Boral Materials Technical Services

Materials Technical Services - Testing Services - Construction Materials
Construction Materials Testing
Aggregate Testing Aggregate Testing Soil Testing Soil Testing Asphalt Testing Asphalt Testing
Cement Testing Cement Testing Cement Testing Concrete Testing Concrete Testing Concrete Testing Concrete Testing Concrete Testing
Aggregate, Rock, Dimension Stone
Aggregates are used in various construction applications, primarily in concrete, asphalt or as a filter medium. The main areas for aggregates testing
  • Aggregate physical properties
  • Aggregate particle shape properties
  • Aggregate soundness and durability properties
  • Chemical characteristics of the aggregate, sand or filter products
  • Testing of dimension stone includes physical, mechanical and durability properties.
The Aggregates laboratories are provided with a wide range of testing equipment, including:
    - Compression testing machine for determination of
      aggregates strength
    - Paver tumbler for abrasion testing of pavers Los Angeles
      abrasion machine for determination of abrasion resistance
      of aggregates Deval attrition machine used mainly for
      determining the attrition resistance of the rail ballast
      Horizontal and vertical polishing machines used to
      artificially polish aggregates.
    - Pendulum skid tester for determination of skid resistance
      of aggregates, tiles and pavers Tyler shaker (power-
      operated) used to determine the degradation factor by
      self-abrasion Sieve shaker (power-operated) used to
      separate aggregates into individual fractions
Soils - Pavement Materials
Testing of soils and pavement materials is essential for the quality control of road construction materials, such as bases and sub-bases. The critical characteristics of the pavement materials are consistency, durability and workability.
These characteristics are related to the soils properties and controlled by quality testing.
The soils section has specialised equipment for use in standard physical and mechanical testing, as well as durability and chemical properties.

