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SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM

SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 1 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

Test Procedure for
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USI NG SODI UM
SULFATE OR MAGNESI UM SULFATE
TxDOT Designation: Tex-411-A
Effective Date: October 2004
1. SCOPE
1.1 This test method measures aggregate resistance to disintegration.
1.2 The values given in parentheses (if provided) are not standard and may not be exact
mathematical conversions. Use each system of units separately. Combining values from
the two systems may result in nonconformance with the standard.
2. APPARATUS
2.1 Standard U.S. sieves, meeting the requirements of Tex-907-K in the following sizes:
300 m (No. 50)
600 m (No. 30)
1.18 mm (No. 16)
2.36 mm (No. 8)
4.00 mm (No. 5)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
8.0 mm (5/16 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
16.0 mm (5/8 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
31.5 mm (1-1/4 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
50.0 mm (2 in.)
63.0 mm (2-1/2 in.)

Texas
Department
of Transportation
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 2 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

Larger sizes by 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) spread.
2.2 Tanks, with a volume greater than five times the solid volume of the immersed samples in
their containers.
2.3 Perforated containers, for immersion of samples, such as baskets of non-corrosive wire
mesh, or sieves with suitable openings to allow free access of solution to the samples.
2.4 Solution temperature control device.
2.5 Balance, accurate and readable to within 0.1 g.
2.6 Drying oven, with an evaporation rate of at least 25 g/hr. for 4 hr., while the doors of the
oven are kept closed.
2.6.1 Determine this rate by the loss of water from 1-L Griffin low-form beakers, each initially
containing 500 g of water and at a temperature of 21 2C (70 3F), placed in each
corner and the center of each shelf of the oven.
2.6.2 The oven must meet the evaporation requirement in all test locations when empty except
for the beakers of water.
2.7 Hydrometer, conforming to the requirements of ASTM E 100.
2.8 Water, from an approved drinking water source.
2.9 Barium chloride, 0.2 molar.
3. NORMALIZED GRADATION AND STANDARDIZATION
3.1 Normalized gradation and standardized aggregate sizes are used in this test method. This
reduces the impact of aggregate size and gradation on test results.
3.2 The median of the specification gradation should be normalized for the aggregate
products as shown in Table 1, and should be used for this test.
Table 1Normalized Gradations
Application Passing Sieve Retained Sieve Normalized Gradation
Concrete Fine Aggregate 4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8)
10%
2.36 mm (No. 8) 1.18 mm (No. 16)
23%
1.18 mm (No. 16) 600 m (No. 30) 22%
600 m (No. 30) 300 m (No. 50) 22%
300 m (No. 50)
23%
Concrete Coarse Aggregate 19.0 mm (3/4 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
66%
9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 4.75 mm (No. 4)
34%
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 3 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

Application Passing Sieve Retained Sieve Normalized Gradation
Surface Treatment 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
28%
9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 4.75 mm (No. 4)
72%
HMAC 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
13%
9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 4.75 mm (No. 4)
50%
4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8)
37%
Micro-Surface 4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8)
17%
2.36 mm (No. 8) 1.18 mm (No. 16)
23%
1.18 mm (No. 16) 600 m (No. 30) 20%
600 m (No. 30) 300 m (No. 50) 14%
300 m (No. 50)
26%
Rock Riprap 63.0 mm (2-1/2 in.) 37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
70%
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.) 19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
30%
Rock Riprap Bedding 63.0 mm (2-1/2 in.) 37.5 mm (1-1/2in.)
24%
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.) 19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
39%
19.0 mm (3/4 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
24%
9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 4.75 mm (No. 4)
13%
Base Material
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.) 19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
26%

19.0 mm (3/4 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
13%

9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 4.75 mm (No. 4)
15%

4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8)
7%

2.36 mm (No. 8) 1.18 mm (No. 16)
8%

1.18 mm (No. 16) 600 m (No. 30)
6%

600 m (No. 30) 300 m (No. 50)
5%

300 m (No. 50)
20%
4. PREPARATIONS
4.1 Preparing Saturated Solution:
4.1.1 Dissolve USP grade salt in water at a temperature of 25C (75F) minimum. Add
sufficient salt of either the anhydrous (MgSO
4
or Na
2
SO
4
) or the crystalline hydrate
(MgSO
4
+ 7H
2
O or Na
2
SO
4
+ 10H
2
O) form, to ensure not only saturation, but also the
presence of excess crystals when the solution is ready for use in the tests. (See Table 2.)
4.1.2 Thoroughly stir the mixture during the addition of the salt and allow the solution to cool
to 2024C (6875F). Allow the solution to remain undisturbed for at least 48 hours
before use.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 4 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

