Mechanical Characterization of Bituminous Materials

By Prof. J. Murali Krishnan(JMK), Prof. A. Padmarekha(APR), Prof. Neethu Roy(NR), Prof. M. R. Nivitha (MRN)   |   IIT Madras, SRM IST, Kattankulathur, MBCET, Trivandrum, PSG Tech., Coimbatore
Learners enrolled: 1078
Bituminous materials exhibit a complex mechanical response, and an understanding of the same is paramount in pavement engineering. This course will include introductory elementary linear viscoelasticity, and use that framework to introduce different grading system for bitumen. Use of polymers to enhance the rhelogical properties will be discussed along with the various test methods to quantify such improvement. Mechanical characterization of bituminous mixtures for modulus determination for design purposes as well as quantification for laboratory performance in rutting and fatigue damage will be discussed. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE  : Highway Engineers
PREREQUISITES : This is a self-contained course for students and practitioners alike, and hence, no prerequisite is required. For those who do not have an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, familiarity with construction of bituminous pavements will be helpful.
INDUSTRY SUPPORT   : Engineering Staff working in Oil Refineries, Modified Bitumen Manufacturers, State, and Central Highways Departments and PWD, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and National Highways Authority of India.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Outline of the course; Introduction to bituminous pavements; Overview of distresses such as rutting and fatigue cracking in bituminous layers; Influence of binders and mixtures on such distresses; Role of mechanical characterization for design and laboratory performance.
Week 2:Introduction to linear viscoelasticity; Elastic, viscous and viscoelastic response; Viscoelastic solid and viscoelastic fluid; Linearity of response - scaling and superposition;
Week 3:Introduction of material functions for viscoelastic materials - creep compliance function and, stress relaxation function in the time domain and complex creep compliance and complex stress relaxation function in the frequency domain.
Week 4:Influence of temperature on the linear viscoelastic response; Thermorheologically simple behavior, time-temperature superposition, and construction of master curve.
Week 5:Introduction to refinery processing of bitumen; Chemical composition of bitumen; Relationship between chemical composition and physical parameters of bitumen; Aging of bitumen and bituminous mixtures.
Week 6:Introduction to the grading system for bitumen; Penetration and viscosity grading of bitumen
Week 7:Industry lecture on Dynamic Shear Rheometer - Dharmesh Gala from Anton Paar; Performance grading of bitumen - Issues related to reliability, slow-moving traffic, and high volume and grade-bumping.
Week 8:Modifiers for bitumen; Performance characterization of modified bitumen; Introduction to MSCR test method.
Week 9:Introduction to Bituminous Mixture and the associated volumetrics; Mixing and compaction of unmodified and modified bituminous mixtures
Week 10:Stiffness modulus (van der Poel), dynamic modulus, and resilient modulus of bituminous mixtures - experimental protocol, and post-processing.
Week 11:Simulation of rutting of bituminous mixtures in the laboratory: flow number, flow time and dry rut wheel testing - experimental protocol, and post-processing.
Week 12:Simulation of fatigue damage of bituminous mixtures in the laboratory: beam bending and repeated indirect tensile testing - experimental protocol, and post-processing.

Books and references

1. Alan S Wineman and K. R. Rajagopal, Mechanical Response of Polymers, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
2.W. N. Findley, J. S. Lai and K. Onaran, Creep and Relaxation of Nonlinear Viscoelastic Materials, Dover Publications, 1989.
3.The Asphalt Handbook, Asphalt Institute, 1989.
4. Relevant ASTM and IS Standards as well as downloadable public documents. Permanent links will be shared during the conduct of the course.

Instructor bio

Prof. J. Murali Krishnan(JMK)

IIT Madras
J. Murali Krishnan is currently a faculty member in the department of civil engineering, IIT Madras. He obtained his Ph.D. from IIT Madras during 1999 and was a post-doctoral research associate at Texas A&M University, College Station, USA from 1999 to 2004. Before his Ph.D., he worked as a bituminous pavement engineer in various construction firms for more than six years.

Prof. A. Padmarekha(APR)

SRM IST, Kattankulathur
A Padma Rekha is currently working as an Associate Professor in the department of Civil Engineering, SRM Institute of science and Technology. She received her Ph.D. degree from IIT Madras during 2013. Her area of research interest includes, Rheological characterization of bitumen and bituminous mixture, aging characteristics of bituminous material and bituminous pavement design.

Prof. Neethu Roy(NR)

MBCET, Trivandrum
Neethu Roy is working as Asst. Dean (R&D) and Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Kerala. She got her Ph.D. from IIT Madras during 2013. Her research interest includes rutting and fatigue characterization of bituminous mixtures, bituminous pavement design and pavement management system.

Prof. M. R. Nivitha (MRN)

PSG Tech., Coimbatore
M. R. Nivitha is currently a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. She received her Ph.D. from IIT Madras in 2016. Her research interests include rheological and microstructure characterization of bitumen, interaction mechanisms in modified bitumen and aging kinetics.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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