Understanding Sealer Options

Although refined coal tar sealer has been the most popular pavement sealer in the past, limited availability is forcing contractors to explore alternative products. This article describes some of the available sealers. Asphalt emulsion sealers are the primary alternative to coal tar, but these sealers perform very differently than refined coal tar sealers and there currently are no industry specifications for asphalt-based sealers. Asphalt-based sealers can vary substantially from producer to producer and even from batch to batch in terms of physical properties and chemical composition. Contractors and producers both generally consider asphalt-based sealers to be inferior to coal tar sealers in terms of durability, drying time and consistency. Products that blend asphalt and coal tar also are available. The handling and use of these products is determined by which product dominates the blend. A blend that is predominately coal tar may be a useful way of extending the limited supply of that product. Blended sealers generally take longer to cure than either 100% asphalt or 100% coal tar products. Some producers refuse to make blended products because they feel that the two products are chemically incompatible. A few producers are using ceramics with asphalt material to produce what could be a new and stronger pavement sealer. This sealer has the same characteristics as coal tar, but without its drawbacks. Set and cure times generally are quicker than coal tar and the cost is comparable to that of asphalt sealers.

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  • Accession Number: 01049760
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 2 2007 10:52AM