Aggregate Image Measurement System (AIMS)
• Objective Aggregate Shape Characterization
• Coarse Aggregate Angularity, Sphericity, Texture, and 3D Form ratios
• Fine Aggregate Angularity and 2D Form
• See AIMS in action with this video: AIMS video
Aggregate Shape Characterization
The AIMS image based particle analysis provides an objective characterization of particle angularity, form, and surface texture. Save time and gain valuable new insights about your aggregates. Simply load the tray with the material sample, place into the AIMS system. The system then automatically acquires the images of each particle and analyzes the shape characteristics.
Traditional shape analysis methods, such as number of fractured faces are time consuming and subjective. The AIMS image based analysis removes operator influence from the characterization while improving productivity and precision
Coarse and Fine Aggregate
The AFA2 AIMS System provides aggregate characterizations for Superpave sieve sizes from 0.075mm (#200) to 25.0mm (1”) retained. Each sample is analyzed by individual sieve size on specially sized trays. Multiple trays can be scanned to achieve the desired particle counts. Stockpile and stockpile blend characterization algorithms are provided.
Particle Distribution Plots
The number of images processed can be varied to provide the desired statistically significant number of individual particles included in the characterization. The results for all of the particles are presented as cumulative percentage distribution plots.
The AIMS angularity chart provides objective characterization of the material edge characteristics. AIMS angularity characterizes the particle edge sharpness characteristics on a scale of 0-10000. The sample chart below reveals the angularity distribution characteristics of a river gravel sample to that of a limestone and crushed granite.
The AIMS also characterizes surface texture on a scale of 0-1000. The sample texture chart below reveals the smoother texture of a river gravel surface as compared to that of a limestone and crushed granite material.
Particle Shape (Flat and Elongated)
Existing manual methods for “flat and elongated” analysis can be tedious, labor intensive, and group to a specific range. The AIMS system captures coarse particle 3D shape data and presents the information in multiple formats.
The AIMS system is also used to characterize aggregate materials performance in degradation tests, such as the Micro-Deval. The change in the properties from before to after degradation testing reveals information regarding the ability of the aggregate source to retain skid resistance in the field.
FHWA Highways for Life
The Aggregate Image Measurement System was awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration technology development grant. The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) program is to accelerate the adoption of innovations and new technologies, thereby improving safety and highway quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. Progress on the development of this and other HfL technologies can be viewed here.
AIMS Stockpile Summary here: pdf
Detailed material testing procedures were developed for use with this equipment. The procedures developed outline the required steps for aggregate material shape characterization and are written in a standards format appropriate for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). They are currently being reviewed by AASHTO and these Proposed Standards will be published in the next version (30th Edition) of the AASHTO Standards later this year.
PP64-10: Determining Aggregate Source Shape Values from Digital Image Analysis Shape Properties
TP81-10: Determining Aggregate Shape Properties by Means of Digital Image Analysis.
The following reports provide additional information on the application of AIMS technology.