In this article, I will be going through what tarmacadam is and its different uses across various industries. I will also go through some benefits and negatives of using tarmacadam as a material for various reasons.
So what exactly is Tarmacadam?
So, what is tarmacadam? Tarmacadam is a heavily processed stone aggregate that has been heated to high temperatures to make it into a pavement. In more recent years, environmental concerns have led more companies to start using recycled materials instead of new ones, making them cheaper and better for the environment.
This has made Tarmacadam increasingly popular with more people looking at its uses due to the low costs involved where they wish to use it rather than other materials, such as asphalt or concrete.
Use 1: Roads and Car Parks
Tarmacadam is commonly used in road surfaces due to its cheap price, easy process to create roads, relatively short time frame for laying down said roads and their resistance to weathering.
The most significant advantages are its ability to give drivers an excellent grip on the road, especially during wet conditions where water does not seep up into the material. It can usually last 15-20 years before needing work again, depending on the quality of the roads, which is far more than asphalt or concrete needs.
The most significant disadvantages are that they can create a lot of heat in the summer months and have been known to cause problems for drivers using GPS devices due to metal coils being put into them to upgrade the road signposts. They also undertake a lot of damage from vehicles each year as cars drive over them constantly.
Use 2: Racing Tracks
Asphalt is an extremely popular paving material used on racing tracks worldwide. Tarmacadam, however, has some benefits that asphalt does not have, which means it becomes a popular replacement for many people, such as faster track times and better grip during wet.
Tarmacadam is made from stone, and asphalt is not; therefore, there is less friction between tires and the material. This means that cars can go around corners at very high speeds without having to worry about skidding their tires or losing grip.
That said, it does mean that during cold months (when the ground freezes), Tarmacadam surfaces tend to be extremely dangerous as they freeze much faster than other materials such as concrete. This means you will see a lot of accidents happening if people are not careful, which may put people off using them in some countries where they are popular.
There are ways around this, though, if tracks are not easily updated, such as laying down sand over the top of the tarmacadam before applying ice on top of that.
Use 3: Civil Engineering Projects
Tarmacadam’s widespread use is for civil engineering projects across roads and many other areas. It has become so popular because it is straightforward to cut, drill and prepare before laying down the material.
This means it can be used for a range of projects without any problems or complications, making it ideal for people who need to do some work but don’t want the hassle of having to check different materials.
The most significant advantage of this is that Tarmacadam does not take long to lay down, considering road surfaces are usually applied in one go rather than multiple layers that you would get with asphalt.
There are sometimes problems when using older materials or repairing small sections of roads. You will then notice that the road becomes bumpy and uneven, with different road parts not being flat or level.
That said, Tarmacadam is very strong, which means that it can take a lot of punishment before it begins to break apart. Although this makes it great for civil engineering projects due to heavy vehicles travelling on them constantly, it does have problems in other areas.
The biggest problem is cars losing control when driving around corners too quickly or skidding on certain surfaces – especially during winter months with icy conditions!
Use 4: Aircraft Runways
Tarmacadam has become very popular in airports across the globe due to its ability to handle large amounts of aircraft traffic over time. It is also very efficient at providing grip for aircraft to take off or land safely, even during the wettest of conditions.
This material was traditionally only A-Grade Tarmacadam, meaning it would last between 10 and 15 years before needing work done. However, due to advancements in technology, we now have AA-Grade Tarmacadam, a much longer lifespan than other types.
This means it can cost more for projects and repairs but does not need to be dealt with as regularly as other grades – something that people who run airports may appreciate!
One significant disadvantage of using this type of material is that it doesn’t cope well with the elements. The material will begin to break apart and crumble if it is not looked after properly, which will result in repairs being needed more frequently.
Another big problem is that Tarmacadam materials tend to be very slippery during winter months and other times where there are icy conditions – something you don’t want when flying large planes around!
Use 5: Domestic Driveways
Tarmacadam has become one of the most popular materials used for domestic driveways as it is straightforward to lay down and maintain. It is also very cost-effective as you can easily purchase a pre-made tarmacadam driveway from your local hardware store for much lower than the price of laying down a natural stone one.
However, there are some problems with using Tarmacadam on driveways too. The biggest is that it gets scorching hot during the summer months, something you need to be careful about as this can cause a lot of damage if people try to walk on it without first cooling down.
Another issue is that it does not cope well with the winter either – by which I mean ice and snow as conditions can get very slippery!
Some people have been known to use sand over their tarmacadam driveway before applying ice to try and fix these issues. While this is an effective (and cheaper) solution than laying down gravel or another surface type, it does not look as good and can be difficult to maintain.
It also means that if people are trying to drive on your driveway in winter, they may still struggle to get a grip – which is very dangerous indeed!
We hope you have enjoyed this informative guide on tarmacadam and its uses! While you are here why not head over to our blog section and read our articles on How Long Does It Take To Move Into A House? and Does Home Staging Matter – How To Improve A Sale!