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, President & Chief Executive, Design Technology Consultants,
Chennai Chief Executive, International Centre for FRC Composites (ICFRC), Chennai, Former
Director, SERC & Past President, ICI.

In recent times, the sustained efforts of researchers all over the world to innovate and incorporate
unmatched excellence in construction have led to development of several advanced concrete
construction materials. Of these, composites containing steel fibres have come to stay and
deserve special mention. This paper, besides outlining the properties and applications of normal
fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC), also describes the emergence and potentials of high-volume
fibre composites such as slurry infiltrated fibrous concrete (SIFCON), slurry infiltrated mat
concrete (SIMCON), compact reinforced concrete (CRC) and reactive powder concrete (RPC).

Concrete is the most widely used structural material in the world with an annual production of
over seven billion tons. For a variety of reasons, much of this concrete is cracked. The reason for
concrete to suffer cracking may be attributed to structural, environmental or economic factors,
but most of the cracks are formed due to the inherent weakness of the material to resist tensile
forces. Again, concrete shrinks and will again crack, when it is restrained. It is now well
established that steel fibre reinforcement offers a solution to the problem of cracking by making
concrete tougher and more ductile. It has also been proved by extensive research and field trials
carried out over the past three decades, that addition of steel fibres to conventional plain or
reinforced and prestressed concrete members at the time of mixing/production imparts
improvements to several properties of concrete, particularly those related to strength,
performance and durability.

The weak matrix in concrete, when reinforced with steel fibres, uniformly distributed across its
entire mass, gets strengthened enormously, thereby rendering the matrix to behave as a
composite material with properties significantly different from conventional concrete.

The randomly-oriented steel fibres assist in controlling the propagation of micro-cracks present
in the matrix, first by improving the overall cracking resistance of matrix itself, and later by
bridging across even smaller cracks formed after the application of load on the member, thereby
preventing their widening into major cracks (Fig. 1).

The idea that concrete can be strengthened by fibre inclusion was first put forward by Porter in
1910, but little progress was made in its development till 1963, when Roumaldi and Batson
carried out extensive laboratory investigations and published their classical paper on the subject.
Since then, there has been a great wave of interest in and applications of SFRC in many parts of
the world. While steel fibres improve the compressive strength of concrete only marginally by
about 10 to 30%, significant improvement is achieved in several other properties of concrete as
listed in Table 1. Some popular shapes of fibres are given in Fig.2.

In general, SFRC is very ductile and particularly well suited for structures which are required to
= Resistance to impact, blast and shock loads and high fatigue
= Shrinkage control of concrete (fissuration)
= Rery high flexural, shear and tensile strength
= Resistance to splitting/spalling, erosion and abrasion
= `igh thermal/ temperature resistance
= Resistance to seismic hazards.

The behavior of SFRC under fatigue loading regime as compared to conventional concrete is
shown in Fig. 3, while Fig. 4 illustrates the improvement in impact resistance of SFRC with the
increase in the fibre content. The high ductility exhibited by normal SFRC and polymer-
impregnated SFRC over conventional concrete is shown in Fig. 5.

The degree of improvement gained in any specific property exhibited by SFRC is dependent on a
number of factors that include:

= Concrete mix and its age

= Steel fibre content
= Fibre shape, its aspect ratio (length to diameter ratio) and bond characteristics.

The efficiency of steel fibres as concrete macro-reinforcement is in proportion to increasing fibre

content, fibre strength, aspect ratio and bonding efficiency of the fibres in the concrete matrix.
The efficiency is further improved by deforming the fibres and by resorting to advanced
production techniques. Any improvement in the mechanical bond ensures that the failure of a
SFRC specimen is due mainly to fibres reaching their ultimate strength, and not due to their pull-

Just as different types of fibres have different characteristics, concrete made with steel fibres will
also have different properties.

When developing an SFRC mix design, the fibre type and the application of the concrete must be
considered. There must be sufficient quantity of mortar fraction in the concrete to adhere to the
fibres and allow them to flow without tangling together, a phenomenon called µballing of fibres¶
(Fig. 6). Cement content is, therefore, usually higher for SFRC than conventional mixes
Aggregate shape and content is critical. Coarse aggregates of sizes ranging from 10 mm to 20
mm are commonly used with SFRC. Larger aggregate sizes usually require less volume of fibres
per cubic meter.
SFRC with 10 mm maximum size aggregates typically uses 50 to 75 kg of fibres per cubic meter,
while the one with 20 mm size uses 40 to 60 kg.

Smaller sections less than about 100 mm in thickness should be considered as requiring 10 mm
aggregate size only.

It has been demonstrated that the coarse aggregate shape has a significant effect on workability
and material properties. Crushed coarse aggregates result in higher strength and tensile strain

Fine aggregates in SFRC mixes typically constitute about 45 to 55 percent of the total aggregate

Typical mix proportions for SFRC will be: cement 325 to 560 kg; water-cement ratio 0.4-0.6;
ratio of fine aggregate to total aggregate 0.5-1.0; maximum aggregate size 10mm; air content 6-
9%; fibre content 0.5-2.5% by volume of concrete. An appropriate pozzolan may be used as a
replacement for a portion of the Portland cement to improve workability further, and reduce heat
of hydration and production cost. The suggested mix proportions for making SFRC mortars and
concretes is given in Table 2.

The use of steel fibres in concrete generally reduces the slump by about 50 mm. To overcome
this and to improve workability, it is highly recommended that a super plasticizer be included in
the mix. This is especially true for SFRC used for high-performance applications.

Generally, the ACI Committee Report No. ACI 554 µGuide for Specifying, Mixing, Placing and
Finishing Steel Fibre Reinforced Concrete¶ is followed for the design of SFRC mixes appropriate
to specific applications.


³Shotcreting´ using steel fibres is being successfully employed in the construction of domes,
ground level storage tanks, tunnel linings, rock slope stabilization and repair and retrofitting of
deteriorated surfaces and concrete. Steel fibre reinforced shotcrete is substantially superior in
toughness index and impact strength compared to plain concrete or mesh reinforced shotcrete.

In Scandinavian countries, shotcreting is done by the wet process and as much as 60% of ground
support structures (tanks and domes) in Norway are constructed using steel fibres. In many
countries including India, steel fibre shotcrete has been successfully used in the construction of
several railway and penstock tunnels (Fig. 7).

Typical mix proportions for making fibre shotcrete with sand only, and with a combination of
sand and coarse aggregate, is given in Table 3.

The applications of SFRC depend on the ingenuity of the designer and builder in taking
advantage of its much enhanced and superior static and dynamic tensile strength, ductility,
energy-absorbing characteristics, abrasion resistance and fatigue strength.

Growing experience and confidence by engineers, designers and contractors has led to many new
areas of use particularly in precast, cast in-situ, and shotcrete applications. Traditional
application where SFRC was initially used as pavements, has now gained wide acceptance in the
construction of a number of airport runways, heavy-duty and container yard floors in several
parts of the world due to savings in cost and superior performance during service.

The advantages of SFRC have now been recognised and utilised in precast application where
designers are looking for thinner sections and more complex shapes. Applications include
building panels, sea-defence walls and blocks, piles, blast-resistant storage cabins, coffins, pipes,
highway kerbs, prefabricated storage tanks, composite panels and ducts. Precast fibre reinforced
concrete manhole covers and frames are being widely used in India, Europe and USA.

Cast in-situ application includes bank vaults, bridges, nosing joints and water slides. ³Sprayed-
in´ ground swimming pools is a new and growing area of shotcrete application in Australia.
SFRC has become a standard building material in Scandinavia.
Applications of SFRC to bio-logical shielding in atomic reactors and also to waterfront marine
structures which have to resist deterioration at the air-water interface and impact loadings have
also been successfully made. The latter category includes jetty armor, floating pontoons, and
caissons. Easiness with which fibre concrete can be moulded to compound curves makes it
attractive for ship hull construction either alone or in conjunction with ferrocement.

Use of SFRC for repair work is also a growing market. Several tunnels and bridges have been
repaired with spraying of layers of shotcrete after proper surface preparation. A few most
common applications of SFRC are illustrated in Fig. 8.

SFRC shotcrete has recently been used for sealing the recesses at the anchorages of post
stressing cables in oil platform concrete structures. Recent developments in fibre types and their
geometry and also in concrete technology and equipment for mixing, placing and compaction of
SFRC and mechanized methods for shotcreting have placed Scandinavian and German
consultants and contractors in a front position in fibre-shotcreting operations world wide.

Laboratory investigations have indicated that steel fibres can be used in lieu of stirrups in RCC
frames, beams, and flat slabs and also as supplementary shear reinforcement in precast, thin-
webbed beams. Steel fibre reinforcement can also be added to critical end zones of precast
prestressed concrete beams and columns and in cast-in-place concrete to eliminate much of the
secondary reinforcement. SFRC may also be an improved means of providing ductility to blast-
resistant and seismic-resistant structures especially at their joints, owing to the ability of the
fibres to resist deformation and undergo large rotations by permitting the development of plastic
hinges under over-load conditions.

SIFCON is a high-strength, high-performance material containing a relatively high volume
percentage of steel fibres as compared to SFRC. It is also sometimes termed as µhigh-volume
fibrous concrete¶. The origin of SIFCON dates to 1979, when Prof. Lankard carried out
extensive experiments in his laboratory in Columbus, Ohio, USA and proved that, if the
percentage of steel fibres in a cement matrix could be increased substantially, then a material of
very high strength could be obtained, which he christened as SIFCON.

While in conventional SFRC, the steel fibre content usually varies from 1 to 3 percent by
volume, it varies from 4 to 20 percent in SIFCON depending on the geometry of the fibres and
the type of application. The process of making SIFCON is also different, because of its high steel
fibre content. While in SFRC, the steel fibres are mixed intimately with the wet or dry mix of
concrete, prior to the mix being poured into the forms, SIFCON is made by infiltrating a low-
viscosity cement slurry into a bed of steel fibres µpre-packed¶ in forms/moulds (Fig. 9).

The matrix in SIFCON has no coarse aggregates, but a high cementitious content. `owever, it
may contain fine or coarse sand and additives such as fly ash, micro silica and latex emulsions.
The matrix fineness must be designed so as to properly penetrate (infiltrate) the fibre network
placed in the moulds, since otherwise, large pores may form leading to a substantial reduction in

A controlled quantity of high-range water-reducing admixture (super plasticizer)may be used for

improving the flowing characteristics of SIFCON. All types of steel fibres, namely, straight,
hooked, or crimped can be used.

Proportions of cement and sand generally used for making SIFCON are 1: 1, 1:1.5, or 1:2.
Cement slurry alone can also be used for some applications. Generally, fly ash or silica fume
equal to 10 to 15% by weight of cement is used in the mix. The water-cement ratio varies
between 0.3 and 0.4, while the percentage of the super plasticizer varies from 2 to 5% by weight
of cement. The percentage of fibres by volume can be any where from 4 to 20%, even though the
current practical range ranges only from 4 to 12%.

Unlike the cracks which form in continuous reinforced cementitious composites such as
ferrocement, the cracks in SIFCON generally do not extend through the whole width of the
specimen. Instead, they can be short and randomly distributed within the loaded volume, i.e. on
the surface and through the depth of the specimen. The ultimate tensile strength of SIFCON
typically varies from 20 to 50 MPa, depending on the percentage of steel fibres and the mix
proportions used.
The cement slurry (without fibres) used in the making of SIFCON generally develops a one-day
strength of 25 to 35 MPa, and a 28-day strength of 50 to 70 MPa. The corresponding values for
SIFCON composites are 40 to 80 MPa and 90 to 160 MPa, respectively, depending on the
percentage of steel fibres incorporated in the matrix. Generally, SIFCON exhibits an extremely
ductile behavior under compression.

The ultimate flexural strength of SIFCON is found to be very high and is in the order of
magnitude higher than that of normal SFRC. The values observed by several researchers range
from 25 to 75 MPa with an average of about 40 MPa. SIFCON is found to possess excellent
ductility both under monotonic and high-amplitude cyclic loading.

Investigations carried out in USA, Denmark and India have shown that the ultimate shear
strength of SIFCON specimens were 30.5, 28.1, 33.3 and 31.8 MPa, respectively, for fibre
lengths of 30, 40, 50 and 60 mm, indicating thereby that the fibre length does not seem to affect
the shear strength. The average shear strength of SIFCON can be taken as about 30 MPa as
compared to just about 5 MPa for plain concrete.

&"  & &

SIFCON possesses extremely high abrasion and impact resistance, when compared with plain
concrete and SFRC specimens. The resistance improves further drastically with the increase in
the percentage of fibres. It is several times that of ordinary plain or reinforced concrete.

The design methods for SIFCON members must take into account their application or end-use,
the property that needs to be enhanced, mix proportion, strength, as well as its constructability
and service life. In general, a high-strength SIFCON mix can easily be designed and obtained
with virtually any type of steel fibres available today, if the slurry is also of high strength.

Like conventional concrete, the strength of the slurry is a function of the water-cement ratio;
because the slurry mixes used in SIFCON usually contain significant percentages of fly ash or
silica fume or both, the term ³water-to-cement plus admixtures´ is used when designing the
slurry mix. In addition, the ratio of the ³admixtures to cement´ is also an important parameter in
the design of SIFCON. It is also to be noted that higher volume percentages of fibres need lower
viscosity slurry to infiltrate the fibres thoroughly. In general, the higher the strength of the slurry,
the greater is the SIFCON strength.

SIFCON possesses several desirable properties such as high strength and ductility. It also
exhibits a very high degree of ductility as a result of which it has excellent stability under
dynamic, fatigue and repeated loading regimes (Figs. 10 a & 10 b). It is also quite expensive.
Because of this, SIFCON should be considered as an efficient alternative construction material
only for those applications where concrete or conventional SFRC can not perform as may be
expected/required by the user or in situations where such unique properties as high strength and
ductility are required.

Since properties like ductility, crack resistance and penetration and impact resistance are found
to be very high for SIFCON when compared to other materials, it is best suited for application in
the following areas:

= Pavement rehabilitation and precast concrete products

= Overlays, bridge decks and protective revetments
= Seismic and explosive-resistant structures
= Security concrete applications (safety vaults, strong rooms etc)
= Refractory applications (soak-pit covers, furnace lintels, saddle piers)
= Military applications such as anti-missile hangers, under-ground shelters
= Sea-protective works
= Primary nuclear containment shielding
= Aerospace launching platforms
= Repair, rehabilitation and strengthening of structures
= Rapid air-field repair work
= Concrete mega-structures like offshore and long-span structures, solar towers etc.
CRC is a new type of composite material. In its cement-based version, CRC is built up of a very
strong and brittle cementitious matrix, toughened with a high concentration of fine steel fibres
and an equally large concentration of conventional steel reinforcing bars continuously and
uniformly placed across the entire cross section (Fig. 11).

CRC was initially developed and tested by Prof.Bache at the laboratories of Aalborg Portland
cement factory in Denmark. The pioneering experiments carried out at this laboratory established
the vast potential of CRC for applications that warrant high strength, ductility and durability.

CRC has structural similarities with reinforced concrete in the sense that it also incorporates
main steel bars, but the main bars in CRC are large in number and are uniformly reinforced.
Owing to this and also because of the large percentage of fibres used in its making, it exhibits
mechanical behavior more like that of structural steel, having almost the same strength and
extremely high ductility.

CRC specimens are produced using 10-20% volume of main reinforcement (in the form of steel
bars of diameter from about 5 mm to perhaps 40 or 50 mm) evenly distributed across the cross
section) and 5-10% by volume of fine steel fibres. The water-cement ratio is generally very low,
about 0.18% and the particle size of sand in the cement slurry is between 2 and 4mm.The flow
characteristics while mixing and pouring is aided by the use of micro silica and a dispersant.
`igh-frequency vibration is often resorted to for getting a the mix compacted and to obtain
homogeneity. Prolonged processing time for mixing, about 15-20 minutes, ensures effective
particle wetting and high degree of micro-homogeneity.

Such highly fibre-reinforced concrete typically has compressive strengths ranging from 150 to
270 MPa, and fracture energy from 5,000 to as much as 30,000 N/m.

CRC beams exhibit load capacities almost equivalent to those of structural steel and remain
substantially uncracked right up to the yield limit of the main reinforcement (about 3 mm/m),
where as conventional reinforced concrete typically cracks at about 0.1-0.2 mm/m.

Some of the properties of CRC as obtained from extensive experiments carried out on CRC
specimens are given in Table 4.

The development and design of CRC is based on fracture mechanics principles/theories, that
takes into account the coherent and ductile phase of the composite, cracked pattern and ultimate
failure mode. The theories assume that, as in the case of metals, any single, micro crack
developed owing to the presence of a local flaw can not propagate and cause sudden tensile
failure because of the interlinked pattern of main steel and fibres, thereby rendering the
composite highly elastic, ductile and strong.

CRC can probably be used especially in the form of large plates or shells designed, for example,
to resist very large local loads with unknown attack position (from explosives, say, or
mechanical impact) or to resist uniformly distributed pressure, either as pure compression or pure
tension (e.g. large pressure tanks).

Because CRC has very high ³strength-density ratios´ (often greater than those of commonly used
structural steel), it offers particularly interesting possibilities for members, where weight and
inertia loads are decisive. It could, for instance, be used for different forms of transport (ships,
vehicles, etc.), where low weight is essential, or for rapidly rotating large machine parts, where
the performance is limited by the capacity of the materials to resist their own inertia loads.

The high degree of ductility of CRC, even at very low temperatures, will make CRC very
interesting for large objects that have to resist large loads at low temperatures, where steel will
fail due to brittleness or suffer functional deficiency due to progressive corrosion damage.

Because of the far better possibilities of forming CRC and combining it with several other
components than those afforded by steel, CRC finds its principal use in hybrid constructions ±
for example, load-carrying parts in large machines, or special high-performance joints in
conventional steel and concrete structures, where large forces have to be concentrated in small

SIMCON can also be considered a pre-placed fibre concrete, similar to SIFCON. `owever, in
the making of SIMCON, the fibres are placed in a ³mat form´ rather than as discrete fibres. The
advantage of using steel fibre mats over a large volume of discrete fibres is that the mat
configuration provides inherent strength and utilizes the fibres contained in it with very much
higher aspect ratios. The fibre volume can, hence, be substantially less than that required for
making of SIFCON, still achieving identical flexural strength and energy absorbing toughness.

SIMCON is made using a non-woven ³steel fibre mats´ that are infiltrated with a concrete slurry.
Steel fibres produced directly from molten metal using a chilled wheel concept are interwoven
into a 0.5 to 2 inches thick mat. This mat is then rolled and coiled into weights and sizes
convenient to a customer¶s application (normally up to 120 cm wide and weighing around 200

As in conventional SFRC, factors such as aspect ratio and fibre volume have a direct influence
on the performance of SIMCON. `igher aspect ratios are desirable to obtain increased flexural
strength. Generally, because of the use of mats, SIMCON the aspect ratios of fibres contained in
it could well exceed 500. Since the mat is already in a preformed shape, handling problems are
significantly minimised resulting in savings in labour cost. Besides this, ³balling´ of fibres does
not become a factor at all in the production of SIMCON.

Investigations using manganese carbon steel mats (having fibres approximately 9.5 in long with
an equivalent diameter of about 0.01 to 0.02 in) and stainless steel mats (produced using 9.5 in
long fibres with an equivalent diameter of about 0.01 to 0.02 in) have revealed that SIMCON has
performed very well compared with SIFCON specimens that had a steel fibre content of 14% by
volume as illustrated in Table 5.

It is clear from the table that the energy-absorption capacity of SIMCON is far superior to
SIFCON. A reinforcement level in SIMCON of only 25% of that of conventional SIFCON is
found to provide as much as 75% of the latter¶s ultimate flexural strength.

SIMCON offers the designer a premium building material to meet the specialised niche
applications, such as military structures or industrial applications requiring high strength and

While the use of SIFCON is presently limited only to specialised applications owing to high
material and labour costs involved in the incorporation of a very high volume of discrete fibres
that are required for achieving vastly improved performance, SIMCON broadens these market
applications by cutting the fibre quantity to less than half and there by substantially reducing the
product cost.


Another recent development in concrete technology is the production of reactive powder
concrete (RPC) containing steel fibres as macro-reinforcement. First developed by Bouygues-
SA, Paris, its processing has been patented. A high degree of strength, compactness, refined
microstructure and homogeneity is achieved by using dense and powder-like particles smaller
than 600 microns, and in some cases 300 microns, and by the addition of 2 to 5% of steel fibres.
RPC, therefore, do not contain any aggregates, and traditional sand is replaced totally by finely
ground quartz of particle size less than 300 microns.

The compactness of an RPC mix is enhanced further by pressing the mix before and during
setting, while still in the moulds/forms and by using a very low water-cement ratio (about 0.2%).
By subjecting the material to low or high pressure steam curing and by applying pressures up to
50 MPa, the pozzalolanic reaction of the silica fume is accelerated resulting in further modifying
of the structure of the hydrates and in concrete strengths as high as 500MPa.

Even though RPC is very strong, it exhibits a brittle failure when fibres are not present. By
confining RPC (with steel fibres) in mild steel /stainless steel tubes and applying pressure-cum-
heating techniques during its casting, the compressive strength and ductility can be improved
tremendously. It is reported that very high strengths of 200 to 800 MPa can be obtained for RPC
with cement contents of 955 to 1000 kg/m3. Typical composition of an RPC mix used in the
construction of the very first RPC pedestrian bridge built in 1997 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
is given in Table 6. A view of another bridge built in Japan using RPC filled stainless tube
supporting columns is shown in Fig. 12.

In due course of time, RPC is expected to outperform normal high performance concretes (`PC)
as illustrated in Table 7.

In India, SIFCON, CRC, SIMCON and RPC are yet to be used in any major construction
projects. For that matter, even the well-proven SFRC has not found many applications yet, in
spite of the fact that its vast potentials for civil engineering uses are quite well known. The
reason for these materials not finding favour with designers as well as user agencies in the
country could be attributed to the non-availability of steel fibres on a commercial scale till a few
years ago. The situation has now changed. Plain round or flat and corrugated steel fibres are
presently available in the country in different lengths and diameters. It is, therefore, possible now
to use new-age construction materials like SIFCON and CRC in our country in the construction
of several structures that demand high standards of strength coupled with superior performance
and durability.


Some of the pictures and tables included in the paper have been freely extracted from the
Keynote paper presented by the author at the National Conference on Advances in Construction
Materials, Methodologies & Management organized by the Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of
Technology at `yderabad during 21-22 January, 2009. The author thanks the organizers of the
Conference for giving consent to make use of them in the preparation of this paper.






c , Professor, J. D. Rathod, Applied Mechanics Department, Faculty of
Technology & Engineering, M.S.University Baroda.

With the advent of new materials, there is a constant need for designers to find innovative ways
to incorporate these materials into new applications. The field of civil engineering is currently at
a cross roads of equal significance with development of new materials termed as `igh
Performance Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composites (`PFRCC). These materials with
tensile performance magnitudes higher than Reinforced Concrete (R/ C), allow designers to
create structures previously impossible due to limitations of minimum reinforcement, minimum
clear cover or excessive cracking in R/C. The replacement of brittle concrete with an Engineered
Cementitious Composite (ECC), which represents a class of `PFRCC, micro structurally
tailored with strain hardening and multiple cracking properties, has shown to provide improved
load-deformation characteristics in terms of reinforced composite tensile strength, deformation
mode and energy absorption. This paper reports, investigation of response mechanism of
composite moment resisting frame system with large energy dissipation capabilities. Plain
cementitious matrix is used in frame specimens to estimate deformation behavior and formation
of plastic hinges. Expected plastic hinge regions are properly detailed by steel reinforcement.
Deformation mechanism of plain cementitious matrix suggested economic use of ECC by
replacement with concrete in some areas. Load-displacement curves are plotted and compared
for damage tolerance evaluation. Crack width is measured as a function of load for damage
reduction evaluation and toughness index is found out for post peak performance evaluation.
Compatibility of ECC with reinforcement and concrete in terms of deformation and strength is


In earthquake resistant design, the structural system performance requirements can be specified
in terms of minimum ductility ratio, number of load cycles, sequence of application of load
cycles and permissible reduction in strength at the end of loading. At the beam column
connection level, the following performances are desirable:

i. Ductile plastic hinge behavior under high shear stress,

ii. No congestion of transverse reinforcement for confinement and for shear,
iii. Concrete integrity under load reversals and
iv. Concrete damage contained within a relatively short hinging zone. These performances
are difficult to achieve with ordinary concrete, although some encouraging results have
been obtained with Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC)[1].

Desirable performance of the plastic hinge is not easy to translate directly into numerical
quantities of materials property requirement. In general, however, it may be expected that the
following properties of the concrete material in the plastic hinge should be advantageous:
i. `igh compression strain capacity to avoid loss of integrity by crushing,
ii. Low tensile first cracking strength to initiate damage within the plastic hinge,
iii. `igh shear and spall resistance to avoid integrity loss by diagonal fractures and
iv. Enhanced mechanism that increases inelastic energy dissipation. ECC is a class of ultra
ductile fibre reinforced cementitious composite used to achieve above objectives without
introducing ductile detailing in a structure. ECC can undergo upto 5% strain in tension,
yet at the lower fibre volume of 2% with flexible processing. ECC can be used in some
fused zones so that with the above performance, overall performance of the structure can
be enhanced[2].

ECC when used with ordinary reinforcement detailing replacing the concrete at some key places,
interact with reinforcement and concrete. Both, reinforcing steel and ECC can be considered as
elastic-plastic material capable of sustaining deformation up to several percent strains. As a
result, the two materials remain compatible in deformation even as steel yields. Compatible
deformation implies that there is no shear lag between the steel and the ECC, resulting in a very
low level of shear stress at their interface. As a result of low interfacial stress between steel and
the ECC, the bond between ECC and reinforcement is not as critical as in normal R/C, since
stress can be transmitted directly through the ECC via bridging fibers even after microcraking. In
contrast, in R/C members the stress must be transferred via interface to the concrete away from
the crack site. After concrete cracks in an R/C element, the concrete unloads elastically near the
crack site, while the steel takes over the additional load shed by the concrete. This leads to
incompatible deformation and high interface shear stress responsible for the commonly observed
failure modes such as bond splitting and/or spalling of the concrete cover. ECC has excellent
shear capacity. Under shear ECC develops multiple cracking with cracks aligned normal to the
principal tensile direction. Because the tensile behavior of ECC is ductile, the shear response is
correspondingly ductile. As a result, R/ ECC elements may need less or no conventional steel
shear reinforcement. With tensile strain hardening and ultra high tensile strain capacity, ECC can
sustain very large deformation without damage localization. When ECC structural element is
loaded in flexure or shear beyond the elastic range, the inelastic deformation is associated with
micro cracking with continued load carrying capacity across these cracks[3]. The tight crack
width in ECC has advantageous implications on structural durability and on the minimization of
repair needs subsequent to severe loading of an ECC member. ECC can eliminate premature
delamination or surface spalling in an ECC/concrete combination.

In the present work, the effects of cementitious composite ductility on the steel reinforced
behavior are experimentally investigated and contrasted to the unreinforced composite.
Interaction between ECC and concrete is observed and possibility of replacing ECC with
concrete is explored. Tight crack width control in ECC is examined. L-type plane frame and
portal frame specimens are used for the experimental investigation.


Recron 3S brand synthetic fibers of triangular cross section produced by Reliance Industries
were used with cementitious matrix. Fiber volume fraction of 4% was used which was found as
optimum fiber volume fraction by pilot tests. Kamal brand 53 grade OPC, 300 m passing silica
sand, 2% dose of concrete super± plasticizer of conplast SP430 brand with w/c ratio as 0.35 and
sand/cement ratio as 0.5 were used for the preparation of samples of ECC in the present
experimental investigation. In addition, Kamal brand 53 grade OPC, silica sand confirming to
zone III, 12.5 mm size coarse aggregates with w/c ratio of 0.35 and 0.5% dose of superplasticizer
were used to produce concrete for use in combination with ECC in C-ECC specimens. Mix
proportion for concrete used was 1:1.295:2.407. Mild steel reinforcement having yield strength
of 250 N/mm2 was used in R-ECC specimen.



L-type plane frame specimens, 3 specimens each, were cast with plain cementitious matrix and
ECC with 4% fiber. Portal frame specimens, 3 specimens each, were cast with plain cementitious
matrix (PCC), ECC with 4% fiber, steel reinforced ECC (R-ECC), and combination of ECC and
concrete (C-ECC). Specimen configuration of LFigure type frame and portal frame specimens is
shown in Figure 1.

For the preparation of specimens, the ingredients in required proportion were mixed in `obart
type mixer machine. Flow table test was performed to satisfy workability criteria in fresh state.
After filling the mould with the matrix, it was compacted and demoulded after 24 hours. All the
specimens were kept in curing tank for 28 days at room temperature. After putting proper
identification mark, specimens were fixed into prefabricated experimental set up on MTS
machine. Basic Testware available on computer supervised controller was used to conduct the
test. All the specimens were tested in flexure at a displacement control rate of 0.005 mm/sec.
Load and displacement at the first crack and at ultimate load were recorded during the test.
Loaddisplacement curves were plotted and data were automatically recorded using basic
Testware data acquisition facility. Crack width was measured for the first initiated crack during
the test with the help of travelling microscope having least count of 0.01 mm. Test setups for
plane frame and portal frame specimens are shown in Figure 2.

= L-type frame specimens were tested under flexure. First crack load and ultimate load
results are reported in Table 1 for plain matrix (L-0%) and ECC with 4% (L-4%) fiber
matrix. Reserved strength refers to increase in strength of the member upto ultimate load
over the first crack strength. This criterion is used to represent residue strength of the
material. Deflection hardening refers to increase in deflection of the member upto
ultimate load over the first crack deflection. This value shows inelastic deformation
capability of the member which represents ductility of the material. Plain matrix failed
suddenly with no reserved strength and deflection hardening. ECC-4% matrix has load
and displacement values higher than plain matrix. First crack displacement is almost 2
times and ultimate displacement is almost 3.5 times than plain cementitious matrix. There
is marginal increase in reserved strength but considerable improved performance in
deflection hardening over plain cementitious matrix is observed. Maximum deflection
hardening achieved is more than 100%. Ultimate flexural strength of ECC-4% is found as
3.63 N/mm2 against 2.69 N/mm2 that of plain matrix.
= Load-displacement curves are plotted for all the three specimens of ECC-4% as shown in
Figure 3. Strain hardening is observed in all the specimens with very little linear portion
in the beginning.Toughness index I5 is calculated as area under the load displacement
curve for 3 times first crack displacement divided by the area under load displacement
curve for first crack displacement. Post peak performance of the material can be
represented by this value, which is also indicative of energy absorption capacity of the
material. Toughness index I5 for ECC- 4% specimen is found as 4.21 which for a plain
matrix could not be represented as it failed suddenly after the formation of first crack.
= One can utilize design strength up to ultimate strength of ECC matrix in strain hardening
zone. Development of cracks and crack width are therefore important in strain hardening
zone. ECC matrix is well known for its tight crack width control which is utmost
important for the durability of a member. One should make sure that migration of
aggressive substances into matrix should be eliminated so that corrosion of reinforcement
and subsequently spalling of matrix and delamination can be prevented. According to
ACI committee 224, ultimate crack width should be limited to 150 ȝm when member is
exposed to an environment of seawater and seawater spray in wetting and drying [4].
Rate of increase of crack width as a function of load gives information about
consideration of design load for particular crack width criteria. Crack width was
measured of the first visual crack and then crack width development with increase in load
in the column of L- frame was recorded and was found within 150 ȝm at ultimate load.
= Crack generation history in the column of L frame is tabulated in Table 2 in which crack
number along with its location from bottom of the beam is presented. Failure of L-type
specimens took place due to rotation of column in the middle at crack number 4. First
crack generated right below the bottom of the beam and subsequent cracks appeared
below first crack with spacing of about 2 cm up to middle of the column as the load
increased. Spacing of the cracks was more below the crack number 4. Number of crack
formation with increase in load in the column of L±type specimen is shown in Figure 4.
= Portal frame specimens were tested under flexure to evaluate ECC performance along
with combination of reinforcement and concrete. Strain hardening was not observed in
plain cementitious matrix. First crack load and ultimate load of PCC, ECC, RECC and C-
ECC frames are given in Table 3.
= Lower first crack strength and then large amount of plastic hinge formation is desirable
for seismic response so as to have large energy dissipation. This behavior is reflected in
ECC sample number 1 and 3. Sample number 3 of ECC-4% performed well in both and
showed reserved strength as 365.44% and deflection hardening as 331.38% which is the
maximum among ECC, R-ECC and C-ECC. In R-ECC samples nominal mild steel
reinforcement of diameter 4 mm and 6 mm were used as shown in Figure 1(D). Shear
reinforcement was not used looking to the enhanced shear capacity of ECC material. R-
ECC specimens showed consistent enhanced performance with percentage reserved
strength and percentage deflection hardening. Also, the deformation compatibility
between ECC and reinforcement was observed.
= Concrete of compressive strength 58.89 N/mm2 [5] was used alongwith ECC matrix as
per the plastic hinge formation and compression zone requirement in plain cementitious
matrix. Replac±ement of ECC by concrete is indicated by dark portion in Figure 1(C). C-
ECC specimens render economy in strength perfor± mance as is clear from the higher
first crack and ultimate strength compare to ECC. Deformation compatibility between
ECC and concrete and enhancement of strength perfor± mance after first crack is,
however, questionable which can be observed from the poor results of percentage
reserved strength and percentage deflection harde± ning. Bending moment and shear
force at the base of column (AB), top ofcolumn (BA), and end of the beam (BC), along
with bending moment at the center of the beam are calculated and tabulated in Table 4.
= Ultimate flexural strength and shear strength in PCC, ECC, RECC and C-ECC are
calculated and tabulated in Table 5. Contribution of mild steel in flexure and associated
consistent compatible deformation is highlighted in the result of R-ECC. Shear
reinforcement is not provided in R-ECC specimen. Shear resistance is contributed by
ECC material only. Ultimate shear strength of ECC material for ECC-4% is 7.51 N/mm2
[5] which is approximately double than M20 concrete. Calculated shear strength in
sample number 1 is 12.02 N/mm2 which is higher than the ultimate shear strength of
ECC. Therefore, shear failure of beam in R-ECC specimen is observed as shown in
Figure 5.

= Crack width as a function of load was measured on the column of RECC sample number
2 and results are given in Table 6. Crack width remained 100 mm at a load of 19,494 N.
Approximately, 20,000 N load is found to act for the threshold crack width of 150 ȝm.
Structural element should be loaded corresponding to maximum permissible crack width
of 150 ȝm from durability point of view. Development of the crack width upto 20,000 N
load is slow but then it becomes fast.
= Development of crack width was also measured in beam of RECC sample number 3.
There was a slow crack width development upto 20,833 N load but then suddenly it
became fast. Approximately, 21,000 N causes crack width within limit of 150 ȝm.
= Crack development along with its location in the column from bottom of a beam for R-
ECC was studied and is represented here in Figure 6 and Table 7. First crack initiated
right at the bottom of the beam and new cracks generated below the first crack at
approximately constant spacing with increase in load unlike ECC specimen.
= Load displacement curves are plotted in Figure 7 for PCC, ECC-4, R-ECC and C-ECC
specimens. PCC and CECC could not show strain hardening. ECC-4 specimen showed
well defined strain hardening and post peak performance with less first crack load. R-
ECC specimen performed the best with respect to strength, strain hardening and post
peak behavior. Toughness indices are found out for ECC, R-ECC and C-ECC and
tabulated in Table 8. As load displacement curve of ECC indicates the best post peak
performance, the toughness index of 12.67 could be obtained for ECC.
= Crack patterns for PCC, ECC-4, R-ECC and C-ECC are shown in Fig. 8. Single crack
formation at the center of the beam and top of the columns were responsible for failure of
the PCC specimen. This crack pattern gave information about reinforcement detailing and
concrete substitution. Rotation of the beam in the center and at the top of the column was
seen in ECC, R-ECC and CECC specimens. The crack pattern of ECC, R-ECC and C-
ECC were distinctly different from that of PCC. The first crack started at the midspan of
the beam on the tensile face, and multiple cracks developed from the first cracking point
and spreaded to the outside of the midspan. The multiple cracks at the outside of the
midspan were inclined similar to the shear cracks in the R-ECC beams. As the ultimate
load approached, one of the cracks from the midspan started to open up after the
development of large damage zone. `orizontal parallel cracks starting from the top of the
column at the constant spacing of 2 to 5 cm developed upto the center of the column as
shown in Figure 6. The first crack at the top of the column widened and rotation took
place from this crack.
= R-ECC specimens having larger resistance to rotation due to reinforcement did not fail
due to rotation. Cracks were not seen along the reinforcement even after such large
inelastic deformation which indicates good compatibility between reinforcement and
ECC. Shear strength of the beam at support became more than ultimate shear strength of
ECC material. Shear reinforcement was not provided in the beam. Eventually, beam of
RECC failed due to shear from one of the ends as shown in Figure 5. Fractured surface of
combination of ECC material with concrete revealed that there is good bond between two
materials, without any delamination and spalling.

= Plastic hinges were formed at beam column junction in L and Portal frames. ECC plays
significant role in rotation of such plastic hinges in ductile manner. Therefore, energy
absorption capacity of plastic hinges in such cases is greatly enhanced. Total collapse of
structure can be much delayed or damage can be minimized with the help of such fused
zones made with ECC and thus the overall performance of the structure can be improved.
= ECC has compatible deformation and good bond strength with steel reinforcement.
Debonding of ECC with steel reinforcement due to shear, spalling, punching was not
observed. R-ECC renders maximum improvement in structural performance. Shear
resistance of ECC is also quite large. Shear reinforcement can thus be minimized or
eliminated, but it requires careful design.
= C-ECC has no problem with flexural strength compatibility. `owever, it has poor
deformation compatibility. It requires further investigation for proper interface behavior.
= In R-ECC, ECC and C-ECC, vertical and inclined multiple cracks with close spacing are
observed in beam portion while horizontal cracks with 2 to 3 cm spacing are observed in
columns of portal frame specimens. Damage zone is large in column compared to beam.
This strong column-weak beam concept can be used for specimen configuration and thus
hinge formation in the column can be avoided.
= Tight crack width control is the key property of ECC for durability performance.
Ultimate crack width of ECC matrix remains within 150 mm upto quite large load
considered to be sound for concrete durability. Thus, ECC can be effectively used in
cover with less thickness.
= The additional cost of ECC over normal concrete is mostly because of the use of fibres,
higher cement content and use of high performance super± plasticizer. This is the reason
why optimization of the composite to minimize the fibre content is so important. Finally,
economy of ECC should be based on cost/benefit analysis. The life cycle cost of structure
includes not only the initial material cost but also the construction and maintenance cost.


