Asphalt is a versatile and durable material used for everything from driveways to highways. When taking on an asphalt paving project, accurately estimating the quantity of asphalt needed is crucial for success. Understanding standard asphalt weights per volume measurements makes planning materials transport and budgeting much simpler.
With the figures here you can precisely calculate tons required based on project size. We also cover tips for applying these density conversions when estimating for your own driveway, parking lot or road paving project.
Asphalt Density and Weight Basics
Density is defined as an object’s mass per unit of volume. It’s what determines how much any given volume of a material weighs. For asphalt mixes, typical density figures are:
- 145 pounds per cubic foot
- 2322 kilograms per cubic meter
However, the exact density can vary depending on the type of asphalt used. Open graded friction courses with more air voids have lower densities, while stone mastic asphalts with additives are more dense and heavier.
Why Asphalt Weight Changes
Differing sizes and proportions of aggregates like crushed stone and sand influence density. Using modified binders like polymers to improve performance also impacts the weight. Even the compaction during paving changes density slightly. Test sections are checked with core samples to verify actual densities before full production paving proceeds.
But for general planning and estimating, standard hot mix asphalt density figures serve perfectly well. The most common mix used on roads, parking areas and driveways reaches between 92-96% of the theoretical maximum density after compaction.
Key Asphalt Volume and Weight Conversions
Once the asphalt density is known, we can now calculate weights from standard volume measurements:
|1 cubic yard
|2.025 tons or 4050 pounds
|1 cubic meter
|2.322 metric tons or 2322 kg
|1 cubic foot
With a cubic yard equaling 27 cubic feet or 0.764 cubic meters, you can use these base conversions to find asphalt weight from any volume measurement.
Here are some other helpful volume conversions:
- 1 cubic meter = 35.314 cubic feet
- 1 cubic yard = 0.765 cubic meters
- 1 yard = 3 feet
- 1 meter = 3.28 feet
Understanding relationships between imperial and metric system measurements is useful when estimating raw materials like asphalt for construction projects.
Standard Weight Charts for Asphalt
The following hot mix asphalt weight figures for different volumes can simplify planning and estimating:
Asphalt Tons per Cubic Yard
Asphalt Weight Variances
Open graded friction course asphalt with a higher air void percentage is less dense, around 130 lbs/ft3. By comparison, fine aggregate dense-graded mixes used for high-traffic pavements reach 155 lbs/ft3. Referencing density tests for the exact asphalt type you need leads to the most accurate project planning.
Using the Asphalt Weight Charts
With standard asphalt weights now simplified, putting the figures to work is straightforward. First calculate project area in square feet, yards or meters based on site measurements. Then use the charts to estimate required tons of asphalt.
Driveway Paving Example
A driveway measuring 12 ft x 50 ft equals 600 square feet. At 145 lb/cubic foot density, that’s:
- 600 sq ft x 145 lb/cu.ft = 87,000 lbs total asphalt needed
- Convert pounds to tons: 87,000 lbs / 2,000 lbs/ton = 43.5 tons
Now you can estimate transport truck numbers based on capacity to deliver the 43.5 tons of asphalt for the paving project.
Tips for Conversions
Pay close attention to input and output units when plugging measurements into conversion calculators online. Entering a length or area value incorrectly can throw tons estimates way off.
Having standard measurement relationships memorized helps double check if your asphalt weight figure seems wrongly out of scale for the project size. Reviewing the examples above ensures you apply the essential formulas accurately.
Asphalt Weight Calculator Tools
Specialised asphalt or construction calculators make converting project dimensions into estimated tonnage needed simple. After inputting just a few details, they output total asphalt weight required.
Asphalt Calculator Example
Using a calculator at AsphaltCalculator.com for our 12 x 50 ft driveway:
- Select Project Type: Driveway
- Enter Dimensions: 12 ft width x 50 ft length
- Output: 43.5 tons of asphalt needed
This instant answer matches our manual calculation above. For best results, use 80% compaction and 145 lb/ft3 density settings reflecting typical conventional asphalt.
More Weight Tools
Handy online tools like mobile apps, Excel spreadsheets and PDF measurement charts all simplify hot mix asphalt calculations further. They’re ideal for finding cubic yards, square feet or tons whether planning a DIY or commercial project.
Asphalt Transportation Planning
With the quantity of asphalt now estimated accurately, planning trucking logistics is vital. Dump truck capacity typically ranges from 10 to 20 tons per load. Contractors use tandem axle vehicles for flexibility to handle most paving jobs.
Truck Numbers Calculation
If we need 43.5 tons total asphalt for the 600 sq ft driveway, and our contractor dispatches 15-ton capacity trucks:
- 43.5 tons / 15 tons per truck = 3 truckloads
As a rule of thumb, add an extra 10% for wastage contingencies. So in this case, request 4 trucks to deliver aggregate and asphalt for a worry-free project!
Travel distance, truck changeover delays, paver speed and team size also impacts scheduling. Asphalt cools rapidly after manufacture, so aim to minimise transit time from the plant for best performance.
Accurate tonnage yields savings on excess material disposal or emergency orders too. Carefully planning transportation needs based on verified hot mix weights therefore cuts costs and overruns.
Does aggregate composition affect density?
Yes, higher proportions of coarse aggregates like crushed granite make asphalt more dense and heavy. Fine aggregates like limestone sand produce lighter mixes per cubic volume.
What is the difference between a US short ton and metric tonne?
A metric tonne equals 1000 kg or 2204 pounds. It’s about 10% heavier than a US short ton of 2000 pounds. Take care applying the correct ton unit for measurement inputs and outputs.
Where do I find my project’s specific asphalt density?
Check against laboratory test reports for the actual approved asphalt mix design. The supplier will optimize the formulation for stability, moisture resistance and performance criteria.
Yes, but cores show maximum field density only increases by around 4% with specialised breakdown rollers. Use conservative figures as a buffer against overruns in production paving.
By leveraging the standard asphalt weights in this guide, your project estimating becomes much more streamlined. Apply the cubic feet, yards and ton conversions accurately to calculate quantities fast. With density basics now demystified, you’re ready to plan paving activities confidently.