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Life Cycle Of Asphalt

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Life cycle analysis of asphalt, is considered to be a tool that can help evaluate the long term benefits of the design of the pavement. This is in turn encouraging more and more agencies into adopting this method to find out the economic viability of a pavement project. Only a realistic assessment by every agency involved will be able to help determine this life cycle cost. Life cycle assessment has been found to be an effective tool to determine the environmental aspect of asphalt and its utility. These analyses enable the pavement owner to choose a suitable pavement structure. The life cycle cost of asphalt includes, the amount spent initially during construction, the maintenance amount spent during the life span and other costs due to delays and reconstruction. A pavement is a long term investment, hence its failure and success both should be determined after a suitable period of performance.

Studies have shown that asphalt pavements are not lasting their designed life, which is assumed to be twenty years. As asphalt is of organic origin, it will always remain at the mercy of the elements, when exposed to them over a period of time. Due to the emission of ultra violet sunrays and water, the asphalt begins to degenerate as soon as it is placed. Initially, the bitumen content will start reducing, due to oxidation, which will increase the viscosity. This will lead to cracks which in turn will permit the entry of even more water and air, thereby leading to even more larger cracks. Finally the deterioration will set in the entire pavement till a point it will no longer remain structurally stable.

Cycle Of Asphalt

There is a possibility of high expenditure likely to be incurred at this last stage for repaving or reconstruction. Understanding the life cycle of asphalt and how it causes the pavements to degenerate, can result in large savings by attending to it much before the irreversible harm has begun. The more you allow the asphalt contents to deteriorate, the more labour, time and money will be involved to bring it back to its original look. The rejuvenating of the asphalt by restoring it the lost chemical properties is required. This will then again seal the surface to prevent air and water from seeping in, which will reduce the oxidation process and give new life to your pavement. Allow thirty days for a good asphalt to cure. A good maintenance plan will not only safeguard your surface, but will save you a lot of money as well. A single coat of a good sealant, when applied by a certified contractor, can revitalize the surface completely.

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