Rheological and rheo-optical characterization of asphalt cement and evaluation of relaxation properties Academic Article uri icon


  • The rheological properties of asphalt depend on its molecular structure and chemical composition. The widely used Corbett fractions provide the composition of asphalt but lack the detailed structure/property relationships needed to accurately design asphalt systems. Depending on the proportions of the generic fractions, an asphalt is either a dispersed type or a solution type. The dispersed type is also termed micellar or colloidal; the solution type is termed 'polymer type.' The literature is unclear as to which structure accurately represents the mechanical behavior of an asphalt system. Material science tools are used to elucidate the structure of asphalt. In particular, a rheo-optical technique was developed and used to probe changes in molecular vibrations via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) during shear deformation. The objective is to identify the important chemical aspects of an asphalt molecule that are related to the deformation properties of the asphalt. To clarify this relationship, detailed viscoelastic characterization of the asphalt was conducted to ensure an understanding of the asphalt's rheological properties.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record

author list (cited authors)

  • Little, D. N., Letton, A., Prapnnachari, S., & Kim, Y. R.

complete list of authors

  • Little, DN||Letton, A||Prapnnachari, S||Kim, YR

publication date

  • October 1994