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Designation: PS 81 98e1

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING AND MATERIALS 100 Barr Harbor Dr., West Conshohocken, PA 19428 Reprinted from the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. Copyright ASTM

Provisional Standard Test Method for

Length Change of Mortar Bars Caused by Reaction Between Hydraulic Cement and Alkali-Reactive Aggregate1
This standard is issued under the xed designation PS 81; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of original adoption.

e1 NOTEFootnotes Six and Seven were added editorially in May 1999.

1. Scope 1.1 This provisional test method covers the potential of hydraulic cement to cause excessive expansion through reaction between alkalies (sodium and potassium) in the cement and alkali-silica reactive aggregate (see Note 1). The determination is based on the change in length of mortar bars containing the cement in combination with a standard alkalireactive aggregate during storage under prescribed conditions of test.
NOTE 1.Although the reaction is called alkali-silica reaction, it in fact is a sequence of processes initiated by reaction between thermodynamically metastable silica in the aggregate and hydroxide ion (OH-) in the pore uid, the concentration of which is controlled largely by the concentration of alkali ions (Na+ and K+), usually provided by the cement.

1.2 Two types of alkali reactivity of aggregates are recognized: alkali-silica reaction, that involves certain siliceous rocks, minerals, and natural or articial glasses, and alkalicarbonate reaction, that involves dolomite in certain calcitic dolomites and dolomitic limestones. This provisional test method addresses only alkali-silica reaction. 1.3 Provisional standards2 achieve limited concensus through approval of the sponsoring subcommittee. 1.4 This provisional test method was approved as a provisional standard because it is critical in the development of a performance specication for Portland Cement, a high-priority effort in C-1. This provisional test method has only achieved sub conssessus and will be published for two years only. 1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 2. Referenced Documents 2.1 ASTM Standards:
1 This provisional test method is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee C-1 on Cement and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee C01.31 on Volume Change. Current edition approved May 22, 1998. Published May 1999. Originally published as PS 8198. Last previous edition PS 8198. 2 Provisional standards exist for two years subsequent to the approval date.

C 109/C 109M Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement Mortars (Using 2-in. or [50-mm] Cube Specimens)3 C 114 Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Hydraulic Cement3 C 150 Specication for Portland Cement3 C 227 Test Method for Potential Alkali Reactivity of Cement-Aggregate Combinations (Mortar-Bar Method)4 C 305 Practice for Mechanical Mixing of Hydraulic Cement Pastes and Mortars of Plastic Consistency3 C 490 Practice for Use of Apparatus for the Determination of Length Change of Hardened Cement Paste, Mortar, and Concrete3,4 C 511 Specication for Moist Cabinets, Moist Rooms, and Water Storage Tanks Used in the Testing of Hydraulic Cements and Concretes4 C 670 Practice for Preparing Precision Statements for Test Methods of Construction Materials3,4 C 778 Specication for Standard Sand3 C 856 Practice for Petrographic Examination of Hardened Concrete4 C 1005 Specication for Reference Masses and Devices for Determining Mass for Use in the Physical Testing of Hydraulic Cements3 E 11 Specication for Wire Cloth and Sieves for Testing Purposes4 3. Signicance and Use 3.1 This test method may be used to evaluate the potential of a hydraulic cement to cause excessive expansion when combined with alkali-silica reactive aggregate. 3.2 When increases in length are produced in excess of 0.25 at 14 d or 0.30 at 28 d, it is recommended that supplementary information be developed to conrm that expansion is actually due to alkali-silica reaction. Sources of such supplementary information include: determination of alkali content of the cement (see Test Methods C 114), and examination of the specimens according to 9.3 and 9.4 after the nal length change measurement to establish that alkali-silica reaction has taken place.
3 4

Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 04.01 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 04.02.

