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How are Asphalt Shingles Made?

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How are Asphalt Shingles Made?

How are Asphalt Shingles Made?

Asphalt is the dominant roofing option for a vast majority of homes in the United States primarily due to its low installation cost and simple maintenance. If you are a homeowner, then you surely want to know more about one of the largest components of your investment: the roof. In this article, we will go over the process and materials involved in making the asphalt shingle. If you are interested in hiring roofing experts to install, maintain, repair, or replace your roof, then call the professionals at Pro Atlanta Roofing to get in touch with a courteous representative. Without further delay, here is how asphalt shingles are made.

First, The Sheet

The manufacturing process for asphalt shingles uses a continuous sheet that is the foundation upon which the other materials are applied. Glass fibers are mixed with water to form a pulp. The water is later vacuumed out of the pulp and the product is bound together with the help of sturdy resins and binders, forming the thin fiberglass mat which is wound into rolls. These rolls of fiberglass mats are then sent off to the next step of the process.

Introduce the Asphalt

Asphalt, a thick hydrocarbon substance, is the main ingredient in shingles that provides water-resistance. It is naturally available and also a byproduct of crude oil refining. The asphalt in shingles are somewhat similar but not identical to road asphalt. Asphalt to be used in manufacturing shingles is first oxidized by a process called blowing. Air is blown through the hot asphalt to increase its viscosity, but it must be done with care. Too much air can cause brittle shingles and too little can make them too soft. Finally, a fine mineral powder is added into the asphalt to provide weather resistance and fire resistance. This treated asphalt is then coated onto the fiberglass mat.

Add the Granules

The texture on asphalt shingles comes from the granules. Mineral granules are applied as a top coating on the shingles to provided added resistance to fire, protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and give the shingles an aesthetic finish. 

The Sealant Forms the Bond

In order to bond the shingles together on the roof, a sealant is applied to the shingles. Some shingles have the sealant applied on the top while others have it located on the bottom. The sealant is thermally-activated, meaning they are engineered to activate at a specific temperature and hold the bold through the installation process and thereafter. To prevent the sealant from sticking the shingles together during the manufacturing process, a fine mineral powder is applied to the back of the asphalt shingle.

Finally, The Release Film

What keeps the sealant from premature activation and sticking shingles together while in the packaging? Release film. It is a shiny plastic tape about an inch or so wide. They do not have to be peeled off. Their purpose is to prevent the shingles from sticking together when in the package.
That’s it. The asphalt shingle is actually a lot more simple than you might have thought. 
 

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