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Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

UNIT 4

ROAD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND TESTING

OBJECTIVES

General Objective
To understand basic elements of road construction materials and testing

Specific Objectives
At the end of the unit you should be able to: identify the material used in the road construction. describe the function of the road materials and testing. explain the purpose of road materials and testing. perform the testing material testing. analyze result of the test.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

INPUT
ROAD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS
4.0 INTRODUCTION Construction materials for roads may be broadly classified into four categories: a. Soil b. Aggregates c. Bituminous materials d. Cement

ROAD

= SOIL + AGGREGATES + PAVEMENT MATERIALS


(BITUMENS/CEMENTS)

Aggregate which has been defined as inert mineral fragments and particles forming the main structure of a mixture such as asphalt, tar-macadam or concrete is the basic material for road construction. This material which forms the greater part of the body of the road, bears the main stresses occurring in the road and resists wear from surface abrasion. The particles are bound together using bituminous materials and cement which act as binders and develop a strong structure forming the crust of the road. As such properties of all these materials are of great importance to the highway engineers. A knowledge of their characteristics is useful in the design of road structure.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

4.1 SOILS AND ITS CHARACTERISTIC The term soil has different meanings and connotations to different professional groups. From an engineering stand-point the term soil refers to all the unconsolidated mineral material lying above the bed rock with which and upon which highways and other structures are constructed. It may contain air, water, organic matter and other substances which may be dispersed throughout the minerals particles. The mineral matter is formed by the disintegration or decomposition of the rocks. The engineering properties and behavior are generally influenced by changes in moisture content and density or compactness of the soil. Wide variation in soil types is generally found in nature and hence a study of their properties becomes essential. 4.1.1 CHARACTERISTICS OF SOIL PARTICLES Certain characteristics of the soil particles are useful in predicting the performance and behavior of soils ; namely the grain size, shape, surface texture, and chemical position. These are briefly discussed here. 4.1.1.1 Grain size.

The size of the soil particles and the distribution of various sizes throughout a soil mass are important factors that influence soil properties and performance. A number of grain size classifications have been proposed by different highway agencies for convenience in expressing the size characteristics of various fractions.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

The general characteristics of the various particle size groupings are as follows: 1. Gravel. It consists of rock fragments more or less rounded by water action or abrasion. Quartz which is the hardest rock forming mineral is usually the principal constituent. Well rounded pebbles and boulders that have undergone long wear are almost entirely quartz. Gravels which are angular and rough due to their high resistance to wear, usually contain rocks such as granite, schist, basalt or limestone. 2. Course Sand. It is frequently rounded like gravel with which it may exist in combination. It generally contains the same minerals. 3. Fine Sand. Particles are more angular than coarse sand particles because the film of water that usually surrounds the finer particles serves as cushion to protect them from abrasion. Silt grains are usually similar to fine sand and have the same mineral composition. However, they may be produced by chemical decay rather than by grinding. Occasionally, silts contain pumice, loess or other materials foreign to the associated sand. The presence of silt in fine soil may be detected in the field by the feeling of roughness that it gives when rubbed between fingers.

Highway Engineering 4. Clay.

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

Clay results almost entirely from chemical weathering and are often plate like in shape. The structure of moist clays is considered to be very complicated and has not been fully understood yet, although attempts have been made by many Chemists, Physicists, Geologists and Engineers to interpret it in the various fields of the Lambe has given a very good account of the structure of clays in his paper entitled The Structure of Inorganic Soil, presented to the ASCE. 5. Colloids. These are finer clay particles that remain suspended in water and do not settle under the force of gravity. When observed under microscope they are found to be in a state of disorderly motion. For most of the highway engineering works, coarse grained materials are preferable. Clayey soils are extremely troublesome and require specialized treatments and methods of handlings. Brownian Movement specially silty soils present problems in the areas susceptible to frost action. 4.1.2 SHAPE OF PARTICLES. Strength and toughness of the material is indicated to a large extent by the shape of the particles. For example, gravels found in the river beds have undergone a large process of wear and are stronger than the flat and flaky particles. In the construction of base courses where usually granular material is recommended, there is little percentage of the clay particles. Here the