PS 81
3.3 Excessive expansion may occur rarely in the test for reasons other than alkali-silica expansion. When it is suspected that this may occur or has occurred, parallel tests are suggested using this procedure with a relatively non-reactive aggregate. 4. Apparatus 4.1 Devices for Determining MassSee Specication C 1005. 4.2 SievesSee Specication E 11. 4.3 Mixer, Paddle, and Mixing BowlSee Test Method C 305. 4.4 Tamper and TrowelSee Test Method C 109. 4.5 MoldsSee Practice C 490. 4.6 Storage ContainerCovered containers for storing the test specimens shall be constructed of material that is resistant to corrosion under the test conditions. Containers shall be at least 150 mm inside diameter and 250 mm inside height. The containers shall provide continuous air ow, as discussed in 6.3.4. A satisfactory container is shown in Fig. 1. The containers shall provide a seal between the cover and the container wall (See Note 2).
NOTE 2If the cover is grooved to t the container wall, as shown in Fig. 1, the seal may be achieved using a coating of silicone sealant in the groove of the bottom cover and silicone grease in the groove of the top cover. Alternatively if the cover is designed to t over the outside of the top portion of the container wall, then the seal may be achieved by a double wrap of vinyl tape overlaying the cover and the container wall along its full circumference.

FIG. 2 Satisfactory Storage Rack

77135, crushed and graded according to Table 1 (See Note 3). Separate the crushed glass into sieve fractions and wash each fraction to remove adhering dust and ne particles (See Note 4). To wash, immerse the fraction in water, agitate, then retrieve the aggregate using the retaining sieve. Dry each fraction and either use immediately or store in a clean container provided with a tight-tting cover.
NOTE 3If it is desired to test a relatively non-reactive aggregate, material of the specied grading can be produced by using equal amounts of graded sand and 2030 sand (See Specication C 778). NOTE 4Aggregate often is contaminated with metallic iron during the crushing operation. If such contamination is observed, remove this using a magnet.

4.7 Mortar-Bar Support Rack, for storing the bars vertically. The rack shall t into the storage container and allow for air ow from the bottom to the top of the storage container. The rack shall be constructed of a material that is resistant to corrosion under the test conditions. A satisfactory rack is shown in Fig. 2. The rack described in Test Method C 227 is satisfactory. 4.8 Length Comparator, conforming to Practice C 490. 5. Materials 5.1 Reactive Aggregate, glass tubing, Vycor brand, No.

5.2 CementPass the cement through an 850-m sieve in order to mix the sample, break up lumps, and remove foreign material. Discard the foreign materials and hardened lumps that do not break up on sieving or brushing. Store the cement in airtight moisture-proof containers to prevent aeration or absorption of moisture. 6. Temperature and Humidity 6.1 Preparation of Test SpecimensThe temperature of the molding room and dry materials shall be maintained between 20 and 27.5C. The relative humidity shall be not less than 50 %. The temperature of the mixing water shall be 23.0 6 2.0C.

5 The sole source of supply of material suitable for this provisional standard known to the committee at this time is the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. If you are aware of alternative suppliers, please provide this information to ASTM Headquarters. Your comments will receive careful consideration at a meeting of the responsible technical committee,1 which you may attend.

TABLE 1 Grading
Sieve Size Passing ... 1.18 mm 850 mm 600 mm 425 mm 300 mm 150 mm Retained 1.18 mm 850 mm 600 mm 425 mm 300 mm 150 mm ... % by Mass 0.0 7.5 42.5 17.5 17.5 15.0 0.0

FIG. 1 Satisfactory Storage Container

PS 81
6.2 Initial Storage of Test SpecimensThe temperature and humidity of the air in the moist storage facility, where specimens are initially stored prior to being demolded, shall conform to Specication C 511. 6.3 Subsequent Storage of Test Specimens: 6.3.1 The facility in which test specimens are stored subsequent to demolding must be large enough to hold the storage container, described in 4.6., the apparatus for controlling relative humidity, and the apparatus for circulating the air, described in 6.3.3 and 6.3.4, (See Note 5).
NOTE 5If the apparatus for controlling relative humidity and the apparatus for circulating the air are stored outside the storage facility and air is allowed to cool during its circulation, then water will condense in the air lines, causing air ow to be blocked.

