Asphalt. The hard, black surface covering our neighborhoods, connecting cities across the country, the bases from which planes take off to connect the globe! It’s a pretty big deal when it comes to construction materials. With it being omnipresent, you’d think we would. What is it? What is asphalt made of?
What “Asphalt” Are We Talking About Here
Asphalt, also known as bitumen, is this sticky black semi-viscous liquid form of petroleum. It occurs naturally and has been found, refined, and used for thousands of years. Naturally occurring asphalt is made up of compounds of hydrogen and carbon with minor proportions of nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. That’s what natural asphalt is made of – now what is asphalt concrete made of?
Sturdy Dreams are Made of These – What Asphalt is Made Of
How asphalt is used, ways we pave, we have talked about these plenty. But what is the material itself made of? Asphalt is a sustainable option for paving made from a mixture of materials including: aggregate, binder, and filler.
Aggregate is processed mineral materials – things like sand, gravel, slag, crushed rocks and other recycled materials. These are the hard components of the asphalt.
Binder is most often the natural asphalt (or bitumen) we talked about previously. This grabs ahold of the aggregate and holds it all together and in place. As the asphalt cures the binder hardens and everything stays right where it’s supposed to!
Filler is typically just aggregate at a much smaller size, so the same crushed rocks that were used in the aggregate component that went through a filter and were removed for being too fine for the aggregate proper. It’s added as filler to help, well, fill the gaps between the larger aggregate stones.
The Big Three
All asphalt is made up of those materials but the asphalt can be made in a few different ways. Here are the major three varieties of asphalt mixes: hot, warm, and cold. We can get into these more later but each mix is useful for different purposes.
The Last Key Piece of Asphalt
Asphalt is made of all those materials, yes, but the last component? Sweat. Hard work. Years of experience. Asphalt pavement doesn’t just appear magically out of thin air! It takes the right equipment and the right people to take that material and pave it into something worth driving on!
That’s where Sunrise Asphalt comes in! The best asphalt in Tucson is made with Sunrise Asphalt expertise! Need your parking lot or driveway paved? You know who to call!