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

shape of the bigger stone particles recommended is angular as they are better resist the tendercy to deformation. Hence many specifications for base-course require that the mixture of different materials used must contain a specified percentage of crushed rock particles. The effect of the shape of particles on the performance of mass composed mainly of clay-size fraction is not conclusively known. Here the presence of the free and absorbed moisture, particle ionization presence of chemicals and density are some of the more important factors. 4.1.3 SURFACE TEXTURE The surface texture of the large size soil particles greatly influences their performance in granular soil mixtures. For example, the friction developed on the grains of wind-blown and beach sands and of crushed quartz is relatively low since the particles have slicked surfaces and as a result thereof the mixture that contains large percentage of such materials offer small resistance to deformation. Some authorities assert that a rough surface of a freshly crushed rock is more important than its angularity in developing greater strength in soil mixture. With small size particles this effect of surface texture becomes negligible. 4.1.4 CHEMICAL COMPOSITION Chemical composition indirectly affects the behavior of soils since the presence of certain chemicals influences the water-film that usually surrounds the particle and hence the bond holding any two particles mutually together.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

Some complex reactions might develop in the soil mass as a result of the addition of an additive as a stabilizer in the presence of an appropriate chemical, resulting in the improvement of structural behavior of the compacted soil mass. 4.2 EFFECT OF MOISTURE ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SOILS All soil engineers agree that the properties of soils composed largely of coarse grained materials are primarily controlled by the characteristics of the particles but for soils composed largely of clays and colloids, the properties are primarily controlled by the characteristics of the moisture film surrounding the particles. The effect of the change in moisture content is reflected in three ways : a. The effective diameter of the soil particle changes with change in the moisture content. The effect is more prominent in the clay particles than in the sand particles. b. The soil particles have the property of clinging to each other due to the existence of thin tensile forces in water films. These forces are due to the surface tension. The force exerted by surface tension decreases as the moisture content increases. c. The volume of the soil-mass as a whole changes with the change in the moisture content at the particle surface. The changes in volume are more prominent in clays than in sands and silts. The effect of increase in moisture content is to decrease the strength of soil

INFO

Highway Engineering 4.3

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

EFFECT OF DENSITY ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOILS Dry density of soil is the dry weight per unit volume of the material. The

soil mass consists of dry soil particles and air when in the dry state, and soil particles, air and water when in the wet state. If the density of soil changes, say increase, the quantity of soil solids in unit volume increases so that lesser voids would be left for air and water. This increase in density and decrease in moisture content would add to the strength of the soil. The maximum density is achieved at optimum moisture content which can be determined by any standard test. In addition to the increase in strength, the rate of water movement through the soil and volume change due to variation in moisture, subsequent to compaction, register a measurable decrease. In order to secure these advantages, it has been accepted as a normal practice to compact the sub grade soils so as to obtain maximum dry density. 4.4 ROAD AGGREGATE The raw material which is used as road aggregate can be further classified as : a. Naturally occurring aggregate : Crush Rock Aggregate Gravels Sand. Blast Furnace Slag

b. Artificial Aggregate

Each of the three types mentioned under (a) above is one or the other form of natural rock. The crushed road aggregate is prepared by quarrying natural rock from the quarries having suitable road construction material and crushing it to the required size. The coarse material which results from the disintegration of natural rocks due to weathering, is carried away by water into

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

the rivers and is deposited as gravel. During transit, the particles are worn out by attrition and become more or less rounded in shape with smooth surfaces. Sand, on the other hand, is the final residue of resistant mineral grains resulting from rock-weathering and has often been through many cycles of deposition and weathering. Blast furnace slag is, perhaps, the only artificially prepared aggregate used in road construction. It is obtained as a by-product in the manufacture of steel. 4.4.1 Crushed Rock Crushed rock aggregate is produced from different types of rocks. All rocks are composed of grains or crystals of minerals held together in a variety of ways. The properties of rocks, therefore are dependent upon the properties of minerals forming the rocks and the nature of the bond. Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic are the three major classifications of these rocks. The Igneous rocks are further classified into Plutonic Hypabyssal and Volcanic, according to their mode of formation, the properties of acid and basic radicals and the chemical constituents of the mineral present. In the Plutonic variety, the main types are the Granite and Syenite, though Diorite and Gabbro are also frequently available. They are mainly coarsegrained varieties being Porphyry, Porphyrite, Dolorite and Diabase. These rocks very frequently posses intergrown texture and as such are among the best of the road stones. Basalts and Andersite fall in the Volcanic category and are fine grained varieties of ignoeus rocks. They are usually not considered good as road stones.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

