Although on the surface, asphalt might not be the most fascinating of subjects, it’s one of the most important construction materials in the world and has a long and interesting history of being used for everything from making arrowheads to embalming Egyptian mummies. In this article, we’ve put together 10 of the most interesting asphalt facts for your perusal.
- Asphalt is the only perpetual pavement
One of asphalt’s most unique qualities is that it can be implemented as a perpetual road surface and endlessly recycled. Because asphalt surfaces are installed in layers, it’s only the top layer that needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. The old top layer of asphalt can then be repurposed as coarse base layering for new asphalt roadways.
- It has a long history
Humans first used asphalt in the fifth millennium BC in what is now modern South Asia. It was used to line the bottom of baskets for gathering crops.
- It’s naturally occurring
Naturally occurring asphalt is made from the remains of ancient algae and other organisms, and is found in the mud on the bottom of oceans or lakes where these life forms once lived.
- It’s the most recycled material in the US
The country recycles some 80 million tons of asphalt annually.
- The Egyptians used it to embalm mummies
In fact, the word ‘mummy’ comes from the Arabic word mumiya, which means bitumen of asphalt. The Egyptians believed that asphaltum had medicinal properties and used it to fill out the body cavities of some mummies.
- Asphalt can reduce fuel consumption
The smooth road surface that asphalt creates can help reduce fuel consumption. Studies suggest that smoother surfaces can reduce truck fuel consumption by 4.5%.
- It plays an important role in stormwater management
Because it is a porous material, asphalt is able to filter road contaminants from stormwater, enabling it to return to aquifers and water sources in a cleansed state.
- If was first used as a road surface in 1824
On the Champs- Élysées in Paris, France.
- The word is thought to come from the ancient Greek ‘asphaltos’
The word asphalt has been theorised to come from the Greek ‘a’ meaning ‘not’ and ‘sphaltos’ meaning ‘able to be thrown down’ referring to it’s use as a mortar material in building.
- It makes the dollar go further
Every dollar spent on asphalt goes 26.9% further than a dollar which is spent on concrete.
Custom Asphalt offer asphalt paving services to residents, businesses, and local councils around Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.