Investigation of Testing Methods to Determine Long-Term Durability of Wisconsin Aggregate Resources Including Natural Materials, Industrial By-Products, and Recycled/Reclaimed Materials
Williamson, Gregory Scott
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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) uses approximately 11,000,000 tons of aggregate per year for transportation projects. Being able to select durable aggregates for use in transportation projects is of considerable importance, if the aggregate deteriorates then the constructed facility requires premature repair, rehabilitation or replacement. Realizing the importance and also that deficiencies in the current WisDOT testing protocol may exist, it has been concluded that the durability-testing program for Wisconsin aggregates needs to be updated. For example, WisDOT is currently using the Sodium Sulfate Soundness Test (ASTM C 88) to measure durability, a test that was put in place in 1960. The ability of this test to predict durability performance and simulate field conditions is questionable and it has also been criticized for its lack of precision. It should also be noted that the use of recycled and reclaimed aggregates has increased in recent years and not all typical durability tests can be used for testing these aggregates. The Sulfate Test in particular cannot be used for testing Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCA) because the chemical reaction produces erroneous and misleading results. This project has identified recent advances in the understanding and testing of aggregate durability. An in depth literature review has been conducted and from the compiled information a laboratory testing program was developed. Selection of the tests was based upon the tests' precision, efficiency, and predictive capabilities. In the laboratory-testing phase of this project the proposed durability tests along with current WisDOT durability tests were used to evaluate the full range of Wisconsin aggregates. From the test results it was found that the WisDOT aggregate testing protocol could be reduced substantially by eliminating many of the testing requirements for aggregates that have a vacuum saturated absorption of less than 2%. Also, the addition of several tests was ruled out due to their lack of correlation with field performance records. The Micro-Deval abrasion test is recommended for inclusion in WisDOT testing protocol as a test to measure the abrasion resistance of aggregate while the L.A. Abrasion test is better suited as a measure of aggregate strength. Additional conclusions were made based on the durability testing conducted and an overall testing protocol has been developed and is recommended for implementation by WisDOT.
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