Pavers are also known by the names “paver finisher,” “asphalt paver,” “asphalt finisher,” and “paving machine,” and function as their name describes. They are the first machine in a road paving lineup, uniformly spreading and providing minor compaction of a fresh course of asphalt over roads, bridges and parking lots ahead of a “roller compactor” machine.
A “material transfer” unit may also be part of the mechanized paving line-up. The material transfer is used to feed the paver a steady supply a material, ensuring the paver’s weight does not change and that it can maintain a steady rate of travel, creating the smoothest, most uniform mat density to achieve optimal finish and compaction.
The first asphalt paver was patented as a “machine for and the process of laying roads” in 1936 by Harry Barber, although versions had been in various stages of development and use several years prior, including one feature that is still an essential part of modern asphalt pavers to this day, the “float screed.”
Almost all models consist of a top-fed hopper that receives asphalt from a dump truck or material transfer unit. A built-in auger transfer asphalt to the surface in front of the screed, which uniformly spreads the material as a mat of specified height.