WMA production is now standard across the company’s asphalt product range
Driving forward with their commitment to becoming the UK leaders in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Aggregate Industries have transitioned to warm-mix asphalt (WMA) production as standard across their asphalt product portfolio.
Boasting a wealth of benefits from carbon savings, reduced build costs and enhanced life-expectancy, warm-mix asphalt offers the same high quality and performance when compared to its hot-mix equivalent, with a number of Aggregate Industries’ customers already seeing the benefit WMA brings to their projects.
Mixing at temperatures 20-40°C lower than hot-mix asphalt (HMA) allows for a significant reduction in CO2 emissions by using less fossil fuels and resources during the manufacturing process. In addition, nuisance fuming, odour and steam at the project site are minimal, allowing enhanced and safer working conditions at both the plant and site.
WMA also reaches trafficking temperatures quicker than conventional hot asphalt, permitting earlier reopening of carriageways to the travelling public, resulting in less traffic disruption and the potential to reduce build costs. This will increase a contractor’s productivity by allowing more material to be laid within a working window, reducing the overall construction timeframe and subsequent delays to motorists.
Lower asphalt production temperatures greatly reduce binder ageing and, in combination with the highly compactable nature of the asphalt, pavement life expectancy is significantly enhanced.
Surfacing contractor, Premier Road Surfacing, have already made the switch to Aggregate Industries warm-mix asphalt. Matt Pursglove said: ‘Sustainability is at the heart of our business and the support of our suppliers and clients in building a better future for us all is vital. Aggregate Industries are a major player in the industry, and we value working with a business that embeds sustainability in everything they do.
‘Warm-mix asphalt is a great product that has many benefits over the standard asphalt mixes. The benefit of using warm mix is that you can multi-layer within the same day if the site conditions allow, thus reducing the time required on site and lowering our carbon footprint. All our road planning produced goes back to Aggregate Industries’ mixing plants or quarries to be recycled back into the warm-mix base and binder courses laid on our projects.’
Commenting on the transition to WMA, Vicky Smith, managing director of asphalt at Aggregate Industries, commented: ‘Our position as the UK’s leading building materials supplier means our contribution towards the transition to net zero must be intrinsic. We recently made the switch from hot-mix to warm-mix asphalt across our range of asphalt products, which our customers have been piloting for a number of months.
‘This is an important next step on our carbon reduction journey, and a vital move for the sector. Road networks will continue to be an integral part of society and it is how we produce the raw materials and construct them that must change to incorporate pioneering and advanced technologies, without compromising on performance and quality. We must find ways for roads to last longer and perform better.’
Vicky continued: ‘Moving to WMAs is a huge step forward on our sustainability journey. If all production in the UK switched to WMAs, it would save around 61,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of cutting around 480 million kilometres (300 million miles) of car journeys. Up to £70million a year could also be saved through increased shift outputs.
‘Decarbonizing construction materials and activities lies at the heart of Aggregate Industries as we strive to pave the way for a greener future. That’s why we have changed our way of working to use WMA as standard, which offers efficiency, sustainability and health and safety benefits without compromising on performance.’
Lower temperatures for mixing also means that warm-mix asphalt is easier to transport over long distances, saving time and money. When conventional asphalt is transported over long distances the logistical range is often restricted by asphalt temperature loss. Warm-mix asphalt offers potentially longer haulage times to transport the product further without compromising workability.
Aggregate Industries manufacture a wide range of warm-mix asphalt products, including the UK’s first ever commercially available biogenic asphalt – SuperLow Carbon.