Asphalt Industry Terms & Definitions

Asphalt Industry Terms & Definitions

  • Asphalt cement – a petroleum based commodity and the prime bonding agent in asphalt mixes. The “glue” that holds the mix together and comprises 5 to 6 percent of a typical asphalt mix by weight.
  • Aggregate – Small crushed stone such as lime rock, granite or other rock used in asphalt pavement mixes. These come in various grades and sizes.
  • Asphalt Plant – a large facility used to heat and mix asphalt pavement materials.
  • Friction course – A relatively thin (up to % of an inch thick) surface layer mostly used on high speed highways made of asphalt pavement. It is made of the type and size of aggregate to provide excellent tire to surface contact.
  • Open grade friction course – A surface layer designed to aid tire to surface contact while also preventing water buildup, hydroplaning, splash and spray through its macro texture.
  • Joint – Where pavements meet. May be longitudinal Such as between lanes of pavement or transverse, across the lanes. Asphalt pavement joints should not be felt by motorists.
  • RAP – lndustry acronym for Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement.
  • Polymers – Additives for asphalt pavement used for the physical properties desired by the mix. For example hardening to handle heavy traffic without damage.
  • Hot mix – The asphalt mix produced by a traditional asphalt plant and finishing at about 275 degrees and higher. Acronym: HMA
  • Warm mix – A fairly recent product already being used in some pilot projects in Florida with cooler production temperatures as low as 175 degrees. Two advantages: may allow use of more recycled pavement, and lower temperatures at plant can result in fuel savings.
  • Compaction – The process of rolling out and working the hot mix until the pavement surface is hard and smooth.

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