Transportation Defined: Asphalt

Asphalt sample and a rubberized asphalt sample

A view of an asphalt sample and a rubberized asphalt sample, right.

When someone hears the word “asphalt,” they might picture the road that they drive on, but asphalt is actually one component of that surface...

We recently dropped by ADOT’s binder lab and learned all about asphalt and the testing that ADOT conducts. We’ll share that information with you soon, but for today, we thought we’d start off by showing you a couple photos of asphalt – the thick, sticky, black substance that acts as a binder when mixed with aggregate.

Asphalt, which is basically the residual hydrocarbons that are left over when oil is distilled, has multiple uses. At ADOT we use it for road paving.

You’ll notice the photo at left looks smooth and the one at right looks a little chunky. That’s because the sample on the right is rubberized asphalt and already has the crumb rubber mixed in (you can watch this video to get a detailed look at how rubberized asphalt is made).

Stay tuned … we’ll have more on asphalt coming up soon. 

Transportation Defined is a series of explanatory blog posts designed to define the things you see on your everyday commute. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see explained ... leave a comment here on the blog or over on our Facebook page!