There are numerous factors that affect the longevity of an asphalt pavement, but an extremely critical part of the installation is the proper compaction of the asphalt mix. The goal of compaction is to make the mix denser by removing air voids and locking the aggregates together. Proper compaction produces a pavement that will be durable, stable, and smooth, and the pavement will have better resistance to deformation and water penetration. Poorly compacted asphalt will be more prone to rutting, cracking, and other types of damage that can lead to the rapid deterioration of the pavement. Several factors can impact the compaction, including the type of asphalt mix, the properties of the base and subgrade, the thickness of the individual asphalt layers, and the number and type of the rolling machines used. The temperatures of the ground, air, and asphalt are also of critical importance.
How Does the Type of Asphalt Mix Affect Compaction?
Asphalt paving contractors have access to many different mixes, including stone matrix, open graded, and densely graded. Densely graded mixes are subdivided into coarse, fine, or uniform. The grade of an asphalt mix depends primarily on the size of the individual aggregate particles. In addition to variations in the aggregates, there can also be differences in the type of binder used and the amount of mineral filler incorporated in the mix. All of these ingredients affect the stiffness of the mix and its ability to be compacted properly.
How Do the Base and Subgrade Affect the Compaction of Asphalt Paving?
Just like a house, an asphalt pavement needs a stable foundation. Paving contractors typically refer to the underlying soil as the subgrade and the aggregate layer directly beneath the pavement as the base. On some jobs, the soil can be compacted sufficiently to serve as the foundation, but it is more common to install and compact an aggregate base on top of the compacted subgrade. If these layers are not properly compacted, the compaction of the asphalt layers will be inadequate.
Why Are Temperatures Important During Asphalt Paving?
Asphalt must be placed, worked, and compacted before it cools below a certain point. The colder the ground and air temperatures are, the faster the asphalt will cool. This means that the contractor’s crew will have less time to complete their tasks before the asphalt becomes impossible to work and compact.
Why Does the Thickness of the Layers Matter for Asphalt Compaction?
Asphalt is placed while it is hot, and the thickness of the layers will affect how long the asphalt will retain its heat. Thin layers lose their heat more rapidly, giving the paving crew less time to complete their tasks, including compaction.
How Does Rolling Affect Asphalt Compaction?
Asphalt paving contractors use rolling machines for compaction, but there are several different types available, including vibrating, pneumatic, and static wheel rollers. The type of machine, the size and weight of its rollers, and its speed and maneuverability must be matched to the job. For example, vibration is typically not recommended if the asphalt layer is less than an inch in thickness. Furthermore, the contractor may need multiple rolling machines of the same type if the project is large in scope, the site is remote, or the job has an immutable completion date.
Royal Pavement Solutions Is the Company to Trust
At Royal Pavement Solutions, we are known for our professionalism, outstanding craftsmanship, and willingness to go the extra mile for our customers. We offer asphalt milling, sealcoating, paving, and repairs as well as concrete work, parking lot striping, and site work. For a free quote, you can submit the online request form, or you can call us at 844-777-7924 to reach our main office.