Engineers have debated for a long time about concrete and asphalt for road projects. Making a decision between the two options involves weighing the cost-effectiveness, durability maintenance, as well as eco-friendly.
The cost of the difference between asphalt and concrete is dependent on the project. Asphalt is the less expensive option in terms of preventive maintenance, costing of up to 20% lower than concrete. However, when it comes to building new roads or the rehabilitation of old roads concrete is the more affordable choice , with a savings of up to 16 percent.
It’s also important to know that concrete needs to be left to cure for at minimum seven days prior to use however asphalt can easily be put to use within a day (or perhaps less) A crucial consideration when it comes to projects such as public infrastructure where roads must been opened to traffic as soon as is possible.
Durability and effectiveness
In the event of extreme pressure or surface movement, concrete cracks quicker than the much more flexible asphalt. Repairs to this kind of damage can be costly — and sometimes even the entire slab will have to be replaced when there are more serious cracks, but concrete’s durability is so high that it is a unlikely event. But the strength of concrete can be tested in areas with freeze and cycles of thaw and freeze. Concrete is susceptible to deterioration quicker over time, due to the fluctuation in moisture and prolonged exposure to salt and deicing chemicals.
When asphalt expands and shrinks under the weather conditions, it will require regular maintenance, including sealing and patching — the first is completed six months after the installation. Concrete requires less maintenance aside from sealing every 5 years.
Sustainability and longevity
The durability of concrete is its main advantage over asphalt. With proper maintenance concrete can last almost double the life expectancy of asphalt roads which ranges from 15 to 20 years.
Both materials are recyclable. Asphalt is by far the best recycled substance within the US and is rarely disposed of in a landfill. Likewise, concrete pavements are 100 percent recyclable. However, regardless of the production process and recycling methods, greenhouse gases remain released into the atmosphere when asphalt is melting.
There’s no easy or quick decision between asphalt and concrete. Both materials possess qualities that can be a great choice for various situations and, in addition, there are factors like the areas of funding functions, climate, and the location.