We present in this paper a technique that makes benefit of a virtual X-ray simulation tool to both assess the optimal spectra and calibrate a dual-energy technique. The proposed method is applied to the selective imaging of glass wool materials. To optimize the choice of energy spectra, a signal-to-noise (SNR) criterion on the materials estimated thickness is derived using a constant absorbed energy constraint in the detector. To study further its reliability, the criterion is related to the measurement quality, expressed by a contrast to noise ratio of the input projections, and to the inversion stability, expressed by a contrast to noise ration of the input projections, and to the inversion stability, expressed by the numerical conditioning of the linear dual-energy attenuation system. Once the choice of energy spectra is settled, apparent thicknesses are modeled as third order polynomials expressed in terms of X-ray attenuation measures. The best polynomial fit and the choice of the degree can again be advantageously assessed using virtual X-ray imaging. A semi-empirical catalog is here used to characterize the X-ray source spectrum, and attenuation coefficients for each corresponding compound substance are obtained from standard databases. After completion of those calibration phases, a glass wool phantom composed of PMMA and glass (combined step wedges) is used to validate using real experimental data the selected dual-energy protocol obtained by virtual X-ray imaging. The worse error on the estimated thickness is about 5% for both the binder and the glass fibers. Quantitative imaging in thickness of glass fibers and binder is finally presented.