Learn About Asphalt Grades For Your Spring Paving

Learn About Asphalt Grades For Your Spring Paving

Picketts Paving LLC
February 1, 2023 at 4:50 PM

2) pickets paving feb int 1

Key takeaways:

  • Different types of asphalt grades are available for paving projects, each with its benefits.
  • Natural asphalt is durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions.
  • Cutback asphalt is easier to apply in rugged terrain or limited access areas.
  • Mastic asphalt creates a waterproof coating ideal for highly trafficked areas subject to extreme weather conditions.
  • Asphalt emulsion is used as a sealant and patching material and can be applied in cold weather.
  • Asphalt cement is particularly effective for highways and intersections subject to heavy traffic or severe weather conditions.

Are you planning your paving project and have questions about asphalt grades? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Asphalt is popular due to its durability, flexibility, and resistance to the elements. But before you can even begin to think about pavement types such as porous, recycled, HMA, or cold mix, you need to understand the different asphalt grades available for your project. Let’s look at the various types of asphalt and how they can benefit your plans.

Different Types of Asphalt Grades:

Asphalt is a blend of two main components: liquid asphalt and aggregate material. These two materials are heated and then applied to an existing surface to create a new paving surface. The type of asphalt you use will depend on the application and the desired outcome for your project. Here are some common grades of asphalt for paving applications:

Natural Asphalt

Natural asphalt comes in two varieties: lake asphalt and rock asphalt. Lake asphalt may be discovered as fossil layers at depths ranging from 3 to 60 meters in regions such as Trinidad’s lakes. It is composed of 40 to 70 percent pure bitumen and 30 percent water. This asphalt grade is used for road construction and maintenance projects. This type of asphalt is highly durable and resistant to extreme weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for roads that experience heavy traffic or harsh climates. Rock asphalt comprises 10 to 15% pure bitumen and calcareous materials. These rocks are crushed, heated, and then rapidly cooled. This asphalt is used to make pavement tiles, among other things.

Cutback Asphalt

Cutback asphalt combines natural asphalt with a solvent such as kerosene or mineral spirits. This creates a liquid mixture that can be applied with greater ease than traditional mixes, making it ideal for areas where access is limited or difficult terrain, making the application more challenging. Cutback asphalt also has quicker curing times than other grades, meaning you can complete your project faster and get back to enjoying life outdoors!

Mastic Asphalt

This, sometimes known as artificial asphalt, is created by blending the necessary materials with heated black bitumen, such as limestone, dust, and fine and coarse pebbles. As it cools, it hardens into a rigid, elastic block. It is used for waterproofing and pavement construction after being warmed on the project site. Mastic asphalt is durable, rugged, water-resistant, non-absorbent, non-flammable, and noise-free.

Residual Asphalt

Residual asphalt is manufactured artificially by distilling crude petroleum oil with an asphaltic base. As part of the process, it’s heated and mixed with a fine stone. As it cools, it forms a tar-like material that’s easy to spread. It is also used as a sticking agent or adhesive in pavement construction.

Asphalt Emulsion

The asphaltic emulsion is made by mixing 50 to 60% water with asphalt and a 1% emulsifying agent. When water evaporates, the emulsifying agent produces a waterproof coating. As a result, it may be used in cold weather. Asphalt emulsion is also used as a sealant and patching material. As such, it’s a practical choice for parking lots, driveways, and streets that experience extreme weather conditions.

Asphalt Cement

Asphalt cement is produced by subjecting natural asphalt to high-pressure air at high temperatures. Asphalt cement is a polymeric compound used for flooring, roofing, and waterproofing. Asphalt cement is particularly effective for highly trafficked areas, such as highways and intersections. As it provides a waterproof coating, asphalt cement is the ideal choice for environments that experience heavy rain and snowfall.


Different Types of Asphalt Pavement for Your Project

You may be driving on one of five distinct types of asphalt pavement.

Porous Asphalt

Since the mid-1970s, porous asphalt has been in use. This asphalt is commonly used in driveways and parking lots to allow water to drain through the surface. This pavement solution is inexpensive and has more than twenty years of lifespan.

Perpetual Pavement

Asphalt and the multi-layer paving design procedure are used to create perpetual pavement. They are long-lasting and durable. The installation of perpetual pavement is neither time-consuming nor disruptive to traffic.

Quiet Pavement

Asphalt road paving considerably decreases noise inside and outside of houses and businesses. It has been established that changing the pavement of a loud road with stone-matrix asphalt or open-grade friction course mix reduces highway noise.

Warm-Mix Asphalt

Warm-mix asphalt is made the same way as hot-mix asphalt but at a lower temperature of 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit. There are a few advantages to lowering the temperature of the asphalt. These include reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Thin Overlays

Thin overlays enhance ride quality while lowering pavement distress, noise levels, and life-cycle costs. It is made from warm-mix asphalt and recyclable components.

Beneficial Properties of Asphalt


Asphalt is a water-repellent, lightweight substance that does not dissolve in water. It is also waterproof because of its high plasticity, adhesive strength, and binding force with mineral materials.


When pressure is applied to asphalt, it deforms without breaking, and when the pressure is withdrawn, the asphalt preserves its distorted shape, represented by ductility.

The Stability of Asphalt in the Atmosphere

Asphalt’s ability to withstand extensive heat, sunlight, and atmosphere over time is called its stability in the atmosphere. Asphalt’s stability in the atmosphere also depends on its composition, thickness, density, and other factors. When choosing asphalt grades for your paving project this spring, it’s essential to consider the properties of the materials you’ll be using.

Ending Note:

With these tips in mind, you’re better equipped to decide what grade works best for you!
Pickett’s Paving LLC provides customized and cost-effective asphalt paving services for all residential and commercial surfaces in Madison, WI. We can do it quickly and affordably if you need a parking lot or a paved driveway.
Get a free quote today!