Assessment of Rock Aggregate Quality Through the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
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The present study aimed to assess rock aggregate quality through the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). In the context of the AHP analyses, four rock types (i.e., andesite, basalt, granodiorite, and gabbro), five evaluation criteria, and several technical requirements/suggestions for coarse aggregates related to bituminous paving mixtures were considered. In order to set over the evaluation criteria, detailed laboratory studies were conducted. For this purpose, various mineralogical, physical, and mechanical aggregate properties were determined for each rock type concerning their weathering grades. As a result of the laboratory studies, it was determined that the rock weathering processes have substantial negative impacts on the rock aggregate properties considered in this study. The AHP analysis results indicated that that different rock types have several advantages concerning various evaluation criteria. Based on the general evaluation point (EP) of the rocks, the gabbros were found to have the highest rock aggregate quality (EP = 0.393). In contrast, the andesites had the lowest quality (EP = 0.069). Besides, the basalts (EP = 0.271) and granodiorites (EP = 0.267) presented approximately the same quality for their use in bituminous pavement mixtures. It was also demonstrated that the AHP, with its specific methodology, can be utilized to represent different environmental and mechanical conditions by changing the relative weight of the evaluation criteria. In this way, the pros and cons of different rock types could be revealed quantitatively, which enables related engineers to select proper rock types for their use under different environmental and mechanical conditions. From this point of view, the present study could be declared a case study noted for combining theoretical and practical approaches on bituminous paving mixtures as a sign of rock aggregate quality.