open road | asphalt

Asphalt is a paving material made primarily from a mixture of binders, aggregates, and fillers. Aggregates included crushed rock, gravel, sand, slags, recycled materials, and other processed substances. Binders are added to form a cohesive mixture and keep the it from separating over time. It is a highly sustainable product because it can be reused many times over its lifetime. It also uses several waste items that would normally be thrown out or sent to a landfill. Slag, foundry sand, manures, and tire rubbers are all waste products used in the mixture. Let’s take a closer look at why it is the most recycled material in America.

Asphalt Recycling in America 

American taxpayers save several billion dollars each year from asphalt recycling. The National Asphalt Pavement Association reports that it is one of America’s most recycled materials. The Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found 90 million tons of it pavements are reclaimed annually, with 80 percent of that figure being recycled. 

How Does Asphalt Get Recycled?

There are many ways of recycling It, including cold, hot, and full-depth recycling or FDR, where exhausted pavements are reconstructed with the existing asphalt. Here is a more detailed look at one common process used to recycle it. 

  • Asphalt pieces, also called millings, are mixed with water and additives in an asphalt reclaimer, also called a recycler.
  • In hot mix recycling, the mixture is heated in a tumbler for 20 or so minutes before it’s ready to be used. Cold recycling saves on energy and doesn’t require the 20-minute heating process. 
  • The asphalt cement, a binding agent in the mixture, typically retains its adhesive capabilities and can be reused in the recycled product. This reduces the cost of adding more binders during reclamation. 
  • The fine minerals created during asphalt pavement production are then used in the recycling process to conserve natural resources. 

The projected cost-benefit of asphalt recycling is a savings or profit potential of $30 to $80 per ton. The recycled product quality depends on the combination of materials used in the recycling and production processes. Recycled asphalt is also called reclaimed asphalt pavement or RAP. RAP usually cures for approximately 24 hours and it drys in six to 12 months. 

The Importance Of Quality In Asphalt

The quality of the pavement is important. The quality of base materials is the single largest determining factor in how well a surface resists weather and repeated use. The best contractors use the most advanced technologies and quality control methods. Not only is the product itself important, but the quality of service is too. This includes safety, efficiency, and cost. 

In order to manufacture the best asphalt available, NTS Contractors starts at the collection and processing of the aggregate. NTS Contractors uses only the most durable and angular aggregate to resist weather damage. Several different aggregate sizes are used to ensure the optimal surface texture. Our surfaces are held to rigorous standards that are tested time and time again to guarantee top quality. For businesses that looking to raise their environmental responsiveness, create a safe paved area, and maintain an attractive business, contact NTS Contractors today.