This paper presents application of optical microscope for evaluation of microtexture changes of coarse aggregate during simulated polishing in laboratory. Observations of the apparent changes on surfaces of seven different aggregates are presented. Simulation polishing of aggregate was performed in accordance with PN-EN 1097-8:2009. lmages of the aggregate surface were taken with the optical microscope in the reflection mode in particular stages of polishing. Digital images were analyzed. Standard deviation was determined on the basis of the histogram of intensities from digital images of the surfaces of aggregate grains which was assurned as the measure of changes in microtexture during simulated polishing (namely the σh parameter). Statistical analysis has shown that the changes of the σh parameter between the particular stages of polishing confirm certain trends related to the petrographic characteristic of the rocks. Aggregates which included minerals of similar hardness (granodiorite, dolomile, basalt) were more prone to polishing than gabbro and postglacial. Regeneration of the microtexture, the recovery to its original asperity, occurred in the case of quartz sandstone and steelmaking slag.
The aggregate applied for the wearing course has a significant influence on skid resistance of road surfaces. However, it is difficult to evaluate the behaviour of road surface in use on the basis of the Polished Stone Value (PSV) determined for the aggregate according to the so called ‘British method’. The British method, which is currently used in many countries, does not allow to determine the influence of neither the grain size of the aggregate nor the type of the wearing course on skid resistance of road surface. The present paper suggests a method for evaluation of the British Pendulum Number (BPN) for road surfaces in laboratory conditions. The authors assumed the BPN for polished slabs, made from asphalt mixtures, as the criterion. The index was measured with the British Pendulum Tester. The simulation of the process was conducted on research stand (called slab polisher) built at Bialystok University of Technology (BUT). The results of laboratory tests indicate that surfaces from asphalt concrete (AC) have slightly higher values of BPN in comparison with the values determined for surfaces made from stone mastic asphalt (SMA).