US-Malaysia Planning Visit: Collaborative Research on the Micromechanics of Cubic Stone Materials for Pavements

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

PI: Zhanping You

This award supports the participation of an American researcher, graduate student and undergraduate students in the planning visit which will take place in Malaysia. The visit will enable Professor Zhanping You in the Civil Engineering Department at Michigan Technology University to meet with Professor Meor Othman Hamzah in the School of Civil Engineering at the University Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang. Their proposed project will involve: 1) increasing multidisciplinary collaboration among researchers in Michigan and Malaysia at their leading institutions; and 2) discovering the mechanism of rutting and fatigue distresses by using advanced micromechanics based discrete element models through the collaborative effort. The team will visit USM?s Asphalt Laboratory to work with the Malaysian professors and students to study and evaluate the feasibility of using cubical aggregated in pavement to reduce rutting potential. The students will also have an opportunity to participate in the testing of samples with/without cubic-stone materials on dynamic modulus and resilient modulus testing. The U.S. students will receive the testing results in order to use the data for discrete element modeling. The discrete element model will be further refined to study the various material phases (aggregates and mastic/asphalt) of pavement materials in order to determine the rutting and fatigue performance of asphalt pavements.

There is sufficient overlap of interests between researchers at the two universities to indicate that the researchers can successfully pursue the activities proposed, and the interaction will benefit both sides. This collaboration will advance discovery and understanding of cubic-stone materials micromechanics, while promoting teaching, training, and learning through the specific activities planned for the students. It is anticipated that the inclusion of the students in this visit will provide them unique training and educational opportunities by providing them a global research experience. These early collaborations between the scientists and students from each country will likely lead to long-term collaborations that will benefit both institutions.

Zhanping You
Zhanping You