The authors would like to thank Reliance Industries Ltd., Grasim Industries Ltd., and Fosroc
Chemicals Ltd. for supporting this research work by providing Recron 3s fibers, Kamal brand 53
Grade OPC cement and Conplast Super Plasticizer respectively. Thanks are also due to the
funding agency DST, New Delhi for providing a grant of Rs. 25.6 Lakhs, under FIST Project, to
Prof. S. C. Patodi for upgrading the testing facilities used in this investigation.

= Fischer, G. and Li, R. C. ³Intrinsic Response Control of Moment-Resisting Frames
Utilizing Advanced Composite Materials and Structural Elements,´ ACI Structural
Journal, Title No. 100-S18, March-April 2003.
= Li, R. C. ³Large Rolume, `igh-Performance Applications of Fibers in Civil
Engineering,´ ACE-MRL, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, DOI 10.1002/ app. 2263, 2000.
= Fischer, G. and Li, R. C. ³Effect of Matrix Ductility on Deformation Behavior of Steel
Reinforced ECC Flexural Members under Reversed Cyclic Loading Conditions,´ ACI
Structural Journal, No. 99-s, pp. 79, 2002.
= Li, R. C. ³On Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECC)- A Review of the Material
and its Applications,´ Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology, Rol. 1, No. 3, pp. 215-
230, Nov. 2003. Rathod, J. D., Patodi, S. C., Parikh, B. K. and Patel, K. `. ³Study of
Recron 3S Fibers Reinforced Cementitious Composites,´ National Conference on
Emerging Technology and Developments in Civil Engineering, Amravati, pp. I-88 to I-
95, March 2007.


 * %
,(, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunanda Speciality Coatings Pvt. Ltd,

The development of high performance concrete is a giant step in making concrete a high-tech
material with enhanced characteristics and durability. `igh performance concrete is an
engineered concrete obtained through a careful selection and proportioning of its constituents.
The concrete is made with the same basic ingredients but has a totally different microstructure
than ordinary concrete. The low water/binder ratio of high performance concrete, that is its
universal characteristic, results in a very dense microstructure having a very fine and more or
less well connected capillary system. high performance concrete¶s dense microstructure make the
migration of aggressive ions more difficult, consequently high performance concrete are more
durable when exposed to aggressive environmental conditions. This fact has been endorsed by a
case study of the use of specially formulated `PC in an aggressive chemical environment at a
fertilizer plant in Gujarat.


The concrete that was known as high-strength concrete in late seventies is now referred to as
high performance concrete because it has been found to be much more than simply strong.

The Strategic `ighway Research Programme (S`RP) is a $150,000.00 product-driven research

program under the Federal-aid highway program in U.S.A. S`RP was developed in partnership
with the State Departments of Transportation, American Association of State `ighway and
Transportation (AAS`TO), Transportation Research Board (TRB), industry, and the Federal
`ighway Administration (F`WA).

S`RP defined `PC as :

1. Concrete with a maximum water-cementitious ratio (W/C) of 0.35

2. Concrete with a minimum durability factor of 80%, asdetermined by ASTM C 666
3. Concrete with a minimum strength criteria of either
4. - 21 Mpa within 4 hours after placement (Rery Early Strength, RES),
5. - 34 MPa within 24 hours (`igh Early Strength, `ES), or
6. - 69 MPa within 28 days (Rery `igh Strength, R`S)

`igh performance concrete can hence be defined as an engineered concrete with low
water/binder concrete with an optimized aggregate/binder ratio to control its dimensional
stability and which receive an adequate water curing.
- / 
 - /0
Both expressions were deliberately used above, either singly or together, to reflect the fact that
the cementitious component of high performance concrete can be cement alone or any
combination of cement with supplementary cementitious materials, such as, slag, flyash, silica
fume, metakaolin, rice husk ash, and fillers such as limestone. Ternary systems are increasingly
used to take advantage of the synergy of supplementary cementitious materials to improve
concrete properties in the fresh and hardened states and to make high performance concrete more

Despite the fact that most high performance concrete mixtures contain at least one
supplementary cementitious material, which should favor the use of more general expression
water/binder ratio, the water/ binder and water/cement ratios should be alongside each other.
This is because most of the supplementary cementitious materials that go into high performance
concrete are not as reactive as portland cement, which means that most of the early properties of
high performance concrete can be linked to its water/ cement ratio while its long-term properties
are rather linked to its water/binder ratio.

Concrete compressive strength is closely related to the density of the hardened matrix. `igh
performance concrete has also taught us that the coarse aggregate can be the weakest link in
concrete when the strength of hydrated cement paste is drastically increased by lowering the
water/binder ratio. In such cases, concrete failure can start to develop within the coarse aggregate
itself. As a consequence, there can be exceptions to the water/binder ratio law when dealing with
high performance concrete. In some areas, decreasing the water/binder ratio below a certain level
is not practical because the strength of the high performance concrete will not significantly
exceed the aggregate¶s compressive strength. When the concrete¶s compressive strength is
limited by the coarse aggregate, the only way to get higher strength is to use a stronger


 1  h 
Standard concrete can be characterized solely by its compressive strength because that can
directly be linked to the cement paste¶s water/cement ratio, which still is the best indicator of
paste porosity. Most of concrete¶s useful mechanical characteristics can be linked to concrete
compressive strength with simple empirical formulas. This is the case with elastic modulus and
the modulus of rupture (flexural strength), because the hydrated cement paste and the transition
zone around coarse-aggregate particles constitute the weakest links in concrete. The aggregate
component (especially the coarse aggregate) contributes little to the mechanical properties of
ordinary concrete. As the strength of the hydrated cement paste increases in high performance
concrete, the transition zone between the coarse aggregate and the hydrated cement paste
practically disappears. Since there is proper stress transfer under these conditions, high
performance concrete behaves like a true composite material.1


`igh performance concrete can not be made by a casual approach. Each ingredient viz : cement,
supplementary cementitious materials, sand, course aggregates, superplasticizer, and the other
admixtures must be carefully selected and checked, because their individual characteristics
significantly affect the properties of the final product.

Particular attention must be paid to water content. Even seemingly insignificant volumes of
water present in the aggregates or admixtures must be accounted for. Compressive strengths
from 50 to 75 MPa can usually be achieved easily with most cements.2

If water curing is essential to develop the potential strength of cement in plain concrete, early
water curing is crucial for high performance concrete in order to avoid the rapid development of
autogenous shrinkage and tocontrol concrete dimensional stability, as explained below.

Cement paste hydration is accompanied by an absolute volume contraction that creates a very
fine pore network within the hydrated cement paste. This network drains water from coarse
capillaries, which start to dry out if no external water is supplied. Therefore, if no drying is
occurring and if no external water is added during curing, the coarse capillaries will be empty of
water as hydration progresses, just as though the concrete was drying. This phenomenon is called
selfdesiccation. The difference between drying and selfdesiccation is that, when concrete dries,
water evaporates to the atmosphere, while during selfdesiccation, water stays within concrete
means it only migrates towards the very fine pores created by the volumetric contraction of the
cement paste.

In ordinary concrete with a high water/cement ratio greater than 0.50, for example, there is little
cement and more water than is required to fully hydrate the cement particles present. A large
amount of this water is contained in well connected large capillaries, in ordinary concrete. This
means that the hydrated cement paste does not shrink at all when selfdesiccation develops.

In the case of high performance concrete with a water/binder ratio of 0.30 or less, significantly
more cement and less mixing water have been used, so that the capillary network that developed
within the fresh paste is essentially composed of fine capillaries. When self-desiccation starts to
develop as soon as hydration begins, the menisci rapidly develop in small capillaries if no
external water is added. Since many cement grains start to hydrate simultaneously in high
performance concrete, the drying of very fine capillaries, can generate high tensile stresses that
shrink the hydrated cement paste. This early shrinkage is referred to as autogenous shrinkage. Of
course, autogenous shrinkage is as large as the drying shrinkage observed in ordinary concrete
when these two types of drying develop in capillaries of the same diameter.

But, if there is an external supply of water, the capillaries do not dry out as long as they are
connected to this external source of water. The result is that no menisci, no tensile stress, and no
autogenous shrinkage develops within the high performance concrete.

Therefore, an essential difference between ordinary concrete and high performance concrete is
that ordinary concrete exhibits no autogenous shrinkage whether or not it is water-cured, whereas
high performance concrete can experience significant autogenous shrinkage if it is not water-
cured during the hydration process. Autogenous shrinkage will not develop in high performance
concrete if the capillaries are interconnected and have access to external water. When the
continuity of the capillary system is broken, then and only then, will autogenous shrinkage start
to develop within the hydrated cement paste of a high performance concrete.

`igh performance concrete must be cured quite differently from ordinary concrete because of the
difference in shrinkage behavior described above. If `PC is not water-cured immediately
following placement or finishing, it is prone to develop severe plastic shrinkage because it is not
protected by bleed water, and later on develops severe autogenous shrinkage due to rapid
hydration reaction. While curing membranes provide adequate protection for ordinary concrete
(which is not subject to autogenous shrinkage), they can only help to prevent the development of
plastic shrinkage in high performance concrete. They have no value in inhibiting autogenous
shrinkage. Therefore, the most critical curing period for any `PC runs from placement or
finishing up to 2 or 3 days later. During this time, the most critical period is usually from 12 to
36 hours. In fact, the short time during which efficient water curing must be applied to `PC can
be considered a significant advantage over ordinary concrete. Those who specify and use `PC
must be aware of the dramatic consequences of skipping early water curing. Initiating water
curing after 24 hours is too late because, most of the time, a great deal of autogenous shrinkage
will already have occurred and, by this time, the microstructure will already be so compact that
any external water will have little chance of penetrating very deep into the concrete.

Water ponding, whenever possible, or fogging are the best ways to cure `PC; one of these two
methods must be applied as soon as possible immediately following placement or finishing.

The water curing can be stopped after 7 days because most of the cement at the surface of
concrete will have hydrated and any further water curing will have little effect on the
development of autogenous shrinkage due to compactness of the `PC microstructure. Moreover,
after 7 days of water curing, `PC experiences little drying shrinkagedue to the compactness of
its microstructure and because autogenous shrinkage will have already dried out the coarse
capillaries pores. Even then, the best thing to do is to paint `PC with an sealing agent so that the
last remaining drops of water in the concrete can hydrate more cement particles. There is no real
advantage to paint a very porous concrete since it is impossible to obtain an absolutely
impermeable coating; painting `PC, however, is easier and more effective.

The durability of a material in a particular environment can only be established by time. Based
on years of experience with ordinary concrete, we can safely assume that high performance
concrete is more durable than ordinary concrete. Indeed, the experience gained with ordinary
concrete has taught us that concrete durability is mainly governed by concrete impermeability
and the harshness of the environment.

A specially designed high performance, selfleveling, nonshrink pre-blended high performance

concrete was formulated and was put into use against the aggressive chemical environments at a
fertilizer plant in Gujarat ± Gujarat Narmada Fertilizers Ltd. (GNFC).
This pre-blended high performance concrete was specially formulated to meet the MES & RES
proportion as defined in the S`RP programme.

GNFC is a world largest single stream manufacturer of ammonia and urea. Subsequently, for
diversification various products viz. Ammonium Nitro-phosphate (ANP), Calcium Ammonium
Nitrate (CAN) etc. were added. CAN is a physical mixture of ammonium nitrate and lime mixed
at a particular temperature to form granules. As the mixture is not a chemical reaction, it results
into availability of free lime in CAN granules. Lime is inert and remains in dormant condition as
far as effect on concrete structure is concerned, but CAN which is available in free form in the
CAN granules, reacts with hydration products of concrete and deteriorates concrete. CAN also
reacts with reinforcement present in RC member and causes corrosion.

The signs of damages/ deterioration on concrete particularly in CAN plant were first observed in
the form of cracks on edges of RC member which started widening within a span of 6 to 8
months. Concrete in cover portion started sounding hollow which would ultimately result into
debonding. As such, this type of failure in RC members can be due to many reasons but one
observation which narrowed down the probabilities was observation of watery droplets around
these members. The droplets were chemically analysed and they were found to be containing
CAN. It was found on further investigation that CAN is highly hygroscopic and hence it would
attract moisture from atmosphere and form watery layer all around the surface on which CAN is
present. In addition to this hollow sound and cracks, diminishing of cement slurry and erosion
like failure was also observed. Coarse aggregates could be seen on the surface of RC member.
These are the signs of medium corrosion of RC members wherein cracks, loss of external finish,
leaching of liquid and progressive reduction in strength etc. would occur

These observations were immediately followed by the signs of corrosion wherein debonding and
spalling of concrete, corrosion of reinforcement and disintegration of concrete by dissolution of
cement slurry were observed.



Two alternatives were initially decided to be implemented. One was to build up the thickness of
damaged/removed concrete by concrete of higher grade after water washing of exposed surface
of beam, application of good bond coat and repairing of the reinforcement bars by welding was
carried out. Second method was to build up the thickness with epoxy screed after similar
preparations. In first method, the thickness was to be built up by pouring concrete after providing
suitable shuttering and in second method, thickness was to build up in layers. Both the
alternatives were tried but they failed. First method failed earlier as compared to second method.
Additionally, huge wastage was observed in second method which made the second method



a. Repairing was carried out in running plant where airborne CAN dust and humidity were
b. CAN, present in core of concrete which was not apparently visible and hence it was not
c. Immediate coating of repaired surface, stopping the breathing of repair mortar and
d. Stresses resulting in debond of the repair mortar Unapproachability to surface ofcut outs
due to their covering by ducts/equipment which enclosed a part of surface and could not
be approached and repaired.
e. Minor vibrations transmitted from the equipment during repairing activity.
f. Repair system limitation was that the repairing was in layers each of 25 mm thickness
which sandwiched CAN dust in-between every layer and did not allow to establish a
proper inter layer bond.


% %c  

All these advertise were examined jointly with the representatives of GNFC. Considering the
overall view of the problems as well the limitations involved the job demanded a robust, fast
setting, non-shrink, impermeable high performance concrete. POLYCRETE is a high strength,
fast setting and non shrink specially formulated `PC. Besides combining all the above properties
it also is free flowing and self levelling. Its application procedures are much simple than
conventional methods.

Based on all the above properties and parameters coupled with ease in application and fast
strengths which will delay CAN particles from depositions again POLYCRETE was suitably
selected for the project.

Repair procedures were suggested which included a Low viscosity Bonding agent and shear keys
as per design requirements.


This system has been applied in end of September, 1997. Repaired area was continuously
observed and there are no signs of deterioration observed since then. Strength of the repaired
mass was measured in December 1997 and it was found to be around 650 Kg/cm2. This system
has ensured that the repaired portion has an excellent mechanical strength and all chances of its
getting debonded from original surface are eliminated.

1. Baalbaki, W., Benmokrane, B., Chaallal, 0., Aitcin, P.-C., (Sept.- Oct. 199) ³Influence of
Coarse Aggregate on Elastic Properties of high performance concrete,´ ACI Materials
Journal, Rol. 88, No. 5, pp. 499-503.
2. Aitcin, P.-C., (1993) ³Durable Concrete±Current Practice and Future Trends,´ ACI SP-
144, pp. 83-104.
3. Nilsen, A.U., Aitcin, P.-C.(Rol. 14, No. 1, Summer, 1992), ³Properties of `igh-Strength
Concrete Containing Light-, Normal±and `eavyweight Aggregate,´ Cement, Concrete
and Aggregates, pp. 8-12.
4. Lessard, M., Dallaire, E., Blouin, D., Aitcin, P.-C (Sept. 1994)., ³`igh Performance
Concrete Speeds Reconstruction of McDonald¶s,´ Concrete International, Rol. 16, No. 9,
pp. 47-50.
5. Aitcin, P.-C., Neville, A.M., Acker, P., (Sept., 1997) ³The Rarious Types of Shrinkage
Deformation in Concrete: An Integrated Riew,´ to be published in Concrete
International, Whiting, D., ³In-Situ Measurements of the Permeability of Concrete to
Chloride Ions,´ ACI SP-82 1984, pp. 501-524.
6. Kreijger, P.C. (1987), ³Ecological properties of Building Materials,´ Materials and
Structures, Rol. 20, pp. 248-254.


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D. K. Kulkarni, Selection Grade Lecturer, Civil Engineering Department, Rajarambapu Institute

of Technology, Rajaramnagar, Islampur. Dr. K.B. Prakash, Professor Civil Engineering
Department K. L. E Society¶s College of Engineering & Technology, Belgaum.

Concrete is a material often used in the construction of highrise buildings. In case of unexpected
fire, the concrete elements such as columns, beams, etc. will be subjected to extreme
temperatures and needs assessment of their performance after fire. `ence, it is important to
understand the changes in the concrete properties due to extreme temperature exposures.

In this paper, an attempt is made to find out the effect of sustained elevated temperature on the
properties of concrete containing more than two admixtures. The following combinations of
admixtures are used in this experimentation work.

= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Accelerator

= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Retarder
= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Waterproofing Compound
= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Shrinkage Reducing Admixture
= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Riscosity Modifying Admixture

The tests are conducted to evaluate the strength characteristics of concrete like compressive
strength, tensile strength, flexural strength, and impact strength of concrete when it is subjected
to a temperature of 600°C for 6 hours.


One of the greatest advantages of concrete as a building material is its remarkable resistance to
fire. The distress in concrete due to fire manifests in the form of cracking and spalling of the
concrete surface1. Concrete though not a refractory material is incombustible and has good fire
resistant properties2. The property of concrete to resist the fire reduces damage in a concrete
structure whenever there is an accidental fire. In most of the cases the concrete remains intact
with minor damages only. The reason being low thermal conductivity of concrete at high
temperature and hence limiting the depth of penetration of fire damage. But when the concrete is
subjected to high temperature for long duration, the deterioration of concrete takes place3.
Concrete has been widely used as construction materials in buildings and other industrial
structures for a long time. The recent technological advances have extended its use to special
applications like aircraft engine test cells, tube jet runways, nuclear reactor vessels and missile
launching pads, which have to endure higher tempratures4.

Chemical admixtures play a key role in the production of concrete with enhanced performance
also known as `igh Performance Concrete or `PC. In conjunction with mineral additives, such
as silica fume, chemical admixtures have enabled major improvements in many of the properties
of concrete, particularly, compressive strength and durability.

Now-a-days the concrete is called upon for the use in various tricky situations and the concrete
has to show a resistive nature for all the special situations for which it is used. In such
circumstances, it becomes necessary to use two or more than two admixtures simultaneously in

The main aim of this experimentation work is to find the effect of sustained elevated temperature
on the properties of concrete containing more than two admixtures. The following combinations
of admixtures have been selected for the studies on concrete:

= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Accelerator (S+AEA+A)

= Superplasticiser + Air Entraining Agent + Retarder (S+AEA+R)
= Superplasticiser +Air Entraining Agent + Waterproofing Compound (S+AEA+W)
= Superplasticiser +Air Entraining Agent + Shrinkage Reducing Admixture
= Superplasticiser +Air Entraining Agent + Riscosity Modifying Admixture

Portland pozzolana cement and locally available sand and aggregates were used in the
experimentation. The specific gravity of fine and coarse aggregate was 2.66 and 2.85
respectively. The experiments were conducted on a mix proportion of 1: 1.26:2.51 with
w/c = 0.41 which corresponds to M20 grade of concrete. The admixtures and their
chemical content and dosages used in the experimentation are shown in Table 1.

The fine aggregate, cement and coarse aggregates were dry mixed in a mixer for 60 seconds. The
required quantity of fibers and hybrid fibers were added into the dry mix and again the entire
mass is mixed homogeneously for another 60 seconds. At this stage approximately 80% of
calculated quantity of water (w/c = 0.41) was added into the dry mix and agitated for 3 minutes.
Now the superplasticiser was added in the remaining 20% water and this liquid was added to the
concrete. The concrete was mixed again in the mixer, after which the remaining two more
admixtures were added and homogeneously mixed. This homogeneous concrete mass was
poured into the moulds which were kept on the vibrating table. The concrete was consolidated in
three layers by using just the required vibration time needed for a good compaction. After
consolidation the top surface was finished smooth and covered with wet gunny bags. After 12
hours, the specimens were demoulded and transferred to the curing tank wherein they were
allowed to cure for 28 days.

For compressive strength test, the cubes of dimensions 150 X 150 X 150 mm were cast and were
tested under compression testing machine as per I S 516-19595. For tensile strength test, the
cylinders of diameter 100 mm and length 200 mm were cast and were tested under compressive
testing machine as per I S 5816- 19996. For flexural strength test the beams of dimensions 100 X
100 X 500 mm were cast and were tested on an effective span of 400 mm with two point loading
as per I S 516-19595. For impact test four different test methods are referred in the literature7.
Drop weight method being the simple method, was adopted to find the impact energy. Impact
strength specimens were of dimensions 250 X 250 X 30 mm. A steel ball weighing 13.03 N was
dropped from a height of 1 m on the centre point, which was kept on the floor. Number of blows
required to cause first crack and final failure were noted down. From these number of blows, the
impact energy was calculated as under. Impact energy = w h N (N-m)

Where w = Weight of steel ball = 13.03 N

h = `eight of drop = 1 m

N = Number of blows required for first crack or final failure as the case may be.

After 28 days of curing, the specimens were transferred to the electric furnace wherein they were
maintained at 6000 C for 6 hours. After 6 hours they were cooled to room temperature and then
tested for their respective strengths.
Table 2 gives the compressive strength test results of concrete with different combinations of
admixtures. It also gives percentage increase or decrease of compressive strength w.r.t. reference
mix. The variation of compressive strength is depicted in the form of graph as shown in Figure 1.

Table 3 gives the tensile strength test results of concrete with different combinations of
admixtures. It also gives percentage increase or decrease of tensile strength w.r.t. reference mix.
The variation of tensile strength is depicted in the form of graph as shown in Figure 2.

Table 4 gives the flexural strength test results of concrete with different combinations of
admixtures. It also gives percentage increase or decrease of flexural strength w.r.t. reference mix.
The variation of flexural strength is depicted in the form of graph as shown in Figure 3.

Table 5 gives the impact strength test results of concrete with different combinations of
admixtures. It also gives percentage increase or decrease of impact strength w.r.t. reference mix.
The variation of impact strength is depicted in the form of graph as shown in Figure 4.


It has been observed that the concrete produced from the combination of admixtures
(S+AEA+R) show maximum compressive strength when subjected to 6000C for 6 hours. This is
followed by the combination of admixtures (S+AEA+A), ( S + A E A + W ) , (S+AEA+SRA),
and (S+AEA+RMA). The reference mix without any combination of admixtures shows the least
compressive strength. The percentage increase in the compressive strength of the above said
combinations w.r.t. reference mix are respectively 45.07%, 32.65%, 25.07%, 15.76%, and

It has been observed that the concrete produced from the combination of admixtures
(S+AEA+R) show maximum tensile strength when subjected to 600°C for 6 hours. This is
followed by the combination of admixtures (S+AEA+A), (S+AEA+W), (S+AEA+SRA), and
(S+AEA+RMA). The reference mix without any combination of admixtures shows the least
tensile strength. The percentage increase in the tensile strength of the above said combinations
w.r.t. reference mix are respectively 55.35%, 53.02%, 51.63%, 47.91%, and 13.48%.

It has been observed that the concrete produced from the combination of admixtures
(S+AEA+R) show maximum flexural strength when subjected to 6000C for 6 hours. This is
followed by the combination of admixtures (S+AEA+A), (S+AEA+W), (S+AEA+SRA), and
(S+AEA+RMA). The reference mix without any combination of admixtures shows the least
flexural strength. The percentage increase in the flexural strength of the above said combinations
w.r.t. reference mix are respectively 111.03%, 77.93%, 35.17%, 30.34%, and 9.65%.

It has been observed that the concrete produced from the combination of admixtures
(S+AEA+R) show maximum impact strength when subjected to 6000C for 6 hours. This is
followed by the combination of admixtures (S+AEA+A), (S+AEA+W), (S+AEA+SRA), and
(S+AEA+RMA). The reference mix without any combination of admixtures shows the least
impact strength. The percentage increase in the impact strength of the above said combinations
w.r.t. reference mix are respectively 77.77%, 55.56%, 44.43%, 33.33%, and 11.10%.

This may be due to the fact that the addition of combination of admixtures induce more
workability thus making the compaction a perfect one. This makes the concrete more dense
which is ultimately responsible for increase in the strengths. The addition of AEA creates small
air bubbles in the concrete. These induced air bubbles can resist the expansion of concrete due to

It can be concluded that the combinations of admixtures used in the experimentation such as
(S+AEA+R), (S+AEA+A), (S+AEA+W), (S+AEA+SRA), and (S+AEA+RMA), do not have
any compatibility problems either with respect to the properties of fresh concrete or hardened
concrete. It can also be concluded that the maximum strength of concrete can be obtained with
the combination of admixtures (S+AEA+R) when subjected to 6000C for 6 hours. This is
followed by the combinations of admixtures (S+AEA+A), (S+AEA+W), (S+AEA+SRA), and
(S+AEA+RMA). `ence it can be recommended to use any combinations of admixtures on the
site to suite the situations.


The authors would like to thank Dr.(Mrs) S. S. Kulkarni, Principal, RIT, Sakharale and
Dr.S.C.Pilli, Principal, KLE Society¶s College of Engg. & Technology, Belgaum for giving all
the encouragement needed which kept our enthusiasm alive. Thanks are also due to the
management authorities and others who constantly boosted our morale by giving us all the help
required. Thanks are also due to authorities of MBT Pvt.Ltd(Degussa) Mumbai India for
supplying the required admixtures.

= Lakshmipathy M and Balachandar M, ³Studies on the effects of elevated temperature on
the properties of high strength concrete containing supplementary cementatious
materials,´ Proceedings of the International Conference on recent advances in concrete
and construction technology, Dec 7-9, 2005, SRMIST, Chennai, India. pp. 539-554
= Balamurugan P and Perumal P, ³Effect of thermoshock on bond strength of `PC,
³Proceedings of the International Conference on recent advances in concrete and
construction technology, Dec 7-9, 2005, SRMIST, Chennai, India. pp. 555-556
= Sashidhar C, Sudarsana Rao `, Ramana N.R and Raishali Gorpade, ³Studies on SIFCON
subjected to elevated temperature,´ Proceedings of the International Conference on recent
advances in concrete and construction technology, Dec 7-9, 2005, SRMIST, Chennai,
India. pp.567-576
= Anbuvelan K, Dinesh M, Kumaravel K, Thiyagarajan A and Sureshkumar N, ³Sustained
elevated temperature effects on post peak flexural strength of high strength concrete
containing polypropylene fibers,´ Proceedings of the International Conference on recent
advances in concrete and construction technology, Dec 7-9,2005, SRMIST, Chennai,
India. pp. 577-590
= I S : 516-1959 ³Methods of tests for strength of concrete,´ Bureau of Indian Standards,
= I S : 5816-1999 ³Splitting tensile strength of concrete method of test,´ Bureau of Indian
Standards, New-Delhi
= Balsubramanain, K. et al, ³Impact resistance of steel fiber reinforced concrete,´ The
Indian concrete Journal, May 1996, (pp 257-262).



c  !&2c
 + , UltraTech Cement Limited, Andheri (East),

Cementitious material is the lifeline of modern infrastructure. Increasing demand for concrete in
newer applications leads to engineer the properties of concrete at fresh and hardened state.

One of the most important performance criteria for concrete is the fluidity at fresh state.
Appropriate fresh state properties are achieved by engineering suitably the theology of concrete.
Such engineering is achieved by incorporating chemical & mineral admixtures into cementitious
system. The development of self-compacting concrete is primarily achieved by designing the
appropriate theology using different cementitious system, admixtures, etc.

Self-compacting (or consolidating) concrete (SCC) is a particular concrete mix which has a
special performance requirement of self±consolidation or compaction at the time placement.
`owever, at the hardened state, there is not much difference in terms of mechanical properties
and durability between SCC and other type of concrete mixes viz. high performance concrete
(`PC), normal strength concrete (NSC), etc.

The important aspects of achieving the functional requirements (filling ability, passing ability
and resistance to segregation) of SCC are related with:

= Appropriate characterization of ingredients

= Mix proportion
= Mixing method
= Placement

This paper would discuss the effect of characteristics of individual ingredients, different
approaches for mix proportioning and the mixing method on the overall performance of the SCC
mix in fresh state, especially on its theology. The effect of method of placement, especially in
terms of the pressure exerted on the formwork will also be discussed.


Concrete is a suspension of aggregates in cement paste (1). A suspension is self-flowing if it
flows under its own weight. Additionally, it is to ensure±uniform suspension of solid particles
during casting and thereafter until setting (2). The above perspective induces the definition of
self-compacting (or, consolidating) concrete (SCC), as a concrete mix, which in fresh state, has
the ability to fill the formwork and encapsulate reinforcing bars only through the action of
gravity i.e. self-weight at the time of placement without any external energy inputs from
vibrators, tampering or similar actions and with maintained homogeneity at the time of
placement (3). SCC can be used in most application where traditional vibrated concrete, such as
conventional normal strength concrete (NSC), high performance concrete (`PC) is used. Two
principal advantages of SCC are improved homogeneity of fresh concrete that leads to more
durable concrete at hardened state as well as higher productivity in terms of pouring of concrete,
and improvement in working condition and less noise pollution (4, 5).

The difference between the SCC and vibrated concrete exists in the performance requirements
during fresh state; not much in terms of properties at harden state such as strength, durability.
SCC is engineered to fill all the space within the formwork passing through the reinforcements
or other obstruction without segregation. This attributes to three important functional
requirements related to workability of the concrete mix: filling ability, resistance to segregation,
and passing ability (3). Filling ability is the high fluidity and deformability to ensure adequate
flow under selfweight. Resistance to segregation is the ability of the particle suspension (in fresh
state) to maintain homogeneity throughout the mixing, transportation, and placement process.
Passing ability is the ability to pass obstacles, narrow opening and closely spaced reinforcement
bar without getting blocked by interlocking of aggregate particles (3). Filling ability and passing
ability of a fresh concrete mix depend on its fluidity and resistance of segregation on the
homogeneity. Additionally, the paste or mortar has to deform well too. The yield stress and
plastic viscosity generally characterizes such theological behavior of fresh concrete mix. Fluidity
is inversely proportional to the yield stress, while plastic viscosity has direct proportionality on
homogeneity. Contact and collision between aggregates as well as the interparticle friction
increase with the decreases in relative distance between aggregates particles in the concrete mix,
resulting in the blockage of aggregate particles (6). Limiting coarse aggregate volume increases
inter-particle separation and reduces the inter-particle friction and collisions resulting in
minimization of the blockage leading to improvement in passing ability.

The increase of paste volume with emphasis to low water powder ratio (w/p) in presence of
compatible chemical admixtures further strengthens the fluidity and helps in attaining
homogeneity. Adequate homogeneity improves viscosity of the mix, which in turn enhances the
segregation resistance. An optimum balance between fluidity and viscosity is the key to achieve
efficient selfcompacting characteristics of the concrete mix at fresh state. In SCC, the powder
contains binder component consisting of ordinary Portland cement (OPC), mineral admixtures
like flyash along with/ without filler material like limestone powder, dolomite etc. To achieve
moderate plastic viscosity and low yield value, multiple chemical admixtures are required.
Special chemical admixture like viscosity modifier admixture (RMA) is used for controlling the
viscosity of the mix and superplasticizer for lowering the yield stress. In addition, the
characteristics of fine and coarse aggregates play very important role on the yield stress of the

#%% c
The work on SCC had started in 1988 in Tokyo University, Japan. The Japanese concept spread
through Asia and to Europe around 1993 (7). This concept is well accepted in USA now. A few
points are important with regard to engineering of structures using SCC mix to satisfy the
intended specification.

These are:

i. characterization of the ingredients

ii. mix proportion technique to achieve desired characteristics
iii. mixing method
iv. effect of method of placement, especially the pressure exerted on formwork.

The above points are deliberated in the following sections of the paper.


Ingredient characterization exhibits different aspects depending upon the background of the
users. These concepts range from that of the scientist, who thinks of it in atomic terms, to that of
the concrete technologists, who thinks of it in terms of properties of concrete in fresh and harden
state, procedure of construction and quality assurance, etc. Characterization of an ingredient deal
with those features of the material like composition, structure, etc that are significant for a
particular preparation, study of properties or use etc. The three basic functional requirements of
SCC mix at fresh state, i.e. filling ability, passing ability and resistance to segregation could be
assessed in terms of the theological characteristic like yield stress and plastic viscosity.
An appropriate ingredient characterization helps to achieve the performance behavior of SCC at
both fresh and hardened states. General-purpose Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is suitable to
be the main cementitious constituent for SCC. It is also well±established that compatibility
between superplasticizer and OPC plays important role on the rheological characteristic of
mortar. Certain chemical compounds of OPC clinker such as alkali (Na2O, K2O); sulphate
(SO3) has significant influence on such compatibility (8). The presence of mineral admixtures
has a definite role on the performance of paste, especially format ion of micro mortar. The
micro-mortar formations is involved with all particles below the size of 125¼, chemical
admixture and water (6). Flyash is commonly used mineral admixture in SCC. Particle size
distribution of flyash, chemistry of flyash and presence of un-burnt coal particles has enough
impact on fluidity and deformability of mortar for SCC (10). The bulk solid volume of the fly
ash also has significant impact on the rheology. Low lime content flyash improves the fluidity of
the paste (9). The flow value increased as the bulk solid volume of flyash is increased (9, 10).
`igh belite content OPCwas used at the initial years of SCC without any application of RMA
(3). `owever, high alite content high strength OPC may be desirable for achieving high strength
SCC along with appropriate replacement level of OPC by mineral admixture.

The compatibility of multiplechemical admixtures present along with mineral admixtures needs a
serious attention towards satisfactory performance of rheological properties as well as hydration
kinetics that has bearing on hardened properties.

The fine aggregate is one of the major components of paste formations. Well-graded fine
aggregate is desirable. The size of coarse aggregate in SCC is 5 to 20 mm. `owever, the size of
the aggregate is decided based on the size of the opening such a spacing of reinforcement bar (1).
Larger the aggregate size more the driving force for flow would be required. Blocking will occur
if the maximum size of the aggregate is large as well as the content of the larger size aggregates
is high. Crushed stone aggregates require more paste volume for nonblockage criteria compared
with the natural gravels. `igher packing density of aggregates reduces demand of
superplasticizer (1, 2). Extensive works on characterization of ingredients like OPC, fly ash and
fine aggregates for SCC were carried out by authors and are published elsewhere. (8,10,11,12).

Ingredients for self-compacting concrete shall satisfy the respective codal specifications.
Findings of the works, on characterization of ingredients, carried out by authors are summerised


Clinkers may have different levels of alkali and sulphate concentrations, but the corresponding
OPC shows fairly the same levels of sulphate owing to addition of gypsum during grinding
process. Alkali and sulphate content of the clinker not that of cement binder, has influence on the
rheology of mortar for SCC.

Initial flowability and viscosity of mortar mixes are not influenced by the alkali and sulphate
content of the clinkers irrespective of the dosages of flyash. The initial flowability decreases and
viscosity increase with elapsed time for all the cement replacement levels and types of OPC.
Low sulphate content of clinker increases the flow ability and reduces viscosity irrespective of
alkali content. Alkali content of clinkers has similar trend of effect on flowability and viscosity
but this influence is not as significant as that of sulphate. OPC from low sulphate bearing
clinkers and cement replacement level of 50% and above by flyash is vulnerable to the risk of
segregation. Low sulphate content increases the filling ability of concrete mixes.

The flow of the mortar is affected adversely with flyashes having higher percentage of particle
size above 90ì, and the mortar becomes unfit for the purpose. The flow is enhanced with fly
ashes having higher percentage of particle size below 45ì.

Flyash with high lime and sulphate content is not suitable for producing SCC as it decreases the
flow and increases the viscosity; non-cohesiveness of the mortar is also increased significantly.
Flyash with higher LOI, i.e. the higher carbon content, is not a suitable mineral admixture for
SCC mortar. It affects the rheology adversely making the mix highly viscose aswell as non-

`igher quantity of fly ash could result in adjustment of chemical admixture to lower dosages for
achieving appropriate flow and viscosity of mix. Flyash of appropriate characteristics acts as
flow enhancing and viscosity reducing agent in SCC mortar. Increase in flyash quantity
neutralizes the negative impact of high sulphate and high alkali content of OPC clinker as well as
the size fraction of fine aggregates on the rheology of mixes. Though quantity of flyash does not
significantly influence the initial spread and viscosity of mixes, its increase in value helps in
retention of higher spread diameter and lower viscosity.

Initial viscosity of mortar mixes is influenced by the size fraction of fine aggregate. The finer
fraction of sand reduces flowability and increases viscosity of mortar mix. Lower quantity of
fines in fine aggregate accentuates the possibility of segregation.Ingredients characterized and
found suitable by mortar rheology experiments are suitable for selfcompacting concrete.


A number of methods for proportioning SCC mix have been developed over the years with
primary attention to produce satisfactory self±compacting properties but with less attention to the
properties at hardened state. Most of the methods those are presently available may have some
inherent limitations, either in terms of ingredients for which they have been shown to be suitable
or in terms of the range of concretes that can be produced. These methods are of varying
complexity and may require wide range of information on the effect of each ingredients on the
mechanics of SCC mixes. In general, the SCC mix proportioning methods consider volume as
the key parameter because of the importance of the need to fill over the voids in between the
aggregate particles by the paste.
Different mix-proportioning methods can be grouped in having two categories of approaches.
The basic steps of first category are determination of quantity of coarse aggregate, and then
deriving appropriate quality of mortar compatible for SCC mix. While in the second approach,
the suitable mortar mix is first proportioned and then quantity of coarse aggregates is
determined. The mixes proportioned by both these categories can further be subdivided in to
three types; powder type, RMA type and mixed type. In first type cement content is very high,
mineral admixture content is very low to none and no RMA is used. The second type method
results in almost equal quantity of cement and mineral admixture, and high quantity of RMA is
required for maintaining homogeneity of the mix though superplasticizer requirement comes
down significantly compared to the first type. Mineral admixture content in the third type mix is
about one±third of the powder content and a lower quantity of RMA is used (13).

