Understanding Sealcoat and its Components.
Sealcoat, also known as pavement sealer or asphalt sealer, is a protective coating applied to asphalt pavements to enhance their durability and extend their lifespan. The exact composition of sealcoat can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific product, but it typically consists of a mixture of asphalt/bitumen, mineral fillers, water, and additives.
Here are the main components commonly found in sealcoat:
Asphalt/Bitumen: This is the primary binding agent in sealcoat. It is a black, sticky, and viscous petroleum-based material obtained during the refining process of crude oil.
Mineral Fillers: Various mineral fillers are added to the sealcoat mixture to improve its strength, flexibility, and resistance to wear. These fillers can include silica sand, limestone dust, slate dust, and other finely ground materials.
Water: Water is used as a carrier to help dissolve and distribute the other components evenly. It also aids in the application and spreading of the sealcoat.
Additives: Sealcoat formulations may include additives to enhance specific properties. These additives can include polymer modifiers, latex polymers, rubber compounds, rejuvenators, UV stabilizers, and other proprietary ingredients. They are added to improve adhesion, flexibility, weather resistance, and overall performance.
The specific ratios and formulations of these components can vary among manufacturers, allowing for different types and grades of sealcoat products to suit various applications and performance requirements. It's worth noting that the use of coal tar-based sealcoat, which used to be common in the past, has been significantly reduced due to environmental concerns. Most modern sealcoat products are now based on asphalt/bitumen.