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ASTM C88 – Standard Test Method for Soundness of Aggregates by Use of Sodium Sulfate or Magnesium Sulfate


ASTM C88 is designed to assess the resistance of aggregates to weathering. This is achieved by subjecting them to repeated cycles of soaking in a sulfate solution and oven drying. The resulting expansion and contraction simulate the effects of freezing and thawing, helping to predict the aggregate’s durability in concrete or other applications exposed to harsh weather conditions.

The scope of ASTM C88 includes:

  • Purpose: assessing the soundness (resistance to weathering) of aggregates for use in concrete or other applications.
  • Aggregate types: fine and coarse aggregates.
  • Method:
    • Soaking aggregate samples in a saturated solution of sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate.
    • Drying the samples in an oven.
    • Repeating these cycles for a specified number of times (typically 5).
    • Evaluating the resulting degradation of the aggregate, often measured by the percentage of loss after sieving.
  • Significance: provides a preliminary estimate of the aggregate’s potential for durability issues caused by weathering. However, it is not a definitive predictor of field performance and may require confirmation with other tests.

ASTM C88 is valuable for material selection and quality control purposes. It helps identify aggregates that may be prone to deterioration due to weathering, allowing for informed decisions about their suitability for specific applications.

ASTM C88 Accredited Laboratory

Applied Testing & Geosciences, LLC is accredited for performing tests using the ASTM C88 standard.

Our laboratory is equipped to perform ASTM C88 testing according to your project requirements. We can evaluate the soundness of your aggregates using either sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate solutions. By following this standard, we can provide you with reliable data to make informed choices about your concrete mix design and ensure the long-term performance of your construction project. Contact us today to discuss how ASTM C88 testing can benefit your project.



soundness; aggregate; sodium sulfate; magnesium sulfate; weathering; degradation; durability; loss; sieve analysis; test cycles