Tire and Asphalt Melting
Name: Gary B. P.
Date: February 2004
At what temperature does a car tire melt and at what temperature does asphalt
Asphalt binder is a handy material in that it flows nicely when it is heated to around 250
degrees F, but is relatively solid at room temperatures. The hot liquid is mixed with pre-
heated sand and stone, then delivered to the paving site promptly. The hot mixture is spread
and compacted before it cools. When it does cool, it creates a "viscoelastic" material. That
is, it acts kind of like a liquid and kind of like a solid depending on the rate of loading.
The hotter it is, the more liquid-like it gets.
So, it really does not have a melting point like, say, ice has, but it does soften considerably
as the temperature increases. To give you a feel for relative temperature, hot mix is
generally delivered at roughly 300 degree F.
Tires are not my specialty, but I understand racing tires operate well over 200 degrees F.
I suppose it would be possible for a very hot tire to soften the surface of a pavement under
the right conditions.
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Update: June 2012