Effects of Coarse Aggregate Morphological Characteristics on Mechanical Performance of Stone Matrix Asphalt
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This research focused on three main objectives: (1) quantify coarse aggregate morphological characteristics using an improved FTI (Fourier Transform Interferometry) image analysis system, (2) evaluate the effects of morphological characteristics of coarse aggregates of various mineral compositions on the mechanical performances of stone matrix asphalt (SMA) mixtures constituted; (3) investigate the relationship between the uncompacted void content of coarse aggregates and morphological characteristics. To achieve the first research objective, a Fourier Transform Interferometry (FTI) system was adopted to capture three-dimensional high-resolution images of aggregates. Based on these digital images, the FTI system uses the two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform (FFT2) method to rapidly measure aggregate morphological characteristics, including sphericity, flatness ratio, elongation ratio, angularity, and surface texture. The computed shape characteristics of all aggregates were in good agreement with manual measurement results, demonstrating the accuracy and reliability of this image analysis system. For the second objective, a series of simple performance laboratory tests were performed on eight types of SMA mixtures with different morphological characteristics. Test included wheel-track loading, dynamic modulus, flow number, and beam fatigue. The wheel tracking test included asphalt pavement analyzer (APA) and Model mobile load simulator (MMLS). In the APA test, samples included eight types of SMA mixtures that consisted of aggregates of 22 fractions. In the MMLS test, six types of SMA mixture samples that consist of coarse aggregate of 15 fractions were tested. Regression analyses were then conducted between weighted mean morphological characteristics and performance parameters. The fatigue performance parameters include |E*|sin φ, where |E*| is complex modulus obtained from dynamic modulus test, the number of loading cycles to failure, and the seismic modulus difference. The rutting performance parameters include |E*|/sin φ, flow number, flow number slope, rut depth and creep slope. For the third objective, different coarse aggregate fractions from different quarries in Virginia were analyzed using the improved FTI system. Regression analyses were performed to investigate the correlation between morphological characteristics and uncompacted void content of coarse aggregates at the size ranges of 4.75-9.5mm and 9.5-12.5 mm, respectively. Aggregate morphological characteristics were found to play an important role in the mechanical performance of stone matrix asphalt mixture and the uncompacted air void content of the coarse aggregates. Both the experimental results and simulation results demonstrated that using more of equi-dimensional, less flaky and elongated coarse aggregates with angular and rougher-textured aggregates is favorable to the mechanical performances of SMA mixtures. Recommended values for each morphological characteristic are provided.
- Doctoral Dissertations