Note 1To reduce evaporation and prevent contamination, keep the solution covered at
all times when access is not needed.
4.1.3 Prior to each use break up any salt cake in the tank, and stir. Measure and document the
temperature and specific gravity of the solution daily. Test reproducibility will be
affected if these factors are allowed to vary from test requirements. When obtaining a
specific gravity reading, obtain it prior to stirring the solution. When tested, the specific
gravity should range from 1.151 through 1.174 for the sodium sulfate solution, or from
1.295 through 1.308 for the magnesium sulfate solution.
4.1.4 Discard a discolored solution, or filter it and check for specific gravity.
Table 2Minimum Mass of Salt Per Liter of Water
Salt MgSO
4
Na
2
SO
4

Anhydrous 350 g 215 g
Crystalline 1400 g 700 g
Note 2 Some aggregates containing carbonates of calcium or magnesium are attacked
chemically by fresh sulfate solution, resulting in erroneously high measured losses. If this
condition is encountered or suspected, repeat the test using a solution that has been used
previously to test the same type of carbonate rock, provided that the solution meets the
requirements for temperature and specific gravity.
Note 3When the sample does not contain smaller particle sizes, crush the larger
particles, as spelled out in the Table 1.
Note 4When the sample does not contain larger particle sizes, use the loss from the
next smallest sieve size which does contain adequate material for testing to calculate the
loss for the normalized gradation.
4.2 Preparing Concrete Fine Aggregate:
4.2.1 Concrete fine aggregate consists of all concrete aggregate passing a 4.75 mm (No. 4)
sieve, except for mineral filler.
4.2.2 Reduce the sample to test size shown in Tex-401-A.
4.2.3 Thoroughly wash the fine aggregate sample over a 300 m (No. 50) sieve, dry to constant
mass in oven.
4.2.4 Hand-sieve the sample to refusal in accordance with Tex-401-A into the size fractions
shown in Table 3.
4.2.4.1 Do not test any concrete fine aggregate passing the 300 m (No. 50) sieve. It is assumed
to have 0% loss and is accounted for in the normalized gradation as 23% of the sample.
4.2.4.2 Do not use fine aggregate sticking in the meshes of the sieves in preparing samples. Place
each size fraction in separate containers for the test.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 5 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004


Table 3Aggregate Size Fractions
Sieve Passing Sieve Retained Mass, grams
4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8) 100 g
2.36 mm (No. 8) 1.18 mm (No. 16) 100 g
1.18 mm (No. 16) 600 m (No. 30) 100 g
600 m (No. 30) 300 m (No. 50) 100 g
4.3 Preparing a Coarse Aggregate for Concrete, Surface treatment, and HMAC
Applications:
4.3.1 Reduce the sample to test size shown in Tex-401-A.
4.3.2 Make a rough separation of the sample into designated sizes by hand or mechanical
sieving. (If mechanical sieving is used, limit sieving to the minimum required to separate
the sample to avoid abrasion of softer particles.) Thoroughly wash the sample of coarse
aggregate and then dry to constant mass at 230 9F (110 5C) in the oven. Dry
limestone rock asphalt aggregate at 140 9F (60 5C).
4.3.3 Hand sieve the sample to refusal according to Tex-401-A into the size fractions listed in
Table 4.
4.3.3.1 ConcreteConcrete coarse aggregate consists of material from which the sizes finer than
the 4.75 mm (No. 4) sieve have been removed.
4.3.3.2 Bituminous Coarse Aggregate Coarse aggregate for HMAC and surface treatment
applications consists of material from which sizes finer than 2.36 mm (No. 8) have been
removed.
Note 5When the sample does not contain larger particle sizes, use the loss from the
next smallest sieve size which does contain adequate material for testing to calculate the
loss for the normalized gradation.
4.3.4 Weigh out quantities of the different sizes within the tolerances shown in Table 4. Where
the test portions consist of two sizes, combine them to the designated total mass.
4.3.5 Record the masses of the test samples and their fractional components.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 6 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004


