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The Basics of Paving Asphalt

Asphalt pavement consists of bitumen (a black, thick residue from crude oil refining) and aggregates. Aggregates provide strength and durability, while bitumen acts as a binding agent to keep everything together. Select the best Modesto Asphalt Paving.

The sub-base layer must be strong and compacted to achieve an even and uniform surface. Furthermore, it acts as a frost barrier, reducing winter damage while protecting pavement against buckling under pressure or developing depressions or dips.


Compaction refers to the process of locking asphalt-coated aggregate particles together and reducing air volume within HMA mixtures, and most practitioners consider it essential for pavement performance and longevity. Air voids negatively impact strength, fatigue resistance, durability raveling rutting as well as susceptibility to moisture damage; more air voids decrease overall density while each additional air void reduces pavement life by 10% per inch of air volume in an asphalt mixture. It has been estimated that every time an air void enters an asphalt mixture, it loses 10% of life expectancy. With every additional 11% air void entering an asphalt mixture, a 10% life will be lost compared with conventional knowledge estimates; each time an air void enters an asphalt mixture, this amount to 10 percent loss is lost in terms of life expectancy vs. life expectancy being lost through loss in terms of reduced density of 10 percent which results in 10% reduced pavement life expectancy being lost over time.

As soon as the asphalt mix is being laid down, it should be compacted as quickly and efficiently as possible to reduce air voids in its final form and improve its ability to resist deformation. The compaction process also helps minimize air pockets present within it that would otherwise allow air in.

The compaction of hot mix asphalt (HMA) depends on several variables. Most notable among them is the temperature at which it is placed.

Temperature and thickness are crucial elements in the speed with which HMA can be compacted by paver screed, as are air temperature, base temperature, and wind velocity – each affects how fast compaction can occur. Base temperature plays an especially crucial role since different points within an HMA layer will cool more rapidly depending on its thickness; wind velocity also has an impactful role since a thin lift of mix under intense wind speeds will cool more quickly than thicker lifts under similar conditions.


Sub-base layers serve as the primary load-bearing layer in pavement systems and help spread the weight over an expansive surface, preventing rutting or settlement. They typically consist of crushed aggregates that have been crushed and graded according to application, such as soil or manufactured base products such as MOT Type 1 or sand blinding products.

Sub-base layers are essential in providing a solid foundation upon which to construct the base and surface layers, as they prevent weed growth, cracking, and subsidence while lengthening their longevity. Unfortunately, many contractors overlook the significance of an adequate sub-base when undertaking paving projects – something which can prove costly in the end.

An efficient sub-base will also aid drainage by controlling moisture levels, helping prevent frost heave and salt heave that could otherwise damage structures underneath.

Soil subbases rely on the natural properties of existing soil to form a support layer and must be compacted at their ideal moisture content to function optimally. Due to fluctuating moisture levels, they may experience swelling and contraction, leading to poor support or even failure of paved surfaces.


Asphalt pavement paving alternatives such as brick and concrete tend to be more cost-effective and more accessible than their alternatives, with installation often completed within minutes, minimizing disruptions to traffic flow and increasing durability over time. Asphalt can withstand heavy loads while remaining cost-effective; it is, however, important that you select an appropriate mix according to your individual needs.

The first step of asphalt production involves selecting high-grade aggregates. These may come from quarries and undergo testing to meet standards before being transferred into a mixer for processing. A binding agent made up of petroleum may then be heated in separate tanks to prevent it from solidifying as a solid mass before finally being mixed into pavement material.

Once a mixture is created, it’s transported to its final destination with an asphalt paver and spread at the desired thickness across the surface. When laying asphalt, contractors should overlap previous layers by three-quarters to one and a half inches to reduce the chances of joint cracking early on.

Recycled end-of-life bitumen (REOB) content in asphalt mixes is another factor that can have a significant effect on performance, and many states and federal agencies prohibit its use by setting limits such as no more than a certain percentage or by mandating physical tests that effectively eliminate it from use.


Asphalt paving is an integral component of modern infrastructure development. It creates durable roads, driveways, and parking lots that resist water, cracking, and potholes. Asphalt paving includes three key steps: site preparation, compaction, and finishing.

Before the actual paving process starts, contractors must prepare the area by clearing it of debris and rocks and calculating an appropriate grade for water drainage. They then test soil strength and permeability. After preparation has taken place, it’s time to lay the base layer, which must be strong enough to support vehicular traffic and weather conditions. It is typically made of minus-4 and 1-inch minus stone aggregate.

At this stage, contractors typically perform a “proof roll” to verify the sub-base is functioning as intended and add binding material if it needs strengthening. Paving equipment then places layers of sand & and aggregate for compacting by rollers; these machines come equipped with various settings that can be adjusted according to project needs; vibratory rollers may help improve density by filling any voids more evenly while pneumatic tire rollers help produce uniform finishes with solid and long-term finishes.