Characterisation of unbound aggregate materials considering physical and morphological properties

Jayhyun Kwon, Sung Hee Kim, Erol Tutumluer, Mark H. Wayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this paper is to evaluate the factors affecting resilient and permanent deformation behaviour of unbound granular materials, with a focus on the aggregate physical and morphological characteristics. To evaluate the behaviour of base course, repeated load triaxial testing is commonly used to establish the stress-dependent resilient modulus properties of unbound aggregate base and subbase materials. Although resilient modulus of aggregates is a critical input into mechanistic-empirical pavement design methods, the resilient modulus of unbound base material is often estimated from empirical correlations with index properties in the AASHTOWare Pavement ME design procedure for its simplicity. Since actual field stress conditions and resilient modulus stress states are generally quite different from those generated in the empirical test methods, use of an empirical correlation could lead to an unreliable prediction of resilient modulus and permanent deformation. In order to properly assess the stability of an unbound aggregate layer, it is necessary to establish a proper process to understand the factors affecting fundamental and performance-related properties of unbound granular materials. In this study, aggregate samples from four different sources were tested for resilient modulus and Poisson’s ratio measurements using the Precision Unbound Material Analyzer equipment. Morphological or shape properties of aggregate samples were also measured using an image analysis device. The results demonstrate that aggregate physical and morphological properties affect aggregate resilient and permanent deformation. Further, it is suggested that the resilient modulus of the aggregate should not be used as the sole indicator of rutting performance of aggregate base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pavement Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Morphology
  • Poisson’s ratio
  • modulus
  • rutting
  • shear strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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