The soils testing services include:
  • Moisture Content of Soils
  • Pre-treatment of Soils samples (by compaction, by artificial weathering)
  • Liquid Limit –Standard method (wet/dry sieved), One point method (wet sieved)
  • Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index (wet sieved; dry sieved)
  • Linear Shrinkage (wet sieved; dry sieved)
  • Soils Particle Density
  • Particle Size Distribution:
    i. Coarse Grading by Sieving,
    ii. Fine Grading by Decantation,
    iii. Washed Grading,
    iv. Hydrometer Analysis,
    v. Sand Equivalent.
  • Coefficient of Uniformity
  • Maximum Dry Density:
    I. Standard compaction as received or stabilised with cement/lime/other cementitious materials.
    ii. Modified compaction as received or stabilised with cement/lime/other cementitious materials.
  • Density in - situ : i.Sand Replacement.
  • Electrical Resistivity
Soil Strength
  • Standard/Modified Density
  • Maximum Dry Compressive Strength
  • Unconfined Compressive Strength: Standard compaction as received or stabilised with cement/lime/other cementitious materials.ii.Modified compaction as received or stabilised with cement/lime/other cementitious materials.
  • California Bearing Ratio (unsoaked, 4 days soaked,10 days soaked, lime treated material)
  • Modified Texas Triaxial
  • Wet/Dry Strength Variation
  • Mis-Shapen Particles
  • Fractured Faces
  • Los Angeles Value
  • Soils Unit Mass (loose)
  • Resilient Modulus & Permanent Deformation
  • Direct Shear Box Test
  • Foreign Material Content
  • Permeability of a Soil – Constant Head method or Falling Head Method
  • Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Test Chemical Testing – Soils
  • pH value of soil
  • Sulphates in natural soils or groundwater
  • Chlorides in soils
  • Organic matter content of soils
  • Cement content of stabilised soil
  • Lime content of lime-stabilised materials
Asphalt R&D
The Asphalt R&D section of Boral Materials Technical Services is provided with specialised equipment, including:
  • Gyropac- a gyratory compactor designed to prepare cylindrical specimens for asphalt modulus and creep testing;
  • Servopac- a more sophisticated version of the Gyropac compactor, used as an R&D tool and employed for assessing the workability and performance of different asphalt mixes;
  • Matta – an ICP-developed apparatus used for determination of the stiffness/ resilient modulus of the asphalt samples, based on an indirect tensile test;
  • BP Slab Compactor - used for preparation of the asphalt samples for fatigue and wheel-tracking testing and applied in the comparative assessment of different asphalt mixes for their fatigue and rut deformation;
  • Wheel Tracking - a Coopers (UK) apparatus employed for assessing and comparing the rut deformation of different asphalt mixes, using asphalt slabs conditioned at 60 /65°C and subjected to a loaded rolling wheel.
  • Beam Fatigue Apparatus- employed for determination of the fatigue properties of asphalt mixes, using asphalt slabs subjected to four point bending tests.
  • Binder Recovery Apparatus - used to extract the binder from bituminous mixes in order to determine the binder properties.
  • Brookfield Viscometer – used to determine the viscosity of bitumen's at the temperature up to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cement, cementitious, mortars and grouts, admixtures, curing compounds; Boral Materials Technical Services Facility provides a wide range of technical services – testing and development for cement based construction materials. The services provided cover materials ranging from cement, cementitious materials, mortar and grouts to concrete admixtures and curing compounds.
  • Normal Consistency
  • Setting Time
  • Fineness Index by Air Permeability
  • Residue on 45µm Sieve
  • Soundness
  • Compressive Strength
  • Drying Shrinkage
  • Sulphate Expansion
  • Specific Gravity
  • Autoclave Expansion
  • Chemical and Bogue Composition
  • Temperate rise during hydration
  • Laser Particle Size Distribution
  • Free Lime in Portland Cement and Clinker
  • Water Soluble Chromate Content
Supplementary Cementitious Materials (Fly ash – Ground Granulated Blast – Furnace Slag – Silica Fume):
  • Fineness by 45µm Sieve
  • Moisture Content
  • Loss On Ignition
  • Relative density
  • Relative water Requirement
  • Relative Strength (7 days accelerated and 28 days standard curing)
  • Sulphuric Anhydride
  • Available Alkali
  • Chloride Content
  • Magnesia content
  • Insoluble residue
  • Autoclave Expansion
  • Laser Particle Size distribution
  • Chemical Composition
  • Pozzolanic Activity Index
  • Apparent Particle Density of Fillers
  • Voids in Dry Compacted Fillers
Mortars, Grouts:
  • Mortar Flow
  • Drying Shrinkage
  • Compressive Strength
  • Flexural Strength
  • Length Change Under Restraint
  • Chemical Resistance of Mortar, Grouts
Admixtures and Membrane – Forming Curing Compounds:
  • Water Retention Efficiency of Membrane – Forming Curing Compound.
  • Solids Content
  • Density
  • Viscosity
  • 150µm Residue
  • Drying time
  • Stability of Emulsion
  • Infra-red Spectrum
Alkali – Aggregate Reactivity:
  • Potential Alkali Reactivity of Aggregate – Mortar Bar Method (ASTM method)
  • Potential Alkali- Silica Reactivity – Accelerated Mortar Bar (VicRoad Method)
  • Accelerated Mortar Bar test for AAR Assessment (RTA) Method
  • Alkali Carbonate Reactivity (Canadian Method)
  • Thermal Analysis (DTA-TGA)
  • Cement Content in Mortar
  • Mortar Analysis (Cement – Sand ratio)
  • Sulphur Content in Metallurgical Slags, Crushed Rock, Pavement Materials.
  • Acid Soluble Sulfate Content in Metallurgical Slag

The concrete testing laboratory is uniquely equipped to carry out a full range of trials and testing of various grades of concrete, including concrete trial mixes, testing of fresh/ plastic properties and hardened properties of concrete, as well as durability assessment and site non-destructive testing.

The concrete testing facility is equipped with a concrete trial mixing area of fully controlled temperature, able to simulate winter and summer conditions for concrete casting/ placing. Concrete trial mixes can be performed at controlled temperatures ranging from 5°C to 35°C.

