grade bitumens, which have been developed for use in specific applications where particular performance characteristics are required, such as:
    • recycling
    • roads subject to heavy load
    • or to facilitate reduced mixing and / or laying temperatures
  • Rheologically ‘simple‘ bitumens, those described in EN 12591, do not need new test methods, as the existing methods are considered to be adequately performance related.

A review of bitumen test methods that could be considered for future specification purposes has been carried out. The results of this work were compiled in the Eurobitume Data Collection report, which was handed over to CEN/TC 336 and has been updated with additional data sets received from CEN members.

If you would like to help shape the future of the bitumen industry, join Eurobitume and add your expertise, experience and knowledge to one of our working groups or task forces that is helping develop and evolve exacting international product standards.