To access guidance on the application of asphalt click here.
As the surface for some 95 per cent of our roads - as well for
playgrounds, footways, car and lorry parking areas, airport runways
and much more - it is uniquely versatile.
The asphalt industry produces approximately 25 million tonnes
of asphalt every year.
While strength comes from the aggregates, the binding agent
is normally an oil-based bitumen derived from crude oil. The composition
is varied to suit the end use.
Asphalt materials have evolved in a variety of ways over the
years, but the pace of product development over recent years has
A new generation of modern asphalts offers a range of important
properties that improve road safety, maximise road life and reduce
- Reducing spray
- Enhancing road safety by maintaining good skid-resistance
- Reducing road noise
- Improving ride comfort
- Reducing hold-ups at road works through more rapid laying
- Extending the life of a road and reducing major maintenance
by providing stronger, longer-life roadbases.
Asphalt plants are often situated in quarries but they may occasionally
be 'satellite' plants in urban locations to serve a specific local
market, or even temporary installations on a major road or airfield
The production process involves blending the aggregates and
then heating them to a temperature suitable for coating with the
For further information contact MPA's Malcolm
MPA provides information and guidance on asphalt products through
the Asphalt Information Service which is contactable via the main
MPA telephone no:
+44 (0) 20 7963 8000 or by contacting email@example.com
Click here to download asphalt guidance:
The Asphalt Information Service can provide on request a list
of depots of MPA members that undertake asphalt contracting throughout
the country. Requests should be made to the telephone number or
email address above.
Probably the most important change facing the UK asphalt industry
and its customers in recent years has been the implementation
of European Specifications for asphalt, its constituents, and
methods of testing. This implementation process will be completed
in the UK for the beginning of 2008.
This process began on 1 January 2002 with introduction of the
European specification for road bitumens (BS EN 12591) which introduced
changes to the available bitumen grades and grade references.
A guidance note on this was prepared at the time. To download a copy,
The aggregates used in asphalt have also come under the scope
of European Standards (from 1 January 2004), and in order to accommodate
those changes at that time, it was necessary to change the material
descriptions for the British Standard asphalts and macadams. In
addition, the Highways Agency's Specification for Highway Works
(published by The Stationery Office www.tso.co.uk)
has also adopted these and other consequent changes (see www.highways.gov.uk
for contact details for HA). General guidance on European Standards
for aggregates for asphalt can be found here.
As far as asphalt is concerned, the family of test methods (EN
12697 series) for asphalt have been published as well as the various
asphalt mix specifications and conformity assessment procedures
(EN 13108 series) . It became a requirement for all EU states
to implement the whole package of standards and withdraw all conflicting
national standards on 1 January 2008. In the
UK, this means that BS594, BS4987 and parts of BS598 were all
withdrawn and replaced by the European Standards. In the case
of the asphalt mix specifications, these are substantially different
in approach and detail to the traditional BSs that we were used
to working with, although there will be little, if any, change
to the traditional mix compositions that have been used to date.
BSI has published a National Guidance Document BD6691
to interpret the requirements of the EN13108 series for implementation
in the UK - along with PD6692 for asphalt test methods and BS594987
for installation of asphalt (to replace the Part 2s of BS594 and
Guidance on how the new Standards should
be implemented in the UK has also been produced and this is available for download
from the table below, Bulletin 1 was published
in June 2006, Bulletins 2 and 3 in July/August 2007.
|Topics covered are:
| Bulletin 1 - June 2006 - Development
on European Standards for Asphalt - approx 115kb
|Bulletin 2 - August 2007 -Materials and
|Bulletin 3 - July 2007 - Impact on Standards
for Laying Asphalt
|Powerpoint Slides from Regional Briefings
- July to Sep 2007
approx 400 kb
The annual residential course in
Asphalt Materials and Flexible Pavements, held for
over 37 years at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
in conjunction with MPA and its predecessor trade
associations, traditionally takes place in the first full
week of September after the late August Bank Holiday.
The Course remains at the forefront of training for asphalt technology and the syllabus is annually reviewed
and amended to keep the course both topical and relevant
to the needs of industry and specifier participants
Full details and booking are available online via the University: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/asphalt.php.
The Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), is a promotional body formed through partnership between MPA and the Refined Bitumen Association (www.bitumenuk.com). AIA's promotional activity is very important on the sector Agenda. More information on the work of AIA can be found at www.asphaltindustryalliance.com.
MPA Asphalt continues the long tradition of organising conferences in its own right and under the AIA Banner. This Conference attracts the support of major industry client bodies, namely the Highways Agency (HA) and Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT, formerly CSS),as well as the Chartered Institute of Highway and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institutes of Asphalt Technology (IAT) and Highways Engineers (IHE) and since 2008 has been kindly sponsored by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).
To review the new carbon footprint calculator for asphalt products
currently in its testing period, click on the logo left. Comments are welcomed.
MPA is a founder-member of the European Asphalt Pavement Association, whose own website can be accessed at www.eapa.org. In a similar fashion to that in which MPA liaises on UK issues, so does EAPA with other European bodies. One important link at the European level is with Eurobitume (www.eurobitume.eu), which results in the 4-yearly Eurasphalt & Eurobitume Congress , the next to be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 13 to 15 June 2012.
Please note this website is maintained to provide information and guidance on UK issues, products and applications of those products.