Bottom Ash: An Engineering Material

by Roger K. Seals, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV,
Lyle K. Moulton, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV,
Byron E. Ruth, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 4, Pg. 311-325

Document Type: Journal Paper


The properties and uses of bottom ash, a by-product from burning coal in power plants, are discussed. Selected samples of bottom ash from the State of West Virginia and the surrounding area were subjected to engineering identification, classification, and property tests. Identification tests that were conducted included: (1) grain size distribution, (2) specific gravity, and (3) chemical analyses. Tests conducted to evaluate bottom ash as an aggregate and construction material included: (1) sulphate soundness, (2) Los Angeles abrasion, (3) relative density, (4) Standard Proctor compaction, (5) constant head permeability, (6) one dimensional compression, and (7) shear strength. It was found that bottom ash from several of the sources satisfied specifications related to the use of the material as an aggregate. In comparing the behavior of bottom ash to that of sand, it was found that the characteristics were quite similar.

Subject Headings: Materials engineering | Bottom ash | Power plants | Aggregates | Construction materials | Strength of materials | Shear strength | Soil properties | West Virginia | Los Angeles | California | United States

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