There are a variety of different kinds of asphalt mixes available, and research into new mixes is ongoing. Hot mixes and cold mixes are two of the most common forms of asphalt. Explore the pros and cons of hot mix asphalt versus cold mix asphalt.
Hot Mix Asphalt
Hot mix asphalt is so named because it is mixed—when the aggregates like gravel and sand are combined with the asphalt binder—at high temperatures, upwards of 300 to 500 degrees. It is also laid down at similarly high temperatures. This form of asphalt is best suited to large projects like parking lots, roads, and driveways.
There are numerous benefits to using hot mix asphalt. Hot asphalt is better able to withstand the pressures of weather extremes—both hot and cold temperatures—and it has greater durability overall. It is also more flexible, and it is more likely to shrink or expand rather than crack. In short, hot mix asphalt can stand up to pressures of both the elements and repeated use by heavy vehicles.
Additionally, hot mix asphalt may be laid down at high temperatures, but it cools down rapidly. This means that it can be laid down quickly and the asphalt pavement can get back to being used by vehicles and pedestrians in a timely manner.
On the flip side, hot mix asphalt is generally more expensive due to the nature of needing to be mixed and laid down at such high temperatures. Also, it should not be laid down at temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold Mix Asphalt
Cold mix asphalt is best suited to small-scale jobs, especially for temporary patches and repairs. With no need to be heated, it can be applied directly to problem areas like potholes and crack.
Cold mix asphalt is significantly less expensive than hot mix asphalt, and it can also be applied in temperatures lower than 40 degrees. However, cold mix asphalt is not nearly as durable or as flexible as hot mix asphalt, so it is generally used as a patch to temporarily fix problem areas.
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