When a new driveway is installed, asphalt is the only name that pops up as the driveway construction material. While laying the surface of the construction surface, this material is considered to be very cost-effective. Asphalt also increases the life span of your driveways as they are very durable.
When it comes to the asphalt pavers they are the equipment chosen for the construction of driveways as well as the roadways. Asphalt mixture is made from a crude oil by-product mixed with gravel and other aggregate materials.
There are two main kinds of asphalt pavers. The first one is the one that is towed by a dump truck or tractor or is also called compact unit asphalt pavers. Self-propelled asphalt pavers are the next that is used by the asphalt laying services.
- The compact unit is usually used for small paving jobs like in the parking lots. It works well for narrow areas but does not have the power to cover wide sections of roadway in just a single pass. It only has 3-20 horsepower.
- Self-propelled asphalt pavers are ideal for large projects. Its horsepower ranges from 100 to 250. These units are composed of two major parts: the tractor and the screed.
- The tractor is used to maneuver and move the paver forward, and to distribute the asphalt. It is composed of the engine, distribution augers, hydraulic drives and controls, feeder conveyors, drive wheels or tracks, and a hopper for receiving the asphalt.
- Dump trucks fill up the paver with aggregate materials before the job begins. Heating and mixing mechanisms in the paver help keep the asphalt blended and at the right temperature.
- The screed assists in shaping and leveling the surface in preparation for the rolling machine. It contains vibration components and complex sensors that allow it to adjust itself, keeping the roadway as smooth and compressed as possible.
- The operator can widen or narrow the screed automatically by using the controls on the tractor. The screed may be positioned in front of the vehicle when dealing with smaller asphalt pavers. This provides better control and usage.
- However, when dealing with larger projects, the screed is pulled behind the paver as this permit a wider area to be paved easily.
- Large self-propelled pavers are usually 19-23 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 10 feet high. They weigh at about 20,000-40,000 pounds depending on engine size, hopper capacity, and kind of drive system.
- Paving width standard size is 8-12 feet up to a maximum width of 40 feet and paving thickness is up to a maximum of 6-12 inches on a single pass. 100-300 ft/min. marks the usual placement rate of asphalt. Steel is the basic component of every asphalt paver.
- Heavy-gauge steel plates form the body of the tractor. Cast nickel-hard steel is the basis of the formation of the distributed augers. Steel tubing and the channel along with the plates form the screed. Flight bars are used as feeder conveyors.
How does it work?
Before the job is done, a dump truck fills up the paver’s hopper with asphalt. A tractor propels the paver forward, while the feeder conveyors are used to push the asphalt towards the back of the machine.
The distribution augers spread the asphalt outward to a certain width decided by the operator. Each auger has free control of the asphalt on either side of the paver. Screed unit is heated; it levels and partially compresses the asphalt.
A roller (separate machine) follows the paver to complete the compaction of the asphalt. You will be increasing the life span of the asphalt driveway by laying five to eight inches of gravel under the asphalt that you are laying.
You are allowing your asphalt driveway to not crack when visitors drive to the edge of the finished surface also by having your asphalt paving company install your asphalt finish at least one foot before the asphalt covers the gravel.
This will increase the aesthetics of your driveway as well as add up to a lot of flexibility for a longer period. After nine months look towards sealing your driveway. This time frame will ensure that your driveway is completely cured.
The oils of hydrocarbons will add greater flexibility to asphalt paving causing raised durability over the time if they are sealed pretty quickly. You need to make sure to add two coats of high-quality material over the complete driveway. For a greater life expectancy, repeat this over three to five years.