Influence of maximum particle size, fines content, and dust ratio on the behavior of base and subbase coarse aggregates

Rabindra Chaulagai, Abdolreza Osouli, Sajjad Salam, Erol Tutumluer, Sheila Beshears, Heather Shoup, Matthew Bay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unbound aggregate base and subbase layers are the main load-bearing layers in a pavement structure. Size and shape properties of these aggregate materials should be controlled to ensure proper workability during construction and improved performance for pavement longevity. The effects of gradation, maximum particle size, fines content (percentage passing the No. 200 sieve), and dust ratio on the quality of aggregates were investigated by performing many soaked California bearing ratio tests on a crushed limestone material. The dust ratio represents the amount of fines content divided by the amount of minus No. 40 sieve material. The dust ratios studied were 0.4, 0.6, and 1.0. Two gradations commonly used in Illinois, with maximum particle sizes of 1 in. and 2 in., were studied to analyze the effect of fines content with respect to maximum particle size in the gradation. A typical range of fines contents (i.e., 5%, 8%, and 12%) was also considered. The results show that the gradation, dust ratio, and fines content should be taken into account in the selection of aggregate properties for stability requirements. Aggregates with larger maximum size particles provide high strength, and they are not affected as much as aggregates with smaller maximum size particles by an increase in fines content. The aggregates with smaller maximum size particles provide lower strength. It was also concluded that samples with a dust ratio of 1.0 do not necessarily result in an aggregate material with low strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of maximum particle size, fines content, and dust ratio on the behavior of base and subbase coarse aggregates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this