Analysis of packing structure of fiber-reinforced asphalt compact
Fibers have been used to improve the mechanical properties of the asphalt paving mixture. It is known that the enhancement of powder compact mechanical properties is related to the compact packing microstructure. This study focuses on the evaluation of the packing microstructure of powder compacts produced from ternary mixtures of spherical particles and fibers. The discrete element method (DEM) is employed to generate the compacts of particle mixtures of different compositions under gravity. The compact microstructure is quantitatively characterized by utilizing the developed image analysis technique to approximate the size distribution of voids among particles in X, Y and Z directions. As a result, the denser packing was obtained with a greater fraction of small spherical particles. The inclusion of fibers resulted in the high-density compact with uniform distribution of small size voids.