Joe H. Smith

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


The ever constant demand for more and better roads and concrete structures has forced the engineer to seek construction materials with better physical properties. Because of this demand, our nation's once vast supply of high quality, easily accessible natural resources is becoming depleted. One such natural resource is mineral aggregates. These mineral aggregates may be classified as the smaller rocks composed of one or more minerals. The money expended for the procurement and placement of mineral aggregates for highway use represents approximately one-fourth of the total highway cost. Because of this large amount of money spent annually for mineral aggregates, it is necessary to know the quality of this construction material. Since 1936 all aggregates used in concrete construction by the Bureau of Reclamation were examined petrographically as a part of the basis for their selection. The method has been applied similarly by the Corps of Engineers since before 1940. In 1954 the American Society for Testing and Materials adopted a standard procedure for the Petrographic Examination of Aggregates for Concrete. In Breese's report he stated that there appears to be universal agreement that the best method for determining secondary minerals is by petrographic analysis. The drawbacks to such an approach is that it is time-consuming, requires the services of a trained petrographic expert, and is, in general, not adaptable to field laboratory use. The objectives of this investigation were: l. To compare the modified Los Angeles Rattler test proposed by Mathiowetz with the standard Los Angeles Rattler test, the Washington degradation test, the petrographic analysis, the specific gravity, and the absorption of the aggregates. 2. To further identify minerals which may cause road failures. 3. To determine a sediment height correction factor for mixture temperature in the sedimentation portion of the modified Los Angeles Rattler test. 4. To determine the reproducibility of the modified Los Angeles Rattler per cent loss and sediment heights.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Aggregates (Building Materials)

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University