Towards smart compaction: Particle movement characteristics from laboratory to the field

Xue Wang, Shihui Shen, Hai Huang, Zhidong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Compaction is one of the most critical steps in asphalt pavement construction that controls pavement density and ultimately impacts pavement performance. Because of the complexity of asphalt mixture property and the lack of fundamental understanding about compaction mechanisms, field compaction control is mostly experience-based in practice which brings out many problems such as under/over compaction. Very few studies have given insight into particle interaction characteristics under different rollers especially at meso-scale. On the other hand, Superpave gyratory compaction (SGC) is widely used as the laboratory compaction method to simulate field compaction. However, the relationship between SGC and different types of rollers has not been clearly stated. Therefore, this study aims to employ a real-time particle motion sensor, SmartRock, to investigate how particle reacted to different rollers during the field compaction and its relationship with SGC. Findings from this study could contribute to the understanding of the compaction mechanism and initiate a new path toward smart compaction through real time compaction quality control. It was found that particles mainly translated vertically under static and vibrating roller. The kneading action of the pneumatic-tyred roller produced the horizontal translation and three dimensional rotation of the particles. Laboratory study showed that SGC can well simulate the kneading process by pneumatic-tyred roller. Some preliminary results indicated that the SmartRock can reasonably report the real time internal temperature of asphalt mixture during compaction, which could be beneficial to compaction quality control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - Sep 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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