Aggregate Testing Standards

Written by Lisa Mahr.

Aggregate Quality & Use

Aggregate is the main ingredient in Portland Cement Concrete and Asphalt Concrete. All aggregate used for construction purposes must be tested, physically and chemically, to verify its suitability for these uses. Every potential production site must be tested to ensure that the materials meet specifications for a particular application and to determine processing requirements. Several agencies have established standards for aggregate used in construction. Some of these agencies are6:

Most agencies follow the standard test procedures for aggregate established by: 6

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) was established in 1898 by chemists and engineers of the Pennsylvania Railroad.2 Today it is recognized as a worldwide nonprofit organization whose membership is composed of representative users, producers, and general interest groups. The organization’s purpose is the development of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services.4

The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It represents all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.1

Portland cement concrete and asphalt concrete specifications have been established to ensure the manufacturing of strong, durable structures that are capable of withstanding the physical and chemical effects of weathering and use. Certain minerals such as gypsum, pyrite, zeolite, opal, chalcedony, chert, siliceous shale, volcanic glass, and some high-silica volcanic rocks, can damage the bond that is needed to produce a durable concrete. Gypsum retards the setting time of Portland cement; pyrite can separate to yield sulfuric acid and an iron oxide stain; silica can react with alkali substances in the cement, resulting in cracks and “pop-outs.” All of these reactions will ultimately damage the concrete making it an un-desirable or un-usable aggregate to work with. Class II base, subbase, and fill material specifications are less restrictive than those for portland cement concrete and asphalt concrete.6

Admixtures for Concrete

Pozzolanic admixtures can be added to Portland cement concrete to minimize alkali reactions. Pozzolan materials are siliceous or siliceous and aluminous material of natural or artificial origin. In the presence of moisture it reacts with calcium hydroxide to form cementitious compounds. Diatomaceous earth, diatomite, volcanic ash, opaline shale, pumicite, tuff, and certain clays such as kaolinite are all naturally occurring pozzalonic materials.6

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) recognizes four major reasons for using admixtures. These reasons are (Mamlouk, 2006)7:

  1. Reduce the cost of concrete construction
  2. Achieve certain properties in concrete more effectively than by other means
  3. Ensure quality of concrete during the stages of mixing, transporting, placing, and curing in adverse weather conditions
  4. Overcome certain emergencies during concrete operations (p. 219)

Admixtures are classified by the following chemical and functional physical characteristics (Mamlouk, 2006)7:

  1. Air entrainers (ASTM C 260): produce tiny air bubbles in the hardened concrete to provide space for water to expand upon freezing.
  2. Water reducers: increase the mobility of the cement particles in the plastic mix, allowing workability to be achieved at lower water contents.
  3. Retarders: used to delay the initial set of concrete.
  4. Hydration controller admixtures: stops and reactivates the hydration process of concrete allowing for extended use of ready-mixed concrete.
  5. Accelerators (ASTM D 98): used to develop early strength of concrete at a faster rate than that developed in normal concrete.
  6. Supplementary cementitious admixtures: byproducts of other industries that are used to improve some properties of concrete and to reduce the problem of discarding them. Fly Ash (ASTM C 618), Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (ASTM 989, AASHTO M 302), Silica Fume (ASTM C 1240, AASHTO M 307), and Natural Pozzolans (ASTM C595) are common admixtures.
  7. Specialty admixtures: several admixtures are available to improve concrete quality in different ways. These admixtures include but are not limited to workability agents, corrosion inhibitors, pumping aids, and bonding agents.

With all admixtures the engineer should study their application in detail, as well as the cost associated with each mix before using them. (pp. 219-230)

Particle-size Distribution

Particle-size distribution is important for various uses of aggregate. Aggregate is classified into two general sizes: coarse grained and fine grained. Coarse aggregate is rock retained on a 3/8-inch (#4 U.S. sieve). Fine aggregates pass the 3/8-inch sieve and are retained on a #200 U.S. sieve.6

Fine Aggregate

Fine aggregate consists of natural sand, manufactured sand, or a combination. The ASTM C33 specifications for fine aggregates for concrete are given in Table 1.3

Table 13
ASTM Gradation Specifications for Fine Aggregates
for Portland Cement Concrete
SievePercent Passing
9.5 mm (3/8")100
4.75 mm (No. 4)95-100
2.36 mm (No. 8)80-100
1.18 mm (No. 16)50-85
0.60 mm (No. 30)25-60
0.30 mm (No. 50)10-30
0.15 mm (No. 100)0-10
Note: Concrete with fine aggregate near the 0.30 mm (No. 50) and below can have workability, pumping, and bleeding problems. To alleviate these issues admixtures may be added to the mix.

