Roads are a vital part of any transportation infrastructure, and the materials used in their construction are critical to their performance. Many different materials can be used in road construction, but some are more common than others. In this article, we will take a look at the most popular Road Base Materials and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
One of the most commonly-used road base materials is asphalt. It is a dark brown or black substance that is made from petroleum. It is very sticky and has a strong smell. Asphalt is used in road construction because it is easy to work with and it hardens quickly.
Asphalt is used to create a smooth surface on roads and is very durable. Asphalt can be used on both rural and urban roads, and it can withstand a great deal of traffic. However, asphalt is not the cheapest road base material, and it can be difficult to repair if it cracks.
Concrete is another common road base material. It is made from cement, sand, gravel, and water. It is very strong and durable, but it can be difficult to work with because it dries quickly. Concrete is often used in road construction because it can be poured into any shape and it will hold its form.
There are many different types of concrete, but the most common are:
- Plain Cement Concrete: This is the most basic type of concrete, and is made from portland cement, aggregate, and water. It is used for foundations, slabs, and driveways.
- Reinforced Cement Concrete: This type of concrete has steel bars or mesh embedded in it to add strength. It is used for bridges, parking garages, and other large structures.
- Precast Concrete: This type of concrete is cast in a mold and then cured. It is used for things like walls, columns, and beams.
- Poured Concrete: This type of concrete is mixed on-site and poured into place. It is used for sidewalks, roads, and other small structures.
Concrete is not the cheapest road base material; however, it is easy to repair if it cracks or breaks.
Gravel is a much-used road base material that is made from crushed rocks. It is usually dark gray and has a rough texture. The material is used in road construction because it is easy to use and drains well. However, gravel can be difficult to keep in place and it can be washed away by heavy rains.
Soil is another popular road base material. It is made from dirt, sand, and organic matter. This type of material is easy to work with and it drains well. However, soil can be eroded by heavy rains and it can contain rocks and other debris that can damage vehicles. However, when soil is used with a suppressant solution such as Roadbond, the dust from the material can be eliminated. As such, road stability and safety can then increase.
Main roads will, of course, require the most consideration as they experience the heaviest traffic. Larger and heavier vehicles will also play their part in a road not lasting as long as it might have done. Also, the weather and extreme temperature changes will all make a difference. We do, after all, seem to be experiencing very different weather conditions of late because of climate change. This will make a difference to road construction and so should be allowed for in budgets.
Many other materials can be used in road construction, but these are the most common. Each has its pros and cons, so it is important to choose the right material for the job.