Civil Engineering Project Topics

Effect of Quarry Dust on the Compressive Strength of Concrete Made With Granite

Effect of Quarry Dust on the Compressive Strength of Concrete Made With Granite

Effect of Quarry Dust on the Compressive Strength of Concrete Made With Granite


Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is to the effect of quarry dust on the compressive strength of concrete made with granite.

The following specific objectives of the study are given below;

  1. To obtain a mix proportion for concrete class 25 for concrete and thus quantify the optimum usage of quarry dust in the replacement of granite.
  2. To observe the effect of quarry dust proportions on the compressive and tensile strength and workability of concrete.




According to Alexander et al. Granite is derived from rocks of the earth’s crust. Their properties are governed first by the chemical and physical properties of the parent rocks. Rocks undergo various processes of alteration, including natural geothermal and/or weathering processes which occur over long periods of geological time. Such processes may produce granular materials in the form of natural gravels and sands that can be used in concrete with a minimum of further processing. On the other hand, production of sand may require processes encompassing human related activities in the form of rock breaking, crushing, mining, dredging and so on. These processes, which convert the rock in a very short period of time into useful engineering material, must be linked to the nature of the parent rock and the required properties of the sand, in order to produce acceptable materials.

Natural sand can be sourced from pits, river banks and beds, the seabed, gravelly or sandy terraces, beaches and dunes, or other deposits that provide granular materials that can be processed with minimal extra effort or cost. Sand and gravel, which are unconsolidated sedimentary materials, are important sources of natural sand. The occurrence of high quality natural sands and gravels within economic distance of major urban areas may be critical for viable concrete construction in those areas.

Chijoke et al. submitted that the construction industries in the developing world is looking for alternative materials that can replace the demand for natural sand, in order to reduce environmental degradation, reduction of production cost as well as augmenting the quality of concrete. Troxel et al.  argued that compressive strength is the criterion for determining the quality of concrete and as such it is necessary that for a concrete to be used, its compressive strength has to be determined.

Concrete production

The escalating consumption of concrete as indicated by the steady rise of cement consumption in figure 1 has led to an increase in the world wide use of sand as fine aggregates. As a result of this, several developing countries ; like ours, have encountered some strain in the supply of natural sand to meet the increasing needs of infrastructural development in recent years. This situation has led to the increase in the price of sand and this translates directly to an increase in the cost of concrete.





The aggregates used for this study were sourced locally from:

Coarse Aggregate sourced from Wasimi, with sizes; 25mm, 20mm, 12mm, and 6mm.

Quarry dust sourced from Wasimi,

Fine aggregates (sharp granite) sourced from Oke-Baale,

Clean water from Uniosun Campus, Oke-Baale,

Cement: Elephant (Ordinary Portland) brand from Oke-Baale

1:1.5:3 concrete mix ratio for prescription and performance specification


Particle size distribution, Slump, Specific Gravity, water absorption, and compressive tests were determined in accordance with BS 882: 1992; BS 1881: Part 102 & 108 (1983) for slump test, BS 812-2; 1995, BS 1881-122: 2011, ASTM D 570 and BS 1881-116: 1983 respectively. Concrete mix design for grade M 25 as per IS-10262-2009 with OPC grade 53 conforming to IS-12269-1987, with water adsorption ratio 0.5. Coarse Aggregate (Granite) obtained from Wasimi, fine aggregate (granite) from Oke-baale and quarry dust from Wasimi, all local resource form the basic ingredient for the concrete mix used by the study. Total number of concrete cubes produced for crushing test was 40 at 10 cubes per curing period of 7,14,21 & 28 days respectively. All tests were carried out at the Osun State University Civil Engineering test laboratory Osogbo, observing all details to be followed in carrying out such tests.



Table 1 below shows the result of sieve analysis carried out by the study using coarse aggregate (granite) weighing 6453.50 g.

