Asphalt pavement is typically constructed with a base, sub-base and multiple layers of hot mix asphalt. The top layer is called the surface course. In recent decades, a variety of asphalt pavements have been formulated to have different properties and for use in the different layers.
The Different Types of Pavement
Porous asphalt is sometimes called permeable or open-graded. Porous asphalt has voids that allow water to infiltrate the pavement. The pavement filters some of the dirt and automotive chemicals and then directs the runoff into nearby soil where it can support the growth of plants or trees. When used as the surface course, porous asphalt reduces tire splashing and allows the pavement to dry faster. Permeable asphalt can also be used for the base course beneath non-permeable pavements. Currently, porous asphalt is considered too fragile for widespread use on highways that must carry heavy loads or high volumes, so most permeable asphalt is used for parking lots or similar areas.
The popularity of stone matrix asphalt has been increasing in the U.S. since the 1990s although it began to be used on European roads some 30 years earlier. This type of pavement has a stone matrix or skeleton that makes it extremely durable and resistant to deformations such as tire ruts. Stone matrix asphalt pavement can be found almost exclusively on interstates and high-volume highways. However, there is a growing trend for municipalities to use it for busy intersections.
Fine- and Coarse-Graded HMA
Jointly, these pavements are often referred to as dense-graded asphalt. They are the “workhorses” of asphalt pavement as they are suitable for virtually any surface, all levels of traffic and all layers of the pavement. The difference in their names refers to the maximum size of the aggregate particles contained in the mix, with fine-graded having the smaller particles.
For More Information
If you have additional questions about the types of asphalt paving, contact the professionals at LDC Paving. We pave, repair and sealcoat asphalt, and we offer parking lot striping, grading, and the installation of traffic signs, speed bumps, bollard posts and car stops as well. Our crews deliver professional results to customers throughout Harris County and its surrounding areas at competitive prices. You can submit our online form to request a free estimate, or you can call our office at 832-640-7296.