temperature for 2 h prior to each subsequent length-comparator measurement. The relative humidity during this equilibration period shall conform to that of the storage facility as described above, but no air ow is required. 7. Procedure 7.1 Preparation of Test Specimens: 7.1.1 Number of SpecimensMake at least three specimens using each test cement. 7.1.2 Proportioning of MortarUse 500 g of cement, 250 g of water, and 650 g of reactive aggregate (See Note 8).
NOTE 8If it is desired to test a relatively nonreactive aggregate using standard sand as described in Note 3, a satisfactory mortar can be made using 400 g of cement, 200 g of water, and 828 g of ne aggregate. The aggregate/cement ratio by volume is greater for the unreactive mortar than for the reactive mortar to provide similar workabilities. Otherwise workability would be different due to the differences in density (2.20 Mg/m3 for the reactive aggregate and 2.65 Mg/m3 for the unreactive aggregate) and shape and texture (highly angular and elongated for the reactive aggregate and smooth and spherical for the unreactive aggregate). The proportions provide an aggregate/cement ratio by volume of 1.86 for the reactive mortar and 2.67 for the unreactive mortar.

6.3.2 Maintain the temperature of the cabinet in which specimens are stored after being demolded at 37.5 6 0.5C. 6.3.3 Maintain the relative humidity inside the container in which specimens are stored subsequent to demolding at 96 to 99 % (See Note 6).
NOTE 6If the relative humidity is reduced, measured expansion values are reduced. If the relative humidity reaches 100 %, then water condenses on the bars, causing alkalies to leach from the bars and possibly reducing expansion.

6.3.4 Circulate air through the storage container throughout the storage period. The ow rate shall be approximately 1 mL/s (See Note 7).
NOTE 7The air ow reduces the tendency of water to condense on the bars, known to be a problem at this high relative humidity. While the precise ow rate is not important, it is important that the ow rate be similar through each container so relative humidity does not vary from container to container. It is useful to monitor ow rate to assure that similar rates are achieved.

6.3.5 Satisfactory procedures for storage of test specimens are illustrated in the appendix, and additional details are available elsewhere.6 6.4 Measurement of Test Specimens: 6.4.1 Temperature of the facility in which lengthcomparator readings are made shall conform to one of the following: a molding room as described in 6.1.1 or the storage facility as described above. It has been found that lengthcomparator measurements are not signicantly affected by measurement temperature as long as bars are at the same temperature as the facility in which they are measured.7 6.4.2 If the measurement temperature is higher than the initial storage temperature, bars shall be stored at the measurement temperature for 2 h prior to the initial length-comparator measurement. The relative humidity during this equilibration period shall conform to that of the storage facility as described above, but no air ow is required. 6.4.3 If the measurement temperature is lower than the storage temperature, bars shall be stored at the measurement

7.1.3 Mixing of Mortar Mix the mortar in accordance with Test Method C 305. 7.1.4 Molding Test SpecimensImmediately after mixing, start molding the specimens. Fill the molds with two approximately equal layers, each layer being compacted with the tamper. Work the mortar into the corners, around the gage studs, and along the surfaces of the mold with the tamper until a homogeneous specimen is obtained. After the top layer has been compacted, cut off the mortar ush with the top of the mold and smooth the surface with a few strokes of the trowel. 7.2 Storage and Measurement of Test Specimens: 7.2.1 Initial Storage Immediately after each mold has been lled, place the mold in the moist room. The specimens shall remain in the molds, stored in the moist cabinet, for 24 6 2 h. At the end of this period, remove the bars from the molds and, while protecting them from loss of moisture, properly identify bars and apply a mark so that each end of the bar can be distinguished from the other. 7.2.2 Initial Length-Comparator MeasurementObtain the initial length-comparator reading in accordance with Practice C 490. The temperature of the facility in which this reading is obtained is described in 6.4. 7.2.3 Subsequent StorageStand the specimens in storage rack so the specimens are positioned with their long axes vertical. Place racks in storage containers and adjust air ow and relative humidity as described in 6.3 7.2.4 Subsequent Length-Comparator Measurement When the specimens are 14 days old, obtain their lengthcomparator readings. Obtain readings again when the specimens are 28 days old. Additional readings may be obtained as required (See Note 9).
NOTE 9Information of value may often be obtained by returning the specimens to storage after the 28-day measurement and making additional measurements at later ages. Measurements at ages of 2,3,4,6,9, and 12 months and, if necessary, at least every 6 months thereafter are suggested.

