Why is Asphalt Black?

You have been driving on it every day while going to work and passing through a highway which sometimes is black or red. This black or red substance is called asphalt and used for all pavements or highways. Asphalt is a mixture of aggregates binder and filer for construction and maintaining roads, airports, parking areas, sidewalks, or sports areas. Asphalt is black or brown petroleum-like that has a consistency varying from viscous liquid to glossy solid. It is obtained from natural deposit or distillation of petroleum. It consists of compounds of hydrogen and carbon with minor components of nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. Asphalt is made when a blend of small peddles, stones, sand, and bitumen as a binding agent.

why is asphalt black

What is Asphalt

We drive on it, we walk on it, and our planes land on it but we need to think of what asphalt is. Asphalt is made of two ingredients. The first is a mixture of crushed stone, gravel, and sand and this makes up 95% of hot mix asphalt. The other 5% is bitumen which is black and holds the ingredients together. These components are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and trace amounts of iron.

Types of Asphalt

There are three types of asphalt:

  • Hot mix asphalt concrete which is durable and made of high heat is mostly used in high-end traffics such as busy highways and airports.
  • Warm mix asphalt concrete does not require high temperatures and is safer as it uses less fossil fuel but is not durable and is mostly used in moderately used areas such as parking areas.
  • Mastic asphalt concrete contains less bitumen and is commonly used for footpaths. All these types of asphalt need regular maintenance for it to remain durable and to remain protected and in good shape.

Why is Asphalt black?

Asphalt is black because of the ingredients it is made from. It is made of sand, crushed rock, and Bitumen. Bitumen is a dark black material that holds the rock together and is made of petroleum distillation. Blacktop is a type of asphalt but it has a higher mixture of stone than asphalt and it must be heated to higher temperatures of more than 300 degrees and is used in low traffic areas such as playgrounds or parking areas.

Asphalt paving material is made of asphalt cement which is dull in color, sand, and crushed rock. It is a byproduct of petroleum distillation and being subjected to high temperatures it is dumped out steaming on the road and is compacted by a heavy steam roller.

Black asphalt is the heavy residue that sits at the bottom of a natural mineral such as limestone. It is flexible and versatile and can be used to line fishpond, water reservoirs, and other sporting areas such as tennis courts. Some asphalt is brown because of copper and iron deposits which give it brown color but it is not widely used in larger roads because it is not visible.

Why Is Asphalt Black? why is asphalt black


Asphalt is mostly used because it is cheaper, quicker to build, easier to repair when minor problems occur and it is much safer in adverse weather conditions because of water sips in. It creates a smooth surface that vehicles drive on and it reduces wear and tears on vehicles.

Black asphalt can be used within two days after it is poured and can be maintained via regular seal coating to increase its durability. During winter because asphalt is black, it is easy to maintain as it retains heat from the sun and melts down ice and snow quickly. Driveway paving companies similar to Willies Paving utilize asphalt in the majority of their projects, due to the flexibility of it.

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