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Common Asphalt Terms

A

Aggregate: A hard mineral material, such as crushed stone, sand or gravel used in pavement applications alone or mixed with an asphalt binder.

Asphalt Emulsion:  Asphalt binder and water that contains a small amount of an emulsifying agent.

Asphalt Millings: Fine particles of bitumen and inorganic material. Sized from dust to less than an inch. Produced by the mechanical grinding of bituminous surfaces. See Millings.

Asphalt Reclamation: Asphalt Reclamation, also known as Full Depth Reclamation (FDR), is a cost effective method of pavement rehabilitation. During FDR the full thickness of the asphalt surface and a portion of the underlying base are uniformly graded and pulverized to serve as the base for a new road. Additives such as cement or asphalt emulsion are often incorporated to increase strength. The result is a homogenous layer with improved structural capacity. 

B

Base: The layer of material beneath the road surface. May be composed of stone, gravle, sand, aggregate, dirt, or asphalt.

C

Cold-In-Place Recycling (CIR):  Removing and reusing the existing asphalt surface. Involves milling off the top 2 to 5 inches of the existing asphalt surface and mixing the crushed asphalt with an asphalt recycling agent, and placing it back down with a paver. CIR is typically performed using a train of equipment, including an emulsion tanker, milling machine, a paver, and rollers. See more

Cracks (Alligator Cracks):Interconnected cracks caused by excessive wear over an unstable subgrade.

D

E

F

FDR- Full Depth Reclamation. See Asphalt Reclamation.

Flotation: The ability to keep a tire as close to the soil surface as possible, without causing ruts, compaction or becoming stuck.

G

H

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA): Hot mixture of asphalt binder and aggregate, which can be compacted into a uniform dense mass.

I

J

K

L

Lime: A calcium-containing inorganic mineral composed primarily of oxides, and hydroxide, usually calcium oxide and/ or calcium hydroxide.

M

Millings: Fine particles of bitumen and inorganic material. Sized from dust to less than an inch. Produced by the mechanical grinding of bituminous surfaces. See Asphalt Millings.

N

O

P

Permeal Friction Course: Open-graded bituminous mixture placed over an impervious base. See also PFC.

PFC: Permeal Friction Course: Open-graded bituminous mixture placed over an impervious base. See also Permeal Friction Course

Portland Cement: Cement that is manufactured from limestone and clay and that hardens under water

Q

R

Ruts: Channeled depressions in asphalt pavement. Also called Channels.

S

Seal coat:  A thin surface treatment used to improve and/or protect asphalt surface. 

Segregation: The non-uniformity of an asphalt mixture caused by physical segregation or thermal segregation.

  • Physical segregation: non-uniform distribution or separation of coarse and fine aggregate sizes throughout the mass.
  • Thermal segregation: non-uniform temperature distribution throughout the mass of a mixture.

Soil Cement: A highly compacted mixture of soil/aggregate, cement, and water.

Soil Stabilization: Process of preparing a surface for new road construction.

Subgrade: Soil prepared to support a pavement structure.

T

Tractive Effort: Tractive force and rolling effort on the road surface.

U

V

W

X

Y

Z