Asphalt is an excellent choice for paving material because it is strong, durable, inexpensive and capable of handling heavy loads and excessive wear. Unlike some other paving compounds, asphalt bends or deforms under pressure instead of cracking or chipping, making it more durable than concrete and many other paving materials under high-wear conditions.
Asphalt Milling Machines
Before a new surface is laid, asphalt milling machines should be used on the existing pavement. These machines are a type of paving equipment designed to scrape away layers of old asphalt, grind it up and recycle it so that it can be used to lay the new asphalt. Not only does the reclamation of old asphalt make sound financial sense, it is also important in preventing the excessive build-up of asphalt layers that can cause drainage problems or the erosion of concrete curbing over time. Milling machines can ensure that the pavement level stays fixed despite repeated applications of asphalt.
Asphalt Pavers and Rollers
The first step when laying a new roadway is to deposit the surfacing compound on the ground with an asphalt paver, which is a machine that is fed via a dump truck. After the asphalt is deposited, it is compressed with an asphalt roller, which is a truck with a large, heavy roller device that flattens and evens the surface. A motor grader is another piece of asphalt equipment that can be used to further compact the asphalt and create a smoother, harder, flatter surface than a roller alone could create.
Asphalt Seal Equipment
After it has been properly laid and rolled, the asphalt needs to be sealed. Asphalt seal equipment is used to spray a thin, even layer of coal tar emulsion or other solution. The sealing process is important for a number of reasons. First, it completely seals the asphalt against water, petroleum, acid, oils and even sunlight. Second, it provides an attractive dark gray surface and evens out any color irregularities in the asphalt itself. Third, it is able to seal across tiny surface cracks in the asphalt that would lead to degradation of the road surface over time. The end result of using an asphalt seal solution is that the life span of the roadway is extended dramatically and the cost of maintenance is decreased.