Are There Different Grades of Asphalt?

Are There Different Grades of Asphalt?

There are many different types of asphalt mixes, but only three main asphalt grades—I-2, I-5, and I-4. Most of the projects we work on require I-4 concrete, as we specialize in large-scale commercial development.

Used on approximately 94% of America’s roads, asphalt is incredibly popular thanks to its durability, versatility, and smooth driving surface. 66 of the 88 race tracks listed under the NASCAR Short Track series are paved with asphalt. Additionally, asphalt is employed at most runways for general aviation airports. It’s no surprise considering asphalt pavements offer great value and reduced life cycle costs, plus it’s quick to construct. 

Three Main Asphalt Grades

While there are many different types of asphalt, there are three different grades to pick from.

I-2, Base

I-5, Top

I-4, Commercial Top Grade

Base I-2 and I-5 contain ¾ inches of stone, and the base grade can be used in corn stabilizing level. I-5 is most commonly applied in residential homes, as well as for businesses and commercial locations.

I-4 is in a league of its own, consisting of ¾ inches of stone it offers greater stability and strength. This grade of asphalt is applied when the highest level of strength and reliability is needed, say for instance on public streets, or roads that need to support heavy trucks or machinery.

Most of the projects we work on require I-4 concrete, as we specialize in large-scale commercial development. Commercial parking lots, sidewalks, or any project that must meet residential codes, this is when I-4 concrete is required.

Within these three categories (I-2, I-5, I-4) there are different types of asphalt mixes, which can be selected based on the requirements of your project.

Types of Asphalt

On top of the different grades, there are also different types of asphalt. The five main types are classified as:

Porous Asphalt—Around since the mid 1970s, porous asphalt is commonly used in parking lots. It is porous so water can drain through.

Perpetual Pavement—a combination of asphalt along with the process of multi-layer paving design.

Quiet Pavement—pavement specially designed to reduce road noise.

Hot Mix/Warm-Mix Asphalt—hot-mix asphalt and warm-mix asphalt are produced the same way, except for one thing. Warm-mix asphalt is produced in temperatures ranging between 50 and 100 degrees F cooler than hot-mix asphalt. As a result, fuel consumption is reduced alongside a reduction in greenhouse gases.

Thin Overlay—thin overlays are designed to improve quality of ride on roadways, while also reducing noise pollution, and extending the life-cycle of surfaces. It is produced using warm-mix asphalt and recycled materials.

Hot Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt contains a mixture of 95% stone, gravel, or sand held together through an asphalt cement, made from crude oil. Asphalt cement is made from heated aggregate that is then combined with the aggregate at a hot mix asphalt facility.

There are different types of hot mix asphalts (HMA), and careful consideration must be made to find the right mix for each job. Contractors work with local and reputable HMA mix producers to create mixture that is the appropriate thickness to be placed. Many conventional dense-graded mixes are approved for use in driveways and parking lots. The type of mix applied can change the appearance of surfaces. For instance, a finer blend creates a denser and more seamless look.

Commercial Concrete by Kleenco

Look no further than the trusted professionals when it comes to long-lasting, high quality, and high performance commercial asphalt. From installation, to repairs, and maintenance, we are the trusted experts.