Asphalt Tonnage to Square Yards Calculator

Asphalt Tonnage to Square Yards Calculator

Asphalt Tonnage to Square Yards Calculator


This calculator will compute the area of asphalt coverage in square yards based on the provided inputs.

Using a tonnage to Square Yards Formula

To convert asphalt tonnage to square yard coverage, use the following formula: Square Yard Coverage = (Asphalt Tonnage × 2000 lbs/ton) / (Asphalt Density × Application Thickness × Compaction Factor)

This formula assumes:

Asphalt density in lbs/cu.ft.
Application thickness in inches
Compaction factor as a decimal (e.g., 0.95 for 95% compaction)

Asphalt Tonnage and Coverage Calculations

Accurately calculating the required tonnage of asphalt and its coverage area is crucial for paving projects.

Project Dimensions:

Determine the length, width, and desired thickness of the paving area in feet or meters. This will help calculate the volume of asphalt needed.

Asphalt Density:

Asphalt has a typical density ranging from 110 to 125 pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft³) or 1,760 to 2,000 kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³). For accurate calculations, consult reputable sources or material specifications.

Volume Calculation:

Calculate the volume of asphalt needed by multiplying the length, width, and desired thickness of the paving area. The result will be in cubic feet or cubic meters, depending on the units used.

Tonnage Conversion:

Convert the volume of asphalt to tonnage by multiplying the volume by the density. This will give you the required tonnage of asphalt for the project.

Coverage Area:

To calculate the coverage area, divide the total tonnage of asphalt by the recommended application rate per square unit (e.g., tons/square yard or tons/square meter). This will give you the area the specified asphalt tonnage can cover.

Adjust for Compaction:

Asphalt materials are typically compacted during installation, reducing their thickness. Consult industry standards or experienced professionals to determine the appropriate compaction factor and adjust your calculations accordingly.

Consider Waste and Overlaps:

Account for potential waste and overlaps by adding a contingency factor (typically 5-10%) to your tonnage and coverage calculations.

Asphalt Requirement for New Construction Projects

Project Type Pavement Thickness (in) Asphalt Density (lb/yd³) Tonnage to Square Yards Conversion Factor
Residential Street 4 145 0.0245 tons/yd²
Collector Road 6 150 0.0375 tons/yd²
Arterial Highway 8 155 0.0520 tons/yd²
Industrial/Commercial Area 10 160 0.0667 tons/yd²


Asphalt Requirement for Overlay Projects

Existing Pavement Condition Overlay Thickness (in) Asphalt Density (lb/yd³) Tonnage to Square Yards Conversion Factor
Fair (Minor Cracking/Rutting) 1.5 145 0.0092 tons/yd²
Poor (Moderate Distress) 2.0 150 0.0125 tons/yd²
Severe (Structural Failure) 3.0 155 0.0195 tons/yd²


Asphalt Requirement for Asphalt Mix Types

Mix Type Typical Application Asphalt Density (lb/yd³) Tonnage to Square Yards Conversion Factor (2-inch mat)
Dense-Graded Surface Course 145 0.0122 tons/yd²
Open-Graded Permeable Surface 135 0.0113 tons/yd²
Stone Matrix Asphalt High-Stress Areas 160 0.0133 tons/yd²


Regional Variations

Geographic Region Typical Asphalt Density (lb/yd³) Tonnage to Square Yards Conversion Factor (4-inch mat)
Northeast 150 0.0250 tons/yd²
Southeast 155 0.0258 tons/yd²
Midwest 145 0.0242 tons/yd²
Southwest 160 0.0267 tons/yd²
Northwest 150 0.0250 tons/yd²


Asphalt Tonnage Requirements for the project I done 2-Lane Rural Highway, 5 Miles Long, 24 ft Wide, 6-inch Pavement Thickness Asphalt Density: 150 lb/yd³ Tonnage to Square Yards Conversion Factor: 0.0375 tons/yd²

