Helping shape the standardisation framework of the bitumen industry in Europe
European standardisation is an important area for the bitumen industry in general and for Eurobitume members in particular. Appropriate product performance and testing standards not only benefit manufacturers, specifiers and end-users, but also help facilitate the use of different types and grades of bitumen and bituminous binders across Europe.
On behalf of members, the Eurobitume team works hard to help shape the development and revision of European standards, by providing expert input into and leadership of various CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) and National Standardardisation Body (NSB) mirror committees. These mirror committees discuss the standardisation work carried out at European level and reflect back the results of these discussions to CEN.
Also, some of our members choose to have direct, corporate involvement with certain CEN and NSB mirror committees.
Eurobitume input into the CEN standardisation process
Throughout the standardisation process, Eurobitume represents members interests on multiple CEN and NSB mirror committees in a number of ways:
1. By identifying when either a new standard is required or an existing standard needs to be updated.
Ahead of the CEN Systematic Reviews for test standards, Eurobitume members are invited to provide their comments on the standards which, once agreed on are summarised as our positions and shared with members for input through NSB mirror committees.
Another example is when the HSE Committee identified opportunities to improve the safe handling of bitumen within the sampling procedures described in EN 58.
2. By supporting accurate, reliable and consistent testing against product standards.
For instance, by developing supplementary Eurobitume Technical Information Sheets (TIS) to make individual test methods easier to understand and undertake accurately. When appropriate, the content of these TIS is also used as input into all feasible stages of CEN revision processes, such as Systematic Review and CEN Enquiry. We did so for example for EN 1426 “Determination of needle penetration”, which is currently under CEN Enquiry.
3. By developing informed Eurobitume positions on the revision of European bituminous binder product standards.
For example, with extensive input and support from our members we have run a Data Collection project on low service temperature behaviour of long-term (RTFOT and PAV) aged binders, which collated and analysed multiple organisations’ experiences with specific test methods. The data allows us to assess different parameters currently discussed and then provide expert input into the test method’s suitability for future specifications.
4. Providing input, through NSB mirror committees, on the implementation of standards.
Eurobitume positions, which are agreed by our members after discussion of robust experiences and facts in our Task Forces and Committees, are shared with members and team members so they can provide fact-based input into mirror committee meetings, share knowledge, discuss and provide input into standardisation processes.
Two examples of positions shared in 2021 are:
- Needle penetration is a suitable test to easily assess and compare the consistency of all binders at intermediate service temperature.
- Rheological test methods are recommended for several essential characteristics, especially with complex binders for which conventional test methods do not necessarily assess the performance adequately. For example, low service temperature performance should be assessed by BBR testing on long-term aged binders.
Examples of CEN and NSB mirror committees which Eurobitume team members are currently involved with:
- Liaison partner in CEN/TC336
- Chair CEN/TC336 WG1
- Chair CEN/TC336 WG1 TG14 (Future Specifications)
- Member of CEN/TC336 WG1 TGs 11 and 12 (various test standards)
- Member of TG Sustainability of CEN/TC336
NSB mirror committees
- Chair various NSB CEN/TC336 mirror committees
- Member of various NSB mirror committees to CEN/TC227 WG1
- Member of various NSB mirror committees to other CEN/TCs, e.g TC154, TC350 and TC351.