Roads can be formed from various materials and this will primarily depend upon their intended as well as the type of vehicular traffic that can be expected. While asphalt is arguably the most well-known substance, another category is known as “bituminous road”.
What separates this formulation from other variants? Are these roads associated with any specific advantages? Let us take a quick look at this type of road in order to answer these interesting questions.
Bitumen Roads Defined
One lesser-known fact is that bitumen is actually a combination of naturally occurring substances known as hydrocarbons. It is largely comprised of asphalt in addition to other materials commonly known as aggregates.
In its natural form, bitumen is a viscous and sticky tar-like substance often occurring as a byproduct within the petroleum industry. The main takeaway point is that (for the sake of argument) there are few physical and applied differences between bitumen and asphalt. So, why is this material sometimes preferred over other methods when performing road surfacing work?
Are There any Unique Advantages of Bitumen for Roads?
As bitumen is a byproduct of the petroleum distillation process, it is one of the most economical substances to use within the road construction industry. This is particularly beneficial when undertaking larger projects such as the re-surfacing of a major regional motorway.
The flexibility of this material from a construction perspective is also noteworthy. When used with substances such as aggregate, different formulations can be created which will be able to address various physical loads (such as a motorway that is associated with heavy vehicular traffic). Sometimes referred to as a “thermoplastic”, bitumen will also expand and contract to a greater degree with temperature variations. This can help to avoid issues commonly associated with other surfaces such as cracking and the formation of potholes.
While bitumen has existed for decades, its presence is expected to continue well into the future. This is why the experts at Jordan Surfacing have included it within our range of specialities. If you would like to learn more about the beneficial properties of this humble material, feel free to give us a call.