Asphalt Concrete Market: Overview
Asphalt concrete consists of two primary ingredients: mineral aggregates and asphalt cement. Mineral aggregate is a hard, inert material such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, or rock dust. Asphalt cement is a versatile, strong, chemical- and weather-resistant binding material that is used in a number of applications. It is mostly used to bind aggregate and crushed stone into a tough, firm surface. Asphalt concrete is most commonly used to surface parking lots, airports, surface roads, as well cores of embankment dams. In different regions, asphalt concrete is also known as asphalt, blacktop, bitumen macadam, or rolled asphalt. The terms asphalt concrete and bituminous concrete are generally only used in construction and engineering documents, which specify concrete as a composite material of mineral aggregates held with a binder.
Asphalt Concrete Market: Trends & Developments
Asphalt concrete is a by-product of the crude oil refining process. Oil wells supply crude petroleum to oil refineries, where it is separated into a number of components or fractions. The distilling of crude oil take place in an atmospheric distillation unit and then in a vacuum distillation unit. The residue from the vacuum distillation unit is asphalt, which is used for manufacturing asphalt concrete. The emulsifying of asphalt concrete is carried out to produce liquid asphalt, which can be easily pumped through pipes so that it can be mixed with the aggregate.
Asphalt concrete is 95% recyclable and is a widely reused construction material. Asphalt concrete recycling takes place on a large and small scale. In large scale recycling, a hot mix plant is used. In case of small scale recycling, the user separates the asphalt material into three categories: blacktop cookies, reclaimed asphalt pavement, (RAP) and asphalt millings.
Asphalt Concrete Market: Key Segments
The global asphalt concrete market can be segmented based on type, application, and region. Based on type, the asphalt concrete market can be classified into hot-mix asphalt concrete, warm-mix asphalt concrete, cold-mix asphalt concrete, and others. Hot-mix asphalt concrete is obtained by heating the asphalt binder in order to reduce its viscosity. The warm-mix type is produced by adding wax, zeolites, or sometimes even water. The cold-mix type is made by emulsifying the asphalt with soap in water before mixing with the aggregate.
In terms of application, the asphalt concrete market can be divided into roads & streets, airport runways, roofing, and others. Asphalt concrete is widely used for residential low slope roofing such as that for town houses, residential condominium complexes, etc..
Asphalt Concrete Market: Regional Outlook
Based on region, the global asphalt concrete market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is projected to lead the global market during the forecast period, followed by Europe. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace. Developing countries such as India and China are expected to create lucrative opportunities for the market, due to a rise in infrastructure investment. Latin America and Middle East & Africa constitute a small share of the global market.
Asphalt Concrete Market: Key Players
Some of the key global players in asphalt concrete market are BP, CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., Exxon Mobil Corporation., Imperial Oil Limited., Royal Dutch Shell Group, Aggregate Industries, Akzo Nobel N.V., Anglo American, Atlas Roofing Corporation, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation., Inland Asphalt, and United Refining Company.
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