Bulk Density of Aggregate -Loose & Compacted [2019]

Bulk Density of Aggregate Loose and Compacted Test Procedure is required to find out the aggregate unit weight in a given volume. Here we described Procedure of bulk density of aggregate test as per IS Code with Bulk density formula and calculation.


Bulk Density of Aggregate Test Procedure

Bulk Density of Aggregate Definition

There are two reasons to do a bulk density test.

  1. To calculate the quantity of any material stock like 40 mm, 20 mm, sand, etc.
  2. To calculate the quantity of any material bed in road construction like granular sub-base, wet mix macadam, etc.


Apparatus and Tools Required for Bulk Density of Aggregate

  1. Weighing balance, least count 0.5 gram
  2. Density bucket or metal cylinder of volume 3 liter, 15 liters, and 30 liters.
  3. Temping rod, dia 16 mm and length of the temping rod 600 mm, rounded at one end.

Bulk Density of Aggregate


Bulk Density of Aggregate IS Code

For the Bulk density of coarse and fine aggregate IS Code 2386 part 3.


Precautions Before Proceeding Bulk Density of Coarse or fine aggregate Test

  1. Density buckets or metal cylinders must be clean.
  2. For different size of particles, use different size of the cylinder as given below.
maximum size of particles in materialvolume of density bucket or metal cylinder
less than 4.75 mm  3 liter
4.75 mm to 40 mm 15 liter
greater than 40 mm 30 liter


Procedure of Bulk Density of Aggregate as per IS Code

For bulk density we can take any material or aggregate in dry condition, surface saturated dry condition or wet condition. It is related to that stock from which sample has been collected. But we recommend bulk density test in dry condition because it’s easy to work with dry material and it gives better result.


There are two way for Loose and Compacted Bulk Density Test Procedure of Aggregate.

  1. Compacted by temping rod weight.
  2. Loose weight without compacting


So we are proceeding with first.

Compacted Bulk Density Procedure by Temping Rod

  1. In this procedure we take material after mixing total sample and sample shall be taken from at least four places at the stockyard.


  1. Immediately after taking material, pour the material by using a scoop of height not more than 50 mm from the top of density bucket or metal cylinder.


  1. Density bucket shall be filled with material in three approximately equal layers.


  1. After pouring the first layer of material in density bucket, temp these aggregates 25 times with temping rod rounded edge.


  1. Again pour the second layer like the first layer from not more than 50 mm height from the top of density bucket and 25 blows.


  1. Temping will be done cross section-ally equal.


  1. For the third layer, we take some extra material over than density bucket top surface.


  1. Hit 25 blows again for the third layer and remove extra materials from the top of the density bucket by using temping rod as a straight-edge.


  1. Take the weight of this density bucket with filled aggregate. Note down as (weight a1).


  1. After weight, remove all material from density bucket.


  1. Repeat this procedure three times for average.


  1. Clean the density bucket and take weight of the empty bucket. Note down as (weight a2).

Bulk Density of Aggregate

  1. you can get material weight (weight a) by deducting a2 from a1.

weight of material (a) = a1 – a2.


  1. For bulk density, we need two values one is the weight of material and second is the volume of the density bucket or metal cylinder we are using.

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Volume of Bucket
  1. For check, the actual volume of density bucket or metal cylinder, keep it on weighing balance and fill water in this bucket or cylinder.


  1. Make sure that bucket or cylinder kept on the weighing balance is level. You can use water level strip or pipe for this and you can use sand under the bucket to level it while adjusting its level with water level strip or pipe.


  1. Fill the water up to the top of bucket or cylinder you can. Carefully, water should not flow from the top.


  1. Take the weight of bucket filled water.


  1. Weight of water = (bucket+filled water) – empty bucket weight.


Loose Bulk Density Test Procedure Without Compacting

In this procedure no layer, no temping shall be done just fill the density bucket or metal cylinder with material by scoop with height not more than 50 mm from the top of the bucket.


Then top surface shall be leveled with temping rod by using as a straight edge then take the weight.


Now previous procedure shall be followed for this.

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Bulk Density of Aggregate formula and Calculation

Bulk density = weight of material/weight of water

Minimum one set of three tests shall be done for average.


Bulk Density of Aggregate Lab Report

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Bulk Density of Aggregate Unit

The bulk density of aggregate unit is Kg/cum or ton/cum.

Cum means cubic meter.


Bulk Density of Aggregate Limits

There is no limits mentioned in any IS code or MORTH for bulk density. But as per our experience we can provide some data:

MaterialBulk density  in Kg/cum
20 mm1300 – 1500
40 mm1300 – 1500
Grainular sub-base2100 – 2300
Wet mix macadam2200 – 2500

 For more comment below


Viva Question on Bulk Density of Aggregate

Q.1  Which density bucket we should use when going for 40 mm bulk density test or materials including 40 mm such as GSB, WMM, etc?

Ans. We should use 30 ltr density bucket while testing bulk density the 40 mm or material including 40 mm.


Q.2  What is the IS code for bulk density test?

Ans. The IS code for bulk density of aggregate is IS 2386 part 3.


Q.3  How many ways to test Bulk density?

Ans. There are two ways of bulk density.

  1. Compacted bulk density
  2. Loose bulk density


Any Other Question? Just Ask in Comment. We are waiting.

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