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Analysis of the ASTM Round-Robin Test on Particle Size Distribution of Portland Cement: Phase I



Chiara F. Ferraris, Vincent A. Hackley, A Aviles, C E. Buchanan


Particle size distribution (PSD) is an essential property of cement. The only standard method to measure the PSD of cement, namely ASTM C115, is limited in scope; this standard describes a method for determining fineness with a lower size detection limit of 7.5 υm. As there is no standard procedure covering the whole range of cement PSD, the implementation of different measurement methods varies widely within the industry. In general, the round-robin tests summarized here have demonstrated the high variability between participants using instruments based on the same underlying principles.ASTM committee C01.25.01 sponsored a round-robin test to measure the PSD of cement. The aim of this report is to analyze the data generated during those tests and to summarize the various approaches available to measure the PSD of cement. The analysis of the data is conducted in two parts. In the first part, an attempt is made to establish a reference distribution using a standard cement powder (SRM 114p). This is followed up by a comparison of the round-robin data in order to initiate discussion on developing a standard test method for cement PSD to be submitted for ASTM consideration. The report provides all the raw data collected during the round-robin tests, and the results of a statiscial analysis of the collected data.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6883
Report Number


cement, particle size distribution, PSD, reference material


Ferraris, C. , Hackley, V. , Aviles, A. and Buchanan, C. (2002), Analysis of the ASTM Round-Robin Test on Particle Size Distribution of Portland Cement: Phase I, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017