Okumara and Ozawa of University of Tokyo developed most probably the first method of SCC
mix proportion in 1995 [3, 14]. Their method is also known as general method. This is a step-by-
step method in which RMA is not used. First the quantity of coarse aggregate, per unit volume of
concrete mix, is set at 50% of the dry rodded weight. The required mortar volume is determined
taking into consideration the air content in the mix. The fine aggregate content is worked out
about 50% of the resulting mortar volume. The water/powder ratio and superplasticizer dosages
of the mortar are adjusted until the minimum relative flow area of 5 and relative flow rate
between 0.9 ± 1.1 are achieved using mortar spread and R±funnel test respectively [3]. The mix
proportion thus arrived at is tested for selfcompactability by concrete funnel test and slump flow
test. The mix is considered satisfactory from selfcompatibility consideration if it exhibits slump
flow of 650mm and relative flow rate between 0.5 and 1.0. This method is applicable to a limited
range of Japanese materials; 5-20 mm sized coarse aggregates, fine aggregates of size less than
5mm, and high belite Portland cement. The air-entraining agent was used. Criterion related to
concrete strength is not included in this mix proportioning method. This method falls under first
category and produces only powder type mix.

Bui, et al [15] introduced a new approach for the proportioning of SCC that essentially falls
under the second category and can produce combined and RMA type mixes. The approach is
based on the paste rheology model, which is built on the combination of the criteria of minimum
apparent viscosity, minimum flow and optimum flow viscosity ratio. The effect of aggregate
properties and content has been considered to develop a new paste model for SCC. The model
developed by testing wide range of concrete composition also provides a basis for quality control
and further development of mineral and chemical admixtures. Polycarboxylate based superpla±
sticizer was used and a viscosity modifying agent was used in some mixes. Relationship between
viscosity and flowability of paste, with aggregate spacing were developed using average
aggregate diameter 5.675 mm.

For different paste volume, water binder ratio, cement content, flyash content, admixtures, the
flow of each paste were plotted against viscosity. The limits for segregation and low
deformability zone were also plotted. Bui et al defined three zones for mix proportion with the
help of these plots. One extreme zone is segregation zone in which flow is very high and
viscosity is low. Other extreme zone is low deformation zone where viscosity is high and flow is
low. The satisfactory zone falls in between these two extreme zones. The paste rheology, which
is falling within the satisfactory zone, was considered appropriate for the purpose of
selfcompatibility. Subsequently, the unit volume was achieved by addition of aggregates into the
paste without any additional adjustment.

The ingredients of vibrated `PC mix and SCC mix are similar except for RMA. The `PC mix is
manufactured adopting multistage mixing method. It has been observed that mixing method has
significant influence on the properties of the concrete mix both in hardened and fresh state (16,
17). `ardly any information is available in this respect for SCC mix.

SCC results in higher form pressure because of its extreme fluidity showing nearly Newtonian
behavior (18). The method as well as rate of casting dominates the form pressure (19). The
traditional vibrated concrete results in lower form pressure than SCC having same casting rate.
The correlation between form pressure and casting rate is relatively linear. When concrete is
placed using pump and if the pumping is done from bottom it creates more anchor pressure than
that when pumping from top (18). The anchor force due to pump filling from bottom doubles
than that when filling from top, the reason is that the pressure from pump adds to the pressure of
concrete. The relation between concrete pressure and optimal rate of pouring calls for further
study to establish their inter-relation (20).

Leemann and C. `offmann investigated the pressure exerted by SCC on formwork both at
laboratory scale and at field (20). They studied the formwork pressure caused by SCC with
varying workability and conventional concrete filling the formwork from top in the laboratory
and the pressure of SCC pumped into the formwork at its base was determined in a field study.
The studies conclude that the maximum pressure of filled into a formwork from top is dependent
on the casting speed and rate of the continuous pressure decrease of the SCC already cast. SCC
pumped into the formwork a tits base can locally surpass hydrostatic pressure.

SCC mix engineering starts with balancing between high fluidity and high segregation resistance
to achieve appropriate self-compacting properties, hardened state properties as well as optimized
behavior of the suspension within the formwork. Meticulous selection and characterization of
locally available ingredients are the key to engineer the rheology of SCC.

= The constituents of the material have significant impact on the concrete rheology and
hydration kinetics of SCC mix. The approach for characterization of SCC mix leading to
defined acceptance criteria needs further work.
= The characterization in terms of physical and chemical properties of ingredients of
powder, aggregates and their influence on the behavior of SCC is essential.
= Selection of appropriate chemical admixtures, its dosages, its chemical compatibility with
powder are issues to be addressed further.
= A detailed investigation on the effect of curing regime on the properties of SCC at
hardened state needs further investigation.
= The form pressure in SCC is few folds more and different compared with vibrated
concrete. More work is needed to under stand the relation between pump and concrete
= Few of the areas like adjustment for mix proportioning procedure, use of local
aggregates, mixing methodology, online controlling of rheology, prediction of strength
and durability, need to be looked into.

= M.A. Rahman, M. Nehdi, ³Rheology of Cement Pastes using Rarious Accessories,´ First
North American Conference on Design and Use of Self Consolidating Concrete.
(November 2002), pp. 49-53.
= K. `. Khayat, Chong `u, Jean- Michel Laye, ³Importance of Aggregate packing Density
on Workability of Self-consolidating Concrete,´ First North American Conference on
Design and Use of Self±Consolidating Concrete. (November 2002), pp. 55-62.
= A. Skarendahl, O. Petersson, ³Self-compacting Concrete-State ± of±the±art report 174-
SCC,´ RILEM Technical Committee, France, Report 23. (2000)
= Kamal `. Khayat, ³`olistic Approach,´ First North American Conference on Design and
Use of Self±consolidating Concrete. (November 2002) pp. 9.
= K. `. Khayat, ³Stability of Self compacting Concrete, Advantage and Potential
Application,´ First International RILEM Symposium on Self±compacting Concrete,
Stockholm, Sweden. (September 1999) , p p. 143±152.
= Peter Billberg, ³Mix Design Model for Self-compacting Concrete,´ First North American
Conference on Design and Use of Self Consolidating Concrete. (November 2002), p
= Preface, Third International Symposium on Self±compacting Concrete, Reykjavik,
Iceland. (August 2003).
= P.C.Basu, P. P. Biswas, S. Chowdhury, A. K. Ghoshdast idar, P.D. Narkar, ³Influence of
Components of Portland Cement on Rheology of Mortar for Self- Compacting Concrete,´
Second North American Conference on the Design and Use of Self± compacting
Concrete , Illinois, Chicago, USA. (October-November 2005).
= Pipat Termkhajornkit, Toyoharu Nawa, `iroshi Ohnuma, ³Role of Flyash and
Naphthalene Sulfonated Superplasticizer on Fluidity of Paste,´ First North American
Conference on Design and Use of Self±Consolidating Concrete. (November 2002), p p.
= P.C. Basu, S. Saraswati, S. Chowdhury, ³Effect of Different Fly Ashes on Rheology of
Mortar for Self-compacting Concrete,´ Second North American Conference on the
Design and Use of Self±compacting Concrete, Illinois, Chicago, USA. (October-
November 2005).
= P.C. Basu, S. Chowdhury, ³Influence of Minor Constituents of Portland Cement on
Rheology of Mortar for Self±Compacting Concrete,´ Proceeding of The Structural
Engineering Convention), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. (2005), pp. 209-219.
= P. C. Basu, S. Chowdhury, ³Impact of Fine Aggregate Particle Size on Mortar Rheology
for SCC,´ The Indian Concrete Journal, Rolume 81. (January 2007), pp. 1-8.
= Ouchi Masahiro, Nakamura Sadaaki, Osterberg Thomas, `auberg Svenerik, ³Application
of Selfcompacting Concrete in Japan, Europe and United States,´ Sweden. (2005), pp. 1-
1 8.
= Okamura `, Ozawa K, ³Mix Design for Self-compacting Concrete,´ Concrete Library of
JSCE 25. (1995), pp . 107-120.
= R. K. Bui, S.P. Shah, K. Akkaya, ³A New Approach in Mix Design of Self-consolidating
Concrete,´ First North American Conference on Design and Use of Self± consolidating
Concrete. (November 2002), pp. 69-74.
= P. C. Basu, S. Saraswati, ³Durability of `igh Performance Concrete: An Overview and
Related Issues,´ Proceedings of International Symposium on Advances in Concrete
through Science an Engineering, Evanston, Illinois, USA. (March 2004).
= M. Kakizaki, `-Edahiro, T.Tochigi and T. Nikki, ³Effects of mixing method on
mechanical properties and pore structures of ultra high strength concrete.´ SP 132-54.
= Wolfgang Brameshuber, Stephan Uebachs, ³Investigations on the Form Pressure Using
Self compacting Concrete,´ Third International Symposium on Self±compacting
Concrete, Reykjavik, Iceland. (August 2003), p p. 281-287.
= Peter Billberg, ³Form Pressure Generated by Self-compacting Concrete,´ Third
International Symposium on Self-compacting Concrete, Iceland. (August 20 03), pp. 271-
= Andreas Leemann, Cathleen `offmann, ³Pressure of Self Compacting Concrete on
Formwork,´ Third International Symposium on Self±compacting Concrete, Iceland,
(August 2003), pp. 288-298.


The article has been reproduced from the SEWC¶07 proceeding with the kind permission from
the SEWC organisers.

ch , Ex±Joint Director, National Council for Cement & Building Materials, New
Delhi. ,+, Managing Director, Marketing & Transit (India) Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.


Concrete mixtures having high workability and high cohesiveness will be self±compacting
concrete. The self±compacting concrete (SCC) is defined as a flowing concrete that can be
transported without any segregation and placed without the use of vibrators to construct concrete
structures free of honeycombs. Initially such concrete was developed by Japanese researchers.
For such concrete which is specially required for heavily reinforced sections, a viscosity
modifying agent (RMA) is required along with a polycarboxylic ether (PCE) based
superplastisizer. Because of high fluidity, SCC requires higher fines content, in order to resist
bleeding and segregation. Natural fine aggregate together with manufactured sand and mineral
admixture {flyash or ground granulated blast furnace slag (ggbs) or silica fume} provide higher
fines contents in the concrete mix. A cohesive SCC is thus produced in order to flow steadily in
the heavily reinforced concrete sections, without any segregation & bleeding.


Besides cement, water and aggregates, the necessary ingredients for producing SCC are
superplasticizers (PCE based), viscosity±modifying agents and mineral admixtures e.g. flyash,
ground granulated blast furnace slag & silica fume. The proportion of fine aggregates required is
higher, may be around 55% and the corresponding proportion of coarse aggregate (generally of
smaller size, say 10 or 12 mm maximum size) will be around 45%. The mineral admixtures and
fine sand (manufactured sand) are required to make the highworkability concrete mix cohesive.

Typical concrete mix proportions for high strength (74.5 MPa at 28 days) SCC used by Gettu &
others (from Spain) (1) are as follows:

= Cement (OPC-53 grade) = 428 Kg/ m3

= Water = 188 l/ m3
= Flyash (2935 cm2 / gm) = 257 Kg / m3
= Superplasticizer (vinyl copolymer) = 7.9 Kg / m3
= Sand (crushed limestone ) (0-5mm) = 788 Kg / m3
= Coarse aggregate (gravel) (5-12mm) = 736 Kg / m3

The water / binder ratio of the concrete mix is 0.27. A look at the materials & mix proportions
indicate use of smaller size coarse aggregate (12mm maximum size) & the shape is rounded,
being gravel aggregate. In fact, crushed gravel will be a better option in order to obtain high-
workability and highstrength SCC.

The workability measured for the above mix is ³ slump flow´ of 48cm. In our country, still we
are carrying out the usual slump test even for high±workability concrete mix. The ³flow test´ as
specified in IS 9103 (2) can be conducted for testing such high±workability concrete mix, but the
³slump flow test´ will be better than the ³flow test,´ as no lifting (15 times in 15 seconds) of
concrete is necessary, as the SCC is a flowing concrete mixture.

Rachhani and others (3) used SCC in the prestigious Delhi Metro construction. Concrete mix
proportions for M-35 grade of SCC are as follows :

= Cement = 330 Kg / m3
= Water = 163 l / m3
= Flyash = 150 Kg / m3
= Superplasticizer = 3.12 l / m3
= RMA ( glenium stream 2 ) = 1.3 l / m3
= Retarder ( Pozzolith 300 R) = 0.99 l / m3
= Sand = 917 Kg / m3
= Coarse aggregate:
= 20mm maximum size = 455 Kg / m3
= 10 mm maximum size = 309 Kg / m3

Rachhani and others (3) highlighted the mechanism of self compaction, which is based on :

i. Large quantity of ³fines´ (500 to 650 Kg / m3),

ii. Use of high ±range water ± reducing superplasticizers (with water- reduction of 25%),
iii. The use of Riscosity Modifying Admixtures.

³Fines´ includes cement, flyash and the part of sand of size less than 0.125 mm. This together
with water & chemical admixtures constitute the paste in the concrete mix. The paste makes the
concrete mix cohesive and controls the segregation±resistance of the mix. The polycarboxylic
ether±based superplasticizer ( presently being imported) generally provides water±reduction of
the order of 30-40 % in the concrete mix. The RMA improves the segregation±resistance of the
mix without changing the fluidity or workability. The retarder in the concrete mix controls the
workability±retention, which is specially important in hot climate.


The characteristics of fresh SCC are fully described by the following properties :

i. Filling ability±ability to completely fill all the spaces in the formwork,

ii. Passing ability±ability to flow around reinforcement, and
iii. Segregation resistance±ability to resist segregation of materials during transportation and

Consequently new test methods have been developed to test SCC in the fresh state. The ³filling
ability´ is tested by ³ slump flow´ and ³ R funnel,³ the ³passing ability´ is tested by ³L- Box³
and³ U±Box³ and the segregation±resistance is tested by ³ R- funnel´


The properties and characteristics of hardened SCC do not greatly differ from those of normal
concrete, except that SCC can not be used in mass concrete construction using bigger size
aggregates, say 75mm or 150mm sizes. Because such concrete always needs to be compacted
with needle vibrators, in order to compact thoroughly in the forms.

Any required compressive strength of SCC can be achieved. Rachhani & others (3) obtained 28-
day compressive strength of 44-49 MPa in the above±mentioned concrete mix proportions for
M-35 grade concrete, for the Delhi Metro construction.

The high ± strength SCC can be called ³ `igh±performance concrete,´ as such concrete has
denser microstructure with lower inherent ³porosity´ and ³permeability,´ because of lower
water- cementitious materials ratios and use of mineral admixtures in concrete.


The Self±Compacting Concrete, because of its high±workability and cohesiveness, generally
needs higher fines content and lower size (10 or 12 mm maximum size) of coarse aggregate.
Smoother and rounded or semi- rounded (may be crushed gravel) coarse aggregate will develop
cohesiveness in the concrete mix. Bapat¶s (4) suggestion is good. Flakiness & elongation indices
of coarse aggregate should be less than 15% each. Large quantity of fines is also required±500 to
650 Kg/m3 of concrete, & therefore crushed stone fine aggregate is also required along with
natural fine aggregate. Flyash has also been used as an essential ingredient of SCC. In India, 30
to 50% flyash has been used in SCC. Originally Japanese people (5) suggested water±powder
ratio between 0.90 & 1.1 (by volume). But it is the paste that controls the segregation of the
concrete mix. The powder & the paste includes finer ( less than 0.125mm) part of the fine
aggregate. Rachhani (3) & Bapat (4) used about 35 to 36% paste to produce self compacting
concrete. The viscosity modifying agent also controls the segregation± resistance of the concrete
mix.They are generally starch, cellulose & gum±based. Preferable & satisfactory RMA is
³Welan Gum.´ The quantity of such RMA required in SCC is very less, about 0.1% by weight of
cementitious materials.

Prof P.K. Mehta (6) included ³Welangum,´ silica fumes & ultrafine colloidal silica under the list
of RMA. Gum or cellulose± based material is capable of modifying the viscosity of SCC, but the
silica fume may not be able to modify the viscosity of concrete. Subramanian and Chattopadhyay
(7) observed that micro silica at an appropriate dosage may be beneficial in reducing the dosage
of ³Welan gum.´

The following mix proportioning steps for SCC can be followed.

= The target 28-day compressive strength of concrete can be calculated first based on
standard deviation value used for the specified grade of concrete.
= The water±cementitious materials ratio can be decided based on the target 28±day
compressive strength of concrete. This can be in the range of 0.30 ± 0.50, 0.30 for a 28
day compressive strength of about 90 MPa, while 0.50 for a 28 day compressive strength
of about 30 MPa .
= For the high ± workability concrete mix, the water content of concrete will be in the
range of 180 ± 190 l/m3 of concrete.
= The maximum size of aggregate for SCC is more or less fixed at 10 or 12 or 16 mm.
= The sand (natural + manufactured) content can be kept at about 55% & the coarse
aggregate content can be about 45%, by weight of total aggregate.
= The superplasticizer required is PCE±based and about 1% by weight of total cementitious
material. The cementitious material includes ordinary Portland cement, flyash /ggbs &
silica fume (in case of high strength concrete). For normal strength concrete (say from M-
25 to M-50), no silica fume will be required, but about 20 to 30 % good quality flyash
will be required. If ggbs is used in place of flyash, its percentage can be 40 to 50 %, by
weight of total cementitious material. For high strength concrete of M-60 to M-80, about
10% silica fume will be required instead of flyash or ggbs. The dosage of super plsticizer
& the viscosity modifying agent can be fixed based on one or two trial mixes in a
= With the above details in hand, concrete mix proportions for any grade of SCC can be
arrived at.

The self compacting concrete, a high workability cohesive concrete mix needs polycarboxylic
ether±based superplasticizer and a viscosity modifying agent.

The proportion of fine materials in the concrete mix is also higher than that of normal concrete
mixes. Therefore, in addition to natural fine aggregate, manufactured sand and mineral
admixture eg flyash, ggbs or silica fume is also to be used.The percentage of fine aggregate is
around 55%, while that of coarse aggregate is around 45%, by weight of total aggregate. Smaller
size of coarse aggregate (10,12 or 16mm maximum size) having soother surface texture (rounded
or crushed gravel) is required for concrete to flow smoothly in the formwork. For normal
³standard´ concrete grades of M-25 to M-50, about 20 to 30 % flyash or 40 to 50 % ggbs can be
used, whereas for high strength self ± compacting concrete of grades M-60 to M-80, 10 % silica
fume will be required.

= Gettu,R, Izquierdo, J, Gomes, P.C.C & Josa, A. Development of high ± strength self-
compacting concrete with flyash: a four ± step experimental methodology. 27th
conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES : 29 ± 30 August 2002,
Singapore, pp.217 ± 224.
= IS 9103. Specification for concrete admixtures. Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.
= Rachhani, S.R, Chaudary, R & Jha, S.M. Innovative use of self compacting concrete in
Metro construction. I.C I Journal, Rol. 5, No 3, Oct ± Dec 2004, pp.27 -32.
= Bapat, S.G, Kulkarni, S.B & Bandekar, K.S. Self- compacting concrete in nuclear power
plant construction. I.C.I Journal, Rol-6, No 3, Oct- Dec 2005, pp- 37- 40.
= Okamura,`, Ozawa,K & Ouchi,M. Selfcompacting concrete. Structural Concrete, Rol-1,
No1, March 2000.
= Mehta,P.K & Monteiro,P.J.M. Concrete-Microstructure, Properties & Materials. Third
edition, 2006, Tata McGraw ±`ill Publishing Co Ltd, New Delhi, p.478.
= Subramanian, S & Chattopadhyay, D. Experiments for mix proportioning of Self ±
compacting concrete. The Indian Concrete Journal, Jan 2002, pp. 13 ± 20.



    "  %

=   (, Director, Multichem Group, Mumbai.

Admixtures are the ingredients in concrete which are other than the hydraulic
cementitious material, water, aggregates or fiber reinforcement that are used as
ingredients of a cementitious mixture to modify its freshly mixed, setting or hardened
properties and that are added to the batch before or during mixing. Admixtures are
usually further defined as a non±pozzolanic (does not require calcium hydroxide to react)
admixture in the form of a liquid, suspension or water-soluble solid. Some admixtures
have been in use for a very long time, such as calcium chloride to provide a cold-weather
setting concrete. Others are more recent and represent an area of expanding possibilities
for increased performance. Not all admixtures are economical to employ on a particular

= Also, some characteristics of concrete, such as low absorption, can be achieved simply by
consistently adhering to high quality concreting practices.

Water-reducing admixtures improve concrete¶s plastic (wet) and hardened properties,

while set-controlling admixtures are used in concrete being placed and finished in other
than optimum temperatures. Both, when used appropriately, contribute to good
concreting practices. Also, both admixtures should meet the requirements of ASTM C
494, (Table 1).
= - * 
= Water reducers decrease the amount of mixing water required to obtain a given slump.
This can result in a reduction of the watercementitious ratio (w/c ratio), which leads to
increased strengths and more durable concrete.

Reducing the w/c ratio of concrete has been identified as the most important factor to
make durable, high-quality concrete. On the other hand, sometimes the cement content
may be lowered while maintaining the original w/c ratio to reduce costs or the heat of
hydration for mass concrete pours.

Water-reducing admixtures also reduce segregation and improve the flow ability of the
concrete. Therefore, they are commonly used for concrete pumping applications as well.

Water-reducing admixtures typically fall into three groups: low-, medium- and high-
range. These groups are based on the range of water reduction for the admixture. The
percent of water reduction is relative to the original mix water required to obtain a given
slump (Table 2). While all water reducers have similarities, each has an appropriate
application for which it is best suited. Table 3 presents a summary of the three types of
water-reducing admixtures, their ranges of water reduction and their primary uses. Their
effect on air entrainment will vary depending on the chemistry.
=  $!- (.
= When cement comes in contact with water, dissimilar electrical charges at the surface of
the cement particles attract one another, which results in flocculation or grouping of the
particles. A good portion of the water is absorbed in this process, thereby leading to a
cohesive mix and reduced slump.

Water-reducing admixtures essentially neutralize surface charges on solid particles and

cause all surfaces to carry like charges. Since particles with like charges repel each other,
they reduce locculation of the cement particles and allow for better dispersion. They also
reduce the viscosity of the paste, resulting in a greater slump.
= Table 4 presents some of the most common basic materials used for each range of water
reducer. Other components are also added depending on the requirement of additional
properties of concrete. Some water-reducing admixtures have secondary effects or are
combined with retarders or accelerators. This will be discussed later.
= ) 

= Water-reducing admixtures are primarily used to reduce the water-cementitious content
of concrete, thus increasing strength. In some cases, they can be used to increase the
workability or slump of the concrete providing for easier placement. Mid-range water-
reducing admixtures were developed to increase the slump beyond the range available
with regular water reducers without the excessive retardation that had been known to
occur. `igh-range water reducers, commonly called superplasticizers, were developed for
high-strength and high performance concrete applications.

Superplasticizers, e.g., Multiplast Super can take a 3- inch slump concrete to a 9-inch
slump without risk of segregation and without compromising its strength. Many
precasters can benefit from the use of a superplasticizer, especially because of its
improved high early strength development.

All water-reducing admixtures increase strength development as a result of better

dispersion of the cement. This increases the exposed surface area of the cement particles,
allowing for more complete hydration of the cement.
= c *
= Set-controlling admixtures alter the rate of the cement¶s hydration and, therefore, the rate
of setting (stiffening) of the paste. Coincidentally, they also may affect the hardening or
strength gain after the paste has set. Setcontrolling admixtures include retarding and
accelerating admixtures.
= These admixtures, Multiplast R slow down the hydration process. They may also reduce
the setting time of cement. Retarding admixtures fall into two categories: regular and
extended-set. Regular, most commonly referred to as just ³retarders,´ are used to place
concrete in hot climates when long travel times are expected or, in case of emergency,
when placement is delayed. They are also commonly used for mass concrete pours to
prevent cold joints.

Extended-set control admixtures are those used to delay hydration for many hours or
even days. These are usually a twocomponent admixture system. The first component is a
retarder (stabilizer) which delays the setting of concrete. The second component is an
accelerator (activator) which overcomes the retarder. The concrete typically reaches
initial set in a few hours after the activator is applied.

`ow they work Retarders essentially slow early hydration by reducing the rate at which
tricalcium silicate (C3S) reacts with water. Furthermore, retarders slow the growth of
calcium hydroxide crystals. Both reactions develop the early setting and strength gain
characteristics of paste. The effect remains until the admixture is incorporated into the
hydrated material, thereby removing it from the solution and allowing for initial set to
occur. The duration of retardation is based on the dose and chemistry of the retarder,
cement composition, temperature and the time it was added to the mix.
= These admixtures increase the cement¶s rate of hydration. Multiplast ACC are designed
to increase the rate of hydration of C3S, thereby increasing early strength. There are two
types of accelerators: rapid and normal.

Rapid accelerators can set concrete in minutes and are used in shotcreting applications, to
make repairs against hydrostatic pressure or when very rapid setting is required. These
are typically not used in precast concrete applications.

Standard or normal accelerators are used to speed up construction in cold-weather

concreting conditions; however, it is important to note that they are not antifreezing


 : Both retarders and accelerators seem to have negligible effects on air
entrainment. `owever, when water-reducing agents are included, such as lignosulfonates,
some air may be entrained.

Retarders tend to reduce one-day strengths and usually increase later-age strengths .
Retarders may also increase slump loss and cause an early stiffening of the mixture, even
though the strength gain has been delayed. Retarders tend to lose their effectiveness as
concrete temperature increases. They also tend to increase the plastic shrinkage.

Accelerators typically increase early strengths. `owever, laterage strengths may be

reduced relative to the same concrete without the accelerator. They also tend to increase
early-age shrinkage and creep rates, but tests have shown that ultimate values seem to be

= Some admixture chemistries provide for a combination of effects such as water reduction
with retardation or acceleration. Advantages of this include reducing the number of
admixtures that have to be stored and added to the concrete; less admixture
incompatibility; and cost savings. Disadvantages include less flexibility and limited use
when an accelerating or retarding effect is not desired. ASTM C 494 lists specifications
for these combination admixtures.







ccc Former Director Grade Scientist & `ead, Rigid Pavements Division, CRRI
Chief Consultant±Pavement and Geotech, Span Consultant Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi


`ighway maintenance is an important activity of every highway department. The safety and
convenience of traffic using the road are governed to a large extent by the quality of
maintenance. The operation ± economics of road transport is influenced by the degree of
maintenance imparted to the road. The life of an asset can be preserved and prolonged if
adequate maintenance measures are undertaken well in time. In developing countries, stage
construction of pavements is often resorted to, with lesser pavement thickness and lower
specifications than needed for a full design. The proper maintenance of roads, therefore, assumes
greater significance in such situations.

This paper emphasizes the need for conceptual mechanism that will ensure the maintenance
management procedures to be planned timely with adequate preventive maintenance
interventions for effective sustainability of these roads. The financial resources at the command
of a maintenance engineers are always short of demands, and it becomes necessary to utilize the
same in the most judicious manner, by applying the best engineering practices and managerial
skills. Poor road drainage and particularly failure to prevent ingress of water into the subgrade
and into the lower pavement layers is considered to be the single main culprit of road failures in
India. Maintenance of the drainage system is usually a relatively low cost operation, and one
which can significantly reduce the need for far more costly pavement repairs and rehabilitation.

Road maintenance is an essential activity to rejuvenate roads in the safest condition, and to
ensure that Pavement Management System (PMS) should also be an integral part of a larger
overall Road Maintenance Management System (RMMS).


A bituminous surface deteriorates with the passage of time owing to

i. The action of traffic, especially of overloading of heavy commercial vehicles.

ii. Environmental factors, such as ingress of water, oxidation of the binder and loss of
iii. Inadequacies in the initial design, specifications and construction standards of the
bituminous layers; and
iv. Lack of adequate support from the lower pavement layers.

Timely and proper maintenance will prolong the life of a pavement system. Road maintenance is
a routine, periodic and special activities to be performed to upkeep the pavement, shoulders and
other facilities provided for road users, as nearly as possible in its constructed conditions under
normal conditions of traffic and forces of nature.

Modern methods of highway maintenance make use of good management principles, which are
invaluable aids in planning and programming of maintenance operations. Many Pavement
Management Systems (PMS) have been developed and are extensively used worldwide. A PMS
is a computer package, which facilitates advance planning of maintenance operations and
optimal allocation of resources. It consists of the following elements

i. A basic road data bank, builtup and updated periodically by road inventories and
condition surveys.
ii. A pavement performance model, which predicts the future programme of a given
pavement system.
iii. A transportation cost model, which calculates the road user costs for the given condition
of the pavement.
iv. Selection of Intervention levels.
v. Prioritizing the maintenance needs (renewal and overlay) for a given budget.



One of the major reasons that pavement design was historically considered as a one shot process
was the lack of an adequate concept for dealing with performance. This need was filled by the
serviceability performance concept. Thorough examination of actual highway pavement life
histories indicates that this cycle process shown in Figure 1 is more realistic than the so-called
one shot design method. As a matter of fact, almost no pavements can be found that serve out a
predetermined design life of 20 years or more without some rehabilitation.


For a modern road to operate efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all users, it is required
to meet defined customer requirements. Maintenance operations and technologies themselves are
evolving rapidly to meet the demands of modern road networks. Road drainage performance
plays a vital role in ensuring the efficient structural performance of a pavement. Figure 2
illustrates a range of factors, which contribute to the deterioration of a road and to its consequent
condition at any given time.


Efficient and effective maintenance management is most simply expressed as doing the correct
thing at the correct time and in the correct place. Pavement Management Systems are most
effective if they fulfill a number of essential requirements in relation to the roads and road
network to which they are applied. They can assist the engineer in identifying the most cost-
effective appropriate treatment on selected sections of the road network through the use of
economic analysis, predictive models and time series information. An effective management
system must meet a number of core or critical requirements, too much sophistication should be
viewed with caution and additional modules should be justified incrementally. Fundamental
requirements of maintenance management planning stages are shown in Figure 3.



To meet the various treatments needs of different pavement types, industry and research
institutions have developed a range of materials and treatments to offer the engineer a wide
variety of effective solutions. The materials are variously required to meet a number of criteria
including strength, resistance to deformation, impermeability, good skidding resistance, low
noise and spray generation, efficient drainage system, and value for money. Many modern
materials offer a good range of these qualities, but it is fair to say that the perfect materials have
yet to be developed. Figure 4 shows the pavement performance modeling which is also
applicable to other forms of infrastructure behaviour.



Pavement tend, under continued trafficking, to lose their anti-skid properties as the texture wears
out and the stone aggregates get polished. The skid resistance of a surface may also be reduced
by bleeding, or µfatting up¶ of the road surface with excess bitumen. Many countries carry out
skid resistance measurements as part of their maintenance needs assessment. Those pavement
sections which have lost their anti-skid properties may be treated with a fresh surface treatment.

Simple maintenance procedure for correcting common distresses in flexible pavements including
patching, crack and surface sealing through resurfacing. Skin patches, alligator cracks, deep
patches, edge cracks, joint cracks, shallow depressions, hungry and caked surface, reflection
cracking, shrinkage cracks and slippery cracks arriving from different technical conditions over a
pavement are to be treated differently. This makes it increasingly necessary to find a method of
common distress confinement and rehabilitation with a broad based applicability. Figure 5 shows
the components of defectiveness profile recorded for surface treatment.


Maintenance needs are assessed every year as part of planning of maintenance. The assessment
is done on the basis of condition surveys, which can take various forms such as :

= Risual rating
= Roughness measurements
= Benmkelman Beam Deflection measurements
= Skid Resistance Measurements

Risual rating is a simple method of inspecting the pavement surface for detecting and assessing
the type and severity of the damage. Manifestation of distress or damage occurs in the form of;
rutting, corrugations, ravelling, flushing, potholes, transverse cracking, longitudinal cracking,
depressions, settlement, polished surface, streaking, hungry surface, edge cracking, reflection
cracking, shrinkage cracking, deformation, slippage, shoving, stripping, disintegration, loss of
aggregate, alligator cracking and edge failure etc. These serviceability indicators are to be kept
intact through proper maintenance cycles methodology and strategies.

c h

  h  *

Future maintenance strategies for renewal surfacing activity is the need of the hour at regular
intervals of time so that the constructed roads perform satisfactorily throughout their designed
service life. Periodic renewals consist of the provision of micro-surfacing layer so as to preserve
the required characteristics of the pavement and offset the wear and tear of the surface caused by
traffic and weathering etc. Periodic renewals represent preventive maintenance, which is needed
to prevent deterioration of the pavement characteristics and to ensure that initial qualities are
kept up for the future requirements of traffic during the design life of the pavement. Early
detection and repair of noticeable defects can prevent a major break down of the surface. For
instance, if symptoms like hungry surface, raveling etc. are noticed at an early stage and suitable
preventive action by way of renewal of surface is taken to arrest further deterioration, the life of
the pavement can be prolonged. Micro-surfacing is a thin layer of a mixture of a modified
bitumen based emulsion, aggregate, water and additives like cement and lime in desired
proportions. Microsurfacing is generally applied over a hungry, baked flexible pavement surface
and also in case of fretting of aggregate over already laid surface, shallow depressions and fine
cracks to moderate cracks (3mm to 6mm wide).

It is relatively thin sections in which the mix is laid over the surface which is called
microsurfacing. Micro-surfacing mix can be applied more frequently by machine application up
to a thickness of 5mm in one application, where the situation demands there can be two
applications of the same thickness. Micro-surfacing can be easily sweeped into cracks and
fishers. Since a cationic type modified bitumen emulsion is used in preparing micro-surfacing the
surfacing has got the unique feature of resisting action of water and preventing damage due to
rains in the sealed pavement which may prove a good remedial measure. Micro-surfacing is a
low cost preventive maintenance treatment that retards the deterioration of pavement surface
caused by environmental and the associated oxidation of the existing surface. Micro-surfacing is
now recognized as most cost-effectiveway to treat the deteriorated surface. The micro-surfacing
treatment should only be used on structurally sound pavement without extensive cracking or
other deterioration. This preventive maintenance treatment is applied in one or two courses and
does not require compaction. Traffic can usually be located back on to the roadways within one
hour under ideal condition. The micro surfacing mix provides excellent smoothness and good
friction with minimal increase in pavement noise levels.

Micro-surfacing may be suitably used on cracked pavement in lieu of more conventional

rehabilitation such as crack to sealing, fog seal, liquid seal and double surface treatments.
Microsurfacing provides a convenient economical way of addressing pavement distress such as
raveling and cracking.




The World Bank had developed the highway design and maintenance standards model and its
Rersion-3 has been in use. `DM-4 has been developed and released for use. For the proposed
planning model, `DM-4 has been calibrated for Indian deterioration and user cost models and
customized for the chosen computer system platform, which will bring the planning process to
the state-of-the-art level. National `ighway network maps can be digitized using Survey of India
(SOI) base maps and the mapping data can be held in the Geographic Information System (GIS)
format in a cartographic database. It may also be possible to overlay, the maps with all the other
relevant information collected during the socio-economic, road condition and road inventory
surveys. The entire highway management system needs to be established on a computer system
platform on client server model at the headquarters of Ministry of Road Transport and `ighways
(MoRT&`). The regional centers could be linked with the headquarters through a
communication system so as to enable data transfer from the field to the headquarters. Computer
operating system can be selected to ensure compatibility of the hardware and the facility of
upgradation at a later date. Software for GIS, `DM, image processing software, terrain modeling
software, and Autocad may be required for the proposed planning model.


There is a need for the guidelines on the strategic maintenance of flexible pavements, which
should be easy to use, understandable, and cost-effective and provide uniformity in evaluation,
process and management methodology.

There is no doubt that the external influences which affect road operators and authorities will
continue to play a major part in shaping the development of road maintenance. Indeed, it is
probable that the most successful road maintenance will be that which is noticed least in terms of
its impacts on the road user, the environment, and those living and working close to the
carriageway. Some general indicators of future challenges for the road maintenance engineer are
given below:-

i. Obtaining Good quality information about road conditions is an essential pre-requisite for
sound decision making about the need for road maintenance, and type of treatment that is
subsequently applied. Increased interest is likely to be paid to the concept of smart roads,
which use sensors within road components to feed real ± time information regarding their
condition and performance.
ii. A greater emphasis is also likely to be placed on improving communication with road
users to provide them with up-to-date and reliable advice about the state of the road,
including weather, traffic, safety and other conditions. Capabilities of this type could
eventually form the basis of better highway maintenance control if the demand for
limited road space grows excessively.
iii. The very wide use of roads, and their impact upon those which they serve, offer great
challenges to road maintenance engineers to ensure that theassets for whose upkeep they
are responsible are maintained for the benefit and convenience of all the road users.
iv. Most important aspect of the future is where does the future of Pavement Management
Systems go from here? `ow can we upgrade and improve the technology of the
Pavement Management System? `ow can we improve the Pavement Management
System itself.
v. No existing system is directly applicable to another agency, do not be afraid to take
advantage of the benefits of others experience. Much could be gained from expert sources
with previous experience in the Pavement Management Systems.


