4 Types of Materials Used for Road Construction

4 Types of Materials Used for Road Construction

Imagine you’re driving down the open highway with your family or friends, the car’s radio is playing your favorite song, and the sky is blue. Everything is perfect for a little while but you fail to notice a pothole. Your car dips and shakes. Sadly, the happy mood is ruined. 

If you’ve been driving for a while now, you might have experienced something similar to this. There are times when your drive becomes challenging because you have to go around a shallow hole on the road. When this happens, have you ever wondered why such holes exist? Why are some roads more broken than others? 

This is all due to the different types of materials used in road construction. Let’s get to know them here.

Main types of materials used in road construction 

When getting ready to build roads, road engineers determine the type of material to be used based on several given conditions including traffic patterns, weather in the area, cost of the materials, and noise issues. Since there are many options available in the market, they make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each material before using them. Here’s a list of the four main types of materials used in road construction and a few of the things considered before they are used.


One of the most popular materials used in road construction is asphalt. In asphalt mixing plant, it is combined with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete, making it a mixture of about 70% asphalt and 30% aggregate particles. It is also used with bitumen, which is a binder that holds the asphalt together.

During the process, a layer of asphalt is laid on top of an equally thick gravel base. Using this type of material has relatively low cost compared to others and is good for road noise reduction. The materials for this are also highly accessible. And while it may be less durable than other materials, it is comparably easy to repair and maintain. Asphalt is typically used in high traffic roads and pavements.


Concrete is another material that is typically used in creating roads. It is made from a mixture of cement, gravel, sand, and water, which make up 60-75% of concrete, which is then added to chemical admixtures. 

This type of material is good for flexibility and ease of construction as it can be molded to any shape. It can even be used to fill broken asphalt surfaces to extend its lifetime and bearing capacity. When compared to asphalt, concrete is more long-lasting and significantly stronger as well, but as a result is also quite expensive.


Speaking of using concrete to pave broken asphalt surfaces, some roads are intentionally made from a mix of these two materials. Composite materials are combinations of both asphalt and concrete

Roads made of composite materials have structural and functional longevity as well as boast of cost-effective maintenance operations, making them the preferred materials for high traffic roads that are exposed to the elements.

Recycled materials

Environmentally-friendly and sustainable projects are the new trend in many fields and road construction is one of them. New kinds of roads are now being made from materials that include waste materials and byproducts like recycled concrete aggregates, plastic wastes, scrap tires, mine wastes, foundry sand, recycled crushed glass, and various forms of coal combustion products. Since these are still being developed, they are usually used for smaller roads and pavements.


Road construction is a critical part of infrastructure development. The type of material used for road construction can have a significant impact on the quality and longevity of the road. In this blog post, we’ve looked at some of the most common materials used in road construction. We hope you found this information helpful and informative. Thanks for reading!


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