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SCHOOL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

EAA 204/2 STRUCTURES & STRENGTH OF MATERIALS LABORATORY


(2015/2016)

K3: PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF FINE AGGREGATES

GROUP B6

Group members:

1. FATIN FARHANA BINTI KAMARZAMAN 124943


2. SITI NUR AISHAH BINTI MOHD YUSOFF 124988
3. TUNG WEN YAN 124997

DR. IZWAN JOHARI

13TH OCTOBER 2015

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(Assignment/Project received without this declaration form will not be graded)

Declaration of Academic Honesty

Academic honesty or academic integrity is a very important virtue that all students should uphold
at all times.

We declare that the lab report submitted is not plagiarized and is entirely my/our own works, and
that no part of it has been copied from any work produced by other person(s) / source(s) or
provided by other student(s).

We understand that issuing a false declaration can result in severe penalties and we are willing to
be penalized if any form of copying found valid.

[Name(s) and signature(s)]

1. FATIN FARHANA BINTI KAMARZAMAN


2. SITI NUR AISHAH BINTI MOHD YUSOFF
3. TUNG WEN YAN
K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

CONTENTS

Page
1. Abstract 1
2. Objective 2
3. Introduction 2
4. Equipment and Materials 3
5. Procedure 45
6. Results 6
7. Observation and Calculation 7 12
8. Discussion 13 16
9. Conclusion 17
K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

ABSTRACT

This experiment is carried out to determine the physical characteristics of fine aggregates which
are required in concrete mix designs. It is crucial as it will affect the strength of the concrete as well as
other characteristics of the concrete.

In this experiment, three tests were carried out: determine the sieve analysis, specific gravity and
water absorption and the silt content of the fine aggregates. Sieve analysis was done to identify the
grading of the fine aggregates. For the specific gravity and water absorption of fine aggregates, bulk dry
density in SSD condition is determined and the percentage of water absorption is identified because the
water content in the pores of the aggregate does not take part in the chemical reaction with the cement..
Silt content of sand samples are compared so that a better sand sample can be identified for the usage of
concrete mix design as silt is considered as deleterious materials which will lower the concrete strength.

From the sieve analysis, the fine aggregate can be considered as good grade as it fits the overall
grading curve of the fine aggregates. Besides, it fits the coarse grading curve of fine aggregates. Hence, it
is known to be coarser or bigger in size of fine aggregate. The bulk dry density of the sample in oven-
dried condition is 2.597 whereas in saturated surface dry condition is 2.619. The apparent specific gravity
of the sample is 2.656 and the percentage of absorption is 0.86%. Mine sand and river sand are the two
samples used in determining the silt content. Mine sand has silt content of 7.2% whereas river sand has
2.3%. Therefore, river sand is more suitable to be used as fine aggregate in the concrete mix design.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

OBJECTIVE

To determine the physical characteristics of fine aggregates which are required in concrete mix designs.

INTRODUCTION

The term aggregate is used to describe the gravels , crushed rocks and sands which are mixed
with cement and water to make concrete .The aggregates affect concretes performance as it is dictates the
bulk of the volume of concrete. Therefore, the selection of suitable materials, especially aggregate is very
important. In fact, the properties of the aggregate will have significant effect on the properties of concrete
which is both in the fresh and hardened state.

Aggregates are classified according to the particle size .Fine aggregate is smaller than 5mm -
75m while coarse aggregate is defined as materials larger than 5mm-50mm. In this experiment, we are
going to determine the physical characteristic of fine aggregate which are required in concrete mix design.

The gradually of aggregates, which is refer to the particle size distribution is very important in the
design of concrete mix design. For most particle concrete, it is desirable to have the particle size evenly
distributed from the maximum size aggregates down to the smallest sand particles. This will enable the
aggregate to compact together .The small size of fine aggregates can fill the pores between the coarse
aggregates. As a result, this will reduce the number of voids to be filled by the more expensive cement
paste.

The specific gravity (relative density) of an aggregate is the ratio of its mass to the mass of an
equal volume of water. In general, the specific gravity based on the surface dry condition (SSD) is used in
concrete mix design. This is because the water contained in the pores of aggregate does not take part in
the chemical reaction with cement and considered as a part of the aggregates.

