Asphalt Temperature Calculator For Warm Mix Asphalt & Hot Mix Asphalt

Perfect Asphalt Mix: Asphalt Temperature Calculator

Asphalt Temperature Calculator

Warm Mix Asphalt is produced and mixed at temperatures roughly between 100 and 150 °C (Celsius). Hot Mix Asphalt is produced and mixed at temperatures roughly between 120 and 190 °C. The production temperatures of Hot Mix Asphalt depend on the bitumen used.

Enter a temperature in °C (Celsius) and click the Check button:

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Benefits of our Calculator:

  • Optimize Your Asphalt Projects with Precision: Our Asphalt Temperature Calculator empowers you to select the ideal asphalt mix for any temperature.
  • Easily determine whether Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) or Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) is the right choice, ensuring your road construction or maintenance projects achieve optimal results.
  • Make informed decisions and streamline your asphalt work with confidence.

Precise temperature control is important for asphalt because it directly affects the viscosity of the mix during laydown and compaction. Viscosity determines how well the asphalt can be placed and compacted.

Factors Influencing Asphalt Temperature

Factor Influence on Asphalt Temperature
Mix design Ingredients, composition, and viscosity requirements.
Aggregate type Denser or lightweight aggregates, size considerations.
Binder grade Stiffer or polymer binders, temperature sensitivity.
Environmental conditions Ambient air temperature, wind, humidity, solar radiation.
Layer thickness Thin or thick courses, cooling rates in variable weather.
Equipment insulation Condition of truck boxes, augers, and insulation materials.
Paving equipment heat settings Match screed/auger temps to mix temps for proper placement.
WMA additives Chemicals or foaming agents, temperature ranges, workability.


If the asphalt is too cold, it will be too stiff and viscous. This makes it difficult to spread and compact, resulting in poor coating of the aggregates and resistance to compaction efforts. The asphalt risks slipping and slipping cracks during compaction. Cold spots in the pavement may also lead to premature cracking.

If the asphalt is too hot, it will be too thin and runny. This can cause the mix to segregate — with the aggregates settling out of the binder. It may also produce a very smooth but weak surface that is prone to indentation or raveling. Tracking issues are also more common at high temperatures.

Proper viscosity from controlling the temperature ensures good pore structure and adhesion between the binder and aggregates. This delivers high stability, durability and resistance to moisture damage, reflective cracking, rutting and other distresses over the pavement’s service life.

Adequate compaction, which depends on temperature, is crucial for bonding layers together and preventing entry of water. So temperature affects not just short-term workability but the long-term performance properties desired from the asphalt pavement.

Here are the key factors that influence asphalt temperature:

Mix design – Ingredients like aggregate type and gradation, binder grade, and additives used.

How composition affects heat transfer and required viscosities.

Asphalt binder grade/properties: Stiffer high-binder grades have higher viscosity and require more heat to mix and lay compared to softer grades. Modified binders like polymer or rubber may lose workability at lower temperatures than conventional binders as well.

Aggregate type – Lightweight aggregates cool quicker than denser mineral types. Size is also a factor.

Mix design aggregate gradation/type: Coarser gradations with larger aggregate retain more heat than fine mixes due to a smaller surface area to volume ratio. Lightweight aggregates absorb heat faster than conventional sand and gravel, requiring higher mix temperatures.

Binder grade – Stiffer binders require higher temps to achieve the same viscosities. Polymer binders may be more temperature-sensitive.

RAP/RAS content if used: Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) introduce cooler, hardened asphalt chunks that absorb heat from the new binder. Higher RAP/RAS contents may necessitate increasing the virgin binder temperature by a few degrees to compensate for the heat loss effect. Proper processing is key so as not to overcook the mix.

Environmental conditions

Ambient air temperature, wind speed/direction, humidity, and solar radiation all draw heat from asphalt. Exposure time is critical.

Ambient air temperature

Obvious impact, as heat transfers faster from hot mix to cooler air. Higher ambient temps increase the working time before reaching minimums.

Wind speed and direction

Wind accelerates heat loss, with a greater effect on windy exposed sites. Sidewinds impact paving; plan extra insulation or higher placement temps.

Solar radiation/shading

Direct sun on dark asphalt can heat it to 10°F or more; shaded areas lose heat faster. Consider the time of day and tree/building coverage.

Relative humidity

Humid air conducts heat away more efficiently than dry air due to greater heat capacity. Higher humidity requires increasing temps to maintain workability.

