Fly ash is a byproduct of the combustion of pulverized coal, which has found an application as a supplementary cementitious material that offers several benefits such as improved workability, durability, and improved long-term strength to concrete. The requirements for sampling frequency of this material are laid out in ASTM C311, Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Fly Ash or Natural Pozzolans for Use in Portland-Cement Concrete. The article analyzes the composite sampling frequency and provides insight into how changing it would affect the ability to capture changes in fly ash properties. The analysis is based on data collected using the current composite sampling requirements during the calendar year of 2016 from four power plants located in the United States. Fly ash properties included in the analysis are the sum of silica, alumina, iron oxide content, sulfur trioxide content, loss on ignition (LOI), fineness, and the strength activity index at 7-days and 28-days. The statistical analysis shows that reducing the composite sampling frequency to monthly, instead of every 2,900 Mg (3,200 tons), would not affect the ability to properly identify the properties of fly ash. This conclusion is supported by the observation that the parameters show small variability throughout the year and that those dependent on plant operational changes (such as fineness and LOI) are monitored on site at an even higher frequency, daily or every 360 Mg (400 tons).
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