This test is used to determine aggregate toughness and abrasion qualities, primarily in asphalt applications. Poor strength aggregate can lead to HMA structural failures and reduced skid resistance. LA Abrasion test is empirical and not necessarily directly related to field performance.
In asphalt applications, aggregate abrasion is important because aggregate in HMA is designed to resist crushing, disintegration, and degradation to produce high quality results. The LA Abrasion test applies impact, abrasion, and grinding to a rotating steel drum with a specific amount of steel spheres. After this process the weight of the aggregate remaining on a #12 sieve is subtracted from original weight to get a percentage which has broken up resulting is a ‘loss’ percentage. The standard LA Abrasion test is AASHTO T96 or ASTM C131.