Towards asphalt mixture morphology evaluation with the virtual specimen approach

Ibrahim Onifade*, Denis Jelagin, Björn Birgisson, Nicole Kringos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The morphology of asphalt mixture can be defined as a set of parameters describing the geometrical characteristics of its constituent materials, their relative proportions as well as spatial arrangement in the mixture. The present study is carried out to investigate the effect of the morphology on its meso- and macro-mechanical response. An analysis approach is used for the meso-structural characterisation based on the X-ray computed tomography (CT) data. Image processing techniques are used to systematically vary the internal structure to obtain different morphology structures. A morphology framework is used to characterise the average mastic coating thickness around the main load carrying structure in the structures. The uniaxial tension simulation shows that the mixtures with the lowest coating thickness exhibit better inter-particle interaction with more continuous load distribution chains between adjacent aggregate particles, less stress concentrations and less strain localisation in the mastic phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-599
Number of pages21
JournalRoad Materials and Pavement Design
Issue number3
Early online date15 Oct 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2015


  • asphalt concrete
  • image-based modeling
  • micromechanical modeling
  • morphology
  • x-ray computed tomography


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