What is the Difference Between Light and Heavy Duty Asphalt

asphalt pavingFor owners of commercial properties, asphalt is typically used in one area or another surrounding the facility. Asphalt is the prime material used in the construction of parking lots, and depending on the load expected to be placed on the surface, you’ll need to consider whether to use either light or heavy duty asphalt paving.

What is Heavy Duty Asphalt?

Generally, it is the loading conditions of a parking lot that determine whether you should use light or heavy duty asphalt mixes. If pavements are expected to be receiving weighted, heavy truck loads with high tire pressures, then the use of heavy duty mixes is necessary to help the surface withstand the burden.

There are a variety of different materials that can be used to lay the surface. Heavy duty asphalt pavement is usually created using a variety of mineral aggregates which are used to determine the performance of the surface. For instance, the aggregates used on highways and roadways aren’t necessarily ideal for use on parking lots. Both surfaces endure different loads when it comes to managing vehicles, and therefore demand a different set of mineral aggregate.

What is Light Duty Asphalt?

Light duty mixes are for completely different situations. They are designed to withstand low volume road designs or in areas where there is mostly high foot traffic. It can be an underlay for other floor coverings or used in shop floors to take fixed racks.

In some cases, reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) can be utilized in addition to other aggregates. When RAP is used in parking lots, it makes the mixture stiffer and cuts back on tire scuffing. RAP also saves contractors from having to use too many other aggregates in their mixtures.

Why We Need Heavy Duty Asphalt

There is no getting around the fact that more and more cars will continue to be on the road, which further enhances the need for heavy duty asphalt paving. Heavy duty asphalt is meant to bear the heaviest traffic loads possible and it is also able to sustain slower moving traffic where the pressure of heavy loads are focused in a single area for a sustained duration of time. This includes managing the high-axle loadings of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

There are many factors that should be considered when choosing between light duty and heavy duty asphalt, including drainage. There is no way to prevent water from entering the surface therefore designing the surface in a manner that allows for optimal drainage, particularly for parking areas, is a top consideration.

Asphalt pavements serve many practical purposes and they are one of the foundations of your commercial property. Not sure if you should use light duty or heavy duty asphalt for your commercial parking lot? Contact Lincoln Construction Group now for your next asphalt paving project. We have the right team with the right amount of experience to get the job done.