Asphalt Paving Common Terms
Also called fatigue cracking, alligator cracks occur when the supporting layers, or structure, are unable to withstand the weight load.
Also called the base coat, it’s a blend of aggregate and hot-mix asphalt meant to be a load-bearing course in the pavement structure.
A new asphalt layer commonly placed on top of existing asphalt to maintain and/or repair the existing surface.
Also called blacktop, it’s a mixture of aggregate, petroleum asphalt, and sand additives.
A material installed — generally an asphalt product or crushed rock — before the asphalt paving application. It provides the load-bearing ability of the pavement.
This occurs when the layer below the binder and surface fails to support structure weight and/or traffic.
A process that applies a layer of hot asphalt oil on top of the pavement before covering with small crushed aggregate.
A byproduct of steel production used as an asphalt sealer.
The action of compressing a volume of material into a smaller volume, such as compacting a base layer and sub-grade together.
The application of products designed to stop dirt, sand, water, and other substances from entering asphalt cracks.
Fabric-like materials that provide subtle performance features within the asphalt, such as:
- Base material stabilization;
- Moisture barrier between pavement layers; and
- Slowing reflective cracking.
GradeThe slope or degree of a rest of a paved surface to allow for liquid drainage.
Infra-Red Asphalt RepairAn asphalt surface repair that uses radiated heat to soften existing pavement. The pavement is then raked with an additional hot mix applied to the area before compaction.
JointsAlso called a seam, this area is where two different asphalt “pulls” join together in a visible area.
Patch FabricsAlso called petromat, it’s a variety of fabrics used in overlays to:
- Increase the surface’s tensile strength;
- Reduce the extent and severity of reflective cracking; and
- Increase the overlay’s waterproofing function.
SealcoatingThis process seals the asphalt surface to protect it from water penetration, oxidation, and premature wear from air, sun, and water exposure.
SubgradePrepared soil that provides support to the pavement structure.
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