All igneous rocks are subject to decomposition and weathering on exposed surface or along fissures and also internally due to the chemical instability of their minerals. In fact, these factors require time on geological scale and so long as the quarried rock is fresh and reasonably sound, it is unlikely to suffer from decomposition during the life of the road. A rock which is badly decomposed, discoloured and is friable, should never be used as road-stone. The sedimentary rocks are classified as Calcareous, Siliceous and Agrillaceous. Limestones, Dolomies and Chalk fall under the Calcareous variety. Only the best varieties of limestones serve as good road-stones, since they have adequate strength and have excellent adhension to bituminous binders. Dolomites have the same properties as the lime stones. Chalk is poor road-stone. Sandstones and quartzite are the main varieties of the Silsceous sedimentary rocks. Sandstones are used as road-aggregate though adhension to bitumen is not very good. Quartzite is quite hard but is liable to be brittle and the adhension to bitumen is rather poor. The Argillaceous sedimentary rocks have clay-shales and mudstones as the main varieties. They are poor roadstones. Among the third general class of rocks, Hornfels which are formed by the thermal metamorphism are the best from road-making point of view. Gneiss and Granulite have the same road-making qualities as the granites of coarse variety. Slate and Schist are quite unsuitable as road stones. 4.4.2 Gravels Gravel may consist entirely of one type of hard rock such as Flint or Quartzite (silicious sedimentary variety) or may have a wider variety of rocks of different types and hardnesses. Gravels of softer variety of rocks

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

are generally not available, though at places, limestone gravels also occur and are used for the construction of roads, where other suitable material is not available. In general, the properties of the gravels depend upon the properties of the rocks from which they are formed. Mixed gravels usually contain, in addition to the hard varieties, soft particles of chalk, clay lumps, shale or soft sandstone and, therefore, whenever gravels have to be used in road construction, they must be tested lest any such materials should form a high proportion and thus act as a source of weakness. Sands Natural sands consist largely of the final residue of resistant mineral grains resulting from rock weathering and have often been through many cycles of deposition and weathering. Quartz is the most important mineral in sands, since this substance is hardly affected by ordinary weathering agents. Sand occurs sometimes in combination are the larger particles of sand in such a combination are the chips from gravel itself.

4.4.4 Slag Slag obtained as a by-product from blast furnaces is extensively used as road aggregate. It is composed of a number of alumino-silicates of calcium and magnesium, minerals that are found in some basic igneous rocks. Owing to the rapid cooling of material, slag becomes a much more variable material than natural rock. There is tremendous difference in the grain-size and porosity of exterior and interior of the cooling masses, the exterior cooling rapidly so as to form an amorphous glass. Slag can

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

become a very good aggregate, if it is manufactured under carefullycontrolled conditions.

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

ACTIVITY 4A

WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING? TRY THESE ACTIVITIES AND GOOD LUCK!!!

4.1

Name four categories of road construction materials. a.____________________________________ b.____________________________________ c.____________________________________ d.____________________________________ 4.2 Write down the short information of soil characteristics in the chart below.
Grain Size - _____________________ _______________________________ _______________________________ Shape Of Particles - _______________ _______________________________ _______________________________ Surface Texture -_________________ _______________________________ _______________________________

Soil Characteristics

Chemical Composition - ___________ _______________________________ _______________________________

Highway Engineering 4.3

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

There are 10 types of crushed rock aggregate given below and hidden within the puzzle. You are required to identify the aggregate and then write down into their categories given in the table.

