What is Asphalt
Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates, binder and filler, used for constructing and maintaining all kind of roads, parking areas but also 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. Normally, pavements are made of different layers:
Uses 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:
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 (see below).
Different kinds of Asphalt
To be able to provide the best performance to different sectors, a large variety of asphalt mixes can be offered. Due to the different requirements e.g. a road needs to fulfill (high traffic, tough weather conditions etc) the respective mix used needs to have an sufficient stiffness and resistance to deformation in order to cope with the applied pressure from vehicle wheels on the one hand, yet on the other hand, the need to have an adequate flexural strength to resist cracking caused by the varying pressures exerted on them. Moreover, good workability during application is essential in order to ensure that they can be fully compacted to achieve optimum durability.
Did you know that...
...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 subgrade without cracking.
...asphalt is the predominant material used for road construction and maintaining the road network in Europe?
...25% of the total world asphalt production takes place in Europe?
...the average amount of bitumen used in asphalt is 5% by weight?
...Europe has over 4.000 asphalt production sides and over 10.000 companies are involved in the asphalt production and /