Benefits to warm mix asphalt

Maryland I-95 Express Toll Lane Project

Allan Myers mixes about 5 million tons of asphalt each year for internal and external customers.  At that volume, safe working conditions and eco-friendly factors are always top of mind. An alternative that is addressing both of those challenges is the use of warm mix asphalt instead of the traditional hot mix.

Allan Myers was among the first to use this style of mix and states such as Delaware and Pennsylvania are requiring it on job sites.

There are several environmental benefits to using warm mix. Some benefits include the decreased amount of natural gas, which reduces the carbon footprint, and less smoke and dust are produced, providing better and safer working conditions at the production plant and on site.

“This saves energy and makes the mix denser for compacting and better overall performance,” said Tim Peffer, Director of Asphalt Quality Control.

The warm mix can be combined with reclaimed asphalt pavement without compromising the quality of the mix. This helps in recycling and reusing existing asphalt, making the process more sustainable.

This mix can also be compacted at 200 degrees out in the field and the density is improved at a lower temperature, which improves the overall pavement performance and increases the longevity.

The mix can be hauled longer distances without stiffening and the chemical additives improve the workability at cooler temperatures.

Another benefit of being heated to lower temperatures is allowing for the extension of paving season well into November and December.

“The preconceived notion in the industry has historically been the hotter the asphalt the better,” said Peffer. “Contrary to what people believe, that is not always the best.”

Traditional hot mix can reach very high temperatures and produces more smoke and dust resulting in higher emissions. There is a faster cool down window with the hot mix, leading to more cracks in the asphalt. The cooler temperature of the warm mix liquid asphalt prolongs the pavement’s life and prevents cracking while improving the durability.

“Leaving footprints in our industry is important to our Allan Myers team,” said Peffer. “This different approach to paving is a lot for our very traditional industry to get used to, but the benefits to the application and the final product are immense.”

If interested in learning more about warm mix asphalt, contact your local Allan Myers Sales Manager.