Surface Energy Characteristics and Impact of Natural Minerals on Aggregate-Bitumen Bond Strengths and Asphalt Mixture Durability Academic Article uri icon


  • The surface free energy of a solid is a material property that influences its interaction with other solids, liquids, and gases. Mineral aggregates are mixed with bitumen in the production of asphalt mixtures, and the interaction of aggregates with bitumen, water, or chemical modifiers affects the overall performance of the mixtures and, in turn, the pavement structure. A comprehensive characterization of the minerals that make up these aggregates can be used to explain the interactions between the aggregates and components used to bind the aggregates including bitumen, water, and chemical additives. This paper combines several techniques to quantify and describe or catalog mineral properties. These properties primarily include surface free energy, specific surface area, and surface carbon content of some of the most common minerals found in aggregates. The paper presents data that exemplify how this information can be used to characterize the moisture-induced stripping potential for bitumenmineral combinations. Results indicate that a simple energy ratio calculated on the basis of adhesive bond energies from surface free energy measurements of the minerals and the bitumen can predict performance in asphalt mixtures and that a few minerals can form thermodynamically stable bonds with some bitumens that are inherently resistant to stripping.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Miller, C., Little, D. N., Bhasin, A., Gardner, N., & Herbert, B.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Miller, Clint||Little, Dallas N||Bhasin, Amit||Gardner, Nathan||Herbert, Bruce

publication date

  • January 2012