When you’re paying for a necessary construction project that includes a significant cost, you want to know that you are getting your money’s worth in terms of quality and longevity. This is true of asphalt pavement; you want to know that your investment in your driveway, parking lot, or other pavement is worth it, and that the pavement is going to stand the test of time. Tucker Paving has nearly three decades in the asphalt and concrete paving industry, and our leadership offers lifetimes of experience in construction; we want our clients to know that the asphalt industry is committed to providing an end product that is durable, long-lasting, and worth every penny. We ensure this, in part, through testing the durability of asphalt mixtures.

What is Asphalt Durability?

Asphalt durability is a measurement of how the physical properties of asphalt binders change with age, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Asphalt binders are the residues from petroleum refining that keep the aggregates—stones, sand, etc.—together. As it is mixed, asphalt pavement is very pliable, thanks to the liquid-like consistency of the binders. As asphalt dries, the asphalt binders harden. 

You might think it’s done hardening once it’s okay to walk and drive on the asphalt pavement, but the binders continue to harden for quite some time. Essentially, the asphalt binders, and thus the asphalt pavement itself, become stiffer and more brittle. As asphalt ages, the harder it gets; this is called Age Hardening.

There is a point where asphalt pavement can be too brittle, which reduces its durability. When this occurs, asphalt pavement is more prone to cracking, breaking, and disintegration. There are a number of factors that affect asphalt hardening and durability. A few examples include:

  • Oxidation. This is how the asphalt binder reacts with oxygen.
  • Volatilization.  This is where lighter parts of the asphalt binder evaporate, usually through high temperatures during the mixing of hot-mix asphalt.
  • Separation. Oily parts of asphalt binder are absorbed by specific porous aggregates.

Steps to Ensure Durability

The most important thing that is done to ensure an asphalt pavement’s Age Hardening and durability is going to last is to conduct testing on asphalt pavement mixtures. Different combinations of binders, aggregates, and other additives—plus the time and temperature at which asphalt is mixed—will all affect the final product and the durability of the asphalt pavement.

Testing is done to determine an asphalt pavement’s short-term Age Hardening and long-term Age Hardening, with the later using simulated aging techniques. This testing allows you to know that your asphalt pavement will last for years to come based on your location, climate, traffic load, and more.

At Tucker Paving, we pride ourselves in having the skill, expertise, and know-how to deliver projects with top efficiency and quality, no matter the size! We have nearly three decades in the asphalt and concrete paving industry. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, orfill out our contact form online, to let us help you with your next asphalt paving project!