= Efficient and effective maintenance management is simply expressed as doing the correct
thing at the correct time and in the correct place.
= Making good decision regarding road maintenance is a complex process that involves the
right treatment for the right road at a right time.
= A thin hot mix asphalt overlay on the principle of microsurfacing will improve the riding
quality and skid
= resistance, revitalize the existing surface free of ruts and potholes, and other surface
= The preventive maintenance approach through microsurfacing will not only save our
scare funds but also provide a safe and comfortable ride to our road users.
= Micro-surfacing is one of the latest mixtures of surface treatments, such as chip seal,
liquid seal, slurry seal and fog seal composed of polymer modified asphaltemulsion,
crushed aggregates, mineral filler, water and field control additive as needed.
= The traffic on National `ighways is likely to increaseenormously in the futuristic
scenario. To meet the demand optimally, and thereby to ensure rapid economic progress
of the country, it is essential to develop and establish an efficient highway planning and
management systems. For this the existing deficiencies in the system need to be
overcome and new capabilities need to be developed.
= Effort is also required to integrate various systems related to highway management
system carried out in
= India and abroad. Committed manpower resources will have to be developed and
adequate infrastructure will have to be established to bring the highway planning and
management system to the state-of-the-art level and comparable to those existing in
developed countries.
= Maintenance-by-Contract of National `ighways and expressways should be privatized or
as a part of construction contract to reduce the burden on the exchequer. The best
possible way shall be to run pilot projects in every state and on National `ighways and
State `ighways to start with.
= We should follow-up strict construction supervision and stringent quality control
measures and must protect our investment with minimal maintenance costs.
= Proper pavement design, regular inspection and maintenance of drainage system is of
utmost importance in preserving the investment made on the construction of highway
pavements. The drainage conditions be improved along the highways so that the damage
to the sub-grade due to seepage of water be avoided. The special attention is required for
the maintenance of roads and highways in the snow and desert areas.
= The above highway maintenance strategies would be useful to reduce the losses caused
due to bad condition of roads. The saving due toreduction in losses can be used for the
construction of new roads and improvement of existingroads and highways.


1. Butler, B.C. and L.G. Byrd ³Maintenance Management,´ Section 25 of `andbook of

`ighway Engineer, Ran NostrandReinhold, 1975.
2. Stacy, A.F., ³The determination of Pavement Maintenance Strategies´ proceedings,
Australian Road Research Board, 1978.
3. Asphalt Technology and Construction, Asphalt Institute Park, Maryland, USA, 1978.
4. Local Authority Associations, `ighway Maintenance ± A Code of Good Practice,
Association of County Councils, London, 1989.
5. New Roads and Street Works Act, `MSO, London, 1991.
6. IRC:82-1982 ³Code of Practice for Maintenance of Bituminous Surfaces of `ighways,´
The Indian Roads Congress, New Delhi.
7. Ralph Mass and Ronald `udson, ³Pavement Management Systems´ Robert E.Krieger
Publishing Company, Florida, 1982.
8. Federal `ighway Administration (F`WA), ³Construction, Maintenance, Implementation
and Management of `ighways,´ Washington, D.C. 1972.
9. IRC:81-1997, ³Tentative Guidelines for strengthening of Flexible Pavements using
Benkelman Beam Deflectio Technique,´ Indian Roads Congress, New Delhi±1997.
10. Seehra, S.S., ³Causes of Failure of the Existing Pavements and their Evaluation for
Strengthening.´ The Annual Journal of the Institution of Engineers (India), Rol. 11, 1972.
11. Transportation Research Record No. 1597, ³Maintenance of `ighway Pavements and
structures³Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.1997.
12. 12. Mookerjee, A.K., ³Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance,´ International Seminar on
`ighway Rehabilitation and Maintenance, Organized by Indian Roads Congress, New
Delhi, 1999.

, Tech Dry (India) Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore

There are several causes for global warming including carbon dioxide emission from burning of
fossil fuels for the purpose of electricity generation. Coal accounts for 93 percent of the
emissions from the electric utility industry. Coal emits around 1.7 times as much carbon per unit
of energy when burnt as does natural gas and 1.25 times as much as oil. Natural gas gives off
50% of the carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emitted from cars is about 20%. Carbon dioxide
emitted from airplanes causes 3.6% of global warming and that the figure could rise to 15% by
2050. Building structures account for about 12% of carbon dioxide emissions.1

It is wellknown that the ecological balance is getting disturbed but we will keep our discussions
restricted to the construction industry and utility of the green concrete.

Green building is all about science-physics, chemistry, and biology. It¶s really about ecology
because ecology is about physics, chemistry, and because it is all about systems and integration
of physics, chemistry, and biology.

Building is the shelter creating boundaries between people and the environment. Green building
is about creating optimized boundaries between people and the environment.

The green building programme has identified a set of parameters that should be kept into
consideration when the building is constructed and materials are chosen for it. It is vast subject to
even define the material, which constitutes as environmental friendly or green material.

Worldwide, the construction industry contributes about 9% to the global GDP, and is one of the
most important elements of every economy. Today¶s demands on buildings, roads, bridges,
tunnels, and dams could not be met without construction chemicals. The strength of concrete has
risen dramatically as a result of the development of construction chemicals.
The global construction chemical industry is a $20 billion business. The United States and
Western Europe are the two largest markets, together accounting for 56% of the total market.
Japan, China and India come next and together have a market share of about 21%.

The raw materials needed for the production of construction chemicals are manufactured by the
big chemical producers. Polymers are the most important group of raw materials and are found in
virtually every construction chemical formulation ranging from adhesives to waterproofing
treatments. The development of new construction chemicals in many cases requires interaction
by the chemical producer, construction chemical manufacturer and end user. The construction
chemical industry spends about 3% of its sales on R&D of new products and applications.2

We often hear that India is going to become world power. It sounds musical to our ears but when
you see the state of our Infrastructures, it is disappointing. In this paper, we will deal with one
important aspect and that is the construction industry.

The production of bricks required the burning of fuels, either fossil fuels or agricultural wastes.
The firing of bricks is to increase the strength and durability of the brick and to decrease water
absorption. Concrete requires the manufacture of cement. To produce cement, limestone and clay
are heated at 1450°C consuming fossil fuels, and cement is formed. The limestone is converted
to calcium oxide and carbon dioxide.

CaCO3->CaO + CO2

For every 1000kg of calcium carbonate used, 440 kg of carbon dioxide is produced.

This production of carbon dioxide raises the question for the world of the desirability and
economics of emulating western building practices in these countries, given the huge population
requiring housing. For the production of bricks and concrete energy intensive activities are
undertaken. In addition, the energy use results in carbon dioxide production. In the case of
cement production, the demand for cement worldwide is 800 million tonnes per year. Assuming
500 million tonnes of limestone is used for this purpose each year then more than 220 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere from cement works alone each year. This
is the equivalent of 44 kg of carbon dioxide for every inhabitant of the Earth each year.


Let us concentrate on some of the major factors contributing to this state of affairs related to
construction industry. We believe that every responsible citizen would continue in adopting
environmental objectives. The given table will show the energy demand and emissions generated
in production of 1kg of cement.


The corrosion of steel reinforcement is by far the single most common cause of structural

The key environmental factors that reduce the passivation of steel are carbonation and chloride.
Other factors which may influence either the initiation or rate of reinforcement corrosion include
cracks in concrete, temperature, moisture, oxygen and in adequate concrete quality or cover.

There are two major situations in which corrosion of reinforcing steel can occur:

= Carbonation
= Chloride contamination


Carbonation is the process in which the Carbon dioxide (CO2) enters in the concrete as carbonic
cid in the presence of moisture and reacts with calcium hydroxide and following reaction takes

Ca(O`)2 + CO2 -> CaCO3 + `2O


Chloride ions can enter concrete in two ways:

= They may be added during mixing either deliberately as an admixture or as a contaminant

in the original constituents.
= They may enter the set concrete from environment pollutants dissolved in rain

Both Carbonation and Chloride ions damage the protective, highly alkaline passive shield around
reinforcement. This leads to the corrosion of reinforcement/ malignancy of reinforcement as we
call, which makes the building less durable and vulnerable to natural calamities which leads to
human tragedy and loss of property.

$   !   
While using admixture, it is very important to be careful and make judicious decision so that the
ingredient of cement does not react with admixture and produce undesirable side products.

Plasticizers tend to liberate cancer causing toxic product like formaldehyde.

Tons and tons of admixtures particularly plasticizers and superplasticizers are used in
construction. The study shows that approximately 15-25% of sulphonated naphthalene polymers
(SNP), lignosulphonate and polycarboxylates and 30-60% of sulphonated melamine polymers
(SMP) were leached. Some additional test showed that this is the only part of leached organic
substance that comes from superplasticizers and rest of them come from coating and adhesives.

Togero4 shows in his studies that some small fraction of formaldehyde in both SNF and SMF is
liberated, which is not only hazardous but also carcinogenic.


Water vapour permeability is an essential requirement for building materials. A satisfactory
water repellent leaves the treated substrate permeable to water vapour while restricting the
passage of liquid through the capillaries.

A natural external finish of masonry buildings may be required for aesthetic purposes. Treatment
by impregnation does not change the finish appearance and no yellowing is normally developed
during use.

Permanent bonding between concrete capillaries and impregnants results in longterm durability.

c %

Impregnants dissolved in a suitable solvent can be used to create a waterproof hydrophobic
surface which does not allow the ingress of water. `owever, solvent being toxic and hazardous
has been banned in most of the Western countries. Moreover, solvents are very expensive.

- 0
Water based impregnants form a zone within the pore of structure after penetration, resulting in a
molecular size three to four times the dissolved size, and some impregnants is bound chemically
to the silicates in the cement matrix.


Coatings have not been successful because they tend to block pores and capillaries with the
trapped water underneath it. This trapped water hits the weaker part of the surface and create
ingress points in the form of cracks, blisters, honeycombs etc.

The effect of some of the coatings is injurious like:

We are sure that everybody knows that any type of asbestos causes cancer and it is not confined
to a specific blue variety.

Asbestos as we all know is the name given to group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of
strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. These fibers are not
affected by heat or chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been
widely used in many industries.

It has become a fashion to use membranes, the word is a misnomer since the elastomeric coating
should have the following properties which these membranes do not have.

Tensile strength, Elongation, Crack bridging, Abrasion resistance, Temperature flexibility,

Weatherability, Bonding, Flashing attachment, Materials compatibility, Wind uplift resistance.

The conventional membranes or thick toppings are normally bitumen, asphalt, polyurethane, and
epoxy based. Besides several disadvantages like blister formation, debonding and other factors
which allow water to enter.


The main constituents in bitumen are polyaromatic compounds which undergo photochemical
oxidation particularly at high temperature (since they are black, the temperature is much higher).

These photo-oxidation generates gases and strong carcinogenic compounds like Benzo[a]pyrene.


Elastomeric coatings should not be misunderstood as the above mentioned membrane since these
are normally non-cementitious and are produced by using special polymerization techniques and
unlike other membranes they are flexible, breathable with high elongation and weatherability and
crack bridging membranes rather than coating which have several problems.

Elastomeric coatings are the latest type of coating which came into roof protection systems and
tanking systems in basements.

To understand this concept we must address ourselves to basic questions to why latest
membranes in this field are different than the conventional coating membranes.

Let us understand the term elastomers. Elastomers are a class of materials which differ quite
obviously from all other solid materials in that they can be stretched easily and almost
completely reversibly, to high extensions and before reaching its ultimate breaking elongation ±
it can be released and will rapidly recover to almost exactly the original length it had before
stretching. The material is said to be elastic.

Most synthetic elastomers are not as elastic as natural rubber, but all can be stretched (or
otherwise deformed) in a reversible manner to an extent, which easily distinguishes them from
all other solid materials.

Elastomers are a special case of the wider group of materials known as polymers. Polymers are
not made up of discrete compact molecules like most materials, but are made of long, flexible,
chainlike or string-like, molecules. At this scale the inside of a piece of rubber can be thought of
as resembling a pile of cooked spaghetti. In spaghetti, however, the chains, though intertwined,
are all separate. But in most practical elastomers each chain will be joined together occasionally
along its length to one or more nearby chains with just a very few chemical bridges, known as
crosslinks. So the whole structure forms a coherent network which stops the chains from sliding
past one another indefinitely ± although leaving the long sections of chain between crosslinks
free to move. The process by which crosslinks are added is known as vulcanization.

Polymers on the other hand are giant molecules of different chemicals. A polymer or a
macromolecule is made up of many (poly) molecules (µmers¶) or monomers linked together like
wagons in a train, for example poly(vinyl chloride), poly(ethylene), etc. The polymerization of
vinyl chloride (RC), which represents some 500 to 2000 molecules of RC linked together to
make a giant molecule of commercial PRC. Monomers may have the same or different chemical

Water in the form of vapour, liquid presents below-grade construction with many unique
problems. Water causes damage by vapour transmission through porous surfaces, by direct
leakage in a liquid state. Water presence in below grade makes interior spaces uninhabitable not
only byleakage but also by damage to structural components as exhibited by reinforcing steel
corrosion, concrete spalling, settlement cracks, and structural cracking.

Therefore, all elastomeric membranes are not alike and different parameters like nature of
monomer cross-linking agent, polymerization technique, initiators, accelerators and fillers can
have an influence on the physical and chemical stability of the final elastomeric membrane.


Grouting is the injection of a fluidized material into the soil to enhance its strength, density, or to
reduce its permeability. Grouting can be more feasible than the cut and cover method, for
example, excavating a trench to put in a tunnel lining and filling in the gap with soil. In the city,
traffic may have to be rerouted around the cut and cover project site.

In planning a grouting programme for particular conditions, we need knowledge of various types
of grouts and their properties. The basic types of grouts now in use and their properties are
discussed. Types of admixtures and fillers used and their effects on the grout are also discussed.
The most common types of grout are Portland cement, clay, chemical, and asphaltic grouts. No
one grout is suitable for every situation.

Now-a-days excellent chemical grouting products have been developed, which can strengthen
the voids whether in basements or otherwise. For example there are 2-component system where
the damage is not only treated on the surface of the structure but that the complete centre of
damage and the whole section of the building structure are completely treated.

These kinds of products do not effect the environment nor pollute the ground water.

$ "

This has been a very misunderstood subject and there has been an understanding that Brick bat
coba, surkhi or thermal insulation are preferred as Insulation products while thermal insulation
does provide insulation but is not very durable. Surkhi which is now-a-days used as burnt bricks
but definitely does not provide any thermal insulation on the concrete.

`eat naturally flows from warm areas to cooler areas, regardless of direction. This flow of heat
can never be stopped completely, but the rate at which it flows can be reduced by using materials
which have a high resistance to heat flow.

The general guideline for thermal insulation is to understand that thermal resistance of insulating
material is directly proportional to the type of material and its thickness measured in terms of
thermal conductivity.

Thermal insulation for buildings has been known since long and is one of the serious
requirements more because of the climatic conditions in India. Moreover, we in India need any
new system, which can contribute in saving energy.

For the last few years, lightweight micaceous minerals like Rermiculite have been used. The
problem with this product is that it is very porous in nature and absorbs water and therefore has
to be waterproofed. Moreover, it is soft, and laying of tiles over it is often required.

The choice of the insulating material depends on the cost, area to be covered and the cost of
heating or cooling. There are large numbers of insulation materials available in the market.

Recently, ceramic microspheres and some natural clay along with redispersable spray dried
polymers have played a key role. For example, lightweight waterproofing concrete not only
replaces brick bat coba and reduced the weight on the surface of the roof, gives a very good

It is important that the key persons in the field of real estate and construction industry should
appreciate the advantages of green building and its benefits, but unfortunately they mix the cost
benefit of these green buildings.

In one of the reports conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
(WBCSD). Respondents to a 1400 person global survey estimated the additional cost of building
green at 17% above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about
5%. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19% of
world total, while the actual number of 40% is double this.3

Existing technologies combined with common sense design can increase energy efficiency by 35
percent and reduce heating costs by 80 percent for the average building in industrialized markets.

Life cycle analysis shows that 80 to 85% of the total energy consumption and CO2 emissions of a
building comes from occupancy through heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water use.
Buildings already represent approximately 40% of primary energy use globally and energy
consumption in buildings is projected to rise substantially in the world¶s most populous and fast
growing countries such as China and India.

It would also be interesting to note that we can perhaps use environmental friendly green
material, some them are:

= 0!*   : Unused or waste material from one manufacturing or energy producing

process that can be used in another manufacturing or energy producing process.
= %
: Avoidance of landfill disposal of a material or product through reuse or
= )  )
!: All of the energy required in the raw material extraction,
manufacturing, distribution, and transport of a material product up to its point of use.
= A - 
: Possible Climate warming effect caused by the manufacture
and/ or use of a material or product compared to that of carbon dioxide which has a GWP
of 1.0.
= "
 5 !: Condition of air inside buildings with respect to harmful
concentrations of contaminants, volatile organic compounds and particulates.
= '! : All stages of production, including raw materials extraction, manufacturing,
distribution, use, maintenance, reuse or recycling, disposal, and all transportation.
= #*A
: Releasing of gases or vapours into the air
=  !
: Materials that are replenished relatively quickly, usually in less than
10 years.
=  ! : `aving the potential for being recycled by possessing such traits as highly
recoverable, easily separated from other materials, not contaminated by toxic coating etc.
=  ! 

: Portion of material or product that is made from recovered material.
=  %  : Materials or products from building deconstruction or
demolition that are reused µas ±is¶ with little or no processing or modification
= c  : Material or product, typically long lasting and not biodegradable, disposed
of in landfills or incinerators.
= c    
: Separation of waste materials by material type at the point of use to
facilitate recycling.
= $  !  : Materials or products that are monitored by independent
organizations for compliance with recognized environmental standards.

Quite often, it is extremely difficult to accurately assess the environmental performance of a

building material or product over its entire life cycle. In many cases, the GBP relies on third
party certification organization to accomplish this task.

$ /A

We have been emphasizing on green concrete. We would once again say that ecological
engineering is an emerging field, it permits us to develop design of sustainable ecosystem with
integrate human society.

We can avoid sound pollution by using lightweight minerals. Many home owners and the
designers prefer to add bright lights because it gives a better feeling of architecture, it lights up
garden and tress but we forget that the by-product of all these is light pollution.

What is light pollution? When the light is shining into your neighbor¶s house it creates a sky
glow effect, it can cause glare and so many other problems. Light pollution is also harmful to
wild life and equally to human beings.

Infact several European countries and the US have very aggressively pursued the project of green
roofs or terrace gardens. This would help mitigate the urban heat insland effect, reduce storm
water runoff, improve building insulation and increase green space and biodiversity in urban

Progress in horticultural engineering, including improvements in drought-resistant plants, and

advances in waterproofing systems aided the gradual development of a viable green roof
industry. Germany has been on the forefront in this field and has subsidized green roof costs.

Green roofs are the result of a complete underlying roof build-up system, providing continuous,
uninterrupted layers of protection and drainage. Recent advances in technology have made them
lighter, more durable and better able to withstand the extreme conditions of the rooftop.


If waterproofing is not done and is not effective, it can encourage the growth of algae, fungus,
mosses which are the natural sources of bacteria and in-house pollution, radon gases which
causes disease like asthma and diabetes mainly in children.

The benefits of green buildings are many: greater energy efficiency, reduced water consumption,
longer useful life, better health conditions for occupants, and much more. All of these factors can
improve the value of a building over the long term and reduce operational costs. `owever, the
mistaken perception exists that green building ³costs too much´ without a commensurate return
on investment. Therefore, we conclude that waterproofing is a critical step but should be based
on environmental friendly, non-toxic and energy saving techniques.

1. US Emission Inventory 2004 Executive summary p.10
2. SRI Consulting SCUP Report
3. World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
4. Togero, 2004


 !c, Scientist, and , 

, Deputy Director and `ead, Concrete Composites
Lab Structural Engineering Research Centre, CSIR, Chennai
Excessive evaporation of water (internal or external) from fresh concrete should be avoided;
otherwise, the degree of cement hydration would get lowered and thereby concrete may develop
unsatisfactory properties. Curing operations should ensure that adequate amount of water is
available for cement hydration to occur. This paper discusses different aspects of achieving
optimum cure of concrete without the need for applying external curing methods.


The ACI-308 Code states that ³internal curing refers to the process by which the hydration of
cement occurs because of the availability of additional internal water that is not part of the
mixing Water.´ Conventionally, curing concrete means creating conditions such that water is not
lost from the surface i.e., curing is taken to happen µfrom the outside to inside¶. In contrast,
µinternal curing¶ is allowing for curing µfrom the inside to outside¶ through the internal reservoirs
(in the form of saturated lightweight fine aggregates, superabsorbent polymers, or saturated
wood fibers) Created. µInternal curing¶ is often also referred as µSelf±curing.¶


When the mineral admixtures react completely in a blended cement system, their demand for
curing water (external or internal) can be much greater than that in a conventional ordinary
Portland cement concrete. When this water is not readily available, due to depercolation of the
capillary porosity, for example, significant autogenous deformation and (early-age) cracking may

Due to the chemical shrinkage occurring during cement hydration, empty pores are created
within the cement paste, leading to a reduction in its internal relative humidity and also to
shrinkage which may cause early-age cracking. This situation is intensified in `PC (compared to
conventional concrete) due to its generally higher cement content, reduced water/cement (w/ c)
ratio and the pozzolanic mineral admixtures (fly ash, silica fume). The empty pores created
during self-desiccation induce shrinkage stresses and also influence the kinetics of cement
hydration process, limiting the final degree of hydration. The strength achieved by IC could be
more than that possible under saturated curing conditions.

Often specially in `PC, it is not easily possible to provide curing water from the top surface at
the rate required to satisfy the ongoing chemical shrinkage, due to the extremely low
permeabilities often achieved.

h  "
The following materials can provide internal water reservoirs:

= Lightweight Aggregate (natural and synthetic, expanded shale),

= LWS Sand (Water absorption =17 %)
= LWA 19mm Coarse (Water absorption = 20%)
= Super-absorbent Polymers (SAP) (60-300 mm size)
= SRA (Shrinkage Reducing Admixture) (propylene glycol type i.e. polyethylene-glycol)
= Wood powder


Some specific water-soluble chemicals added during the mixing can reduce water evaporation
from and within the set concrete, making it µself-curing.¶ The chemicals should have abilities to
reduce evaporation from solution and to improve water retention in ordinary Portland cement

c * 
 ! c "
The common SAPs are added at rate of 0±0.6 wt % of cement. The SAPs are covalently cross-
linked. They are Acrylamide/acrylic acid copolymers. One type of SAPs are suspension
polymerized, spherical particles with an average particle size of approximately 200 mm; another
type of SAP is solutionpolymerized and then crushed and sieved to particle sizes in the range of
125±250 mm. The size of the swollen SAP particles in the cement pastes and mortars is about
three times larger due to pore fluid absorption. The swelling time depends especially on the
particle size distribution of the SAP. It is seen that more than 50% swelling occurs within the
first 5 min after water addition. The water content in SAP at reduced R` is indicated by the
sorption isotherm.

SAPs are a group of polymeric materials that have the ability to absorb a significant amount of
liquid from the surroundings and to retain the liquid within their structure without dissolving.
SAPs are principally used for absorbing water and aqueous solutions; about 95% of the SAP
world production is used as a urine absorber in disposable diapers. SAPs can be produced with
water absorption of up to 5000 times their own weight. `owever, in dilute salt solutions, the
absorbency of commercially produced SAPs is around 50 g/g. They can be produced by either
solution or suspension polymerization, and the particles may be prepared in different sizes and
shapes including spherical particles. The commercially important SAPs are covalently cross-
linked polyacrylates and copolymerized polyacrylamides/ polyacrylates. Because of their ionic
nature and interconnected structure, they can absorb large quantities of water without dissolving.
From a chemical point of view, all the water inside a SAP can essentially be considered as bulk
water. SAPs exist in two distinct phase states, collapsed and swollen. The phase transition is a
result of a competitive balance between repulsive forces that act to expand the polymer network
and attractive forces that act to shrink the network. The macromolecular matrix of a SAP is a
polyelectrolyte, i.e., a polymer with ionisable groups that can dissociate in solution, leaving ions
of one sign bound to the chain and counter-ions in solution. For this reason, a high concentration
of ions exists inside the SAP leading to a water flow into the SAP due to osmosis. Another factor
contributing to increase the swelling is water solvation of hydrophilic groups present along the
polymer chain. Elastic free energy opposes swelling of the SAP by a retractive force.

SAPs exist in two distinct phase states, collapsed and swollen. The phase transition is a result of
a competitive balance between repulsive forces that act to expand the polymer network and
attractive forces that act to shrink the network.

-  c4 
Water/moisture required for internal curing can be supplied by incorporation of saturated-
surfacedry (SSD) lightweight fine aggregates (LWA).

- % '- c4 

It is estimated by measuring desorption of the LWA in SSD condition after exposed to a salt
solution of potassium nitrate (equilibrium R` of 93%). The total absorption capacity of the
LWA can be measured by drying a Saturated Surface Dry (SSD) sample in a dessicator.

'- "

About 67% of the water absorbed in the LWA can get transported to self-desiccating paste. Some
water remains always in the LWA in the high R` range and it becomes useful when the overall
R` humidity in concrete is significantly reduced. The water retained in LWA in air-dry
condition may not be enough to prevent autogenous shrinkage whose magnitude, however, may
be reduced significantly. The fine lightweight aggregate, in saturated condition, produce a more
uniform distribution of the water needed for curing throughout the microstructure.

The grain size of the LWA used as curing agent should be less in order to minimise the paste±
aggregate proximity, i.e. the distance to which the internal curing water could diffuse. The grain
size of down to 2±4 mm are found to be beneficial.
†  ! '-c  
At the surface of the concrete, as the water evaporates from the concrete surface, a humidity
gradient develops. This accelerates the appearance of the localized humidity gradients. The water
from the LWA near the surface is then used up faster than in the interior of the concrete thus
causing the near-surface layer of the concrete to become denser in a shorter time. This helps
reduce the amount of water that would normally evaporate and contributes to improve internal
curing of the concrete. It also leads to reduced or no stresses due to drying helping in eliminating
the surface cracking.

As the cement hydrates, the water will be drawn from the relatively ³large´ pores in the LWA
into the much smaller ones in the cement paste. This will minimise the development of
autogenous shrinkage as the shrinkage stress is controlled by the size of the empty pores, via the
Kelvin- Laplace equation.

The radii of capillary pores formed during hydration in the cement paste are smaller than the
pores of the LWA. When the R` decreases (due to hydration and drying), a humidity gradient
develops; with the LWA acting as a water reservoir, the pores of the cement paste absorb water
from the LWA by capillary suction. The unhydrated cement particles from the cement paste now
have more free-water available for hydration and new hydration products grow in the pores of
the cement paste thus causing them to become smaller. The capillary suction, which is the
inverse to the square of the pore radius, increases as the radius becomes smaller and thus
enabling the pores to continue to absorb water from the LWA. This continues until most of the
water from the LWA has been transported to the cement paste.

'- "

Crushed LWA could provide a better surface for binder interaction as the pelletising process
often produces LWAs with sealed surface. The vesicular surface resulting from the crushing
operation allows paste penetration and provides more surface area for reaction between the
aggregate and paste. The transition zone associated with a crushed aggregate has advantages over
a more smooth and sealed surface.

- 5 c4 

It depends upon chemical and autogenous shrinkages expected during hydration reactions.

$!  c

Shrinkages may occur at earlyages or at later ages over a longer period; different types of
shrinkages may be identified as :
Drying shrinkage, autogenous shrinkage, thermal shrinkage, and carbonation shrinkage.

Chemical shrinkage is an internal volume reduction due to the absolute volume of the hydration

Products being less than that of the reactants (cement and water). For example: `ydration of
tricalcium silicate:

C3S + 5.3 ` -> C1.7S`4 + 1.3 C`

Molar volumes

71.1 + 95.8 -> 107.8 + 43 i.e, 166.9 -> 150.8


Chemical shrinkage = (150.8 ±166.9) / 166.9 = -0.096 mL/mL = -0.0704 mL/g cement

For complete reaction of each gram of tricalcium silicate, there is a need to supply 0.07 gram of
extra curing water to maintain saturated conditions. (A value of 0.053 for 75% hydration at 28
day was experimentally observed by Powers in 1935).

 !   c
Portland cement hydration is typically accompanied by a chemical shrinkage on the order of 0.07
mass of water per mass of cement for complete hydration: for silica fume, slag, and fly ash, these
coefficients are about 0.22, 0.18, and 0.10 to 0.16, respectively. It can be measured by ASTM
standard test method, C1608

It is as a volume change in concrete occurring without moisture transfer from the environment
intoconcrete. It is due to the internal chemical and structural reactions of the concrete.
Autogenous shrinkage is prominent in `PCs due to the reduced amount of water and increased
amount of various binders used.

At early ages (the first few hours), before the concrete has formed a hardened skeleton,
autogenous shrinkage is often due to only chemical shrinkage. At later ages (>1+days), the
autogenous shrinkage can also result from self-desiccation since the hardened skeleton resists the
chemical shrinkage.

The external (macroscopic) dimensional reduction of the cementitious system under isothermal
sealed curing conditions; can be 100 to 1000 micro strains.

It is the localized drying resulting from a decreasing relative humidity (R`) which could be the
result of the cement requiring extra water for hydration. It is the reduction in the internal relative
humidity of a sealed system when empty pores are generated.


The finer porosity of `SC/`PC (with a low w/c), causes the water meniscus to have a greater
radius of curvature, causing large compressive stress on the pore walls, leading to greater
autogenous shrinkage as the paste is pulled inwards. Self±desiccation is only a risk when there is
not enough localized water in the paste for the cement to hydrate and it occurs the water is drawn
out of the capillary pore spaces between the solid particles. At later ages, a strong correlation
exists between internal relative humidity and free autogenous shrinkage.

Mineral admixtures, such as fly ash and silica fume, in concrete tend to refine the pore structure
towards a finer microstructure thereby water consumption will be increased and the autogenous
shrinkage due to self-desiccation will be increased.


2  c
Chemical shrinkage creates empty pores within hydrating paste and stress generated is stimated
by equation:

ıcap = 2 *Ȗ / r = - In (R`) * R * T / Rm

where Ȗ,Rm = Surface tension and molar volume of the pore solution,

r = the radius of the largest water-filled pore (or the smallest empty pore),

R = the universal gas constant, and T is the absolute temperature

The sizes of empty pores regulate both internal R` and capillary stresses. These stresses cause a
physical autogenous deformation (shrinkage strain) given by:

İ = ( S * ıcap/ 3 ) * [ (1/K) ± (1/Ks)]

where İ = shrinkage (negative strain), S = degree of saturation (0 to 1) or volume fraction of

waterfilled pores, K = bulk modulus of elasticity of the porous material, and Ks = bulk modulus
of the solid framework within the porous material.

The above equation is only approximate for a partiallysaturated visco-elastic material such as
hydrating cement paste, but still provides insight into the physical mechanism of autogenous
shrinkage and the importance of various physical parameters The internal drying is analogous to
external drying shrinkage.


Reduction of autogenous shrinkage due to external curing in `PCs is possible for first one or two
days when the capillary pores are yet interconnected. Early water curing can lead to higher strain
gradients when the skin of the concrete becomes well cured (no shrinkage) whereas, autogenous
shrinkage, which is generally difficult to control, begins at the interior of the concrete. These
problems can be mitigated by use of a pre-soaked LWA.


This can be done by:

i. Measuring weight-loss
ii. X-Ray powder diffraction
iii. X-Ray microchromatography
iv. Thermogravimetry (TGA) measurements
v. Initial surface absorption tests (ISAT)
vi. Compressive strength
vii. Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
viii. Change internal R` with time
ix. Water permeability
x. NMR spectroscopy

Advantages of Internal Curing

a. Internal curing (IC) is a method to provide the water to hydrate all the cement,
accomplishing what the mixing water alone cannot do. In low w/c ratio mixes (under 0.43
and increasingly those below 0.40) absorptive lightweight aggregate, replacing some of
the sand, provides water that is desorbed into the mortar fraction (paste) to be used as
additional curing water. The cement, not hydrated by low amount of mixing water, will
have more water available to it.
b. IC provides water to keep the relative humidity (R`) high, keeping self-desiccation from
c. IC eliminates largely autogenous shrinkage.
d. IC maintains the strengths of mortar/concrete at the early age (12 to 72 hrs.) above the
level where internally & externally induced strains can cause cracking.
e. IC can make up for some of the deficiencies of external curing, both human related
(critical period when curing is required is the first 12 to 72 hours) and hydration related
(because hydration products clog the passageways needed for the fluid curing water to
travel to the cement particles thirsting for water). Following factors establish the
dynamics of water movement to the unhydrated cement particles:
i. Thirst for water by the hydrating cement particles is very intense,
ii. Capillary action of the pores in the concrete is very strong, and
iii. Water in the properly distributed particles of LWA (fine) is very fluid.


The benefit from IC can be expected when

= Cracking of concrete provides passageways resulting in deterioration of reinforcing steel,

= low early-age strength is a problem,
= permeability or durability must be improved,
= rheology of concrete mixture, modulus of elasticity of the finished product or durability
of high fly-ash concretes are considerations.
= Need for: reduced construction time, quicker turnaround time in precast plants, lower
maintenance cost, greater performance and predictability.

Improvements to Concrete due to Internal Curing

= Reduces autogenous cracking,

= largely eliminates autogenous shrinkage,
= Reduces permeability,
= Protects reinforcing steel,
= Increases mortar strength,
= Increases early age strength sufficient to withstand strain,
= Provides greater durability,
= `igher early age (say 3 day) flexural strength
= `igher early age (say 3 day) compressive strength,
= Lower turnaround time,
= Improved rheology
= Greater utilization of cement,
= Lower maintenance,
= use of higher levels of fly ash,
= higher modulus of elasticity, or
= through mixture designs, lower modulus
= sharper edges,
= greater curing predictability,
= higher performance,
= improves contact zone,
= does not adversely affect finishability,
= does not adversely affect pumpability,
= reduces effect of insufficient external curing.

)    c3

Internal curing by saturated lightweight aggregate can eliminate autogenous shrinkage with the
smallest possible amount of lightweight aggregate. The grain size of the LWA used as curing
agent needs to be reduced in order to minimize the paste± aggregate proximity, i.e. the distance
to which the internal curing water should diffuse. The reduction of the grain size (down to 2±4
mm), is shown to be beneficial. `owever, the further reduction of grain size could result in a
decrease of curing efficiency.

The effectiveness of internal curing depends not only on whether there is sufficient water in the
LWA, but also on whether it is readily available to the surrounding cement paste as well. `ence,
if the distance from some location in the cement paste to the nearest LWA surface is too great,
water cannot permeate fully within an acceptable time interval. This distance can be called the
paste± aggregate proximity. Alternatively, aggregate distribution can be described by means of
aggregate± aggregate proximity, which is the distance between two nearest LWA surfaces, often
called spacing. For a given amount of aggregate, the paste±aggregate proximity can be adjusted
by the size of the aggregate. The finer the aggregate size, the closer will be the paste± aggregate

The LWA can be used for internal curing without considerable detrimental effects on strength
when added in the amounts just required to eliminate self-desiccation.

X     7


For self-curing, besides providing necessary quantity of water inside the matrix, it is essential to
ensure the proximity of the cement paste to the surfaces of the source of water so that required
high R` is generated around the cement grains for hydration reaction. In this regard, the
³protected paste volume´ concept is useful to recognise the effective volume of cement paste.
For this, the aggregates are represented by impenetrable spherical or ellipsoidal particles and
each aggregate particle is surrounded by a soft penetrable shell representing the interfacial
transition zone. Instead of the interfacial transition zones, the saturated LWA (fine aggregate)
particles surrounded by a shell of variable thickness can be assumed for evaluation. Then, by
systematic point sampling, one can determine the volume fraction of paste contained within these
shells and hence the relative proximity of the cement paste to the additional water.


- %  

The transport distance of water within the concrete is limited by depercolation of the capillary
pores in low w/c ratio pastes. With water-reservoirs well distributed within the matrix, shorter
distances have to be covered by the curing water and the efficiency of the internal-curing process
is consequently improved. The concept of internal curing was established, based on dispersion of
very small, saturated LWA throughout the concrete, which serve as tiny reservoirs with
sufficient water to compensate for self-desiccation. The spacing between the LWA particles is
conveniently small so that the water travels smaller distances to counteract self-desiccation. The
amount of water in the LWA can therefore be minimized, thus economising on the content of the

$% -  c  '-

Estimates of travel of internal water from the surface of water reservoir in the concrete matrix
= early hydration ² 20 mm
= middle hydration ² 5 mm
= late hydration ² 1 mm or less
= ³worst case´ ² 0.25 mm (250 ìm)

(Early and middle hydration estimates in agreement with x-ray absorption-based observations on
mortars during curing).

c3   "

- c 
Water is held in pores primarily by capillary forces. Only pore sizes above approximately 100
nm are useful for storage of internal curing water. In smaller pores the water is held so tightly
that it is not available for the cementitious reactions. Since some of the water absorbed by the
LWA in the smaller pores will not be released to the hardening cement paste, an amount of water
more than sufficient to counteract selfdesiccation should be absorbed in the LWA. A great
quantity of water is in fact entrapped in the internal porosity of the larger particles; one should
consider that only about half of it is available for internal curing. In case of smaller fraction, the
opposite seems to hold: the absorption is lower, but almost 80 % of the water is lost by 85% R`.


The major problem of cracking in pavements may be alleviated by internal curing, besides
imparting many potential benefits.

 " )!* (

The IC can influence the µEarly- Age Cracking Contributors¶ which are mainly thermal effects
and autogenous shrinkage. During initial ages of concrete, hydration heat can raise concrete
temperature significantly (causing expansion), subsequent thermal contraction during cooling
can lead to early-age (global or local) cracking if restrained (globally or locally). Another
prominent effect would be autogenous shrinkage, especially in concretes with lower water-binder
ratios where sufficient curing water cannot be supplied externally, the chemical shrinkage
accompanying the hydration reactions will lead to self-desiccation and significant autogenous
shrinkage (and possibly cracking).


% 2 ! 
IC distributes the extra curing water throughout the 3-D concrete microstructure so that it is more

readily available to maintain saturation of the cement paste during hydration, avoiding
selfdesiccation (in the paste) and reducing autogenous shrinkage. Because the autogenous
stresses are inversely proportional to the diameter of the pores being emptied, for IC to do its job,
the individual pores in the internal reservoirs should be much larger than the typical sizes of the
capillary pores (micrometers) in hydrating cement paste.
) %
IC can be experimentally measured by:

= Internal R`
= Autogenous deformation
= Compressive strength development
= Degree of hydration
= Restrained shrinkage or ring tests
= 3-D X-ray microtomography (Direct observation of e 3-D microstructure of cement-
based materials).

The internal curing (IC) by the addition of saturated lightweight fine aggregates is an effective
means of drastically reducing autogenous shrinkage. Since autogenous shrinkage is a main
contributor to early-age cracking, it is expected that IC would also reduce such cracking. An
additional benefit of IC beyond autogenous shrinkage reduction is increase in compressive
strength. As internal curing maintains saturated conditions within the hydrating cement paste, the
magnitude of internal self-desiccation stresses are reduced and long term hydration is increased.
IC is particularly effective for the highperformance concretes containing silica fume and GGBS.
In cement mortar containing a Type F fly ash, the fly ash functions mainly as a dilutent at early
ages, and higher and coarser porosity at early ages result in less autogenous shrinkage.

