Many people think that asphalt and concrete are interchangeable in use, but they aren’t. However, these two types of paving are misunderstood by those who are not from the construction industry. When distinguishing the two paving types, it all boils down to the composition of the materials. Both materials are used to create pavement, but their main difference lies in the kind of adhesive material and binder used to create their mixture.
Asphalt is made using petroleum-based bitumen, while concrete is made with cement and water. Another key distinction between asphalt and concrete pavements is their color. Asphalt is black, while industrial concrete is gray.
Difference Between Concrete & Asphalt
To get into the technical side of things, asphalt pavement is made by mixing an aggregate material with bitumen. The resulting composite material is then rolled out onto roadways and compressed using a heavy roller. Asphalt is used for roads because it’s cost-effective, more temperature-resistant, and sustainable.
Concrete, on the other hand, is made by mixing aggregate material with cement binder and water. The aggregate is a mixture of sand, pebbles, and gravel. As the cement and water mix, the material starts the hardening process and will bind the aggregate into a hard, impenetrable mass.
Due to its sturdiness and strength, concrete is the preferred construction material used for massive buildings. Although it is mainly used to create foundations and to construct exterior walls and some floors, it is not unheard of for concrete to be used in building roads since it is durable and also lasts longer compared to other paving materials. If the surface area will be used by cars, trucks, and other heavy loads, then it will be best covered in concrete instead of asphalt. Concrete is considerably less prone to wear and tear and will require little to no maintenance.
Concrete is highly porous and reacts easily to chemicals, so it can be dyed. Different finishes, decorative elements, and custom patterns can be applied to enhance the appearance and spruce up the industrial look of concrete.
Start Your Concrete Project Today
At Wright Construction, we offer a wide range of services, from the construction of parking lots and roadways to the laying out of concrete slab foundations. For your concrete construction needs, please do not hesitate to contact us. We serve the entire southeastern United States and have offices in Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Huntsville.