Quantifying Laboratory Compaction Effects on the Internal Structure of Asphalt Concrete Academic Article uri icon


  • The performance of asphalt concrete (AC) mixtures is influenced by its internal structure, which refers to the arrangement of aggregates and their associated air voids. Currently, most of the discussion on the effects of internal structure on AC performance is qualitative. This study proposes computer-automated image analysis procedures to quantify the internal structure of AC. Internal structure is quantified in terms of aggregate orientation, aggregate contacts, and air void distribution. The new procedures are useful tools to describe and compare AC materials produced by different compaction methods and mix designs. The new procedures are used to study the difference in internal structure of AC specimens compacted with the Superpave gyratory compactor (SGC) and the linear kneading compactor (LKC). Specimens compacted with the SGC were found to have aggregates with more preferred orientation and fewer contacts than specimens compacted with the LKC. In addition, SGC specimens were found to have more air voids at the top and bottom, whereas air voids in LKC specimens were found to increase from the top to the bottom.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Masad, E., Muhunthan, B., Shashidhar, N., & Harman, T.

citation count

  • 115

complete list of authors

  • Masad, Eyad||Muhunthan, B||Shashidhar, Naga||Harman, Thomas

publication date

  • January 1999