Characterization of aggregate resistance to degradation in stone matrix asphalt mixtures
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Stone matrix asphalt (SMA) mixtures rely on stone-on-stone contacts among particles to resist applied forces and permanent deformation. Aggregates in SMA should resist degradation (fracture and abrasion) under high stresses at the contact points. This study utilizes conventional techniques as well as advanced imaging techniques to evaluate aggregate characteristics and their resistance to degradation. Aggregates from different sources and types with various shape characteristics were used in this study. The Micro-Deval test was used to measure aggregate resistance to abrasion. The aggregate imaging system (AIMS) was then used to examine the changes in aggregate characteristics caused by abrasion forces in the Micro-Deval. The resistance of aggregates to degradation in SMA was evaluated through the analysis of aggregate gradation before and after compaction using conventional mechanical sieve analysis and nondestructive X-ray computed tomography (CT). The findings of this study led to the development of an approach for the evaluation of aggregate resistance to degradation in SMA. This approach measures aggregate degradation in terms of abrasion, breakage, and loss of texture.