DETERMINATION OF THE DEGREE OF GRAVEL AGGREGATE-BITUMENCOVERAGE BY MULTI-DIRECTIONAL REFLECTANCE MEASUREMENTS
Keywords: Segmentation/classification, laser illumination, multi-directional
Abstract. The paper describes the determination of the percentage area of bitumen on partly covered aggregate. This task is a typical issue in material testing in road construction. The asphalt components bitumen and aggregate are subjected to defined mechanical stress in the presence of water in order to test the affine properties of the components. The degree to which the bitumen separates from the aggregate surface serves as an indicator for the quality of the affinity. Until now, examiners have been judging the coverage degree of samples by visual rating. Several research projects attempted to replace the error-prone subjective assessment by automatic procedures. These procedures analyse the different chromaticities of aggregate and bitumen in RGB images. However, these approaches as a whole are not reliable enough because of the rather specific requirements that are made on the environmental conditions when the picture is taken (illumination, exclusion of extraneous light) and also on the lab assistant (manual definition of training areas, management of camera and illumination parameters). Moreover, the analysis is not suitable for all types of rock because of the necessary difference in colour between bitumen and aggregate (e.g. dark rock samples). Contrary to previous approaches, the new multi-directional reflectance measurements use the different surface characteristics of bitumen and aggregate instead of the chromaticities as separation criteria. These differences are made visible by directional lighting with a laser. The diffuse reflection from the aggregate surface and the directional reflection from the optically smoother bitumen produce definitely distinguishable brightnesses in the image. Thus the colour of the material is of no significance. The approach was used in a procedure and assessed. The paper presents the method itself, approaches for the elimination of reflections and first results. Moreover, the measuring principle is compared with existing procedures and benefits and drawbacks are outlined.