The Aggregate Image Measurement System


The Pine AFA2A second generation Aggregate Image Measurement System (AIMS2) provides objective shape, angularity, and surface texture information for aggregate using computer, camera, lighting, and microscope technology.  This Federal Highway Administration video illustrates how the AIMS2 eliminates subjectivity by removing the human influence and improves productivity and precision by allowing a computer to complete the analysis.   


Coarse aggregate consists of particles passing the 37.5 mm sieve and retained on the 4.75 mm (No. 4) sieve.  The AIMS2 characterizes coarse aggregate angularity, sphericity, flatness, and elongation and provides a surface texture index.


Fine aggregate consists of particles passing the 4.75 mm (No. 4) sieve and retained on the 0.075 mm (No. 200) sieve.  The AIMS2 characterizes fine aggregate angularity and 2D form. 


The texture of a roadway surface contributes to the friction generated between a tire and the roadway.  The AIMS2 quantitatively describes the surface of asphalt cores for micro and macro texture parameters.


The AIMS2 software automatically loads specimen characterization data into an ExcelTM project workbook.  The project workbook, a stand-alone file, includes each sample’s data, statistical results for each property characterization, graphical representations, and a summary table. 


Eliminate Bias:

Traditional shape analysis methods, such as number of fractured faces are time consuming and subjective. The AIMS image based analysis removes operator influence from the characterization while improving productivity and precision.

Coarse and Fine Aggregate:

The AFA2 AIMS System provides aggregate characterizations for Superpave sieve sizes from 0.075mm (#200) to 25.0mm (1") retained. Each sample is analyzed by individual sieve size on specially sized trays. Multiple trays can be scanned to achieve the desired particle counts. Stockpile and stockpile blend characterization algorithms are provided. 

Particle Distribution Plots:

The number of images processed can be varied to provide the desired statistically significant number of individual particles included in the characterization. The results for all of the particles are presented as cumulative percentage distribution plots.


The AIMS angularity chart provides objective characterization of the material edge characteristics. AIMS angularity characterizes the particle edge sharpness characteristics on a scale of 0-10000. The sample chart reveals the angularity distribution characteristics of a river gravel sample to that of a limestone and crushed granite.


The AIMS also characterizes surface texture on a scale of 0-1000. The sample texture chart reveals the smoother texture of a river gravel surface as compared to that of a limestone and crushed granite material.

Particle Shape (Flat and Elongated):

Existing manual methods for “flat and elongated” analysis can be tedious, labor intensive, and group to a specific range. The AIMS system captures coarse particle 3D shape data and presents the information in multiple formats.

Aggregate Degradation:

The AIMS system is also used to characterize aggregate materials performance in degradation tests, such as the Micro-Deval. The change in the properties from before to after degradation testing reveals information regarding the ability of the aggregate source to retain skid resistance in the field.


Total:  10.5 A @ 115 VAC or 7.5 A @ 230 VAC

Acquisition Hardware:  100-240 VAC, 2 A, 50/60 Hz, 1 ph

Monitor:  100-240 VAC, 1.5 A, 50/60 Hz, 1 ph

PC:  115/230 VAC, 7.0/4.0 A, 50/60 Hz, 1 ph


 78.7 cm W x 78.7 cm D x 114.3 cm H31” W x 31” D x 45” H


68 kg or 148 lbs.

The User Interface:

A user interfaces with the AIMS2 on a Windows®-based software program that is preloaded in the computer supplied with the system.  A user will find an AIMS icon on the desktop of the computer that is shipped with the system.


Test Data Storage:

The computer that operates the system stores all the test data at the file location specified by the user.  The system saves the data analysis results in an Excel®workbook.  The raw data files are stored in subdirectories of the project folder designated by the user.


Test Data Viewing:

After the data acquisition is complete, the data analysis is automatically conducted and the results are presented to the user in an Excel®workbook that opens.  The workbook presents the data in several graphical formats.

A verification report can be viewed, printed, and saved in Microsoft® Excel®after verification is complete.


Test Data Printing:

A user can print desired data from Excel®.

 Part Number

Part Description



AFA2 Tray Kit



4.75 mm Tray – Clear



6.35 mm Tray – Clear



9.5 mm Tray – Clear



12.5 mm Tray - Clear

Call +1.724.458.6393


19 mm Tray – Black

Email Us Now


19 mm Tray – Clear



25 mm Tray – Clear



Calibration Disk Kit



Sample Shape Kit



18% Gray Card



Standardize the AIMS2 every six (6) months and after each time the AIMS2 has been moved.

Periodically confirm that the camera is properly aligned.


Verification is used to determine when to recalibrate.  If a machine response is in conformance, no correction is required.

Verify the system calibration; lamps and camera, the microscope, and the tray; after setup and before using it to characterize any material.  Confirm proper camera alignment first.  Then, run the verification routine.  The system is fully calibrated if it passes all the verification routines.  See Section III of the operation manual for step-by-step instructions.  See Section 3.4 of the operation manual to calibrate the system if the system has failed the verification routines multiple times.


Important Note:  If a measurement system is shown to be correct when verified, it is considered fully calibrated. It is preferable to not update a stable system’s calibration data if it is correct so that system stability can be observed over time.

Keep the image acquisition hardware free of debris and dust.

Large particles may be removed by hand.

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove small particles.

Use a damp cloth to wipe off internal parts.

Use a soft cloth and window cleaner to wipe trays.

Apply an anti-static spray to the trays to help keep particles from clumping electrostatically.

Use only high quality optical grade cloth and cleaner on the camera and microscope.

Only clean the camera and microscope if the images indicate that they are dirty.

See Section 6.1.1 for detailed instructions in the manual on how to properly do this cleaning.

What requirements are there for the location of the machine?

  • The temperature should be maintained between 18ºC and 25ºC.
  • The humidity should be controlled to normal.
  • The system should be exposed to little dust.
  • The system should experience little to no vibration.  Vibration from nearby equipment such as sieve shakers can affect results.
  • The system does not need to be exactly level, but must be stable.

Can the AIMS2 analyze reclaimed asphalt pavement?

  • Yes, but Pine recommends that the asphalt cement be removed from the aggregate particles because it will affect angularity and texture measurements.
Pine Test Equipment

Pine Test Equipment, Inc.
101 Industrial Drive
Grove City, PA 16127

Phone: (724) 458-6393
Fax: (724) 458-6418
E-mail: Contact Us

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