The amounts of allowable deleterious substances in fine aggregate are described in Table 2.3

Table 23
Limits for Deleterious Substances in Fine Aggregate for Concrete
ItemMass Percent of Total Sample, max,
Clay lumps and friable particles3.0
Material finer than No. 200 sieve:
- Concrete subject to abrasion
- All other Concrete
Coal and lignite:
- Where surface appearance of concrete is of importance
- All other concrete
AIn the case of manufactured sand, if the material finer than the No. 200 sieve consists of the dust of fracture, essentially free of clay or shale, these limits are permitted to be increased to 5 and 7%, respectively.

The soundness of fine aggregates can be determined by subjecting the material to five cycles of the soundness test. The weighted average loss cannot be greater than 10% when sodium sulfate is used or 15% when magnesium sulfate is used.3

Course Aggregate

According to ASTM C33 coarse aggregate consists of gravel, crushed gravel, crushed stone, air-cooled blast furnace slag, crushed hydraulic-cement concrete, or a combination. The use of crushed hydraulic-cement concrete may require some additional precautions. Although it regularly produces satisfactory results; additional mixing water and the affects of freeze-thaw resistance and air void properties may need to be further tested.3

Refer to Table 3 for the ASTM C33 gradation specifications for coarse concrete aggregates.3

Table 33
Grading Requirements for Coarse Aggregates
Size No.Nominal Size (Sieves with Square Openings)Amounts Finer than Each Laboratory Sieve (Square Openings), Mass Percent
100mm (4 in)90mm (3.5 in)75mm (3 in)63mm (2.5 in)50mm (2 in)37.5mm (1.5 in)25mm (1 in)19mm (3/4 in)12.5mm (1/2 in)9.5mm (3/8 in)4.75mm (No. 4)2.36mm (No. 8)1.18mm (No. 16)300μm (No. 50)
190 to 37.5 mm
(3.5 to 1.5 in.)
10090 to 10025 to 600 to 150 to 5
263 to 37.5mm
(2.5 to 1.5in)
10090 to 10035 to 700 to 150 to 5
350 to 25mm
(2 to 1in)
10090 to 10035 to 700 to 150 to 5
35750 to 4.75mm
(2 to No. 4)
10095 to 10035 to 7010 to 300 to 5
437.5 to 19mm
(1.5 to 3/4in)
90 to 10020 to 550 to 150 to 5
46737.5 to 4.75mm
(1.5 to No. 4)
95 to 10035 to 7010 to 300 to 5
525 to 12.5mm
(1 to 1/2in)
10090 to 10020 to 550 to 100 to 5
5625 to 9.5mm
(1 to 3/8in)
10090 to 10040 to 8510 to 400 to 150 to 5
5725 to 4.75mm
(1 to No. 4)
10095 to 10025 to 600 to 100 to 5
619 to 9.5mm
(3/4 to 3/8in)
10090 to 10020 to 550 to 150 to 5
6719 to 4.75mm
(3/4 to No. 4)
10090 to 10020 to 550 to 100 to 5
712.5 to 4.75mm
(1/2 to No. 4)
10090 to 10040 to 700 to 150 to 5
89.5 to 2.36mm
(3/8in to No. 8)
10085 to 10010 to 300 to 100 to 5
899.5 to 1.18mm
(3/8in to No. 16)
10090 to 10020 to 555 to 300 to 100 to 5
9A4.75 to 1.18mm
(No. 4 to No. 16)
10085 to 10010 to 400 to 100 to 5

Limits for Deleterious Substances of coarse aggregates can be found in Table 4 and Figure 1.3