The presence of silt has adverse effect on the aggregates. Due to their fitness and larger surface
area, silt increase the amount of water used for hydration and subsequently results in higher water cement
ratio and lower strength .Thus the amount of silt in concrete is limited with respond to the British
Standard.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS

a) Sieve Analysis
i. Sample separator
ii. Sieve with size 5mm, 2.36mm, 1.18mm, 600m, 300m and 150m.
iii. 2kg of dry sample
iv. Weighing balance (0.1g)

b) Specific Gravity and Absorption


i. Piknometer
ii. Hair dryer
iii. Tray
iv. Compaction rod
v. Conical mould
vi. Scale
vii. Oven
viii. Distilled water
ix. 500 g sample that already immersed into the water for 24 hour.
x. Weighing balance (0.1g)

c) Silt Content
i. 250ml measuring cylinder
ii. Dissolved salt water
iii. Two sand sample (River Sand and Mine Sand)

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

PROCEDURE

a) Sieve Analysis

2000g of sand sample was measured. Then, 500g of sand sample was taken using a sample
separator with the weight nearest to 0.1g. Each sieve was weighed and arranged in descending order
with the biggest sieve on the upper part to the smallest sieve on bottom part. The 500g sample was
filled into the sieve and it was sieved for 5 minutes on the shaker.

The sand that retained in each sieve was weighed. The test is repeated if the weight of the sieved
sample is different from real mass for more than 1%.

The percentage of aggregate passing through each sieved was calculated. A grading curves was
drawn and compared with grading limit in British Standard.

b) Specific Gravity and Absorption

A blank piknometer filled with distilled water was weighed. The reading was recorded as C. Next,
the piknometer was filled with 500g of sample that was already immersed into water for 24 hours.
Distilled water was added to full and the weight was taken. The reading was recorded as B.

A tray is weighed. Then, the water was poured out and the sample was spread in the tray. The
sample was dried using a heater. After the sample was heated until it reached the SSD condition, the
sample was filled into the conical mould and compacted with a rod compactor for 25 times. If there
were excess dampness, the sand will maintain the shape when the mould was removed. The saturated
dry surface condition is defined as the condition where the sand start declined when the mould is
removed. After the condition was achieved, the sample and the tray were weighed. The mass of the
sample at the saturated dry surface condition was determined and recorded as A.

Next, the sample was kept into the oven with temperature 105 5C for 24 hours .The mass of the
sample after it has been dried was calculated and recorded as D.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

Then, the bulk density was calculated using the following formula:

D
Bulk Dry Density (Oven Dried) = A - (B - C)

A
Bulk Dry Density (Saturated Surface Dried) =
A - (B - C)

The apparent specific gravity was calculated using the following formula:

D
Apparent Specific Gravity =
D - (B - C)

The percentage of absorption is calculated by using the following formula:

A-D
Percentage of Absorption (%) = x 100%
D

c) Silt Content

First and foremost, 50ml of dissolved salt water (i.e. 1g) was poured into the 250ml measuring
cylinder. Then the sand was added into the measuring cylinder until it reached 100ml. Dissolved salt
water was added again until it reached 150ml.The mouth of measuring cylinder was closed using
hand palm and it was shaken and turned upside down for few times. The mixtures were kept for three
hours to attain saturation.

After 3 hours, the height of silt layer and sand layer were measured .The silt content was
calculated by using the following formula:

Height of Silt Layer x 100%


Silt Content (%) =
Height of Sand Layer

The silt contents for River Sand and Mine Sand were determined.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

RESULTS

a) Sieve Analysis

Type of sand: Fine


Weight of sample before sieve: 500g

Table of Sieve Analysis

Percentage of
Sieve Sample Weight Retained Percentage of
Sieve Passing
Opening + Sieve Weight Sample Retained Sample
Weight (g) Through The
(mm) (g) Weight (g) (%)
Sieve (%)

5.00 403.1 435.7 32.6 6.5 93.5


2.36 404.8 550.0 145.2 29.1 64.4

1.18 367.3 501.2 133.9 26.8 37.6


0.60 319.3 425.3 106.0 21.2 16.4

0.30 297.5 348.6 51.1 10.2 6.2

0.15 279.9 302.0 22.1 4.4 1.8


Pan 489.9 499.0 9.1 1.8 0

Total: 500g 100%

b) Specific Gravity and Water Absorption

Specific Gravity:
Bulk Dry Density (oven dried) 2.597
Bulk Dry Density (SSD) 2.619
Apparent 2.656
Absorption (%) 0.86

c) Silt Content

Type of Sand Silt Content (%)


Mine Sand 7.2
River Sand 2.3

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

OBSERVATION AND CALCULATION

a) Sieve Analysis

Real mass of the sand = 500g


Mass of the sand after sieved = 500g

Real Mass Mass After sieved


Difference in mass = x 100%
Real Mass

500 500
= x 100%
500

= 0%

Owing to the mass difference being less than 1%, the results obtained is acceptable.

b) Specific Gravity and Water Absorption

Mass of blank piknometer filled with water, C 1246.3g


Mass of 500g sample + piknometer + water, B 1498.7g
Mass of tray 350.0g
Mass of tray with sample at SSD condition 758.3g
Mass of sample at SSD condition, A 408.3g
Mass of tray with sample at oven dried condition 754.8g
Mass of sample at oven dried condition, D 404.8g

