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Understanding Materials: Asphalt

Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is a mixture of Asphalt Cement (a petroleum-based “glue” that comprises less than 8%, by weight, the total pavement mixture) and Aggregates (various sized stones, dust, hard inert materials and sand, comprising approximately 92%, by weight, the remaining pavement mixture.)

Asphalt does not cure in the sense that concrete does, and once spread and rolled, it can be cut or drilled almost immediately. Unlike cured concrete, sand in asphalt never bonds as firmly, and the slurry created when sawing will be extremely abrasive. A bond matrix similar to cutting green concrete and undercutting protection steel cores are important factors when undertaking asphalt cutting operations. Some unique factors should be observed when cutting asphalt: