Hot-Mix versus Cold-Mix Asphalt: What's the Difference?


Hot-Mix versus Cold-Mix Asphalt: What's the Difference?
Robert Daly
/ Categories: Road Work 2022

Hot-Mix versus Cold-Mix Asphalt: What's the Difference?

Asphalt is used as the surface layer on roads. However, not all asphalt is the same.

There are different types and grades of asphalt with two main options – hot-mix and cold-mix asphalt.

Hot-Mix Asphalt

Hot-mix asphalt is a mixture of aggregates like sand, gravel, and asphalt cement which is then heated before being applied at the target location.

Hot-mix asphalt is used for large-scale projects like roads, parking lots, and driveways. It is durable to withstand heavy traffic loads, and it is flexible, allowing for expansion and contraction during the temperature swings we experience here in Alberta.

Hot mix asphalt is more expensive than cold mix, which can be a barrier to widespread application. 

Cold-Mix Asphalt

Cold-mix asphalt is easier to work with than hot mix because it doesn’t require heating. It is commonly found on County roads with low traffic volumes and low percentages of heavy truck traffic. 

Cold-mix asphalt paving is cost-effective for maintenance. Under the right conditions, it can be remixed and rejuvenated right on site. It can also be used on pothole repairs, crack filling and small-scale patches. As well, it can be used as a temporary pavement when the weather won’t allow for hot mix asphalt installation.

Many Alberta municipalities use cold-mix asphalt for certain roads to maintain a safe a reliable road network at a reasonable cost.