The freeze-thaw durability of carbonate aggregates can vary greatly from durable to highly susceptible to freeze-thaw distress. Using nondurable aggregate in concrete pavement exposed to freeze-thaw cycles may lead to serious distress and greatly decrease the pavement’s service life. The testing needed to identify freeze-thaw durable aggregates can take several months to complete. The main objective of this study was to develop a reliable, quick test method for determining the freeze-thaw resistance of carbonate quarried aggregates in Indiana using the Hydraulic Fracture Test (HFT) equipment.

Aggregate samples collected from 18 quarried carbonate sources from across Indiana that represented a range of freeze-thaw performance were subjected to HFT using the existing MnDOT HFT equipment and the newly developed INDOT HFT equipment. Aggregates from the same sources also were used to produce concrete beams that were subjected to the INDOT modified AASHTO T161-B freeze-thaw test (ITM 210) which evaluates the dilation of concrete beams exposed to freeze-thaw cycles. The experimental data were analyzed statistically and linear regression models were developed to predict the average percent dilation and the durability factor of freeze-thaw test beams using parameters obtained from HFT results. Comparing the modeled and measured test results, the favored model predicts dilations based on the INDOT HFT results. These modeled dilations, when compared to measured dilations gave an adjusted R2 value of 0.85, indicating the model has a high degree of certainty. The modified INDOT HFT equipment, refined test procedures and data analysis developed during this study are recommended as screening tools for predicting AASHTO T161/ASTM C666 FT test results in 8-days. Further testing is recommended to refine and validate the models before they are fully implemented as an acceptance standard.

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freeze-thaw resistance, HFT, D-cracking, dilation, durability factor, hydraulic fracture, aggregate

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version