When choosing an asphalt emulsion for your pavement, there are several factors to consider: the type of surface you’re paving, the climate, and even how heavy traffic will be on the road.
In this blog post, Surface Solutions will give you a rundown of the common types of asphalt emulsions, and we’ll tell you how each one ranks in terms of eco-friendliness. Let’s get started.
What is an Asphalt Emulsion?
Asphalt emulsions are mixtures of water and asphalt, and they’re used in various applications, including road construction, roofing, and even as adhesive. They are created by combining two substances that usually wouldn’t mix (like oil and water) with an emulsifier. This makes a stable mixture that can be used in various ways.
Types of Asphalt Emulsions:
Various types of emulsion are created by changing the proportions of water and asphalt and the type of emulsifier used. The most common types of asphalt emulsions are:
Cationic – In a cationic emulsion, the asphalt particles are charged with positive ions. This emulsion type is typically used for cold weather applications because it tends to break (or separate) at lower temperatures.
Anionic – In an anionic emulsion, the asphalt particles are charged with negative ions. This emulsion type is typically used for hot weather applications because it tends to break (or separate) at higher temperatures.
Non-ionic – In a non-ionic emulsion, the asphalt particles are not charged with positive or negative ions. This type of emulsion is typically used for chip seal applications.
The Most Frequently Used Material:
Petroleum-Based Asphalt Emulsions
Different projects will require different asphalt emulsions, but tar’s the most frequently used material. It is a by-product of the petroleum refining process, and it gives asphalt its black color. Tar is also the heaviest and most viscous type of asphalt, making it ideal for paving projects requiring a lot of traffic.
The downside of using tar is that it is carcinogenic; it can cause cancer. It is also difficult to remove from the environment once spilled. Moreover, the emissions from tar-based asphalt are among the most harmful to the environment.
Acrylic-Based Asphalt Emulsions:
These are an excellent alternative to tar-based products. They are made from petroleum, but they do not contain any carcinogens. Acrylics are also much lighter than tar, making them easier to remove from the environment. However, they are not as durable as tar and can be more expensive.
When considering the eco-friendly benefits, it is essential to remember that these products have a limited life span. Once they have been used, they must be disposed of properly to avoid harming the environment. It is vital to research eco-friendly asphalt emulsions to make the best decision for your project.
Water-Based Asphalt Emulsions:
Water-based asphalt emulsions are made with a water-based polymer derived from renewable resources. Water-based emulsions are eco-friendlier than their petroleum-based counterparts because they emit fewer greenhouse gases. They are also less likely to leach toxic chemicals into the environment.
Water-based emulsions are more expensive than petroleum-based emulsions, but they are more durable and have a longer life span.
Using eco-friendly asphalt emulsions is a great way to save the environment while still doing the job. They help reduce pollution and conserve resources, and they can also extend the life of your pavement.