Quality Plant City parking lot paving contractors know how to work through the winter season. Who says you cannot have a pavement project during the cooler years of the month? True, it’s a little bit trickier and more challenging, but it’s not entirely impossible. An experienced contractor knows how to handle the cold weather and which paving practices work during this season.
For us, the important thing to understand is that the degree of compaction of the pavement material is the main component that will decide the success of the application of the pavement. Effective compaction is a critical variable in creating quality asphalt pavement that will last for years.
Hot Mix Asphalt is key to effective compaction
Before even beginning to understand how compaction impacts the pavement for years, we have to know that the temperature of hot mix asphalt (HMA) during the rolling operation will determine how successful the compaction will be. HMA is composed of aggregate (rock and sand) and asphalt cement (as binder), which has different viscous behavior depending on the temperature.
A higher viscosity means the binder is thicker while a lower viscosity means the binder is thinner and can flow easily. The viscosity of the asphalt cement depends on the grade and source of the binder. To ensure that the compaction will be successful, the binder needs to be above the minimum temperature that will allow it to move freely during compaction. However, maintaining the right temperature is especially challenging during the colder months.
If the binder can flow freely, the rollers can force the mix to have more stability and lock with the aggregate component of the mix. This ensures that the compaction will be successful. However, when the binder gets too thick, the aggregate in the hot mix cannot be incorporated and the rollers would have a hard time manipulating it into the right compaction.
This is the reason why contractors who don’t understand the importance of the temperature of the HMA will not be able to deliver successful compaction. The mix has to flow naturally and the rollers need to be able to configure the mix. This is the most critical factor to achieving sufficient compaction that will then determine the stability and the longevity of the asphalt pavement’s life.
So, for those who want to have their parking lots or driveways or roads paved during this season, ask your contractors about the temperature of the HMA they are using.