Table 43
Limits for Deleterious Substances and Physical Property Requirements of Coarse Aggregate for Concrete
Class Designation*Type or Location of Concrete ConstructionMaximum Allowable, %
Clay, Lumps and Firable ParticlesChert (Less Than 2.40 sp gr SSD)Sum of Clay Lumps, Friable Particles, and Chert (Less Than 2.40 spMaterial Finer Than 75-μm (No. 200) SieveCCoal and LigniteAbrasionAMagnesium Sulfate Soundness (5 cycles)B
Severe Weathering Regions
1SFootings, Foundations, columns and beams not exposed to the weather, interior floor slabs to be given coverings101.01.050
2SInterior floors without coverings5.01.00.550
3SFoundation walls above grade, retaining walls, abutments, piers, girders, and beams exposed to the weather5.
4SPavements, bridge decks, driveways and curbs, walks, patios, garage floors, exposed floors and porches, or water-front structures, subject to frequent wetting3.
5SExposed architectural concrete2.
Moderate Weathering Regions
1MFootings, Foundations, columns and beams not exposed to the weather, interior floor slabs to be given coverings101.01.050
2MInterior floors without coverings5.01.00.550
3MFoundation walls above grade, retaining walls, abutments, piers,girders, and beams exposed to the weather5.08.0101.00.55018
4MPavements, bridge decks, driveways and curbs, walks, patios, garage floors, exposed floors and porches, or water-front structures, subject to frequent wetting5.
Negligible Weathering Regions
5MExposed architectural concrete3.
1NSlabs subject to traffic abrasion, bridge decks, floors, sidewalks, pavements5.01.00.550
2NAll other classes of concrete101.01.050

NOTE: See Figure 1 for the location of the weathering regions in California.
* S: Severe Weathering Region-A cold climate where concrete is exposed to deicing chemical or other aggresive agents, or where concrete may become saturated by continued contact with moisture or free water prior to repeated freezing and thawing.
* M: Moderate Weathering Region-A climate where occasional freezing is expected, but where concrete in outdoor service will not be continually exposed to freezing and thawing in the presence of moisture or to deicing chemicals.
* N: Negligible Weathering Region-A climate where concrete is rarely exposed to freezing in the presence of moisture.
A Crushed air-cooled blast-furnace slag is excluded from the abrasion requirements.
B The allowable limits for soundness shall be 12% if sodium sulfate is used.
C This percentage under either of the following conditions: (1) is permitted to be increased to 1.5 if the material is essentially free of clay or shale; or (2) if the source of the fine aggregate to be used in the concrete is known to contain less than the specified maximum amount passing the 75-μm (No. 200) sieve (Table 1) the percentage limit (L) on the amount in the coarse aggregate is permitted to be increases to L=1 + [(P)/(100 - P)] (T - A), where P = percentage of sand in the concrete as a percent of total aggregate, T = the Table 1 limit for the amount permitted in the fine aggregate, nd A = the actual amount in the fine aggregate. ( This provides a weighted calculation designed to limit the maximum mass of material passing the 75-μm (No. 200) sieve in the concrete to that which would be obtained if both the fine and coarse aggregate were supplied at the maximum tabulated percentage for each of these ingredients.)

Factors Affecting Aggregate Deposit Quality

All natural aggregates result from the breakdown of large rock masses. The rock types and the degree of weathering are the major factors that affect the quality of construction aggregate. The rock type determines the hardness, durability, and potential chemical reactivity of the rock when mixed with cement to make concrete. All classes of rock are used and must be evaluated through a combination of tests to check its suitability for a given application.6

Alluvial sand and gravel deposits are variable and reflect rocks that can be found in a drainage basin of a stream or river. These deposits typically have rounded grains. Crushed stone deposits generally have sharp edges and little variety in grain size.6

Weathering commonly decreases the physical strength of the rock and may make the material un-suitable for high strength and durability uses. It can also alter the chemical composition of the aggregate, making it less suitable for some aggregate uses. If weathering is severe enough than the deposit may not be suitable for use as portland cement concrete or asphalt concrete. Table 5 demonstrates typical aggregate properties.6

