How Asphalt is Made and the Benefits of Asphalt Paving
What makes asphalt better than concrete and other paving materials? Unlike other types of paving materials,is flexible and easier to repair. Asphalt roads also produce less noise pollution.
Continue reading to learn how asphalt is made and the other benefits of asphalt paving. For more information, call our asphalt contractors in Minneapolis, MN.
How is Asphalt Produced?
Manufacturers make asphalt out of stone, gravel, sand, and a small amount of asphalt cement. They use the last ingredient to bind the mixture together. Most manufacturers process asphalt from petroleum. Yet, asphalt is still a natural ingredient found in nature.
Oil refineries divide petroleum into different layers by weight. Since asphalt is the heaviest, it sinks to the bottom. Next, refineries separate and change asphalt so it’s the right consistency for paving.
Hot- vs. Cold-Mix Asphalt
Refineries make hot-mix asphalt by heating it between 200 and 350 degrees. The high temperatures make asphalt more fluid and evaporate any remaining moisture.
They must then keep hot-mix asphalt hot so it’s ready for paving. Otherwise, our asphalt contractors won't be able to compact and install it. Hot-mix asphalt is best for summer paving projects.
Manufacturers make cold-mix asphalt out of quarter-inch chip and proprietary oil. That way, it stays soft and malleable until it's ready for our asphalt contractors to use.
Since cold-mix asphalt is able to repel water, our asphalt paving contractors can install it in the rain. We also don't have to keep cold-mix asphalt hot to repair asphalt potholes and cracks. Our asphalt contractorsmay use cold-mix asphalt for repairs that can’t wait until summer.
What are the Benefits of Asphalt?
We use asphalt for driveways, parking lots, roads, and other paved surfaces. Explore the benefits of asphalt below.
Did you know asphalt is 100% recyclable? Recycled asphalt has the same strength and durability as virgin asphalt, at a lower cost to you. Asphalt recycling also keeps 75 million tons of asphalt out of landfills, according to the Federal Highway Administration. We're able to reuse asphalt millings and chunks to pave a variety of surfaces.
Less Noise Pollution
Cars make less noise when driving on asphalt compared to other types of pavement. This is why asphalt is often used for paving city roads that receive a high volume of traffic. People also appreciate less noise pollution in residential neighborhoods.
More Contrast between Pavement and Markings
Black asphalt creates a high contrast against yellow and white pavement markings. As a result, motorists and pedestrians are able to better see pavement markings and stay safe. For example, it's important that parking lot striping be visible year-round.
Unlike other pavement options, asphalt provides a smoother more uniform surface. Fewer bumps in the road reduces wear and tear on vehicles, lowering vehicle operating costs. When a roadway becomes smoother by only 25%, it can last up to 10% longer. Plus, cars have reduced CO2 emissions and better fuel economy on smooth asphalt because it reduces the friction between pavement and tires.
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This blog post has been updated.