Author(s)

Andrew Branin

Date Approved

5-18-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.CE Civil Engineering

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Sukumaran, Beena

Subject(s)

Mineralogy, Determinative;Aggregates (Building materials)

Disciplines

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Abstract

The strength of concrete and asphalt is provided by the aggregate stone within it, and as such maintaining a high standard for these materials is crucial in ensuring that these materials meet their projected design lives. One key factor to consider for an aggregate's long-term strength is its mineralogy, which can affect the strength and long-term performance of these materials. Conventional chemical testing techniques and petrographic examination methods presently exist which can be used to identify and/or quantify problematic minerals, however these tests are typically costly, time consuming, and/or require significant sample preparation and a controlled lab environment. The purpose of this study is to develop a portable, reliable system to determine traits of aggregate stone in the field and compare the results to New Jersey state standards as a means of quality control. This research presently focuses on quantifying the chemical composition and mineralogy of aggregates, with focus on minerals such as mica and limestone which can cause rapid degradation of aggregate stone in asphalt and concrete. Chemical composition testing is performed via Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), which involves firing a laser pulse at a sample and predicting its composition based on the spectrum of light emitted by the resulting plasma. Predictive models are generated via Partial Least Squares Regression Analysis.

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