Once you decide it is time to work on your asphalt, you will contact and asphalt contractor. They will use language common to the asphalt industry – no need to worry about not being able to understand. Here are some common words you may want to know when it comes to asphalt:
Aggregates – A mixture of different sized stones, crushed rock and gravel. This makes up approximately 92+% of hot mix asphalt. The rest is made up of asphalt cement.
Asphalt – (Bituminous Asphalt Concrete) also referred to as “hot mix asphalt” or “flexible pavement”. This is a mixture of aggregates and hot asphalt cement. When placed and compacted and then cooled, the end product is asphalt pavement.
Asphalt Binder – This is a near-liquid petroleum byproduct used to bind the pavement together. Also referred to as Asphalt Cement.
Blacktop – This is the common “slang” term for asphalt. This can have a variety of meanings based on context.
Concrete – A mixture of cement, sand, gravel and water dried into a hard, compact building material. Most commonly used for sidewalks, curbs and driveways.
Core Testing – The method used to examine a constructed asphalt pavement for depth and makeup information.
Crack Routing – This is done pre-crack filling. A specific piece of equipment is used to follow the crack and clean it out to make sure it accepts the crack sealing material. Crack filling can be done without routing, but it has been proven that the crack repairs will last longer when this is added to the process.
Drainage – Typically asphalt surfaces are sloped to maximize the removal of surface water. This is done for vehicle safety as well as to protect the longevity of the asphalt pavement.
Geotextiles – This is a technical yet generic term for a fabric-like material used in the paving process. These can be manufactured with specific characteristics based on asphalt needs. An example of a performance characteristic would be stabilization of base material preventing migration into the sub grades.
Hot Mix Asphalt Concrete (HMAC) – This is the technical name for what is often referred to as “asphalt,” “hot-mix,” “blacktop,” etc. To avoid being misunderstood, you should always use this term when requesting asphalt pavement work.
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) – Ground asphalt that is added back into a fresh asphalt mixture at an asphalt mixing plant. This is gaining popularity for economic and environmental purposes.
Slope — This refers to the degree to which a paved surface is angled to aid in the drainage of water.
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