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Fine Aggregate for Hydraulic Cement Concrete

Standard Specifications for Aggregates

Fine Aggregate for Hydraulic Cement Concrete

Reference AASHTO M 6-13

The quality and grading of fine aggregate for hydraulic cement concrete used in pavements or bases, highway bridges etc. are covered in the AASHTO M 6 specification. Fine aggregate shall consist of natural sand or manufactured sand or combinations thereof. Grading requirements of fine aggregates shall be as given in the adjoining input table.

Using this Tool:
This TransCalc tool can be used to calculate and plot the Fineness Modulus of upto three samples. The input data can also be saved in the form of a pdf report. The plots are interactive and can be zoomed in or out and hovered over for additional data display. The plot can be saved by using the toolbars located on the top right of each plot. Please make use of the help texts provided in each input cell for further guidance on the usage of this tool.

The fine aggregate shall not have more than 45 percent passing any sieve and retained on the next consecutive sieve. Fineness modulus shall not be less than 2.3 nor more than 3.1.
Fineness Modulus - a factor obtained by adding the percentages of material in the sample that is coarser than each of the following sieves (cumulative percentages retained), and dividing the sum by 100: 150- μm (No. 100), 300-μm (No. 50), 600-μm (No. 30), 1.18-mm (No. 16), 2.36-mm (No. 8), 4.75-mm (No. 4), 9.5-mm (3⁄8-in.), 19.0-mm (3⁄4-in.), 37.5-mm (1½ in.), 75-mm (3-in.), 150-mm (6-in.).
For continuing shipments of fine aggregate from a given source, the fineness modulus shall not vary more than 0.20 from the base fineness modulus. The base fineness modulus shall be that value that is typical of the source.
Air-entrained concrete - concrete containing airentraining cement or an air-entraining agent and having an air content equal to or greater than 3.5 percent.
If the aggregate is to be used in air entrained concrete containing more than 237 kg/m3 of cement per m3 (400 lb/yd3) OR in non-air-entrained concrete containing more than 297 kg/m3 of cement per m3 (500 lb/yd3) OR if an approved mineral admixture is used, the minimum percent for material passing the 300-μm (No. 50) and 150-μm (No. 100) sieves may be reduced to 5 and 0, respectively.

Deleterious Substances

The amount of deleterious substances shall not exceed the limits given in table below.

Class A
Max. Mass %
Class B
Max. Mass %
Clay lumps and friable particles 3.0 3.0
Coal and lignite 0.25 1.0
Material finer than 75-μm (No. 200) sieve: In concrete subject to surface abrasion not more than 2.0 4.0
Material finer than 75-μm (No. 200) sieve: All other classes of concrete, not more than 3.0 5.0
Other deleterious substances (such as shale, alkali, mica, coated grains, and soft and flaky particles) Purchaser or specifier to insert requirements. Purchaser or specifier to insert requirements.

Organic Impurities:

Fine aggregate shall be free of injurious amounts of organic impurities. Aggregates subjected to the test for organic impurities and producing a color darker than the standard shall be rejected.

Soundness Requirements:

Fine aggregate subjected to five cycles of the soundness test shall have a weighted average loss of not greater than 10 percent when sodium sulfate is used or 15 % when magnesium sulfate is used.

Fine aggregate failing to meet the requirements of soundness may be accepted, under the condition that, concrete of comparable properties, made from similar aggregate from the same source, has given satisfactory service when exposed to weathering similar to that to be encountered.

Fine aggregate not having a demonstrable service record and failing to meet the soundness requirements may be accepted, provided it gives satisfactory results in concrete subjected to freezing and thawing tests as per AASHTO T 161:Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and Thawing.

Input - Project & Sample Details

Please enter the Project Details to appear on the generated pdf report.

Please enter the plot title to appear on the generated particle size distribution (PSD) plot.

Please enter the plot subtitle to appear on the PSD plot.

Please enter brief remarks to appear on the generated pdf report.

Please enter the Sample Details to appear on the generated pdf report.

Please enter the trace name to appear on the legend section of the PSD plot.

Please enter the trace name to appear on the legend section of the PSD plot.

Please enter the trace name to appear on the legend section of the PSD plot.

Fine Aggregate: Particle Size Grading Input Table

Sieve Size, mm Perc. Passing
Perc. Passing
Perc. Passing
Upper Limit (AASHTO M6)
Lower Limit (AASHTO M6)
9.5 100 100
4.75 100 95
2.36 100 80
1.18 85 50
0.600 60 25
0.300 30 10
0.150 10 2


Fineness Modulus - Sample A:

Fineness Modulus - Sample B:

Fineness Modulus - Sample C:


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