“Chip Sealing” is a common pavement maintenance practice that extends pavement life and provides a good driving surface. Since some customers may not be familiar with the chip seal construction method, this fact sheet answers some frequently asked questions.
How Are Chip Seals Different from Asphalt Overlays?
The difference is in the construction method. Hot Mix Asphalt pavement is produced by heating liquid asphalt and mixing it with aggregate, with the mix then spread and compacted to form a durable road structure and riding surface. Chip Sealing uses the same ingredients as asphalt concrete paving, but the construction method is different. With chip seals, a heated layer of asphalt liquid is sprayed on the road surface, followed by the placement of small aggregates ("chips"). The chips are then compacted to orient the chips for maximum adherence to the asphalt, and excess stone is swept from the surface. The ingredients of hot mix asphalt and chip seals are the same; only the construction methods are different. Chip Sealing is also a cost effective alternative to asphalt, and is effective on parking lots, streets, and airport runways.
Why Use Chip Seals?
How Are Chip Seals Placed?
First, the road surface needs to be properly cleaned of debris and any holes patched. Next, an asphalt distributor truck starts by spraying each lane with hot liquid asphalt to assure an even application. A chip spreader follows as rapidly as possible with chips. The asphalt must be fluid so the rock will be embedded by the displacement of the asphalt. The rocks are an aggregate crushed to a special specification for size and cleanliness.
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