This calculator estimates the tons of
asphalt required. Estimate is based on a density of the mixed sand or gravel of 150
lbs per cubic foot. Densities will vary between
Back To AnycalculatorAsphalt is a thick brownish or black substance derived from the same crude oil which produces kerosene, gasoline and vinyl. It is literally scraped from the bottom of the barrel after all other petroleum-based products have been refined or processed. This substance is at least 80% carbon, which explains its deep black color. Sulfur is another ingredient found in the tar-like asphalt, as well as some trace minerals. It is primarily used as a sealant for rooftops and a durable surface for roads, airport runways, playgrounds and parking lots.
The tar from the crude oil is usually mixed with sand or gravel (often called aggregate) to form the finished product we call asphalt. The black tar forms a strong adhesive bond with the aggregate, which makes it durable. When used in road construction, asphalt is usually poured over a bed of heavier aggregate in a heated state, then pressed into place by an extremely heavy steam roller. Once it cools to ambient temperature, it becomes sturdy enough for automobile traffic. Asphalt may harden even more over the years, but it still retains enough flexibility to accommodate natural variations in the roadbed.
Asphalt is also a popular sealant for roofs. When heated, it can be pumped to the roof of a new building and poured into place. While it is still pliable, roofers can spread an even layer to form a nearly-impenetrable barrier between the building and the elements. Over time, the aggregate may work its way out of the tar, but the overall integrity is comparable to other roofing methods.