Different Uses Of Asphalt

Admit it! When you hear someone say asphalt, the first thing that comes to mind is driveways or roads. However, asphalts are flexible enough that it is used for other applications and in different locations. They can be used not just in driveways or roads, but also used in barn floors or ocean floors.

One of the most commonly used asphalt material is HMA or Hot Mixed Asphalt. This is used as a practical solution to flood control, water storage, erosion, and other conservation problems. They are also used as a primary liner in hazardous wastes landfills and sanitary landfills. On the other hand, you can also see asphalt being used in running tracks, race tracks, playgrounds, golf cart paths and bicycle paths, tennis courts, and even in basketball courts. In aquatic applications, they care used in making reservoir liners, sea walls, dikes, groins to prevent soil erosion in beaches, fish hatcheries, and industrial retention ponds. For residential purposes, they are also used to build subdivision roads. In agriculture, they are used in creating barn floors, poultry house floors, cattle feed lots, and greenhouse floors. For industrial purposes, they are used in log yards, work sites, freight yards, and landfill caps.

As you can see, asphalt is not only limited to creating driveways and roads, which are the most common areas where asphalt is being used. Asphalt is made of flexible materials that allow it to be used in different fields. Also, asphalt comes in different types, which allows different applications and functions. Other asphalt types are as follows:

  • Porous Asphalt (Permeable Asphalt)
  • Double Layered Porous Asphalt
  • Soft Asphalt
  • Hot Rolled Asphalt
  • Stone Mastic Asphalt
  • Mastic Asphalt
  • Asphalt Concrete (for both ultra thin and very thin layers)

Depending on the application of the asphalt, it can be heated up to 190°C. But warm mix asphalts (WMA) are only heated up to 40°C, while cold mix asphalts don’t need reheating.

Because of the different benefits of using asphalt, it has become the most used paving material all over the world. Many companies opt the use of asphalt in comparison to using concrete as it is more flexible in terms of repair. It is also less costly to maintain and have constructed. Homeowners are also enjoying an environmentally-friendly driveway with porous asphalts. This helps water management in big cities too. But, as you know, asphalt is not limited to residential and commercial uses. They are used in different industries like agriculture and recreation.


The 3 Main Asphalt Types


Asphalt can be the most convenient way to go when you want to smooth out uneven surface or to fill any potholes. However, before you start working your way around asphalt and fixing potholes and other asphalt problems, it is important that you know the different types that you can use for each project. There are three main asphalt materials that you can use that are available in the market today. These are Hot Asphalt, Cold Mix, and UPM (Unique Paving Materials).

Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-Mix Asphalt or HMA is typically used by construction crew when paving and patching driveways. This is because it is the easiest type to work with. This type of asphalt is typically delivered to the job site via dump trucks, and they usually come in at 300 to 315°F. This is a permanent solution to any asphalt pavement problem. When you decide to use this to address your driveway issues, then you should remember using it as soon as possible. If it cools down, it will be very difficult for you to spread it over the pothole. When it is completely cooled down, it will be like turning over a boulder or a huge rock.

Cold Mix

If HMA is a permanent fix to an asphalt problem, Cold Mix is a temporary fix as it does not last long as the previous type. This type of asphalt repair mix is used to repair cracks that are more than an inch wide. This is also very suitable to repair potholes in the winter as it does not need warming up. The cold temperature is advantageous for this kind of asphalt. The advantage of using a cold mix is that you don’t have to use expensive asphalt tampers and rollers. You also don’t have to mix it or heat it up before you can start patching holes up or filling cracks in your driveway. You can simply shovel and pour it over the cracks or potholes. Level it up, and you are done.

Unique Paving Materials

Unique Paving Materials or UPM are considered as a cold mix. However, unlike Cold Mix, this is a permanent solution to cracks and potholes on the driveway. This type of material can be used all year round, unlike the previous two options. The temperature of this material can be adjusted as the need arises. This does not also require the same machinery as HMA. It only needs a shovel and the truck tires to compact the material. Once this is done, you can immediately use the newly patched driveway.

The three types of potholes and crack solutions above are the most basic materials that you can use whenever the need arises. You just have to determine which one is most suitable for you. You can either have this done on your own, or you can hire a professional to help seal and patch cracks and holes on your driveways. Either way, the materials will be able to help with your asphalt pavement problems.

How To Choose The Best Asphalt Type For The Job

types-of-asphaltAsphalt is a commonly used type of pavement for many different projects. It’s very versatile in that it can be used in different ways, and of course there are also different types of asphalt. It’s most commonly used for roads, but you also have to think about parking lots, runways at airports and much more.

As mentioned, there are different types of asphalt or ‘mixes’ for the different projects out there. Some projects require that the asphalt help absorb noise, and certain asphalt mixes can also help with water runoff, spraying and splashing when rain has occurred.

The following are helpful tips for selecting the asphalt that should be used for certain projects.

The Perpetual Type

The perpetual type of pavement is layered and often used for roads. Its purpose is geared towards helping the roads to last longer. This type of layered pavement helps to prevent cracking due to its flexible base. Both the bottom and middle layers are permanent, but the top driving surface, while also strong, is going to be replaced every so often. This of course is going to help save time and money when the roads need work. Another cost saving measure is the simple fact that asphalt mixes are recyclable.

The Porous Type

Porous asphalt has advantages when it comes to water because the water drains through the asphalt and into the ground. The porous type of asphalt is good for parking lot projects, and it helps with ground water quality and also storm water management. Porous asphalt may sound like it’s not going to last as long, but it is durable and can be used for multiple types of projects.

The Quiet Type

It was mentioned that there is asphalt that helps with noise absorption or noise pollution. Noise absorption is handled by creating a stone and asphalt mix, half and half. It is a cost efficient strategy that prevents the need for noise barriers. Think about the roads within residential neighborhoods and quiet communities where homeowners don’t want to be dealing with a bunch of noise pollution.

The Warm Mix Type

The warm mix type is used when paving is done in places where the temperatures can be quite cold. This helps get paving projects done more often throughout the year, and it is also an energy efficient and environmentally friendly solution. Compaction is made much easier as well.

The Hot Mix Type

Driveways are the most common type of project where hot mix asphalt is used, and this is mostly because of the finish or appearance. It’s also considered to be a cost efficient, low maintenance and durable solution.

There are always going to be new types of asphalt mixes introduced as technology improves, which will make future projects even easier.