The variation of workability was also measured in terms of compaction factor with constant w/c ratio (0.5).The values were obtained from different mixes such as 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% quarry dust/granite replacement 0.81, 0.83, 0.84, 0.83 and 0.82 respectively. As per the data above, concrete does not give adequate workability with the increase of quarry dust as fine aggregate.

The results obtained for fine aggregates (both granite and quarry dust) were within grading requirements as required by BS 410:1986. Quarry dust was found to contain more fine particles compared to granite which contained more coarse particles.




This study examined the effect of quarry dust on the compressive strength of concrete made with granite. The study results show that the addition of quarry dust improves the compressive strength of concrete. The study concludes that quarry dust may be used as partial replacement material for fine aggregate at up to 50% replacement, maximally in concrete. This study therefore concludes as follows;

  1. Quarry dust may be employed as a quality replacement in concrete as fine aggregate,
  2. Slump value decreases with increase in percentage replacement of sand with quarry dust due to higher percentage of smaller particles present in quarry dust compared to sand,
  3. Compressive strength of concrete at 50% replacement has the highest value at all curing periods investigated,
  4. It was observed during compaction test that the density of concrete increases with increase in percentage of quarry dust content, causing as expected increase in compressive strength as density of concrete increases,
  5. Quarry dust being cheaper per cubic meter and environmentally friendly than granite should be encouraged as alternative to granite, if at partial replacement only,
  6. Further research should be carried out to determine the long term strengths of quarry dust concrete and also the compressive strengths of quarry dust in reinforced concrete


From the laboratory test results and analysis, I would like to recommend the 60% and 80% replacement of sand with quarry fines. However 60% replacement produces a more workable mix.

Quarry dust should be used as fine aggregates in concrete production by contractors in the industry, results from this project and other works indicate that also 100% replacement of sand with quarry dust is possible as shown by the strength tests. However, trial casting with the proposed dust should be carried out to achieve the most suitable water content and mix proportions to suit the required workability levels and strength requirements.

Also Further research should be carried out on

  • The behaviour of quarry fines in reinforced concrete i.e. its suitability in RC beams, slabs, columns etc. Also use in pre-cast elements.
  • Long term behaviour of quarry fines concrete under moderate weather exposure that is external exposure. Uses of admixture on quarry fines concrete should also be research on to determine if significant properties can be attained more so on cases where cement content need to be increased.


  • British Standard Institutions, “Methods for Determination of Slump”, BS 1881: Part 102, London, 1983.
  • British Standard Institutions, “Methods for Making Test Cubes from Fresh Concrete”, BS 1881: Part 108, London, 1983.
  • British Standard Institutions, “Specification for Aggregates for Natural Source for Concrete”, BS 882, London, 1992.
  • British Standard Institutions, “Specification for Sieve Test”, BS 410, London, 1986.
  • Barrit, “Advanced Building Construction”, Vol. 1, 2nd Edition, J. W. Arrowsmith Ltd, Bristol, 1984.
  • Chijoke Chiemela, Igwegbe Walter, Ibearugbulem Ogedi, Okoye Peter & Oke Mong, “Comparing The Compressive Strengths of Concrete Made with Granite and Quarry Dust as Fine Aggregates”, International Journal of Recent Research and Applied Sciences (IJRRAS), Vol. 221, No. 2/IJRRAS_22_2_01.pdf, 2015.
  • G.E. Troxel, H.E. Davies, & J.W. Kelly, “Composition and Properties of Concrete: 2nd Edition”, McGraw Hill Books Company New York, pp. 528, 1968.
  • Gideon Olakunle Bamgboye, Anthony Nkem Ede, Uwanabasi Edet Umana, Tajudeen Odeniyi Odewumi, and Oluwaleke Adekunle Olowu, “Assessment of Strength Characteristics of Concrete Made from Locally Sourced Gravel Aggregate from South-South Nigeria”, British Journal of Applied Science & Technology; Vol.12, No. 5, pp.1-10, Article no. BJAST, 20365, ISSN: 2231-0843, NLM ID: 101664541, 2016.
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