Asphalt has many well-known uses. It paves the world’s highways, seals in its roofs and keeps its driveways solid and weatherproof. But there is a whole range of lesser-known applications where asphalt provides durable protection against all kinds of harsh conditions, year after year.
If you want to learn about some lesser-known uses for asphalt, Canada Colors & Chemicals has five of them.
Taking care of the farm
Unlike regular paint, asphalt paint is extremely durable, waterproof and can be used both above and below ground. It also dries to the touch in just four hours. This means that a farmer has the option of painting fence posts before sinking them into the earth, thus minimizing rot and decay caused by water seepage. As well, water-based asphalt paint is UV-resistant, maintains its black color for years and protects covered nails and screws from rusting. It can also be used to paint metal pipes, storage tanks and masonry walls.
According to CCC Canada, black asphalt fence paint doesn’t show the dirt and dust the way that conventional white paint does.
Keeping cars and trucks quiet
Cars and trucks ride on asphalt. But vehicle manufacturers also use this substance to line body parts, in an effort to muffle road noise. Applying an asphalt coating reduces component vibration and absorbs sound waves caused by whatever road-induced vibration remains. At the same time, the asphalt lining helps to block outside road noise from coming into the vehicle.
Beyond combatting noise, asphalt linings help to protect body metal from rust, repel the buildup of corrosive materials such as road salt and extend the durability of cars and trucks.
Asphalt works for art
Canadian artist Lucas Seaward lives in Fort McMurray, Alberta, in the heart of the country’s bitumen-rich oil sands. In tribute to this fact, Lucas has taught himself how to collect and then dilute surface-level liquid bitumen to create stunning monochrome wildlife paintings.
It’s not an easy process. To dilute and bind the bitumen to the canvas permanently, Seaward has to mix it with a special varnish that also protects the painting’s surface.
Asphalt fights graffiti
On the flip side of art, graffiti is a big nuisance for urban building owners. One way to attack this problem easily is to coat a building’s external masonry/concrete walls with black asphalt paint, and then keep a few cans of spray asphalt paint at hand. When someone tags the wall, just take out the spray asphalt paint and quickly cover the offending graphic. It is fast, easy, and effective.
At first glance, it may seem odd that liquid asphalt would actually provide effective first aid for trees and plant graftings. But it does, because this substance is effective in sealing wounds from invasive bugs and bacteria.
In fact, few substances work as well as bitumen mixed with latex, which is why gardeners rely on both liquid and paste versions when they remove tree limbs, treat storm damage or graft new roots to plant stems.