Asphalt vs. Bitumen: What’s the Difference?

Asphalt and bitumen are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have their own unique characteristics. Asphalt is a paving material that was originally made from natural materials such as tar, gravel, clay, rock and sand.

Bitumen is the heavy oil product also known as asphalt or pitch which comes from the petroleum distillation refining process. The differences between these two products can be confusing for many people to understand so this blog post will explore them in-depth!

When is Each Used?

Asphalt is commonly used on surfaces such as roads, driveways, and sidewalks as it is a durable material that resists weathering. This is because asphalt is a mixture of small rocks, sand, and tar with a binding agent added to it. Asphalt is often used in areas with heavy traffic because the material can withstand wear from vehicles passing over it day after day without breaking down.

With bitumen, it has become a more popular material in the surfacing industry for being used to patch cracks or resurface areas. Bitumen is also often used in the paving and roofing industry as well because it’s more flexible than asphalt, doesn’t shrink with age, and can be applied at higher temperatures without cracking.

Pros and cons of each material

With asphalt, it is a material that has been used for decades because it is inexpensive and simple to apply. Although asphalt can get old quickly, the material provides a solid base for all types of traffic including cars, trucks, buses, or even bicyclists.

With bitumen, on the other hand, this is a more expensive option that requires professional installation but it doesn’t need much maintenance and in the long-term, it will provide a stronger base and better protection for your property.

Which Product Do You Need For Your Project?

If you are wanting to resurface your driveway, an asphalt driveway is the best option for you. Keep in mind that if your property has a slope, this will require additional work to install and cost more than a regular installation. Asphalt is also the perfect material for pothole repairs and patching work.

Bitumen is the better option for larger and more commercial areas such as runways, damp proofing, and insulation. It has higher quality standards for strength and durability than asphalt so it can be used on a variety of surfaces from flat to steep slopes.

In Summary

There are many similarities between asphalt and bitumen, but there are a few key differences that you should know about.

For example, the two materials have different coefficients of thermal expansion; this means they expand at different rates when exposed to increased temperature.

This can affect how well your surface will be able to withstand extreme weather conditions like heavy snowfall or rainstorms.

If you want more information on these types of projects, get in touch with Jordan Surfacing today!