The self-desiccation is the reduction in internal relative humidity of a sealed hydrating cement
system when empty pores are generated. This occurs when chemical shrinkage takes place at the
stage where the paste matrix has developed a self-supportive skeleton, and the chemical
shrinkage is larger than the autogenous shrinkage. Effects of self-desiccation depend on the sizes
of the generated empty pores. These pore sizes in turn are dependent on the initial waterto-
binder ratio (w/b), the particle size distributions of the binder components, and their achieved
degree of hydration. The continuing trends towards finer cements and much lower w/b have
significantly reduced the capillary pore ³diameters´ (spacing) in the paste component of the fresh
concrete, and have often resulted in materials and structures where the effects of self-desiccation
are all to visible as early-age cracking. Many strategies for minimizing the detrimental effects of
selfdesiccation (mainly the high internal stresses and strains that may lead to early-age cracking),
such as internal curing, rely on providing a ³sacrificial´ set of larger water-filled pores within the
concrete microstructure that will empty first while the smaller pores in the hydrating binder paste
will remain saturated. It may be noted that the effects of self-desiccation are not always
detrimental, as exemplified by the benefits offered by self-desiccation in terms of an earlier R`
reduction for flooring applications and an increased resistance to frost damage.

IC is useful when µperformance specifications¶ are important than µprescriptive specifications¶

for concrete. Prime applications of IC could be: concrete pavements. precast concrete operations,
parking structures, bridges, `PC projects, and architectural concretes. Concrete, in the 21st
century, needs to be more controlled by the choice of ingredients rather than by the uncertainties
of construction practices and the weather. Instead of curing through external applications of
water, concrete quality will be engineered through the incorporation of water absorbed within the
internal curing agent.


The authors thank Dr. N. Lakshmanan, Director, SERC, Chennai, for permitting to publish this
Bibliography on Selfcuring (Internal Curing)

1. Bentz, D.P., ³Capillary Porosity Depercolation/Repercolation in `ydrating Cement

Pastes via Low Temperature Calorimetry Measurements and CEM`YD3D Modeling,´
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 89 (8), 2606-2611, 2006.
2. Bentz, D.P., ³Influence of Curing Conditions on Water Loss and `ydration in Cement
Pastes with and without Fly Ash Substitution,´ NISTIR 6886, U.S. Dept. Commerce, July
3. Bentz, D.P., and Snyder, K.A., ³Protected Paste Rolume in Concrete: Extension to
Internal Curing Using Saturated Lightweight Fine Aggregates,´ Cement and Concrete
Research. 29, 1863-1867, 1999.
4. Bentz, D.P., and Stutzman, P.E., ³Curing, `ydration, and Microstructure of Cement
Paste,´ ACI Materials Journal, 103 (5), 348-356, 2006.
5. Bentz, D.P., Garboczi, E.J., and Snyder, K.A., ³A `ard Core/Soft Shell Microstructural
Model for Studying Percolation and Transport in Three±Dimensional Composite Media,´
NISTIR 6265, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1999.
6. Bentz, D.P., `alleck, P.M., Grader, A.S., and Roberts, J.W., ³Direct Observation of
Water Movement during Internal Curing Using X-ray Microtomography,´ Concrete
International, 28 (10), 39-45, 2006.
7. Bentz, D.P., Lura, P., and Roberts, J.W., ³Mixture Proportioning for Internal Curing,´
Concrete International, 27 (2), 35-40, 2005.
8. Bilek, B et al, ³The possibility of self-curing concrete Proc Name Innovations and
developments in concrete materials and construction.´ Proc. Intl Conf. University of
Dundee, UK. 9-11 September 2002.
9. Cusson, D., and `oogeveen, T., ³Internally-Cured `igh- Performance Concrete under
Restrained Shrinkage and Creep,´ CONCREEP 7 Workshop on Creep, Shrinkage and
Durability of Concrete and Concrete Structures, Nantes, France, Sept. 12-14, 2005, pp.
10. De Jesus Cano Barrita, F.; Bremner, T.W.; Balcom, B.J., ³Use of magnetic resonance
imaging to study internal moist curing in concrete containing saturated lightweight
aggregate,´ `igh-performance structural lightweight concrete. ACI fall convention,
Arizona, October 30, 2002. ACI SP 218.
11. Dhir, R.K. `ewlett, P.C. Dyer, T.D., ³Mechanisms of water retention in cement pastes
containing a self-curing agent,´ Magazine of Concrete Research, Rol No 50, Issue No 1,
1998, pp

12. Geiker, M.R., Bentz, D.P., and Jensen, O.M., ³Mitigating Autogenous Shrinkage by
Internal Curing,´ `igh Performance Structural Lightweight Concrete, SP-218, J.P. Ries
and T.A. `olm, eds., American Concrete Institute, Farmington `ills, MI, 2004, pp. 143-
13. Geiker, M.R.; Bentz, D.P.; Jensen, O.M., ³Mitigating autogenous shrinkage by internal
curing, `igh-performance structural lightweight concrete.´ ACI fall convention, Arizona,
October 30, 2002. ACI SP 218.
14. `ammer, T.A.; Bjontegaard, O.; Sellevold, E.J., ³Internal curingrole of absorbed water in
aggregates, `igh-performance structural lightweight concrete.´ ACI fall convention,
Arizona, October 30, 2002. ACI SP 218.
15. `off, G. C., ³The Use of Lightweight Fines for the Internal Curing of Concrete,´
Northeast Solite Corporation, Richmond, Ra., USA, August 20, 2002, 37 pp.
16. `off, G.C., ³Internal Curing of Concrete Using Lightweight Aggregates,´ Theodore
Bremner Symposium, Sixth CANMET/ACI, International Conference on Durability,
Thessaloniki, Greece, June 1-7 (2003).
17. Kewalramani, M.A.; Gupta, R, ³Experimental study of concrete strength through an eco-
friendly curing technique,´ Advances in concrete technology and concrete structures for
the future. Dec 18-19, 2003. Annamalainagar.
18. Kovler, K.; et.al., ³Pre-soaked lightweight aggregates as additives for internal curing of
high-strength concrete´s, Cement, Concrete and Aggregates, No 2, Dec. 2004, pp 131-
19. Lura, P., ³Autogenous Deformation and Internal Curing of Concrete,´ Ph.D. Thesis,
Technical University Delft, Delft, The Netherlands, 2003.
20. Mangaiarkarasi, R.; Damodarasamy, S.R., ³Self curing concrete today¶s and tomorrow¶s
need of construction world,´ INCRAC & CT 2005±Proc Intl Conf on recent advances in
concrete and construction technology. 7-9 December 2005, Chennai. Rol.2.
21. Mather, B., `ime, W.G., ³Amount of Water Required for Complete `ydration of
Portland Cement,´ Concrete International, Rol. 24, No. 6, June, 56-58 (2002).
22. Powers, T.C., Brownyard, T.L., ³Studies of the Physical Properties of `ardened Portland
Cement Paste,´ Bulletin 22, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Illinois, 992 pp.
23. Troli, R. et al. ³Self compacting /curing/compressing concrete, Global Constr. : Ultimate
concrete opportunities : Admixtures±enhancing concrete performance.´ 6th Intl.congress.
Univ of Dundee, UK. 5 July 2005.
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curing of high strength concrete to eliminate autogenous shrinkage,´ Materials and
Structures, 35(246)40, 2002, Page 097-101.

#%% c % 

cc, Consultant (Building Materials' Former United Nations Expert on Building
Materials, Chandigarh

There has been rapid advances in concrete technology during the past three decades or so. The
improvement in strength and other structural properties achieved earlier through the use of steel
reinforcement are now accepted as routine and the reinforced cement concrete and pre±stressed
concrete have become conventional materials. Later work led to the development of a variety of
concretes in the form of, among others, fibre reinforced concrete, polymer concrete,
Ferrocement, sulphur concrete, lightweight aggregate concrete, autoclaved cellular concrete,
high-density concrete, ready-mixed concrete, self-compacting concrete, rollercompacted
concrete, high strength concrete, super high-strength concrete, high performance concrete, high-
volume fly ash concrete, self-curing concrete, floating concrete and smart concrete (1-27). Some
of these concretes are briefly discussed here.


Different types of mineral, organic and metallic fibres have been used. Among the mineral
fibres, use of asbestos in the production of asbestos cement products is well known. Since, water
absorption of the asbestos fibre is high, its use in concrete increases water requirement.
Consequently, there is reduction in strength of the concrete. Organic fibres such as, coir, jute,
rayon and polyester are attacked by the highly alkaline condition in concrete. As a result,
concrete containing these fibres loses strength with time. Other organic fibres namely, nylon,
polypropylene and polyethylene are alkali-resistant. But, due to their lower modulus of elasticity,
the incorporation of these fibres do not increase strength. Concrete containing nylon or
polypropylene fibres, however is reported to develop higher impact resistance. Rirgin Poly-
Propylene fibers of structural grades, such as Forta Ferro Fibres, having high strength and
moduls of elasticity are now available from FORTA Corpn USA. These are being extensively
used all over world for Pavement/highways/Runway construction, Fibreshotcreting of tunnels,
Repair and Rehab jobs and Bridge deck construction incl India. Among all fibres the use of steel
fibre in concrete has received far greater attention, in the past but because of the corrosion
problem structural grade poly propylene and other synth fibers are taking over now.

The compressive strength, tensile strength, fatique strength, modulus of elasticity, abrasion
resistance, skid resistance and thermal conductivity of steel fibre reinforced concrete has been
found to be slightly higher than the corresponding plain concrete. While creep and shrinkage are
more or less unaffected, there is over 100 percent increase in the flexural strength and impact
toughness of plain concrete when reinforced with steel fibre, 2 percent by volume. At the same
fibre content, use of a blend of fibres having different aspect ratio, in place of single aspect ratio
fibre, gives greater structural benefits. It has also been found more beneficial as well as
economical to use steel fibres only in the tensile zone of the flexural member. Unlike plain
concrete, steel, fibre reinforced concrete is not brittle and offers far greater resistance to
cracking. The fibres act as crack arrestors and restrict the growth of flaws in concrete from
enlarging under stress into visible cracks. The ultimate failure is reached only when some of the
fibres get pulled out of the matrix. As compared to plain concrete, the resistance of steel fibre
reinforced concrete to thermal shock and heat spalling is also far superior.

The major applications of steel fibre reinforced concrete are in pavements (both for new
construction and overlays), precast concrete units, concrete reactor pressure vessels, blast
resistant structures, machine foundations, tunnel linings and structures requiring resistance to
thermal shocks, such as refractory linings.

Depending upon the method of monomer incorporation into the concrete, the polymer concrete is
termed as

i. polymer impregnated concrete, when dried precast concrete is impregnated with

monomer and polymerized in-situ,
ii. polymer cement concrete, when cement, aggregate, water and monomer are mixed
together and polymerized after laying and,
iii. polymer concrete, when aggregate and monomer are mixed together and polymerized
after laying.

A number of factors such as distance to be penetrated, degree of drying, total porosity and pore
size in concrete, monomer viscosity, whether or not vacuum and/or pressure is applied, influence
the extent of monomer filling in polymer impregnated concrete. The widely used monomers are
methly methacrylate, styrene, acrylonitrile and chlorostyrene. The monomer polymerization is
done either by thermal catalytic process or by radiation.

As compared to plain concrete, the strength and other properties of polymer concrete are
considerably higher. At 6 per cent polymer loading, the mechanical properties of polymer
impregnated concrete vis-à-vis corresponding plain concrete were found to be as follows:

= Compressive strength, 2 to 4 times higher

= Tensile strength, about 4 times higher
= Modulus or Elasticity, About 4 times higher
= Creep and Permeability, Almost Nil

With almost nil permeability, the polymer impregnated concrete has much greater resistance to
the attack of acidic and/or sulphate containing waters

Economics permitting, applications of polymer concrete having good scope are: concrete pipe
manufacture, concrete piles, concrete tiles, tunnel supports and linings, precast concrete decks,
precast concrete building units for use in aggressive conditions, desalting structures, lightweight
concrete constructions and providing surface protection to cast in-Situ concrete.


Ferrocement is a kind of reinforced concrete in which the matrix is cement mortar,

microconcrete and the reinforcement is in the form of layers of wire mesh or similar small
diameter steel mesh closely bound together to produce a stiff structural form. The mix
proportions of the cement mortar usually are: cement 1 part, sand 1.5 to 2.5 parts and water 0.35
to 0.5 part, by weight. Admixtures are added in the mix for improving to properties. The
maximum size of sand grains depends upon the mesh opening and reinforcing system to ensure
proper penetration. Different types of wire mesh such as, hexagonal wire mesh (commonly
known as chicken wire mesh), welded wire mesh, woven mesh, expanded metal mesh, are used.
Use of `exagonal Mesh is not preferred due to its poor resistance to loads. The mechanical
behavior of Ferrocement is greatly influenced by the type, quantity, orientation and strength
properties of the mesh. The thickness of ferrocement elements range from 2 to 3 cm with 2 to 3
mm external cover. When additional strength is required, one or more layers of steel bars are
inserted between the inner layers of the mesh. Use of short random fibres in Ferrocement
elements at the same steel content has been found to greatly increase the modulus of elasticity
and strength. Polymer impregnation of the Ferrocement elements, with and without short random
fibres is reported to considerably improve upon these properties.

Ferrocement has a variety of applications. The important among these are: construction of
fishing and cargo boats, grain storage bins, water storage tanks, biogas holders and digesters,
fermentation tanks, precast roofing and walling units, cooling towers, sewage troughs, septic
tanks, irrigation channels, drying pans for agricultural products, shutters and formwork for use in
concrete constructions, lining for tunnels and mines, and providing waterproofing treatment over
RCC or RB roofs, lining of surface of tanks or swimming pools. Ferrocement has been
successfully used in india by SERC (G)'s Material Science Group for construction of domes,
large tanks, manhole covers, Drainage units and for repair and rehab of structures. the new
techniques and applications developed by this group are being used on large scale on commercial

IS: 456-2000 designates concrete having 28-day compressive strength of 60 to 80 N/mm2
corresponding to grades M60 to M80 as high strength concrete (`SC).

The production of `SC requires stringent control on the quality of materials used. The Portland
cement should, preferrably, be of 53 grade conforming to IS: 12269- 1987. Crushed stone coarse
aggregates produced from trap, quartzite or granite give higher strength and are more suitable
than rounded gravel for use in making `SC, particularly when the desired concrete strength is 70
N/ mm2 or more. Studies on the effect of the size of coarse aggregate on the strength of concrete
showed that smaller size produced higher strength. A maximum coarse aggregate size of 10 mm
is considered suitable for use in `SC. The use of mineral admixtures such as fly ash, silica fume,
metakaoline in combination with suparplasticizers in `SC matrix greatly enhances
impermeability, durability and strength.

The use of `SC in construction offers the advantages of

i. reduction in the size of concrete members with resultant reduction in self-weight,

ii. greater stiffness,
iii. early stripping of formwork and
iv. lowering of construction cost due to reduction in the concrete member size and self-

It has, therefore, been widely used in the construction of highrise buildings and bridges in many
countries including India. A super high-strength concrete, called reactive powder concrete (RPC)
is produced by eliminating the use of coarse aggregate. The concrete matrix consists of cement,
finely ground sand with particle size close to that of cement, silica fume and short steel fibres.
The water/cement ratio is kept very low, around 0.15. The desired workability is obtained by
using higher amounts of super plasticizers. The RPC does not require reinforcement bars. It is
suitable for use in building very thin structures meeting different architectural needs.


`igh performance concrete is defined as concrete that meets special Performance and durability
requirements in terms of mechanical properties, volume stability and longer life in severe
environmental conditions to which the concrete is exposed during its service life. `igh
performance of concrete is generally linked to strength of the concrete; higher the strength, better
the performance. Therefore, in the first place high performance concrete has to be a high strength
concrete. Besides high strength, low permeability of concrete is an essential requirement to
prevent ingress of corrosive waters containing chlorides, sulphates and /or other deleterious salts.
Low permeability is achieved by using higher cement content, mineral admixtures such as fly
ash, Silica fumes, metakaoline or granulated blast furnace slag, and keeping water/cement ratio
low at 0.35 or less. `igher amounts of super plasticizers are used to obtain the desired
workability in the concrete matrix. Workmanship has to be excellent to ensure full compaction
and proper concrete cover over embedded steel reinforcement. All these and subsequent
adequate curing of concrete after laying and regular maintenance of concrete construction ensure
high performance.

*%  !

`igh-volume fly ash concrete technology was developed at the Canada Centre for Mineral and
Energy Technology (CANMET), Ottawa, Canada in 1980¶s. It enables minimizing the amount of
cement required to produce high quality concrete for different types of applications by
incorporating upto 50 to 60 percent fly ash in the concrete mix. The concrete is prepared using a
low water/cement ratio of 0.30, and the desired workability is obtained by using super
plasticizers. While highvolume fly ash concrete was initially developed for mass concrete
construction where low heat of hydration and just enough early strength were required, later
work showed that this concrete developed excellent long-term structural properties, namely
compressive strength, flexural strength, splitting tensile strength, and Young¶s modulus of
elasticity. Its durability measured in terms of its low water permeability, resistance to
carbonation, alkaliaggregate reactions and penetration of chlorides and sulphates, was also found
to be excellent. In view of this, highvolume fly ash concrete is eminently suitable for structural
applications, in addition to its use for building of roads and pavements. It is being used for such
constructions in Canada, U.S.A. and other countries. In India, Ambuja Cements Ltd, has made a
beginning by building two fly ash concrete roads, one at Ropar (Punjab) and another at
Ambujanagar (Gujarat) in 2002, using 50 per cent fly ash in the concrete mix. Both these roads
are reported to be performing very well.


A concrete that gets compacted by itself totally covering reinforcement in the formwork is called
self-compacting concrete (SCC). It is highly flowable, selflevelling, self-defoaming and
coahesive and can be handled without segregation. Like any other super plasticized concrete, the
ingredients in SCC mix consists of cement, coarse and fine aggregates, mineral and chemical
admixtures. A limiting value of coarse aggregate as 50 per cent of the solid volume of the
concrete, and of fine aggregate as 40 per cent of the solid volume of the mortar fraction in the
SCC mix proportion is suggested for achieving good self-compact ability. Commonly used
mineral admixtures are fly ash, silica fume, ground blast furnace slag Chemical admixtures
consists of a super plasticizer and a viscosity modifying admixture. The use of one or more
mineral admixtures having different morphology and particle-size distribution improves
deformability, self-compact ability and stability of the SCC. While the super plasticizer helps
achieving high degree of flow ability at low water/ Cementing material ratio, the viscosity
modifying admixture increases viscosity of the fresh concrete matrix and reduces bleeding.

The SCC has the advantages of easy placement in thin - walled elements densely reinforced
concrete structure, quality, durability and reliability of concrete structures, faster construction
and reduced construction cost.



Curing of concrete by which the concrete, after laying, is kept moist for some days, is essential
for the development of proper strength and durability. IS 456-2000 recommends a curing period
of 7 days for ordinary Portland cement concrete, and 10 to 14 days for concrete prepared using
mineral admixtures or blended cements. But, being the last act in the concreting operations, it is
often neglected or not fully done. Consequently, the quality of hardened concrete suffers, more
so, if the freshly laid concrete gets exposed to the environmental conditions of low humidity,
high Wind velocity and high ambient temperature.

To avoid the adverse effects of neglected or insufficient curing, which is considered a universal
phenomenon, concrete technologist and research scientists in various countries including India,
are working on the development of self-curing concrete. Different lines of action are being
pursued. These include
i. use of water-soaked, surface dry lightweight aggregates which release water when the
concrete starts getting dry and losing water,
ii. develop high early strength concrete, which attains a strength of 20N/mm2 in 30 minutes
and so may not require further curing, and
iii. develop a system by which some ³enteric´ coated particles or capsules containing
membrane-forming curing compound (or a substance that reacts with water to do so) is
distributed over the surface of the concrete slab in the final stages of finishing. The
particles will open if the surface becomes dry and a membrane will form while the
concrete is still water-saturated upto its top but has no free water on the surface.

Smart concrete is a concrete that can take care of its own shortcomings or that can act as a senser
to help detecting internal flaws in it. It is produced by incorporating some changes in the
ingredients of the concrete mix. For instance,

i. due to its high density, the high strength concrete does not permit water vapours to go out
during fire, leading to spalling off concrete cover and damage to concrete members.
Addition of 2kg polypropylene fibres per m3 of high strength concrete mix increases fire
resistance. At high temperature during fire, these fibres melt and leave pores for water
vapours to escape from the concrete surface, thus preventing spalling and damage,
ii. incorporation of 0.5 per cent specially treated carbon fibre in the concrete mix increases
the electrical conductivity of the concrete. Under load, the conductivity decreases but
returns to original on removal of the load. The concrete could thus act as a senser to
a. measure the number, speed and weight of the vehicles moving on concrete
highways, and
b. detect tiny flaws regarding internal condition of concrete construction after an
earthquake, and
iii. Use of porous carbon aggregate, available in the form of coke at the steel plant, in the
concrete mix imparts good electrical conductivity which can help in room heating,
melting of ice on concrete highway and runways by passing low voltage current.

As other areas of research and development (R&D) in concrete technology has been a continuing
process, Different types of concretes, as described above, have been developed from time to
time, to meet the needs of the construction industry. Technologies for self-curing and smart
concrete are still in the development stage, but are expected to be fully developed soon and
available for use in constructions.

= State±of±the±art Report on Fibre Reinforced Concrete, ACI Committee 544, ACI journal,
November 1973, pp-729-743
= Neville, Adam, End, Proceeding: RILEM Symposium on Fibre Reinforced Cement Ltd.
= Parameswaran, R.S., and Krishnamoorthy, T.S., Eds., Proceedings Fibre Reinforced
Concrete, Madras, December 16- 19-1987, Rol.11, Oxford TB` Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.,
New Delhi(India)
= Shah, S.P., Ed., Proceedings: Conference on new Materials in Concrete construction,
University of iiiinoisat Chicago Circle, Chicage, Iiiinois (U.S.A.), 15-17 December 1972
= Proceedings International Symposium on Fibre Reinforced Concrete, ACI Special
Publication, SP-44,American concrete Institute, Detroit (U.S.A.). 1974.
= Swamy, R.N. Concrete Technology & Design, Rol 1 :New Concrete Materials, Rol.2:
New Reinforced Concretes, Rol. 3: Cement Replacement Materials, Rol.4: Ferro cement
Current and potential Applications, Blackie and Sons Ltd. (Publishers). London (U.K.),
= Expansive Cement Concrete, ACI Special Publication, SP- 38,American Concrete
Institute, Detroit, 1973
= Ferrocement: Materials & Applications, ACI Special Publication, SP-61, American
Concrete Institute, Detroit (U.S.A.), 1979
= Sharma, P.C., Ferro cement Segmental Shell ± Multipurpose Unit, Proceedings: Asia-
Pacific Symposium on Ferrocement Applications for Rural Development, University of
Roorkee, Roorkee (India), 23-25 April, 1984,PP. 113- 124
= Sharma,P.C., A Mechanized Process for producing Ferro cement Roof and wall elements
Journal of Ferro cement, January 1983, PP.13-18
= P.C. Sharma & R S Gopalaratnam - 'Ferrocement Water Tank' - Published by
International Ferrocement Information Center bangkok (Thailand)
= P.C. sharma, K. Shashi Kumar & P. nimityongskul 'ferrocement roofing Elements'
published by International ferrocement information Center Bangkok (Thailand)
= P.C. sharma- 'ferrocement Lining for Waterproofing, Rehabilation and Retrofilling of
RCC and masonary Structures' key note address±International workshop on 'Repair
Rehabilitation and Retrofitting of concrete and masonary structures Oct 2004, Gedu
= Malhotra, R.M., Super plasticizers: Their effect on Fresh and `ardened Concrete,
Concrete International, May 98 1, pp.66-81
= State-of-the-art Report on `igh Strength Concrete, ACI Committee 363, ACI Journal,
July-August, 1984, pp. 364-411
= Kishore, Kaushal, `igh Strength Concrete, ICI Bulletin No. 51, April-June, 1995,pp.29-
= Sen,B., `igh performance Concrete: Development and Prospects, ICI Bulletin No.
55,April- June,1996,pp.14-19
= Basu, Prabir C., `igh Performance Concrete: Mechanism and Application, ICI Journal,
April- June,2001,pp.15-26
= Malhotra, R.M., and Mehta, P.K., `igh-Performance, `igh-Rolume Fly Ash Concrete,
Supplementary Cementing Materials for Sustainable Development Inc., Ottawa, Canada,
Marquardt Printing Ltd. Ottawa, Canada, August, 2002
= `igh-Rolume Flyash Concrete, Green Business Opportunities, Confederation of India
Industry, Quarterly, Oct.-Dec.,2003
= `andbook on `igh-Rolume Flyash Concrete, CII (India) and CIDA (Canada)
= Apte, M.D., Innovative Concretes and Fibres, ICI Journal, July-September, 2003, pp.9-10
= Surlaker, Samir, Self-Compacting Concrete, ICI Journal, January-March, 2002, pp.5-9
= Kumar, Rakesh and Rao, M.R.B., Self-Compacting Concrete: An Emerging Technology
in Construction Industry, ICI Journal, July-September, 2002,pp.9-12
= Srinivasan, D.,Will there be A Self-Curing Concrete? Concrete International, September
= Bryant, Mather, Self-Curing Concrete-why Not? Concrete International, January, 2001,
Reproduced in ICI Journal,April- June,2003,pp.7-8
= Subramanian, N. Curing-The Last and The least Considered Aspect in Concrete Making,
ICI Journal, April-June,2002, pp.13-25
= Srinivasan, D., Research Needs in Concrete, ICI Journal, July-September, 2006, pp.5-6
= Walraven, J.,The Evolution of Concrete, ICI Bulletin No. 70, Jan-March, 2000, pp. 11-19
= Chen,Pu-Weei,and Chung, D.D.L., Carbon Fibre Reinforced Concrete As An
Intrinsically Smart Concrete For Damage Assessment During Static And Dynamic
Loading, ACI Materials Journal, April, 1996, pp.341-350


(+ , Scientist and  + , `oD, Bridges & Structures Division,
Central Road Research Institute, New Delhi.

Innovation in construction industry is highly linked with development of advanced construction

materials. In the recent two±three decades lot of research relating to how to enhance the life of
reinforced concrete structures has been carried out. As a result of which²it has been possible to
design structures having service life span of more than 100 years. This article discusses some
aspects of possibility for designing reinforced concrete structures for a very long life.


The presence of heavy reinforcement i.e. a high degree of congestion of reinforcement in
structural elements significantly hampers concrete placement and its quality due to lack of proper
compaction. Adequate compaction of such sections by proper means is essential for durability
assurance and often depends on the crew¶s ability to ensure it. Inadequate compaction of
concrete in such structural elements can lead to surface and structural defects and inadequate
bond development with the reinforcement. Durability of reinforced concrete structures is mainly
dependent on the quality of the concrete, quality of reinforcing steel, cover depth of
reinforcement, compaction and curing of concrete and finally quality management of the
construction practices. Notably, the serviceability and the safety of concrete structures have been
the prime concern of the structural engineers. The serviceability limit of concrete structures is
primarily governed by the extent of damage resulting from daily service loads and various
deterioration processes, which might be active throughout the structure¶s life. Durability
problems in concrete structures may be due to several causes such as errors in design or
carelessness in detailing, use of inferior construction materials, inadequate quality control, poor
workmanship, heterogeneity of the materials etc. Durability affecting features of concrete
structures are observed in the form of cracking, spalling (Figure. 1), corrosion of reinforcing
steel bars (Figure. 2), loss of mass (Figrue. 3) and loss of strength. The cause of concrete
deterioration can be physical, chemical and in most cases, a combination of both. The net effect
of concrete deterioration processes is to weaken the integrity of the complex microstructure of
concrete. The low porosity and dense microstructure of concrete significantly reduce many
sources of its deterioration. In concrete, cement paste is the primary active constituent.
Therefore, the mechanical properties and performance of concrete is largely determined by the
properties of the cement paste. Microstructure characteristics of concrete such as its porosity,
pore size distribution, properties of transition zone, and connectivity of pores, govern almost all
the gas and liquid transport phenomena through the concrete [1-5]. Therefore, the rate at which a
concrete structure may deteriorate is mainly depend on the permeability of the concrete as well
as how the concrete is placed, compacted, cured, and allowed to sustain load, cover depth and
quality of cover concrete. Contact with, or the presence of certain aggressive chemical ions, such
as chlorides, sulphides, acids, carbon dioxide, and even water, causes the deterioration of the
concrete. Such deterioration involves either leaching of material from the surface by a
dissolution mechanism or by expansion of material inside the concrete. Exposure conditions vary
over a wide range including hot and dry desert ambient air, wind, and rain or snow. `igher
ambient air temperature may accelerate the chemical reaction of concrete leading to faster
deterioration. Furthermore, the concrete quality degradation mechanism may be either a physical
effect such as shrinkage, creep, erosion, and similar factors, or a chemical reaction such as
sulphate attack, reinforcement corrosion, alkali-silica reaction, carbonation, freezing and
thawing, and other similar factors. Designer should throughly understand the interaction of
concrete with both exposure environment and service loads.

The broad categories of factors, which determine the durability of a concrete structure, are
design, material properties, and construction practice. Errors in design or carelessness in
detailing may lead to cracking, leading to premature demise of useful life of a concrete structure.
Long-term durability of concrete in civil infrastructures such as road and bridges can be achieved
if the construction materials quality, structural detailing and dimensioning, and concreting works
are appropriately performed. It is well recognized that the quality of concrete in structures and
defects induced at early age due to various reasons are main factors for the long-term durability
of concrete. These deterioration processes can be physical, chemical or mechanical or
combination of them.

Among various foresaid factors, cracking due to shrinkage, poor workmanship, environmental
factors, and over load/overstress initiate the process to reduce concrete durability. Such concrete
cracking which cannot be eliminated but can be minimized provides path for the ingress of
water/moisture, air to allow reinforcement corrosion to start. Therefore, there is a need for
quality management for concrete placement, compaction, and curing. Also reinforcement should
be such that it has ³sufficient´ cover depth protecting the reinforcing bars from deeper and wider
cracks; and/or, reinforcement which does not corrode or would corrode only to predetermined
minimum amount. Innovation in construction is highly linked with development of advance
construction materials and technology. There are materials and technology available to ensure
construction of long-life structures.


The fundamental fact that properties of material originate from its internal structure is also valid
for concrete as well as steel. The principle of modifying internal structure suitably has been used
in developing a number of metals, composites, and other materials [6]. Improvement of
durability of concrete has remained an active research area for concrete technologist for many
years. As a result of continuous effort for enhancing durability of concrete structures, high-
performance concrete (`PC) and selfcompacting concrete (SCC) have been developed.
Improved properties of high-performance concrete are due to the modification of its
microstructure. The modification is significantly dependent on the reaction mechanism among
the ingredients of concrete, physical process, and curing. Chemical and mineral admixtures
augment the reaction mechanism. In high-performance concrete, commonly used admixtures are
silica fume [7, 8] and fly ash [9-11]. These materials improve the microstructure of concrete by
pozzolanic action as well as a filler effect. Better performance of high-performance concrete is
primarily due to refinement of the pore structure of the concrete particularly at the transition
zone [7, 11]. Even the proven technology of high-performance concrete can enable the structures
to double its useful lifespan in comparison with engineered structures constructed with
conventional concrete technology [12].

A water-to-cement ratio (w/c) of 0.4 by mass is required for complete hydration of all the cement
particles and for hydration products to fill all the space originally occupied by the mixing water
[12]. If the w/c is higher than 0.4 by mass, even if all the cement particles hydrate, there will
always be some residual original mixing water-filled spaces that can hold freezable water. If w/c
is lower than 0.4 by mass, some of the cement will always remain unhydrated; but, in theory, all
of the mixing water-filled spaces could be filled. `owever, the amount of water that goes into
chemical combination with Portland cement is equal to about w/c of 0.2 by mass. The additional
Amount of water, i.e., 0.2 w/c by mass [12] is needed to fill gel pores. This extra water must be
available if the hydration product is to be formed. On the other hand, the development of
superplasticizers has revolutionized technology and has made it possible to make workable
and/or very workable concrete with very low water-to-cementitious ratio even less than 0.2 [13-
15]. Such concrete not only achieve highstrength but also possess improved durability.

The use of some mineral admixtures, such as coal fly ashes and other pozzolans, work as a filler
in addition to contributing pozzolanic activity and fill the spaces occupied by water in capillary
pores and make them discontinuous. As a consequence of this, the morphology of hydrated
cement changes which favorably affect most of the mechanical properties of concrete in
comparison with conventional concrete [4, 7, 10, 16].

A greater understanding of concrete behavior at microstructure level and performance under
different aggressive conditions has improved the confidence of concrete technologists to think
about highly durable concrete lasting for 1000 years. Recently some efforts have been made for
designing highly specialized structures, such as bridges, tunnels, and tall structures, for a lifespan
of a century or more [17- 19]. Most recently, Mehta and Langley [20] designed an unreinforced,
monolith concrete foundation consisting of two parallel slabs, to last for 1000 years. They used
high-volume Class F fly ash concrete in the construction of the foundation. The slabs were built
with `RFA concrete mixture containing 240 lb/ yd3 of Class F fly ash and 180 lb/ yd3 of
portland cement. The petrographic examination of oneyear- old test slab, that was cast and cured
under the similar conditions, has shown crack-free nature of the `RFA concrete [21].
At present, this seems to be achievable for concrete without reinforcement to predict/speculate
on a 1000-year life. In-depth understanding of microstructural behavior of concrete, and
possibility for improvement of it, to overcome shortcomings that cause reduction in durability of
concrete, by the use of chemical and mineral admixtures, has given the basis to concrete
technologist to think for design of highly durable concrete structures that should last for several
centuries. For such structures the following items should be clearly understood and implemented.

= Quality management of material, methods, and testing.

= Manage all design and construction aspects to ensure the structural integrity.
= Designer should have adequate knowledge of material properties such as strength, creep,
shrinkage, etc., of concrete and their affect on cracking of the concrete.
= Design adequate depth of cover for the reinforcing steel.
= Use of fly ash and/or other pozzolonic materials instead of ordinary portland cement
= Use of high-quality aggregates free from deleterious compounds for preventing alkali-
aggregate reactivity, and similar actions. Aggregates should also have proven reliability.
= Concrete, from its proportions, mixing, methods of construction, (compacting and
curing), should be given careful attention so that an adequately dense concrete, with full
compaction and a desirable pore system may be ensured.
= Adequate cover for the reinforcement ensuring highquality compaction and curing of the
concrete. `igh-performance & self-compacting concrete may help in minimizing the
potential of corrosion of reinforcement and deterioration of concrete due to poor quality
of cover.
= Corrosion resistant steel, steel coated with corrosion resistance layer such as cementitious
material slurry, stainless steel, or other types of newer steel, may be used.
= Concrete should be carefully tested and quality managed to meet long-term tests such as
water and air permeability, shrinkage, creep, freezing and thawing, chloride-ion
penetration by ponding and chloride diffusivity.
= Prediction of life of structures based on corrosion rate of reinforcement.

The possibility for design of reinforced concrete structures for a very long lifespan of several
years exist without a proven method (by calculation or experiments). The improved
microstructure of concrete by judicious use of mineral admixtures, such as flyash, silica fume,
and other pozzolans, as well as new generation of chemical admixtures, have given hope for the
RC structures for life span of more than 100 years. Concrete structures for a very long lifespan
need materials of high-quality and also comprehensive knowledge about concrete properties and
their effects on design aspects of the structure, and a new generation of steel reinforcement.


The approval of Dr Rikram Kumar, Director, Central Road Research Institute, Mathura Road,
New Delhi to publish the work is acknowledged.

