According to the 2016 Asian Development Bank (ADB) Sector Assessment, around 72% of national roads in the Philippines are paved with asphalt and/or concrete, and only 22% of local roads are paved. The same report also said that the coverage and quality of the Philippine road system may be categorized as poor.
This article is not about the past and present coverage and quality of roads in the Philippines, but a suggestion on how we can improve the maintenance of our road systems using science.
Being cost-efficient, easy to repair, and not to mention visually appealing, asphalt has become one of the most popular materials used for pavements in the country. But, did you know that not all asphalt is the same?
There are different ways asphalt is created and used – depends on what suits the needs and by which purposes they will be applied to get the most out of it. In the Philippines, we now have two options: hot mix asphalt and cold mix asphalt.
Hot Mix Asphalt
A mixture of aggregates like sand, gravel, and asphalt cement which is then heated before being applied is called the hot mix asphalt. Using this type of asphalt would require for the mix to be heated between 300˚C to 500˚C at the production facility before being shipped and laid at the target location.
Among the common application for hot mix asphalt are large-scale projects like roads, parking lots, and driveways.
Cold Mix Asphalt
On the other hand, cold mix asphalt is one of the asphalt types commonly used for repairs or small-scale patches. This type of mix does not require heating. As a matter of fact, bags of cold mix asphalt can be poured directly on potholes or cracks to prevent the damage from spreading.
Cold mix asphalt is much more affordable compared to the hot mix type and can be a perfect choice for road fixes when the weather won’t allow for hot mix asphalt installation.
Cold Patch Asphalt Mix Introduced in the Philippines
The country’s new asphalt player, Phoenix Asphalt is introducing an innovative product that aims to provide an effective and durable fix for road potholes. The Cold Patch Asphalt Mix is a dense-grade, ready-mix product that can withstand heavy rains, floods, and temperatures of up to 64˚C. Providing further convenience, it is also storable and does not require heavy equipment for application.
“We at Phoenix Asphalt believe that the way for national progress starts with strategic, functional, and well-maintained roads. Hence, together with our partners, we are offering a solution that could achieve this, and help boost our government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, while providing better journeys for Filipino motorists,” according to Phoenix Asphalt General Manager Julius Aguas.
As an environment-friendly product, the Cold Patch Asphalt Mix can be applied directly to concrete and asphalt-based roads immediately and anytime when needed. It eliminates the waiting time (curing) after asphalt application, allowing traffic to immediately flow after product compaction.
“This type of product has a great potential in improving road maintenance as it can easily be used to repair cracks and potholes without the need for heating or mixing. We call on our private partners to continue developing high-quality products that we can utilize and incorporate into our projects, and to support us in our pursuit of improving the lives of our fellow Filipinos through quality infrastructure,” said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Director Reynaldo Faustino, who is also the Officer-in-Charge of the DPWH Bureau of Research and Standards.
Established in 2019, Phoenix Asphalt is a joint venture company by the leading local independent oil firm Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., Thailand-based TIPCO Asphalt Public Co. Ltd., and PhilAsphalt Development Corporation. In the same year, it broke ground for the construction of its asphalt facility in Batangas and officially started its operation in mid-2020.