Asphalt is a common material used in construction for its durability, flexibility, and ease of application. A mixture of aggregates (such as stone, sand, and gravel) and a binder (such as bitumen) is heated and mixed before laying down on a surface. However, not all asphalt is equal, and different types of asphalt have different applications.
This article will explore the various uses of different asphalt types that asphalt companies in Melbourne use.
1. Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is the most common type used in road construction. It is made by heating and drying the aggregates and mixing them with hot bitumen. HMA is typically for high-traffic areas, such as highways and busy roads, because it can withstand heavy loads and extreme temperatures. It is also commonly used for airport runways and taxiways.
One of the benefits of HMA is its durability. It can last for many years with proper maintenance, and it can withstand the stresses of heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. HMA can also be easily repaired if it becomes damaged or worn down over time.
2. Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) is a new asphalt type that is becoming increasingly popular in road construction. It is similar to HMA but is produced at a lower temperature, reducing the energy required during production. This makes WMA a more environmentally friendly option than HMA.
WMA has many of the same benefits as HMA, including durability and flexibility. It has a variety of applications, including highways, parking lots, and airport runways. Additionally, because its production can happen at a lower temperature, you can lay down WMA more quickly than HMA, reducing construction time and costs.
3. Porous Asphalt
Porous asphalt is a type of asphalt designed to allow water to penetrate through it and into the ground. It uses a special mix of aggregates and bitumen that creates small spaces or pores in the asphalt. This allows rainwater to flow through the pavement and into the ground, which can help to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.
Porous asphalt is commonly used in parking lots and other areas where stormwater runoff can be problematic. It is also a suitable material for kerb and channel, pedestrian walkways, and bike paths. One of the benefits of porous asphalt is that it reduces the risk of flooding by allowing water to drain away from the surface quickly.
4. Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA)
Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) is a type of asphalt that is more durable and resistant to wear than traditional HMA. You create SMA by adding a high percentage of stone (usually around 70%) to the mix. It has a rough surface texture and improves its ability to resist skidding.
SMA’s application is common in areas with heavy traffic, such as highways and major roads. It is also for areas where there are steep grades or sharp curves, as it provides better traction and stability. Further, SMA can also reduce the noise level from traffic, making it a popular choice for residential areas.
5. Thin Overlays
Thin overlays are a type of asphalt that resurfaces existing pavements. A mix of aggregates and bitumen applied in a thin layer (usually less than 2 inches thick) over the existing pavement forms thin overlays. They can be useful for repairing cracks and other surface damages, as well as for improving the appearance of the pavement.
The common applications of thin overlays are driveways, residential streets, and car park constructions in Melbourne. You can customise thin overlays to meet the specific needs of the pavement, such as improving skid resistance or reducing noise levels.
Overall, they are a cost-effective way to extend the life of the existing pavement with minimal disruption to traffic or the surrounding area.
6. Perpetual Pavement
The last asphalt type is the Perpetual Pavement. It lasts many years with minimal maintenance and is usually for areas with heavy traffic, such as highways and interstates.
Contractors make this asphalt using multiple layers of asphalt designed to work together to provide a long-lasting surface. The bottom layer is a strong and durable material, such as stone, and the top layer is a more flexible material, such as HMA or WMA.
It is also helpful in extreme weather conditions, as it can withstand freezing temperatures and heavy snow and ice. Perpetual Pavement will prove to be a cost-effective option in the long run because it requires minimal maintenance.
As you can see, each asphalt type has a different application for varied reasons. Here’s an overview:
- Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is the most common type used in road construction due to its durability and ability to withstand heavy traffic.
- Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) is a newer, more environmentally friendly option that Asphalt companies in Melbourne can produce at a lower temperature and lay down more quickly.
- Porous asphalt allows water to flow through it, making it a popular choice in areas with stormwater runoff.
- Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) is more durable and resistant to wear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Concreting contractors use thin overlays to resurface existing pavements and improve their appearance.
- Perpetual Pavement lasts many years, even with basic maintenance, making it a cost-effective option over the long term.
For more information, you can reach out to Roadseal Civil. They have in-depth knowledge of the subject, so you can trust their guidance. Check out their website right now!