# All About bulk density and % voids of coarse aggregates

Bulk density and % voids are important characteristics of coarse aggregates that play a crucial role in the strength and durability of concrete. These properties determine the amount of space occupied by the aggregate particles and the amount of voids within them, which ultimately affects the density and strength of the concrete. Therefore, understanding the concept of bulk density and % voids is essential for producing high-quality concrete. In this article, we will delve deeper into the meaning, measurement, and significance of these two parameters in relation to coarse aggregates.

## What is bulk density and % voids of coarse aggregates

Bulk density and % voids are important properties of coarse aggregates used in the field of civil engineering. These properties determine the quality and suitability of aggregates for use in construction materials such as concrete, asphalt, and road base.

Bulk density is defined as the weight of a unit volume of material, in this case, coarse aggregate. It is typically measured in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3). This property gives an indication of the compactness or density of the aggregate, which can affect its strength and durability. Aggregates with higher bulk density are more compact and have less voids between particles, making them suitable for applications where strength and durability are important.

On the other hand, the % voids of coarse aggregates is a measure of the empty spaces between particles in a given volume of material. It is expressed as a percentage of the total volume and can be calculated using the bulk density and the specific gravity of the aggregate. Higher voids indicate a less compacted material with lower strength and durability.

The bulk density and % voids of coarse aggregates can be affected by various factors such as the shape and texture of the particles, grading, moisture content, and compaction. The shape and texture of the particles can influence the bulk density and voids as irregularly shaped and rough-textured particles tend to have higher voids compared to smooth and rounded particles. Grading, which refers to the distribution of different sized particles in an aggregate, can also impact its bulk density and voids. Aggregates with a poorly graded mix of particle sizes will have a higher void content compared to a well-graded aggregate with a uniform distribution of particles.

Moisture content can also affect the bulk density and voids of coarse aggregates. Dry aggregates tend to have higher bulk density and lower voids compared to wet aggregates, as water fills in the empty spaces between particles. Compaction is another factor that can influence the bulk density and voids of aggregates. Compaction increases the density of the aggregate, reducing its voids and increasing its strength.

The bulk density and % voids of coarse aggregates can be determined by conducting lab tests using standard procedures. These properties are crucial in selecting the right type of aggregate for various applications in construction. High-quality aggregates with appropriate bulk density and voids will help to produce strong and durable concrete and other construction materials.

## What is bulk density and their types

Bulk density is a term used in civil engineering and construction to describe the weight of a particular material per unit volume. It is an important property as it determines the stability and strength of a structure or material.

Simply put, bulk density is the ratio of the weight of a material to its volume. It is typically measured in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3) or pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft3). The higher the bulk density, the greater the weight of the material in a given area, which makes it more compact and dense.

There are two types of bulk density: true density and bulk density based on particles.

1. True Density:
True density is the weight of a particular material when all the void spaces within the material are eliminated. It is the density of the material itself, without any pore spaces or air gaps. It is also known as absolute density and is typically expressed in kg/m3 or lb/ft3.

2. Bulk Density Based on Particles:
This type of bulk density is the weight of a material including the void spaces within it. In construction and engineering, materials are often made up of particles of different sizes and shapes. The bulk density based on particles takes these void spaces into account.

There are various methods used to measure the bulk density based on particles, such as the pouring method, tap density method, and stability index method. These methods involve filling a container with a known volume of the material and then measuring its weight to calculate the bulk density.

The bulk density of a material can be affected by several factors, including particle size, shape, moisture content, and compaction. Materials with smaller particle sizes tend to have higher bulk densities, as there are more particles packed into the same volume. The shape of the particles can also affect bulk density, as irregularly shaped particles may not pack together as tightly as spherical particles.

Moisture content also plays a significant role in determining bulk density. Materials with higher moisture content tend to have lower bulk densities as the water takes up space within the material. Compaction, a process of reducing the volume of a material by applying force, can also increase bulk density.

Bulk density is an essential property to consider in construction and civil engineering, as it affects the strength and stability of a structure or material. It is used to determine the amount of material needed to fill a particular area, as well as the load-bearing capacity of a structure.

In conclusion, bulk density is the weight of a material per unit volume and can be influenced by various factors, including particle size, moisture content, and compaction. It is measured in kg/m3 or lb/ft3 and is of utmost importance in construction and engineering.

## Types of bulk density of coarse aggregate

Bulk density is a fundamental property of coarse aggregate that is used to determine the weight per unit volume of a given material. It is an important parameter for various construction activities and engineering applications. Bulk density of coarse aggregate refers to the density of the aggregate with all the voids present in it. The higher the bulk density, the less space there is between particles. There are two types of bulk density of coarse aggregate – loose bulk density and compacted bulk density.

1. Loose Bulk Density:
Loose bulk density is also known as uncompacted bulk density or loosely packed bulk density. It is the density of coarse aggregate when it is poured loosely in a container without tapping. In this state, the aggregates do not contain any compacted voids and are usually in their natural state as they are extracted from the source. Loose bulk density is reported in kg/m3 or lbs/ft3.

