Why is cold mix asphalt history?

Winter… we all know what that means: more problems with asphalt. Rain, cold and frost can quickly cause damage to asphalt. Carrying out repairs quickly then becomes a priority! There are various ways you can do that: using cold mix asphalt or a hotbox of reactive asphalt. What are the differences between them?

Cold Mix Asphalt is history

For years, cold mix asphalt was used for emergency repairs to asphalt roads. Traffic, frost and accidents cause holes to appear in the road surface. These will need to be repaired as soon as possible in order to prevent more damage. That is the advantage of cold mix asphalt: it’s a quick way of carrying out repairs.

Cold mix asphalt has a bad name because quite often it broke loose due to traffic and unfortunately sometimes that happened only a few days later! Then repairs will have to be carried out again. Unfortunately, the permanence of repairs is far from guaranteed with cold mix asphalt. Its moderate resistance is mainly due to the processing: cold mix asphalt is sensitive to temperature, wet substrate and compaction.

Asphalt Hotbox

The asphalt hotbox is a good way of repairing surfaces and certainly a great solution for larger areas. The disadvantage of the hotbox is that it requires quite a lot of manpower and machinery. The asphalt is roughly poured and then compacted with a roller. A lorry, a roller and a team of people are required for processing. A relatively expensive solution!

Reactive Asphalt

reactive rather than cold mix asphalt

Reactive asphalt takes the best elements from the hotbox and the normal cold mix asphalt. Reactive asphalt reacts with water which is rather unusual since asphalt and water cannot normally be combined. However when this type of asphalt comes into contact with water, it sets off a curing process. So it’s a much more environmentally-friendly solution! Also, the damage to be repaired does not need to be bone-dry.

Reactive asphalt can be applied quicker than normal cold mix asphalt. The material is applied in the same way as cold mix asphalt but its reaction with water means that it hardens much quicker and provides better adhesion.

Compared to the hotbox, reactive asphalt enables the road to be reopened for traffic much quicker. The whole work process can actually be carried out by one man with a bucket and the surface is ready to be driven on again soon after. Less manpower and machinery is required which means reduced CO2 emissions. Because the reactive asphalt does not require the use of any solvents either, it is more environmentally-friendly and not harmful to workers (unlike a lot of other types of reactive asphalt!)

So why choose reactive asphalt?

We are strong supporters of reactive asphalt. The fast processing time means that the surface is ready to be driven on again within just 10 minutes. Even more importantly, reactive asphalt reacts with water. But the greatest benefit it offers is that with this method, separate compaction is no longer required.

So the solution is quick, more environmentally-friendly and less labour-intensive resulting in an area of asphalt that is permanently repaired at a lower cost.

Any questions? Contact Maurice Wolf, Sales Engineer Imbema, mwolf@imbema.nl, +31 6 20 80 3492 or for Belgium, Cindy Valetta, cvalletta@imbemadenso.be, +32 53 825 224.

Cindy Valletta

Cindy Valletta

Senior Sales Engineer Belgium
Maurice Wolf

Maurice Wolf

Sales Engineer
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