When we talk about NatraTex, we often refer to it as a surface course. But what does that mean exactly? In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘what is a surface course?’ and explore the different surface courses that are used in the creation of footpaths, highways, access roads and driveways in the UK.

What is a surface course?

Before we explore exactly what a surface course is, it is first necessary to explore how areas such as roads and pavements are constructed. As you can imagine, they aren’t made of one simple layer of asphalt. Instead, they are created with multiple layers to ensure strength and longevity.

How many layers and the thickness of the road is determined by several different factors. Generally, roads consist of the following layers:

  • Compacted sub grade
  • Sub base course
  • Base course
  • Binder course
  • Surface course

The surface course is the very last layer of road construction (prior to markings). It is the part of a road that endures direct contact with traffic.

What is the function of a surface course?

While the layers beneath a surface course provide stability and shape for roads, the surface course provides durability, safety, and resilience. Therefore, it should be hardy enough to withstand heavy loads and abrasive forces.

The main functions of the surface course are to provide sufficient tire friction, skid resistance and prevent ingress of rainwater to the surface beneath.

What are surface courses made of?

A surface course is typically composed of asphalt. Asphalt is made by mixing aggregates such as sand, gravel or crushed rock with binder and filler. Bitumen is most used as the binder in the formation of asphalt.

There are a wide range of asphalt types that can be utilised as a surface course. These include hot rolled asphalt, asphalt concrete, soft asphalt, porous asphalt and NatraTex– to name just a few.

NatraTex As A Surface Course

NatraTex is an asphalt surface course that is created by mixing natural aggregates with a clear binder. When applied to different levels of thickness, NatraTex products can be used as a surface course in the creation of footpaths, playgrounds, cycle routes, driveways, car parks, residential roads, and main carriageways.

The biggest benefits of NatraTex as a surface course are that it is resilient, durable, low maintenance and attractive. Available in both neutral tones or vibrant colours with NatraTex Cotswold and NatraTex Colour respectively, it lends itself to a wide variety of projects from retail to regeneration and residential.

NatraTex surface courses can also be easily reinstated with the application of NatraTex ColdLay. Supplied in 25kg buckets, ColdLay can be hand compacted without the need for any specialist equipment to reinstate areas where road works or groundwork has taken place in a cost-effective manner.

To learn more about NatraTex surfacing and its application in retail, regeneration, recreational and residential projects, please look at our Portfolio or contact us to arrange a CPD session.