Table 54
Typical Physical Properties of Common Aggregate
Unit Weight (pcf)162-172117-175165-170119-168
Compressive Strength (x 103 psi)5-672.6-2816-455-20
Tensile Strength (psi)427-711427-853NA(1)142-427
Shear Strength (x 103 psi)3.7-4.80.8-3.6NA(1)0.3-3.0
Modulus of Rupture (psi)1380-5550500-2000NA(1)700-2300
Modulus of Elasticity (x 106 psi)4.5-8.74.3-8.7NA(1)2.3-10.8
Water Absorption (% by wt)0.07-0.300.50-24.00.10-2.02.0-12.0
Average Porosity (%)0.4-3.81.1-31.01.5-1.91.9-27.3
Linear Expansion (x 10-6 in./in./°C)1.8-11.90.9-12.27.0-13.14.3-13.9
Specific Gravity2.60-2.761.88-2.812.65-2.732.44-2.61

Natural Sand & Gravel vs. Crushed Stone Aggregate

Natural sand and crushed stone are both used regularly in construction. The use depends on specification standards and economic considerations. In the production of portland cement concrete alluvial gravel is typically preferred. The rounded particles result in a wet mix that is easier to work with. The workability of a portland cement concrete mix can be improved when using crushed stone aggregate. More sand, water and cement must be added to the mix in order to improve workability. Due to this the mix is more expensive to produce. Angular fragments that are created through crushing stone increase wear and damage done on pumping equipment. Making crushed stone more expensive to use on sites that require pumping of concrete. Crushed stone is typically more expensive to produce due to the additional costs associated with the drilling, blasting, and crushing required to produce the various sizes of aggregate.6

Crushed stone is preferable to natural gravel in asphaltic concrete. Asphalt adheres better to rough surfaces. The interlocking of angular particles strengthens the asphalt concrete and road base.6

Environmental restrictions, geographic distribution, and quality requirements have made sand and gravel extraction uneconomic in some cases. The most important commercial sources of sand and gravel have been glacial deposits, river channels, and river flood plains. Use of offshore deposits in the U.S. is mostly restricted to beach erosion control and replenishment. As a result crushed stone remains the dominant choice for construction aggregate use. Increasingly, recycled asphalt and portland cement concretes are being substituted for virgin aggregate, although the percentage of total aggregate supplied by recycled materials remained very small in 2010.5 According to the U.S Geological Survey; due to increasing environmental concerns and regulatory constraints in many areas of California, it is likely that extraction of sand and gravel resources from instream and floodplain areas will become less common in the future. If this trend continues, crushed stone may become increasingly important to the California market.6

Table 6 further describes the physical, chemical, and mechanical characteristics of aggregate and its relative importance in use.7

Table 67
Basic Aggregate Properties
PropertyRelative Importance for End Use*
Portland Cement ConcreteAsphalt ConcreteBase
Particle Shape (angularity)MVV
Particle Shape (flakiness, elongation)MMM
Particle size – MaximumMMM
Particle size – distributionMMM
Particle surface textureMVV
Pore Structure, porosityVMU
Specific Gravity, absorptionVMM
Soundness – weatherabilityVMM
Unit weight, voids-loose, compactedVMM
Volumetric stability – thermalMUU
Volumetric stability – wet/dryMUM
Volumetric stability – freeze/thawVMM
Integrity during heatingUMU
Deleterious constituentsVMM
Surface ChargeUVU
Asphalt affinityUVM
Reactivity to chemicalsVUU
Volume stability – chemicalVMM
Compressive strengthMUU
Toughness (impact resistance)MMU
Abrasion ResistanceMMM
Character of products of abrasionMMU
Mass stability (stiffness, resilience)UVV
* V = Very Important, M = Moderately Important, U = Unimportant or Unknown

Aggregate Specifications and Requirements

All potential aggregate sources must be thoroughly tested to ensure the quality of the aggregate. The following tests represent some of the industry standards:

  1. Sieve Analysis (ASTM C 136, AASHTO T-27): This test method evaluates the gradation of aggregate using a series of sieves. The results are then plotted on to a semi-log aggregate gradation chart. This chart shows the particle size distribution for any given aggregate and can then be better evaluated for its use in portland cement concrete and asphalt concrete.2,7