= Neville, A. M. and Brooks, J. J. (1990). ³Concrete technology.´ ELBS Edition, Logman
Singapore, Publishers (Pte) Ltd.
= Soroka, I. (1979). ³Portland Cement Paste and Concrete.´ McMillan Press limited,
London, UK.
= Brandt, A. M. (1995). ³Cementbased composites: Materials, Mechanical Properties, and
Performance.´ E & FN SPON, U. K.
= Mehta, P. K. (1996). ³Concrete: structure properties and materials.´ Prentice~`al, Inc.,
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
= Kumar, R. (1997). ³Strength and permeation quality of concrete through mercury
intrusion porosimetry.´ Ph.D. thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of
Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India.
= Shackelford, J. F. (1992). ³Introduction to material science for engineers.´ 3rd Edition,
Maxwell Macmillan International addition, London, UK
= Mehta, P. K., and Aitcin, P. C. (1990). ³Principles underlying production of high-
performance concrete.´ ASTM Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates, 12(2), Winter 1990,
pp. 70-78.
= Malhotra, R. M. and Ramezanianpour, A. A. (1994). ³ Fly Ash in Concrete,´ 2nd
Edition, ,CANMET, Ottawa, Canada.
= Naik, T. R., Singh, S. S., and Mohammad M. (1995). ³Properties of high performance
concrete incorporating large amounts of high-lime flyash,´ International Journal of
Construction and Building Materials, l 9(6), 195-204, Butterworth-`eineman, England.
= Wesche K. (1991). ³Fly Ash in Concrete¶s Properties and Performance.´ Report of
Technical Committee 67-FAB, use of flyash in building, E & FN SPON, Chapman &
`all, U.K.
= Naik, T. R. (1997). ³Concrete Durability as influenced by density and/or porosity.´
Proceedings of the Cement and Concrete Institute of Mexico Symposium, World of
Concrete ± Mexico, Guadalajara, Mexico, June 4-7, 1997.
= Mather, B., and `ime, W. G. (2002). ³Amount of water required for complete hydration
of Portland cement.´ ACI Concrete International, 24(6), 56-58.
= Feylessoufi, A., Rilliéras., F., Michot, L. J., De Donato, P., Cases, J. M., and Richard, P.
(1996). ³Water, environmental, and nano-structural network in a reactive powder
concrete.´ Cement and Concrete Composite, 18(1), 23-29.
= Richard, P., and Cheyrezy, M. (1999). ³Composition of reactive powder concrete.´
Cement and Concrete Research, 25(7), 1501- 1511.
= Khayat, K. `., `u., C., and Laye, J. M. (2002). ³Importance of aggregate packing density
on workability of self-compacting concrete,´ Proceedings, First North American
Conference on the Design and Use of Self- Consolidating Concrete, Center for Advanced
Cement-Based Materials, North±western University, Evanston, IL, U.S.A., November
12-13, 2002, pp. 53- 62.
= Malhotra, R. M. (1995). ³Fly Ash, Blast-Furnace-Slag, Silica Fume, and `ighly Reactive
Metakaolin,´ Proceedings, Seminar On Recent Advances in Concrete Technology, UWM
Center for By-Products Utilization, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA,
Proceedings Complied by Tarun R. Naik and `enry J. Kolbeck.
= Dunaszegi, L. (1998). ³`ighperformance concrete in the confederation bridges.´ ACI
Concrete International 20(4), 43- 48.
= `olley, J. J., Thomas, M. D. A., `opkins, D. S., Cail, K. M., and Lanctot, M.±c. (1999).
³Custom `PC mixtures for Challenging bridge design.´ Concrete International 21(9), 43-
= Langley, W. S., Gilmour, R. A., Turnham, J. Forbes, G., and Mostert, T. (1997). ³Quality
management plan for the confederation bridge.´ Proceedings, Third CANMET/ACI
International Symposium on Advances in Concrete Technology, Auckland, New Zealand,
August 24-27, 1997, ACI Special Publication SP-171, pp. 73-96, American Concrete
Institute, Formington `ills, Michigan, Ed. R. M. Malhotra.
= Mehta, P. K., and Langley, W. S. (2000). ³Monolith foundation: Built to last 1000 years.´
ACI Concrete International, 22(7), 27- 32.
= Asselanis, J., and Mehta, P. K. (2001). ³Microstructure of concrete from a crack-free
structure designed to last a thousand years.´ Proceedings, Third CANMET/ACI
International Symposium on Sustainable Development of Cement and Concrete, San
Francisco, U.S.A., September 16-19, 2001, ACI Special Publication SP-202, pp. 349-358,
American Concrete Institute, Formington `ills, Michigan, Ed. R. M. Malhotra.




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++, Engineering Services International, Kolkata; 
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Asst. Professor,Civil Engineering and +c(, Civil Engineering Bengal. Engineering, and
Science University, Shibpur


It is commonly recognized that the compressive strength and other useful properties of concrete
increase with increasing duration of curing, more particularly moist curing (lower curve in
Figure 1). This knowledge of increasing compressive strength with increasing periods of moist
curing has been gained from tests over the years where standard cubes or cylinders of concrete
are tested on the last day or a day after a specified period of moist curing.

It is commonly known that the rate of gain in strength in the initial period is faster in the case of
ordinary portland cement (OPC) than in the cases of portland slag cement (PSC) and Portland
pozzolana or flyash cement (PPC). It is generally... observed that after the first few weeks of
moist curing, further gain in strength in the case of OPC concrete is insignificant (lower curve in
Figure 1), whereas concrete with blended cement (PSC and PPC) can gain considerable strength
beyond the first week or two of concreting (Figure 2).

Much of the knowledge, more particularly impression, about concrete and concrete structures is
based on the performance of well cured concrete and concrete structures which were built
decades ago with OPC of that time. The impressions, many a people have about concrete, is that
concrete is impervious and naturally waterproof. Another impression, people carry from the past,
is that concrete structures are durable.

Much has changed over the years with cement and construction practices, hastening the decay
and distress in modern concrete structures.

This paper is an attempt to study the changed ways of cement and concrete. This is limited to
studying the influence of the duration of moist curing on the compressive strength of concrete
with OPC, PSC, and PPC.
Though blended cements find a very considerable share of the construction market in India
today, the earlier practice was to use mostly OPC.

It was an old practice in the era of OPC to provide 28 days¶ moist curing to concrete.

Over the years, OPC went through many modifications in its chemical compositions and physical
characteristics, resulting in higher ultimate strength and the development of most of this ultimate
strength within a week or two of concreting (lower curve in Figure 1).

This early attainment of much of the ultimate strength and a greater emphasis on early
completion of projects made the codes/standards lower the required period of moist curing. The
Indian Standard Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete, IS:456:20001, as well as its
earlier version2 lowered the requirement of the minimum period of moist curing of OPC
concrete from 28 days in earlier decades to 7 days.

Increasingly, cement manufacturers in India started marketing blended cements aggressively.

Because of slower rates of hydration, it became necessary to set standards at longer periods of
moist curing of concrete with blended cements.

In order that concrete of comparable mix proportions with blended cements may yield
comparable or higher (than 28-day OPC concrete strength) strengths, researchers generally
recommend 56 to 90 days of moist curing of concrete in the case of blended cements with
mineral admixtures. The Indian code1, however, considers it sufficient to cure such concrete
with blended cements for only 10 days. The code recommends that this minimum period of 10
days may be extended to 14 days. The earlier code required 7 days¶ moist curing for concrete
with blended cements too.

Though the code1 considers moist curing for periods ranging between 7 to 10 days to be
adequate for concrete construction with different types of cement and though the duration of
effective curing of concrete during construction may be even less thanthe periods specified in the
code 1 , the design and construction of concrete structures are based on compressive strength of
well compacted concrete samples after 28 days of moist curing.

Besides the shortcomings, which may arise as a result of the gap between the required
(considered desirable by researchers on the basis of attainment of strength) and mandated (by the
code) periods of moist curing, and besides the obvious gap between the design (tested after 28
days¶ moist curing) and the actual periods of curing, Kar3-7 has pointed out that today¶s cement
is in many ways different from cements which were used till a few decades ago and which had
given durable concrete structures. Furthermore, Kar3-7 has shown that today¶s cement in India
may contain harmful alkalis to make concrete less durable or even self-destructive (curve for
PPC in Figure 2).

In this scenario, it is considered appropriate: (a) to study the influence of curing on the
development of strength in concrete and (b) to examine the reasonableness of the codal
provisions on the duration of moist curing of concrete. This is done for concrete, made with the
three basic types of cement (viz., OPC, PSC and PPC).

Among the different provisions on curing of concrete, IS:456-20001 suggests that ³Curing is the
process of preventing the loss of moisture from the concrete whilst maintaining a satisfactory
temperature regime. The prevention of moisture loss from the concrete is particularly important
if the watercement ratio is low, if the cement has a high rate of strength development, if the
concrete contains granulated blast furnace slag or pulverised fuel ash. The curing regime should
also prevent the development of high temperature gradients within the concrete.

´ The code1 also requires that ³Exposed surfaces of concrete shall be kept continuously in a
damp or moist condition by ponding or by covering with a layer of sacking, canvas, hessian or
similar materials and kept constantly moist for at least seven days from the date of placing
concrete in case of ordinary Portland Cement and at least 10 days where mineral admixtures or
blended cements are used. The period of curing shall not be less than 10 days for concrete
exposed to dry and hot weather conditions. In the case of concrete where mineral admixtures or
blended cements are used, it is recommended that above minimum periods may by extended to
14 days.´

It appears from the language of the code that the extension of the curing period from 10 days to
14 days is not mandatory.

It is of interest to note here that the provisions in IS :456-20001 were considered reasonable eight
years ago, whereas the provisions in IS :456-19782, which permitted 7 days¶ moist curing for
concrete with OPC, PPC as well as PSC, were considered reasonable at least thirty years ago.

During the intervening 22 years between the two codes, many structures with PSC concrete must
have been cured moist for 7 days or less.

During the intervening period between the two codes1.2 and during the period following the
more recent code, cement has undergone very significant changes in chemical compositions and
physical characteristics3-7.

The resulting effects of such changes include the generation of considerable heat inside concrete
at early ages. There is also the exothermic reaction from the high contents of water soluble
alkalis in Indian cement of today3-7, further hastening the rate of hydration of cement, thereby
leading to still faster gain in strength. All of these can make it possible to lower the required
period of moist curing if the attainment of strength in concrete will become the only criterion in
the determination of the adequacy of any particular period of moist curing of concrete. This
would suggest that even if it may be found that today¶s high early strength cements may yield
strengths within acceptable ranges on satisfaction of the requirements of the mandated moist
curing for short periods, such short duration curing in the past might not have yielded concrete
strengths close to the design strengths at 28 days.

As stated earlier, it is studied here whether the stipulated periods of moist curing, set in IS:456-
2000 1 for concrete with OPC and blended cements, are reasonable or not. This is done with
cement that is available in the Kolkata region today. The tests for compressive strength were
conducted using 150 mm cubes with cements of several nationally and internationally known

The evaluation of the adequacy of the period of curing is made from the consideration of
attainment of strength as a percentage of strength at 28 days of moist curing.

It is well±known that moist curing, particularly at the initial periods, reduces the permeability of
concrete. It is further known that greater the impermeability, better is likely to be the durability
of concrete structures. In clause 8, the code 1 has, however, given four options for lengthening
the life of concrete structures. Kar8 has explained that among the four options, given in the code,
only the option of providing surface coatings/protection systems to concrete structures is
practical in lengthening the life of concrete structures.

Since the provision of surface protection systems will effectively make concrete surfaces or
structures impervious to the external agents of decay, any shortcomings in the form of greater
permeability of concrete due to any inadequacy in curing loses some or much of any
significance. Accordingly, no serious attempt is made to study the effects of curing on the
permeability of concrete at 7 or 10 days vis-a-vis permeability of concrete cured moist for 28



It is a common practice, in the acceptance of cement and concrete, to ensure that concrete has the
required compressive strength.

There may be additional tests for setting times for workability and expansion as an yardstick for

Five sets of curves are presented here as a part of the study on the influence of the period of
moist curing on concrete strength.

Figure 1 shows the compressive strength of OPC concrete. The lower curve in Figure 1
represents the strength of OPC on the completion of moist curing for 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 21 and 28
days as is the conventional practice. In this particular case, the 7-day strength of 26.22 MPa is
77.6% of the 28-day strength of 33.78 MPa.

It would appear that the mandated curing period (minimum) of 7 days may or may not lead to an
endangerment of the safety of an OPC concrete structure if it would have been designed and
constructed in accordance with the 28-day strength but cured moist for 7 days and loaded
immediately thereafter. The real situation is better if the structure will not be loaded immediately
after 7 days of moist curing, as explained below.

An interesting observation can be made here with the help of the upper curve in Figure 1 which
represents the compressive strength of the concrete as that in the lower curve, except that the
upper curve represents the compressive strengths at 28 days for cube samples which were cured
moist for different periods from 0 to 28 days. It is observed that the peak concrete strength of
37.90 MPa at 28 days is higher than the concrete strength of 33.78 MPa when it is cured moist
for a period less than 28 days. In this particular case, it so happens that the peak strength at 28
days is available when concrete is cured moist for 7 days, and then cured in air a further period
of 21 days. In the same token, it is observed that in the event the concrete in Figure 1 would not
be cured moist at all, but kept covered or in shade, a minimum strength of 30.46 MPa would
develop at 28 days, which is 90% of the strength of the concrete, if it would be cured moist for
28 days. This is not too bad a situation where concrete may not be moist cured at all and the
attainment of strength of concrete will be the only consideration.

Figure 2 shows the gain in compressive strength of PPC concrete from one batch and PSC
concrete from two batches. The 150 mm cubes were cured moist for different durations. The
cubes were tested for compressive strength at the end of each period of curing. The samples were
cast in the month of April 2008. It is noticed that the compressive strength of concrete at the end
of stipulated 1 periods (10 days) of moist curing is 76 to 80 percent of the 28-day strength in the
case of PSC concrete whereas it is 91 percent in the case of PPC concrete.

Since structural elements e.g., floor slabs and floor beams are frequently loaded close to their
design loads during construction stages, it is recognized here that it may not be unreasonable if
the moist curing will be terminated at the end of 10 days in the case of PPC concrete, but the
same cannot be said in the case of PSC concrete. It will be seen later that if loading of the
structure will be delayed, moist curing of the structure or structural element for 10 days may not
be too unreasonable.

It is recalled here that the code1 permits 7 days¶ moist curing in the case of OPC concrete and 10
days¶ moist curing in the case of concrete with blended cements, whereas (a) the design is based
on compressive strength after moist curing for 28 days, and (b) real structures are seldom cured
moist for the stipulated (in the code) periods.

In consideration of the above, it would appear that if adequate care will not be taken to limit
construction or service loads, immediately upon the termination of moist curing, to within 70%
of the design loads, and that too with appropriate margins for various uncertainties, the stipulated
periods of curing will prove to be unreasonable. It is seen in the following that the picture is not
necessarily unreasonable, if

a. concrete will be cured moist for at least 3 days, and

b. the structure will not be loaded until 28 days after concreting or some such days after
concreting as may be determined from tests for particular batches of cement.

This suggestion is made only in the context of strength. Prolonged curing may increase the
durability of concrete by minimizing permeability and shrinkage.

In contention of the above, three cases are studied in the following. These include cases:
a. When the design is based on compressive strength of concrete after 28 days¶ moist curing
but the concrete is cured for the stipulated period of 7 or 10 days and the structural
element is not loaded until 28 days.
b. The concrete is cured for 3 days and the structural element is not loaded until 28 days.
c. Where the design is based on compressive strengths of concrete after 28 days¶ moist
curing but the concrete is not provided with any moist curing and the structural element is
not loaded until 28 days.

Figures 3, 4 and 5 show the variations in compressive strength of concrete when concrete is
tested at 28 days but cured moist for 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, 21 and 28 days, followed by air curing for
28, 25, 21, 18, 14, 7 and 0 days, respectively. Test results on concrete samples from three batches
of concrete are represented in each of the three figures.

It is seen in each case in Figures 3 to 5 that the peak compressive strength is recorded when
concrete is tested at 28 days but the moist curing is between 3 to 14 days (Tables 1 ± 3).

Among all the three batches of OPC concrete (Table 1), it is seen that strengths equal to or
higher than the strengths, at 28 days¶ moist curing, can be obtained if the moist curing will be
discontinued after 3 days.

It is further noticed in Figure 3 and Table 1 that in two cases the peak strengths in OPC concrete
were obtained when concrete was cured moist for 7 days, followed by air curing for 21 days
before the test. In fact, the 28-day (moist curing) compressive strength was lower than the peak
strength (at 7- day moist curing followed by 21 days¶ air curing) by as much as 17.4 percent in
one case.

In the case of PSC concrete (Figure 4 and Table 2), the peak strengths were gained when
concrete was cured moist for 7 to 14 days, followed by air curing for the remaining days. In the
three cases of PSC too, it is seen that the 28-day strength could be reached by discontinuing
moist curing after 3 days. It¶s noticed that with continued moist curing, there is a drop of strength
(from the peak) by as much as 11.3 percent.

In the case of PPC concrete (Figure 5, Table 3), the peak strengths were obtained after 7 to 14
days¶ moist curing, followed by air curing till 28 days from concreting. In two of the cases, the
strengths of concrete were higher than the 28-day strengths when the cubes were cured moist for
3 days, followed by curing in air for 25 days. In the remaining case (Case III), the 28-day
strength (moist cured) could be obtained with 9 days¶ moist curing, followed by 19 days of air
curing. In case I (Table 3), there is a drop of 25.1 percent in the peak strength with continued
moist curing beyond 10 days.

It is seen that the stipulated1 period of 7 days¶ moist curing in the case of OPC and 10 days in the
case of blended cements is justified as far as matching the 28- day (moist cured) strength is
concerned provided that the structures will not be loaded till 28 days after concreting.

It is seen that the stipulated2 period of 7 days¶ moist curing for concrete with blended cements,
as in Ref. 2, was not reasonable, particularly when cement of the earlier periods did not gain
strength as early as it does today.

There is an increasing trend to shorten the period of moist curing of concrete. The Indian code
IS:456- 20001 has lowered the required period of moist curing of concrete to 7 days in the case
of OPC and 10 days in the case of blended cements with mineral admixtures. The period of 10
days is, however, higher than what was specified in Ref. 2. In some countries, the minimum
period of moist curing has been lowered to 3 days and in real cases in India many concrete
structures are not provided any moist curing.

From the performance of four batches of OPC concrete (1 in Figure 1 and 3 in Figure 3), it
appears that curing concrete, with today¶s OPC, for 3 days in moist condition will be sufficient if
matching the 28-day design strength will be the only criterion and the structures will not be
loaded until 28 days after concreting.

From the performance of nine batches of PPC and PSC concrete (3 each in Figures. 2,4 and 5), it
appears that except in one case of PPC concrete, curing concrete, with today¶s PPC and PSC, for
3 days in moist condition will be sufficient if matching the 28-day design strength will be the
only criterion to be fulfilled and the structures will not be loaded until 28 days after concreting.
In case III of PPC in Figure 5, moist curing of 9 days, followed by air curing of 19 days, leads to
a matching of compressive strength of concrete if such concrete will be cured moist for 28 days
before loading.

A closer study of the various curves in Figures 1 to 5 show a decreasing trend for the strength of
concrete with continued moist curing after the peak strength will have been reached much earlier
than 28 days. This challenges the widely held concept about concrete that concrete increases in
strength with continued curing in moist condition.

Studies are underway to determine if the declining strength with increasing moist curing has
more to do with impurities in today¶s cement3-7 or with any lingering damp/ moist condition of
the test samples after the initial period of moist curing.

= IS:456-2000, Indian Standard, Plain and Reinforced Concrete Code of Practice (Fourth
Revision), Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, July 2000.
= IS:456-1978, Indian Standard Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete, Third
Edition, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, September 1978.
= Kar, A. K., ³Concrete Structures We Make Today,´ New Building Materials &
Construction World, New Delhi Rol. 12, Issue 8,February 2007.
= Kar, A. K., ³The Ills of Today¶s Cement and Concrete Structures,´ Journal of the Indian
Roads Congress, Rol. 68, Part 2, July- September 2007.
= Kar, A. K., ³Durability of Concrete Bridges and Roadways,´ New Building Materials &
Construction World, New Delhi, Rol. 13, Issue 3, September 2007.
= Kar, A. K., ³Woe Betide Today¶s Concrete Structures,´ Part I New Building Materials &
Construction World, New Delhi, Rol. 13, Issue- 8, February, 2008.
= Kar, A. K., ³Woe Betide Today¶s Concrete Structures,´ Part II New Building Materials &
Construction World, New Delhi, Rol.13, Issue- 9, March, 2008.
= Kar, A. K., ³IS 456:2000 On Durable Concrete Structures,´ New Building Materials &
Construction World, New Delhi, Rol. 9, Issue-6, December, 2003.s

h *!A 

' "

 h , Pune

By the end of the Nineteenth century, the British rulers had imported µCement¶ to India and
commenced discouraging the method of using freshly ground lime for masonry construction that
was in vogue in India since ages. If properly used, the cement construction could be made fairly
waterproof. The construction could last as well appreciably long and gave hardly any trouble of
maintenance, similar to slaked lime construction to the users. The Portland cement age was
dawning in India! Local industrialists as well went ahead and established cement factories here.
Being a factory manufactured material, it was touted to be always of uniform (and good) quality.
By the end of Second World War, the fresh lime grinding as a process of preparing masonry
material had been fully relegated into an historical construction activity!

In late fifties when we civil engineering students of Government College of Engineering Pune
were taught this subject of cement concrete, it was emphasized that Concrete structures like
bridges will last for over 60 years whereas residential accommodation can give satisfactory
service for over 100 years! The cement concrete was quite strong and durable, even better than
³finely and freshly ground lime´ under use then. Even RCC was started being used by engineers
with success.

We students were awestricken with the new found material and the technique of its use. The mix
design for 1:2:4 (volume batch concrete) RCC, we used to need 15-16 one CWT (112 Lbs) bags
of cement to make 100 cft of finished concrete. Sometime the cement consumption could go up
to even 17 bags.

The mix design was introduced with a hollow box (3¶ x 3¶ x 3¶) packed fully with coarse
aggregate additionally packed with fine aggregate and in turn this interfiled with finer powder of
cement. The body of concrete being aggregate the cement was only the binding agent as we
could understand.

Any more small voids in this box were supposed to be filled with the expanding cement gel after
it reacts with the mixing water in the concrete. The resulting concrete was supposed to be even

We the engineering students were really overwhelmed by the good qualities of the cement and
began enthusiastically looking forward to design cement concrete structures. By that time British
and other foreigners had progressed into pre-stressed and/ or post-tensioned concretes. Indians
accepted that as well as a technical gift from West. Concrete designing had become a science and
wordy wars about volume batching versus weigh batching were fought in technical journals with
gusto. Whatever concrete construction was executed before Second World War in India was by
the British Engineers done through the Indian µMestries¶. They had no restriction of time or
money for the projects and accordingly these constructions are standing even today as good
examples. (Of course, now the British or other Western engineers have relaxed their vigil and got
confused due to the large varieties of cements in the market, their output is dropped to
µaverage¶). Indian engineers used concrete since independence without teaching their masons and
mestries the correct techniques needed to use this new material properly (since they themselves
were unaware of that aspect). Cement was being used as readymade ground lime only. The
engineers took it to increase the strength or durability of concrete, one needs to add cement in
excess to the mixture.

Once a boxed structural member was concreted, the sample of the concrete used therein was to
be cast in cubes and after proper curing; the cube was to be crushed to determine the quality
(compressive strength) of the concrete used in the member. Bureau of Indian Standards brought a
standard for this cube test and use of concrete to give impetus to good concrete construction.
After they published IS: 456 of 1978 regarding use of plain & reinforced cement concrete giving
the direction to use more cement (up to 540 Kgs per CM3 of concrete) for durability
consideration, use of more cement for strength as well as durability purposes became rule rather
than exception. Most of the µexperts¶ included in the BIS committee on Cement Concrete Section
are either representing large construction companies or cement manufacturing companies who
were only interested in increasing the use of cement to earn more money. They were not
necessarily interested in propagating use of some other material in construction. Isn¶t it? Not
only cities but even small towns became concrete jungles and no wonder the mother Earth
reacted by increasing environmental temperatures everywhere.

Cement factories grew in number as well as size and they manufactured special cements not only
for refractory or sulphate resistance purposes but also to give higher strength in compression
(instead of 33 N/mm2) of 43, 53 or even higher (at the end of 28 days curing). When the
manufacturers professed that the stronger concrete is more economical, gullible people, even
engineers, enthusiastically started using it in their designs. This was the time when dangers of
cement concrete even with reinforcement were started appearing on horizon. Defects like, rusting
of steel and carbonation of concrete, cracking of ³stronger´ cement concretes after a few days
use, deterioration of the concrete members after a few seasons of intensive (though within
designed loads) use, destruction of concrete because of alkali-aggregate reaction in certain
circumstances, cracking of concrete with excessive cement quantity leading to destruction of the
monolith, members failing because of inadequate concrete strength development etc. made
frequent appearances. Deterioration of Rashi Bridge near Mumbai and failure of many bridges
like Mandovi River Bridge in Goa as well as overhead tanks, multistoried concrete residential
buildings etc compelled Indian civil engineers to wake up and study the technology and its
application in India thoroughly. According to their thinking, the defects might be due to various
reasons like the pour was incorrect, segregation might have taken place while pouring, placement
of reinforcement might not be exactly as per design or might have been shifted to wrong places
during concreting or the compaction might not have been done effectively or the curing might
not have been done correctly or defect might be in erection and/or removal of form work.
Moreover, even when the test cubes were cast along with the member being concreted, further
progress in concreting was never held up (as obstacle to maintain progress of work) till the 28
days crushing strength of the cubes certifying the strength of the concrete became available to
the site engineer. In the name of progress, the constructors gave more importance to the test
cubes being cast and tested successfully than the concreting of the members themselves (to avoid
any future problem arising in case the test results were not found satisfactory). This led to having
individuals other than site engineers specializing in casting of test cubes. This was found to result
in the cubes not really as representative a sample of the concreting of the member as desired. In
addition to the use of excessive cement in concrete, this and other shortcomings in use of correct
technology and procedures led to the defects in concrete that have surfaced in India over the

From the basic principals of concrete technology one can list following essentials of strong and
durable concrete by using Ordinary Portland Cement:-

1. Cement is only binding agent and has hardly any inherent strength as a material. It can
adhere to surfaces of strong pieces as gum and give strength to the monolith body.
2. For convenience, pieces of stones as aggregates of various sizes are considered suitable to
give a body to concrete. To have cost within limits, quantity of cement should be small
and sizes of coarse aggregate pieces be as large as possible in the mixture.
3. The cement only binds the various aggregate pieces together to make the concrete
monolith. Since cement as binder has no inherent strength, the binding layer should be as
thin as possible. Moreover, cement being in very fine form has a high coefficient of
thermal expansion/contraction compared to that of aggregates used and hence thinner the
layer, safer it is. So cement must be used as least as practicable.
4. Strength of concrete has very little bearing on the quantity of cement in the concrete in
the long run. Larger the (than necessary) quantity of cement, the concrete is likely to
deteriorate over time faster due to temperature variations in the environment.


To make concrete stronger, less voids or gaps should be permitted in the concrete
monolith. This is possible by using all the intermediate sizes of aggregate (to reduce the
size of gaps) and adequate compaction of the concrete in-situ after pouring. Water should
be just sufficient to make the rich chemical gel with cement. Extra water remaining if any
is likely to create voids after evaporation.

6. In the concrete mixture only cement is a manufactured substance and hence is more
susceptible to environmental damage and deterioration and hence least durable.

Therefore, thinnest possible gel around the aggregate pieces is all that is needed to make
a durable concrete.
7. In short, to make strong and durable concrete what we need is well graded aggregate to
fill the volume of concreting (box?), added with minimum required cement to cover the
interstices with strong gel formed with little more than essential, say within 40% water as
compared with cement quantity. To make it durable, prevent any voids within the
monolith by adequate compaction. You can provide compaction such that the strength of
the concrete is as designed.

The mixture must be uniform and before setting time of the cement is reached,
compaction must be completed. Once concrete is cast and set, it should be cured with
water at least for 7 days and then damp curing may be satisfactory.
8. If possible and convenient, it is suggested that concreting can be done by first filling
coarse aggregate in the centering boxes and colloidal mass of sand and (water added)
cement is poured to fill the voids before compaction. This will ensure that the semi-
elastic gel that is produced by the colloidal mixture will be able to coat the aggregate
pieces effectively with less cement at the same time giving better strength.
9. As far as reinforcement is concerned, the quantity of steel as designed must be placed at
correct locations to resist tensile stress development in concrete. It must be ensured that
the steel reinforcement bars do not shift during pouring and compaction of concrete.
Adequate concrete cover must be around the reinforcement to prevent environmental
carbon-di-oxide, chlorine or moisture from reaching the bars and corroding them.

In short, it can be seen that once the ingredients of concrete are properly selected, ensuring W/C
ratio around 0.4 and adequate compaction to prevent any voids in hydrating (cement in) concrete
are the only ways to ensure strong and durable concrete. If these conditions are adhered to, then
adding any extra quantity of cement (per cubic meter of concrete) has no positive effect on the
strength or durability of concrete. Rather more cement is likely to make the concrete less durable
since thicker cement layer will have more shrinkage/ expansion than other ingredients of
concrete as environmental temperature wane and wax giving rise to destruction of the monolith.

The cement is required only to surround the aggregate pieces for binding neighboring pieces.
The maximum size of aggregate (MSA) will determine the quantity of cement required per CM
of concrete. As the MSA decreases, the required cement quantity will increase since the surface
area of the smaller aggregate pieces (to be bound together) will increase. Normally, for RCC we
use 20 mm MSA. When this size increases (like for road or foundation purposes) to, say 40 mm,
then naturally cement quantity will reduce by around 10%. For soil stabilization, cement is
mixed in soil (comparatively coarser, even sandy) at not more than 10% by volume. As soil
becomes clayey and finer, the cement content may go even up to 25%. This is natural, since
surface area of particles to be covered by cement increases appreciably. The unrestrained
compressive strength of this stabilized soil becomes about 6 Kgs per mm2. If properly restrained
and compacted the resulting compressive strength, it can be comparable with concrete. Thus
compressive strength will depend on compaction and W/C ratio only. For a cubic meter of
concrete (MSA 20 mm) about 1300 litres of aggregates are required. Accordingly, for cementing
purposes, 160 Kgs of cement should be sufficient. Some small additional quantity of cement may
be required to cater for inadequate and/or non-uniform mixing of the concrete and to cater for the
rough surfaces of the aggregate pieces being bound by the cement paste. Addition of any extra
cement cannot make the concrete more durable. In case the mix is found to be non-workable for
want of sufficient fines, an odd bag of pozzolanic powder may be added and/ or some plasticizer
used. Since the concrete strength will be limited by that of the aggregate used, any lesser strength
of the concrete can be achieved by adjusting the compaction suitably. Addition of extra quantity
of cement will not do the trick of giving more strength and/or durability to the concrete, in case
adequate control on W/C ratio and/or compaction of concrete could not be maintained.

Amongst the constituents of concrete only cement is a factory manufactured item and therefore
susceptible to environmental attacks. Natural materials will always be superior and economical
when compared with µmanufactured¶ replacements. Since cement has no intrinsic body and
therefore strength, any quantity in excess of binding needs, is likely to make the layers between
aggregate pieces thicker. Any exposed cement at the surface may get damaged due to
environmental factors in addition. Amongst the constituents of the concrete cement is having the
largest coefficient of shrinkage. This will ensure that the thicker cement layers will crack and
loosen the aggregate pieces while facing changes of environmental temperature. This finally will
result in deterioration of the monolith. Therefore, cement used in the concrete must not be in
excess. Cement is factory produced, but its raw materials like lime-stone, clay etc are Natural
minerals and therefore cement cannot be (and also is not) a product of identical chemical
composition (even from adjacent batches). In short, every bag that one opens, needs field checks
for characteristics of the cement before using the same. This makes it further costly.

Thus many defects in concrete may be developed after the structures are in use. This has led to
development of construction chemical industry. They have developed chemicals to treat these
defects. While treating the intended defects the reactive chemicals create some other side effects
(defects?) in the concrete. As a result of all this the cement as a replacement of finely ground
lime has become enormously costly and beyond the affordability of common man. Doubts are
also cropping up if Cement is really an effective and acceptable replacement for freshly ground

It will be apparent therefore that the New Material (cement) that was initiated (with much
fanfare) to replace freshly ground lime is neither advantageous nor economical to anyone (at
least in Indian environment) but to the manufacturers of Cement and construction chemicals. The
structures constructed in Cement Concrete are non-durable, and cannot be made waterproof by
human intervention Even Cement is not an environment-friendly material and its production as
well as use add pollutants as well as heat to the atmosphere. The position in foreign countries is
also not very good. The costly cement concrete structures need varieties of construction
chemicals to add for getting desired results. Lot of technical consideration is needed to determine
the type and quantity of the chemical to be mixed. The results are not of required durability or
long lasting. The chemicals to be added are not inert and therefore dangerous to life and nature as
well. Since however, the Westerners did not have any better method or construction material
before cement, they may continue to insist on cement as µBest¶ building material in use; let them.
It is suggested that at this stage of development India should carry out checks on the utility of
freshly ground lime against cement. Selection from the large variety of cements and additives in
the market and the appropriate practices of complicated processes of designing, mixing, pouring,
compacting as well as curing of concrete are confusing even to engineers and the construction is
not economical to the consumer i.e. common man. Structures constructed with lime over 60
years ago appear to be still in serviceable state without undue maintenance expenditure.

Cement is manufactured from mixture of lime stone and clay (both ground/crushed) in water (or
dry if could be uniformly mixed). The slurry is blended to correct composition. This corrected
slurry fed to rotary kiln heated by powdered coal is converted into clinkers. These clinkers
ground in ball mill with addition of 2 to 3 % gypsum (for preventing flash setting). This cement
is stored in cement silos for loading in bags or vehicles. The coal requirement of the rotary kiln is
350 Kgs per ton for wet process and 100 Kgs for dry process. Many factories produce cement by
dry process but still some use wet process. Let us assume that on the average a ton of cement
needs 150 Kgs of coal. 200 MT of cement (quantity produced and used in whole year of 2006)
has used 30 million tons of coal. This would have added about 75 million tons of CO2 (Carbon-
Dioxide) to the environment to increase the atmospheric temperature. Other countries in the
world would have added lot more and thus earth temperature would have been raised to a very
high extent. It is possible that this has been taken into account in Industry¶s contribution to
environmental pollution. It therefore can only be noted here as cement factory¶s pollution

Once cement concrete is poured in formwork and starts hydrating, it evolves heat. Total heat that
cement can generate during hydration is around 125 calories per gram of cement during its
complete activity of hydration. This activity is a long drawn process and for our purpose we take
28 days hydration as full hydration for design purpose. A heat of hydration of 90 calories is
given out by every gram of cement during that period. Let us consider that on the average 3
calories of heat is given out per day by one gram of cement. As per reports, in whole year India
has consumed 200 million tons of cement during 2006 (or say, 17 million tons per month) for
construction/repair of structures. Thus during the year 2006 concrete structures (only under
construction/repairs) have given out 34 X 10*12 calories (or 34 trillion calories of heat) to
atmosphere ERERY DAY!. More heat at a lower rate is being given out in balance period of the
year in addition. This is during construction. Once the structures are in use, their exposed
concrete bodies absorb heat from the sun during day and reject to the atmosphere during the
evening is another aspect of heat evolution by concrete structures. India is considered to be (still)
developing indicating that the use of cement is going to increase continuously as the
µdevelopment¶ progresses. Environment is getting heated to a large extent by the use of cement.
Thus quite an appreciable quantity of heat is generated (for the environment) by cement
consumed by all the nations; more by the developed Nations. Thus one can imagine how much
heat is daily given out by the cement use to the environment so that earth temperature goes on
increasing. It surely cannot be dismissed as minor aspect while considering the µGreen- `ouse¶
effect on the earth due to human activities.

It will be clear from above discussion that cement as building material has technical problems
right from start and could not yet been completely rectified. Rather they appear to be increasing
continuously. People using it have perforce to add some (more expenditure?) chemicals to
overcome the defects. Similar to modern system, an attempt to rectify some defect creates
another one in concrete structures as well. In addition, this material requires lot of energy during
production process and adds heat and pollution to the environment while in use. It is thus
creating havoc all over the world. Actually, Kyoto round of WTO talks during Nineties could
have done better by adding µscrapping of this material from production (as well as use) slowly¶
to its suggestions for corrective measures to reduce rising temperature of the earth.

While discussing this aspect with my friends most of them agreed with the view that cement is
surely a building material quite inferior to burnt and ground lime. `owever, they did insist on
telling that the lime is incapable of constructing highrise buildings for which cement concrete is
only available. Use of cement therefore can immediately be stopped only for buildings lower
than 3 stories high. Quite a large amount of pollution can be reduced by use of this rule since
only a fraction of buildings are presently highrise structures. This should be immediately

If we consider the condition of man on this planet since he came, it will be apparent that getting
way from Nature¶s contact and desire to abjure physical labor are the two tendencies of man
which are detrimental to him. Lack of physical labor has made him fall sick frequently for lack
of exercising his body adequately and properly. Distance from Nature has kept him away from
Nature¶s ways to prevent/recover from various mental as well as physiological illnesses. When
man stays in highrise buildings he is necessarily away from earth i. e. Nature and he misses all
the advantages of it. Therefore, as a rule man need not operate from high rise structures at all.
Therefore, he could have done nicely with burnt & ground lime as construction material and
avoided manufacture and use of cement at all. All the pollution of environment as discussed
above could have been avoided. Now as well disusing this material he can reduce environmental
pollution. `e will have to use lime as a new building material instead. In old world at least, he
will have few persons familiar with it to help him in this aspect.

Mr Joseph Aspdin, a Leeds constructor took a patent for Portland cement {a fine powder of
certain earth crust found in nature which was similar to the rock at Portland (a place in England)
in color in 1824. Its use in Europe started in right earnest since they had no other (suitable)
construction material prior to that time. As good traders they propagated with zeal and force this
material in their colonies. The slave population had no choice to refuse it (though they had better
material in µfinely ground lime¶) for masonry. During their rule British always discouraged the
use of any indigenous materials or systems like Dhaka Mulmul, `andloom weaving, Ayurved
and Gurukul System of learning in India and offered their imported versions instead, specifically
to kill the indigenous systems and fleece the riches of the enslaved country and people. Same
thing happened concerning use of lime in construction during their rule. This led to disuse of
lime slowly till WWII, after which it nearly reached its extinction as a building material. As a
young boy, I remember to have seen the use of µGhaani¶ being used for grinding lime by bullock
when our house at Satara was being extended in around fifties (about 55 years ago) as an only

It is quite likely therefore that some oldies aware about use of this material may still be around
and can assist us in redeveloping it into a building material superior to Cement in all aspects. The
organization of IITians that is coming up in India to develop technical education (and other
aspects) Nationwide can do well to serve the World if they can revive the µfinely ground lime¶ as
a building material to replace the µdirty¶ cement. The world will be saving not only money and
energy but it will be saving the environment and Nature as well for our future generations. This
will really be going back to the (progressive) future!

1. Minimum Cement Content for Strength and Durability of Concrete± Technical Rationale¶
by Prof M D Apte published in NBM & CW Jan 2002.
2. Cement concrete text book µConcrete Technology¶ by Prof M. S. Shetty.
3. Indian Standards concerning Concrete Construction as brought out by BIS
4. Cement Manufacturers Literature and publications
5. Experiences of the author during his professional career
6. British rulers¶ efforts in imposing Western culture

Gangaccanal aqueduct known as Solani Bridge near Roorkee in Uttarakhand is a fine example of
lime construction (Masonary line mortar) which is more than 150 years old by now with no
problems. Large number of Arch Bridges on Ganga canal (constructed along Solani bridge
starting at `ardwar are constructed using Bricks masonary in lime mortar.




chA , Department of Civil Engineering National Institute of Technology,
The use of silica fume as a mineral admixture for the production of high strength concrete and
high durable concrete is gaining importance in recent years. The objective of the present
experimentation is to study the effect of silica fume as additive on the strength and durability
characteristics of concrete obtained using locally available material. Concrete mix for M20
gradeis designed which serves as basic control mix. Silica fume concrete mixes are obtained by
adding silica fume to basic control mix in percentages varying from 0 to 16% at an increment of
2% by weight of cement. The compressive strength development and durability against acidic
and alkaline attack is studied.


