No matter what kind of asphalt paving job is on the docket for the day, all professional pavement contractors know to consider the most important elements of such work, most importantly, temperatures. In addition to the outdoor climate, ground temperatures, ambient temperatures, and mix temp are all critical factors that impact the overall results of an asphalt paving or patching project.
Continue below to learn more about the best temperatures for asphalt pavement work.
Timing and Temperature Control for Asphalt Paving
Ambient, ground, and mix temperatures must all be well-monitored and managed, but there is more temperature control that comes into play after asphalt is poured. Contractors have to move very quickly to compact the mixture and smooth it all out before it can begin to cool, or cure. If asphalt mix cools to fast, there is no way to ensure full compaction, which leads to several pavement defects and extensive deterioration down the line. This is why proper asphalt installation is so vital.
The temperature of the asphalt mixture is a critical part of a successful pavement job. The most commonly used material is hot asphalt mix, which arrives on site at extreme temperature levels; usually between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to lay the asphalt mixture initially, it must cool down to at least 290 degrees Fahrenheit, but as cool as 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than 190 degrees Fahrenheit can cause the asphalt mix to cool to quickly, and therefore lead to poor compaction and unstable performance. Variables that impact the thickness and cure time include ground temperature, wind speed, and ambient temperature.
Ambient temperature is the temperature of the air. For any type of pavement installation work, ambient temperatures should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the best case scenario, climbing as the day progresses. Because wind speed can also impact how quickly asphalt mix cools, which can ultimately lead to a bad paving job, the ambient temperature for asphalt work ideally should be higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on exceptionally windy days.
The temperature of the ground, both at the surface and below, are important factors to consider before laying asphalt. If the ground is to cold, proper installation may not be possible. If the ground is too hot, the asphalt mixture might not cool fast enough. Generally, the ideal ground temperature for asphalt work should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and climbing. The ground is usually cooler in the morning, so the temperature should rise throughout the day from 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
How are your commercial pavements looking this year? Contact ACI Asphalt and Concrete at 317-549-1833 for commercial asphalt maintenance and repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve commercial and industrial clients all throughout Central Indiana. Request a bid, today.
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