The performance of stabilized and unstabilized minestone in an aqueous environment with emphasis on its erosion resistance
A laboratory study was undertaken featuring a selection of minestones from several British coalfields. The stability of minestone and CSM in sea water and distilled water was assessed using slaking tests and immersion monitoring and the bearing on the use of these materials for hydraulic construction is discussed. Following a review of current erosion apparatus, the erosion/abrasion test and rotating cylinder device were chosen and employed to assess the erosion resistance of minestone and CSM. Comparison was made with a sand mix designed to represent a dredged sand, the more traditional, bulk hydraulic construction material. The results of the erosion study suggest that both minestone and CSM were more resistant to erosion and abrasion than equivalently treated sand mixes. The greater resistance of minestone to the agents of erosion and abrasion is attributed to several factors including the size of the particles, a greater degree of cement bonding and the ability of the minestone aggregate to absorb, rather than transmit shock waves produced by impacting abrasive particles. Although minestone is shown to be highly unstable when subjected to cyclic changes in its moisture content, the study suggests that even in an intertidal regime where cyclic immersion does takes place, minestone will retain sufficient moisture within its fabric to prevent slaking from taking place. The slaking study reveals a close relationship between slaking susceptibility and total pore surface area as revealed by porosimetry. The immersion study shows that although the fabric of CSM is rapidly attacked in sea water, a high degree of the disruption is associated with the edges and corners of samples (ie. free surface) while the integrity of the internal fabric remains relatively intact. CSM samples were shown to be resilient when subjected to immersion in distilled water.