The Effect of low-grade aggregates on the abrasion resistance of concrete
Three types of crushed rock aggregate were appraised, these being Carboniferous Sandstone, Magnesian Limestone and Jurassic Limestone. A comprehensive aggregate testing programme assessed the properties of these materials. Two series of specimen slabs were cast and power finished using recognised site procedures to assess firstly the influence of these aggregates as the coarse fraction, and secondly as the fine fraction. Each specimen slab was tested at 28 days under three regimes to simulate 2-body abrasion, 3-body abrasion and the effect of water on the abrasion of concrete. The abrasion resistance was measured using a recognised accelerated abrasion testing apparatus employing rotating steel wheels. Relationships between the aggregate and concrete properties and the abrasion resistance have been developed with the following properties being particularly important - Los Angeles Abrasion and grading of the coarse aggregate, hardness of the fine aggregate and water-cement ratio of the concrete. The sole use of cube strength as a measure of abrasion resistance has been shown to be unreliable by this work. A graphical method for predicting the potential abrasion resistance of concrete using various aggregate and concrete properties has been proposed. The effect of varying the proportion of low-grade aggregate in the mix has also been investigated. Possible mechanisms involved during abrasion have been discussed, including localised crushing and failure of the aggregate/paste bond. Aggregates from each of the groups were found to satisfy current specifications for direct finished concrete floors. This work strengthens the case for the increased use of low-grade aggregates in the future.