GRANITE HORNFELS GRANULITE

CALCAREOUS SILICEOUS AGRILLACEOUS

SCHIST SYENITE

DOLORITE

PORPHYRITE

G R A N U L I T E H S P B W J

R A H O R N F E L S H U S H Q

A H B R E Z M B W K Y C C J P

N M I S U I O I E O K H H O O

I E L A I L H N H P C J I P R

T N A K O L D Y N A I K S G P

E S B M U P I J L D P T T O H

O Y G P S E K C M O J I H L Y

U E U S F W A M E L R K M B R

S N S D R R F J K O J L K E I

A I A G E S A L L R U R H G T

Z T I O W A R D D I I S V J E

N E U J A Y I F E T D D C K L

X S V H R M B H G E H F B B G

A G R I L L A C E O U S E Q B

IGNEOUS

SEDIMENTARY

METAMORPHIC

FEEDBACK ON ACTIVITY 4A
Lets Check The Answers!

Highway Engineering 4.1 a. b. c. d. 4.2 Soil

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

Aggregates Bituminous materials Cement

Grain Size The size of the soil particles and the distribution of varies sizes throughout a soil mass are important factors that influence soil properties and performances.

Shape of Particle Strength and toughness of the material is indicated to a large extend by shape of the particles.

Surface Texture The surface texture of the large size soil particles greatly influences their performance in granular soil mixtures.

Chemical Composition Chemical composition indirectly affects the behavior of soil since the presence of certain chemicals influences the water-film that usually surrounds the particles and hence the bond holding any two particles mutually together

4.3 G R A N U R A H O R A H B R E N M I S U I E L A I T N A K O E S B M U O Y G P S U E U S F S N S D R A I A G E Z T I O W N E U J A X S V H R A G R I L

Highway Engineering L I T E H S P B W J N F E L S H U S H Q Z M B W K Y C C J P I O I E O K H H O O L H N H P C J I P R

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

L D Y N A I K S G P

P I J L D P T T O H

E K C M O J I H L Y

W A M E L R K M B R

R F J K O J L K E I

S A L L R U R H G T

A R D D I I S V J E

Y I F E T D D C K L

M B H G E H F B B G

L A C E O U S E Q B

The categories are as follows : IGNEOUS Granite Syenite Dolorite Porphyrite SEDIMENTARY Calcareous Siliceous Agrillaceous METAMORPHIC Hornfels Granulite Schist

Well, hows your performance so far? Lets continue the adventures of unit 4.

Question
1. 2. The effect of the change in moisture content is reflected in three ways. Describe two from the three ways that listed. Describe the following aspects: -

Highway Engineering a. Gravel. b. Slag.

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

Answer
1. The effect of the change in moisture content is reflected in three ways :

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

a. The effective diameter of the soil particle changes with change in the moisture content. The effect is more prominent in the clay particles than in the sand particles. b. The soil particles have the property of clinging to each other due to the existence of thin tensile forces in water films. These forces are due to the surface tension. The force exerted by surface tension decreases as the moisture content increases. c. The volume of the soil-mass as a whole changes with the change in the moisture content at the particle surface. The changes in volume are more prominent in clays than in sands and silts. 2. i. Gravels Gravel may consist entirely of one type of hard rock such as Flint or Quartzite (silicious sedimentary variety) or may have a wider variety of rocks of different types and hardnesses. Gravels of softer variety of rocks are generally not available, though at places, limestone gravels also occur and are used for the construction of roads, where other suitable material is not available. In general, the properties of the gravels depend upon the properties of the rocks from which they are formed. Mixed gravels usually contain, in addition to the hard varieties, soft particles of chalk, clay lumps, shale or soft sandstone and, therefore, whenever gravels have to be used in road construction, they must be tested lest any such materials should form a high proportion and thus act as a source of weakness. ii. Slag

Highway Engineering

ROADS CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS & TESTING

C3010 / UNIT 4

Slag obtained as a by-product from blast furnaces is extensively used as road aggregate. It is composed of a number of alumino-silicates of calcium and magnesium, minerals that are found in some basic igneous rocks. Owing to the rapid cooling of material, slag becomes a much more variable material than natural rock. There is tremendous difference in the grain-size and porosity of exterior and interior of the cooling masses, the exterior cooling rapidly so as to form an amorphous glass. Slag can become a very good aggregate, if it is manufactured under carefully controlled conditions.