Asphalt FAQs

Now a day’s asphalt is being widely used all over the world. But there are some asphalt faqs which need proper answers. In the following lines I have tried to answer some of those asphalt faqs.

What is asphalt?

Asphalt is a dense substance, black or brownish in color. It is derived from the crude oil which is known to us for producing kerosene, vinyl and gasoline. After all other petroleum based products is processed this asphalt is scraped from the barrel--floor. The deep black color of asphalt is due to its carbon content. It has 80 percent of carbon as its main ingredient. In the tar—like asphalt, sulphur can be found as another ingredient. We use asphalt mainly for constructing durable surface for roads, playgrounds, airport runways and also as a sealant for roofs.

How is asphalt made?

We usually refer it as asphalt, but the correct expression should be asphalt compound. Asphalt is a hydrocarbon mixture which is heated until it gains the consistency of the tar. Asphalt may retain a solid state or it can become a thick liquid. It depends upon the amount of heating. In case of building roads the semisolid asphalt is used with other substances like sand, crushed stone or gravel.

How is asphalt used?

Asphalt is made from the tar that comes from the crude oil. This tar is mixed with gravel (commonly known as aggregate) and sand. As a result of the process asphalt is produced. This black colored tar works as a strong bonding agent with the aggregate and makes it durable. While being used for constructing roads asphalt is poured over a heavier layer of aggregate in a warm state. Then the mix is pressed by heavy steam roller. When the asphalt is cooled in ambient temperature it becomes strong enough to bear the load of heavy traffic. It gets more harden over the years. But it still retains its flexibility to put up natural variations.


What are the different types of asphalt?

We know asphalt as a road covering substance and the technical term for it is ‘asphalt concrete’. But there are some other kinds of asphalt too. Actually asphalt can appear in different forms. It is found either in semisolid form or in liquid form. The two major types of asphalt which are used in constructing jobs are—mastic asphalt and rolled asphalt.

 What is the difference between asphalt and concrete?

Concrete and asphalt are two popular building materials. Both of them are commonly used all around the world for construction. The basic difference between these two substances is that the former one is prepared by cement binder and aggregate material and then the mixture is allowed to harden. As a result a substance like rock is formed. But asphalt is prepared by mixing bitumen with aggregate. Bitumen is extracted from the deposits of crude oil. Asphalt is a sticky, dense, black colored substance. Both asphalt and concrete are used for building roofs to sidewalks.