  2. Los Angeles Rattler (ASTM C 131/C 535, AASHTO T-96): This test assesses the aggregates toughness and abrasion resistance. The results show the aggregates ability to resist the damaging effects of loads. Aggregate must be able to resist crushing, degradation, and disintegration when stockpiled, compacted, and mixed.2,7

  3. Soundness and Durability (ASTM C 289): The soundness and durability test is used to demonstrate an aggregates ability to resist weathering. The test simulates weathering by soaking the aggregates in either a sodium sulfate or a magnesium sulfate solution. The samples are then dried weighed and re-soaked. After 5 cycles the aggregates are washed, dried, and weighed. The weighted average percentage loss for the entire sample is then computed and plotted onto a semi-log graph. The results will tell you whether the aggregate is “innocuous”, “potentially deleterious”, or “deleterious”. For aggregates that are considered deleterious admixtures such as fly ash can be placed into the mix to help improve the stability of the concrete mix.2,7

  4. Specific Gravity and Absorption (ASTM C 127/C 128, AASHTO T-85/T-84): Specific Gravity evaluates how voids in the aggregate particles are considered. Absorption evaluates the amount of water an aggregate will absorb. Both of these are important for concrete mix design. A high absorption rate means a higher amount of water or binder will be needed in the design, making the mix less economical.2,7

  5. R-Value (California Test 301, ASTM D 2844, AASHTO T-190): The R-value test method is used to measure the potential strength of subgrade, subbase, and base course materials used for transportation pavements.2,7

Table 7 provides a number of testing procedures that can be used to determine aggregate suitability for a variety of uses. Further standards can be found through AASHTO and ASTM or through various state and local agencies that specify testing requirements for aggregate products. (National Stone Association, 1993)4

