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Suitability of Quarry Dust as Partial Replacement

Material for Sand in Concrete




S. N. Raman
a
, M. F. M. Zain
b
, H. B. Mahmud
a
, K. S. Tan
b


a
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel. No : 03 7967 4492; Fax No. : 03 7967 5318; Email : snraman@um.edu.my
b
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


ABSTRACT

The reduction in the sources of natural sand and
the requirement for reduction in the cost of concrete
production has resulted in the increased need to identify
substitute material to sand as fine aggregates in the
production of concretes. Quarry dust, a by-product from
the crushing process during quarrying activities is one
of the materials being studied. This paper reports the
experimental study undertaken to investigate some
properties of quarry dust and discusses the suitability of
those properties to enable quarry dust to be used as
partial replacement material for sand in concrete. The
properties of quarry dust that were determined are
aggregate crushing value, flakiness index, pH value,
soundness, specific gravity, absorption and fineness
modulus. Besides, the 28
th
day compressive strength of
concrete specimens, in which partial replacement of
river sand with quarry dust were practiced, is also
reported for comparison purposes. Results obtained
indicate that the incorporation of quarry dust into the
concrete mix as partial replacement material to river
sand resulted in lower 28
th
day compressive strength.
This can partly be attributed to the properties of the
quarry dust which might contribute to the negative
effects in the strength of the concrete. The results of the
study also indicates that quarry dust can be utilised as
partial replacement material to sand, in the presence of
silica fume or fly ash, to produce concretes with fair
ranges of compressive strength.

Keywords: Quarry dust, sand, silica fume, fly ash,
compressive strength.


(1) INTRODUCTION

The reduction in the sources of natural sand and the
requirement for reduction in the cost of concrete
production has resulted in the increased need to identify
substitute material to constituent materials as aggregates
in the production of concretes. Several types of materials
have been investigated for this purpose both in
developing and developed countries and the outcome of
success has been varying. The materials usually
researched for this purpose are either by-product
materials or even sometimes manufactured aggregates.
Manufactured aggregates are mostly used to produce
concretes to meet specific purposes such concrete with
superior properties or structural lightweight concrete. On
the other hand, the advantages of utilisation of by-
products or aggregates obtained as waste materials are
pronounced in the aspects of reduction in environmental
load and waste management cost, reduction concrete
production cost and enhancement in some properties of
concrete.
Quarry dust, a by-product from the crushing
process during quarrying activities is one of those
materials being studied, especially as substitute material
to sand as fine aggregates. Quarry dust have been used
for different activities in the construction industry such
as for road construction and manufacture of building
materials such as lightweight aggregates, bricks, tiles
and autoclave blocks [1]. Researches have also been
conducted to study the effects of partial replacement of
sand with quarry dust in the properties of freshly mixed
[2-3] and hardened concrete applications [3-5]. It was
deduced from those studies that partial replacement of
sand with quarry dust without the inclusion of other
admixtures resulted in enhanced workability in the
concrete mixes [2-3], but in a reduced compressive
strength and durability [3-5]. Besides, Ho et al. [6] have
also researched quarry dust for self-compacting concrete
applications.
It is noted that there are numerous publications
available in the area of utilisation of by-product and
waste materials as well as different types manufactured
aggregates in concrete mixes. On contrary, publications
discussing the physical and chemical properties of the
by-product and waste materials, and the suitability of
those properties to enable these materials to be utilised
in concrete mixes is limited and tends to be scattered in
many publications. The present study is an experimental
study which attempts to investigate some properties of
quarry dust and discusses the suitability of those
properties to enable quarry dust to be used as partial
replacement material for sand in concrete. For
comparison purposes, the 28
th
day compressive strength
of concrete specimens, in which partial replacement of
sand with quarry dust were practiced, is also reported.

(2) EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

(2.1) Materials

Locally available quarry dust was the primary
material used in this study. Besides that, for concrete
mixing purposes, Type I ordinary Portland cement,
crushed stone granite coarse aggregate, river sand, silica
fume and Class F Malaysian fly ash were used. Normal
tap water (pH = 6.9) was used for both concrete mixing
and curing purposes. Sulfonated naphthalene
formaldehyde condensate based superplaticizer (SP) and
Darex air entraining admixture (AEA) were used as
liquid chemical admixtures. The physical properties of
the materials are shown Table 1. A more detailed
representation of the physical properties of quarry dust
is given in the Results and Discussion section.

