EXPERT SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS, vol.37, no.6, pp.4660-4670, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
This study presents an application of neural networks (NN) for the prediction of Marshall test results for polypropylene (PP) modified asphalt mixtures. PP fibers are used to modify the bituminous binder in order to improve the physical and mechanical properties of the resulting asphaltic mixture. Marshall stability and flow tests were carried out on specimens fabricated with different type of PP fibers and also waste PP at optimum bitumen content. It has been shown that the addition of polypropylene fibers results in the improved Marshall stabilities and Marshall Quotient values, which is a kind of pseudo stiffness. The proposed NN model uses the physical properties of standard Marshall specimens such as PP type, PP percentage, bitumen percentage, specimen height, unit weight, voids in mineral aggregate, voids filled with asphalt and air voids in order to predict the Marshall stability, flow and Marshall Quotient values obtained at the end of mechanical tests. The explicit formulation of stability, flow and Marshall Quotient based on the proposed NN model is also obtained and presented for further use by researchers. Moreover parametric analyses have been carried out. The results of parametric analyses were used to evaluate mechanical properties of the Marshall specimens in a quite well manner. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.