New standard sought to distinguish safe, harmful fines

By |  July 19, 2012

A proposed ASTM International standard will be used to distinguish between harmful and non-harmful fines in construction aggregate.

A test method to rapidly determine the methylene blue value for fine aggregate and mineral filler is being developed by a normal weight aggregates subcommittee, which is part of an ASTM International committee on concrete and concrete aggregates.

According to Eric Koehler, research and development director at W.R. Grace and Co., the test method will be used, once approved, to qualify new material sources and for production quality control by personnel at aggregate producers, ready mix concrete producers and asphalt concrete producers.

Koehler says this particular method does not involve the titration and visual assessments typically associated with such testing. He adds that the test can be performed in the field in about 10 minutes.

“Once it has been approved, the proposed standard will enable the use of a wider range of sands and limestone fillers in concrete, while also ensuring that these aggregates are of high quality,” Koehler says.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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