Asphalt and bitumen are often confused with one another, thought to be interchangeable terms, but they are in fact quite different.
Bitumen is made from hydrocarbons derived from petroleum which can be used as a road sealer on its own. The process of installing a bitumen road involves a single or double spray coat of bitumen over a well-prepared base before applying an aggregate. This application can be repeated depending on requirements.
Asphalt requires the use of oil-based bitumen to bind with sand and stone aggregates to create a composite mix. The mixing occurs at different temperatures from room temperature to over 100 degrees Celsius depending on the requirements of the project.
Asphalt pavements are thicker and more durable than bitumen. Double-coated bitumen has a thickness of 10 to 20mm, while asphalt pavements are usually 25-40mm thick. With professional installation and routine maintenance every few years, asphalt pavements can last for more than 20 years –double the lifespan for bitumen pavements. For frequently used areas such as a driveway or carpark asphalt would be the smarter choice.
Safety & Impact on Vehicles
Asphalt provides a smoother more skid-resistant surface than bitumen. The exposed aggregate on bitumen-sealed roads creates a different more organic look. However, this causes more friction between the road and the car, which wears down car tires and may damage the surface particularly during turns in a car park. The loose rocks on bitumen pavements also makes the driving experience noisier.
The main benefit bitumen has over asphalt is the cheaper installation cost. If you have a tight budget and plan to resurface a road with low volumes of traffic, such as a driveway, bitumen may be a good investment. However, asphalt for frequently used areas such as office car parks will generate greater savings in the long-term.
At Claremont Asphalt we can help with the construction of your asphalt car park or driveway, as well as provide resurfacing and pot hole repair services. Get in touch with the team today for expert advice and an obligation free quote! 0418 957 081