Table 1 Physical Properties of the Materials
Material Properties
Coarse
aggregate
Specific gravity: 2.63; Absorption: 0.44 %;
Maximum size: 10.00 mm;
Fineness modulus: 6.82
River
sand
Specific gravity: 2.57; Absorption: 2.12 %;
Maximum size: 4.75 mm;
Fineness modulus: 4.20
Quarry
dust
Specific gravity: 2.63; Absorption: 0.60 %;
Maximum size: 4.75 mm;
Fineness modulus: 4.20
Cement Specific gravity: 3.15
Silica
fume
Specific gravity: 2.20
Fly ash Specific gravity: 2.26
SP Specific gravity: 1.21; Solid content: 40 %
AEA Specific gravity: 1.02; Solid content: 8 %

(2.2) Concrete Mix Design and Preparation of Concrete
Specimens

A total of 54 cubical concrete specimens of 100
mm dimensions were prepared for this study. These
consist of three types of concrete, OPCQD, SFQD and
FAQD, with water-binder ratio of 0.35. Two types of
curing method, water curing and air curing were
practiced. The concrete mix proportions were
determined by using the Sherbrooke mix design method
[7]. In all the three types of concrete, replacement
proportion of sand with quarry dust were varied between
0 % (no quarry dust), 20 % and 40 %. Besides that, 10
% of ordinary Portland cement was replaced with silica
fume and fly ash in SFQD and FAQD respectively. The
content of superplaticizers and air entraining admixtures
were fixed by monitoring the desired workability and
entrained air content in the fresh concrete mixes.
A rotating pan type mixer (capacity 0.05 m
3
) was
used to mix the constituent materials. Fresh concrete
was cast into 100 mm cubical moulds in two layers.
Immediately after casting, the specimens were stored in
the curing room at 202
o
C and covered with plastic
sheets. The specimens were demoulded after 1 day and
were then allowed for water curing and air curing
respectively. In water curing, specimens were immersed
in water in a curing tank and the water temperature was
maintained at 202
o
C. Similarly, for air curing, the
specimens were placed in the curing room and cured by
air at 202
o
C. The specimens were cured for another 27
days and the compressive strength of the cubical
specimens were measured at the age of 28

days.

(2.2) Testing

The properties of quarry dust that were determined
for this study are aggregate crushing value, flakiness
index, pH value, soundness, specific gravity, absorption
and fineness modulus. For comparison purposes, the
aggregate crushing value, pH value, specific gravity,
absorption and fineness modulus of the river sand used
in this study were also determined. The aggregate
crushing value was determined based on BS 812: Part
110: 1990 [8], the flakiness index based on BS 812: Part
1: 1975 [9], pH value of aggregates based on BS 1377:
Part 3: 1990 [10], soundness test based on ASTM C88-
90 [11], and specific gravity and absorption based on BS
812: Part 2: 1975 [12].
Besides that, the compressive strength of cubical
concrete specimens were measured based on BS 1881:
Part 116: 1983 [13].

(3) RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

(3.1) Aggregate Crushing Value

The Aggregate Crushing Value (ACV) is a measure
of aggregate resistance to pulverization [14]. The ACV
of quarry dust used in this study is in the range of 47.70
% to 50.28 %, with an average value of 49.38 % as
shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Aggregate Crushing Value (ACV) of Quarry
Dust and River Sand
Specimen ACV (%)
Quarry dust 1 47.70
Quarry dust 2 50.16
Quarry dust 3 50.28
Average 49.38

River sand 18.0

When compared to the ACV of river sand used in
this study which has a value of 18.0 %, it can be
deduced that the river sand is a stronger and harder
aggregate compared to the quarry dust. The higher ACV
value for the quarry dust might be caused by the particle
shape of quarry dust used in this study which is flaky
and angular. The aggregate with such shape have the
possibility to be crushed when load is applied on them.
Neville has stated that even though there are no physical
relation between the ACV and the compressive strength,
but the results of the two are usually in agreement [14].

(3.2) Flakiness Index

Table 3 Flakiness Index of Quarry Dust
Specimen Flakiness Index
Quarry dust 1 48.86
Quarry dust 2 53.19
Quarry dust 3 61.70
Average 54.58

Flakiness index is a measure of the mass of the
flaky particles expressed as percentage of the mass of
the sample [14]. It can be observed from Table 3 that the
flakiness index of quarry dust used in this study ranged
between 48.86 % and 61.70 % with an average value of
54.58 %. This result implies that half of the quarry dust
used in this study is flaky. The bond strength in concrete
is dependent on the strength of the mix and the surface
characteristics of aggregates. Especially in the case of
fine aggregates, the surface texture of the aggregate
affects its bond to the cement paste and also influences
the water demand of the mix [14]. The substantial
amount of flaky particles in the quarry dust will
influence the bond between the aggregate and cement
paste, thus resulting in the negative effects in the
strength of the concrete matrix. Besides, aggregates with
flaky particle shape tends to be oriented in one plane,
with air voids and bleeding water forming underneath
[14], which may result in adverse effects to the
compressive strength and durability of concrete.