6 Pade, C., and Struble, L., Mortar-Bar Expansion Due to Alkali-Silica Reaction, Institute for Standards Research, 1996. A copy of this ISR report is available from ASTM Headquarters as ISR: # C01.001. 7 Struble, L. J., Measuring Potential Expansion Due to Alkali-Silica Reaction in Concrete, Phase II Follow-Up Studies, Institute for Standards Research, 1995. A copy of this ISR report is available from ASTM Headquarters as ISR: # C 01.001.

7.2.5 Make all length-comparator measurements according


PS 81
to Practice C 490 following the procedure for bars stored moist. 7.2.6 After the nal length measurement, examine specimens in the manner described in Section 9. 7.2.7 Make all specimens placed in a given container on the same day and place them in the container at the same time, so that all specimens in a given container are due for measurement at the same time. 7.3 Always place the specimens in the comparator with the same end uppermost. After measurement, replace the specimens in the container in an inverted position as compared with the previous period. 8. Calculation 8.1 Calculate length-change values according to Practice C 490. 9. Examination at End of Test 9.1 After the nal length change measurements have been made, test each specimen for warping and examine each specimen for visual evidence of reaction. 9.2 WarpingDetermine the warping, if any, by placing the specimen on a plane surface and measuring the maximum separation between the specimen and the surface. Place the specimen so that its ends curve down to the reference surface and measure separation to the nearest 0.5 mm. 9.3 Visual ExaminationItems to be noted in the visual examination include: 9.3.1 Presence, location and type of pattern of any cracking, 9.3.2 Surface mottling and surcial deposits or exudations (their nature, thickness, and continuity), and 9.4 When it is believed that additional important features are likely to be revealed thereby, make a further examination of the interior of the specimen to establish whether alkali-silica reaction has taken place, according to the relevant sections of Practice C 856. Note such items as the presence of gel-lled pores and ssures, evidence of reaction with aggregate particles, and properties of the reaction products. 10. Report 10.1 Report the following information: 10.1.1 The type of cement tested and its total alkali content, expressed as eq. Na2O, determined according to the relevant portion of Test Methods C 114, 10.1.2 The average increase in length of the mortar bars at 14 and 28 days, in percent, 10.1.3 Any deviation from the test procedure, including the aggregate grading when it differs from that given in Table 1, and 10.1.4 Any signicant features revealed by examination of specimens after the test as described in Section 9. 11. Precision and Bias 11.1 Interlaboratory test data7 were developed in accordance with Practice C 670. Seven sets of data were analyzed and the average length change was 0.523 %. 11.2 Precision: 11.2.1 The single-operator standard deviation was found to be 0.08. Therefore, results of two properly conducted tests by the same operator on the same material should not differ by more than 0.24. These numbers represent, respectively, the (1s) and (d2s) limits as described in Practice C 670. 11.2.2 The multi-laboratory standard deviation was found to be 0.08. Therefore, results of two properly conducted tests from two different laboratories on the same material should not differ by more than 0.24. These numbers represent respectively the (1s) and (d2s) limits as described in Practice C 670. 11.3 BiasThis procedure has no bias because the values measured are dened in terms of the test method. 12. Keywords 12.1 alkalies; alkali-silica reaction; cement; length change


X1.1 This appendix illustrates satisfactory experimental procedures for storage of test specimens. The procedures provide circulation through the storage container of air at a relative humidity of 96 to 99 %. X1.2 Differential Temperature MethodSaturate the air with water at a temperature 0.5C lower than the temperature used for storage of test (Fig. X1.1). X1.2.1 This provisional test method requires a water bath or some other means to control temperature that cools as well as heats, and maintains temperature within 6 0.05C. X1.2.2 When temperature is increased, relative humidity decreases. If air is saturated with water at a temperature of 37.0C and then warmed to 37.5C, its relative humidity