The present trend in concrete technology is to increase the strength and durability of concrete to
meet the demands of the modern world. These factors can be achieved in concrete by adding
various blending materials with cement or separately to concrete. The materials suitable for
blending are flyash, blast furnace slag, silica fume, etc. Silica fume concrete (SFC) is emerging
as one of the new generation construction material. It can be considered as high strength concrete
or high performance concrete

The use of pozzolanic admixtures like condensed silica fume, because of its finely divided state
and very high percentage of amorphous silica, proved to be the most useful if not essential for
the development of very high strength concretes and/or concretes of very high durability. It is
recommended that for applications in concrete silica fume should conform to certain minimum
specifications such as silicon dioxide content of not less than 85%, spherical shape with a
number of primary agglomerates with particles of size ranging from 0.01 to 0.3 microns (average
of 0.1 to 0.2 microns), amorphous structure and a very low content of unburnt carbon.

Silica fume is known to improve both mechanical characteristics and durability characteristics of
concrete since, both the chemical and physical effects are significant. Physical effect of silica
fume in concrete is that of a filler, which, because of its fineness, can fit into spaces between
cement grains in the same way that sand fills the spaces between particles of coarse aggregate
and cement grains fill the spaces between sand grains. As for chemical reactions of silica fume,
because of high surface area and high content of amorphous silica, this highly active pozzolan
reacts more quickly than ordinary pozzolans.

Experiments have revealed that silica fume in concrete essentially eliminates pores between 500
to 0.5 micron sizes and reduces the size of pores in the 50 to 500 micron range. Physical and
chemical mechanisms made the silica fume more effective in reducing pore size.

An experimental program was carried out to find out the strength and durability characteristic of
concrete containing silica fume as an additive. Concrete mix for M20 grade was designed, which
served as basic control mix. Silica fume concrete mixes were obtained by adding silica fume to
basic control mix in percentages varying from 0 to 16% at an increment of 2% by weight of

h †
Ordinary Portland cement was used throughout the Experimentation. Silica fume used in the
experimentation was obtained from FOSROC Chemicals (India) Limited. The physical and
chemical properties of OPC and silica fume (SF) are given in Table 1. Locally available
aggregates were used. Coarse aggregates crushed from igneous basalt rock of 20mm and down
size having specific gravity of 2.74 and conforming to IS 383-1970 were used. For Fine
aggregate local sand having specific gravity of 2.56 and conforming to grading zone I of IS: 383-
1970 was used. Superplasticizer based on sulphonated naphthalene formaldehyde was used to
impart additional desired properties to the silica fume concrete. The dosage of super plasticizer
was 0.7% by weight of cement. Ordinary potable water was used for mixing of the ingredients.

Mix design for M20 grade of concrete was carried out using the guidelines prescribed by IS:
10262- 1982. The designed concrete mix for M20 served as basic control mix (CM). Silica fume
concrete mixes were obtained by adding silica fume to basic control mix in percentages varying
from 0 to 16% at an increment of 2% by weight of cement. (viz SFC2, SFC4, SFC6, SFC8,
SFC10, SFC12, SFC14, SFC16). The Basic control Concrete mix proportion obtained was 1 part
cement: 1.62 parts of fine aggregate: 3.28 parts of coarse aggregate with water±cement ratio of
0.5 and 0.7% of Superplasticizer.


The concrete ingredients viz. cement, sand and coarse aggregate were weighed according to
proportion 1:1.62:3.28 and are dry mixed on a platform. To this the calculated quantity of silica
fume was added and dry mixed thoroughly. The required quantity of water was added to the dry
mix and homogenously mixed. The calculated amount of superplasticizer was now added to the
mix and then mixed thoroughly. The homogeneous concrete mix was placed layer by layer in
moulds kept on the vibrating table. The specimens are given the required compaction both
manually and through table vibrator. After through compaction the specimens were finished
smooth. After 24 hours of casting, the specimen were demoulded and transferred to curing tank
where in they were immersed in water for the desired period of curing

The tests were conducted both on Fresh and `ardened concrete. The tests on fresh concrete was
the workability test conducted through Slump test, Compaction factor test; Table 2 and Ree-bee
consistometer test. The strength and durability tests conducted on hardened concrete are briefed

The compressive strength test was carried out on cube specimens of dimensions 150 150 150
mm. The compressive strength test specimens were cured and tested for 3-days, 7-days, 28-days,
and 60-days in compressive testing machine. Three specimens were used for each test.


For acid attack test concrete cube of size 150 150 150 mm are prepared for various
percentages of silica fume addition. The specimen are cast and cured in mould for 24 hours, after
24 hours, all the specimen are demoulded and kept in curing tank for 7-days. After 7-days all
specimens are kept in atmosphere for 2-days for constant weight, subsequently, the specimens
are weighed and immersed in 5% sulphuric acid (`2SO4) solution for 60-days. The p` value of
the acidic media was at 0.3. The p` value was periodically checked and maintained at 0.3. After
60-days of immersing in acid solution, the specimens are taken out and were washed in running
water and kept in atmosphere for 2-day for constant weight. Subsequently the specimens are
weighed and loss in weight and hence the percentage loss of weight was calculated.


For alkaline attack test concrete cube of size 150 150 150 mm are prepared for various
percentages of silica fume addition. The specimen are cast and cured in mould for 24 hours, after
24 hours, all the specimen are demoulded and kept in curing tank for 7-days. After 7-days all
specimens are kept in atmosphere for 2-days for constant weight, subsequently, the specimens
are weighed and immersed in 5% sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) solution for 60-days. The p` value
of the alkaline media was at 12.0. The p` value was periodically checked and maintained at
12.0. After 60- days of immersing in alkaline solution, the specimens are taken out and are
washed in running water and kept in atmosphere for 2-day for constant weight. Subsequently, the
specimens are weighed and loss in weight and hence the percentage loss of weight was


Workability Test Results

The result of workability of concrete as measured from slump, compaction factor and, Ree-bee
degree are shown in Table 2. According to these results, workability of concrete decreases as the
silica fume content in concrete increases from to 16%. No wide variations in the slump and
compaction factor values for the mixes containing increased amount of silica fume were
observed. The silica fume concrete did not show tendencies for seggregation and bleeding. This
is due to the fact that as the percentage of silica fume increases the water available in the system
decreases thus affecting the workability. As compared to control mix (CM), the mix containing
16% silica fume (SFC16) has a slump reduction of 28% and compaction factor reduction of
5.26%. The effect of silica fume content on the workability with regard to slump of concrete is
shown in Figure 1.

The compressive strength of concrete containing silica fume given in Table 3 shows an
increasing trend as the percentage of silica fume increases, from 0 to 16%. This is true for 3-
days, 7- days, 28-days, and 60-days compressive strength. The strength activity index for 3-days,
7-days, 28-days, and 60-days for 16% of silica fume is 1.65, 1.33, 1.49 and 1.41 respectively.
The effect of silica fume content on the Compressive strength of concretes is shown in Figure 2.


Table 4 shows the change in weight of control mix and silica fume mix when immersed in 5%
sodium Sulphric acid (`2SO4) solution. Under a very low p` (0.3 p`) of 5% - `2SO4 Solution,
all hydrated products, hydrated silicate and aluminate phases and calcium hydroxide, can easily
be decomposed. The control mix was markedly affected by 5% - `2SO4 solution with a
significant weight loss. On the other hand, the progress of deterioration in silica fume concrete
immersed in 5% - `2SO4 solution varied widely depending on the percentage of silica fume.
SFCl6 mix was found to be most effective in preventing the Sulphuric acid attack. It appears that
in the Sulphuric acid attack, the early decomposition of calcium hydroxide and subsequent
formation of layer amount of gypsum are attributed to the progressive deterioration accompanied
by the scaling and softening of the matrix. The percentage weight loss, decreases as the
percentage of silica fume in concrete increases. The weight loss index for SFC16 is 0.65

The effects of silica fume content on the acidic media durability shown in Figure 3.


Table 4 shows the change in weight of control mix and silica fume concrete when immersed in
% sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) solution. The p` value of 5% sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) solution
was found to be 12. The percentage weight loss, which is an indication of durability, decreases as
the percentage of silica fume in concrete increases.

The weight loss index for SFC16 is 0.00 while for control mix it is 1.00. This may be due to the
fact that the silica fume, which also acts as a filler material, increases the density of concrete by
filling the voids. The voids, which are very compactly filled up by the silica fume, do not allow
the alkaline media to penetrate into concrete mass and also reduced content of calcium hydroxide
in die silica fume concrete due to pozzolanic reaction. Thus the percentage weight loss will be
less as the percentage of silica fume in concrete increases. The effect of silica fume content on
alkaline media of concretes is shown in Figure 4.




Table 5 shows test result of 60-days compressive strength of silica fume concrete, when exposed
to two different media viz Acidic and Alkaline media the strength activity index shows an
increasing trend as the silica fume increases from to 0 16%.

The strength activity index for SFC16 is 1.92 for acidic and 1.42 for alkaline as compared to the
control mix in the respective media. The effects of silica fume content on the compressive
strength after 60-days immersion in Acidic media and Alkaline media of concretes is shown in
Figure 5.

These studies have lead to the following conclusions:

1. The workability of concrete as measured from slump, compaction factor and Ree-bee
degree decreases as percentage of silica fume in concrete increases. As compared to the
control mix, SFC16 has a slump reduction of 28% and compaction factor reduction of
5.26%. Thus the workability of concrete decreases as the percentages of silica fume in
concrete increases.
2. The compressive strength of concrete shows an increasing trend as the silica fume
content increases, from 0 to 16%. This increasing trend is evident for 3-days, 7-days, 28-
days, and 60- days compressive strength. The strength activity index for SFC16 is 1.65,
1.33, 1.49, and 1.41 at 3- days, 7-days, 28-days, and 60- days respectively. Thus silica
fume acts as a pozzolanic material, hence the compressive strength of concrete increases
as the percentage of silica fume increases.
3. Resistance against acidic attack of silica fume concrete increases as the silica fume
content increases from 0 to 16%. The percentage weight loss, which is an indication of
durability in acidic media, decreases as the percentage of silica fume in concrete
increases. The weight loss index for SFC16 is 0.65. Thus since silica fume acts as a filler
material and fills up the voids of concrete, the durability of concrete in acidic media
increases as the percentage of silica fume in concrete increases.
4. Resistance against alkaline attack of silica fume concrete increases as the silica fume
content increases from 0 to 16%. The percentage weight loss, which is an indication of
durability in alkaline media, decreases as the percentage of silica fume in concrete
increases. The weight loss index for SFC16 is 0.00 while for control mix it is 1.00.
5. The 60-days compressive strength of silica fume concrete, when exposed to two different
media viz. Acidic and Alkaline media shows an increasing trend as the silica fume
increases from 0 to 16%. The strength activity index for SFC16 is 1.92 for acidic and 1.42
for alkaline as compared to the control mix in the respective media.


1. ACI Committee 226R (March- Apr. 1981), ³Silica Fume in Concrete,´ ACI Material
Journal, 84, 3, pp. 158±166.
2. Conferences/Seminars/ Workshops.
3. Cook, J.E., ³Research and Application of `igh Strength Concrete, 10.000 psi Concrete,´
Concrete International, Oct., 1989, pp. 67-75.
4. Duval R. and E.`. Kadri (1998), ³Influence of Silica Fume on the Workability and the
Compressive Strength of `igh Performance Concrete,´ Cement and Concrete Research,
28, 4, pp.533-547.
5. Gupta, S.M., ³Experimental Studies on the Behavior of `igh Strength Concrete,´ Ph.D.
Thesis, 2001, K.U.Kurukshetra.
6. I.S. : 10262±1962, ³Indian Standard Recommended Guidelines for concrete mix design,´
BIS, New Delhi.
7. I.S.: 383-1970 (1990), ³Specification for coarse and Fine Aggregate from Natural source
for concrete,´ Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.
8. Leming M.L., ³Properties of `igh Strength Concrete: An Investigation of Characteristics
`igh Strength Concrete Using Materials in North Caroling Research Report F`WA/
NC/88-006,´ Department of Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh,
N.C., July, 1988.
9. Mehta, P.K., and Gjorv, O.E. ³Properties of Portland Cement Concrete Containing Silica
Fume,´ Cement and Concrete Research, R. 12, No. 5, Sept.1982, pp. 587-595.
10. Moreno, J., ³The State±of±the±Art of `igh Strength Concrete in Chicago, 225W. Wacka
Drive. Concrete International, Jan., 1990, pp. 35-39.
11. Neville A.M. (2000), ³Properties of Concrete,´ Fourth and Final Edition - Pearson
Education Asia Ltd.
12. Ojho, R. N., ³Use of Flyash and Condensed Silica in Making Concrete,´ IE (I), Journal
R. 77, November, 1996, pp. 170-173.
13. Rachel J. Detwiler and P. Kumar Mehta (Nov.-Dec. 1989), ³Chemical and Physical
Effect of Silica Fume on the Mechanical Behavior of Concrete,´ ACI Materials Journal,
86, 6, pp. 609-614.
14. Sellevold, E.J. and Nilsen, T. Supp1ementary Cementing Materials for Concrete, Ed. By
R.M. Malhotra. CANMET, SP 86-8E, pp. 167-246/1987.

 c  *

 , Marketing Manager, BASF Construction Chemicals (India) Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai

Since the Stone Age mankind has struggled to keep the structures watertight, Even today¶s
struggle is on to deploy one or other kind of waterproofing system to achieve total water
tightness of structures. In spite of good construction practices at site and using branded products,
engineers struggle to keep structures watertight. So far the approach has been based on achieving
watertight tanking around the structure to guard entry of water in the structure; less attention and
focus has been on getting integral water tightness (within the structure). This article explains the
main sources of leakages in the structure, and using two technological advancements to enable
integral water tightness to structure with a live case study.

c   '(
There are three main sources of water leakage in concrete structures:

= Construction Joints
= Cracks
= Porous media


Large structures of concrete are cast in number of sections. The dividing lines between two
sections are the joints between already harden concrete and freshly poured concrete, with
continuity of reinforcements. At these joints fresh concrete shrinks and creates a fine crack.
These cracks are normally 0.1 ± 0. 3 mm in width and are passages for water to pass through the


Due to various reasons such as excessive segregation of concrete mix, high water cement ratios,
movements, settlements, rapid variations in ambient temperatures, early de-stripping, etc«
concrete structures develop cracks during the construction stage and these cracks are some time
deeper and can easily transport water from one side to another.

Concrete has heterogeneous matrix, a mixture of binding paste and fillers. While mixing the
ingredients and placement of fresh concrete, concrete entraps air and the same is attempted to
remove by compaction using mechanical means. Achieving uniform compacting throughout the
volume of freshly placed concrete is very difficult to achieve. In adequate compaction results in
to the air voids. Theoretically, concrete requires only 23 ± 25% water by weight of cement for
the chemical hydration of the cement. While actual concrete in practice contains 40 ± 50% of
water by the weight of cement. The extra water is provided to achieve desired workability and
easy of placement. This extra water leaves the concrete mass during the hydration reaction
resulting in to the formation of pores. An interconnected series of such pores are popularly
known as capillary pores. These capillaries make concrete porous. Besides these two features
concrete also contains hydration pores which are formed due to volume changes of hydration
products and are normally filled with loose lime, one of end product of the hydration reaction.
These hydration pores promotes diffusion of corrosive agents in the concrete.
-   c  

To check the porosity of concrete and leakages through the joints & cracks, integral watertight
concept is gaining popularity. The concept is a combination of two systems:

= Watertight joints using reinjectable hoses

= Watertight concrete mass by deploying self±compacting concrete concept


The re-injectable hoses are made up of PRC plastic core which enables toughness to the hose.
The core has injection channel in the centre, which connects to openings at regular distance in all
four directions. The openings are guarded with neoprene seals.
The hose is placed at the central line of the construction joints using clips and the ends are
connected to nonperforated hose with termination in near-surface mounted junction boxes. After
the casting and destripping of the concrete cover of the junction box is located and marked for
future operations. Each length of the hose is first injected with water to assess the leakages at the
construction joint. Then injected using water±based lowviscosity, re-swellable, vinylacrylate
injection resin. The injection resin pressurized the soft neoprene seals and squeeze out around
seals to the openings and travels around the hose and to the crack of the construction joints and
other cracks which connects to the construction joints. In the next stage of operation, injection
pressure is release and the hose is applied with the vacuum. The neoprene seals now gains
original size and seals the openings and prevents the suction of resin from outside of the hose to
inside. Also all the resin from the central channel is sucked out and then the hose is rinse using
water under low pressure re-circulation stage. Now the resin in the cracks has set and forms an
effective seal for passage of water in the future. The hose can be injected with water to verify the
effectiveness of the injection. If leakages are noticed then the hose is re-injected with the resin
once again. Overall the re-swellable acrylate resin and injection hose provides following main

= Re-injectable hose ± permanent access to the construction joint

= In-build QA system±Test the effectiveness by injecting with water
= Re-swelling injection resin± swells up to 2.5 time in volume to maintain tight seal even in
the case of movements in the cracks

-   c4  

To obtain proper, robust self± compacting concrete, it is important to include all of following
components in the mix. These components enhance the performance of the fresh concrete as
mentioned below:

= `yperplasticiser±which is based on PCE polymer and have 30 ± 40% water reduction

= Riscosity Modifying Agent ± Improve the shear resistance and thickens the paste to
achieve effective segregation resistance
= Pozzolans ± Facilitate increase in the paste volume without increasing the temperature of
concrete and enables segregation resistance.

`ence, to achieve a robust mix of self±compacting concrete, it is must that all of these three
ingredients are present and are properly included to maximize the benefits they can offer on the
hardened properties of the mix.

From the water tightness and durability aspects²these three ingredients enable the following

Overall by carefully implementing a proper self± compacting mix, achieving watertight concrete
mass is possible. Also in the case of large projects, developed mix can be tested for permeability
to standards such as DIN 1048 and that can be one of the acceptance criteria. While in the case of
smaller projects such special self± compacting mix can be supplied by Ready mix producers who
can design and control the ingredients.

Following case history of `ercules `arbor in Monaco enables us an insight in one of such
successful implementation of this integral watertight concrete concept.


Client±Gouvernement of Monaco Location of site±Algeciras Spain Contractor±DRAGADOS
BEC R Engineering±DORIS Engineering France R & D±Institute Francais du Petriole
Norwegian Technical Institute and many others Technology Supplier±BASF CC Spain

New studies were made in the 1980µs to protect and extend the existing harbor. The depth of the
sea±bed of 55 meters did not allow conventional construction. Further the Government decided
to minimise the impact for the environment during construction. Based upon studies made in
France and Norway the Monaco Government decided to build a prefabricated ³ semi floating
seawal l´ a technique common in the offshore oil industry.
The structure was 352 metres long, 44 m wide and about 35 m tall; its design required 2,900 MT
of steel cables for stressing and 45,000 of concrete!

As the structure cannot be constructed in-situ and also near by area was not available for
precasting yard, Engineers from DORIS Engineering decided to construct in a dry-dock, 1200
km away in Spain. As such long structure cannot be transported on the ship; it required to be
floated in sea and to be transported by towing. This required total watertightness of the structure
and all the joints it has.

Any leakage at joint or within the concrete mass would make it sunk below the ocean.

Based upon the construction of TROLLE, an off shore platform built in Norway, DORIS
Engineering recommended the use of Self±compacting Concrete. To secure the construction
joints, Masterflex 900, the re-injectable hose was specified allowing testing joints and injecting
and re-injecting with resin where necessary.

After the construction all the joints were injected using Masterflex 801, water based reswelling
resin and tested for watertightness.

No form of external waterproofing treatment was carried out for this structure. No membrane or
no accidental drill and grouting were implemented.

Finally, the structure was towed in the sea as it can be carried on the ship and was positioned at
the final location in 2004.

The new age technologies and quest of civil engineers have lead to solutions which are long
lasting. Such implementations make these technologies time tested and real for the rest of the
world to get inspired and to implement.



, Chief Consultant, Cement Manufacturers¶ Association, New Delhi.

Concrete is one of the oldest and most widely used building materials in the world. In one form
or another various types of concrete have been used for construction purpose for around 9,000
years by now. Concrete platforms dating back to 7,000 B.C. have been unearthed in West Asia
and concrete structures have been found in a 7,000 years old sunken city, discovered off the
coast of Gujarat. These are just two examples, taken at random, from hundreds of concrete
structures built throughout known human history.

One of the enduring mysteries of all times, is the answer to the question as to how did the ancient
Egyptians, who had no machines worth the name, haul up huge limestone blocks weighing over
fifteen tonnes, to construct their massive pyramids. This question has for centuries been very
widely debated by archeologists, historians and engineers, and several possible answers arrived
at. Leaving aside improbable conjectures like the one that the pyramids were constructed by
alien beings who visited our planet from outer space, most other theories focus on methods used
to quarry the gigantic blocks, transport them to the building sites, shape and polish them so
finely²even though no mortar has been used to join the blocks together, they fit so nicely that
even a knife blade cannot be slipped between adjacent stones±and finally haul them into
position. Most aver that the blocks were chiselled out of hillside rock formations, floated down
the Nile on boats or rafts, moved across land using wooden rollers placed below them, and
positioned using long sloping ramps. `uman slaves, along with elephants, formed the motive
power. Although, eminently feasible, this method would have been painfully laborious and slow.
Some years back a new theory of pyramid construction was put forth. According to it, there was
no question of quarrying, transporting, shaping and polishing of blocks; nor of hauling them into
position. This is because, according to this revolutionary theory, there were no limestone blocks
to start with. They were, in actual fact, poured in-situ lime concrete blocks. This process, it is
argued, would have saved the almost impossible effort required to construct the 4,500 years old
pyramids, especially as the Egyptians of that time apparently had no iron tools, now were aware
of the invention of the wheel.

As concrete evolved over the ages, it has become quite clear from recent discoveries, that several
µmodern¶ varieties of concrete, may not be so modern after all. Take for instance, lightweight
concrete. As far back as 83 B.C. Roman architects used lightweight aggregates formed by the
cooling of lava, from volcanoes like Etna, Stromboli and Resuvius, to build the Temple of
Fortune in Palestrina, Italy, whose ruins were discovered some time back. Excavations in Italy
have also revealed the remanants of large number of other residential and official buildings,
made with lightweight concrete, dating back to between the 1st Century B.C. to the 2nd Century

Another example of a supposedly modern form of concrete which in actual fact was fairly widely
used by the ancients, is fireproof concrete. Sometime during the 3rd Century B.C., the buildings
of almost the entire city of Rome, were re-built with fireproof concrete. Then, to give them an
aesthetic look, they were given a facing of bricks. When Rome¶s first Emperor, Augustus Caesar
(after whom the month of August is named), nephew of Julius Caesar, took independent charge
of the Roman Empire in 32 B.C., he decided that his capital did not look grand enough. So he
had marble facades put on every building, so that Rome literally glittered in the sunshine. Four
hundred years later, when the Goths under Alaric looted Rome, they set the entire city on fire.
The marble facades and brick burned off, but the basic concrete structures of Rome almost all



Another innovation that originated over 2000 years ago in Rome, was the blending of reddish
volcanic earth with lime. This resulted in a fairly unique product±concrete that set under water.
Undersea structures built at that time, are still existing today, though most of them are damaged
or broken.

Coming to more modern times, concrete was used for making boats, yes you read that right, it is
boats, since 1850s, in France. These boats were made by plastering concrete over an iron mesh
boatshaped framework. This composite was named as Fericement in early days and Ferrocement
later on. It is still being used for making boats, water tanks, house components, irrigation &
sanitation item etc. Such boats had many advantages since they were waterproof and leak proof,
did not rot and were also almost damage proof. Right till the 1920s, concrete boats and ships,
some as big as 132 metres long and 17 metres wide, weighing over 7,500 tonnes, were plying on
ocean going routes. Even today, many colleges in USA, organize regular concrete boat races,
which are extremely popular with students.

Next on our list, is fibre reinforced concrete. This product too, is not all that modern as,
according to available records, the first fibre-reinforced concrete products were bricks,
reinforced with straw fibres, which were in wide use some 3000 years ago. And concrete roofs,
reinforced with horse-hair, were all the rage around the 3rd Century A.D. Steelfibre reinforced
concrete is a more recent product, since the know-how for the manufacture of steel fibres was
not available earlier on. `ence steel fibre reinforced concrete only made its appearance in 1874,
a mere 132 years ago.

And do you know when Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) i.e. concrete mixed in a central batching
plant and transported to different work sites, first made its appearance. It was in 1903.
Unfortunately, suitable motorized transport for its conveyance, from batching plant to work site,
was not available in those days, since the automobile industry was still in its infancy. So, when
centrally batched concrete was carried by horse-drawn container vehicle, it often set on the way,
as there was almost no knowledge regarding retarding chemicals available at that time. The
manufacture and use of RMC was therefore somewhat slow, till about 1914, when the first petrol
engine driven RMC trucks made an appearance. Incidentally, 1914 was also the year when the
first concrete road was constructed in our country.

Despite all that is mentioned above, modern-day concrete technologists need not feel that ³there
is nothing new under the sun.´ Today, we have a number of innovative usage for concrete, most
of which±as far as current knowledge goes±were unknown or even undreamt of, till just a few
decades ago. These include flexible concrete, spun concrete, whisper concrete, ultra-thin
concrete and even cementless concrete. Some details of these products and processes are given in
the succeeding paragraphs.


The term µflexible concrete¶ seems to be an anomaly, since concrete is generally considered to be
inflexible, as in a rigid road pavement. The requirement for a flexible form of concrete has been
felt for many years, due to failure of concrete roads and bridge decks, when subject to severe
stress by overloaded trucks going across them. In the mid-1990¶s, scientists in USA¶s University
of Michigan, decided to try and design a flexible form of concrete, which would be ductile and
elastic. They gave their new product the name of Engineered Cement Composite (ECC) and
started carrying out experiments with different trial mixes.

Eventually, after dozens of hits and misses, they produced a fairly satisfactory mix which, after
setting, resulted in a concrete that, when overloaded, bent/sagged but did not crack. The mix was
similar to a normal concrete mix, except that there were no coarse aggregates in it. Also it
contained around two percent fibres, compared to the normal half percent contained in ordinary
fibre-reinforced concrete. Additionally, the fibres incorporated in ECC were specially coated
ones; this coating allowed the fibres to slide within the concrete, thus imparting flexibility to it.

Concrete produced by ECC techniques, has already been used in projects in several countries,
including Australia, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and USA. The latest formula has given an end
product that is 40 percent lighter in weight and 500 times more resistant to cracking, than normal
concrete. This latest composite concrete has been used for a 5cm ultra-thin deck on a bridge in
Japan. The 40 percent saving in weight has led to significant economies in construction cost
especially in the understructure on which the dead load came. An additional bonus that the
deck¶s flexibility gave, was that there was no requirement for expansion joints±the entire deck
slab was a continuous one. This not only provided a smoother ride for motorists using the bridge,
but also saved on the bother and cost of joint filler maintenance/ replacement.


Columns are vital part of most buildings. Load bearing columns, unfortunately, tend to be large
in size. Though large columns can be fashioned and designed artistically, thus giving a pleasing
appearance, they often take up vital space and obstruct free movement as well as vital
viewability. Pre-stressing columns imparts additional load bearing capacity to them, thus
allowing them to be made slimmer in size and permitting larger spacing between them but even
then, their size can create problems.

To provide columns with even more load bearing strength, so that their diameter could be further
reduced, a new technique has been conceived, which is basically German in origin. This
technique results in the production of what is known as spun concrete. The procedure for making
columns of spun concrete is roughly as follows. A steel mould in the shape of the column is
made, in two halves. The reinforcement cage for the column is also made in two parts. One part
is placed in each half of the mould, anchored to fixing devices, which are a part of the mould,
and pretensioned. `igh strength concrete, up to M-100, is then poured into the mould halves.
After that the halves are bolted together and placed in a centrifuge.

The mould, with the concrete in it, is then spun for approximately 10 minutes, at 600 rpm. After
that, the concrete is left to set, for between 12 to 16 hours, depending on various factors, such as
strength required, column size, ambient conditions and so on. The mould is then removed and the
column cured, then transported to the construction site. This process produces a very dense, high
strength concrete structure. `eavy reinforcement ratios up to 15 percent, have enabled
production of 28 metre high columns, having a diameter of only 70 cm, capable of taking loads
up to 360 tonnes, by the use of spun concrete.

One major disadvantage of concrete roads is that they are noisy; vehicles traveling on them
produce a µswishing¶ sound, due to the friction between their tyres and the hard road surface. In
European countries, where long stretches of concrete highways exists, this irritating µswish-
swish¶ was, and is, the cause of much annoyance for road users, and for those whose houses are
situated in the vicinity of concrete roads. So much so that many countries have made it
mandatory to construct sound deflecting fences along concrete roads, wherever they pass through
residential areas. In fact in UK, construction of concrete road pavements was actually banned for
a few years due to noise pollution.

And that is how µWhisper Concrete¶ came into being, although it was partly by accident.

In late 70¶s and early 80¶s, despite predictions that the then quantum jump in oil prices would
drastically reduce individual usage of vehicles, traffic on concreted European roads increased by
leaps and bounds. Simultaneously, there was an increase in vehicular speed, particularly on inter-
city highways. This caused a greater wearing action on road surfaces and also an almost
unbearable increase in the level of sound being produced. Smoothened pavements, worn down
due to excessive wear and tear, led to skidding of vehicles, causing accidents; and noise pollution
gave rise to headaches and other soundrelated psychological problems. These troubles were
particularly noticeable near and on autobahns, motorways and freeways, where speeds generally
exceeded 120 kmph, and between 75,000 to 1,00,000 vehicles traversed the facility every day.

Among the first countries to take cognizance of motorists complaints was Belgium. Since
accidents due to skidding (which led to a large number of deaths and serious injuries) caused
much more damage than mere noise pollution, priority was given for mitigating causative factors
for the former.

Investigations into the causes of skidding, showed that when concrete pavements were initially
laid, they were invariably given a non-skid surface by brooming; a method in which the surface
of the road had grooves etched into it, by dragging steel-wire brooms across the top of the
concrete pavement, before it had hardened fully. These grooves, which were generally made two
millimeters deep, imparted excellent anti-skid properties to the road. `owever, continuous heavy
traffic over on extended period of time, caused the ridges between the grooves to get worn down,
thus flattening the surface of the pavement. In those days, re-grooving of the road surface,
though eminently feasible, was a somewhat costly and laborious process (new techniques have
made it easier to re-groove the top of a concrete pavement today). `ence road maintenance
authorities tended to delay the operations, or even give it the complete go-by. So when it next
rained, interaction between vehicle tyres and the wet, smooth road surface, produced a
phenomenon known as µhydroplaning.¶ `ydroplaning is a particularly nasty form of skidding,
and normally leads to total loss of control of vehicles by drivers.

An accident rates in the country went up and criticism of official apathy mounted, the Belgian
authorities started to take action. They began to look for ways and means to restore the anti-skid
surface of concrete roads economically and speedily.

Initially, trial lengths of smoothened road surface, were overlaid with 40-50 mm of concrete
having a maximum aggregate size of 6-8 mm. The surface of the new concrete, while still wet,
was sprayed with a retarder consisting of glucose, water and alcohol; it was then immediately
covered securely with polythene sheeting, to prevent evaporation. This particular retarder, as
tests had shown, affected only the top 2 mm of the concrete.

Once partial curing of the remaining concrete had taken place (anything between 8 to 36 hours
later, depending on the ambient conditions), the polythene sheeting was removed, and the surface
of the road was swept with a machine, which had stiff, rotating wire bristle brushes. These
rotating brushes removed the cement mortar from the top 1.5 mm of the pavement, thus exposing
the aggregate and making the surface rough enough for safe high-speed driving in wet weather.

When vehicles were driven at expressway speeds over these newly made antiskid surfaces, it was
found to every ones surprise that, besides being safer to travel on, such exposed-aggregate
pavements were much quieter than normal concrete surfaces. In fact, they eventually proved to
be even quieter than blacktopped roads.

Further trials were then carried out, with the emphasis now on reduction of the amount of noise
pollution being created. These only served to confirm the earlier findings, that the new type of
surface was much quieter than any of the other pavements in service. The delighted public works
authorities±who had got two benefits for the price of one±soon labeled the exposed-aggregate
pavement as µwhisper¶ concrete, and decided to go in for it in a big way.

`owever, the Belgians soon discovered that along with its advantages, whisper concrete had one
fairly serious drawback. Where overlaying of old smoothened concrete pavements was involved,
the cost of using whisper concrete was more or less the same as regrooving, but involved much
less effort; and where it was laid on an existing worn-out bitumen pavement, whisper concrete
costs matched those of white-topping (re-surfacing of an old blacktopped pavement with thin
concrete slabs). But where new roads had to be built, it was found that the pavement had to be
constructed in two layers. A lower layer of 200 mm of µnormal¶ concrete, having a maximum
aggregate size of 30 mm; and an upper layer of 40-50 mm of whisper concrete, having a
maximum aggregate size of 6-8 mm. This double operation increased both time and cost of
construction. Nevertheless, Belgian authorities decided that the advantages of whisper concrete
far out-weighted its disadvantages. They therefore went on constructing fresh roads and topping
existing ones, with the new material. Between 1981 and 1994 eight million cubic metres of
whisper concrete was laid down on the country¶s roads. Today, CRCP (Continuously Reinforced
Concrete Pavement) with an exposed aggregate surface, is the standard form of road construction
in Belgium, for all inter±city highways.

After Belgium, whisper concrete was taken up in a big way by neighboring Netherlands.
Extremely happy with its performance, but not too pleased in having to build it in two layers, the
Dutch carried out some trials of their own. They soon discovered that if the maximum aggregate
size in the entire concrete mass was reduced to 20 mm, and a good percentage of small stone
chippings added to the mix, whisper concrete pavements could be laid in a single pass. Though
driving on such pavements was not as µcomfortable¶ as on two-layer whisper concrete, the noise
produced was somewhat less, apart from the considerable saving in time and money since only a
single laying operation was involved.

The next European nation to take up the new road building method was Austria. Austria is by
and large a mountainous country, with many of its roads running along the lower portions of
valleys. Increasing traffic at greater speeds along these arteries, caused noise to roll up the
hillsides in waves. This phenomenon started causing µadverse political fall-out.¶ Fearing loss of
votes, worried Government officials, scanned literature, organized conferences and toured
Europe, looking for solutions to the problem. It was not long before they discovered whisper
concrete. After due trials and deliberations, the Austrians decided to adopt the Belgian two-layer
technique of construction, rather than the Dutch single-layer method. This is because in Austria,
despite the country¶s middle±of±the±Alps location, suitably tough and hard aggregates are
extremely costly. Such aggregates are essentially required for that country¶s roads because the
heavy snowfalls it experiences, means that most vehicles use studded tyres; and such tyres wear
out soft aggregates very fast. `ence the Austrians used soft aggregates for the thicker lower layer
of their concrete roads, and hard tough aggregates for the thinner, upper whisper concrete layer.
Austria¶s selection of the twolayer method of construction, proved to be a wise one, because
even five years after the initial whisper concrete roads were built, their surfaces showed no signs
of wear and tear, despite their regular use by studded tyre traffic.

The British, traditionalists as usual, waited to see the experience of others and then took up the
construction of whisper concrete pavements only in 1995. The guidelines provisionally
enunciated by them, are probably the most suitable ones for use by those building whisper
concrete roads for the first time. These include:

= Under standard highway conditions, a concrete road should consist of a cement-bound

sub-base, between 150-200 mm thick. On top of this, there should be 200 mm of CRCP,
followed by 50 mm of whisper concrete surfacing.
= Existing concrete paving trains should be modified to lay the lower CRCP and the upper
whisper concrete surface in the same pass.
= Full pavement width (even for double-lane roads) on each side of dual carriageway roads,
should be laid in a single operation.
= Normally, 8 mm size coarse aggregate should be used in the surface layer. Not more than
3 percent of these should be oversized and 10 percent undersized.
= These aggregates should posses a polished stone value greater than 60; this will ensure
sufficient hardness to combat wear and tear. The aggregates should also have a
µflakiness¶ index less than 25% which will ensure that they have a fairly uniform shape.
= Coarse aggregate should form around 60% of the whisper concrete, which should be
airentrained. Sand used should be very fine. The cement used should be OPC (Ordinary
Portland Cement).
= The whisper concrete layer should be initially levelled by a conventional mechanical float
with oscillating beams. This should be followed by further levelling by a µsuper smooth¶
float, set longitudinally down the carriageway, at right angles to the first float, which
should remove any remaining imperfections or ridges.
= Spray the smooth finished surface immediately with a retarder consisting of glucose,
water and alcohol. Then cover the surface with a polyethylene µcling¶ film.
= Between 8 and 36 hours later (depending on ambient conditions), remove the
polyethylene film and brush the surface with mechanically rotating, stiff bristles; to
remove cement mortar from the top 1.5 mm.
= Properly planned operations should enable construction of about 3000 linear metres of
whisper concrete per day.

† *$
- *$ 

Until 1991, most white topping projects did not purposely seek a bond between the interface of
the concrete and the underlying flexible surface. Rather, the existing bitumen served as base for
the new concrete overlay. Today, we refer to this technique as ³Conventional´ or ³Classical´
white topping, defined as: ³A concrete overlay, usually of thickness of 100 mm or more, placed
directly on top of an existing bitumen pavement.

`owever, a new technology emerged in the early 1990¶s, which has dramatically expanded white
topping technology and its use. This rehabilitation technique purposely seeks to bond the
concrete overlay to the existing bitumen. As a result, the concrete overlay and the underlying
bitumen act as a composite section rather than two independent layers. This composite action
significantly reduces the load-induced stresses in the concrete overlay. Therefore, the concrete
overlay can be considerably thinner for the same loading as compared to a white topping section
with no bond to the underlying bitumen.

When describing pavement thickness, terms such as ³thick´ and ³thin´ are relative and depend
on the viewpoint and experience of the user. For Ultra-Thin White (UTW) topping, a more
definitive description is needed. Based on the international experience, ultrathin white topping
can be defined as: ³A concrete overlay 50 mm to 100 mm thick with closely spaced joints
bonded to an existing bitumen pavement.´

There are three basic requirements for UTW overlays to perform properly. These are:

= Availability of an appropriately thick existing bitumen layer.

