Pine “AIMS” for Accurate Aggregate Classification in “Highways for Life” Program

NewAIMSPine Instrument Company’s Aggregate Imaging System is completing its second phase testing in the Federal Highway Administration’s “Highways for Life” program. During phase II of this program, an Inter Laboratory Study was conducted, with a total of 32 laboratories participating in the study, which involved eight separate AIMS systems. Department of Transportation labs from Alaska to Florida participated in the study and provided data that will be evaluated by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A& M University.

The AIMS uses digital images to classify aggregate for angularity, form and texture. The device captures digital images of aggregate samples and then compares the samples to a reference database to classify the aggregates. This removes the subjectivity typically associated with aggregate classification.

Traditional shape analysis methods such as the number of fractured faced are considered time consuming and subjective. The AIMS image-based analysis removes operator influence and eliminates bias.

The AIMS provides aggregate characterizations for Superpave sieve sizes from 0.075mm (#200) to 25.0mm (1”) retained. Stockpile and stockpile blend characterization algorithms are provided.

The texture measurement is unique to the AIMS. In the future this measurement may be used to determine the polishing characteristics of various aggregate. Highway designers can use the AIMS device to select aggregate.

The Aggregate Imaging System was awarded a grant under the Federal Highway Administrations Highways for Life Program.  The purpose of the program is to accelerate the adoption of innovations and new technologies, thereby improving safety and highway quality.  The web site for Highways for life is   

Pine Instrument Company, a privately held corporation headquartered in Grove City, PA, manufactures and supplies both SuperpaveÔ and Marshall asphalt testing equipment to paving contractors, state highway departments, colleges and universities, and the Federal Highway Administration. For more information about Pine, visit