The Differences Between Blacktop and Asphalt

Asphalt & Blacktop in Nashville, TN

While many people tend to use the words ‘asphalt’ and ‘blacktop’ synonymously, these two terms are actually quite different. When it comes to construction materials, asphalt and blacktop are names that are used to distinguish the substances used for paving roads, driveways, etc. If you are in need of asphalt or blacktop in Nashville, TN, contact Lone Star Paving, today. For now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between asphalt and blacktop which we have defined below for you.

What is Asphalt?

Asphalt, also known as asphalt concrete, is a composite material that’s made from mineral aggregate–usually a combination of sand and rocks–and bitumen. The aggregate and bitumen bind together to form a black and highly viscous mixture.
Once combined, the asphalt mixture is compacted together with a steamroller to form a smooth, surface. Asphalt boasts water-resistant and durable qualities that contribute to its long-lasting surfaces. However, due to exposure and other environmental factors, asphalt is prone to cracking, potholes, stripping, etc., requiring maintenance and upkeep. While asphalt is typically used to pave roads, it is also commonly applied to commercial and industrial properties such as racetracks, embankment dams, and parking lots.


What is Blacktop?

Like asphalt, blacktop is a form of bitumen and composite material. However, while asphalt is created by combining the two mixtures and melting over high heat, blacktop is formed with more preciseness. To make blacktop, 95% composite material–stones–and 5% liquid asphalt are combined together and placed over 300-degree heat. From there, the compounds are mixed together to form blacktop. Since it’s less durable than asphalt, blacktop is applied to playgrounds and residential driveways and streets.

As you can see, asphalt and blacktop have many similarities in their uses and composition. However, what sets these two materials apart is their core composition, quality, and durability. Asphalt is typically used for commercial and industrial pavings due to its strength and durability while blacktop is used for smaller areas that experience less wear and tear.