Frost Heave

Aggregates and Soil: Frost susceptibility testing when used as an engineered fill or subbase

In order to ensure the bearing capacity and durability of road pavement in cold climate areas, it is necessary to use materials which are resistant to harmful frost impact, known as frost-heaving. Frost heave causes adverse volume changes, the upwards swelling of the pavement after freezing and deterioration of the bearing capacity of the structure after thawing. If fill or subbase is used within 450mm of a pavement surface then it's susceptibility to frost heave should be tested. Material which is classed as frost susceptible is to be avoided.

The British Standard describes a test procedure for the determination of the frost resistance of unbound aggregate mixtures that have been compacted to form a cylindrical specimen with a predetermined water content and density. It is applicable to unbound aggregate mixtures used in the construction of roads and other paved areas at a depth that might experience frost penetration. This method can be used to assess hydraulically bound aggregate mixtures. However, acceptable values of frost heave might differ from those used to assess unbound mixtures. The British Standard includes an option for the use of comparator specimens to confirm that the test chamber is working correctly.

15 working day turnaround

As the test takes quite a while to complete our facility has lots of capacity to get your material tested quickly.

Let us do the sampling

To ensure the samples tested is truly representative of the material we can carry out the sampling.

Advance warning

If during the test it looks like the sample may fail, we will let you know as soon as we know.