Automated Laboratory Testing Methods for Specific Gravity and Absorption Verified to Match the Current Method Results

Automated Laboratory Testing Methods for Specific Gravity and Absorption Verified to Match the Current Method Results

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    Final Report
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    Twenty six coarse aggregate (12 gravel, 10 lime stone, 4 slag) and nine fine aggregate (4 lime stone, 3 natural sand, 2 slag sand) materials were collected from various sources in Ohio. Specific gravity and water absorption of the coarse aggregate samples were determined using CoreLok and ASTM C 127 procedures while testing of fine aggregate samples involved CoreLok, SSDetect and ASTM C 128 procedures. All the tests were performed in a single laboratory and by the same technician. The primary intent of the study was to investigate the ability of CoreLok and SSDetect to obtain faster results while, at the same time, improving the accuracy of results. The results led to the following conclusions: Coarse Aggregates: CoreLok bulk specific gravity (Gsb) values are up to 8% higher than the ASTM C127 Gsb values. The difference between the corresponding apparent specific gravity (Gsa) values vary from 0 to 12%. The CoreLok absorption values are 1 to 81% lower except for two slag samples. These differences are statistically significant at 95% confidence interval. Fine Aggregates: The SSDetect Gsb results closely follow the ASTM C 128 values. CoreLok Gsb values are moderately higher than ASTM and SSDetect for natural sand, but lower for slag. Gsa results of all the three test procedures follow each other closely. These differences are not statistically significant. The difference in absorption values between CoreLok and ASTM C 128 procedure ranges from 1.5% to 243.7%. In case of SSDetect vs. ASTM, this difference is 0.9% to 124.2%. An in-depth absorption study of coarse aggregates using CoreLok highlighted some inconsistencies in the procedure. The principal recommendation of the study for the Ohio Department of Transportation is to continue specific gravity and absorption tests of coarse and fine aggregates using the traditional ASTM procedures
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