Everyone knows about asphalt, and how integrated it is with our day to day travels. We see miles of it every day as we drive our roads to and from our various destinations. It’s presence in our daily lives has become as natural as the trees and the sky, but what do we know about it? It is easy to overlook something that’s such an integral part of our society. Here at American Asphalt, we are experts at all things asphalt and would like to share with you some of the history and fun facts about asphalt.
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt is a black viscous and tactile version of petroleum. Its primary use is as a binding agent for aggregate particles to produce asphalt concrete. It has proven to be a durable and safe material for automotive applications.
Where does it come from?
Mostly all of the asphalt used commercially is obtained from petroleum, but naturally occurring asphalt does exist. It was formed millions of years ago primarily from the remains of microscopic diatoms which are a type of algae, along with other ancient organic sea life.
When was it first used?
The word asphalt comes from the Greek word asphaltos, which means to baffle. As it was originally used as a concrete to hold building material together in an astonishing fashion. Herodotus claims that the giant fortification walls of Babylon were built using asphalt.
Most of the world calls it Bitumen.
Only in America is the substance called asphalt. Scientifically and globally, it is predominately referred to as bitumen.
Asphalt proves to be a great paving surface because of its porous nature. It is hard and durable yet allows for a fair amount of drainage when soaked. Over time the water may seep into the foundation level. With freezing and cooling over the years this expansion and contraction of the ground below can eventually cause surface damage.
There are a wide variety of cracks that can occur in an asphalt pavement, and each type of crack has its own causes.
– Transverse cracks run perpendicular and are caused by temperature changes which is a sign of an older pavement.
– Alligator cracks can result from poor installation, repeated heavy loads, or poor drainage.
– Slippage cracks result from a poor mix or too much sand in the mix
Fortunately, our experts at American Asphalt can diagnose and fix whatever damage an asphalt pavement may have. From potholes to cracking, we know how to fix it because we know all there is to know about asphalt, and hopefully you learned a little more about it too! With three asphalt plants located across New Jersey, we have the capabilities to cultivate superior product while helping many paving contractors across the Delaware Valley for their asphalt paving projects. Contact us today for more information or to place an order 856-456-2899.