Table 7
Testing Procedures and Guidelines for Aggregate
CategoryTest MethodEquivalent/Similar TestSummary or Use
Coarse Size AggregateAASHTO M-43ASTM C448Standard Sizes of Coarse Aggregate
Aggregate Base, Subbase, & Soil AggregateAASHTO M-283Coarse Aggregates for Highway and Airport Construction
ASTM D 2940Graded Aggregate for Bases or Subbases
AASHTO M-147ASTM D 1241Materials for Aggregate and Soil-Aggregate Subbase, Base and Surface Courses
AASHTO M-155Granular Material to Control Pumping Under Concrete Pavement
Aggregate for Bituminous Paving ApplicationsAASHTO M-29ASTM D 1073Fine Aggregate for Bituminous Paving Mixtures
ASTM D 692Coarse Aggregate for Bituminous Paving Mixtures
AASHTO M-17ASTM D 242Mineral Filler for Bituminous Paving Mixtures
AASHTO R-12Bituminous Mixture Design Using Marshall and Hveem Procedures (also see Asphalt Institute Publication MS-2)
ASTM D 3515Hot-Mixed, Hot Laid Bituminous Paving Mixtures (includes aggregate specifications for Open Graded Mixtures)
ASTM D 693Crushed Aggregate for Macadam Pavements
ASTM D 1139Crushed Stone, Crushed Slag, and Gravel for Bituminous Surface Treatments
Aggregate for Portland Cement ConcreteAASHTO M-6Fine Aggregate for Portland Cement Concrete
AASHTO M-80Coarse Aggregate for Portland Cement Concrete
ASTM C 33Concrete Aggregates (fine and coarse)
AASHTO M-195ASTM C 330Lightweight Aggregates for Structural Concrete
Practices – GeneralAASHTO R-1ASTM E 380Metric Practice Guide
AASHTO R-10Definitions of Terms for Specifications and Procedures
AASHTO R-11ASTM E 29Practice for Indicating Which Places of Figures Are To Be Considered Significant in Specified Limiting Values
AASHTO M-145The Classification of Soils and Soil-Aggregate, Fill Materials, and Base Materials
AASHTO M-146Terms Related to Subgrade, Soil-Aggregate and Fill Materials
ASTM D 8Definitions of Terms Relating to Materials for Roads and Pavements
ASTM C 125Terminology Relating to Concrete and Concrete Aggregates
ASTM D 3665Random Sampling of Construction Materials
General TestingAASHTO M-92ASTM E 11Wire Cloth Sieves for Testing Purposes
AASHTO M-132ASTM D 12Terms Relating to Density and Specific Gravity
AASHTO M-231Weights and Balances Used in Testing
ASTM D 3666Evaluation of Inspecting and Testing Agencies for Bituminous Paving Materials
ASTM C 1077Practice for Laboratories Testing Concrete and Concrete Aggregates
ASTM Manual of Aggregate and Concrete Testing (found in ASTM Volume 04.02 in the back of the gray pages)
Sampling and Sample PreparationAASHTO T-2ASTM D 75Sampling Aggregates
AASHTO T-248ASTM C 702Reducing Field Samples of Aggregate to Testing Size
AASHTO T-87ASTM D 421Dry Preparation of Disturbed Soil and Soil Aggregate Samples for Tests
AASHTO T-146ASTM D 2217Wet Preparation of Disturbed Soil Samples for Tests
Particle Size Analysis of AggregateAASHTO T-27ASTM C 136Sieve Analysis of Fine and Coarse Aggregates
AASHTO T-11ASTM C 117Amount of Material Finer Than the No. 200 Sieve
AASHTO T-30Mechanical Analysis of Extracted Aggregates
AASHTO T-88ASTM D 422Particle Size Analysis of Soils
AASHTO T-37ASTM D 546Sieve Analysis of Mineral Filler
Properties of Fines in AggregateAASHTO T-176ASTM D 2419Sand Equivalent Test for Plastic Fines in Graded Aggregates and Soils
ASTM D 4318Combines AASHTO T-89 and T-90Liquid Limit, Plasctic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils
AASHTO T-210ASTM D 3744Aggregate Durability Index
Tests to Evaluate General Quality of Aggregate (unconfined or in concrete)AASHTO T-104ASTM C 88Soundness of Aggregate by Use of Sodium Sulfate or Magnesium Sulfate
AASHTO T-103Soundness of Aggregates by Freezing and Thawing
ASTM D 4792Potential Expansion of Aggregates from Hydration Reactions
AASHTO T-161ASTM C 666Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and Thawing
ASTM C 671Critical Dilation of Concrete Specimens Subject to Freezing
ASTM C 682Evaluation of Frost Resistance of Coarse Aggregates in Air Entrained Concrete by Critical Dilation Procedures
AASHTO T-96ASTM C 131 or C 535Resistance to Abrasion (Degradation by Abrasion and Impact) of Small or Large Size Coarse Aggregate by Use of the Los Angeles Machine
Deleterious Materials in AggregateAASHTO T-21ASTM C 40Organic Impurities in Sands for Concrete
AASHTO T-71ASTM C 87Effect of Organic Impurities in Fine Aggregate on Strength of Mortar
AASHTO T-112ASTM C 142Clay Lumps and Friable Particles in Aggregate
AASHTO T-113ASTM C 123Lightweight Pieces in Aggregate
ASTM C 294Nomenclature of Constituents of Natural Mineral Aggregate
ASTM C 295Practice for Petrographic Examination of Aggregates for Concrete
