The Different Types of Pavement

The Different Types of Pavement To the casual observer, one expanse of asphalt may seem indistinguishable from another. However, there are actually several types of asphalt pavement.

The Different Types of Pavement  – Examples


Dense-graded hot mix asphalt is a general purpose pavement that is the most commonly used type in the United States. This mix can be further classified according to the size of the particles included in the mix; coarse-graded mix has larger particles, while fine-graded mix has more particles the size of grains of sand. Dense-graded asphalt is suitable for all weather and traffic as well as for all layers of the pavement.

Stone Matrix Asphalt

Stone matrix asphalt, or SMA, has been widely used in Europe for many years but is relatively new in America. The goal of SMA is to provide better durability and enhanced resistance to rutting through improved stone-on-stone contact within the mix. SMA offers increased friction during wet weather, so its most common use is for high-volume roadways such as interstates. Although SMA is more expensive than traditional hot mix asphalt, in some situations, it is the more cost-effective choice.

Open-Graded or Permeable Asphalt

While other asphalt mixes are designed to be watertight, open-graded asphalt has pores that allow water to permeate. It is primarily used for two layers: the surface course and drainage layer. When used as the surface course, permeable asphalt can reduce wet-weather splashing and spraying by passing traffic, and the pores also reduce tire noise substantially. Open-graded asphalt is often used for parking lots to improve storm-water management. As the runoff will gradually drain into the soil, the water can be kept out of storm sewers while providing nourishment to trees, grass and plants. Permeable asphalt pavement has difficulty standing up to heavy loads, so it is not recommended for highways or other thoroughfares that receive high volumes of cars or truck traffic.

For More Information

Within the basic pavement types, there are also different quality levels, such as the amount of recycled material or aggregates used. If you would like to learn more, contact the experts at Alpha Paving Industries. We have more than 35 years of experience helping Central Texas customers choose the best asphalt pavement for their specific needs. Our team members share a commitment to delivering quality work at reasonable rates. Whether you need pavement repairs, asphalt paving, parking lot striping or sealcoating, we can guide you through the entire process to ensure your satisfaction. You can send us your information on our online form to receive a free quote, or you can call us at (512) 677-9001.

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