broken asphalt

What is Recycled Asphalt Product and How Does It Work?

Contractors—and customers—are always looking for a way to stay under budget without sacrificing quality. There’s also the matter of minding the environment. Thankfully, there’s an aggregate material that can help reduce waste and provide a cost-effective alternative to pricier materials: recycled asphalt product.

Recycled asphalt product explained

Recycled asphalt product, or RAP, is simply old asphalt that has been ground into gravel and binds together once it’s compacted, hardening again. Asphalt isn’t exactly “environmentally friendly,” so it’s typically recycled to reduce asphalt waste. This practice has made asphalt one of the most recycled aggregate materials in the country according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). Using RAP is considered green, which is a big incentive to recycle and reuse asphalt. Many states require new roadways and paving contain a minimum percentage of RAP. Check with your Department of Transportation for specific requirements.

The Federal Highway Administration has stated the following:

“[Recycled asphalt product] RAP is now routinely accepted in asphalt paving mixtures as an aggregate substitute and as a portion of the binder in nearly all 50 states. Recently developed technology has even made it possible to recycle 90 to 100 percent RAP [recycled asphalt product] in hot mix.”

Along with its use by municipalities as part of a base or subbase material on highways and roads, it’s also used by contractors as a base layer for residential driveways, in parking lots, gravel road rehabilitation, and even bike paths.

The advantages of using recycled asphalt product

Using RAP can be very cost effective for both customers and contractors, especially if the work is being done in remote areas and is a large enough area to be covered. The lower initial cost is a huge incentive for contractors trying to stick to budget; and the quality offered by recycled asphalt product is invaluable as a base foundation.

Even local governments are able to benefit from the significant cost savings offered by recycled asphalt. reports that savings can range from $30 to $80 a ton. For companies who recycle consistently can expect large savings.

Through the use of RAP, less reclaimed asphalt is winding up in landfills. Technology has been steadily advancing the percentage of asphalt that can be recycled, which can further reduce any negative environmental impact asphalt production and use might cause. More projects are featuring increased amounts of RAP, meaning there’s less waste, a lower cost, and a higher quality result.

Another advantage to recycling asphalt is it also reduces the quarrying, mining, and oil consumption required to create new asphalt. This also cuts down on necessary resources and material, some of which are already scarce in certain areas of the United States.

Equipment you need to produce RAP

There are various types of equipment you need to produce Recycled Asphalt Product. RAP screens, RAP crusher and impactors, recycling crushing & screening circuits, stockpile conveyors, and telescopic conveyors all work together to create the final product.

If you’re looking to stay under budget and want to go green, consider recycled asphalt product. It can be used in a number of projects in various ways, and almost always offers a more stable solution than other commercially manufactured aggregate materials.