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Standard Test Method for Bulk

Density (Unit Weight) and Voids
in Aggregate

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Re-approved 2003
Scope (1)
• This standard covers the determination of
the bulk density (unit weight) of
aggregates and the calculation of voids
between aggregates.
To determine the density of the aggregate, it is
necessary to determine the volume of the
measure (container) in which the aggregate
sample is placed.
Calibration of Measure (8)
• To determine the density (unit weight) of
fresh concrete, as described in ASTM
C 138, it is necessary to place concrete in a
container of known volume.
• Follow the procedures outlined in ASTM
C 29 to find the volume of the container
(measure) used in ASTM C 138.
(See Section 4.4 of ASTM C 138)
Calibration of Measure (8)
• Measures (containers) shall be calibrated
annually or whenever there is reason to
question the accuracy of the calibration.
• Reasons to question the calibration,
¾ buildup
of concrete inside a measure
¾ measure is dented from being dropped
¾ measure is exposed to extreme temperatures
Size of the Measure
• The size of the measure used in ASTM
C 138 is based on the nominal maximum
size (NMS) of the coarse aggregate.
• Per ASTM C 138,
¾ 0.5 ft3 capacity acceptable for a NMS
aggregate up to, and including, 2 in.
¾ the bowl of the pressure meter (~ 0.25 ft3) can
be used when the NMS of the aggregate is
1 in. or less
~0.5 ft 3 ~0.25 ft 3
Calibration Procedure (8)
• Fill the measure with water, which is at
room temperature.
• Place a glass plate across the open end of
the measure in such a way as to eliminate
excess water and air bubbles.
¾ use a syringe to add water to the measure
thereby removing any air bubbles
Calibration Procedure (8)
• Determine the weight of the water in the
container.
weight = wt. of container full – wt. of container empty

• Measure the temperature of the water and

determine its density.
¾ use Table 3 in ASTM C 29 to find the density of the
water
¾ interpolate between temperature values as necessary
Density of Water
Temperature
°F °C lb/ft3
60 15.6 62.366
65 18.3 62.336
70 21.1 62.301
73.4 23.0 62.274
75 23.9 62.261
80 26.7 62.216
85 29.4 62.166
Calibration Procedure (8)
• Calculate the volume, ft3, by dividing the
weight of the water in the container by the
density of the water.

Vol. (ft3) = weight of water

density of water
Example:
Wt. of container full of water = 53.6 lb
Wt. of container empty = 21.7 lb
Water temperature = 70 °F

Volume = (53.6 – 21.7) ÷ 62.301

= 0.512 ft3
Interpolate (estimate) Density
• Interpolation means to estimate between
two known values.
• The next slide demonstrates the
calculations used to interpolate density
values between 60 and 65 oF.
• The same procedure is followed to
interpolate between 65 and 70 oF, 70 and
75 oF, 75 and 80 oF, and 80 and 85 oF.
Example for 60 to 65 oF
o
F Temp - 60 Value/5 Density
(lb/ft3)
60 0 0 62.366
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61 1 0.2 62.366 - 0.2 x 0.0301 = 62.360

64 4 0.8 62.366 - 0.8 x 0.030 = 63.342

65 5 1 62.336

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Density for 60 oF - Density for 65 oF = 62.366 - 62.336 = 0.030
Interpolated Densities

oF Density oF Density oF Density

(ft3) (ft3) (ft3)
60 62.366 65 62.366 70 62.301

65 62.366 70 62.301 75 62.261

Interpolated Densities

oF Density oF Density
(ft3) (ft3)
75 62.261 80 62.216

76 62.252 81 62.206

77 62.243 82 62.196

78 62.234 83 62.186

79 62.225 84 62.176

80 62.216 85 62.166