What Is Tarmac And How Is It Used?

It is beneficial to know exactly what tarmac is and how it is used. This information is specifically relevant if you are a homeowner considering an extension of land or a driveway, or any owner of land at all. You may also wish to know the difference based on whether or not you need to hire tarmac contractors to fix repairs and damages.

Bitumen Vs Tarmac

Asphalt is a black liquid petroleum that is used to surface roads. It contains bitumen and aggregates that work together to create a smooth, hard-wearing surface. This can reduce friction between vehicles and tires, and also cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. It can be recycled, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Tarmac, on the other hand, is a material made of crushed stone or aggregate that is coated with tar. This is then compacted with a vibrating roller. The combination of these two materials creates a strong, durable, and watertight road surfacing. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require sealing.

Asphalt Pavement

Besides the highways, asphalt is used for a number of other uses. For example, it can be used as a waterproofing material for structures. It also offers good strength and durability and is easy to maintain. It is commonly used in airports and on airfields. In addition, it can be used to make wooden fences.

There are three main types of mixes, namely hot mix, cold mix, and ultra-premium mixture (UPM). These mixes are categorized by the size of the aggregates. Depending on the use, these mixes can be divided into coarse, fine, dense, and dense-graded mixes.


Several methods of construction are used to construct bridges using tarmac surfaces. The three most common construction techniques are single-layer bitumen sheet, two-layered bitumen sheet, and three-layered bitumen sheet. All three methods are bonded surface-to-surface with concrete without dividing the course.

A thin layer of liquid asphalt is spray-applied directly to the base course and helps to bond the asphalt course to the underlying surface. The tack coat is a thin layer of liquid asphalt sprayed over the prime coat. These layers protect the surface from de-icing salts


Using tarmac in constructing sidewalks is not as common as concrete but it does have its pros and cons. In addition to being durable, asphalt is also easily repairable. Oftentimes, this type of pavement is used as a temporary surface for more permanent ones. Typically, it takes a lot of heavy equipment to compact asphalt and the results don’t always measure up to the quality of concrete.

As the weather gets colder, the tarmac atop an asphalt sidewalk becomes softer and less stable. It’s also susceptible to water damage. So, it’s important to keep your sidewalks clear of rain and snow. If possible, use a hand mechanical tamper for this purpose.