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The Benefits of Warm Mix Asphalt

At Lertiz & Busy Bee, we’re dedicated to not only supplying superior paving solutions, but providing leadership in the asphalt community. When new technologies arise, it is our goal to educate customers on the benefits we could bring to their paving projects. In this blog entry, we would like to explore the slew of advantages warm-mix asphalt has over conventional paving methods.


Warm-mix asphalt gained notoriety in Europe several years back for its positive impacts on the environment. Since then several communities here in the U.S. have adopted the process—including St. Louis—making it a popular alternative paving method. In 2011, over 200,000 tons of warm-mix asphalt was laid in the tri-county St. Louis area alone.


While some of the advantages may seem obvious, here is a basic rundown of the benefits warm-mix asphalt can bring.


    • Reduction in emissions: VOC and CO2 can be reduced by up to 60%. This process allows the contractor to lower the temperature of the asphalt by over 50 degrees, thus dramatically reducing the production of greenhouse gases.

 

    • Energy Savings: It’s quite common for asphalt plants to see a reduction of over 30% in energy costs.

 

    • Less Fuel: Because the temperatures run so much cooler, less fuel is used during the mixing.

 

    • Less Odor: Traditional asphalt emits not only a cloud of smoke, but also a very strong odor. If you’re running a business that is open to the public, do you really want them greeted this way? Warm mix asphalt produces less odor and yields little to no gas during the paving process.

 

    • Safer: Working with traditional hot-mix asphalt can be a very dangerous process. With warm-mix asphalt, not only will the contractor be exposed to less odor and smoke, but the risk of severe burns is reduced.

 

    • Faster: Because the compaction process is quicker, it allows roads and parking lots to open up to traffic sooner. For any business, time is money. For example, the longer a retail parking lot is closed the longer it serves as a burden to its customers.

 

    • Less Cracks: The binding process requires less ageing, which in return will increase the longevity of the asphalt.

 

For almost 30 years, the folks at Leritz & Busy Bee have been supplying the St. Louis area with innovative paving methods. If you have any questions regarding warm-mix asphalt, please feel free to reach out! Remember: for all your commercial and residential paving needs, think Lertiz & Busy Bee!

The temperatures may be heating up, but the hot talk in the pavement industry is warm mix asphalt (WMA). The new technology is gaining acceptance at an unprecedented rate, 44 of the 50 states have completed WMA jobs.

The wide acceptance of WMA has been so quick because of the numerous advantages it has over hot mix asphalt, these include:
• Less environmental impact
• Less fuel use by the mixing plant
• Decreased wear on the mixing plant
• Longer haul distances, creating an extended paving season
• Increased time for compaction, leading to better densities
• Longer pavement life

Warm mix asphalt is made by using a variety of products and process to replace the heat normally necessary to produce asphalt mix. Keeping the mixing temperatures low, 50 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit less than required for traditional asphalts, results in reduced emissions and fumes and can also lead to a significant energy savings.

While the benefits are obvious, WMA does present some challenges. First, the industry hasn’t fully adapted and some job specifications do not provide for using WMA technology. With new technologies come unknowns, more studies are needed to further investigate the benefits, long-term suitability and sustainability of warm mix asphalt. For more information on WMA, visit www.WarmMixAsphalt.com.

Source: Talking Asphalt: What About Warm Mix by Dwight Walker