There’s much more to asphalt than most people think. The type of asphalt you use depends on a wide range of factors including season, the type of surface being laid, and what’s available to you. To the average person, choosing the right type of asphalt can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. To give you a better understanding of the different types of asphalt available, we’ve outlined five of the most common types of asphalt pavement used.
Hot Mix Asphalt
As its name implies, Hot Mix Asphalt is made to use while hot and is most commonly used for roads, commercial, and residential asphalt pavements. Hot mix asphalt mixes can be further classified into different mixtures based on the size of their aggregate particles, and the mixture used depends on the application. In general, however, hot mix asphalt is heated and poured at around 150°C and prized for its flexibility, resilience, weather resistance, and impermeability. Due to its hot nature, hot mix asphalt is typically only used at temperatures above 4°C to prevent it from cooling too fast and becoming too hard to properly pave the surface.
Warm Mix Asphalt
Warm mix asphalt is similar to hot mix asphalt, except it doesn’t need to be kept as hot. This is achieved through the use of binders and additives, such as wax and zeolites, that allow it to be easily poured and spread at a lower temperature. As a result, warm mix asphalt takes less energy to manufacture and releases fewer fumes, making it a popular choice in areas with poor air circulation. Like hot mix asphalt, warm mix asphalt is flexible, resilient, and often used to pave asphalt roads, driveways, and other types of commercial and residential asphalt pavement.
Cold Mix Asphalt
Cold mix asphalt is what most of us are familiar with as “cold patch.” Because it’s designed to be used without heating, cold mix asphalt takes longer to harden and cure, is relatively soft when compared to hot mix, and tends to have a shorter lifespan. As a result, it’s most commonly used as a quick way to repair asphalt cracks and potholes. On the plus side, cold mix asphalt can be applied in temperatures too cold to apply hot mix asphalt. Nevertheless, it should only be used as a temporary solution until it can be replaced by a more permanent repair.
Dense-graded mixes are a type of hot mix asphalt and are the most common type of asphalt used today. Dense-graded mixes are generally classified as either fine-graded or coarse-graded, depending on the size of the aggregate particles used. When properly mixed and poured, dense-graded mixes are practically impermeable. Suitable for all types of asphalt pavement, dense-graded mixes perform exceptionally well under all traffic conditions and are the go-to when constructing asphalt roads and highways.
Porous asphalt features tiny holes large enough for water to pass through and is used in areas where the asphalt pavement is prone to flooding and water pooling, particularly parking lots, driveways, and paths. One of the main advantages of porous asphalt is that it allows water to drain through the asphalt pavement and into a stone bed below, where it’s naturally absorbed by the soil. Moreover, porous asphalt is extremely hard-wearing and long-lasting, making it one of the most efficient types of asphalt in a variety of situations.
Trust the Professionals
When it comes to asphalt pavement, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. This is why we always recommend contacting a professional paving contractor whenever you need to construct or repair asphalt pavement. At Holloway Paving, we’ve been serving the Calgary community for over 20 years and can confidently recommend the right type of asphalt for the job. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our asphalt paving services.