Description Value
Project Length (ft) 26,400
Project Width (ft) 24
Total Square Yards 63,360
Required Asphalt Tonnage 2,376 tons

Importance of Estimating Asphalt Needs for Paving Projects

  • Tonnage estimates ensure you order neither too much nor too little asphalt.
  • Avoids wasted materials or having to pause work to order more
  • Enables developing a realistic project budget
  • Allows proper sizing of equipment like pavers and rollers
  • Helps schedule project phases and personnel needs

How Asphalt Weight and Volume Relate to Paved Area

Key Asphalt Volume and Weight Conversions

Tons Square Yards Calculation

  • Asphalt is sold by the ton but its volume is measured in cubic yards
  • Calculating the tonnage of asphalt is a critical step in any project.
  • It ensures you order precisely what you need, preventing wastage and budget overruns.
  • Our asphalt weight calculator takes the guesswork out of the equation, making your planning process efficient and cost-effective.
  • To estimate the tons needed, the cubic yard quantity must be converted using asphalt’s density
  • The standard density is 145 pounds per cubic foot or 4,029 pounds per cubic yard
  • Multiplying cubic yards by the unit weight in pounds per cubic yard gives tons

Tons to Cubic Yards Calculation

  • When the asphalt quantity is already known in tons, convert it to cubic yards for volume estimates
  • Divide the weight in tons by the density conversion factor of 4,029 pounds per cubic yard
  • This cubic yard amount can help with truckload planning and space needs

Inches to Tons per Square Yard Conversion

  • To relate asphalt thickness to weight per paved area, convert inches to tons per square yard
  • Multiply inches by asphalt density of 145 pounds per cubic foot
  • Then divide by 2,000 pounds per ton and 9 square feet per square yard
  • Gives estimated tons needed for a given depth over the defined area

Factors Affecting Asphalt Quantities Needed

Paving Area Size, Shape, and Dimensions

  • The specific length, width, and total square footage of the area being paved is key.
  • Irregular shapes can be broken into smaller rectangles for calculation
  • Accurately measuring and calculating total area drives material quantities
  • If you want to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a high-quality paving job, it’s essential to accurately measure the area being paved.
  • The size, shape, and dimensions of the paving area will determine the amount of asphalt needed, the type of paving equipment required, and the overall cost of the project.

Asphalt Density and Compaction Specifications

  • Standard asphalt density is around 145 lbs per cubic foot
  • But mixed design and compaction level affect the actual density
  • Higher target density means greater weight per volume
  • Specifying final density sets the weight needed per compacted volume
Property Description Specifications
Asphalt Mix Design The composition of the asphalt mix Determined by the project requirements and local regulations. It includes the type and gradation of aggregates, asphalt binder content, and additives if necessary.
Maximum Theoretical Density (Gmm) The highest achievable density of the asphalt mix Typically ranges between 2.400 and 2.600 kg/m³ (150 to 165 pounds per cubic foot). May vary based on the mixed design.
Air Voids The percentage of air voids in the mix Generally targeted at 3% to 5% for dense-graded mixes and 7% to 8% for open-graded mixes.
Voids in Mineral Aggregate (VMA) The space between aggregate particles Typically around 15% to 20% for dense-graded mixes and 15% to 25% for open-graded mixes.
Voids Filled with Asphalt (VFA) The portion of voids filled with asphalt binder Typically around 65% to 75% for dense-graded mixes and 75% to 85% for open-graded mixes.
Bulk Specific Gravity (Gmb) The density of the compacted asphalt mix Typically around 2.300 to 2.500 kg/m³ (140 to 155 pounds per cubic foot). May vary based on mix design and compaction level.
Maximum Specific Gravity (Gmm) The density of the asphalt mix without air voids Typically around 2.600 to 2.800 kg/m³ (160 to 175 pounds per cubic foot).
Percentage of Theoretical Maximum Density A measure of how well the asphalt is compacted Generally targeted at 92% to 96%. Higher values indicate better compaction.
Compaction Temperature The temperature at which compaction occurs Typically between 135°C to 160°C (275°F to 320°F) for hot-mix asphalt (HMA) and 85°C to 115°C (185°F to 240°F) for warm-mix asphalt (WMA).
Compaction Method The technique used for compaction Common methods include static steel-wheel rollers, vibratory rollers, pneumatic rollers, and rubber-tire rollers.
Number of Roller Passes The number of times rollers pass over the asphalt Typically ranges from 2 to 4 passes, but may vary depending on mix type and thickness.
Compaction Timing The stage at which compaction is performed Compaction should be performed while the asphalt mix is still hot and workable. Delayed compaction can result in reduced density.

