There are a number of test methods using different equipment with closed or open cups. The Cleveland Flash Cup Apparatus is used to test cutback bitumen and may sometimes also be used to test penetration grade bitumen. The apparatus utilises the open cup test method. Note that results from different methods cannot be correlated.

The test is performed in duplicate under closely controlled conditions. Water is used as the bath medium for binders with softening points below 80ºC. Above this temperature glycerol is used in place of water. The softening point is a fundamental property of binders other than cutbacks and emulsions. The test is often referred to as the Ring and Ball test.