How Does an Asphalt Plant Work?

How Does an Asphalt Plant Work?

Learn the behind-the-scenes of how an asphalt plant works.

If you live in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, you might be aware that an asphalt plant (owned by Reliable Contracting) is located in Gambrills. It is hidden away from the main roads, but it is a busy place, helping many companies with their asphalt paving projects. Have you ever wondered how an asphalt plant works? Here’s how the most common type of asphalt plant, the drum plant, operates.


Every asphalt plant has an area for stockpiles, with stone piles organized by size. One pile might have larger pieces, while another has fine sand. Asphalt plants take quantities from different stockpiles to create a standard asphalt mix, such as hot mix, cold mix, or warm mix.

Cold Feed Bins

A loading truck transfers different asphalt aggregates into different cold feed bins, so each aggregate size is still separate. It is like an artist applying paint onto a palette before bringing them to the canvas. 

Controlled Conveyor Belt

A remote operator transfers different stocks from the cold feed bins onto a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt may sift out pieces that are too large in the process. Soon, the stones reach an industrial rotating drum with gas-powered heating at the other end.

Drying Drum & Liquid Asphalt

The drying drum completely dries out the stones and sand, readying them to bind with liquid asphalt. Liquid asphalt is the sticky black derivative of petroleum used to bind the gravel pieces together, creating asphalt. In a drum plant, the liquid asphalt enters the drying drum and mixes 

Storage Silos

After the process is complete, the asphalt mix will go into a storage silo according to type (warm, hot, cold, porous) Some silos have a warming feature that allows asphalt to sit in there for some days. Otherwise, it will only last for a short while.

Off to the Paving Site

Now the asphalt is ready to go. A truck will park beneath one of the silos, and a portion of the asphalt will empty from the bottom into the truck bed. Once complete, the truck will roll down the road to the project site.


Reliable is dedicated to delivering quality products, displaying professionalism within the firm, seeking new opportunities for expansion and profitability, and providing an environment for individual success. If you have a commercial or residential construction project that you need taken care of, please contact Anne Arundel County’s largest site-work contractor today by calling 410-987-0313 or visiting our website. You can also follow Reliable Contracting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Reliable Contracting Company serves the following and surrounding counties: Annapolis, Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington D.C.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 31st, 2023 at 3:05 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.