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6 Types Of Asphalt And When To Use Them

Key Takeaways:

  • Asphalt is a mixture of binder, aggregates, and filler used to pave driveways and parking lots.
  • Different types of asphalt mixtures are available, each serving a particular purpose.
  • Hot mix asphalt is the most popular type globally as it is safe, adaptable, resilient, and reusable.
  • Warm mix asphalt is a new technology for production at lower temperatures. It has many of the same benefits as hot mix asphalt but can be used even during winter.
  • MC cold mix is best for repairs in chilly weather but has a limited lifespan due to its soft nature.
  • Dense-graded mixes are appropriate for all pavement layers and traffic situations, while porous asphalt helps manage stormwater runoff.

When paving your driveway or parking lot, you have a few options available. But if you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance, and affordable material, then asphalt is the way to go. Asphalt is the most popular and widely utilized paving material globally, and for a good reason. It is safe, adaptable, resilient, and reusable, among other benefits.

However, not all asphalt mixtures are created equal. You may come across several varieties of asphalt, each serving a particular purpose, resulting in differing qualities.

In this blog post, Quality Asphalt will look at the different types of asphalt and when you should use them.

What Is Asphalt, And Where Does It Come From?

Asphalt (also known as bitumen) is an extremely viscous, black, and sticky semi-solid or liquid petroleum. It is a mixture of binder, aggregates, and filler used to build and maintain parking lots, driveways, and highways, among other things.

Asphalt can be obtained either naturally or as a byproduct of petroleum distillation. It is composed primarily of hydrogen and carbon molecules, with trace quantities of oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Asphalt is made up of two principal ingredients: aggregates (a combination of gravel, crushed stone, and sand), which account for around 95% of the total weight, and bitumen (petroleum waste), which accounts for the remaining 5%.

6 Types of Asphalt and When to Use Them

Types Of Asphalt Mixes:

Type 01: Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is a mixture of around 95% stone, sand, or gravel cemented together by asphalt cement, a crude oil byproduct. It is created by heating the bitumen binder to a high temperature, often between 300- and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, hot mix asphalt is blended to improve its viscosity and flexibility, making it easier to pour and distribute and pushing any moisture in the mixture to evaporate. This increases the durability and water resistance of hot mix asphalt, extending its life.

The flexibility of hot mix asphalt is due to its temperature, but as it cools, it becomes hard and solidifies. People in naturally warm-temperature nations utilize hot-mix asphalt all year; however, certain northern hemisphere countries use hot-mix asphalt just during summer.

Hot mix asphalt is the most preferred choice for airport runways, highways, roadways, and car parking because of its longevity, resistance to weeds and water, and smooth surface.

Type 02: Warm Mix Asphalt

Warm mix asphalt is a new technology revolutionizing the asphalt paving industry. It allows for asphalt production at lower temperatures ranging from 30 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lower than hot mix asphalt. It thus reduces energy consumption, emissions of greenhouse gases, and odor.

It is nearly identical to hot mix asphalt. Still, because of its temperature, it cools slowly and may be used even during the winter, extending the paving season. It can also be carried over longer distances without sacrificing quality. It can be used more efficiently due to its comparatively easier and safer application.

Warm mix asphalt is used for the same applications as hot mix asphalt, such as airport runways, highways, and roads. Warm Mix Asphalt uses less fuel and emits fewer greenhouse gases, making it more cost-effective, safer for the environment, and safer for employees.

Type 03: MC Cold Mix

MC cold mix is a cold mix asphalt that is made with emulsified bitumen. It remains soft in cold temperatures and repels water well in all temperatures. Due to its soft nature, MC cold-mix asphalt has a limited lifespan and should only be used as a last choice for repairs.

When the outer temperature is too chilly for hot mix asphalt, cold mix asphalt is most effective for repairs such as minor cracks and potholes or patches. Cold mix asphalt is not nearly as robust as hot mix and should be used only for minor repairs or temporary patches until a more permanent repair using hot asphalt mix can be done.

Type 04: Dense-Graded Mixes

A dense-graded mix is an HMA mixture that has been well-graded and is suited for widespread usage. A dense-graded mix is relatively impermeable when properly designed and manufactured. The nominal maximum aggregate size of dense-graded mixtures is commonly used to identify them. They are further subdivided into fine-graded and coarse-graded. Fine-graded mixes include a greater proportion of fine and sand-sized particles than coarse-graded mixes.

A dense graded mix is appropriate for all asphalt pavement layers and traffic situations. It performs admirably in structural, friction, leveling, and mending applications.

Type 05: Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is a unique mixture that drains water through the pavement surface. It is made of coarse aggregate, stone dust, and a binder that is either cutback asphalt or emulsion. Porous asphalt is used as a base or subbase layer in pavements with good drainage conditions.

Porous asphalt can be used with non-woven geotextiles or open-graded aggregate to store and drain water. It is a sustainable, low-impact paving solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Porous asphalt pavements are an excellent choice for green infrastructure projects. They can be used in parking lots, driveways, bike paths, walking trails, and other paved areas.

Type 06: Milled Asphalt

Milled asphalts are a byproduct of asphalt pavement rejuvenation. The technique entails grinding up the top layer of old asphalt and replacing it with fresh asphalt. Milled asphalts are frequently replaced with hot asphalt and stone graves. Compared to other varieties of asphalt, it is less costly and can survive harsh weather.

Ending Note:

Knowing which asphalt to use might mean the difference between success and failure, depending on your requirements. You can now choose which type of asphalt will work best for your property by learning the many types of asphalt, their uses, and their benefits.

Quality Asphalt provides a comprehensive variety of business and residential paving services, such as asphalt paving, asphalt maintenance (seal coating and crack filling), concrete, and many more in Sturgeon Bay. Our services are affordable because we execute projects with meticulous preparation and a realistic timeframe, allowing us to fulfill deadlines.

So, chat with us or get a free quote today!