What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binder and filler, used for constructing and maintaining all kinds of roads, parking areas, and play- and sport areas. Aggregates used for asphalt mixtures could be crushed rock, sand, gravel or slags. In order to bind the aggregates into a cohesive mixture a binder is used. Most commonly, bitumen is used as a binder. An average asphalt pavement consists of the road structure above the formation level which includes unbound and bituminous-bound materials. This gives the pavement the ability to distribute the loads of the traffic before it arrives at the formation level.
What is the utility of Asphalt ?
Although asphalt is mainly used for paving roads, it can also be used for various other purposes. The versatility of asphalt makes it such a widely used material. Among others, it can be found in the following sectors: Uses of Asphalt in transportation - (roads, railway beds or airport runways, taxiways, etc.), uses of Asphalt in recreation - (playgrounds, bicycle paths, running tracks, tennis courts...), uses of Asphalt in Agriculture- (barn floors, greenhouse floors...), uses of Asphalt in Industrial purposes - (ports, landfill caps, work sites...) and uses of Asphalt in Building construction- (flooring).
How is Asphalt produced?
Asphalt can be produced in a fixed plant or even in a mobile mixing plant. It is possible to produce up to 800 tons per hour. The average production temperature of hot mix asphalt is between 150 and 190°C, which depends however on the mixture produced.
What are the Variants of Asphalt?
Hot Mix Hot mixes are produced at a temperature between 150 and 190 °C. Depending on the usage, a different asphalt mixture can be used. Warm Mix A typical WMA is produced at a temperature around 20 - 40 °C lower than an equivalent Hot Mix Asphalt. Less energy is involved and, during the paving operations, the temperature in the mix is lower, resulting in improved working conditions for the crew and an earlier opening of the road. Cold Mix Cold mixes are produced without heating the aggregate. This is only possible, due to the use of a specific bitumen emulsion which breaks either during compaction or during mixing. After breaking, the emulsion coats the aggregate and over time, increases its strengths. Cold mixes are particularly recommendable for lightly trafficked roads.
Asphalt or Flexible Pavement?
Asphalt is sometimes referred to as a "Flexible Pavement". This is due to its ability to largely resist the stress imposed by slight settlements of the sub-grade without cracking. Other names for asphalt include road tar, road binder, mineral pitch, petroleum pitch, petroleum asphalt, and seal-coating material
Advantages of Asphalt ?
The advantages of Asphalt are: COMFORTABLE ECONOMICS, SAFETY PERFORMANCE, FAST & EASY, SUSTAINABLE, FLEXIBILITY, ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY, AND NOISE REDUCTION.
Is Asphalt & Tar the same ?
Asphalt is often mistakenly confused with "tar,” “coal tar,” or “pitch” because the appearance is similar and the substances may be used interchangeably in many industrial processes. Tar and pitch are derived from coal products which are chemically and physically different.
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