In the 1800s a Scottish engineer called John Louson McAdam designed a method for building roads from stone or gravel.
McAdam’s design helped create smoother surfaces and lessened the number of potholes in roads. But how did this creation become one of the most used construction materials in modern history?
The Origins of Tarmac
In the earlier days of construction, the roads on which people travelled were made of dirt and clay. These were either laid down by hand or pushed into place with large rolling stones. The downside to these roads was that they would often become muddy in rainy weather.
When McAdam came up with the idea of using broken stones to make a better road, he set about doing this by filling in the gaps with smaller pieces of rock.
This improved the roads significantly over time and they became less porous and more solid for travellers walking on them.
He also invented what we know today as tar – a mixture of sand, clay, pitch and gravel that is heated in a soluble state and provides a firm and smooth surface for vehicles to travel on.
How Tarmac Has Evolved
This material today is commonly known as tarmac and is still used extensively today by construction teams around the world to create driveways, streets and car parks.
The main way tarmac has evolved since the days of McAdam is that modern materials are much more stable and durable, meaning tarmac can withstand vehicles travelling on top of it for a long period.
There are also companies that supply plant machinery to help with the excavation and installation of tarmac.
These machines can be used to clear up old tarmac from sites that need re-laying, as well as breaking it down into manageable pieces before loading onto lorries.
The aggregate used to make modern tarmac is stronger and more durable. Combined with the specialist mixing machinery, this means that today’s roads are better than ever before when it comes to durability and quality of materials.
Tarmac is an innovative, modern construction tool that has the potential to be used in a variety of different ways. For more information on tarmac projects and how they can benefit your company or project, get in touch with Jordan Surfacing today.
Our team will walk you through everything from pricing to installation so you know what’s involved.
You can also learn about our many other services including asphalt paving, pothole repairs, road resurfacing and driveway installations.