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Zhanping You Research Group

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Michigan Technological University
Investigation of the Internal Structure Consistency of Asphalt Mixtures in Accelerated Discrete Element Models
Zhanping You, P.E., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor

June 2020


Improvement of fundamental understanding of asphalt mixture internal structures.


Develop numerical models with discrete element method (DEM) based on aggregate morphology database.


The performance of asphalt mixtures is significantly impacted by its internal structures. The numerical models based on DEM have the ability to deploy detailed investigation into the internal structures and stress/strain distribution. 


The application of DEM simulation in asphalt mixtures created a new approach for fundamental investigation on mixture structures, which cannot be accomplished by traditional test methods. The results of numerical simulation improved the understanding of asphalt mixture design, mesostructure formation, and mechanical characteristics. 

Selected Publications

  • Investigation of asphalt mixture internal structure consistency in accelerated discrete element models , Zhou, S Chen, D Ge, D Jin, Z You, Construction and Building Materials 244, 118272, 2020
  • Using discrete element models to track movement of coarse aggregates during compaction of asphalt mixture , F Gong, X Zhou, Z You, Y Liu, S Chen, Construction and Building Materials 189, 338-351, 2018
  • Viscoelastic model for discrete element simulation of asphalt mixtures , Y Liu, Q Dai, Z You, Journal of Engineering Mechanics 135 (4), 324-333, 2009
  • Discrete element modeling to predict the modulus of asphalt concrete mixtures , Z You, WG Buttlar, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering 16 (2), 140-146, 2004

Core Competencies

  • The core invocation is the techniques of capturing aggregates morphologies, building numerical models of asphalt mixtures, and performing mechanical tests.

ZYou RGP Granular Committee
Focus into the internal structures of asphalt mixtures

Current Members:
- Xiaodong Zhou
- Dongzhao Jin
- Hongfu Liu
- Tiankai Che
- Juan Deng

Recent Graduates: 
- Siyu Chen
- Dongdong Ge
- Lingyun You
- Xu Yang
- Yu Liu
- Sanjeev Adhikari

Huiming Yin, PhD, PE, Professor Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University Director of NSF IUCRC Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems @ Columbia Site

Funding Agencies:
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
- Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
- Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)