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Asphalt is a highly viscous liquid that occurs naturally in most crude petroleums. Asphalt is separated from the other components in crude (such as naptha, gasoline and diesel) by the process of fractional distillation. It is sometimes confused with tar, which is an artificial material produced by the destructive distillation of organic matter. Both tars and asphalts are classified as bitumens, a classification that includes all materials entirely soluble in carbon disulphide.

Asphalt is commonly used in roofing shingles, and combined with mineral aggregate to make Asphalt concrete.

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