Dimension stone used in the construction industry requires durability testing. ASTM C170 describes the test methods to determine the differences in compressive strength between various dimension stones including granite, limestone, marble and sandstone.

The requirements of ASTM C170 for determining the compressive strength of dimension stone include the following machine specification & specimen preparations:

  • Apparatus-Any machine meeting the practices of ASTM E4 fixture/specimen centering capability with loading rates not to exceed 100 PSI/second
  • Test Specimens-Cubes or cylinders with the diameter or lateral dimension of not less than 2 inches
  • Measuring Specimens-At lease five specimens to be tested for each condition of test (dry or wet)
  • Conditioning-The dimension stone specimens can be tested in both dry and wet conditions
    • Dry specimens-48 hours at 140 ± 4º Fahrenheit
    • Wet specimens immersed in water for 48 hours at 72 ± 4ºFahrenheit

In order to test for compressive strength, we chose the Industrial Series 600DX Hydraulic Universal Testing Machine with compression-only capability. This machine includes an adjustable crosshead with mounting features to accept and center the upper spherically seated compression plate fixture. Additionally, the machine includes a table which facilitates centering of the lower plane compression plate fixture.

We recommend Bluehill Universal as the user interface so the operator can easily set up the test, control test rates and get quick, accurate results after the test. Bluehill software is able to perform all of the data analysis required by ASTM C170 after the test is complete and displays the results on the screen for the operator to evaluate. The results and data are also stored in an Access database for later retrieval and access via a network.

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