Chip Seal is an application of a bituminous binder covered with an application of clean graded aggregate to an existing asphalt surface. It is also known as armor coat, bituminous sealing or seal coat, to name a few. The binders may be emulsions, paving grade asphalt cements, and modified versions of each being modified with various polymers such as latex, tire and natural rubbers.
The aggregates commonly vary in size from a maximum of 5/8 of an inch to a minimum of ¼ inch with less than 5% passing the No. 4 screen. Aggregate must be durable with the use of crushed stone, gravels or manufactured aggregates. Aggregates may be pre-coated with a small % of asphalt cement when used with hot asphalt binders. Chip Seal has been used in various forms since at least the early 1900’s. The quality has improved over the years with better binder technology, cleaner aggregates, and improved equipment and a better understanding of how the materials perform together.