Even though asphalt is often thought of as one type, there can actually be dramatic variances between the finished product depending on the materials used. If the paving contractor discusses different types of aggregate that can be used, the topic of steel slag may come up.
Steel slag is an aggregate made up of the byproduct or waste that naturally comes from the steel-making process. Not only is steel slag in asphalt a natural way to utilize a waste product, but it also poses a list of benefits when used in the asphalt's makeup. Take a closer look at the benefits of using steel slag as an aggregate when installing an asphalt parking lot.
Greater Load Index
Steel slag is made up of highly resilient particles, such as iron, alloys, oxides, titanium, and silica. When this unique collection of solid agents is added to an asphalt mix, it enhances the load index of the pavement. Stone and crushed rock are commonly used in asphalt, but these particles can also break down or bust under pressure easier than steel slag. This is why steel slag is one of the most common types of aggregate used in the pavement that is installed on public highways and interstates. The pavement can better stand up to the heavy loads carried by commercial vehicles.
Better Durability in High-Traffic Areas
In high-traffic areas, steel slag is a natural aggregate choice with the asphalt mixture. As noted above, the material is commonly used in public pavement mixes because it can withstand larger loads. The slag particles don't break down under pressure like rock, but they are also more resilient to the natural elements. For example, steel slag is not as prone to erosion due to salt and water exposure, which can be an issue in areas that do a lot of pavement treatment during the winter.
Reduce the Risk of Pavement Rutting
One of the most common reasons an asphalt parking lot has to be refinished is rutting. Rutting in pavement occurs due to several reasons. However, the most common underlying cause is a change in the consistency or arrangement of the aggregate. The particles in steel slag are of different sizes and consistencies, which means when the material is compacted, it creates a more solid structure. The particles meld together well when the pavement is installed because a heavy roller is used for this precise purpose.
Contact asphalt services to find out more.