What Is Asphalt?

What Is Asphalt?

Asphalt is known as bitumen. It’s a sticky, black viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum and its primary use today is for road construction. Its function is to serve as a glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphaltic concrete. There are natural asphalt deposits that do occur in certain locations around the world, but most of the asphalt used today for paving comes from petroleum crude oil.

Is Blacktop And Asphalt The Same?

The materials used to make asphalt and blacktop are the same. Both are made from bitumen and crushed stone. The main difference between the two results in how those ingredients are combined to produce the final product. Asphalt is mixed in a drum to hold a temperature of at least 250 degrees. At this temperature, asphalt turns malleable which allows it to pour out of a shoot from a truck with efficiency. It can then be laid down with ease. Additionally, the high temperature ensures the asphalt will come out strong enough to handle cars driving over it. Blacktop has a different ratio of crushed stone and bitumen. For blacktop, more crushed aggregate stone is added to the mix. The crushed stone what is gives a paved road a shiny appearance on the surface when it reflects light. Blacktop is also heated at a higher temperature, usually 300 degrees or higher.