Did you get caught using diesel fuel as an asphalt release agent? Or are you worried about the danger that diesel poses to your workers and equipment? Regardless, you’re making the right decision to switch to an alternative. Let’s look at why diesel fuel is so bad, and what other options you have in a release agent.

It is likely that you have used diesel fuel as an asphalt solvent or release agent at some point. After all, it does work really well. While it may be effective, diesel fuel has many disadvantages. Fortunately, there are more suitable alternatives to diesel fuel that can be used instead. These alternatives are more effective, safer, and better for the environment.

Despite its potential effectiveness, the use of diesel fuel is illegal. This is especially relevant for those working in government jobs, who may be familiar with the strict regulations regarding its use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can impose fines of up to $180,000 for using diesel fuel on a job, and in some places, using it can even disqualify you from securing contracts. While the low cost of diesel fuel may be tempting, the potential fines and loss of contracts should not be ignored. It is important to consider the consequences and choose alternatives that are compliant with the law.

Flash point is a term that is commonly discussed in the paving industry when you talk about release agents. It refers to the minimum temperature at which vapors from an asphalt solvent or release agent can ignite in the presence of a flame or extreme heat. Diesel fuel, for example, has a relatively low flash point, which means that it can easily catch fire or explode in certain conditions. This poses a significant risk of injury or death to workers and can also result in costly equipment damage. It is important to be aware of the flash point of the products you are using and to take appropriate precautions to prevent accidents.

Another reason that many pavers avoid using diesel fuel is its high evaporation rate. When diesel is sprayed on hot metal, it quickly evaporates, leaving little to no residue behind. This can be problematic, as the asphalt may not release properly from the equipment and can cause damage or loss in efficiency. The following video demonstrates this effect and illustrates why the evaporation rate of diesel fuel can be an issue:

If you want your asphalt release to keep working longer so you don’t have to spray more so often, the last thing you want it to do is evaporate. Let’s look at some alternatives to using diesel fuel as a release agent:

The BEST alternative: BADASS (BA-30)

Diesel fuel may seem like a convenient release agent, but its quick evaporation leaves a lasting negative impact on your work efficiency.

BADASS ARA is an ultra-high premium, economical and highly-concentrated asphalt release agent, resulting in industry-leading effectiveness at high dilution levels on the stickiest of HMA and WMA mix designs.

In a performance test conducted by NTPEP, BADASS achieved the maximum amount of pulls allotted by NTPEP testers on polymer-modified binder. BADASS repeatedly prevented the polymer-modified binders from sticking to a metal surface on 3 separate tests for multiple applications, outperforming all of its competition.

With its advanced formula and extreme versatility, BADASS completely replaces the need for any other asphalt release agent, especially diesel fuel.

BADASS is DOT-approved and tested for performance and safety at the highest rating. It’s guaranteed to outlast diesel fuel and make your job easier.

The GREAT alternative: PavePro Green

PavePro has been proven to be the best asphalt solvent and release agent after extensive scientific testing and real-world paving experiences. This makes it a formidable competitor to diesel fuel, which has long been considered the top choice for these applications.

PavePro is often referred to as “legal diesel” by our customers because it has similar effectiveness as diesel fuel, but without the potential for EPA fines. It is a highly effective and long-lasting release agent that can easily prevent asphalt buildup. It is capable of preventing build up longer than diesel fuel and leaves behind that same slick, oily film that is difficult to replicate with other products.

In addition to its effectiveness, PavePro is also the safest asphalt release agent available. Its high flash point of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit means that it can be safely used with hot mix asphalt, which typically has a temperature of 350 degrees. PavePro will not ignite or combust, making it a safer choice than diesel fuel, which has a flash point of only 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another advantage of PavePro is that it is not harmful to the environment. It is 100% biodegradable and made from all-natural ingredients, making it an ideal choice for use on job sites or in shops. Additionally, it can be easily deactivated with a splash of water, so it will not harm your paint or decals. This makes it a more eco-friendly option than many other asphalt release agents, including diesel fuel.

PavePro is a superior alternative asphalt release to diesel fuel because it does not evaporate as quickly under high heat. This makes it more effective and long-lasting when used to prevent asphalt buildup. In comparison, many other products will evaporate quickly and be less effective at breaking down tough asphalt buildups.

The OK alternative: Citrus

Citrus is an expensive alternative to diesel fuel, but it is often not worth the price due to its inferior performance. While it can clean asphalt off tools and equipment, a large amount of it is typically required to do so effectively and it does not work well as an asphalt release agent. Additionally, citrus is more dangerous to use than diesel fuel, with a flash point of only 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This low flash point means that there is a high risk of accidents occurring when using citrus products, and it also causes them to evaporate quickly under high heat, limiting their effectiveness. Overall, citrus is a less reliable and less safe option than diesel fuel or PavePro.

The WORST alternative: Other Petroleum-Based Products

I wouldn’t fall for this trap. Petroleum-based asphalt release agents, just like diesel fuel, are dangerous for your workers and equipment, and are harmful to the environment. Instead, there are many safer and more effective alternatives that you can choose from. These alternatives are better for your workers, equipment, and the environment, and they may even last longer.


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