Getting the Job Done with Construction Contractors

Getting the Job Done with Construction Contractors

Insights into Asphalt Manufacturing Processes

by Audrey Ramos

For many years, asphalt has been used to construct roads, airport runways, footpaths and residential driveways. It's a reliable construction material due to its strength, resistance to chemical corrosion, and ability to bind many different products. The widespread use of asphalt has made it a regular in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are constantly looking for more effective and innovative ways of using this product to develop many different structures.

How Asphalt Is Manufactured

In order to understand the asphalt manufacturing process, it's important to first know where it comes from. Asphalt is mostly derived from oil wells where it is a by-product of petroleum. Once separated from oil, it can undergo several processes that make it useful for paving or mixing with other materials.

Some types of crude oil are almost entirely composed of asphalt. Through an intricate separation process that involves distillation, asphalt is separated from petroleum and the main manufacturing process begins.

During the distillation process, crude oil is channelled into a heated distillation tower. The lighter materials rise to the top, and the heavier asphalt-containing components settle towards the bottom. These bottom layers are further distilled to remove other volatile components and leave a higher concentration of asphalt. 

What Are in Asphalt Mixtures

Once the primary asphalt mixture is derived from distillation, there are several different downstream processes that can be used to create varying characteristics of asphalt. For example, to achieve asphalt cement that is easier to work with and mould into driveways and other paving surfaces, the primary asphalt mixture is often blended with a highly volatile material. During construction, the speed at which the volatile mixture evaporates determines the drying speed of the asphalt paving.

Asphalt mixtures can also be designed to maintain a primarily liquid form that can become emulsified when sprayed on different surfaces. To obtain this emulsification effect, globules are extracted from ground solid cement and mixed with water. A substance such as clay or soap is then added to the mixture to prevent it from separating. This keeps the emulsified asphalt in liquid form until it is ready for application.

How to Ensure the Right Quality

The quality of asphalt determines how long roads will last, how driveways will function, or how paving will remain aesthetically appealing. It is interesting to note that the quality of asphalt can be tied all the way back to the crude oil from which it was extracted.

The final quality of asphalt is determined by the viscosity of the mixture at certain temperatures. As long as the asphalt mixture is uniform across various temperatures and conditions, it can be deemed to last long and cause minimal complications down the road.


About Me

Getting the Job Done with Construction Contractors

Hello, my name is Carl and this is my construction and contractor blog. I do not work in the construction business but last year, my wife and I had a lot of work carried out on our summer home which is located on the Gold Coast. Winter storms had damaged the roof and a couple of seabirds had made a nest in there. The place was a real mess but thankfully the contractors did a great job of repairing the roof and fixing up the damage to the loft space. I learn a lot during the repairs so I decided to start a new blog. Enjoy!