Different types of bitumen and asphalt sealants


Asphalt or bitumen seals are used to seal roads, paving, and driveways, parking areas or areas where there is huge traffic. They provide a long lasting solution for smooth driving in all seasons. However, the kind of sealing has to be chosen according to the terrain, the requirement, the budget and the kind of vehicles that move on them over time. In New South Wales, these sealants are very popular.

Even though the names ‘bitumen’ and ‘asphalt’ are interchangeable when it comes to a talk about surface sealants, in reality asphalt is the mix of stone or sand aggregates and bitumen is the black or dark amorphous, viscous semi solid material that is mixed with asphalt. Asphalt may contain rocks which are used to make natural bitumen. Other than this there is tar and bitumen derived from oil, which is known as petroleum bitumen.

Below are a few types of bitumen and asphalt sealing methods for you to choose from according to the requirement and type of terrain it needs to be laid on

1.     Hot bitumen seals

The hot bitumen seals are done with a mix of asphalt rocks with sand and other stone aggregate mixed with hot bitumen. This mixture is spread on an already prepared surface which is cleaned and levelled according to the requirement of the road, driveway or pavement.

2.     Emulsion seals

Emulsion seals are popular because their easy sealing process. An emulsion is the suspension of one liquid in another. In this case bitumen with oil base is mixed with water using an emulsifying agent.  Bitumen emulsions are used in road construction because of their excellent adhesion properties.

3.     Dust seals

Dust seals are done on roads that aren’t completely constructed t o give it perfection. It is also done to prevent soil erosion. In some places, dust seals are done only by the edges of the road to prevent soil erosion. It is always best that the soil is a bit damp before this layer is sealed.

4.     Primer seals

When a primer seal is done, a primerbinder is sprayed on to the granular surface. It is very important that the primerbrinder is fluid enough so that it does not form any holes or stones in isolation. If laid well, this seal forms a uniform and smooth waterproof layer for roads and pavements.

5.     2 in 1 Emulsion seals

These are used during particular vehicles and the patch repairing of already constructed vehicles can be done even during the day when there is live traffic. This type of sealing doesn’t have any problem in its laying out even if the road is steep or curved. The bitumen promises more penetration thereby providing a stronger set up and also, the top layer’s matt look doesn’t get spoiled while laying down the aggregate.