What is the Difference Between Asphalt Pavement and Concrete Pavement

Asphalt pavement and concrete pavement are two common road paving materials. There are some differences and advantages in material composition, laying and maintenance, service life, as well as environmental pollution.

Material Composition

Asphalt pavement: Asphalt is also called as the hot mix asphalt, mainly consists of mineral aggregate and bituminous mixture. Asphalt is a black, it is heated and mixed with mineral aggregates by various types of mini hot mix station. Asphalt is paved by asphalt paver under the right conditions.  

Concrete pavements: Concrete pavements are mainly made by cement, aggregates such as sand and stones, and water and admixtures. Concrete forms a strong structure through the hardening process of cement.

Laying and Maintenance

Asphalt pavements: The laying of asphalt pavements is relatively simple and quick. Small areas of damage can be partially repaired, while large areas of damage may require resurfacing.

Concrete Pavements: The laying of concrete pavements takes longer because the concrete needs enough time to cure and harden. And once the concrete pavement has been damaged, it is relatively difficult to repair and usually requires re-pouring.

Durability and Service Life

Asphalt pavement is relatively soft and can absorb some vehicle vibration and impact, so it has a certain effect on improving traffic noise and comfort. However, asphalt pavements are susceptible to climate and chemicals, are prone to damage and require regular maintenance. Typically, asphalt pavements have a relatively short service life.

Concrete pavements are stronger and can withstand greater vehicle loads and pressures. It is relatively durable and less susceptible to climate and chemicals. Concrete pavements generally last longer than asphalt pavements.

Impact on the Environment

During the construction of asphalt pavement laying, a certain amount of harmful gas and solvent volatiles will be generated. In addition, asphalt pavements may be washed by rainwater, causing some pollutants to enter the surrounding water bodies.

The mixing of concrete and laying has less impact on the environment. Concrete is a renewable material and recycled aggregates can be used to reduce the demand on natural resources.

Final Words 

Asphalt pavement has the characteristics of simple construction and perfect comfort. Asphalt is suitable for roads with medium traffic intensity and short service life. Concrete pavement has higher durability, longer service life and adaptability to high traffic intensity, and is suitable for roads requiring higher load-carrying capacity, such as arterial roads and expressways. In the actual selection, factors such as road use, budget, maintenance cost and environmental impact need to be considered comprehensively.

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