Effect of Limestone Composition and Microstructure on the Strength of Aggregates and Concretes

  • A. I. M. IsmailEmail author
  • M. S. Elmaghraby
Building Materials


Limestone rock aggregates were collected from the Fayoum depression southwest of Cairo, Egypt. The chemical and mineral composition as well as the microstructure of the aggregates was studied using XRF, XRD and transmitted light microscopy, respectively. Other tests were carried out on the aggregates including uniaxial compressive strength, bulk density, porosity and water absorption. It can be concluded that sample A is entirely limestone and sample C is dolomitic limestone, while sample B shows the presence of quartz as an essential mineral beside calcite and minor dolomite. The compressive strength confirms that sample C has the highest value so it was selected to form concrete as it recorded the best results. Uniaxial compressive strength, bulk density, porosity and water absorption as well as microstructure of the concrete were investigated using SEM. The compressive strength of the dolomitic limestone concrete (520.86 kg/cm2) is much higher than the aggregate itself (424.02 kg/cm2) due to the bonding strength of the aggregate cement interface. It was concluded that the engineering behaviour of aggregates plays an important role in concrete strength. Use of the dolomitic limestone aggregates in concrete in substitution of coarse aggregates for construction was recommended.


dolomitic limestone aggregates mechanical properties mineral constituents strength minerals microstructure 


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Sciences DepartmentNational Research CentreCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Refractories, Ceramics and Building Materials DepartmentNational Research CentreCairoEgypt

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