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TITLE: PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF AGGREGATES AND FINENESS

MODULUS
OBJECTIVE
The objective of the test is to determine the grading of the aggregate i.e the particle size
distribution and the fineness modulus of given samples of aggregate by the method of sieve
analysis.
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Fine aggregate (sand) used in mortar and in concrete. Coarse aggregate is the broken stone
used in concrete. Mixed aggregate is the combination of coarse aggregate and fine aggregate
used in concrete. Fine aggregate particles will fill the voids in between the coarse aggregate
when compacted in a concrete mix. Therefore, proportions of different sizes of aggregates are
used in a concrete mix.
Fineness mould is only a numerical index of fineness, giving some idea of the mean size of
particles in entire bulk of aggregate, sample of which is taken for the test. It is obtained by
sieving a known weight of given aggregate in a set of standard sieves and by adding the
percentage weight of material retained on the entire sieve and dividing the total percentage by
100.
Grading of the particle size distribution is determined by sieve analysis test. A graded
aggregate is one which is made up of stones or particles of different sizes, ranging from large
to the small. This graded aggregate of 40 mm nominal size has particles of 40 mm down to
equal or less than 4 mm.
APPARATUS

Sieve set
Weighing balance
Ruler
Riffling box
Sieve shaker
Coarse aggregate

PROCEDURE

1. The mass of bulk sample were thoroughly mixed and then pass it through the riffle
box. Retained one portion; and pass it through again and the process was repeated so
as to reduce the original mass to the required mass.
2. The thoroughly mix sample from the riffle box was placed to a clean, flat and hard
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

surface.
The coarse aggregate was took 3 kg from the retained after riffling the aggregate.
The sample of coarse aggregate was sieved in order of size sieve.
By using mechanical sieve shaker, it was shook for a period about 15 minutes.
The retained passing through each of sieve set was weighed for each sieve.
The results were tabulated and the fineness modulus was calculated.

DATA
Weight of coarse aggregates : 3kg
Sieve
size
(mm)

Weight
of empty
sieve(g)

Weight
retained
(g)

Cumulativ Cumulativ Percent


e grams
e%
passing (%)
retained (g) retained (g)

1125

Weight of
empty sieve
+
aggregates(g
)
1180

20

55

55

1.86

98.14

14

1275

1987

712

767

25.96

74.04

10

1263

2499

1236

2003

67.81

32.19

6.3

1280

1937

657

2660

90.05

9.95

5.0

1116

1261

145

2805

94.96

5.04

Pan

799

948

149

2954

100

2954

11 244

380.64

Total = 219.36
Fineness
Modulus = 3.8

TOTAL

DISCUSSION

From the graph, it shows the percent passing (%) against the sieve size (mm). When the sieve
size is 20 mm, the percent passing is 98.14%. About 74.04% of percent passing in the sieve
size of 14 mm. In the 10 mm of sieve size, the percent passing is 32.19%. Besides, 9.95% of
percent passing in the sieve size of 6.3 mm. And, the percent passing in the sieve size of 5.0
mm is 5.04% while 0% of percent passing in the pan.
From the tabulated table, it shows the highest cumulative percent retained is on sieve size of
5.0 mm about 94.96%. The lowest cumulative percent retained is on the sieve size of 20 mm
about 1.86%. We also calculated the fineness modulus, sum of cumulative percent retained
per 100. In this experiment, we calculated the fineness modulus is 3.8.
During the experiment, we must use the riffle box to get the aggregates that need to be used.
Then, set the zero reading on the weighing balance, so, the zero error does not occur. Make
sure the sieve set is cleaned. Makes sure the lid of sieve set is suitable to the sieve set, so, we
can easily open up the sieve after been shaking by sieve shaker.
CONCLUSION
The fineness modulus depends on the particle size distribution of aggregate to represent the
uniformity of particle size. Thus, the objective of test is achieved.
REFERENCES
1. http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/bu-mat-concretech2.pdf, Retrieved 2nd
Jnauary 2015.
2. Sir Ir.Jamil, Laboratory Manual, Faculty of Civil Engineering, UiTM Kota Samarahan
2.
3. Sir Azland, Topic 2: aggregate, Faculty of Civil Engineering, UiTM Kota Samarahan
2.

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