Table 4Sample Size Fractions
Item Sieve Passing Sieve Retained Weight, g
Concrete Aggregate 19.0 mm (3/4 in.) 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 670 10
Concrete Aggregate 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 330 5
Concrete Aggregate
consisting of:
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No.4)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
300 5
180 5
120 5
HMAC
12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 1000 10
HMAC
consisting of:
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No.4)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
300 5
180 5
120 5
HMAC 4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8) 100 5
Surface Treatment 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 1000 10
Surface Treatment
consisting of:
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
300 5
180 5
120 5
4.4 Preparing Aggregate for Other Applications:
4.4.1 Reduce the sample to test size shown in Tex-401-A.
4.4.2 Make a rough separation of the sample into designated sizes by hand or mechanical
sieving. If mechanical sieving is used, limit sieving to the minimum required to separate
the sample to avoid abrasion of softer particles. Thoroughly wash the sample of coarse
aggregate and then dry to a constant mass in the oven.
4.4.3 Hand sieve the sample to refusal in accordance with Tex-401-A into the size fractions
indicated in Table 5.
4.4.3.1 Rock Riprap and Rock Riprap Bedding - Rock riprap consists of aggregate from which
sizes finer than 19.0 mm (3/4 in.) have been removed. Rock riprap bedding consists of
aggregate from which the sizes finer than 4.75 mm (No. 4) have been removed.
4.4.3.2 Base material consists of sizes between 37.5 m (1-1/2 in.) and 300 m (No. 50). Use the
same masses as specified for concrete fine aggregate for sizes smaller than 4.75 mm
(No. 4) and as specified for coarse aggregate for size fractions between 37.5 mm
(1-1/2 in.) to 4.75 mm (No. 4).
4.4.3.3 Micro-surfacing material consists of sizes between 4.75 mm (No. 4) and 300 m
(No. 50). Use the same masses as specified for concrete fine aggregates. Do not test any
material passing the 300 m (No. 50) sieve. It is assumed to have 0% loss and is
accounted for in the normalized gradation as 26% of the sample.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 7 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

4.4.4 Weigh out quantities of the different sizes within the tolerances shown above and where
the test portions consist of two sizes, combine them to the designated total mass.
4.4.5 Record the masses of the test samples and their fractional components.
Table 5Sample Size Fractions for Other Applications
Item Sieve Passing Sieve Retained Weight, g
Rock Riprap
consisting of:
63 mm (2-1/2 in.)
63 mm (2-1/2 in.)
50 mm (2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
50 mm (2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
5000 300
3000 300
2000 200
Rock Riprap
consisting of:
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
1500 50
1000 50
500 10
Rock Riprap Bedding
consisting of:
63.0 mm (2-1/2 in.)
63.0 (2-1/2 in.)
50 mm (2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
50 mm (2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
5000 300
3000 300
2000 200
Rock Riprap Bedding
consisting of:
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
1500 50
1000 50
500 10
Rock Riprap Bedding
consisting of:
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
1000 10
670 10
330 5
Rock Riprap Bedding
consisting of:
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
6.3 mm (1/4 in.)
4.75 mm (No.4 )
300 5
180 5
120 5
Base Material
consisting of:
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
25.0 mm (1 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
1500 50
1000 50
500 10
Base Material
consisting of:
19.00 mm (3/4 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
1000 10
670 10
330 5
Base Material
consisting of:

9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
12.5 mm (1/2 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4)
300 5
180 5
120 5
Base Material 4.75 mm (No. 4) 2.36 mm (No. 8) 100 5
Base Material 2.36 mm (No. 8) 1.18 mm (No. 16) 100 5
Base Material 1.18 mm (No. 16) 600 m (No. 30) 100 5
Base Material 600 m (No. 30) 300 m (No. 50) 100 5
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 8 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

5. PROCEDURES
5.1 Soundness Test:
5.1.1 Immerse samples in the prepared solution of sodium or magnesium sulfate for 16 to
18 hours. The solution must cover the samples by at least 12.5 mm (0.5 in.). Suitably
weighted wire grids placed over the samples will permit this coverage to be achieved
with lightweight aggregates.
5.1.2 Cover the tank to reduce evaporation and prevent contamination.
5.1.3 Maintain the solution at a temperature of 20 to 24C (68 to 75F) for the immersion
period.
5.1.4 Remove the aggregate samples from the solution, permit them to drain for
15 5 minutes, and place in the drying oven.
5.1.5 Oven-dry the samples until they reach a constant mass. Constant mass will be considered
achieved when the mass loss is less than 0.1% of the sample mass in four hours of drying.
Note 6Drying time required to reach constant mass may vary considerably for several
reasons. Efficiency of drying will be reduced as cycles accumulate because of salt
adhering to particles and, in some cases, because of increase in surface area due to
breakdown. The different size fractions of aggregate also will have different drying rates.
The smaller sizes will tend to dry more slowly because of their larger surface area and
more restricted interparticle voids, but this tendency may be altered by the effects of the
container size and shape.
5.1.6 Allow the samples to cool to room temperature.
5.1.7 Repeat Sections 5.1.1 through 5.1.6 for a total of five cycles unless otherwise specified.
5.1.8 After completion of the final cycle, allow the sample to cool to room temperature. Wash
sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate free from the sample. Wash by circulating water
continuously at 43 6C (110 10F) through the samples in their containers.
Circulation of the water occurs by allowing water, which starts near the bottom, to flow
through the samples and overflow. Determine the thoroughness of washing by obtaining
a sample of water flushed through the aggregate; check by adding 0.2 M barium chloride
to the rinse water. If the water becomes cloudy, additional washing is required.
5.1.9 For aggregate retained on the No. 4 sieve:
5.1.9.1 Using running water, wet sieve the aggregate with sufficient agitation to assure all
undersized material passes the sieve sizes listed in Table 6.
5.1.9.2 While sieving, rinse the aggregate free of any salt with water over the sieve size
designated in Table 6.
5.1.9.3 Clean the sample containers.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 9 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

