Asphalt is one of the most familiar, universally used materials in our world. Asphalt pavements are part of the Interstate highways that transports people and goods across the country. Asphalt roads bring us home, and asphalt driveways add to the beauty and value of our neighborhoods.
Asphalt pavements are an engineered mixture of aggregate (stones and sand) with liquid asphalt cement (a petroleum product). Varying sizes of aggregates are heated, then mixed, in exact proportions, with asphalt cement that has been liquefied at about 300°F. While the mixture is still hot, it is delivered to the jobsite and placed atop a prepared base or subgrade. Very soon after paving, the mixture cools and hardens so that you can drive and park on it right away.
There are about 3,500 asphalt plants across the country and in many local communities, accounting for the production of more than 375 million tons of asphalt pavement material every year and supporting more than 400,000 American jobs. To boot, asphalt is one of the most recycled materials with 97 million tons being reclaimed in 2019 saving 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.