Today, hot-mix asphalt is the most common pavement on the market. Once HMA proved to be a durable and cost-efficient way of paving roads, the market exploded in popularity, competition, and efficiency. Asphalt is a highly-beneficial paving material that can be used in various applications within the construction industry. There are several types of asphalt mixes, including hot mix asphalt (HMA), warm mix asphalt (WMA), cold mix asphalt, cut-back asphalt concrete, mastic asphalt concrete, and variations of them all.
Hot Mix Asphalt – Hot mix asphalt is just that: hot. It is poured at a high temperature of 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and is only applied when outdoor temperatures exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit because it cools so rapidly. In the United States, it is the most common method of asphalt paving used for high-traffic pavements like highways, roads, interstates, and more. This is largely due to its advantageous qualities. Hot mix asphalt is water and weather resistant, flexible, and environmentally-friendly. Interesting uses for HMA includes environmental liners for places like reservoirs, landfills, and fish hatchery ponds.
Warm Mix Asphalt – Warm mix asphalt is manufactured and shipped at lower temperatures, usually between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has a slower cooling rate than HMA. This means it can be used in colder seasons or climates for road, highway, and interstate construction. For the same reason, it can be shipped long distances as well. WMA is used in roughly 30 percent of paving projects around the country because of its slow cooling rate, versatility, environmental benefits, and health benefits for workers. Since WMA is poured at lower temperatures, it reduces the amount of dust, smoke, and fumes created when applying HMA.