Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

John P. Zaniewski

Committee Co-Chair

Radhey Sharma

Committee Member

Radhey Sharma

Committee Member

Avinash Unnikrishnan


The current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) procedures for determining the aggregate specific gravities and absorption values are time consuming and hence are not appropriate for quality control processes. These methods are not repeatable too which is another issue with the standard test methods. The standard AASHTO method for fine aggregates has problems with angular and absorptive materials. Due to this problem several agencies have developed alternative methods. Correct measurement of the specific gravity and absorption play a crucial role in the design of hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures. Improper measurements can lead to poor asphalt being accepted for a certain job and on the other hand good quality asphalt may be rejected. The pavement life is at great risk if poor quality asphalt is accepted. And there can be a lot of cost concerns if good quality asphalt is being rejected.;This research evaluated the specific gravity test methods for fine aggregates. The focus of the research is to find a test method that is suitable for all types of fine aggregates. There were 9 different methods used to determine the fine aggregate specific gravities apart from the standard AASHTO method. All the selected methods are the modifications made by other agencies in order to improve the test accuracy. The comparison between the different methods to the AASHTO method was done using the student t distribution test.