Types of Asphalt and Their Applications

Asphalt is one of the most versatile and commonly used materials in pavement, roadway, and driveway construction. Asphalt is durable, safe, affordable, and reusable. Yet, there are different mixes of asphalt and these may serve different purposes. Below are the different types of asphalt and the purpose each serves.

Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt is a combination of asphalt cement, heated fine and coarse aggregate, and water. This type of asphalt is flexible, weather resistant, resilient, and impermeable.

This mix is poured at high temperatures of about 150 to 177 °C and is easy to use when hot. Hot mix asphalt is ideally used in places where temperatures are above 4°C to prevent the asphalt mix from cooling quickly. It is used on pavements and roads. Its use also needs a high level of expertise.

This type of mix is further classified into three different types.

Dense-Graded Mix

This type of hot mix asphalt is impermeable and the most used for asphalt resurfacing and repairing. This type of mix is further classified into coarse and fine-graded mixes. Fine-graded mixes are fine, with particles the size of sand.

Stone-Matrix Mix

This type of hot mix is highly durable and makes pavements resistant to rutting. This type of hot mix has a higher content of asphalt and is more expensive than dense-graded mix. Stone-matrix mix is ideal for use in places that handle high volumes of traffic.

Open-Grade Mix

Open-graded mixes comprise crushed stone and a few grains of sand. This type of mix is water-permeable.

Warm Mix Asphalt

The production methods of warm mix and hot mix asphalt are the same. However, warm mix asphalt is poured at lower temperatures. To spread the asphalt mix at lower temperatures, warm asphalt is mixed with additives and binders.

This mix releases fewer fumes and consumes less energy during manufacture. With this in mind, warm mix asphalt is an ideal mix for areas with poor air circulation.

Cold Mix Asphalt

Cold mix asphalt is a combination of cold aggregate and asphalt cement mixed with water. The cold mix is then placed on a roadbed without heating and compacted. This mix cures and hardens slowly, and the pavements have a short life span.

Cold mix asphalt is used in conditions where hot mix asphalt is inapplicable. Therefore, they are used as a temporary solution in freezing temperatures. The mix is mostly used to repair cracks and potholes before permanent repair can be done.

Porous Asphalt

Porous pavement is designed in a way that allows water to pass through the pavement. This type of asphalt is ideally used in areas prone to water pooling and flooding.

The water can drain through the pavement and safely reach the stone recharge bed and eventually the soil. Pavements made from this material are durable and hard-wearing. Porous asphalt eliminates water puddles and makes it easier to manage stormwater. Due to this asphalt’s porous nature, it helps to recharge aquifers and reduces demands on the local sewer systems.

Perpetual Pavement

Perpetual pavements are installed in a multi-layer paving process. This type of asphalt is strong and long-lasting. The first layer is flexible and strong. This layer prevents the formation of cracks on the road’s bottom. Two more layers are added over the first layer. The driving surface is the last layer to be added and can be removed and replaced as the other two layers stay in place.

Perpetual asphalt pavements are long-lasting, durable, and reduce replacement costs. Furthermore, the installation of perpetual pavements allows continuous traffic flow and takes a short time.

Here at Pinnacle Paving, we are all about asphalt paving. Contact our qualified experts for great work at competitive prices.