Choose the Right Asphalt Mix for Your Road Construction

asphalt road with guard rails

You have different material options for your pavement. Asphalt is one of the oldest and yet still popular materials used for pavements. Asphalt surfaces are recyclable, durable, safe, smooth and versatile. The surfaces can also be customized in different ways to improve their appearance, reduce splashing and spraying on the surfaces during rainstorms and support any amount of load. There are different types of asphalt you can use for your pavement including cold, warm and hot mix.

Hot mix asphalt is the commonly used option for parking lot paving in Kansas City. It is also called blacktop, bitumen or simply hot mix. Cold and warm mix asphalt types are generally used for rehabilitation and maintenance works.

The designation ‘hot mix asphalt’ (HMA) denotes all asphalt mixtures which are heated then poured at 275-350 degrees Fahrenheit. This asphalt type is popular because of its weather and water resistance and flexibility. Here are the common hot mix asphalt types.

Dense-Graded Mixes

This is the standard HMA option since it is impermeable and hence water runs off its surface rather than seep through it. Its name is derived from the size of the aggregate used to mix the raw materials to generate an asphaltic composition. Dense-graded mixes are further categorized as coarse or fine-graded based on which of the aggregates makes a higher composition in the final product. These mixes are ideal for all types of roads and foot traffic. They also perform well under friction, repairing and surfacing needs and structural conditions.

Stone-Graded Asphalt

new asphalt roadThis type of HMA is primarily designed to maximize the durability of your pavement and its rutting resistance. Stone-graded asphalt is more expensive than standard dense-graded mixes owing to its high production cost. It contains a high asphalt content, fiber, and modified asphalt binders. The asphalt can be used on all types of driveways and roads.  But it is mostly used on high volume highways because it can be expensive. Its friction capability increases driver safety because it reduces reflective cracking and tire noise. Mineral fillers are added to stone-graded asphalt to minimize its risk of draining down during installation and improve its longevity.

Open-Graded Friction Course Mixes

This is a variant of open-graded asphalt mixes which contain grains of sand and crushed stone. Friction course mixes have a minimum 15% air void and a smoother surface finish compared to other options. It is generally used on surface courses. The pores of the surface should however not be sealed as this will degrade and reduce the pavement’s stability and performance.

Asphalt Treated Permeable Bases

This type of HMA is also a variant of open-graded asphalt. Asphalt treated permeable bases are only used under stone mix, Portland cement or dense-graded surfaces for drainage. They facilitate water drainage and is often ideal for wet or rainy areas.

The above types of hot mix asphalt are transported from a plant to your job site. It is advisable that you source them from a supplier close to your construction site to maintain the temperature of the asphalt. Before loading the HMA into your transport truck, the addition of a product which is non-petroleum based is recommended to prevent its adhesion to your truck.

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