Macadam is also referred to as Tarmacadam, which is where the name Tarmac came from. It is also referred to as Bituminous Macadam and Bitmac.
Macadam was invented by John MacAdam in the 1800s who bound smaller aggregates together using naturally occurring tar, hence the term Tarmacadam. The industry now uses a by product of the oil refining process called bitumen to bind the aggregates together, giving us the term Bituminous Macadam or Bitmac.
This explains how confusion can arise through the use inside and outside of the industry for ultimately the same thing.
In addition, you may come across the term Asphalt Concrete. This is now the umbrella term which encompasses what we new as all Macadams and Asphalts. You should note that when speaking with our American friends, they use the term Asphalt to describe what we call Bitumen.
Macadams can come in a variety of colour finishes, which may add to the cost. The colours vary depending on the supplier and we are more than happy to discuss the options with you.
Macadam and Asphalt materials are laid in layers, depending the construction required for the desired use; whether it road surfacing, driveway paving, a car park resurfacing or just a footpath for example. These layers are called (from the bottom up) Base Course – formerly Road Base; Binder Course – formerly Base Course; and Surface Course – formerly Wearing Course. These terms were recently aligned across Europe.
Contact us today and we will be more than happy to advise on the best construction specifications for your project and will be able to recommend the appropriate material.