Polymers pave way for wider use of recycled tires in asphalt

Each year, about 27 million tires end up in landfills, dumps and stockpiles, where they pose health and environmental hazards. These tires could get a second life as components of the roads they once traveled, but blends ...

Ancient pigment can boost energy efficiency

A color developed by Egyptians thousands of years ago has a modern-day application as well – the pigment can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls, and could also enable solar generation of electricity via ...

Potholes: How engineers are working to fill in the gaps

Potholes are a perennial problem. They are dangerous to road users, and the damage they cause to vehicles can be hugely expensive. The cost of repairing them is also vast. But still they appear, and reappear, in countless ...

Asphalt helps lithium batteries charge faster

A touch of asphalt may be the secret to high-capacity lithium metal batteries that charge 10 to 20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries, according to Rice University scientists.

It pays to repave in colder climates

Repaving roads is a costly and complicated process, especially when the road is a critical artery. But new research from Norway shows that switching to more durable asphalt could save significant amounts of money on some ...

Microalgae used for green asphalt

Microalgae offer a highly promising alternative to petroleum products without competing for resources used in the food industry. They have now been used for the first time to make asphalt. Researchers have recently proved ...

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Asphalt

Asphalt /ˈæsfɔːlt/ ( listen) or /ˈæsʃfɛlt/, also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits, it is a substance classed as a pitch. Until the 20th century, the term asphaltum was also used.

The primary use of asphalt is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

The terms asphalt and bitumen are often used interchangeably to mean both natural and manufactured forms of the substance. In American English, asphalt (or asphalt cement) is the carefully refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils. Outside the United States, the product is often called bitumen. Natural deposits terminology also sometimes uses the word bitumen, such as at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Naturally occurring asphalt is sometimes specified by the term "crude Bitumen"; its viscosity is similar to that of cold molasses. whilst the material obtained from the fractional distillation of crude oil (boiling at 525 °C (977 °F)) is sometimes referred to as "refined bitumen".

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