The concrete laboratories also include temperature& humidity- controlled testing rooms, such as a large shrinkage room, curing, crushing/ testing rooms, curing chambers, accelerated curing tanks, laboratory autoclave, etc.

The laboratory is fully equipped with concrete mixers, vibrating tables, Kango hammer and other specialised compaction equipment, a wide range of moulds (for cylinders, prisms, slabs casting), airmeters for air content of plastic concrete, as well as specialised tools for assessing the plastic properties of the superflowable and self-compacting concrete. The testing equipment also includes mechanical testing machines and specialised testing jigs and rigs (for compression, flexural, indirect tensile strength testing, for modulus of elasticity/poisson ratio and creep testing, etc.)

The concrete testing facility is also provided with specialised testing and curing equipment for a wide range of durability assessment methods, e.g. electrical conductivity apparatus for rapid chloride permeability assessment, profile grinder for controlled depth profiling of for chloride penetration, specialised equipment and tools for alkali-aggregate reactivity assessment, controlled curing chambers and tanks, accelerated UV weathering machine, etc.

The laboratory is also equipped with a Chaplin abrasion tester used for determination of the abrasion and wearing resistance of concrete slabs or floors, in either laboratory or field conditions. Field testing equipment also includes Schmidt hammers for indirect/ empirical determination of relative strength and density of different concrete structures, as well as covermeter used for detection and determination of depth (coverage) of steel reinforcement.

The Concrete Section covers tests such as:
  • Concrete Trial Mix, including Casting & Curing (controlled environmental conditions ranging from 5°C to 35°C)
  • Concrete Coring and Testing
  • Accelearated Curing and Testing (e.g. precast applications)
Concrete testing – Fresh Properties Concrete Slump
  • Plastic properties for Self-Compacting and Superflowable Concrete- Flowability, Slump Retention
  • Plastic Density
  • Air Content by Pressure Meter
  • Air Content by Roll-a-Meter
  • Vebe Consistency
  • Compacting Factor
  • Compactibility Index
  • Bleeding of Concrete
  • Setting time of Fresh Concrete
  • Adiabatic/ Semi-Adiabatic
  • Temperature Rise (during hydration)
  • Concrete Maturity
Concrete Testing - Hardened Properties
  • Mass per Unit Volume (Density)
  • Water Absorption
  • Absorption and Apparent Volume of Permeable Voids (AVPV)
  • Compressive Strength (for cast cylinders or secured concrete cores)
  • Flexural Strength
  • Indirect Tensile Strength
  • Drying Shrinkage (to 90 days) or longer.
  • Modulus of Rupture
  • Modulus of Elasticity, Poisson Ratio
  • Creep
  • Water Permeability
  • Water Absorption
  • Sorptivity and Depth of Penetration
  • Chaplin Abrasion Test
  • Thermal Expansion (on concrete cylinders, concrete cores and rock cores)
  • Accelerated UV Weathering (on concrete, bricks, pavers, tiles, roof-tiles, etc.)
  • Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity
  • Covermeter Reinforcement Check
  • Conpave and Rollcrete Trials and Testing
  • Concrete Blocks Testing
Concrete Durability
  • Rapid Determination of Chloride Permeability (ASTM Method)
  • Electrical Indication of Concrete's Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration (AASHTO Method)
  • Chloride Diffusion Profile; Coefficient of Chloride Diffusion- Nord Test
  • Alkali-Aggregate Reaction (AAR) on Concrete Prisms (RTA Method)
  • Length Change of Concrete due to Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASTM Method)
Chemical Testing- Concrete
  • Chlorides and Sulphates in Concrete
  • Admixtures in Concrete, Lignins
  • Sugar Check
  • Cement Content
  • Hardened Concrete Analysis (cement- fly ash/ cementitious- sand- coarse aggregate)
  • Acid Insoluble Residue & Chemical Analysis (full chemical analysis or individual components) – for more information see the section for chemical analysis.