Open Journal Systems


Wentao Li, Doug J Wilson, Tam J Larkin


Marginal materials, also called sub-standard materials, have the potential to replace premium materials in local roads. However, the current definition of marginal materials suffers from the limitation of focusing on whether or not each single property meets the corresponding requirement of specifications rather than reflecting the overall performance of the materials. To overcome this limitation and to better understand the concept of ‘marginal material’, this study was conducted using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) framework to evaluate the overall performance of five aggregates and an assumed boundary aggregate based on multiple factors (various engineering properties and performance). The aggregates were ranked through comparing the overall weight of each material, which was obtained based on the analysis of the relative weights of criteria and sub-criteria along with data processing of engineering properties.

The AHP model is a good method to select the best aggregates within a number of given aggregates. It can describe the overall performance of aggregates in a quantitative way, which allows the qualities of the aggregates to be compared to each other so that the proper aggregates can be selected for different road construction purposes.

 The validation of the AHP model demonstrates that the AHP analyzed qualities of the aggregates match well to their qualities in field road construction, but there is a need to make a combination analysis on the individual properties (specification pass/fail criteria) and overall performance (AHP model) in the process of evaluating the quality of aggregates.


Analytical Hierarchy Process; relative weights; marginal aggregates; road construction

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