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granular materials which are chemically inactive (eg: sand, gravel, crushed stone)
Aggregate bonded together by cement & water to form concrete
75% of volume of concrete composed of aggregates
These are used as filler material in concrete for economy in construction
These are also known as inert fillers
It avoids cracking and more strength to concrete
Naturally occurring aggregates: river sand, gravel, crushed rock
Artificially prepared aggregates : broken bricks, blast furnace slag
Light weight aggregates: furnace clinker, saw dust
Fine aggregates: aggregates passes through 4.75mm IS sieve(natural river sand)
coarse aggregates: aggregates retained on 4.75mm IS sieve
( broken stone, crushed rock)

Qualities of good aggregate

Aggregate should be hard, dense, durable & chemically inert

Aggregate should not contain harmful ingredients
Should free from organic impurities
It should not contain any harmful materials which may affect
the strength of concrete & steel reinforcement
Shape & size of the aggregate boost the strength & workability
of concrete
Toughness of aggregate > 45%
Aggregate abrasion value > 16%
Specific gravity in b/w 2.6 to 2.7
Water absorption > 10%
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Aggregate should have thermal expansion similar to that of

cement matrix 10.8 x10-6 to 16.2x10-6 /C
Should have low thermal conductivity
It should be sound enough to resist excessive changes in
Sum of cumulative % of residue retained on each of IS sieves
(80mm to 150 microns), divided by 100 is fineness modulus
It is an index, which gives an idea about fineness or coarseness
of the aggregate
Higher the fineness modulus, coarser the particle size
Determination of fineness modulus is done in sieve analysis

In this, a known weight of aggregate sample is successively

sieved through a set of sieves
(80mm, 40mm, 20mm, 10mm, 4.75mm,
2.36mm,1.18mm,600micron, 300micron,150micron
Weight retained in each sieve after sieving is noted
Fineness modulus=(sum of cumulative % of weight

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Grading of aggregates
The principle of grading of aggregate is that the smaller size
particles fill up the voids between large sized particles
Single sized particles of an aggregate form more voids
whereas aggregate containing particles of varying size form
less voids

Proper grading of aggregate

Requires less amount of cement paste for filling the voids
& binding the aggregate together
Produces dense concrete with least quantity cement
Ensures strength, durability, economy etc

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Apparatus : 15cm open- ended cylinder with plunger and base plate
tamping rod of 16 cm mm diameter and 60cm length
IS sieves of sizes 12.5mm,10mm and 2.36mm
coarse aggregate passing 12.5 mm and retained in 10 mm are
Procedure: The cylinder is filled with aggregate in 3 layers and each layer
being tampered 25 times with the rounded end of tamping rod.
The weight of material contained in the cylinder is determined(A).
The plunger is placed over the leveled surface of the aggregate so
that its rests horizontally. Care should be taken to ensure that the
plunger does not jam in the cylinder .

The apparatus with the test sample and plunger is then placed
between the plates of the compression testing machine and
loaded uniformly at a rate such that the maximum load of 40
tones in 10 minutes
The load is then released and the whole material removed from
the cylinder and sieved through 2.36mm IS sieve .
The fraction passing through the sieve is weighed (B).
The ratio of fines formed to the total weight of sample is
expressed as percentage .
The aggregate crushing value gives the relative measure of the
resistance of an aggregate to crushing under a gradually
applied compressive load.

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Aggregate crushing value =B/A*100

Where ,
B-weight of fraction passing 2.36mm IS sieve.
A-Weight of surface dry sample.
According to IS 2386-1963 crushing value of course aggregate
> 45 %for concrete used for structures other than wearing
courses , > 30 % for concrete used in wearing surface.

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Specific gravity is the ratio of weight of a given volume of
substance to the weight of an equal volume of water under
same temperature

A balance
water tight measure
tamping rod (16mm dia and 60cm length)

Note the empty weight of the container (w1)
The measure is filled about one third each time with the
aggregate and tampered each layer with 25 strokes of tamping
rod .the surplus aggregate is struck off with tamping rod .
The net weight of aggregate be find out (w2) .

Fill the container (with aggregate )with water to brim and note
the weight (w3) .
the measure is cleaned and filled with clean water and the net
weight of water and measure is determined (w4).
specific gravity =Weight of aggregate
Weight of same volume of water

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Specific gravity of coarse aggregate wire basket

A balance
wire basket
water tight measure

A sample of weight more than 2 kg is taken .
it is thoroughly washed to remove finer particles and dust ,
drained and then placed in the wire basket .
this basket with aggregate is immersed in distilled water at temp
in between 22 and 33C.
lifting and lowering the basket for 25 times remove entrapped
air in the basket and .it is kept in water for 24+ 0.5 hours

find out the weight of basket and aggregate under water (A1).
The basket and aggregate removed from the water and allowed to
drain for few minutes.
The empty basket is again immersed in water shake 25 times &
weighted in water (A2).
Find the dry surface weight of aggregate (B)
this aggregate is kept is oven at a temp of 110c for 24 hours.
It is then cooled in air tight container and find the weight (c).
Specific gravity= C/(B-A)
Apparent specific gravity= C/(C-A)
A = A1-A2,weight of saturated aggregate in water
B = weight of saturated surface dry aggregate.
C = weight of oven dried aggregate in air
According to IS 2386-1963 specific gravity of coarse aggregate
should be in between 2.8 to 2.9 and that of fine aggregate should
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be in between 2.5 to 2.66.


A balance ,
calibrated cylindrical metal measure
tamping rod of 16 mm diameter and 60cm length.

the measure is filled about one third each time and tamped 25
times with tamping rod.
After filling the surplus aggregate is struck off using tamping
rod or straight edge.
Net weight of aggregate plus container is determined.
Bulk density = weight of aggregate
= (w2-w1)
Volume of measure

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A balance ,
metal gauges,
IS sieves of sizes
and 10mm.
A sufficient quantity of aggregate is taken so that there should
enough pieces to check .
the material is then sieved through the above sieve and note
the weight retained in each sieve

Material retained in each sieve is passed through the

corresponding thickness gauge slots and note the weigh of
aggregate pass through the thickness gauge.
Flakiness index is the % of ratio of total weight of the
aggregate passing the various slots of thickness gauge
divided by the total weight of sample.
Incase of elongation index the material is passed through the
elongation gauge and note the weight of sample not passing
through the corresponding length gauge
Elongation index is the per of ratio of the weight of the
aggregate retained on the various slots of the elongation gauge
divided by the total weight of sample.

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Elongation Gauge

Thickness Gauge
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