D
Bulk Dry Density (Oven Dried) =
A - (B - C)

404.8
=
408.3 (1498.7 1246.3)

= 2.597

Bulk Dry Density (Saturated A


=
Surface Dried) = A - (B - C)

408.3
=
408.3 (1498.7 1246.3)

= 2.619

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

D
Apparent Specific Gravity =
D - (B - C)

404.8
=
404.8 (1498.7 1246.3)

= 2.656

A-D
Percentage of Absorption (%) = x 100%
D

408.3 404.8
= x 100%
404.8

= 0.86%

c) Silt Content

(i) Mine Sand

Height of sand layer = 83


Height of silt layer = 89 83 = 6

Height of Silt Layer


Silt Content (%) = x 100%
Height of Sand Layer

6
= x 100%
83

= 7.2%

(ii) River Sand

Height of sand layer = 88


Height of silt layer = 90 88 = 2

Height of Silt Layer


Silt Content (%) = x 100%
Height of Sand Layer

2
= x 100%
88

= 2.3%

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

Overall Grading Curve of Fine Aggregates


100

90

80
Percentage of Passing Trhough The Sieve (%)

70

60

50
Lower Limit (%)

Upper Limit (%)

40 Sample Passing Through (%)

30

20

10

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Sieve Size (mm)

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

Coarse Grading Curve of Fine Aggregates

100

90

80

70
Percentage of passing through (%)

60

50
Lower Limit (%)

Upper Limit (%)


40
Sample Passing Through (%)

30

20

10

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Sieve Size (mm)

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

Medium Grading Curve of Fine Aggregates

100

90

80

70
Percentage of passing through (%)

60

50
Lower Limit (%)

Upper Limit (%)


40
Sample Passing Through (%)

30

20

10

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Sieve Size (mm)

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

Fine Grading Curve of Fine Aggregates


100

90

80

70
Percentage of passing through (%)

60

50

40 Lower Limit (%)

Upper Limit (%)

Sample Passing Through (%)


30

20

10

0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
Sieve Size (mm)

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

DISCUSSION

1) Does the fine aggregate have a good grade? Discuss it.

According to British Standard grading requirements for fine aggregate (BS 882 : 1992), the sieve
openings (in mm) and the cumulative percentage of sample passing through sieves with size of 5mm,
2.36mm, 1.18mm, 600m, 300m and 150m, are the two variables that determine the grading of
aggregates. Fine aggregates are basically classified into four types; overall, course, medium and fine
grading. The table below shows the BS grading requirement for fine aggregate:

Percentages of passing through the sieve (%)


Sieve size
Overall grading Coarse grading Medium grading Fine grading
5.00mm 89 - 100 - - -
2.36mm 60 - 100 60 - 100 65 - 100 80 - 100
1.18mm 30 - 100 30 - 90 45 - 100 70 - 100
0.60mm 15 - 100 15 - 54 25 - 80 50 - 100
0.30mm 5 - 70 5 - 40 5 - 48 5 - 70
0.15mm 0-5 - - -

From the graph of cumulative percentage of fine aggregate passing through the sieves opening of
different sizes against the sieve openings that we plotted, our result is lying in between the upper limit
and lower limit of overall and course grading. Since the result of our fine aggregate sample fulfill and
fit the overall grading limit, it can be considered as a good grade fine aggregate. Also, it fits the
coarse grading limit but does not fit medium and fine grading limit. Hence, the size of the fine
aggregate is more to coarse which is bigger.

In short, the fine aggregate have a good grade and they are suitable to be used in concrete mix
design. The fine aggregate satisfies the overall and course grading which are stated in the BS 882:
1992. Hence, they can be classified as coarse grading fine aggregates.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

2) Discuss the importance of grading of fine aggregates on the characteristics of fresh concrete
such as workability.

The grading of fine aggregate have great effects on the characteristics of fresh concrete such as
consistency and workability of fresh concrete. We have to determine the grading of fine aggregate
because of the water demand or required for the mixing is greatly influenced by the fine aggregate.
As the amount of fineness of the fine aggregate increase, the total surface area that has to be
lubricated by water will increase. This is due to the large total surface area exposed to cement paste
of the fine aggregate, thus higher volume of water is required to cover all fine aggregate with cement
paste and completely lubricated the aggregates. Hence, the workability of a fresh concrete will
decrease when the amount of fine aggregate increase at a constant water cement ratio.

Moreover, the grading of fine aggregate is also crucial in term of strength of a fresh concrete. If
the grading of fine aggregate is not good, it will lower the strength, impermeability and the durability
of the fresh concrete. This is because of the fact that the fine aggregate will not evenly distributed
grade cannot perform its role as filler nicely and cause the existing of excess voids in the concrete,
consequently lower the strength, durability and impermeability of concrete.

