Rapid process for testing the properties of mastic asphalt

Mastic asphalt is a highly stable and long-lasting road surface. The quality of the surface is assessed using indenter testing on cubic samples made in the laboratory. This “old” method no longer meets current challenges and is being improved at BFH. The goal is to obtain a meaningful test result as quickly as possible and to enable differentiation between various types of mastic asphalt, ideally by using an in situ cylindrical sample.


  • Lead school(s) School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Institute Institute for Urban Development and Infrastructure
  • Duration (planned) 01.08.2019 - 31.12.2021
  • Project management Nicolas Bueche
  • Head of project Nicolas Bueche

Starting point

Mastic asphalt is widely used in engineering works and tunnels, but also has tremendous potential for open surface sections. The current testing methods (static and dynamic indentation) are not sophisticated enough and/or take too long to produce results. A rapid testing method providing reliable information on mechanical behaviour is needed.


There are two parts to the procedure used: the preparation of samples and the testing process in the laboratory. For each part, an analysis of the literature is carried out before an extensive phase of testing and measurements in the lab as well as in situ.


It is hoped the results will enable a proposal to be made for a rapid testing process for mastic asphalt that provides reliable information on its mechanical behaviour. In addition to the method itself, the project will also carry out a critical analysis of the repeatability and reproducibility of the testing method and contribute towards updating norms in this field.


The goal is to produce a proposal for an innovative test process and to make a practical contribution for all stakeholders in the field, as well as to provide support in updating the relevant norms. More generally, there are opportunities in terms of good practice and the promotion of mastic asphalt, a durable, high-performance material whose area of application could be extended.