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Learn about Asphalt

Asphalt plays an important role in our daily activities. When we travel to work or school, or when we buy goods in a shop or via internet, asphalt roads are being used.

There is more knowledge and science involved in this material than most people realise. This allows to produce many different types of asphalt, each having specific characteristics. Some are designed to be porous and very silent, others to be impermeable, etc. In most cases asphalt surfaces are grey or black although it is also possible to find them yellow or red.

They can also be produced in different ways. Although traditionally it was necessary to heat it at high temperatures, new technologies made possible to obtain warm, half warm and cold asphalts, wit similar mechanical performance but improved sustainability and health & safety conditions for workers.

Asphalt is one of the most versatile construction materials, being used in roads, railway beds, airport runways, taxiways, bicycle paths, playgrounds, running tracks, tennis courts, barn floors, greenhouse floors, ports, bridges, tunnels, landfill caps, etc.

Asphalt is nowadays completely immersed into its Digital Revolution, so-called Asphalt 4.0, thanks to the latest developments in robotic construction equipment, artificial intelligence, sensors, big data management or communication systems. Science also made possible to obtain “Sci-Fi” asphalts, which among other things, produce electricity or self-repair when traffic produces cracks.

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What is Asphalt 4.0

Did you know that…

  • The European road network consists of national roads (motorways), regional roads, and local roads. The total length of this network sums up around 5.5 million kilometers, from which more than 80.000 km are classified as motorways?
  • Today more than 80% of motorised inland passenger transport is using the road – not taking into account cycling and walking?
  • More than 70% of all inland freight transport in the European Union is transported on roads; for its total journey or partly?
  • More than 90% of the European Road network is surfaced with asphalt.
  • More than 10.000 companies in Europe are dealing with the production and paving of asphalt?
  • Asphalt Pavements are easy to maintain, quick to construct and provide a safe and quite ride?
  • Asphalt can be 100% reused to make new roads at the end of its service life?
  • In some European countries already more than 90% of reclaimed asphalt become an integral part of the new pavements?
  • In Europe there are more than 4.000 asphalt plants producing around 300 million tons of asphalt pavement material per year?
  • The European asphalt industry employs about 180,000 people.
  • Asphalt pavement material is a precisely engineered product composed of about 95% stone, sand and filler per weight, and about 5% percent of bitumen, a petroleum product? The black bitumen is used as glue to hold the pavement together.

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