Asphalt concrete is a composite material commonly used for road surfaces, parking lots, driveways and runways. It consists of mineral aggregate bound together with asphalt cement, which is derived from petroleum. Asphalt concrete is one of the most versatile construction materials available in terms of function. It can be moulded, heated and cooled repeatedly without suffering cracking, discolouration or other damage due to ageing. The majority of asphalt surfaces are constructed from dense-graded mixes that need a binder to maximize aggregate interlock and minimize permeability.

Because asphalt is a petroleum product, it starts out as a black, sticky liquid that eventually hardens. For this reason, asphalt has been used in road pavement for over 100 years. To put its prevalence in perspective, about 20 to 40 percent of what you drive on is asphalt when you drive down the highway.

Asphalt paving is a style of paving that uses layers of asphalt to provide a hard surface for vehicles and pedestrians. It is also used in the construction of roads, airport runways, car parks, bicycle paths. Different types of asphalt last longer than others. Paving an area with a special asphalt mixture and reliable asphalt paving company is the best way to avoid future road problems.


Different Types of Asphalt

There are different types of asphalt pavements designed for various purposes; these include:

  • low-cost road-building with high subgrades (e.g. gravel) where the construction of the road is intended to rebuild it in asphalt at a later date.
  • permanent roads with long service life, using dense-graded courses and thicker surfacing layers.

Today, the vast majority of asphalt companies are being hired for high-performance pavements for automobile parking lot surfaces, airport runways, bicycle paths, private driveways, and as the binder in highways. To lay down fresh asphalt, an asphalt paving company pumps the asphalt mixture through surface-mounted equipment (called a “paver”) to form a thin asphalt layer until the aggregate base course elevates the mix high enough to make no free asphalt visible.


The Cost of Asphalt

The actual cost to produce asphalt is about $1.25 per pound. Asphalt’s weight, combined with its bulk density, makes it a very dense construction material, weighing approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot. The price of asphalt depends on its weight and bulk thickness and the type of refining process employed for extraction from petroleum compounds. If you’re wondering how to buy asphalt, you can purchase asphalt in bags, barrels or drums.

But the price of asphalt isn’t fixed, and there are various factors that can affect its cost. For example, it’s fairly common to get a better deal the more you buy. If you’re planning on building an asphalt driveway, the cost per pound will likely be higher than that of a business that is building a large parking lot. The parking lot will cost more in total, but the cost per pound would be lower.

The cost of asphalt is also often related to the aggregate it contains, which varies from region to region depending on the availability and charges of different materials. On top of that, several other factors influence the price per ton, including:


Type and quality of petroleum used in refining

The content level of sulphur dioxide also affects the price, as low-quality asphalt usually has a higher sulphur content.


Market supply and demand at the time of purchase

Because asphalt prices are tied to petroleum prices, they rise when oil prices go up and vice versa.


Location, location, location

The availability of materials within a given region also influences price.


Transportation costs

Depending on where the local supplier must go, these may increase or decrease the price.


Manufacturing costs

Prices vary from market to market and also depend on the competition. There will be more suppliers in a big city, which means competitive prices, while in a small town, there is often only one supplier, which means a less competitive price.


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