Process and Product
Asphalt is actually a type of concrete. It consists of aggregates – sand, gravel or crushed stone - bound together asphalt cement, a petroleum product refined from crude oil.
Asphalt cement is heated and mixed with aggregates, then loaded into trucks and transported to the paving site. The trucks dump the asphalt into hoppers located at the front of paving machines.
In full-depth asphalt pavement, the paving machines place the asphalt in layers. A sub-base provides the strength to support traffic. An intermediate layer completes the pavement structure with a strong yet flexible mix to prevent cracking. A final top layer provides a smooth and quiet riding surface for traffic.
Each layer is compacted with rollers to achieve a dense, solid pavement. Traffic is generally permitted on the pavement as soon as the pavement has cooled.
Flexible Designs for Diverse Applications
Asphalt produces what’s known as a flexible pavement as opposed to rigid pavements made from ready mixed concrete. Both have their own set of attributes and benefits. As the name implies, flexible pavements are less brittle and resist cracking – a bend-don’t-break approach. They offer quick and economical construction, a smooth quiet riding surface, and ease of repair or recycling.
CALCULATE YOUR NEXT PROJECT!
In the calculator above, you may revise the default density value of 145 lbs/cubic ft. Actual densities may vary depending on the components of the mix and material characteristics in your area.
The thicker the asphalt pavement, the more resilient and durable it will be. If you have questions about the proper thickness for your project, contact your Lehigh Hanson sales professional.
Asphalt pavement performance depends on the base courses and sub-grate below it. We also provide aggregates and cement - see our LOCATIONS for contacts.