Asphalt mixes come in infinite varieties. As the leading paving contractor in Lancaster, SC, SMI Paving uses many different asphalt mixes when constructing driveways and parking lots. Click here to learn more about our services and process.
Asphalt mixes are available in any number of combinations, thanks to their ability to mix and match. Choosing the right mix is essential for the success of any paving project in Lancaster, SC.
Today, we will list the five main types of asphalt mixes so that you can get an idea of which one is right for your paving needs.
1. Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA)
To start off, you need to understand that asphalt mixes vary in factors like granularity, stress tolerance, and overall thickness. However, when choosing asphalt, the main factor is temperature, namely, how hot the cement is when it is laid down.
With this understanding, we’ll first talk about hot mix asphalt (HMA), which is the most commonly-used asphalt mix in the paving business. HMA is so named because the aggregate and binding materials are heated up to 3500F, and the asphalt is laid out while it is still hot.
This asphalt mix is right for you if you are paving in warmer months. In winters, however, HMA will cool too quickly. But if you absolutely have to start construction in the colder months, you could go for the next option.
2. Cold Mix Asphalt (CMA)
CMA comprises additives and oils, and their combination allows for this asphalt mix to be laid down cold. CMA mixes have improved over the years, but they are still weaker than HMA mixes.
Cold mix asphalt is best suited for paving surfaces that receive little or no foot or vehicle traffic. Ideally, you should only use CMA for repair work in winters.
3. Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
Warm asphalt offers a middle way between HMA and CMA. Since its introduction, WMA has grown in popularity and is currently used for many paving projects across the country.
The asphalt mix is heated up to 2500F and can be laid in cooler temperatures as well. It is also an eco-friendly product since it consists of fewer petroleum products than HMA. This also makes WMA a safer option for workers.
4. Porous Asphalt
Speaking of eco-friendly asphalt mixes, porous asphalt has tiny holes in the material that, once paved, allow water flow smoothly underground. This also keeps your pavement safe from water damage. Moreover, since porous asphalt is an environmentally friendly choice, it is an excellent option for a business looking for tax cuts!
5. Course Graded Asphalt
Finally, we have course graded asphalt, also known as base layers or binder mixtures. This asphalt is best utilized for surface lifts on driveways, parking lots, and roads as the rigid material provides support to finer mixers.
That’s about it! These are the major types of asphalt mixes you can choose, depending on your paving requirements. At SMI Paving, we will help you find the right mix. Click here for a free consultation.