Characteristics and Mechanisms of Asphalt–Filler Interactions from a Multi-Scale Perspective




Xu, Wenyi
Qiu, Xin
Xiao, Shanglin
Hong, Haojue
Wang, Feng
Yuan, Jie

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Asphalt mastic plays an important role in asphalt mixtures for pavement engineering. Understanding the asphalt–filler interaction behavior is essential to improve the pavement performance of asphalt mastics. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the asphalt–filler interaction ability based on macro-rheological measurements and to investigate the asphalt–filler interaction mechanism associated with microstructural characteristics of asphalt mastics. First, the asphalt–filler interaction was characterized using macro-rheological features of asphalt mastics based on dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests. Second, the physico-chemical interaction between the asphalt and filler was qualitatively evaluated using a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Third, the asphalt–filler interaction behavior was investigated in terms of the micro-morphological properties of mineral fillers and asphalt mastics by conducting scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM) tests. Finally, the grey relational analysis (GRA) was employed to identify the correlation between the properties of mineral fillers and the macro–micro performances of asphalt mastics. The results show that a higher content of alkaline mineral filler within the critical volume fraction range produced a greater interaction ability between the asphalt and filler. The asphalt–filler interaction is mainly a physical action since no obvious new adsorption peaks appeared in the FTIR spectrum. The micro-morphological characteristics of asphalt mastic mainly depended on the adsorption effect of mineral fillers on polar fractions and the dispersion effect of mineral fillers on wax crystals in the asphalt binder. Based on the results of the GRA, the acidity and content of mineral fillers exhibited a great influence on the micro-morphological and macro-rheological characteristics of asphalt mastics, and the specific surface area of the mineral filler exerted a significant influence on the asphalt–filler interaction ability. Furthermore, the K-B- δ index was more appropriate for evaluating the asphalt–filler interaction ability.



asphalt mastic, asphalt-filler interaction, macro-rheological behavior, micromorphology, grey relational analysis, Ingram School of Engineering


Xu, W., Qiu, X., Xiao, S., Hong, H., Wang, F., & Yuan, J. (2020). Characteristics and mechanisms of asphalt–filler interactions from a multi-scale perspective. Materials, 13(12), 2744.


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