5.1.9.4 Return the samples to the containers and oven-dry each fraction to a constant mass.
5.1.10 For aggregate passing the No. 4 sieve:
5.1.10.1 Using warm running water or spray at 43 6C (110 10F), rinse the samples in the
container free of any possible remaining salt. Do not allow the samples to be subjected to
impact or abrasion during rinsing.
5.1.10.2 Oven-dry each fraction to a constant mass.
5.1.10.3 Hand sieve (dry) the fractions over the same sieve on which they were retained before the
test.
5.1.10.4 Sieve to refusal in accordance with Tex-401-A.
5.1.11 Weigh the material retained on each sieve to the nearest 0.1 g and record each mass.
Table 6Aggregate Retained on No. 4 Sieve
Retained on Sieve Sieve Used to Determine Loss
50 mm (2 in.) 37.5 mm (1-1/2 in)
37.5 mm (1-1/2 in.) 31.5 mm (1-1/4 in.)
19.0 mm (3/4 in.) 16.0 mm (5/8 in.)
9.5 mm (3/8 in.) 8.0 mm (5/16 in.)
4.75 mm (No. 4) 4.0 mm (No. 5)
Note 7Permitted-loss percentage differs between fine and coarse aggregates and the
use of the two salts. The test is more severe when magnesium sulfate is used;
accordingly, the percent losses allowed are higher than those produced when sodium
sulfate is used.
6. CALCULATIONS
6.1 Calculate Individual Percent Loss of each size fraction (c
i
):
c a b a
i i i i
[( ) / ]100
Where:
a
i
= initial mass of each size fraction
b
i
= final mass of each size fraction.
6.2 Calculate Normalized Percent Loss of each size fraction (d
i
), from Table 1:
d c Normalized Gradation Percent
i i
( )
6.3 Calculate Total Percent Loss
e d
i
( )
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 10 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

Table 7Examples of Calculations
(a)
Orig. Wt.
(grams)
(b)
Wt. Ret.
(grams)
( c )
Individual
% Loss

Normal.
Grad. %
(d)
Normal
% Loss
Concrete Fine Aggregate

- - - -
4.75 mm2.36 mm (No. 4 No. 8)
100.2 92.6 7.6 10 0.8
2.36 mm1.18 mm (No. 8 No. 16)
100.7 94.8 5.9 23 1.4
1.18 mm600 m (No. 16 No. 30)
99.6 93.2 6.4 22 1.4
600 m300 m (No. 30 No. 50)
100.3 96.5 3.8 22 0.8
minus 300 m (No. 50)
0 0 23 0

Total =
400.8 100 4.4
% Unsound = 4

HMAC Coarse Aggregate Example

12.5 mm9.5 mm (1/2 in.3/8 in.)
1009.5 858.6 14.9 13 1.9
9.5 mm4.75 mm (3/8 in. No. 4)
298.6 228.5 23.5 50 11.8
4.75 mm2.36 mm (No. 4No. 8)
100.3 71.3 28.9 37 10.7

Total =
1408.4 100 24.4
% Unsound = 24

Rock Riprap Bedding Example

63.0 mm37.5 mm (2-1/2 in.1-1/2 in.)
4989.7 4887.5 2.0 24 0.5
37.5 mm19.0 mm (1/2 in.3/4 in.)
1502.3 1428.2 4.9 39 1.9
19.0 mm9.5 mm (3/4 in.3/8 in.)
1008.6 951.1 5.7 24 1.4
9.5 mm4.75 mm (3/8 in.No. 4)
297.0 268.3 9.7 13 1.3

Total =
7797.6

100 5.1
% Unsound = 5

7. REPORTING
7.1 Report test results to the nearest whole number.
SOUNDNESS OF AGGREGATE USING SODIUM SULFATE OR MAGNESIUM
SULFATE
TXDOT DESIGNATION: TEX-411-A

CONSTRUCTION DIVISION 11 11 EFFECTIVE DATE: OCTOBER 2004

7.2 A worksheet should contain:
Initial mass of each size fraction
Final mass of each size fraction
The individual percent loss of each sample fraction
Total percent loss of the sample
Kind of solution (sodium or magnesium sulfate)
The number of cycles tested.
8. ARCHIVED VERSIONS
8.1 Archived versions are available.