Journal Published Online: 01 December 2003
Volume 25, Issue 2

Proposed Universal Accelerated Test for Alkali-Aggregate Reaction The Concrete Microbar Test



The Concrete Microbar Test is modified after a Chinese test, for alkali-carbonate reactive aggregates. The protocol for the test is essentially the same as for ASTM C 1260, Standard Test Method for Determining the Potential Alkali-Silica Reactivity of Combinations of Cementitious Materials and Aggregate (Accelerated Mortar Bar Method), except for the size of the bars, the grading of the aggregate, the water to cement ratio and the length of the test. The concrete microbars are 40 by 40 by 160 mm. The aggregate is graded to pass a 12.5 mm sieve and be retained on a 4.75 mm sieve. The water to cement ratio is 0.33. The length of the test is 30 days in 1 M sodium hydroxide (NaOH) at 80°C. The test results show that the method is applicable to both alkali-carbonate and alkali-silica reactive aggregates. Moderate correlation was found between the expansions measured in this test at 30 days, and in the concrete prism test (CSA A23.2-14A) at 1 year. Alkali-carbonate reactive aggregates may be distinguished from alkali-silica reactive aggregates in this test by replacing a portion of the portland cement by a supplementary cementing material. The expansions of alkali-silica reactive aggregates, in this test, are significantly reduced by the presence of the supplementary cementing material but expansion of alkali-carbonate reactive aggregates is largely unaffected. It is tentatively suggested that the expansion limit to separate deleteriously alkali silica reactive siliceous limestones from innocuous limestones is 0.140 % at 30 days; the proposed limit for all other aggregates is 0.04 %.

Author Information

Grattan-Bellew, PE
Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Cybanski, G
Karson Group, Carp-Ottawa, ON, Canada
Fournier, B
Canadian Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, Materials Technology Laboratory, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Mitchell, L
Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Pages: 8
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: CCA10445J
ISSN: 0149-6123
DOI: 10.1520/CCA10445J