Monitoring viscosity in asphalt binders using an ultrasonic guided wave approach

Alexandra N. Haser, Megan E. McGovern, Behzad Behnia, William Buttlar, Henrique Reis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A pulse-echo ultrasonic guided wave approach capable of monitoring the viscosity of asphalt binders as function of temperature is presented. The method consists of sending a torsional wave from one end of a cylindrical steel rod embedded in asphalt binder and receiving the reflected signals. Experiments were performed on several binders of different performance grades, at temperatures ranging from 25 to 180 oC. First, the viscosity of the binders was measured using a rotational viscometer in accordance with ASTM standards. The change in signal strength of the endof-waveguide reflection of the guided wave was also monitored for the same binders over the same range of temperatures. It was observed that the values obtained using the guided wave approach correlates well with the viscosity values obtained using the rotational viscometer. The method also appears capable of monitoring changes in viscosity due to aging of the binders. The method has the advantage of having no moving parts, which makes it attractive for the development of a system that is capable of monitoring viscosity in asphalt binders in the asphalt industry. Industrial applications examples are briefly summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015
EditorsTribikram Kundu
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415414
StatePublished - 2015
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Mar 9 2015Mar 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Asphalt binder
  • Asphalt concrete
  • Guided waves
  • Pulse-echo
  • Ultrasonics
  • Viscosity
  • Waveguides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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