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Lesser-known Uses for Asphalt Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Seven Lesser-known Uses for Asphalt

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


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.

Here are seven such lesser­-known uses for asphalt.

1. Any Color “So Long as It Is Black”

Ford Model Ts “Japan Black”, after 1913, paint contained a high level of bitumen or liquid asphalt. Actually a black lacquer that was named for its widespread applic­ation on imported Japanese products, Japan Black is made “from an asphaltic base in conjun­ction with oils, dryers, thinners and, sometimes, other varnish ingred­ients. It is “usually applied to metal, such as automobile fenders and baked at a compar­atively high temper­ature of 400°F.”
Japan Black was fast drying, and one can understand why Henry Ford adopted this finish in his effort to constantly drop the Model T’s price

2. Taking care of the farm

Asphalt offers tremendous advantages to maintain their fences, while maximizing the intervals between repain­ting. Asphalt fence paint, unlike regular paint, is extremely durable, waterproof and can be used both above and below ground. And dries 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. 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.
One last advantage: black asphalt fence paint doesn’t show the dirt and dust the way that conven­tional white paint does.

3. Keeping cars and trucks quiet

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.

Such asphalt dampeners are applied during manufa­cturing to locations such as floor pans, trunk exteriors and other areas where noise generation or penetr­ation can be an issue. Applic­ation techniques include asphalt pads that are applied to the vehicle and fused into place using baking, and sprayed-on liquid asphalt coatings.
Beyond combatting noise, asphalt linings help to protect body metal from rust, repel the buildup of corrosive materials such as road salt.

4. Asphalt works for art

Canadian artist Lucas Seaward has taught himself how to collect and then dilute surfac­e-level liquid bitumen to create stunning monochrome wildlife paintings. 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.

5. 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.

6. Nature’s medic

Liquid asphalt provides effective first aid for trees and plant graftings, Because it is effective in sealing wounds from invasive bugs and bacteria. 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.

7. A contra­ctor’s dream

Use asphal­t-based compounds in place of tarpaper under wood siding, brick veneer, and vinyl/­fiber cement siding, and as a flashing material for doors and windows by cutting pieces of the self-a­dhesive rubberized asphalt that comes in rolls.

It allows flashing any opening by creating my own custom flashing as a must-have sub-fl­ashing material for roof skylights or any other roof penetr­ation. Use these products as a magical ice dam to prevent leak under roofing materials of all types.”