ASTM C 227Alkali Reactivity Potential of Cement-Aggregate Combinations
ASTM C 289Potential Reactivity of Aggregates (Chemical method)
ASTM C 586Potential Alkali Reactivity of Carbonate Rocks for Concrete Aggregate (rock cylinder method)
ASTM D 4791Flat or Elongated Particles in Coarse Aggregate
ASTM C 342Volume Change Potential of Cement-Aggregate Combinations
ASTM C 441Mineral Admixture Effectiveness in Preventing Excessive Expansion Due to Alkali Aggregate Reaction
Testing Aggregate in Bituminous ApplicationsAASHTO T-165ASTM D 1075Effect of Water on Cohesion of Compacted Bituminous Mixtures
AASHTO T-182ASTM D 1664Coating and Stripping of Bitumen-Aggregate Mixtures
AASHTO T-195ASTM D 2489Determining Degree of Particle Coating Bituminous Aggregate Mixtures
AASHTO T-270Centrifuge Kerosene Equivalent and Approximate Bitumen Ratio (ABR)
AASHTO T-283Resistance of Compacted Bituminous Mixture to Moisture Induced Damage
ASTM D 4469Calculating Percent Absorption by the Aggregate in an Asphalt Pavement Mixture
ASTM D 1559Resistance to Plastic Flow – Marshall Apparatus
ASTM D 1560Deformation and Cohesion – Hveem Apparatus
Aggregate Base Moisture – Density - Permeability RelationshipsAASHTO T-99ASTM D 698Moisture – Density Relationship Using a 5.5 Pound Rammer and a 12 Inch Drop
AASHTO T-180ASTM D 1557Moisture – Density Relationship Using a 10 Pound Rammer and a 18 Inch Drop
AASHTO T-215ASTM D 2434Permeability of Granular Soils (Constant Head)
AASHTO T-224ASTM D 4718Correction for Coarse Particles in Soil Compaction Tests
AASHTO T-238ASTM D 2922Density of Soil and Soil Aggregate In-Place by Nuclear Methods (Shallow depth, both backscatter and direct transmission methods)
AASHTO T-239ASTM D 3017Moisture Content of Soil and Soil Aggregate In Place by Nuclear Methods (shallow depth, back-scatter method only)
ASTM D 4253Index Density of Soils Using a Vibratory Table (applicable to cohesionless, free-draining soils or soil aggregates)
AASHTO T-191ASTM D 1556Density of Soil In-Place by the Sand Cone Method
AASHTO T-205ASTM D 2167Density of Soil In-Place by the Rubber Balloon Method
Strength Parameters of Aggregate BaseAASHTO T-190ASTM D 2844Resistance R-Value and Expansion Pressure of Compacted Soils
AASHTO T-193ASTM D 1883The California Bearing Ratio
AASHTO T-234ASTM D 2850Strength Parameters of Soils by Triaxial Compression (static loading)
AASHTO T-274Resilient Modulus of Subgrade Soils (repeated loading)
AASHTO T-212ASTM D 3397Triaxial Classification of Base Materials, Soils, and Soil Mixtures (Texas method, static loading, discontinued as a standard 1989)
Specific Gravity, Absorption, and Unit Weight of AggregateAASHTO T-84ASTM C 128Specific Gravity and Absorption of Fine Aggregate
AASHTO T-85ASTM C 127Specific Gravity and Absorption of Coarse Aggregate
AASHTO T-19ASTM C 29Unit Weight and Voids in Aggregate
Frictional Properties of Aggregate and PavementsAASHTO T-242ASTM E 374Frictional Properties of Paved Surfaces Using a Full-Scale Tire (skid trailers)
AASHTO T-279ASTM D 3319Accelerated Polishing of Aggregates Using the British Wheel
ASTM E 303Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum Tester (BPT)
ASTM D 3042Insoluble Residue in Carbonate Aggregates
ASTM E 707Skid Resistance of Paved Surfaces Using the NC State Variable-Speed Friction Tester
ASTM E 660Accelerated Polishing of Aggregates or Pavement Surfaces Using a Small-Wheel Circular Polishing Machine
Measurements and Indices of Particle Shape and TextureASTM D 4791Flat or Elongated Particles in Coarse Aggregate
ASTM D 3398Index of Aggregate Particle Shape and Texture (pp.3-74 – 3-79)

All potential aggregate resources should be evaluated by a qualified engineer and tested according to each site's needs and conditions.


  1. AASHTO. Vision and Goals. November 2, 2011.

  2. American Society for Testing and Materials. About ASTM. November 2, 2011.

  3. “ASTM C 33 – 03, Standard Specifications for Concrete Aggregates,” Annual book of ASTM Standards, Volume 04.02, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 2001.

  4. Barksdale, Richard D. (Ed.), 1991, The Aggregate Handbook. Washington, DC: National Stone Association.

  5. Bolen, Wallace P., 2011, Sand and Gravel Construction, U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries.

  6. Kohler, S.L., 2006, Aggregate Availability in California, California Geologic Survey, Map Sheet 52.

  7. Mamlouk, Michael S. & Zaniewski, John P., 2006, Materials for Civil and Construction Engineers (2nd Ed).Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.