Investigating the Functions of Particles in Packed Aggregate Blend using a Discrete Element Method
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In asphalt mixture, aggregates account for up to 90% of the total volume and play an important role in the mechanical characteristics of asphalt mixture. The proportions of fine and coarse aggregates in gradation, as well as the function of aggregate particles, are important factors for the skeleton structure performance of asphalt mixtures. However, the existing asphalt mixture design methods are mostly based on empirical methods, where the non-uniformity and complexity of the composition of asphalt mixtures are not fully studied. In this study, the skeleton structure of aggregate mixture and function of aggregate are studied and analyzed using the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The Particle Flow 3D (PFC3D) DEM program is used to perform the numerical simulation. The average contact number and interaction forces by aggregate particles of different sizes are obtained and studied. The skeleton structure of aggregate mixture and function of aggregate particles are further analyzed from the meso-structural perspective.