The asphalt pavement industry has always looked for ways to improve their products as well as their methods. Over time, asphalt professionals have refined their techniques and adopted new technologies to provide longer-lasting, more attractive pavements. They have also developed an array of different types of asphalt pavement.
Pavement Types – Let’s Explain It
Hot Mix Asphalt
Hot mix asphalt is the “tried and true” all-purpose pavement that has graced thoroughfares, parking lots and driveways for decades. It is commonly used for filling cracks or making other types of repairs. Because hot mix asphalt pavement is completely recyclable, the asphalt used for paving today may contain some reclaimed asphalt or be made entirely from virgin materials. Hot mix asphalt is also the starting point for coarse- and fine-graded asphalt pavement.
Coarse- and Fine-Graded
Hot mix asphalt contains a certain amount of aggregates that provide the pavement with its strength while the asphalt serves as the “glue” holding everything together. Coarse- and fine-graded asphalt is asphalt that has been graded to meet specific parameters for the size of the individual particles of aggregates. As you might expect, fine-graded means that the particles are smaller than those in coarse-graded.
A relative newcomer to the United States, stone matrix asphalt has been successfully used in Germany and other European countries for almost 50 years. This type of asphalt contains a matrix or framework of stone that makes it extremely durable, even when subjected to heavily laden trucks or high volumes of traffic. Currently, most stone matrix asphalt is used on busy highways or interstates.
Permeable or Open-Graded
Hot mix and its derivatives as well as stone matrix asphalt are watertight as long as the surface remains undamaged. Water can collect on the pavement, and runoff is normally directed into a storm sewer. Permeable asphalt is engineered to allow water to percolate through the asphalt where a special drainage layer directs the water into surrounding soil. This reduces the amount of runoff entering the sewer system, but it also helps prevent tire spraying and splashing. The drawback to permeable asphalt is that so far, it has not proven suitable for heavy loads, so most permeable asphalt is used for parking lots and residential drives.
About M.C.E. Dirtworks, Inc.
Dirtworks is a locally owned full-service asphalt contractor offering a range of services to Cape Cod property owners and managers. We install, repair and maintain asphalt pavement, handle excavations, provide site work and demolition services. During the 20+ years we have been in business, we understand pavement types and have established a solid reputation for providing exceptional work at competitive prices. Whether you need pothole repairs, sealcoating, new pavement or pavement markings, we would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with a free quote. Simply submit the online form or call us at (508) 240-5541.