Workability is one of the physical parameters of concrete which affects the strength and
durability as well as the cost of labour and appearance of the finished product. Concrete is said to be
workable when it is easily placed and compacted homogeneously i.e. without bleeding or
Segregation. Unworkable concrete needs more work or effort to be compacted in place, also
honeycombs &/or pockets may also be visible in finished concrete. . In short, the property of fresh
concrete which is indicated by the amount of useful internal work required to fully compact the
concrete without bleeding or segregation in the finished product. The grading of fine aggregate is
important to be determined in order to produce a mix design concrete that have a better quality in
term of workability, strength, durability and impermeability.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

3) What is the difference between specific gravity, bulk and apparent specific gravity? Discuss
why bulk specific gravity is used in mix design.

Specific gravity of an aggregate is the ratio of its mass to the mass of an equal volume of water.
Bulk specific gravity is the ratio of the mass of the aggregate in saturated and surface-dry (SSD)
condition to the mass of water occupies a volume equal to that of the solid including the internal
pores.

A
Bulk Dry Density (Saturated Surface Dried) =
A - (B - C)
A = mass of sample in SSD condition
B = mass of vessel with sample and full with water
C = mass of vessel full with water

Apparent specific gravity is the ratio of the mass of oven-dried aggregate to the mass of water
occupying a volume equal to that of the solid including the internal pores.

D
Apparent Specific Gravity =
D - (B - C)

B = mass of vessel with sample and full with water


C = mass of vessel full with water
D = mass of oven-dried sample

Bulk specific gravity is used in mix design to determine the absorption of water by the pores
exist in the aggregates. This is because the water absorbed by the pores will not take part in the
chemical reaction with cement but it contributes to the weight of the aggregates. Thus, the bulk
specific gravity which can determine the absorption of water is used to determine the exact volume
of water and the amount of aggregates required for mix design concrete in order to enable us to
determine the net water-cement ratio in the concrete mix design.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

4) Discuss the effect of the presence of silt in the quality of concrete.

Since silt is sediment that is very small in particle size (between 2m and 60m), thus excessive
amount of silt will increase the volume of water for mixing due to its larger surface area that has to
be lubricated by water. If the amount of water is not increased, silt will decrease or lower the
workability of fresh concrete and the consistency of fresh concrete which in turn will cause the fresh
concrete to be unworkable.

Furthermore, the existence of silt in concrete will lower the strength, durability and the
impermeability of the concrete. This is because of the fact that silt may prevent the bonding between
the cement pastes with aggregates. This will reduce the strength of concrete. In addition, it causes
voids and honeycomb if excessive amount of silt is present in the concrete. Hence, it lowers the
durability and impermeability of concrete.

In conclusion, the presence of excessive silt in the concrete will affect the quality of the concrete.
Silt and clay are not as strong as typical aggregates. They can absorb water and their properties can
change because of it. In hardened concrete, if the silt and clay come in contact with water in air
voids, they can shrink or swell, either building internal pressure or leaving larger voids and
weakening the concrete.

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K3: Physical Properties of Fine Aggregates Group B6

CONCLUSION

This experiment is carried out to determine the physical characteristics of fine aggregates which
are required in concrete mix designs. It is crucial as it will determine the strength of the concrete as well
as other characteristics of the concrete.

Based on the results we obtained from the sieve analysis, the sand sample fits the coarse grading
curve of the fine aggregates. Nevertheless, the sand sample does not fall in the range for the fine and
medium grading limit. Hence, this indicates that the fine aggregates are mostly consisting of coarse size
fine aggregates. The bigger size of the sand will reduce the concrete strength as it might not fill the empty
space between the aggregate particles. The particle size distribution should be continuous from biggest
size to smallest size. However, in overall, the fine aggregate has a good grade. This can be proven by the
grading curve as it fits the overall grading curve of the fine aggregates based on the British Standard.

The specific gravity and water absorption of the fine aggregate are identified. The bulk dry
density of the sample in oven-dried condition is 2.597 whereas in saturated surface dry condition is 2.619.
The apparent specific gravity of the sample is 2.656 and the percentage of absorption is 0.86%. Generally,
bulk dry density (SSD) specific gravity is taken into consideration during concrete mix design. This is
because the water content in the pores of the aggregate does not take part in the chemical reaction with
the cement. It is considered as part of the aggregate. Hence, to counter the absorption effect of the
aggregate, SSD condition is normally used instead of oven-dried condition.

From the experiment determining the silt content of two samples, mine sand has silt content of
7.2% whereas river sand has 2.3%. It is clear that the lower the silt content of a sample, the better the
sample is to be used in concrete mix design due to its deleterious behaviour. It can reduce the concrete
strength and durability. Based on the British Standard, the silt content should not more than 5.0%. Hence,
river sand is more suitable to be used as fine aggregate in the concrete mix design.

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