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WSDOT Pavement Guide

WSDOT Pavement Guide

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Aggregates undergo substantial wear and tear throughout their life. In general, they should be hard and tough enough to
resist crushing, degradation and disintegration from any associated activities including manufacturing, stockpiling,
production, placing, compaction (in the case of HMA) and consolidation (in the case of PCC) (Roberts et al., 1996).
Furthermore, they must be able to adequately transmit loads from the pavement surface to the underlying layers (and
eventually the subgrade). Aggregates not adequately resistant to abrasion and polishing will cause premature structural

http://training.ce.washington.edu/WSDOT/Modules/03_materials/03-2_body.htm (13 of 23)4/2/2008 6:28:52 PM

3.2 Materials - Aggregate

failure and/or a loss of skid resistance.

2.5.2.1 Los Angeles Abrasion Test

A common test used to characterize toughness and abrasion resistance is the Los Angeles (L.A.) abrasion test. For the L.A.
abrasion test, the portion of an aggregate sample retained on the 1.70 mm (No. 12) sieve is placed in a large rotating drum
that contains a shelf plate attached to the outer wall (the Los Angeles machine – see Figure 3.9). A specified number of
steel spheres are then placed in the machine and the drum is rotated for 500 revolutions at a speed of 30 - 33 revolutions per
minute (RPM). The material is then extracted and separated into material passing the 1.70 mm (No. 12) sieve and material
retained on the 1.70 mm (No. 12) sieve. The retained material (larger particles) is then weighed and compared to the
original sample weight. The difference in weight is reported as a percent of the original weight and called the "percent loss".

Figure 3.9: Los Angeles Abrasion Machine

Table 3.4 shows some typical test values from the L.A. abrasion test. Unfortunately, the test does not seem to correspond
well with field measurements (especially with slags, cinders and other lightweight aggregates). Some aggregates with high
L.A. abrasion loss, such as soft limestone, provide excellent performance. However, no matter the performance
characteristics, aggregate with high L.A. abrasion loss values will tend to create dust during production and handling, which
may produce environmental and mixture control problems.

Table 3.4: Typical L.A. Abrasion Loss Values
(from Roberts et al., 1996; NHI, 2000)

Rock Type

Typical L.A. Abrasion Loss

(by percent weight)

General Values

Hard, igneous rocks

10

Soft limestones and sandstones

60

Ranges for Specific Rocks

Basalt

10 - 17

http://training.ce.washington.edu/WSDOT/Modules/03_materials/03-2_body.htm (14 of 23)4/2/2008 6:28:52 PM

3.2 Materials - Aggregate

Dolomite

18 - 30

Gneiss

33 - 57

Granite

27 - 49

Limestone

19 - 30

Quartzite

20 - 35

Standard L.A. abrasion test methods are:

q AASHTO T 96 and ASTM C 131: Resistance to Degradation of Small-Size Coarse Aggregate by Abrasion and

Impact in the Los Angeles Machine

q ASTM C 535: Resistance to Degradation of Large-Size Coarse Aggregate by Abrasion and Impact in the Los

Angeles Machine

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