ASTM D6473 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Specific Gravity and Absorption of Rock For Erosion Control

    Active Standard ASTM D6473 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.17

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    Rock riprap and armor stone are composed of pieces of natural rock that are placed on construction projects, shorelines, streambeds, bridge abutments, pilings, and other structures to minimize the effects of erosion. The ability of rock to withstand deterioration from weathering affects both the effectiveness of the project and its cost. The specific gravity and absorption of rock provide useful information that can be used in evaluating possible deterioration of rock.

    Bulk specific gravity and bulk specific gravity SSD may reflect the quality of rock and is important in that it may provide one indicator to the resistance of a rock to movement by water.

    The absorption of water into rock may affect its durability under freezing conditions and salt crystallization conditions. In addition, the absorption test has been used as an index test in determining whether additional tests are needed to evaluate the durability of a rock.

    Test specimens equal in size to the proposed design size would provide the best correlations between laboratory tests and actual field performance, however this is usually neither practical nor economically feasible.

    The results of these tests are not to be used as the sole basis for determination of rock durability, but should be used in conjunction with the results of other tests.

    These test methods have been used to evaluate different types of rocks. There have been rare occasions when test results have provided data that have not agreed with the durability of rock under actual field conditions. For example, some rocks with low absorption values have fragmented in actual usage and some with high absorption values have proven to be durable.

    Note 2—The quality of the result produced by this test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies which meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this test method are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depends on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of specific gravity and absorption of rock for erosion control, commonly referred to as riprap or armor stone. The specific gravity may be expressed as bulk specific gravity or apparent specific gravity. Bulk specific gravity and absorption are based on a 24 ± 4-h soaking time for the rock specimens tested.

    1.2 The use of reclaimed concrete and other materials is beyond the scope of this test method.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C127 Test Method for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), and Absorption of Coarse Aggregate

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D4992 Practice for Evaluation of Rock to be Used for Erosion Control

    E145 Specification for Gravity-Convection and Forced-Ventilation Ovens


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.01 (Soil quality in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 30121900(Soil stabilizers and reinforcing materials)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6473-10

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