Asphalt pavement has brought significant value to many properties across the country. Their shiny fresh appearance and enhanced durability make them the number one choice of numerous contractors.
Like other construction materials, asphalt too has various mixes suitable for specific processes and temperatures. Hot and warm mixed asphalt are predominantly the choice of many contractors in the U.S.
In this blog post, we list down the differences between the two asphalt mix types and the applications each is best suitable for.
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
Asphalt mixtures heated and pored at temperatures in the range of 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit are called Hot Mix Asphalt. This is easily the most common asphalt type used in the U.S. Highways, interstates, and roads vouch for its flexibility and weather-resistant nature. Hot mix asphalt is generally used when the temperature is more than 40 degrees, thanks to its rapid cooling appetite.
HMA is classified into three main categories: open grade mix, stone matrix, and dense-graded matrix are all categories of HMA. The open-graded mix is further classified into two main categories:
- A friction course used in constructing a pavement’s topmost layer.
- The permeable base used for draining water away from a pavement’s top layer.
On the other hand, the stone matrix was initially manufactured and used in Europe to improve a road surface’s grip. The stone matrix asphalt has a higher percentage of asphalt, making it considerably expensive. It is used in large commercial projects only.
Dense-grade matrix is categorized according to the aggregate size whereby it falls in two subcategories which includes fine and coarse graded. Fine graded mixtures consist of a high sand percentage compared to their coarse counterparts and are generally used to pave roadways with high traffic, highways, and interstates.
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
Warm Mix Asphalt or WMA is less popular than HMA. It is used in approximately 30 percent of paving projects. WMA is manufactured at slightly lower temperatures of 200 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit. WMA is the result of including additional binding materials such as wax, zeolites, and emulsions. Their addition makes WMA ideal for pouring and spreading at low temperatures.
Since WMA requires low temperature for mixing and shipment, it takes considerably longer to cool than HMA. This means that manufacturers can ship it for long distances and use it for other applications outside the normal paving activities.
If you’re looking for a reliable asphalt contractor that uses the right asphalt mix for your pavement needs, Straight Edge Contractors LLC is the right choice! Our experienced professionals know what asphalt type is suitable for pavement jobs in Midland, TX. Connect with our team to get a free estimate for your paving project today!