Contractors across the country are increasingly using warm mix asphalt in place of hot mix asphalt. In fact, a survey conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association found that the use of warm-mix asphalt increased by 416 percent between 2009 and 2012.
The following are five reasons why warm mix asphalt has become increasingly popular. These factors could help you decide if warm mix is the best solution to your asphalt pavement needs.
Uses less fossil fuels
When hot mix asphalt is used, fossil fuels must be burned to heat the asphalt mix up to an appropriate temperature. While hot mix needs to be heated to around 300˚ Fahrenheit, warm mix can be heated to temperatures that are as much as 120˚ Fahrenheit.
This means that less energy and fossil fuels need to be used up to complete an asphalt pavement with warm mix.
Less exposure to fumes on the job site
Workers on a job site are exposed to fumes when they work with asphalt mix. However, warm mix gives off much less fumes than hot mix because it is laid down at a lower temperature.
The lower exposure to fumes offered by warm mix asphalt is especially helpful in construction projects that will take place in enclosed spaces. Workers will face significant hazards from exposure to fumes when working in an enclosed area like in a tunnel. This makes warm mix a much safer choice in enclosed situations.
Less release of VOCs
Another result of the lower temperatures of warm mix asphalt is a decrease in the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released when warm mix asphalt is used. Anthropogenic VOCs are known for their potential to cause harm to both human health and the environment.
The higher temperature of hot mix asphalt results in a higher viscosity. This makes hot mix asphalt more difficult to form and work with to create particular designs. Warm mix asphalt is the better choice in projects involving the need to manipulate or compact asphalt into a specific form.
Surface is ready to be used quickly
The surface of an asphalt pavement created from warm mix asphalt will cool down and set quickly. This means that it will be usable for traffic sooner than asphalt pavement created with hot mix.
In many construction projects, the quicker completion of a warm mix asphalt pavement job can increase profitability by reducing labor costs and wait time. For more information or advice, contact a business such as Elias Bros Contractors Inc.