Asphalt is a dark brown or black cementitious material which is a natural constituent of most crude oils found throughout the world. Asphalt is made by the fractional distillation of crude petroleum.
In order to dry the aggregate (sand-gravel) and obtain sufficient fluidity of the asphalt (usually called asphalt cement or binder), both must be heated prior to mixing to create an asphalt pavement (commonly known as “Black-Top”).
Asphalt pavement is a high quality thoroughly controlled material which is compacted into a uniform dense mass offering many benefits. When properly designed, built, and maintained, perpetual pavement technology exists. The result is a durable, smooth, safe, quiet roadway system that will last for years without expensive, traffic-disrupting repairs or reconstruction. And, many decades from now, the pavement structure will still be intact.
Asphalt pavement is 100 percent recyclable, and its quality can actually improve each time it is recycled as new materials are mixed with the salvaged material by the asphalt pavement contractors. The asphalt pavement industry leads the way in preserving America’s resources.
On a national basis, asphalt pavement is the specified material choice for roads and highways in the USA more than 94 percent of the time because pavement engineers know its attributes (i.e. economical, safe, durable, smooth, etc).