Asphalt Layer Thickness Requirements

  • Asphalt is paved in layers – base, binder, surface courses

  • The thickness of each layer factors into the totals needed

  • Common thicknesses:

    • Driveways 2-3″ Inches
    • Parking lots 3-4 Inches
    • Roads 4-6″ Inches
  • More tons are needed for thicker pavement structures

Application Asphalt Layer Thickness Requirement Description
Residential Driveways 2 to 3 inches (50 to 75 mm) For light to moderate residential traffic, this thickness provides durability and a smooth surface.
Commercial Parking Lots 2.5 to 4 inches (63 to 100 mm) Depending on traffic load, a thicker layer may be needed for heavy commercial vehicles.
City Streets (Low Traffic) 2.5 to 3 inches (63 to 75 mm) For residential streets or low-traffic areas, this thickness ensures a stable and long-lasting surface.
City Streets (Medium Traffic) 3 to 4 inches (75 to 100 mm) Medium-traffic streets require a thicker layer to withstand the stress from buses, trucks, and heavier vehicles.
Highways (Light Traffic) 2.5 to 3 inches (63 to 75 mm) Suitable for highways with relatively light traffic. Provides a smooth riding surface and good durability.
Highways (Heavy Traffic) 4 to 6 inches (100 to 150 mm) High-traffic highways demand a thicker layer to withstand the constant wear and tear from a large volume of vehicles.
Airport Runways (General Aviation) 3 to 4 inches (75 to 100 mm) For general aviation runways, this thickness is adequate to support small to medium-sized aircraft.
Airport Runways (Commercial) 4 to 6 inches (100 to 150 mm) Commercial airports require a thicker layer to handle larger aircraft and heavier loads.
Recreational Paths and Bike Lanes 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38 to 63 mm) These thinner layers are suitable for paths and lanes with low to moderate foot and bicycle traffic.
Sports Courts (Tennis, Basketball) 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm) Sports courts require a smooth, resilient surface, but the thickness depends on specific sport requirements.
Racetracks (Motorsports) 2.5 to 4 inches (63 to 100 mm) Racetrack thickness depends on factors like vehicle speed and type, with higher speeds typically requiring thicker layers.


How would the asphalt tonnage-to-square-yards conversion differ for new construction versus overlay projects?

In my experience, the conversion factor used to translate asphalt tonnage into square yards of coverage can vary depending on the project type – whether it’s a new construction or an overlay project. This difference arises primarily due to the varying asphalt mat thicknesses and compaction requirements for each scenario.

For new construction projects, where a fresh asphalt pavement structure is being built from the ground up, the typical asphalt mat thickness is relatively greater, often ranging from 4 to 8 inches or more, depending on the design specifications and anticipated traffic loads. These thicker mat sections require a higher tonnage of asphalt per square yard of coverage compared to overlay projects.

Conversely, in overlay projects, where new asphalt layers are being placed over an existing pavement structure, the mat thickness is generally lower, typically ranging from 1.5 to 3 inches. The primary purpose of an overlay is to provide a fresh wearing surface and address any surface defects or minor structural issues with the underlying pavement.

As a result of these mat thickness differences, the tonnage-to-square-yards conversion factor for new construction projects will be higher than that for overlay projects. In other words, for the same square yard area, a new construction project would require a greater tonnage of asphalt due to the thicker pavement structure.



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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.