Potentially Reactive Carbonate Rocks: A Review of Virginia Reports

Report No: 70-R11

Published in 1970

About the report:

An expansive reaction between portland cement and certain siliceous aggregates has been known since the work of T. E. Stanton in the early nineteen forties. It was not until Woods, Sweet, and Shelburne (1945) bad correlated pavement blowups in Indiana with a few carbonate aggregate sources that certain limestones and dolomites were suspected of causing expansion when used in concrete. Swenson (1957) correlated deleterious expansion of concrete with a single carbonate aggregate source at Kingston, Ontario, and further noted that the degree of expansion could be correlated with the level of cement alkali. Subsequent to this work expansive alkali-carbonate rocks have been found and reported in Indiana (Hadley 1961), Virginia (Newlon and Sherwood 1962), and Missouri (Axon and Lind 1965).

The first indication that carbonate aggregates being quarried in Virginia were alkali reactive resulted from measurements obtained in 1957 from an instrumented bridge in Rockingham County. Abnormal expansions from both the bridge deck and a companion beam were indicated. Subsequent lab and field investigations led to the drafting of a working plan (Newlon 1961) designed to locate and study potentially reactive carbonate rocks in Virginia.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

W. Cullen Sherwood, Howard Newlon

Last updated: February 12, 2024

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