2. Compacted Bulk Density:
Compacted bulk density is also known as compacted bulk density or uncompacted bulk density. It is the density of the coarse aggregate after compaction by mechanical means. This type of density takes into account the presence of voids that are eliminated during the compaction process. Compacted bulk density is always higher than the loose bulk density and is reported in kg/m3 or lbs/ft3.

There are various factors that affect the bulk density of coarse aggregate, such as shape, size, surface texture, grading, and density of individual particles. The type of coarse aggregate also plays a significant role in determining the bulk density.

1. Rounded Aggregates:
Rounded aggregates have a spherical or elliptical shape with a smooth surface. These types of aggregates have a lower bulk density as compared to angular or irregular shaped aggregates.

2. Angular Aggregates:
Angular aggregates have sharp edges and are irregular in shape, resulting in a higher bulk density. They are also prone to interlocking and have better stability characteristics.

The grading of coarse aggregate also affects the bulk density. A well-graded aggregate with a variety of particle sizes, from larger to smaller, will have a higher bulk density as compared to a poorly graded aggregate.

4. Porosity:
The presence of pores or voids in the coarse aggregate also affects the bulk density. The more porous the aggregate, the lower the bulk density.

5. Density of Individual Particles:
The bulk density is also influenced by the density of individual particles. For example, aggregates made of lighter materials will have a lower bulk density compared to aggregates made of denser materials.

In conclusion, the type of bulk density of coarse aggregate depends on the state of the aggregate, whether it is loosely packed or compacted. The bulk density is an essential property that affects the strength, stability, and durability of the concrete mix. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully select the type and properties of coarse aggregate to achieve the desired bulk density for a specific construction project.

## Types of coarse aggregate according to packing

Coarse aggregates are an essential component of concrete and are used to provide strength and durability to the structure. They are particles larger than 4.75 mm in diameter and are classified according to their size, shape, and surface texture. Another important factor that plays a significant role in the quality of coarse aggregate is its packing.

Packing refers to the arrangement or density of particles in the aggregate mix. It affects the workability, strength, and durability of concrete. There are three types of packing for coarse aggregates – densely packed, medium-packed, and loosely packed. Here is a detailed explanation of these three types of coarse aggregates according to their packing.

1. Densely Packed Coarse Aggregate

Densely packed coarse aggregate is the one in which the particles are tightly packed together, and there is very little space between them. This type of aggregate has a high packing density, which means that there is a small amount of void space between the particles. Densely packed coarse aggregate is obtained by subjecting the aggregates to a process called compaction, where they are mechanically pressed together to achieve maximum density.

This type of coarse aggregate is considered ideal for making high-strength concrete. The tightly packed particles provide more contact points, resulting in better bonding between the mix ingredients. This leads to a higher compressive strength of the concrete. Moreover, densely packed aggregates also result in lower porosity, making the concrete more impermeable and durable.

2. Medium-Packed Coarse Aggregate

Medium-packed coarse aggregate is the one in which the particles are neither tightly packed nor loosely packed, but somewhere in between. This type of aggregate has a moderate packing density, with an average amount of void space between the particles. It is obtained by minimizing the compaction process to achieve a balance between excessive voids and excessive compaction.

Medium-packed coarse aggregate is commonly used in the construction of non-structural concrete elements, such as sidewalks, driveways, and patios. It provides adequate strength and durability for such applications without being too dense or too porous. However, it is not suitable for high-strength concrete as it may result in significant voids and lower compressive strength.

3. Loosely Packed Coarse Aggregate

Loosely packed coarse aggregate is the one in which the particles are loosely arranged, and there is a significant amount of void space between them. This type of aggregate has a low packing density, with a high amount of air voids. It is obtained by using a minimal compaction process, resulting in a mix with less cohesion and a higher degree of porosity.

Loosely packed coarse aggregate is commonly used in the construction of lightweight concrete. The voids in this type of aggregate help reduce the weight of the concrete without compromising its structural integrity. It is also used in the construction of non-structural elements, such as sound barriers and embankments.

In conclusion, the type of packing of coarse aggregates plays a crucial role in the properties and performance of concrete. Densely packed coarse aggregate is suitable for high-strength concrete, medium-packed for non-structural applications, and loosely packed for lightweight concrete. It is essential for civil engineers to select the appropriate type of coarse aggregate according to the desired properties of the concrete mix.

## Test procedure for finding loose bulk density

Loose bulk density is a measure of the mass of a material per unit volume when it is loosely packed or settled. It is an important parameter in civil engineering as it helps determine the compactness and stability of materials used in construction projects. To accurately determine the loose bulk density of a material, a standard test procedure must be followed. The following steps outline the general procedure for finding loose bulk density:

Step 1: Sample Collection
The first step is to collect a representative sample of the material to be tested. This sample should be large enough to provide sufficient material for testing and should be taken from various locations to account for variation in the material.

