Tarmacadam, properly referred to as bituminous macadam or “Bitmac” for brevity, is thought to be the cheapest and quickest method of surfacing. Tarmacadam has become a popular, although technically incorrect term for both bitumen and asphalt which is used to surface pavements, highways and even internal floors.
Tarmacadam is a process binding together smaller aggregates as pioneered by the legendary Jon MacAdam in the 19th century. His work resulted in the development of tar-based macadam’s which became abbreviated to Tar-mac. Nowadays we use bitumen from the oil industry rather than naturally occurring tar and therefore we have bitumen macadam.
Tarmac is used in the construction and utility sectors due to its hard wearing properties. Cold weather, rain, high winds and thunderstorms will cause tarmac no issues, and it would take even the hottest weather to cause any damage. From bicycles to 40 tonne HGV’s, tarmac ensures a smooth ride every time.
Tarmac is also fantastic for the environment due to its ability to be recycled and reused and because of the size of its component aggregates, it won’t pollute any water systems as it has no real runoff, making it the perfect road laying choice for the environmentally conscious. As it solidifies quickly, you can guarantee that your job will not overrun, and it is usually able to be driven on within 6 to 8 hours of being laid, a vast improvement on concrete or ballast which have a much longer setting time.