Asphalt concrete (commonly called asphalt, blacktop, or pavement in North America, and tarmac or bitumen macadam in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) is a composite material commonly used to surface roads, parking lots, airports, as well as the core of embankment dams. It consists of mineral aggregate bound together with asphalt, laid in layers, and compacted. The process was refined and enhanced by Belgian inventor and U.S. immigrant Edward de Smedt.
The terms "asphalt (or asphaltic) concrete", "bituminous asphalt concrete", and "bituminous mixture" are typically used only in engineering and construction documents, which define concrete as any composite material composed of mineral aggregate adhered with a binder. The abbreviation "AC" is sometimes used for "asphalt concrete" but can also denote "asphalt content" or "asphalt cement", referring to the liquid asphalt portion of the composite material.