Temperature Ranges for Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) and Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)

Phase HMA Temperature Range (°F) WMA Temperature Range (°F) with Additives
Production 300-350 240-290
Transport 250-300 230-260
Placement 250-300 230-250
Initial compaction 230-260 205-230
Final compaction 180-240 180-210


Placement Factors

Layer thickness

Thinner lifts cool quicker than thick courses, increasing challenges for thick lifts in variable weather. Thinner lifts (under 2″) cool faster than thicker lifts due to a greater surface area-to-volume ratio. Thick lifts may need higher placement temps to retain workability for the duration of compaction.

Equipment insulation

Truck boxes, augers, surge bins, and windrows lose heat to the environment. The age/condition of insulation matters. Static or vibratory rollers impact temperature needs differently. Static requires higher initial temps to densify mixes, while vibratory can compact at slightly lower temps but less time in a workable range. Age and condition of insulation in truck boxes and material transfer devices like augers/conveyors impact heat loss in transport and laydown. Well-insulated equipment preserves temperature better.

Paving equipment heat settings

Screed/auger temps must match mix temps for proper placement. Densities such as 90% Gmm require deeper compaction effort, maintaining proper temperature windows longer. Lower spec densities are easier to achieve if temps drop quicker. Paver-mounted augers and screeds use fuel-fired heat to maintain the mix at the desired laydown temperature. Properly adjusted to incoming mix temperature prevents over- or under-heating during placement. Equipment temperature controls need regular calibration to screed/auger heat outputs match actual mix temperatures. Prevents disappointing yield or mix problems from improper heating/cooling.

WMA additives

Chemicals or foaming agents change asphalt properties, enabling workability at lower temperatures than HMA. But may have limited temperature ranges too. Tighter smoothness specs necessitate higher placement temps to allow for screed adjustments without the mix becoming unworkable. Greater opportunities are needed for minor corrections during rolling. Windrows and surge piles are exposed and cool quickly. Ensuring proper controls like covers, insulation, or heat tracing on surge bins maintains uniform temperatures as the mix is fed to the paver.

Accounting for all these interrelated factors aids accuracy in setting target production, transport, paving, and compaction temperature windows for HMA and WMA projects. Ongoing monitoring is also required due to variations.

Calculating temperature thresholds for HMA and WMA

Production: Follow published guidelines from agencies or binder/additive suppliers. Account for mixed design. Monitor regularly using probes.


Determine the maximum time from the plant to the paver based on truck insulation, weather, and load size. Subtract estimated temperature loss per hour based on conditions.


Consider paving speed/layer thickness. Probe mat/screed to ensure it matches the mix temp coming off the auger. Adjust screed/auger heat if needed.

Initial compaction

Use a proper rolling pattern from the tender. Check temp before each roller pass – too cool and it may crack. Probe beneath roller.

Final compaction

Target 20-30°F cooler than placement but not below minimums or plastic range will be missed. Consider prolonged sun vs. night paving.

Document temperatures at each phase. Track if issues to refine calculations. Temperature modeling programs can help predict losses.

Key best practices are monitoring regularly, adjusting targets based on project/weather specifics, and verifying behind rollers that temperatures don’t fall too quickly through compaction ranges needed for density. This ensures quality while protecting from premature cracking.

Here is a comparison of typical temperature ranges for HMA vs. WMA:


  • Production: 300-350°F
  • Transport: 250-300°F
  • Placement: 250-300°F
  • Initial compaction: 230-260°F
  • Final compaction: 180-240°F

WMA with additives:

  • Production: 240-290°F
  • Transport: 230-260°F
  • Placement: 230-250°F
  • Initial compaction: 205-230°F
  • Final compaction: 180-210°F

WMA additives like chemicals or foaming agents change the binder’s rheological properties to allow proper workability and density achievement at lower temps than HMA.

Benefits of WMA include energy savings, reduced fumes, and easier mixing/laydown in hot/cold weather. But crews need training to avoid over-compacting at lower temps. More precise temp control is also needed as the working window is narrower.

Sudden temperature drops pose a risk if the plastic range is missed. Though ongoing improvements are addressing this. Overall, if handled properly WMA can provide similar quality to HMA while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


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I'm Steve Axton, a dedicated Asphalt Construction Manager with over 25 years of experience paving the future of infrastructure. My journey with asphalt began by studying civil engineering and learning about core pavement materials like aggregate, binder and additives that compose this durable and versatile substance. I gained hands-on experience with production processes including refining, mixing and transporting during my internships, which opened my eyes to real-world uses on roads, driveways and parking lots. Over the past decades, I have deepened my expertise in asphalt properties like viscosity, permeability and testing procedures like Marshall stability and abrasion. My time with respected construction companies has honed my skills in paving techniques like milling, compaction and curing as well as maintenance activities like crack filling, resurfacing and recycling methods. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained about standards from Superpave to sustainability best practices that balance longevity, cost and environmental friendliness. It's been an incredibly rewarding career working with this complex material to build the infrastructure future.