Asphalt and blacktop are two regularly used materials for road construction and paving installations. They are often used interchangeably, although they have minor differences that distinguish them from each other.
Blacktop is a kind of asphalt; thus, there isn’t much of a distinction between the two. The two are pretty different in how they are created and what they are used for. So let us talk more about the two construction materials and their comparison.
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is a mixture of mineral aggregate and bitumen commonly used to lay the surface of roads and pavements. Edward de Smedt, a Belgian immigrant to the United States, polished and improved the centuries-old method of asphalt paving to whatever it is today.
Many asphalt mixtures are available for various conditions and applications, and each of these combinations is tailored to meet the application’s specific needs. However, asphalt paving requires regular upkeep.
Asphalt may be damaged by frost heaves in hotter regions and is subject to cracks, upheavals, fissures, raveling, grade depressions, and other imperfections. Appropriate compaction and drainage techniques, as well as regular maintenance, may help to prevent these problems.
What is Blacktop?
Like asphalt, it is a mixture of mineral aggregates and bitumen that make up the blacktop paving. The more significant percentage of crushed natural stones in blacktop necessitates a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit during mixing. Blacktop can be as flexible as asphalt by heating it to that temperature without losing its luster.
For many, blacktop paving is a practical option. In terms of reliability and durability, it is a popular choice for low-traffic areas since it is easy to repair, extending its lifespan. Additionally, since parking lots, for example, have a lower weight capability, these surfaces may be expected to survive longer.
What Are the Differences Between Asphalt and Blacktop?
Asphalt and blacktop are made of the same materials. They are poured in the same manner. They both use crushed stone and bitumen, and a big drum combines them. A roller and other specialist equipment are used to smooth the asphalt or blacktop after placing it.
As discussed earlier, the two paving materials are different from each other. So, here are the aspects where the two differ from each other.
Mixture: How Are They Made?
Crushed stone and bitumen are the two primary elements of asphalt. A viscous fluid derived from petroleum distillation, bitumen is the dark binding agent that keeps the stones together. It is heated to a high temperature before being applied to the pavement. It must be combined at a temperature of no less than 250 degrees Fahrenheit to be durable enough to withstand the weight of anything that passes over it.
As with asphalt, blacktop is created using the same materials, but each ingredient’s proportions are somewhat different. Blacktop has a more significant stone concentration than asphalt, at 95% stones and 5% liquid asphalt. Because of that, it needs a higher heating temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Uses: On What Surfaces Are They Used For?
The durability of asphalt pavements and the silkiness of asphalt surfaces make them ideal for driving. Because of its strength, asphalt is an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like highways, byways, and walkways. Several uses for asphalt include cable coatings, soundproofing and damp proofing of buildings and reservoirs, and pool linings.
Blacktop isn’t as long-lasting as asphalt, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any use. Areas with little vehicular traffic, such as a driveway or a playground, benefit most from using this material. Blacktop is often used for residential roads, driveways, parking lots, and footpaths. Asphalt sealcoating and blacktop sealcoating may help both residential and business customers.
Types: What Are Their Types and Grades?
When comparing asphalt to blacktop, it’s important to remember that asphalt provides a broader range of color and texture options. Perpetual pavement, silent asphalt, and porous asphalt are all types of asphalt.
There is just one sort of blacktop, regardless of how much natural stone is used or how it is combined.
Asphalt and blacktop are two of the most prevalent materials for pavement installation. Although they may seem identical at first glance, it is critical to understand how the properties of each material might influence the overall outcome of your project.
The composition and growth of both asphalt and blacktop have influenced their purposes and use. Because of this, Biondi Paving and Engineering can assist you in deciding whether blacktop or asphalt is the best option for your project. Contact us now to learn more.