FIG. X1.1 Experimental Procedure for Differential Temperature Method

PS 81
decreases from 100 % to 97.5 %. X1.2.3 The procedure allows visual observation that the ow rate is within the required range by counting bubbles in the water reservoir. X1.3 Saturated Salt Solution MethodEquilibrate the air with a saturated aqueous solution of reagent-grade K2SO4 at the storage temperature (See Note X1.1 and Note X1.2) (See Fig. X1.2).
NOTE X1.1When using the experimental procedure in Fig. X1.2, it is important to periodically monitor airow. When airow stops, K2SO 4 may precipitate in the air line, blocking subsequent ow of air. NOTE X1.2At 37.5C, this method provides a relative humidity of 96.4 % (estimated from published data).8
FIG. X1.2 Experimental Procedure for Saturated Salt Solution Method

X1.4 Air FlowA satisfactory air ow may be achieved using a speed adjustable peristaltic pump equipped with a pump head for each container. An example is the Masterex

7568-00 pump drive and Masterex 7024-20 pump head.9 Using this pump, a setting of 6 on the knob scale adjustable between 0 and 10 was found to be adequate for obtaining a constant humidity.
9 The sole source of supply of the apparatus known to the committee at this time is Cole-Parmer Instrument Company, Chicago, IL. If you are aware of alternative suppliers, please provide this information to ASTM Headquarters. Your comments will receive careful consideration at a meeting of the responsible technical committee,1 which you may attend.

8 Young, J.F., Humidity Control in the Laboratory Using Salt Solutions A Review, J. Appl. Chem., Vol 17, 1967, pp. 241-245.


X2.1 The following expansion limits are based on research results and on Specication C 150. X2.2 The optional requirement in Specication C 150 for low-alkali cement is that the total alkali content (expressed as equivalent sodium oxide, calculated as % Na2O + 0.658 % K2O) not exceed 0.60 %. This optional chemical requirement should be invoked when the cement is to be used with aggregate that is potentially reactive, and no other provisions have been made to protect the concrete from deleterious expansion. X2.3 Tests using portland cements having various alkali contents combined with Vycor glass have shown that the expansion level associated with an alkali content of 0.60 % is 0.31 % at 14 days and 0.37 % at 28 days (See Fig. X2.1). X2.4 Based on these results, an expansion level not exceeding 0.31 % at 14 days or 0.37 % at 28 days indicates innocuous alkali-silica behavior in most cases (see Note X2.1). Higher expansion levels, associated with evidence that alkalisilica reaction has taken place, indicate potentially deleterious alkali-silica behavior.
NOTE X2.1Cases have been reported of aggregates that show deleterious alkali-silica behavior even when combined with low-alkali cement. If such an aggregate is to be used in concrete, then a lower expansion level is required to indicate innocuous alkali-silica behavior.

NOTEThe lines were determined using linear regression analysis; the equation for the 14-day expansion is E50.63 A-0.07 and R2 is 0.91; the equation for the 28-day expansion is E50.81 A-0.13 and R2 is 0.98; E is % expansion and A is % alkali.
FIG. X2.1 Expansion Versus Cement Alkali Content

PS 81
The American Society for Testing and Materials takes no position respecting the validity of any patent rights asserted in connection with any item mentioned in this standard. Users of this standard are expressly advised that determination of the validity of any such patent rights, and the risk of infringement of such rights, are entirely their own responsibility. This standard is subject to revision at any time by the responsible technical committee and must be reviewed every ve years and if not revised, either reapproved or withdrawn. Your comments are invited either for revision of this standard or for additional standards and should be addressed to ASTM Headquarters. Your comments will receive careful consideration at a meeting of the responsible technical committee, which you may attend. If you feel that your comments have not received a fair hearing you should make your views known to the ASTM Committee on Standards, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.