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Aggregates in Civil Engineering. Base and Subbase Environmental Filters Fillers Dams Cores. Aggregates in Composites. 60-70% of Concrete Volume 80-90% of Asphalt Volume Control Low-Strength Fill Material 95% of Polymer Concrete. Uses of Aggregates. Filler material

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aggregates in civil engineering
Aggregates in Civil Engineering
  • Base and Subbase
  • Environmental Filters
  • Fillers
  • Dams Cores
aggregates in composites
Aggregates in Composites
  • 60-70% of Concrete Volume
  • 80-90% of Asphalt Volume
  • Control Low-Strength Fill Material
  • 95% of Polymer Concrete
uses of aggregates
Uses of Aggregates
  • Filler material
  • Dimensional Stability:
    • shrinkage,
    • thermal changes
  • Strength and Stiffness
aggregate production
Aggregate Production
  • Crushed Stone:
    • Quarried from a ledge rock
  • Gravel:
    • Mined or dredged from natural deposits
  • Mining
  • Crushing
    • Primary
    • Secondary
  • Sizing
    • Gradation
    • Fines
  • Testing (QC/QA)
other aggregate sources
Other Aggregate Sources
  • Recycled Concrete:
    • Quarried from pavements or other sources
  • Slag or Foundry Sand:
    • Mined from industrial stockpiles
natural mineral aggregates
U.S. Sources

50% Gravel

50% Crushed


River Run

Glacial Deposits

Crushed Stone

65% Carbonates

35% Other




Natural (mineral) Aggregates
  • Aggregate:
    • Granular material of mineral composition such as sand, gravel, shale, slag or crushed stone.
  • Coarse Aggregate:
    • Predominantly retained on the 4.75mm (#4) sieve
  • Fine Aggregate:
    • Completely passing through the 9.5mm (3/8”) sieve
Maximum size:

Smallest sieve opening through which the entire amount is required to pass.

Nominal Max. size:

Largest sieve opening through which a specified quantity may be retained

Dense Graded

Aggregate that has a particle size distribution such that, when compacted, the voids (as a % of volume) are relatively small.

Gap Graded

Aggregate that has a particle size distribution such that, when compacted, the voids (as a % of volume) are relatively large.

basic geology

Igneous (solidification of molten material

Sedimentary (consolidated transported material)

Metamorphic (preexisting rock changed by temperature or pressure over time)


Material that covers the bedrock which may be cm or km in thickness

Boulders, cobbles, gravel, sand, silt, clay

Basic Geology
mineral identification
Crystal Structure

Optical Properties



React with Acids

Luster (dull, glassy)


Group I –Glassy

Quartz, Obsidian

Group II – Dull, Fine Grain

Scratch with a knife

Shale, limestone

Hard - Chert, Basalt

Group III - Granular

Scratch with a knife

Limestone, dolomite


Granite, Gabbro

Mineral Identification
minerals in aggregates
Silica and Silicates

Quartz SiO2

hard, strong, insoluble

ussually igneous


poor crystallinity

hydrous silicate (3-9%)


hard, strong, variable composition


Calcite CaCO3


softer, strength variable


dolomitic limestone

1CaCO3 + 1MgCO3

softer, strength variable

Minerals in Aggregates
Silicious Gravels

excellent strength and hardness

avoid contamination with silts, shale and clay


variable strength and durability with porosity, absorption


dense strong aggregate

many types are reactive with alkalies

Limestone + Dolomite

Lower modulus than silicates (softer)

porosity and absorption vary considerably

good aggregate source

aggregate properties
Aggregate Properties
  • Density (C29)
    • Dry-rodded density 1520-1680 kg/m3
      • (95-105 pcf ) for normal weight
    • “Bulk” effect of internal voids
  • Voids (C29)
    • Space between compacted particles
    • Difference between Dry-Rodded Density and solid density
aggregate properties16
Aggregate Properties
  • Voids (internal, external, interparticle)
moisture condition
Moisture Condition
  • Oven-dried, Absorption, Moisture Content
  • Net effect
  • Bulking of Sand ( 5% MC is worst)
moisture condition18
Moisture Condition


Moisture Content

Surface Saturated Dry

Oven Dry

types of aggregate
Types of Aggregate
  • Normal-weight (ASTM C33)
    • Gravel,
    • Crushed stone
    • Natural sand
    • Manufactured sand
    • Bulk Specific Gravity = 2.40 - 2.90
types of aggregate20
Types of Aggregate
  • Lightweight (ASTM C330)
    • Pumice,
    • Expanded shale and Clay
    • 3M microspheres, cenospheres...
    • Uses: filler or low modulus applications
      • Geo Fills, Structural Slabs
types of aggregate21
Types of Aggregate
  • Heavyweight (ASTM C637)
    • Steel slag
    • Shot,
    • Ores
    • BSG= 3.5-5.2
    • Uses: ballast & radiation shielding
physical properties
Shape(angular, aspect)

