Building with Durability: Macadam Surface Construction Explained

Macadam surface construction is a process of creating a road from broken stones that are bound together with hot tar. This construction method was invented by John Loudon McAdam, a Scotsman, and it is still used today to build roads around the world. You may hear this type of pavement called different names depending on where you live, such as asphalt, blacktop, tarmac or bituminous concrete.

This paving material offers a number of benefits, including low costs and good traction. In addition, it is a sustainable material that can be recycled and reused. The downside of this material is that it is prone to cracking and can require regular maintenance. In addition, it is not as durable as other paving materials such as asphalt.

One of the primary reasons for this is that the surface of macadam contains aggregates with a high degree of porosity. The porous nature of these aggregates causes water to seep through the surface of the road, causing the subgrade to weaken and crack. This is particularly problematic in wet climates where the road must be designed to allow rapid drainage.

To help prevent this problem, a layer of tarmac should be added over the top of the base course to reduce water penetration and increase strength. This will also help prevent the formation of ruts in wet weather. Another option is to include a binder, such as oil or asphalt cement, in the top layer of macadam to add additional strength.

The use of crushed stone in macadamĀ macadam surface construction was first developed in the 18th century by McAdam. His original design included a compacted subgrade of granite or greenstone, designed to support the load, covered by a surface of light stone to absorb wear and tear and shed water to drainage ditches. This was followed by a layer of rubble to prevent the base course from shifting under the wheel load.

Engineers could not figure out how to make this type of road durable enough for horse traffic. In order to withstand the weight of automobiles, they needed a more durable construction method.

In the early 1900s, engineers figured out how to use tarmac to improve the durability of road surfaces. This paved the way for modern tarmac road construction.

While this technology was successful in its time, advances in road construction equipment lead to the gradual phase-out of macadam construction in industrialized nations. However, some developing nations still use macadam construction on their major highways.

The most popular use of this surfacing specification is for sports facilities. Schools and leisure centres often choose to have a macadam sports court installed for its versatile and strong playing qualities. Macadam surfacing is ideal for sports such as tennis, basketball and netball. Depending on the needs of your facility and budget, we can create a macadam sports court specification to provide a durable and high quality surface. Contact us today to find out more about our services or to request a quote.