Use this calculator to estimate how much asphalt (tarmac) in volume (cu ft, cubic yards or cubic meters) and weight (tons or tonnes) you would need. It uses conventional asphalt density.
Calculating how much asphalt you need
Many road builders and just people who want a nice driveway to their home are faced with estimating the amount of Hotmix Asphalt (HMA, also bitumen, blacktop, Tarmac) they need to cover a given area with it. Our asphalt calculator is of great utility in such cases, but you should keep in mind that the results will only be as good as the measurements entered into it. Also, we use a standard asphalt density of 145 lbs/ft3 (2322 kg/m3) which may be somewhat different depending on the precise asphalt mixture you purchase. The calculation process is:
- Estimate the volume of asphalt needed, using geometrical formulas and plans or measurements.
- Estimate the density of the hotmix to be used. Standard density for asphalt is 145 lb/ft3 (2322 kg/m3).
- Multiply the volume by the density (in the same units) to get the weight
The measurements are not always precise and there might be waste during the application process, so you should consider purchasing 5-6% more asphalt than estimated so you don't run just short of what you actually need.
In case the area you are calculating has an irregular shape what you want to do is divide it in several regularly-shaped sections, calculate their volume and asphalt requirements and then sum them up together. In case you end up needing to do this for a large number of sections, you might use our summation calculator. Reasonable approximations can be made for slightly irregular shapes by taking the average length or width, but in more complex scenarious and the need for an accurate hot mix asphalt estimation you should consult a professional.
Asphalt basics & applications
Asphalt is a black, very sticky, and highly viscous liquid, or sometimes semi-solid, form of petroleum. It could be found in natural deposits, but is more often the result of refinement, and is classed as a pitch. Asphalt is highly recyclable, providing cost savings and environmental benefits.
Asphalt (tarmac) is widely used as a road surface, be it for highways, inner city and inter-city roads, local roads, car parks, for paving driveways and pavements. It is estimated that around 94% of the 2.6 million paved roads in the U.S. are made from it. You can also see it on racetracks, tennis courts, dams. It's water resistance makes it great for cable and pipe coatings, and water proofing in general. It is used for bituminous waterproofing products, where it is a part of roofing felt and is used for sealing flat roofs. Bitumen has other great qualities as well: durability, high traction, low light reflectivity, etc.
When used for road construction it usually serves as binding agent in the production of asphalt concrete. Bitumen is mixed with fine and coarse aggregates, e.g. sand, gravel, and crushed rock. Recycled polymers (e.g., rubber tyres) may be added to the asphalt to modify its properties depending on the intended ultimate application.
Asphalt is usually sold by the tonne from companies specializing in construction, usually road construction and roof water-proofing. Our hot mix asphalt calculator will help you estimate how much of it do you need, approximately.
Types of asphalt
Contrary to what you may think, there is more than one type of asphalt, mainly depending on the temperature during mixing. Selecting the right type is important, as some asphalts are better suited to particular applications than others.
|Hot Mix Asphalt||Also "Dense-Graded Mix", this is the most widely used type, ideal for all traffic conditions, for surfacing and repairing needs, great friction. During production the binder is heated at high temperatures to reduce viscosity and to remove all moisture prior to mixing.|
|Warm Mix Asphalt||Used at roughly a third of road-paving projects, this asphalt is produced at lower temperatures than HMA and is suitable for paving during off-season months or at overnight projects.|
|Driveway Mix Asphalt||Cheaper mix that is tailored to use in driveways and parking lots. It includes crushed stone, sand and gravel.|
|Porous Asphalt||It is designed only with crushed stone and a few grains of sand in the mix, making it permeable to water. More expensive, but removes the need for drainage. It requires an open-graded stone bed of such a size and depth, so water does not rise to the asphalt level.|
Most asphalt has a lifespan of over 20 years if applied and maintained appropriately, and if it is not subject to significantly higher loads than it was planned for.
Ton vs tonne, tons vs tonnes
When calculating asphalt weight, make sure you do not confuse tonne (metric ton) with ton (short ton). The first is used by all countries in the world, except the U.S. and is defined to be equal to 1000 kg by the international body of standardization. The ton is currently only used in the United States and is equal to 2000 pounds (2000 lbs). The difference between the two is not huge but can quickly add up to a significant number as the amount increases.
Cite this calculator & page
If you'd like to cite this online calculator resource and information as provided on the page, you can use the following citation:
Georgiev G.Z., "Asphalt Calculator", [online] Available at: https://www.gigacalculator.com/calculators/asphalt-calculator.php URL [Accessed Date: 26 May, 2018].