Size (maximum, distribution)

Texture (smooth, porous)

Specific Gravity



Freeze thaw stability

Thermal stability

Deleterious constituents

Unit weight



Integrity during heating

Physical Properties
elongation flatness

D 4791 Elongation test

specific gravity
Specific Gravity
  • Ratio of the weight of an object to the weight of an equal volume of water (at std. temp. & pressure).
aggregate properties27
Aggregate Properties
  • volume and weights
  • Absorption is the moisture content in the SSD state
  • Moisture content when permeable voids just filled with water

Abs. = (WSSD - WOD) / WOD x 100%

aggregate properties29
Aggregate Properties
  • Absorption
  • Moisture Content
dry rodded unit weight druw
Dry Rodded Unit Weight, DRUW
  • Compacted density of coarse aggregate
  • Denser gradations have higher relative DRUW values
aggregate properties31
Aggregate Properties
  • Voids & Dry-Rodded Unit Weight, DRUW
    • DRUW = the weight of oven dry compacted aggregate that occupies a unit volume, kg/m3 or lb/ft3
voids analysis
Voids Analysis
  • Interparticle voids can be minimized by using a more uniform gradation.
  • Void can be calculated using S.G. and DRUW of the aggregate.
gradation c117 c136
Gradation (C117, C136)
  • Particle size distribution
    • Standard - best compaction
    • Max size vs. Nominal max size
    • Gap Graded (some sizes missing)
    • Single Size
gradation of aggregates
Gradation of Aggregates
  • Too many fines contribute to problems
  • Organic impurities
  • Compaction,
  • Water demand in concrete
  • Shoving in asphalt
  • Dust control
chemical properties

Electrical conductivity

Asphalt affinity

Reactivity to alkalies

Reactivity to CO2

Chemical stability

Chemical Properties
soundness testing
Na or Mg sulfate saturated solutions are used to test aggregate friability

5 cycles of saturation and drying

Sulfates hydrate and expand to fracture weak planes


Specific gradations

Loss is determined by mass

12% max loss w/ Na

18% max loss w/ Mg

Precision is very poor

Soundness Testing
mechanical properties
Mechanical Properties
  • Compressive strength
  • Tensile strength
  • Toughness
  • Abrasion resistance
    • Powder or fracture
  • Modulus
  • Coefficient of thermal expansion
strength of aggregates
Strength of Aggregates
  • Shale and Sandstone: 35-90 MPa (5-13 ksi)
  • Limestone: 48-270 MPa (7-39 ksi)
  • Granite: 27-275 MPa (4-40 ksi)
  • Pumice: 2 MPa (300 psi)
  • Traprock: 105-235 MPa (15-34 ksi)
abrasion resistance
Abrasion Resistance
  • ASTM C131
  • Special gradation of material is used
  • 445g spheres added
  • 500 revolutions
  • Sieve and wash to determine material greater than No. 12 sieve.
abrasion results
Typical results of losses between 10 and 40%.

40% is the max. limit

Coefficient of Variation

Single Operator – 2%

Multilab – 4.5%

Abrasion Results

Two tests by the same operator on the same sample should not vary by more than 2.83*2.0=5.7% on the % loss (the 2.83 represents 1 in 20 samples outside the range coefficient).

storage and transportation
Storage and Transportation
  • Segregation
    • mostly a problem in Coarse Aggregate
    • dry fine aggregate may lose fines
  • Moisture content
    • mostly a problem in Fine Aggregate
    • M.C. of stockpiles should be stabilize
  • Contamination
    • avoid silts, clay, carbon contamination
storage and transportation44
Storage and Transportation
  • Trucks, conveyors, barges, rail,
  • Cleanliness
  • Covered
  • Paved area for storage
aggregate sample computations
Aggregate Sample Computations
  • DRUW = 1550 kg/m3
  • BSGssd = 2.60
  • M.C.= 3.0%
  • Abs.= 1.0%
  • wt. of 20 m3 in field?
  • wt. of 20 m3 at SSD condition?
  • % Voids in 1 m3?
aggregate sample computations46
Aggregate Sample Computations
  • In the field

20 m3 *1550 kg/m3* 3.0% = 31,930 kg

  • At SSD

20 m3 *1550 kg/m3* 1.0% = 31,310 kg

aggregate sample computations47
Aggregate Sample Computations
  • (2.60ssd*1000 kg) = Wssd = Wod( 1+0.01)
  • 2,600/1.01= 2574.26 kg = Wod
  • 2574.26/(1000-25.74) = 2.64od