The main difference between hot mix asphalt and warm mix asphalt is how they are manufactured.
Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is heated to approximately 150°C in a special oven to help reduce curing time on the road. Warm mix asphalt (WMA) uses a process called “binder bonding” to form a uniform, strong bond between the aggregate and the binder, allowing it to stand at temperatures around 80°C. No cooling required.
HMA is more expensive to produce and transport than WMA because it requires higher temperatures to prevent it from solidifying.
Warm mix asphalt is more environmentally friendly than hot mix asphalt because it uses less fuel. The typical fuel volume used to produce 1 ton of hot mix asphalt is around 30 liters, while the warm mix requires only 12 liters of fuel. Fuel consumption during WMA manufacturing is typically 20% lower. It also has lower carbon emissions than hot mixes, which means that not as much carbon dioxide is released into the air during production. In production plants and construction sites, workers inhale less fumes and dust. This is especially noticeable in poorly ventilated tunnels.
Warm mix asphalt can be placed at lower temperatures because it is less sticky or dense than hot mix asphalt, making it easier to apply at lower temperatures.
Construction crews can pave at cooler temperatures, which allows for faster travel and less traffic. Wider paving windows and longer paving seasons, especially in cooler climates.
Since the working conditions of the WMA are much better. Warm mix asphalt has been effectively used for various thicknesses of pavement. It is sturdy enough to withstand high flow demands. Warm mix asphalt has been used in a wide variety of asphalt layers: stone-based, porous and mastic.
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