Category Archives: Asphalt Work

The Three Degrees Of Asphalt Paving!

Did you know there was more than one type of asphalt to choose from?

In fact, there are three temperatures which asphalt can be manufactured to.

As asphalt paving contractors operating in the State of Virginia, we use all three, in varying different circumstances.

And as a house holder, you have the same dilemma as us!

You might even feel a bit like Goldilocks, when posed with the question of whether to use a cold asphalt mix, a warm asphalt mix or a piping hot asphalt mix!

Because in some ways, asphalt is a bit like porridge. It comes in different temperatures, mixtures and consistencies.

And like porridge, you need to decide which one is most to your (or your project’s) taste!

HOT MIX ASPHALT

This is a mixture which is poured piping hot – approximately between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

HMA is the mainstay of paving and roading projects everywhere.

It is weather resistant, can withstand water and may be used in most conditions.

HMA comes in three types – stone matrix asphalt, open grade mixes and dense graded mixes.

Stone matrix is used to help the grip of tires on a road. It is used to prevent rutting and is more expensive than other kinds of asphalt.

Open graded asphalt comes in two varieties. One is known as a friction course and is used on the surface layer of the pavement. It has 15% air voids in it.

The second kind is made for draining water from the surface layer of the pavement. It can be used as a base for the more densely graded asphalt types.

The dense graded mixes come in various sizes of aggregate. There is coarse or fine graded.

The fine graded has more little stones and sand in it.

The fine graded asphalt mixes are often used on highways and roads which will see a lot of traffic on them.

You are probably not going to use this for your small domestic paving project.

WARM MIX ASPHALT

Warm mix asphalt is used less often than hot mix, but has some advantages over it, depending on the job you want it for.

It is used in roughly just under a third of all paving jobs.

WMA is made at between 200 and 250 degrees and thereby utilizes less fossil fuel and other resources in its construction.

It has extra binders in it, which makes it able to pour at a lower temperature.

It also has the advantage of costing less than HMA does.

However, WMA doesn’t cool as quickly as HMA does. This means it can be transported further than HMA can be and also allows for the construction of roads outside of the usual summer months.

From an environmental point of view, WMA offers advantages for both the atmosphere and the health of the workers laying it.
Due to the lower emissions and fumes given off from WMA, it is often chosen for confined spaces such as tunnels.


COLD MIX ASPHALT

Cold mix asphalt is often chosen for smaller projects like filling a pothole.

Asphalt paving companies frequently use it in the winter months, when a hole must be filled urgently.

This is because it remains malleable even in the cold and resists water.

Generally, though, you would probably plan to undertake your home paving project in the summer months.

Unlike Goldilocks, you won’t be able to try a bit of each type of asphalt before you lay it. So, it pays to give it some serious thought before making your choice!

If you’re still not sure, contact a professional asphalt paving company in Virginia and get their opinion on the matter!