Step 2: Sample Preparation
The sample collected should be dried in an oven at a temperature of around 105-110 degrees Celsius until it reaches a constant weight. This ensures that all the moisture content in the sample is removed.

Step 3: Apparatus and Equipment
The test requires a graduated cylinder, a funnel, and a container to hold the material. The graduated cylinder and funnel should be clean and free from any material residue.

Step 4: Determination of Apparent Volume
Place the empty container on a flat surface and fill it with the sample to the brim using the funnel. Smooth out the surface of the material using a straight edge or a trowel. Record the apparent volume (V1) of the material.

Step 5: Determination of Bulk Density
Weigh the container with the material and record the weight (W1). The bulk density (BD) can be calculated using the formula: BD = W1/V1.

Step 6: Determining the Loose Bulk Density
Empty the container and fill it with the same material without compacting. Level off the surface using the trowel or straight edge. Weigh the container with the material and record the weight (W2). The loose bulk density (LBD) can be calculated using the formula: LBD = W2/V1.

Step 7: Calculating the Loose Unit Weight
The loose unit weight (γ) is the weight of the material contained in 1 cubic meter of space. It can be calculated using the formula: γ = V1 x LBD.

Step 8: Reporting the Results
The results of the test should be reported in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³) or kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³). The values should be reported to the nearest decimal place.

In conclusion, the test procedure for determining the loose bulk density involves collecting a representative sample, drying and preparing the sample, taking measurements and calculating the bulk density and loose unit weight. Following this standardized procedure ensures accurate and reliable results, which can be used in designing and quality control in construction projects.

## Test procedure for finding Rooded bulk density

Rooded bulk density, also known as compacted bulk density, is an important parameter used in civil engineering for design and construction purposes. It is the dry density of a soil sample when it is compacted under a specific set of conditions. The rooded bulk density test is conducted to determine the amount of air voids in the soil and its ability to withstand external loads. Here is a step-by-step procedure for conducting the rooded bulk density test.

Step 1: Preparation of Equipment and Materials
In order to conduct the rooded bulk density test, you will need the following equipment and materials:

1. Soil Sampling Tube: This is a cylindrical tube that is used to collect disturbed soil samples.

2. Sand pouring cylinder: A cylindrical container that is used for pouring sand into the soil during compaction.

3. Metal tamper: A metal rod with a flat base that is used to compact the soil.

4. Balance: A balance with a capacity of at least 10 kg and sensitivity of 0.1g is required to measure the weight of the soil samples.

5. Oven: A drying oven is needed to dry the soil samples before and after the test.

6. Graduated cylinder: A 1000ml graduated cylinder is used to measure the volume of water required for the test.

7. Sieves: Sieves with 4.75mm and 2mm openings are needed to separate the soil particles.

Step 2: Sampling
Collect a disturbed soil sample from the site using the soil sampling tube. The sample should be a minimum of 5 kg.

Step 3: Preparation of Test Specimen
Spread the soil sample over a tarp or flat surface to break down clumps and remove any debris. Then, fill the sand pouring cylinder with 5 layers of soil, each layer being approximately 100g. Use the metal tamper to compact each layer by giving 25 blows from a height of 5cm. After all 5 layers are compacted, remove the excess soil from the top and level the surface with the tamping rod.

Step 4: Determination of Moisture Content
Take a separate soil sample and determine its moisture content by drying it in an oven at a temperature of 105°C for 24 hours. Record the weight of the dry sample as W1.

Step 5: Compaction
Place the sand pouring cylinder on top of the test specimen and slowly fill it with dry sand. Measure the volume of sand added to the cylinder and record it as V1. Carefully remove the cylinder and weigh the remaining soil and sand in the cylinder. Record the weight as W2.

Step 6: Calculation
Calculate the dry rooded bulk density (Dr) using the following formula:
Dr = (W2-W1)/V1

Step 7: Moisture Correction
Calculate the moisture content of the test specimen by finding the difference between the moisture content of the original soil sample (W1) and the moisture content of the dry rooded bulk density test specimen. This difference is known as the moisture correction factor.

Step 8: Final Calculation
Calculate the corrected rooded bulk density (Dr’) using the following formula:
Dr’ = Dr/(1+MC) where MC is the moisture correction factor.

Step 9: Repeat the Test
To ensure accuracy, it is recommended to conduct the test at least three times for each soil sample and take the average of the

## Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the bulk density and % voids of coarse aggregates is crucial for the construction industry. It not only impacts the strength and stability of concrete mixtures but also affects the overall cost and efficiency of a project. By considering factors such as particle size, shape, and moisture content, engineers and contractors can accurately calculate these values and make informed decisions in their construction processes. Maintaining proper bulk density and % voids can lead to stronger and more durable structures, resulting in safer and more reliable buildings and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to regularly test and monitor these properties to ensure the quality and longevity of our construction projects.