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Blacktop Concrete. Is there such a thing?

By Robert Short

Your search for Blacktop Concrete has led you here but I have some interesting information for you. Although blacktop and concrete have very similar properties, there is no such thing as Blacktop Concrete. There is either Blacktop or Concrete.

Concrete is made out of a combination of gravel, sand and portland cement. Portland cement being the material that holds the sand and gravel together. Blacktop is made out of a combination of gravel, sand and asphalt. Asphalt is a byproduct of the crude oil refining process and is the ingredient that holds together the gravel and sand found in blacktop.

Both concrete and blacktop are used to build roadways, parking lots and driveways. In colder climates blacktop is the material of choice because of its flexibility and its ability to withstand coatings with salt, used to thaw ice, without deteriorating. The flexibility allows blacktop to handle the expanding and contracting that occurs on roadways during the change in seasons from cold weather to hot. Although blacktop can handle the barrage of salt during the winter it tends to get beat up considerably by snowplows that cause massive potholes. Potholes are much easier and quicker to patch on blacktop than on concrete. Concrete on the other hand is much more suited for warmer climates because salt is very damaging to concrete and masonry and it could not handle a harsh winter without cracking and/or turning to powder. Sunlight and its ultraviolet rays are also very damaging to blacktop but it generally does not damage concrete.

Many roadways and bridge decks in the North Eastern United States are engineered with a foundation layer of concrete of about eight inches thick with a layer of blacktop of about six inches thick placed on top of it. This process results in “the best of” both products.

Either way, concrete and blacktop are two totally different materials. By browsing this site you will find many articles pertaining to concrete, concrete cutting and home improvement.

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