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Materials 2017, 10(2), 208; doi:10.3390/ma10020208

Characterization of Bitumen Micro-Mechanical Behaviors Using AFM, Phase Dynamics Theory and MD Simulation

1
National Center for Materials Service Safety, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
Joint USTB-Virginia Tech Lab on Multifunctional Materials, USTB, Beijing, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3
Institute of Highway Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Street 1, D52074 Aachen, Germany
4
Center of Analysis and Measurement, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Magd Abdel Wahab
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Analysis of Tribology Behavior of Materials)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [18751 KB, uploaded 21 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Fundamental understanding of micro-mechanical behaviors in bitumen, including phase separation, micro-friction, micro-abrasion, etc., can help the pavement engineers better understand the bitumen mechanical performances at macroscale. Recent researches show that the microstructure evolution in bitumen will directly affect its surface structure and micro-mechanical performance. In this study, the bitumen microstructure and micro-mechanical behaviors are studied using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) experiments, Phase Dynamics Theory and Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulation. The AFM experiment results show that different phase-structure will occur at the surface of the bitumen samples under certain thermodynamic conditions at microscale. The phenomenon can be explained using the phase dynamics theory, where the effects of stability parameter and temperature on bitumen microstructure and micro-mechanical behavior are studied combined with MD Simulation. Simulation results show that the saturates phase, in contrast to the naphthene aromatics phase, plays a major role in bitumen micro-mechanical behavior. A high stress zone occurs at the interface between the saturates phase and the naphthene aromatics phase, which may form discontinuities that further affect the bitumen frictional performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Atomic Force Microscopy; bitumen; micro-mechanical behaviors; Phase Dynamics Theory; MD simulation Atomic Force Microscopy; bitumen; micro-mechanical behaviors; Phase Dynamics Theory; MD simulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hou, Y.; Wang, L.; Wang, D.; Guo, M.; Liu, P.; Yu, J. Characterization of Bitumen Micro-Mechanical Behaviors Using AFM, Phase Dynamics Theory and MD Simulation. Materials 2017, 10, 208.

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