Over the course of laying down new asphalt, several factors are closely monitored. One of these factors is the temperature of the asphalt mix. Professionals in the paving industry know that even a small mistake in this aspect of the process can lead to asphalt that doesn’t stand the test of time. So, what’s the right way to approach asphalt temperature?
Three Temperatures to Watch
While you may think that the only factor that matters is the temperature of the asphalt as it’s delivered to the paving site, there’s actually much more to consider. Three vital temperatures determine the strength and ease of paving.
Asphalt Mix Temperature
Not surprisingly, hot-mix asphalt is delivered to job sites at high temperatures. It usually arrives at temps between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Letting asphalt significantly cool down before application is not recommended. If the mix falls below 185 degrees, it becomes too rigid to properly compact over the paving surface.
This is simply the temperature of the environment around you. For an effective application of asphalt mix, ambient temperatures should exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also preferable for temperatures to be rising during paving, rather than falling. For this reason, pavers will often check weather conditions and schedule a time when conditions align well. Wind conditions also come into play, as they can quickly cool asphalt mix by a significant degree.
The temperature of the ground that needs paving is the final piece of the puzzle. Like the ambient temperature, it should also be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Traditional temperature probes are less than effective since they can’t be adequately placed within the pavement, so infrared thermometers are usually utilized instead.
What Happens When Asphalt Temperature Isn’t Right?
Inexperienced contractors may fall into the trap of improper mixing or applying of asphalt. Asphalt temperature plays a major role in how well the mix solidifies. If it cools off too fast, it will lack enough density and will most likely start to lose its consistency at some point. This decreases the smoothness of the surface, and it also lets in too much water. For optimal temperature management, the easiest paving jobs occur in weather conditions between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (ambient).
Get in Touch for High-Quality Asphalt Paving Today
For contractors that know the ins and outs of asphalt temperature, contact Lone Star Paving today. Our staff carries over 125 combined years of paving experience. We’re ready to handle any project, no matter how simple or complex. Get in touch with us today for a free quote. See why we’re the go-to pick for paving in Austin, San Antonio, and more!