(3.3) pH Value

Table 4 pH Value of Quarry Dust and River Sand
Specimen pH Value
Quarry dust 1 8.14
Quarry dust 2 8.37
Quarry dust 3 8.64
Average 8.38

River sand 6.20

Referring to the results shown in Table 4, it can be
deduced that quarry dust used in this study is a material
with alkali characteristics. The average pH value for
quarry dust was 8.38 and compared to the river sand
used in this study which exhibited a pH value of 6.20, it
can be deduced that river sand is more inclined to
neutral condition compared to the quarry dust.
The weak alkali characteristic of the quarry dust
might induce the hydroxide ion (OH) into the concrete
mix which might influence the hydration of cement in
the mix and thus result in a slight decrease of the
compressive strength. Anyway, the alkali influence of
the quarry dust onto the concrete mix is only minimal
since the properties of concrete are more influenced by
the shape, surface texture, strength and hardness of
quarry dust particles.

(3.4) Soundness Test

Table 5 Results of Soundness Test on Quarry Dust
Maximum Size of
Quarry Dust
Soundness (%)
4.75 mm 3.2
2.36 mm 1.4
1.18 mm 4.6
600 m 6.0
300 m 36.8

Soundness of aggregate is a term used to describe
the ability of aggregate to resist excessive changes in
volume as a result of changes in physical conditions
[14]. The results in Table 5 shows that quarry dust used
in this study exhibited soundness values in the range of
1.4 % to 36.8 %. The wide range in the soundness value
is due to the size of the quarry dust particles, where as
the size of the quarry dust particle decreases, its ability
to resist changes in volume also decreases. It can be
deduced that low ability of the quarry dust to resist
changes in volume might result in reduced ability of
strength and durability of concrete when exposed to
excessive conditions.

(3.5) Specific Gravity, Absorption and Fineness
Modulus

Table 6 Specific Gravity, Absorption and Fineness
Modulus of Quarry Dust and River Sand
Properties Quarry Dust River Sand
Specific gravity 2.63 2.57
Absorption 0.60 % 2.12 %
Fineness modulus 4.20 4.20

When compared to river sand, the quarry dust used
in this study exhibited a higher specific gravity, lower
absorption and a similar fineness modulus. It can be
mentioned that there are no direct relationship between
these properties and the strength and durability of
concrete, but they might have minimal effects to the
bond strength between cement paste and aggregate. It
should be noted that the slightly higher fineness
modulus of both quarry dust and river sand indicate the
presence of coarser particles in the samples of quarry
dust and river sand used in this study.

(3.6) 28
th
Day Compressive Strength

60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
0% 20% 40%
Percentage of Quarry Dust as
Fine Aggregates
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

S
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

(
M
P
a
)
OPCQD SFQD FAQD

Fig. 1 28
th
Day Compressive Strength of Water Cured
Concrete Specimens (Water-Binder Ratio = 0.35)

Figure 1 and Figure 2 shows the 28
th
day
compressive strength of concrete with different ratios of
partial replacement of river sand with quarry dust.
Figure 1 represents the 28
th
day compressive strength of
water cured concrete specimens with water-binder ratio
of 0.35, whereas Figure 2 represents the 28
th
day
compressive strength of air cured concrete specimens
with water-binder ratio of 0.35.

54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
0% 20% 40%
Percentage of Quarry Dust as
Fine Aggregates
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

S
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

(
M
P
a
)
OPCQD SFQD FAQD

Fig. 2 28
th
Day Compressive Strength of Air Cured
Concrete Specimens (Water-Binder Ratio = 0.35)

The 28
th
day compressive strength of the water
cured specimen ranged between 64.0 MPa and 67.8
MPa, whereas for air cured specimen, the 28
th
day
compressive strength ranged between 57.8 MPa and
60.7 MPa. It can be observed that for both curing
methods, the partial replacement of river sand with
quarry dust, and cement with mineral admixtures
resulted in significant effects in the concrete
compressive strength. For both cases with or without the
inclusion of mineral admixtures, the partial replacement
of sand with quarry dust resulted in a reduced
compressive strength compared to the control concrete
with no quarry dust. Similar findings have been reported
is earlier studies [1,4]. It is also quite evident for both
curing conditions that the compressive strength is further
decreased as the replacement proportion of sand with
quarry dust is increased.
The high portion of flaky particles in the quarry
dust sample used in this study might have caused the
detrimental effects to the concrete compressive strength.
As mentioned earlier, aggregates with flaky particle
shape tends to be oriented in one plane, with air voids
and bleeding water forming underneath [14], thus
contributing to the negative effects to the compressive
strength of concrete.
The incorporation of mineral admixtures, especially
silica fume was beneficial to overcome the negative
effects in the compressive strength of the quarry dust
concrete. It can be observed that SFQD concrete
recorded the highest compressive strengths under all
conditions. The beneficial effects of silica fume in
concrete mixes in pronounced and have been widely
accepted. The ultrafine particles of silica fume are able
to fill the microvoids in the concrete matrix resulting in
a much denser concrete matrix. Besides that, the
chemical reaction between silica fume and calcium
hydroxide produces calcium silicate hydrate (CSH),
which occupies the larger spaces between the two
reagents and reduces the porosity of concrete [1].
Similarly, the inclusion of fly ash into the concrete
mix also resulted in beneficial effects in the concrete
compressive strength even though it was not as effective
as silica fume. Fly ash is a common artificial pozzolana
which has been widely used in concrete production and
it has the physical effect of improving the microstructure
of the hydrated cement paste [14].
When comparing the different types of curing
method practiced, it is quite evident that water cured
specimens exhibited higher compressive strength than
the air cured specimens, which is inline with the
theoretical understanding. The lower degree of hydration
in concrete when the vapour pressure is lower than 0.8
of the saturation pressure might be one the causes for
this situation [14].

