DETERMINATION OF LOS ANGELES ABRASION VALUE
(i) to determine the Los Angeles abrasion value.
(ii) to find the suitability of aggregates for use in road construction.
The apparatus as per IS: 2386 (Part IV) – 1963 consists of:
(i) Los Angeles Machine: It consists of a hollow steel cylinder, closed at both the ends with an internal diameter of 700 mm and length 500 mm and capable of rotating about its horizontal axis. A removable steel shaft projecting radially 88 mm into cylinder and extending full length (i.e.500 mm) is mounted firmly on the interior of cylinder. The shelf is placed at a distance 1250 mm minimum from the opening in the direction of rotation.
(ii) Abrasive charge: Cast iron or steel balls, approximately 48mm in diameter and
each weighing between 390 to 445g; six to twelve balls are required.
(iii) Sieve: 1.70, 2.36,4.75,6.3,10,12.5,20,25,40,50,63,80 mm IS Sieves.
(iv) Balance of capacity 5kg or 10kg
(v) Drying oven
(vi) Miscellaneous like tray
The aggregate used in surface course of the highway pavements are subjected to wearing due to movement of traffic. When vehicles move on the road, the soil particles present between the pneumatic tyres and road surface cause abrasion of road aggregates. The steel reamed wheels of animal driven vehicles also cause considerable abrasion of the road surface. Therefore, the road aggregates should be hard enough to resist abrasion. Resistance to abrasion of aggregate is determined in laboratory by Los Angeles test machine. The principle of Los Angeles abrasion test is to produce abrasive action by use of standard steel balls which when mixed with aggregates and rotated in a drum for specific number of revolutions also causes impact on aggregates. The percentage wear of the aggregates due to rubbing with steel balls is determined and is known as Los Angeles Abrasion Value.
The test sample consists of clean aggregates dried in oven at 105° – 110°C. The sample should conform to any of the gradings shown in table 1.
(i) Select the grading to be used in the test such that it conforms to the grading to be used in construction, to the maximum extent possible.
(ii) Take 5 kg of sample for gradings A, B, C & D and 10 kg for gradings E, F & G.
(iii) Choose the abrasive charge as per Table 2 depending on grading of aggregates.
(iv) Place the aggregates and abrasive charge on the cylinder and fix the cover.
(v) Rotate the machine at a speed of 30 – 33 revolutions per minute. The number of revolutions is 500 for gradings A, B, C & D and 1000 for gradings E, F & G. The machine should be balanced and driven such that there is uniform peripheral speed.
(vi) The machine is stopped after the desired number of revolutions and material is discharged to a tray.
(vii) The entire stone dust is sieved on 1.70 mm IS sieve.
(viii) The material coarser than 1.7mm size is weighed correct to one gram.
Sieve size (square hole)
Weight of test sample in gm
Retained on (mm)
Table 1: Grading of Test Samples
*Tolerance of ± 12 percent permitted.
No of Steel balls
Weight of charge in gm
5000 ± 25
3330 ± 20
2500 ± 15
5000 ± 25
5000 ± 25
5000 ± 25
Table 2: Selection of Abrasive Charge
Original weight of aggregate sample = W1 g
Weight of aggregate sample retained = W2 g
Weight passing 1.7mm IS sieve = W1 - W2 g
Abrasion Value = (W1 - W2 ) / W1 X 100
Los Angeles Abrasion Value =
Los Angeles test is commonly used to evaluate the hardness of aggregates. The test has more acceptability because the resistance to abrasion and impact is determined simultaneously. Depending upon the value, the suitability of aggregates for different road constructions can be judged as per IRC specifications as given:
Type of Pavement
Max. permissible abrasion value in %
Water bound macadam sub base course
WBM base course with bituminous surfacing
Bituminous bound macadam
WBM surfacing course
Bituminous penetration macadam
Bituminous surface dressing, cement concrete surface course
Bituminous concrete surface course