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Durabilite des granulats: l'essai au sulfate

  • Aubertin M. 
  • Larochelle F. 
Symposium International Sur Les Granulats Theme III Essais de Granulats
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Résumé

Cette étude vise à mieux saisir l'influence des divers phénomènes reliés à la durabilité des granulats mesurée par l'essai au sulfate (“Soundness Test”—Norme ASTM C-88). L'origine et l'évolution de cet essai démontrent qu'il serait très difficile, voir impossible pour des laboratoires d'essais de contrôle usuels, de resserrer les exigences de ces manipulations de façon à améliorer sensiblement sa précision; il apparaît, en effet, que le nombre des facteurs impliqués sont trop considérables pour que des efforts en ce sens s'avèrent fructueux.

Il a par ailleurs été établi que les effets destructifs de cet essai sont reliés aux efforts thermiques (reliés aux gradients intermes et à la variation volumique), aux mouvements de la couche de fluide absorbé et aux cycles de mouillage-séchage alternatifs, combinés à l'expansion cristalline du sel lors de son hydratation.

Comme dans le processus de cryoclastie des granulats, la durabilité au sulfate est directement reliée à la microstructure et à la minéralogie des granulats, ainsi que le démontre la très bonne corrélation qui existe entre la quantité d'eau adsorbée et sa résistance aux effets destructifs. Cependant, l'inexistence d'une relation entre l'essai au sulfate et la performance réelle des granulats exposés à des conditions naturelles, de même que le peu de précision de cet essai normalisé, démontrent à tout utilisateur que celui-ci ne devrait être employé que comme un indice global de comportement qui, combiné avec une analyse pétrographique détaillée, pourrait permettre, grâce à son étroite relation avec les propriétés d'attrition et d'absorption, de déceler les faiblesses potentielles des granulats. En aucun cas, il ne devrait servir de critère exclusif de sélection.

Durability of aggregates: The Soundness Test

Abstract

This study is designed primarily to shed some light on the influence of the various phenomena associated with aggregate durability as measured by the Sulfate Soundness Test (ASTM C-88). An examination of the origin and evolution of this test suggests, at first, that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for laboratories using standard control tests, to tighten the requirements associated with these procedures in such a way as to improve its accuracy to any significant extent; indeed, it appears that the factors involved are too numerous and varied to offer any hope of success for efforts in this direction.

Moreover, it has been established that the destructive effects of this test are attributable to thermal stresses (related to internal gradients and to volumic variations), movements of adsorbed fluid and cycles of alternate wetting and drying, combined of course with salt crystal growth on hydratation.

Like the frost shattering resistance of mineral aggregates, the sulfate soundness is directly related to the microstructure and mineralogy of the aggregates, as demonstrated by the very high correlation which exists between the quantity of water adsorbed and its resistance to the damaging effects. However, the absence of any strict relationship between the sulfate test and the actual performance of aggregates exposed to the elements, together with the low reliability and accuracy of this standard test, should limit it to use merely as a general index of behavior which, combined with detailled petrographic analysis, may help to indicate, from its narrow relationship with abrasion, attrition and absorption properties, the potential weaknesses of mineral aggregates. In any event, it should not be used as the exclusive criterion for selection.

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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aubertin M. 
    • 1
  • Larochelle F. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Les Laboratoires BétonsolLavalCanada

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