Investigation of the Asphalt Binder Sample Preparation Methods Based on AFM

  • Zhijun WangEmail author
  • Rong Chang
  • Zhenyu Zhou
  • Yongchun Qin
  • Gaochao Wang
Conference paper
Part of the RILEM Bookseries book series (RILEM, volume 20)


The preparation methods of asphalt binder samples have significant influences on the experimental results when the microscale analysis of asphalt binder was conducted by the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) devices. In this paper, an unmodified asphalt binder was selected and then, the materials were prepared with three different preparation methods: the solvent method, the alcohol lamp method, and the oven method, respectively. Then, the phase analysis was chosen as the key parameter for comparison purpose; with following the concluded conclusion. Results indicate that the solvent method may partial damage the structure of asphalt binder and, potentially leads to the misestimation. Besides, the alcohol lamp method burned sample with a flame for the preparation; therefore, the fluctuated heating temperature will age the material is easily and the repeatable is not good. Consequently, the oven method was recommended due to it has the least effect on the materials’ structure and chemical property, and further investigation will be conducted.


Asphalt binder Atomic force microscopy (AFM) Sample preparation methods Microscopic analysis Evaluation parameter 


  1. Allen, R.G., Little, D.N., Bhasin, A.: Structural characterization of micromechanical properties in asphalt using atomic force microscopy. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 24(10), 1317–1327 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arifuzzaman, M.: Nano-scale evaluation of moisture damage in asphalt. Doctoral dissertation, The University of New Mexico (2010)Google Scholar
  3. Fan, Z.F.: Study on basic theory of asphalt micro-characteristics based on asphalt aging. Master dissertation, South China University of Technology (2016). (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Fischer, H., Poulikakos, L.D., Planche, J.P., Das, P., Grenfell, J.: Challenges while performing AFM on bitumen. Multi-scale Modeling and Characterization of Infrastructure Materials, pp. 89–98. Springer, Dordrecht (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. JTG F40: Technical Specifications for Construction of Highway Asphalt Pavements. Ministry of Communications of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing (2004). (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Loeber, L., Sutton, O., Morel, J.V., Valleton, J.M., Muller, G.: New direct observations of asphalts and asphalt binders by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. J. Microsc. 182(1), 32–39 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pauli, A.T., Grimes, R.W., Beemer, A.G., Turner, T.F., Branthaver, J.F.: Morphology of asphalts, asphalt fractions and model wax-doped asphalts studied by atomic force microscopy. Int. J. Pavement Eng. 12(4), 291–309 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pauli, T., Grimes, W., Cookman, A., Huang, S.C.: Adherence energy of asphalt thin films measured by force-displacement atomic force microscopy. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 26(12), 04014089 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Wang, Z.P.: Surface physical Chemistry, Tongji University Press (2015). (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Yang, J., Wang, X.T., Gong, M.H.: Study on microscopic image of asphalt atomic force microscopy. Acta Pet. Sin. 31(5), 1110–1115 (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhijun Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rong Chang
    • 1
  • Zhenyu Zhou
    • 1
  • Yongchun Qin
    • 1
  • Gaochao Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Institute of Highway Ministry of TransportBeijingChina
  2. 2.ChangSha University of Science and TechnologyChangshaChina

Personalised recommendations