Characteristics of aggregates used in road construction in Portugal, complying with the requirements of European Conformity (CE marking)

  • Fernando Castelo Branco
  • Mário Quinta-Ferreira
  • Isabel Fernandes
Original Article


In the context of European Conformity (CE marking), an inventory on the aggregates used in road construction in Portugal, encompassing 145 producers (68%) and 228 production centres (79%) was carried out, aiming to support the normalisation of activity for aggregates. A broad and representative characterisation of the geometric, physical, mechanical, chemical, and weathering properties of the aggregates was obtained. A total of 106 aggregate sizes allowed the delineation of two predominant dimensional combinations. Aggregates showed dependence on the lithological type, especially with respect to geometrical, physical, and mechanical properties. More than 30% of the all-in aggregates did not satisfy the sand equivalent category SE50 and the methylene-blue category MB2.5, requiring great care in the establishment of specifications. For high levels of performance, in terms of mechanical resistance, the percentage of aggregates satisfying the Los Angeles category LA30 and the polished stone value category PSV50 was quite low. Comparisons with other countries were not possible as no similar data compilation or inventory was found. The present research aims at improving the application of European aggregate standards and, hopefully, at triggering similar work in other countries, especially European ones, in order to contribute to new international standards or to the revision of those standards currently in force.


Aggregate Inventory of characteristics CE marking Portugal 



The authors thank the companies that participated in the inquiry, as well as the Notified Bodies, APCER (Portuguese Association for Certification), BVQI (Bureau Veritas Quality International), CERTIF (Association for Certification), EIC (International Company for Certification), and SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance), that helped to build the lists of certified companies under the CE marking for aggregates. We would like to thank ANIET (National Association for Extractive and Manufacturing Industry) for the support given in the contact with its members. We thank InIR (Institute of Road Infrastructures), and IP (Infrastructures of Portugal), for making data available.

Acknowledgements are also due to Joana Margarida Pina, Tania Almeida, and Carla Rocha, students of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Coimbra, who collaborated in the data compilation.

Compliance with ethical standards

The financial support of FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P.), through Portuguese funds, in the research project UID/Multi/00073/2013 of the Geosciences Center of the University of Coimbra is acknowledged. The Initiation to Research grants (BII/FCTUC/C2008/CGeo), granted to Joana Pina and Carla Rocha by the Geosciences Centre, are acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geosciences Centre, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Coimbra / MSF EngenhariaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Geosciences Centre, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.IDL, Instituto Dom Luiz, Department of GeologyUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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