What is the difference between asphalt and blacktop?

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In Mesa AZ, Road Tech Paving is the trusted asphalt paving company because we’ve got the local experience and the industry expertise to solve any pavement problem. One of the questions we get asked all the time is: What is the difference between asphalt and blacktop?

Those two terms are used often interchangeably in the US, so it’s an understandable question for laymen, and the shortest answer is “not much.” Essentially, blacktop is a type of asphalt that is more often used on residential paving instead of highways and roadways. That said, there are different types of asphalt paving that are used for various conditions. Let our pavement experts explain.

What is asphalt?

At the most basic level, asphalt pavement is a mixture of tar called bitumen, that black sticky petroleum product that gives roads their dark color, and aggregates like sand or gravel that gives asphalt pavement stability.

How is blacktop different from asphalt?

Blacktop, as a specific type of asphalt, has a higher concentration of aggregates and less bitumen or tar. This is because the finished surface doesn’t need to be quite so durable, as it’s not used in very high traffic conditions like roadways. Sometimes other things like ground up tire rubber or liquid plastics are added to provide various benefits like flexibility.

Benefits of Asphalt

Ultimately, asphalt and blacktop are great paving material options for both commercial paving projects like parking lots or loading zones as well as residential paving like walkways and driveways. While a concrete driveway may sound reasonable, asphalt is more durable, flexible, and weather-resistant.

Your Mesa AZ Asphalt Experts

Road Tech Paving, Mesa AZ’s trusted paving company, can help area homeowners and business owners choose the best pavement for their property. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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