Asphalt giants make low carbon standard for road mixes

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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Materials giants Tarmac and Aggregate Industries are switching to warm mix asphalt (WMA) as standard across their plants.

The move marks the end of the reign of hot mix asphalt for road surfacing which has been in use for more than 100 years.

From next month 40 of Tarmac’s asphalt plants across the UK will default to warm mix for all lower layer materials as the company phases out traditional hot mix asphalt for highways projects, while Aggregate Industries has already made the switch.

Warm mix temperature asphalt technology has the potential to reduce the embodied carbon of asphalt by up to 15% compared to conventional hot mixes.

It can also reduce build costs and enhance road life-expectancy while offering the same high quality and performance of its hot mix equivalent.

Nuisance fuming, odour and steam at highways sites are also minimal enabling enhanced and safer working conditions.

Shorter cooling times also increase a contractor’s productivity by enabling more material to be laid within a working window, reducing the overall construction timeframe and subsequent delays to motorists.

Brian Kent, technical director at Tarmac, said: “While warm mix technology has been widely available to our customers over the past five years, against the backdrop of the climate emergency, we are now proactively switching our plants to offer this low carbon material as our standard and preferred option.”

Surfacing contractor, Premier Road Surfacing, has already made the switch to Aggregate Industries warm-mix asphalt.

Director Matt Pursglove said: “Warm mix asphalt is a great product that has many benefits over the standard asphalt mixes.

“The benefit of using warm mix is that you can multi-layer within the same day if the site conditions allow, thus reducing the time required on site and lowering our carbon footprint.

“All our road planing produced goes back to Aggregate Industries’ mixing plants or quarries to be recycled back into the warm mix base and binder courses laid on our projects.”

Vicky Smith, Managing Director of Asphalt at Aggregate Industries, said: “This is an important next step on our carbon reduction journey, and a vital move for the sector.

“Road networks will continue to be an integral part of society and it is how we produce the raw materials and construct them that must change to incorporate pioneering and advanced technologies, without compromising on performance and quality.

“We must find ways for roads to last longer and perform better.”

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