Morphological and Physical Characteristic of Stone Mastic Asphalt Mixture Incorporating Nano Silica

Khairil A. Masri1, 2, Ramadhansyah Putra Jaya1, *, Ahmad K. Arshad3, Mohd Zul H. Mahmud4
1 Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26300 Gambang, Pahang, Malaysia
2 Earth Resources and Sustainability Centre (ERAS), Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26300 Gambang, Pahang, Malaysia
3 Institute for Infrastructure Engineering and Sustainable Management (IIESM), Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
4 School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1426
Abstract HTML Views: 728
PDF Downloads: 440
Total Views/Downloads: 2594
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 636
Abstract HTML Views: 346
PDF Downloads: 330
Total Views/Downloads: 1312

Creative Commons License
© 2020 Masri et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, 26300 Gambang, Pahang, Malaysia;



Asphalt binder plays an important role in contributing to the good performance of asphalt mixture. However, the interlocking structure of asphalt binder is delicate and sensitive due to surrounding temperature and moisture.


Previously, asphalt binder usually modified with polymer modifier. But, this type of modifier has low temperature susceptibility. To overcome this, nanomaterial is introduced to enhance the performance of virgin asphalt binder. Among the crucial evaluation of nano-modification is to evaluate its microstructural changes through morphological property evaluation. The addition of nanomaterial then will significantly improve the inner structure of asphalt binder and reduce the effect of those problems.


Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the morphological properties of nanosilica modified asphalt binder to determine the inner structured properties of modified specimen.


Among the morphological tests conducted for asphalt binder in this study were Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). From SEM image analysis and XRD evaluation, the existence of Nanosilica (NS) inside the asphalt binder was well dispersed and from these two tests, the existence of NS inside asphalt binder was verified. From AFM results, most of NS-MB images before and after ageing conditions displayed the typical bee structure (Catana Phase).


It was also concluded that the addition of NS in asphalt binder improved its surface stiffness. The overall surface stiffness of the asphalt binder after aging was increased and the surface became more solid.

Keywords: Morphological, Physical, Nano silica, Bitumen, Stone mastic asphalt, Catana phase.