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Pavement Blog

What is Asphalt Raveling?

Asphalt raveling is the progressive disintegration of a hot mix asphalt layer from the surface downward as a result of the dislodgement of aggregate particles. Asphalt raveling results in loose debris on the pavement, roughness, water collecting in the raveled locations which can result in vehicle hydroplaning and loss of skid resistance.

The cause of this type of pavement damage can be numerous and include the following:

  • Loss of bond between aggregate particles and the asphalt binder as a result of:
    • A dust coating on the aggregate particles that forces the asphalt binder to bond with the dust rather than the aggregate.
    • Aggregate Segregation. If fine particles are missing from the aggregate matrix, then the asphalt binder is only able to bind the remaining coarse particles at their relatively few contact points.
    • Inadequate compaction during construction. High density is required to develop sufficient cohesion within the asphalt mix.
  • Mechanical dislodging by certain types of traffic (studded tires, snowplow blades or tracked vehicles).

A damaged raveled pavement can be properly repaired when the root cause of the damage is determined. Pavement repair strategies relating to raveling generally fall into two categories:

  • Small, localized areas of raveling. Repair strategy is removal of the raveled pavement and patching.
  • Large raveled areas of pavement indicative of general asphalt failure. Repair strategy is to remove the damaged pavement and overlay.

Pavement Corporation specializes in asphalt repair and maintenance for parking lots, roadways, driveways, walkways and sports courts.