Are there roads or parking lots nearby your home or office with large portions of asphalt missing all of a sudden? You know they are not from natural occurrences because they are uniform in nature, displaying evident signs of man-made work. So what is the city doing to these streets and parking lots? Well, they are likely replacing them, which should be great news to you since usually only problematic pavements are replaced on such a large scale. What you are witnessing is a common road replacement technique called pavement milling.
Continue reading to learn more about pavement milling, including how it’s done and who to trust for road replacement services in your town.
Also known as “cold planing”, pavement milling is a common road replacement practice used in the paving industry. It is the process of removing the surface of old asphalt pavement, giving room for new asphalt to be laid. There are two primary reasons why pavement milling is used; either the road or lot needs to be leveled out, or it has extensive damage that needs to be repaired. It can also be used to make rumble strips on new or preexisting roads.
To mill pavements, professional pavers use a large machine rightfully called a milling machine, or cold planer. They are designed with a large rotating drum with sharp cutters on the inside that removes and grinds the surface asphalt. As the surface is being milled, the drum takes in the uprooted debris and sends it through to a conveyor belt that usually leads to a transferable container. Asphalt is 100% recyclable, and is often kept for re-purposing. The drum works with such intensity, that water must be used on it to control heat production and rising temperatures.
A more sophisticated and intensive version of pavement milling is micro-milling. Micro-milling also uses a milling machine with a rotating drum, but the drum is more specialized and contains more cutting teeth compared to a standard milling machine. The cutting teeth are also closer together, rendering a smoother surface for new asphalt to be laid. With standard milling, there are ridges left in the surface. Micro-milling is not always a conducive option for pavements since it can only be done at shallow depths, dissimilar to standard road milling.