Maximum Specific Gravity Of Bituminous  AASHTO T-209

Maximum Specific Gravity Of Bituminous Paving Mixtures   AASHTO T-209


The design and assessment of asphalt mixes hinge appreciably on the critical parameter referred to as the most unique gravity (Gmm) of bituminous paving mixtures. Gmm helps to decide the theoretical maximum density that an asphalt blend can gain while all air voids are filled with bitumen. This records is important for calculating the quantity of bitumen required for a specific blend design, ensuring most beneficial pavement overall performance, and evaluating the durability and power of the asphalt pavement.


The experiment will adhere to the following standard.

1.) ASTM D2041

2.) Maximum Specific Gravity Of Bituminous Paving Mixtures   AASHTO T-209


This test seeks to check the maximum precise gravity (Gmm) of bituminous paving combinations. The take a look at is conducted to assess the compactability and volumetric traits of the asphalt blend, ensuring its nice and performance in pavement construction.


The objective of this experiment is to determine the most precise gravity of bituminous paving combinations employing the vacuum technique as mentioned in accordance with ASTM D2041 and following the particular instructions furnished by way of the AASHTO popular.


  • To appropriately decide the most unique gravity of bituminous paving combinations.

  • To understand the compactability and volumetric properties of the asphalt mix.
  • To guarantee the quality and performance of asphalt pavements through the application of suitable mix design.


  • A flask or desiccator of known volume, accompanied by a vacuum pump.
  • Balance with a precision of at least 0.1% of the sample weight.
  • maintain Oven temperature of 110 ± 5°C.
  • Water bath with temperature control.
  • Thermometer accurate to ± 0.5°C.
  • Sieve with 4.75 mm opening.
  • Sample containers and mixing tools.


The fundamental assessment of volumetric properties and compactability of asphalt mixes relies on the maximum specific gravity (Gmm) of bituminous paving mixtures. According to the procedure specified in AASHTO T-209, this test establishes the theoretical maximum density achievable by an asphalt mix when all air voids are filled with bitumen. The importance of this test extends to the design, exceptional manage, and assessment of asphalt pavements.


The Maximum Specific Gravity test operates at the principle rooted inside the volumetric residences of bituminous paving mixtures. It revolves around gauging the density of the compacted asphalt mix under vacuum conditions to eradicate air voids. The test involves measuring the mass of the compacted mix and contrasting it with the mass of water occupying the identical volume as the compacted mix in a vacuum. The resultant value from this comparison represents the maximum specific gravity.

Theoretical Background

Bituminous paving combinations are made from mineral aggregates, filler substances, and a bitumen binder. The voids within the blend have an effect on its volumetric residences and, consequently, its overall performance as a pavement material. The presence of air voids reduces the asphalt blend’s density and might lead to decreased energy, and permeability, and durability of the pavement.

Safety Precautions

  • Follow proper laboratory safety protocols while handling equipment and chemicals.
  • Refrain from breathing in bituminous fumes while conducting sample preparation and testing

  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as per laboratory guidelines.

Sample Preparation

  • Collect a pattern that as it should be represents the bituminous paving aggregate from either the challenge web site or the manufacturing plant.
  • Dry the sample in an oven at a hundred and ten ± 5°C until it reaches a regular weight.
  • Remove the sample from the oven and allow it to cool in a desiccator to prevent moisture absorption.

Test Procedure

(Note: The following steps provide a general overview of the test procedure. Always refer to the specific AASHTO standard for detailed instructions.)

1.) Weigh the Empty Flask/Desiccator

  • Precisely weigh the vacuum-sealed jar, which is essentially an empty flask, using the balance.

2.) Determine Weight of Water

  • Accurately record the weight of the flask/desiccator after filling it with water.

3.) Fill the Flask/Desiccator with Sample

  • Put the dried and cooled sample into the flask, then gently compact the sample using a hand tamper to reduce the presence of air voids

 4.) Seal the Flask/Desiccator

  • Verify that the sample is free of air bubbles

  • Seal the flask tightly to prevent any air from entering during the test.

 5.) Apply Vacuum

  • Connect the vacuum pump to the flask and start the vacuuming process.
  • Eliminate any air voids in the sample by applying a vacuum for a suitable duration.

6.) Submerge the flask/desiccator in a water bath

  • Prepare a water bath at the desired test temperature (usually 25 ± 1°C).
  • Submerge the securely sealed flask in a water bath and sustain the temperature for 15-20 minutes.

7.) Measure the Weight and Temperature

  • Once the water level stabilizes, document the temperature of the water bath using a precise thermometer.
  • Precisely document the weight of the flask with the immersed sample.

Maximum Specific Gravity Of Bituminous  AASHTO T-209


Compute the maximum specific gravity (Gmm) using the provided formula:

Gmm = (Weight of flask/Desiccator with immersed sample – Weight of empty flask/Desiccator) / Weight of water

AASHTO T 209 Maximum Specific Gravity of Asphalt Calculation Sheet


The maximum specific gravity of the bituminous paving mixtures was effectively identified in the experiment. The findings offer important insights for optimizing mix design and ensuring quality control in asphalt production. The obtained Gmm value is essential for estimating the correct bitumen content and assessing the long-term performance of asphalt pavements.


Based on the experiment’s findings, it is recommended to use the calculated maximum specific gravity for mix design and quality control purposes. Additional research and testing may be required to assess the performance of the mixture under diverse environmental and traffic conditions. This is essential to guarantee the longevity and durability of the asphalt pavement

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