What are the Main Uses of Asphalt?
Asphalt Pavements in Tunnels
Most of the World’s Paved Roads surfaced with Asphalt, which gives good performance and durability under the most heavily trafficked conditions. Asphalt materials are therefore eminently suitable for use in the construction and surfacing of roads in tunnels. The use of Asphalt in Road Tunnels is a topic which is often discussed by engineers in the construction industry.
Asphalt on Bridge Decks
In Europe most (if not all) Steel and Concrete Bridges have an Asphalt surfacing on top. One of the main reasons for using Asphalt is to protect the Steel and Concrete Structures from Water and De-icing Salts. The Asphalt Bridge Pavement system can be split into four different layers.
1- Sealing/Bonding Layer (Primer)
2- Waterproofing Layer
3- Protecting Layer
4- Surface layer (Asphalt).
Asphalt in Railway Tracks
The properties of Asphalt offer good opportunities to apply this type of material in Railway Track construction. This has been proven in various applications, both for Heavy Loaded Tracks and for High-Speed Tracks. The Use of Asphalt in Railway Construction provides a Positive contribution to the bearing capacity of the structure. It improves both the Stability and the Durability of the structure, which contributes to the reduction in the need for maintenance. In addition, the use of Asphalt also helps to Reduce Vibration and Noise.
Applications of Asphalt in Railway construction can be divided between use as Sub Ballast layers and use as Full Depth (Asphalt) Construction, also called the Ballast-Less track. Worldwide experience has shown that use of Asphalt can offer a Good alternative in Modern Railway construction.
Airfield Uses of Asphalt
A majority of Airports are constructed with Asphalt pavement. In Airports, there are different areas such as Runways, Taxiways, Aprons and Parking areas. For each, the required Specifications could be different particularly for surface courses. For Parking and Aprons, Good Resistance is needed to puncturing, to fuel and to chemical agents. For other surfaces, a Good Skid Resistance is necessary. Asphalt Mixes provide the answer to these various requirements.
In addition to these uses, Asphalt mixes are widely employed in the surfacing of Runways and Aircraft Handling areas on a wide range of Airfields, from International Airports regularly used by the Heaviest Airliners, through Military Airfields carrying High Performance Jet Aircraft and the Smaller Domestic Airfields regularly used by Light or Medium-Sized Aircraft to the Smallest Private Airfield used by Light Single or Twin-Seat Aircraft.