(4) CONCLUSIONS

Based on the results and discussion mentioned above,
the following conclusions can be derived:
1. The quarry dust used in this study was a relatively
weaker fine aggregate when compared to the river
sand used in this study.
2. The aggregate crushing value, flakiness index,
soundness and pH value of the quarry dust used in
this study could contribute significant effects to the
strength and durability of concrete.
3. The incorporation of quarry dust as partial
replacement material to sand in concrete resulted in a
reduction in the compressive strength, and this was
more evident when the replacement proportion was
increased.
4. The reduction in the compressive strength of the
quarry dust concrete was compensated by the
inclusion of mineral admixtures into the concrete
mix.
5. In the presence of silica fume or fly ash, quarry dust
can be a suitable partial replacement material to sand
to produce concretes with fair ranges of compressive
strength.

(5) REFERENCES

[1] M. Safiuddin, M.F.M. Zain, M.F. Mahmud and R.S.
Naidu, Effect of quarry dust and mineral admixtures on
the strength and elasticity of concrete, Proceedings of
the Conference on Construction Technology, Kota
Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, pp. 68-80, 2001.
[2] M.F.M. Zain, S.N. Raman and M. Safiuddin,
Influence of partial replacement of sand with quarry
dust on the properties of fresh high performance
concrete (in Malay), Jurnal Kejuruteraan 12, pp. 21-
30, 2000.
[3] K.S. Tan, M.F.M. Zain, K.M. Yusof, M. Safiuddin,
T.Y. Chang and K.S. Lee, Influence of quarry dust and
silica fume on the properties of high performance
concrete, Proceedings of the Second International
Conference on Advances in Strategic Technologies,
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia, pp. 1563-1572, 2000.
[4] R.S. Naidu, M.F.M. Zain and K.S. Tan, Strength
and elasticity of concrete incorporating quarry dust and
mineral admixtures, Proceedings of the 3
rd

International Conference on Advances in Strategic
Technologies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 1179-1184,
2003.
[5] S.N. Raman, M.F.M. Zain and H.B. Mahmud,
Influence of quarry dust and mineral admixtures on the
28
th
day initial surface absorption of concrete, in
Sustainable Development in Concrete Technology:
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on
Concrete Technology in Developing Countries, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 33-42, 2004.
[6] D.W.S. Ho, A.M.M. Sheinn, C.C. Ng and C.T. Tam,
The use of quarry dust for SCC applications, Cement
and Concrete Research 32 (4), pp. 505-511, 2002.
[7] P.-C. Aitcin, Sherbrooke mix design method,
Proceedings of the One-Day Short Course on Concrete
Technology and High Performance Concrete: Properties
and Durability, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997.
[8] BS 812: Part 110: 1990, Methods of determination
of aggregate crushing value (ACV), Testing
Aggregates, British Standards Institution, London, 1990.
[9] BS 812: Part 1: 1975, Sampling, shape, size and
classification, Testing Aggregates, British Standards
Institution, London, 1975.
[10] BS 1377: Part 3: 1990
[11] ASTM C88-90, Test for soundness of aggregates
by use of sodium sulphate or magnesium sulphate,
American Society of Testing and Materials,
Philadelphia, 1990.
[12] BS 812: Part 2: 1975, Methods for determination
of physical properties, Testing Aggregates, British
Standards Institution, London, 1975.
[13] BS 1881: Part 116: 1983, Method for
determination of compressive strength of concrete
cubes, Testing Concrete, British Standards Institution,
London, 1983.
[14] A.M. Neville, Properties of Concrete: Fourth and
Final Edition, Pearson Education Limited, Essex, 2002.