= Achievement of a bond between the existing bitumen pavement and the UTW.
= Provision of short joint spacing.

Bonding allows the concrete and bitumen layers to perform as a composite section. This causes
the two layers to act monolithically and share the load. With bonding, the neutral axis in the
concrete shifts from the middle of the concrete down toward the bottom of the concrete. This
shifting lowers the stresses at the bottom of the concrete and brings the stresses into a range that
the thin concrete layer can withstand.

The composite section has opposing effects on corner stresses. There is a decrease in the
concrete stresses because the whole pavement section is thicker. `owever, if the neutral axis
shifts low enough in the concrete, the critical load location may move from the edge to the corner
depending on the materials and layer characteristics. Essentially, the corner stresses decrease
because the bonding action creates a thicker section, but increase because the neutral axis shifts
down and away from the top surface.

To combat this effect, close joint spacing is critical. All pavement types must absorb the energy
of the applied load by either bending or deflecting. Traditional concrete pavements are designed
to absorb energy by bending and thus are made thick enough to resist stresses induced by
bending. With UTW, short joint spacings are used so that energy is absorbed by deflection
instead of bending. The short joint spacing also minimizes stresses due to curling and warping by
decreasing the amount of slab that can curl or warp.

For the UTW overlays, the short joint spacing in effect forms a minipaver block system, which
transfers loads to the flexible pavement through deflection rather than bending. Typical joint
spacings that have performed well on UTW projects are somewhere between 0.6 and 1.5 m. It is
recommended that the maximum joint spacing for UTW be between 12-15 times the slab
thickness in each direction.
When performing a UTW project, there must be enough bitumen to protect the concrete
(minimize stresses), and enough concrete must be placed to protect the bitumen (minimize
strains). A thicker bitumen pavement section improves the load-carrying capacity of the system
because it creates a thicker final UTW pavement structure, and also carries more of the load.
This shifts the neutral axis down in the concrete, which decreases the concrete stresses.

The construction of a UTW consists of three basic steps:

= Prepare the existing surface by milling and cleaning, or blasting with water or abrasive
= Place, finish, and cure the concrete overlay using conventional techniques and materials.
= Cut saw joints early at prescribed spacings.

A clean surface is required for proper bond. Milling the surface followed by cleaning improves
bond because it opens the pore surface of the bitumen pavement. The milling creates a rough
surface that ³grabs´ the concrete and creates the mechanical bond between the two layers. Once
a surface is cleaned it is extremely important to keep it clean until paving commences.

Paving a UTW is no different from paving any other concrete pavement. Conventional slip-form
and fixed-form pavers, as well as hand-held equipment±such as vibrating screeds±have all been
used successfully without major modifications. The only real change is that the concrete layer is
thinner than normal. Normal finishing and texturing procedures are applied to the surface.

Proper curing is critical to avoid shrinkage cracking and debonding between the bitumen and
concrete pavements. Curing compound should be applied at twice the normal rate, because the
overlay being a thin concrete slab, has high surface area to volume ratio, and can thus lose water
rapidly due to evaporation. Care must also be used during application, to avoid spraying curing
compound on adjacent uncovered prepared bitumen surfaces, since that would decrease bonding.

Joint sawing should be carried out with lightweight saws, as early as possible, to control
cracking. Saw depth should be approximately one±fourth to one third of the total depth of the
overlay. Typically, UTW joints are not sealed. Test studies have shown that UTW pavements
perform well without sealants because the compactness of the slabs minimizes joint movement.
The concrete mix selected for particular project is matched to the traffic conditions and opened-
fortraffic requirements. Synthetic fibers are often added to increase the post-crack integrity of the

Ultra-thin White-topping projects have been carried out in several countries including USA,
Brazil and Canada. `owever, the technique is still regarded to be in its infancy and requires
considerable research to streamline and standardize it.

The American Concrete Institute issued µSupplement Specification 852¶ on 11th July 2000,
which laid down specifications for µUltra-thin White-topping Overlay with Steel Fiber
Reinforced Concrete.¶ As far as is known this is the only existing specification on the subject.


In the late 1980s, Austria was facing a shortage of cement, due to several factors. Shortage of
suitable quality limestone was one of them. Another was the extremely stringent emission
standards for cement manufacturing plants set by the country¶s Government, due to concern
about the steadily deteriorating environment.

Both the cement and construction industries were worried, and decided to do something to sort
out the problem. Discussions, experiments, laboratory and field trials became the order of the
day. Eventually, an absolutely new, novel and unique product was developed, after 15 years of
intense effort.

The scientists, technologists and others involved in the project, started off by thinking µoutside
the box.¶ They decided that they did not want to produce a modified cement, or even an
improved version of OPC. They resolved to create an alternative to cement. This was a tall order
indeed, but the experiment team was determined to succeed; and succeed they did. Their basic
premise was, that although they did not want cement, their alternative binding material, had to
have cementitious properties, if they wanted it to take over cement¶s role.

By trial and error, they narrowed down their choice of the base material to slag. Austria, located
right in the heart of Europe¶s biggest steel producing zone, was ideally situated to procure
massive quantities of slag, easily and economically. And blast furnace steel slag is a highly
cementitious material.

Once the base element had been identified further experiments and trials were carried out to find
ways and means to convert it into a suitable, easy-to-use and economical binding agent. Finally it
was determined that by blending gypsum, certain alkaline products and a few other additives
with slag, they could obtain a substance that had all the binding properties of cement, yet was
superior to it in many ways.

The advantages that this new slag-based binder had included:

a. No burning process was involved in its production. `ence emission of carbon-dioxide
and nitrous oxides was reduced to almost zero, making it extremely friendly to the
b. It has a very low heat of hydration. `ence it is ideal for mass concrete applications such
as dams and foundations. Also, low heat of hydration means almost no cracks in the
finished product, hence eminently suitable for water-retaining structures.
c. `igh resistance of concrete products made from it, to sulphate and acid attack, as well as
damage by alkali-reactive aggregates. Thus can be used with great advantage in
aggressive environment.
d. Energy saving of up to 80 percent in its manufacture, since this involves only grinding.

The above-mentioned binder is still not in general production, as its composition was finalized
only around five years ago. Trials on concrete items and structures manufactured using this
binder, are still being carried out.

The author is grateful to the International Cement Review, BFT International and the Indian
Cement Review for some of the information contained in the above article.



c A !, Lecturer, Thapar University, h
(+ , `ead, Civil Engineering
Department, Thapar University, Patiala,   0, 0  ,, `ead, Civil
Engineering Department IIT Delhi.
This paper deals with the effect of granular characteristics of mineral admixtures like silica fume
and flyash added in binary or ternary combinations on the water requirement of resultant
concrete. The role of superplasticizers in modifying the rheology has been investigated.
Superplasticizers are the admixtures that are added to concrete in very small dosages and modify
the water requirement of resultant mix and improve fresh properties of concrete.

Measurement of workability is made by slump test and Ree-bee time test in order to have the
correlation between the two and amount of compaction achieved is studied by measuring fresh
density of concrete. It is found that superplasticizers become necessary with the reduction of
water binder ratio and flyash and silica fume affect the fresh concrete in opposite ways. Also, the
relation that exists between slump and Ree±bee time for normal concrete without
superplasticizers does not remain valid for concrete having mineral admixtures and


The use of high range water reducers (superplasticizers), condensed silica fume and other fine
mineral admixtures have lead to the production of high-strength concrete [1]. Mineral admixtures
are used in order to increase strength and improve durability of concrete. Blast furnace slag,
flyash and silica fume are some of the mineral admixtures used in varying proportions to achieve
the desired results. The mineral admixtures also affect the properties in fresh state, which are
directly related to development of strength and durability of hardened concrete. Economics (not
always) and environmental considerations have also had a role in the growth of mineral
admixture usage.

Much research has been conducted for improving both fresh and hardened properties by using
various mineral admixtures. It is reported that fly ash contributes to increase flowability in the
fresh state, a dense microstructure and develop higher mechanical properties at the later stage
due to the pozzolanic reaction [2,3]. Silica fume, on the other hand, has very fine particles±
average particle size is less than 1Fm, which decreases the flowability in fresh state of concrete
although, provides a dense microstructure and improved mechanical properties at early stages
due to fast pozzolanic reaction [4, 5]. Silica fume is considered to be most efficient in
contributing towards both early and later age properties of concrete. `owever, in India, silica
fume comes under the category of costly materials, whereas flyash is abundant in our country
and its production is increasing day by day. In the study undertaken, silica fume and flyash are
used in combination to see the effect on improvement in fresh properties.

It is widely known that better fluidity is achieved by addition of superplasticizer. The increase of
superplasticizer in concrete began in 1960s and has proved to be a milestone in concrete
technology and in the field of construction [6]. There is no doubt that the use of admixtures had a
profound impact on the concrete practices in India during the last few years [7]. The
superplasticizer is adsorbed on the cement particles, which deflocculates and separate, releasing
trapped water from cement flocks [8]. Currently available superplasticizers are micro molecular
organic agents which are often divided into four groups according to their chemical contents as
sulphonate melamine formaldehyde, sulphonate napthalene formaldehyde, modified
lignosulphonates and copolymers containing sulphonic and carboxyl groups [9]. The family of
superplasticizers based on polycarboxylic products is more recent (1980s). These materials are of
higher reactivity; they do not contain the sulphonic group and are totally ionized in alkaline
environment. These do not have the side effect of delaying the curing of concrete [10]. In the
present study, poly-carboxylic group based superplasticizer is used as a chemical admixture.

It is believed that admixtures mainly affect the flow behavior of cement paste and do not alter the
behavior of aggregates. Therefore, in most of the studies on concrete rheology and selection of
chemical admixtures, tests on cement pastes have been conducted [1, 3, 8]. The results are then
related to concrete workability. Unfortunately, the relation between cement paste rheology and
concrete rheology has never been completely established [11]. The main reason behind it is that
cement rheology is typically measured under conditions that are never experienced by cement
paste in concrete. The values that are usually reported in literature do not take into account the
contribution of aggregates [12]. The aggregates act as heat sink and shear the cement paste
during mixing process. Therefore, in order to predict concrete rheology accurately, the tests are
directly conducted on concrete. For this, one of the most commonly used methods for measuring
concrete workability, i.e. slump cone test, is used.
Slump cone test is the typically quantified field test for measuring concrete workability.
`owever, in a survey conducted by National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) and
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) [13], it is determined that slump cone
is not representative of the ease of handling high performance concrete in field, because in slump
cone test, concrete does not undergo the same treatment as is met in the field. Therefore, along
with the slump cone test, Ree±bee time is also noted, because in this test, concrete experience
almost same vibrations as experienced in field.

The objective of the study is to look at the rheological characteristics of concrete which has silica
fume and fly ash present either as binary or ternary combination with ordinary Portland cement.
Secondly, the validity of existing relation between slump and Ree±bee time is checked for the
mineral admixture concrete containing superplasticizers.

Cementitious material
ASTM Type I Portland cement is used in this study. Its chemical composition is given in Table
1. The chemical and physical characteristics of two mineral admixtures silica fume and flyash
can be seen in this table.

Crushed granite with a maximum nominal size of 10 mm was used as coarse aggregate and
natural riverbed sand confirming to Zone II with a fineness modulus of 2.52 was used as fine
aggregate. The properties of aggregates are listed in Table 2.

c    3
Poly-carboxylic group based superplasticizer, Structro 100 (a product of Fosroc chemicals), is
used throughout the investigation. This group maintains the electrostatic charge on the cement
particles and prevents flocculation by adsorption on the surface of cement particles [14]. It is a
light yellow colored liquid complying with requirements of IS 9103 ± 79, BS 5075 Part III and
ASTM ± C494 Type F. The specific gravity of superplasticizer is 1.2 and solid content is 40
percent by mass.

To explore the effect of superplasticizer, the rheological properties are studied for three water
binder ratios: 0.25, 0.35 and 0.45. The three series obtained from three water binder ratios are
designated as M1, M2 and M3 respectively for water binder ratios of 0.25, 0.35 and 0.45. The
quantity of mineral admixtures is varied from 0 to 30 percent and is used either in a binary or a
ternary combination. The mix designs used in the study are shown in Figure 1 and the mix details
of specimens are listed in Table 3 and Table 4.

The mix preparation is very important because it influences its rheological behavior. The
following procedure was adopted for mixing.

The cementitious materials (Portland cement, silica fume and flyash) were mixed together
separately in a container. Coarse aggregates and the fine aggregates were mixed in a mixer
rotated at slow speed of about 140 rev./min. for 1 minute. The cementitious material was then
put in the mixing drum and the resultant mixture was dry mixed for one minute followed by
addition of half of the total water content during the next one-minute mixing. The remaining
water along with superplasticizer was then added and mixed at high speed of about 285
revolutions per minute for 1.5 minutes or till the uniform and homogeneous mix is achieved.
(Superplasticizer was taken as percentage by mass of binder which included cement, silica fume
and flyash if any present. Water content of superplasticizer was taken into account when
calculating the total water content of the mix [15].)

The prepared mix is used for obtaining slump and Ree±bee time. In all 24 mixes are prepared
and three determinations of slump and Ree±bee time are made for each sample and the mean
value is taken. It is worth mentioning at this stage that for the selected dose of superplasticizer,
no segregation was observed at any stage.


For each of the mix, the superplasticizer dose is given step increments and the corresponding
Ree±bee time and slump is noted. The saturation point is obtained from the slump verses
superplasticizer dosage curves; and is taken as that value of superplasticizer beyond which it will
not increase the slump with any further increase in dosage. (In other words, superplasticizer has
no further plasticising effect). The results of these tests are presented in Figure 2 to 4 where
slump is plotted against superplasticizer dosage and in Figure 5 where optimum superplasticizer
dosage is plotted against water binder ratio. The nomenclature of mixes used is already presented
in Table 4. The results are discussed as below.

The effect of the addition of a mineral admixture is detected by an increase in the slump or a
reduction of water content or a reduction of superplasticizer dosage needed to obtain the same
slump. The results are represented in Figure 2 to 4 in which the variation of slump is plotted as a
function of superplasticizer dosage for three series of water binder ratios studied.

For the same water binder ratio, with increase in silica fume content in concrete, the value of
lump decreases and hence the optimum superplasticizer dosage increases, which can be
attributed to high specific surface of silica fume with an average particle size of 0.1Fm.
`owever, this is not the sole factor affecting the increase in superplasticizer demand for silica
fume mixture. Long with the high specific surface area, the particles of silica fume are
chemically highly reactive and have affinity for multilayer adsorption of superplasticizer
molecules, which is also supported by other researchers [16, 17]. As a result, with increase in
silica fume percentage, the quantity of superplasticizers in the concrete system decreases leading
to steep increase in the superplasticizer dosage. The same type of behavior is observed for entire
water binder range with an exception for water binder ratio of 0.25. At this ratio, with the
addition of 5% silica fume, the optimum dosage of superplasticizer decreased by a small amount
from 4% (for control mix) to 3.75%. This reverse trend can be explained by considering the
dispersion action of flocculated cement particles by silica fume particles in combination with
superplasticizer. Actually, the effectiveness of superplasticizer is enhanced in the presence of
silica fume [18]. Similar observation is also made in some previous studies also [19, 20].

The addition of flyash has just the opposite effect on the mix properties in terms of workability
and optimum dosage of superplasticizer as compared to silica fume. With incorporation of
flyash, the water demand and hence optimum percentage of superplasticizer required reduce as
compared to the control mix without mineral admixtures for all water binder ratios studied. The
reduction in water demand of concrete caused by the presence of flyash is ascribed to its
spherical shape, which reduces the frictional forces among the angular particles of OPC, called
ball ± bearing effect [21]. These spherical particles easily roll over one another, reducing inter-
particle friction. The spherical shape also minimizes the particle¶s surface to volume ratio,
resulting in low fluid demands. Also, due to the electrical charges, the fine flyash particles
become adsorbed on the surface of cement particles, which thus become deflocculated, reducing
the water demand [22]. In other way, the effect of flyash can be considered similar to the action
of superplasticizer

From the above discussion, it can be stated that flyash act improves flowability and silica fume
has a reverse effect, when added individually. Thus, it is thought that when used in combination,
the beneficial effect of flyash on fluidity is used to compensate the loss of slump with silica fume
addition. As expected, when the different combinations of silica fume and flyash are used, the
slump values were higher and optimum superplasticizer dosage was lower in comparison with
the corresponding mixes having only silica fume. The slump obtained increased with increase in
flyash content in the mix and decreased with increase in silica fume content. For all the three
water binder ratios, TC2 gave least superplasticizer dosage while MC3 gave maximum
superplasticizer dosage. Thus, it can be said that the addition of flyash led to the production of
economical mixes with greater workability.

)  - 0

#   c    3
Figure 5 shows the results of optimum superplasticizer dosage obtained for all mixes at various
water binder ratios. From the figure, it is observed that as the water binder ratio decreases, the
optimum dosage of superplasticizer increases. With the decrease in water binder ratio, more
number of superplasticizer molecules are required for adsorption on the surface of cement and
mineral admixture particles to increase the fluidity of the mix. The optimum dosage increases
sharply as the water binder ratio is decreased from 0.35 to 0.25 as compared to the shift from
0.45 to 0.35. For example, in the control mix, the optimum superplasticizer dosage increased
from 1.25% to 4% as the water binder ratio is decreased from 0.45 to 0.35. This is because at
very low water ± binder ratio, cement particles are very close and to overcome inter particle
friction and inter particle forces of attraction, higher optimum dose of superplasticizer is

In order to formulate a relation between slump and Ree±bee time for mineral admixture
concrete, Ree±bee time test is also conducted simultaneously to slump test. Figure 6 shows the
graph for slump with Ree± bee time. In the graph, the doted line shows the approximate
relationship between slump and Ree±bee time for the normal ordinary Portland cement concrete
without using superplasticizers and the solid line is the best fit obtained for the test results in the
present study. The marked shift of the present curve for concrete containing mineral admixtures
and superplasticizers from the existing curve for normal concrete can be observed from the
graph. For higher values of Ree±bee time, the amount of slump required is almost same from
both the curves. `owever, when the Ree±bee time is lesser than 5 seconds, the difference in the
values of slumps obtained from the two curves differ in the range of 20 to 50 mm. Since Ree±
bee time is the representative of actual compaction in the field, it can be said that for equal
compaction, the mixes with admixtures require 20 to 50 mm higher slump than the mix
containing Portland cement only. This shift in the curve can be due to the effect of cohesive
nature of the mix with silica fume, flyash and superplasticizers.

)  h


In order to study the effect of mineral admixtures of superplasticizer on the degree of compaction
achieved, fresh density of final mixes were also determined and the same is presented in Table 5.
The fresh density of all the mixes lies in the similar range, although the mixes with flyash have a
density somewhat higher than the other mixes which can again be due to ball bearing effect of

On the basis of the studies carried out, it can be concluded that in the binary system, silica fume
increases the superplasticizer demand at a constant workability due to its high surface area and
its strong affinity for multi² layer adsorption of superplasticizer molecules. Flyash addition, on
the other hand, decreases the water demand and hence optimum percentage of superplasticiser
for constant workability due to its ball ± bearing effect that reduces frictional forces among
binder particles. Also, due to the electrical charges, the fine flyash particles become adsorbed on
the surface of cement particles, which thus become deflocculated, reducing the water demand.
Three-component system is much preferred for high performance concrete because in it, silica
fume act as a filler and flyash controls rheology.

The existing relationship between slump and Ree ±bee time changes with the addition of mineral
admixtures and superplasticizer. For equal compaction, the mixes with admixtures require 20 to
50 mm higher slump than the mix containing Portland cement only.


This research is supported by the Department of Science and Technology Grant. The authors
would like to acknowledge the authorities concerned for its assistance in carrying out the

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Containing Blast Furnace Slag and Silica Fume,¶ Cement and Concrete Research, Rol.
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volume ASTM Class F flyash,¶ ACI Materials Journal, 86, (1989), 507±514.
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cement paste and concrete,¶ Cement and Concrete Research, 31, (2001), 245±255.
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20, 4, (1998), 61±64.
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high±range water reducer slump retaining type¶ in Superplasticisers and other Chemical
Admixtures in Concrete, Ed. R.M. Malhotra, ACI SP ± 119, pp. 79 ± 97.
15. Duval, R. and Kadri, F.`. (1998): µInfluence of silica fume on the workability and
compressive strength of high performance concrete; Cement and Concrete Research, Rol.
28, pp. 533 ± 547.
16. Nehdi M., Mindess S. and Aitcin P.C. (1998): µRheology of `igh performance Concrete:
Effects of fine particles,¶ Cement and Concrete Research, Rol. 28, pp 687 ± 697.
17. Park C.K., Noh M.`. and Park T.`. (2005): Rheological properties of cementatious
materials containing mineral admixtures,¶ Cement and Concrete Research, Rol. 35, pp.
842 ± 849.
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Rol. 18, No.3, pp. 438 ± 448. (*)
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compressive strength of high performance concrete,¶ Cement and Concrete Research,
Rol. 28, No. 4, pp. 533 ± 547.
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fluidity of the paste¶, Cement Science and Concrete Technology, Rol. 55, pp. 163±169.
22. `elmuth R. (1987); µFly ash in cement and concrete,¶ PCA, Skokie, Ill. pp 203.

† ) ')AA)A$)c"

#)$)* c 
S. K. Singh, Scientist, Structural Engineering Division, Central Building Research Institute,
Roorkee and P. C. Sharma, `ead ( Retd.), Material Sciences, SERC,(G) & Editor, New Building
Materials & Construction World, New Delhi, Chairman, Indian Concrete Instt. UP Gaziabad
One of the major challenges of our present society is the protection of environment. Some of the
important elements in this respect are the reduction of the consumption of energy and natural raw
materials and consumption of waste materials. These topics are getting considerable attention
under sustainable development nowadays. The use of recycled aggregates from construction and
demolition wastes is showing prospective application in construction as alternative to primary
(natural) aggregates. It conserves natural resources and reduces the space required for the landfill

This paper presents the experimental results of recycled coarse aggregate concrete and results are
compared with the natural crushed aggregate concrete. The fine aggregate used in the concrete,
i.e. recycled and conventional is 100 percent natural. The recycled aggregate are collected from
four sources all demolished structures. For both types of concrete i.e. M-20 and M-25, w/c ratio,
maximum size of aggregate and mix proportion are kept constant.

The development of compressive strength of recycled aggregate concrete at the age of

1,3,7,14,28, 56, and 90 days; the development of tensile & flexural strength at the age of 1,3,7,14
and static modulus of elasticity at the age of 28 days are investigated. The results shows the
compressive, tensile and flexural strengths of recycled aggregate are on average 85% to 95% of
the natural aggregate concrete. The durability parameters are also investigated for recycled
aggregate concrete and are found to be in good agreement with BIS specifications.


Any construction activity requires several materials such as concrete, steel, brick, stone, glass,
clay, mud, wood, and so on. `owever, the cement concrete remains the main construction
material used in construction industries. For its suitability and adaptability with respect to the
changing environment, the concrete must be such that it can conserve resources, protect the
environment, economize and lead to proper utilization of energy. To achieve this, major
emphasis must be laid on the use of wastes and byproducts in cement and concrete used for new
constructions. The utilization of recycled aggregate is particularly very promising as 75 per cent
of concrete is made of aggregates. In that case, the aggregates considered are slag, power plant
wastes, recycled concrete, mining and quarrying wastes, waste glass, incinerator residue, red
mud, burnt clay, sawdust, combustor ash and foundry sand. The enormous quantities of
demolished concrete are available at various construction sites, which are now posing a serious
problem of disposal in urban areas. This can easily be recycled as aggregate and used in
concrete. Research & Development activities have been taken up all over the world for proving
its feasibility, economic viability and cost effectiveness.

An investigation conducted by the environmental resources ltd. (1979) for European

Environmental commission (EEC) envisages that there will be enormous increase in the
available quantities of construction and demolition concrete waste from 55 million tons in 1980
to 302 million tons by the year 2020 in the EEC member countries. As a whole, the safety and
environment regulations are becoming stringent, demand for improvement in techniques &
efficiency of the past demolition methods is getting pronounced. Special rules and regulations
concerning the demolition have already been introduced in several countries like U.K., `olland
and Japan.

The main reasons for increase of volume of demolition concrete / masonry waste are as follows:-

i. Many old buildings, concrete pavements, bridges and other structures have overcome
their age and limit of use due to structural deterioration beyond repairs and need to be
ii. The structures, even adequate to use are under demolition because they are not serving
the needs in present scenario;
iii. New construction for better economic growth;
iv. Structures are turned into debris resulting from natural disasters like earthquake, cyclone
and floods etc.
v. Creation of building waste resulting from manmade disaster/war.
In study conducted by authors for RCC buildings, the approximate percentage of various
construction materials in demolition waste is presented in Fig. 1. This may vary depending upon
the type of structure.

In many densely populated countries of Europe, where disposal of debris problem is becoming
more and more difficult, the recycling of demolition waste has already been started. As per the
survey conducted by European Demolition Association (EDA) in 1992, the several recycling
plants were operational in European countries such as 60 in Belgium, 50 in France, 70 in the
Netherlands, 120 in United Kingdom, 220 in Germany, 20 in Denmark and 43 in Italy. The
recycling of construction & demolition waste becomes easy & economical, wherever combined
project involving demolition and new construction are taken up simultaneously. The possible
uses of construction and demolition wastes are given in Table 1.




The recycling and reuse of construction & demolition wastes seems feasible solution in
rehabilitation and new constructions after the natural disaster or demolition of old structures.
This becomes very important especially for those countries where national and local policies are
stringent for disposal of construction and demolition wastes with guidance, penalties, levies etc.
A typical lay out plan of recycling plant for construction waste has been shown in Figure. 2. The
properties of recycled aggregate concrete obtained by various authors are given in Table2.



The extensive research on recycled concrete aggregate and recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) as
started from year 1945 in various part of the world after second world war, but in a fragmented
manner. First effort has been made by Nixon in 1977 who complied all the work on recycled
aggregate carried out between 1945-1977 and prepared a state-of-the-art report on it for RILEM
technical committee 37-DRC. Nixon concluded that a number of researchers have examined the
basic properties of concrete in which the aggregate is the product of crushing another concrete,
where other concentrated on old laboratory specimens. `owever, a comprehensive state-of-the-
artdocument on the recycled aggregate concrete has been presented by `ansen & others in 1992
in which detailed analysis of data has been made, leading towards preparation of guidelines for
production and utilization of recycled aggregate concrete.

It has been estimated that approximately 180 million tones of construction & demolition waste
are produced each year in European Union. In general, in EU, 500 Kg of construction rubble and
demolition waste correspond annually to each citizen. Indicatively 10% of used aggregates in
UK are RCA, whereas 78,000 tons of RCA were used in `olland in 1994. The Netherland
produces about 14million tons of buildings and demolition wastes per annum in which about 8
million tons are recycled mainly for unbound road base courses.

The 285 million tons of per annum construction waste produced in Germany, out of which 77
million tons are demolition waste. Approximately 70% of it is recycled and reused in new
construction work. It has been estimated that approximately 13 million tons of concrete is
demolished in France every year whereas in Japan total quantity of concrete debris is in the tune
of 10-15 million tons each year. The `ong Kong generates about 20 million tons demolition
debris per year and facing serious problem for its disposal.

USA is utilizing approximately 2.7 billion tons of aggregate annually out of which 30-40% are
used in road works and balance in structural concrete work. A recent report of Federal `ighways
Administration, USA refers to the relative experience from European data on the subject of
concrete and asphalt pavement recycling as given in Table 3.The rapid development in research
on the use of RCA for the production of new concrete has also led to the production of concrete
of high strength/performance.


There is severe shortage of infrastructural facilities like houses, hospitals, roads etc. in India and
large quantities of construction materials for creating these facilities are needed. The planning
Commission allocated approximately 50% of capital outlay for infrastructure development in
successive 10th & 11th five year plans. Rapid infrastructural development such highways,
airports etc. and growing demand for housing has led to scarcity & rise in cost of construction
materials. Most of waste materials produced by demolished structures disposed off by dumping
them as land fill. Dumping of wastes on land is causing shortage of dumping place in urban
areas. Therefore, it is necessary to start recycling and re-use of demolition concrete waste to save
environment, cost and energy.

Central Pollution Control Board has estimated current quantum of solid waste generation in India
to the tune of 48 million tons per annum out of which, waste from construction industry only
accounts for more than 25%. Management of such high quantum of waste puts enormous
pressure on solid waste management system.

In view of significant role of recycled construction material and technology in the development
of urban infrastructure, TIFAC has conducted a techno-market survey on µUtilization of Waste
from Construction Industry¶ targeting housing /building and road segment. The total quantum of
waste from construction industry is estimated to be 12 to 14.7 million tons per annum out of
which 7-8 million tons are concrete and brick waste. According to findings of survey, 70% of the
respondent have given the reason for not adopting recycling of waste from Construction Industry
is ³Not aware of the recycling techniques´ while remaining 30% have indicated that they are not
even aware of recycling possibilities. Further, the user agencies/ industries pointed out that
presently, the BIS and other codal provisions do not provide the specifications for use of
recycled product in the construction activities.

In view of above, there is urgent need to take following measures:-

= Sensitization/ dissemination/ capacity building towards utilization of construction &

demolition waste.
= Preparation and implementation of techno-legal regime including legislations, guidance,
penalties etc. for disposal of building & construction waste.
= Delineation of dumping areas for pre-selection, treatment, transport of RCA.
= National level support on research studies on RCA.
= Preparation of techno-financial regime, financial support for introducing RCA in
construction including assistance in transportation, establishing recycling plant etc.
= Preparation of data base on utilization of RCA.
= Formulation of guidelines, specifications and codal provisions.
= Preparation of list of experts available in this field who can provide knowhow and
technology on totality basis.
= Incentives on using recycled aggregate concrete-subsidy or tax exemptions.

Realising the future & national importance of recycled aggregate concrete in construction,
SERC, Ghaziabad had taken up a pilot R&D project on Recycling and Reuse of Demolition and
Construction Wastes in Concrete for Low Rise and Low Cost Buildings in mid nineties with the
aim of developing techniques/ methodologies for use recycled aggregate concrete in
construction. The experimental investigations were carried out in Mat Science laboratory and
Institutes around Delhi/GBD to evaluate the mechanical properties and durability parameters of
recycled aggregate concrete made with recycled coarse aggregate collected from different
sources. Also, the suitability in construction of buildings has been studied.
The properties of RAC has been established and demonstrated through several experimental and
field projects successfully. It has been concluded that RCA can be readily used in construction of
low rise buildings, concrete paving blocks & tiles, flooring, retaining walls, approach lanes,
sewerage structures, subbase course of pavement, drainage layer in highways, dry lean
concrete(DLC) etc. in Indian scenario. Use of RCA will further ensure the sustainable
development of society with savings in natural resources, materials and energy.


In the present paper, an endeavor is made so as to compare some of the mechanical properties of
recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) with the natural aggregate concrete (NAC). Since the
enormous quantity of concrete is available for recycling from demolished concrete structures,
field demolished concrete is used in the present study to produce the recycled aggregates. The
concrete debris were collected from different (four) sources with the age ranging from 2 to 40
years old and broken into the pieces of approximately 80 mm size with the help of hammer &
drilling machine. The foreign matters were sorted out from the pieces. Further, those pieces were
crushed in a lab jaw crusher and mechanically sieved through sieve of 4.75 mm to remove the
finer particles. The recycled coarse aggregates were washed to remove dirt, dust etc. and
collected for use in concrete mix. The fine aggregate were separated out, and used for masonry
mortar & lean concrete mixes, which is not part this reported study. But these were found to suit
for normal brick masonary mortar and had normal setting and enough strength for masonary

The two different mix proportions of characteristic strength of 20 N/ mm2 (M 20) and 25 N/mm2
(M 25) commonly used in construction of low rise buildings are obtained as per IS 10262 ± 1982
or both recycled aggregate concrete and natural aggregate concrete. Due to the higher water
absorption capacity of RCA as compared to natural aggregate, both the aggregates are
maintained at saturated surface dry (SSD) conditions before mixing operations. The proportions
of the ingredients constituting the concrete mixes are 1:1.5:2.9 and 1:1.2:2.4 with water cement
ratio 0.50 & 0.45 respectively for M-20 & M-25 grade concrete. The ordinary Portland cement of
43 grade and natural fine aggregates (`aldwani sand) are used throughout the casting work. The
maximum size of coarse aggregate used was 20 mm in both recycled and natural aggregate

The total two mixes were cast using natural aggregate and eight mixes were cast using four type
of recycled aggregate concrete for M-20 & M-25. The development of compressive strength is
monitored by testing the 150-mm cubes at 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 56 and 90 days. In one set 39 cubes
were cast for each mix. The cylinder strength and corresponding strain & modulus of elasticity
were measured in standard cylinder of 150x300 mm size at the age of 28 days. The prism of size
150x150x700 mm and cylinder of size 150x300mm were cast from the same batches to measure
Flexural strength and splitting tensile strength respectively. This paper reports the results of
experimental investigations on recycled aggregate concrete.

The result of sieve analysis carried out as per IS 2386 for different types of crushed recycled
concrete aggregate and natural aggregates. It is found that recycled coarse aggregate are reduced
to various sizes during the process of crushing and sieving (by a sieve of 4.75mm), which gives
best particle size distribution. The amount of fine particles (<4.75mm) after recycling of
demolished were in the order of 5-20% depending upon the original grade of demolished
concrete. The best quality natural aggregate can obtained by primary, secondary & tertiary
crushing whereas the same can be obtained after primary & secondary crushing incase of
recycled aggregate. The single crushing process is also effective in the case of recycled

The particle shape analysis of recycled aggregate indicates similar particle shape of natural
aggregate obtained from crushed rock. The recycled aggregate generally meets all the standard
requirements of aggregate used in concrete.

c   A% !


The specific gravity (saturated surface dry condition) of recycled concrete aggregate was found
from 2.35 to 2.58 which are lower as compared to natural aggregates. Since the RCA from
demolished concrete consist of crushed stone aggregate with old mortar adhering to it, the water
absorption ranges from 3.05% to 7.40%, which is relatively higher than that of the natural
aggregates. The Table 4 gives the details of properties of RCA & natural aggregates. In general,
as the water absorption characteristics of recycled aggregates are higher, it is advisable to
maintain saturated surface dry (SSD) conditions of aggregate before start of the mixing

The rodded & loose bulk density of recycled aggregate is lower than that of natural aggregate
except recycled aggregate-RCA4, which is obtained from demolished newly constructed culvert.
Recycled aggregate had passed through the sieve of 4.75mm due to which voids increased in
rodded condition. The lower value of loose bulk density of recycled aggregate may be attributed
to its higher porosity than that of natural aggregate.

The recycled aggregate is relatively weaker than the natural aggregate against mechanical
actions. As per IS 2386, the crushing and impact values for concrete wearing surfaces should not
exceed 45% and 50% respectively. The crushing & impact values of recycled aggregate satisfy
the BIS specifications except RCA2 type of recycled aggregate for impact value as originally it
is low grade rubbles.
The average compressive strengths cubes cast are determined as per IS 516 using RCA and
natural aggregate at the age 1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 56 and 90 days and reported in Table 5. The table 4
shows that the target cube strength was achieved at 28 days for all types of concrete. As
expected, the compressive strength of RAC is lower than the conventional concrete made from
similar mix proportions. The reduction in strength of RAC as compare to NAC is in order of 2-
14% and 7.5 to 16% for M-20 & M-25 concretes respectively. The amount of reduction in
strength depends on parameters such as grade of demolished concrete, replacement ratio, w/c
ratio, processing of recycled aggregate etc.

2 c 
The average splitting tensile and flexural of recycled aggregate are determined at the age 1, 3, 7,
14, & 28 days varies from 0.30 -3.1 MPa and 0.95- 7.2 MPa respectively. The reduction in
splitting and flexural strength of RAC as compared to NAC is in order of 5-12% and 4 -15%

h  )   !
The static modulus of elasticity of RAC has been reported in Table 4 and found lower than the
AC. The reduction is up to 15% .The reason for the lower static modulus of elasticity of RCA is
higher proportion of hardened cement paste. It is well establish that Ec depends on Ec value of
coarse aggregate, w/c ratio & cement paste etc. The modulus of elasticity is critical parameter for
designing the structures, hence more studies are needed.

The following parameters were studied to assess the influence of recycled aggregates on
durability of concrete:




CO2 from the air penetrates into the concrete by diffusion process. The pores (pore size>100nm)
in the concrete in which this transport process can take place are therefore particularly crucial for
the rate of carbonation. The carbonation tests were carried out for 90 days on the specimens
(150x150x150mm) of recycled aggregate concrete and natural aggregate concrete in carbonation
chamber with relative humidity of 70% and 20% CO2 concentration. The carbonation depths of
recycled aggregate concretes for different grade were found from 11.5 to 14mm as compared to
11mm depth for natural aggregate concrete. This increase in the carbonation depth of RAC as
compared to NAC, attributed to porous recycled aggregate due to presence of old mortar
attached to the crushed stone aggregate.


In the freeze-thaw resistance test (cube method), loss of mass of the concrete made with recycled
aggregate was found sometimes above and below than that of concrete made with natural
aggregate. The results were so close that no difference in freeze thaw resistance (after 100
cycles) could be found. The literature also found that the effect of cement mortar adhering to the
original aggregate in RAC may not adversely affect the properties of RAC.

† 2
The acceptability of recycled aggregate is impeded for structural applications due to the technical
problems associated with it such as weak interfacial transition zones between cement paste and
aggregate, porosity and transverse cracks within demolished concrete, high level of sulphate and
chloride contents, impurity, cement remains, poor grading, and large variation in quality.

Although, it is environmentally & economically beneficial to use RCA in construction, however

the current legislation and experience are not adequate to support and encourage recycling of
construction & demolished waste in India. Lack of awareness, guidelines, specifications,
standards, data base of utilization of RCA in concrete and lack of confidence in engineers,
researchers and user agencies is major cause for poor utilization of RCA in construction. If the
Govt wishes these obstacles can easily be removed.

Recycling and reuse of building wastes have been found to be an appropriate solution to the
problems of dumping hundred of thousands tons of debris accompanied with shortage of natural
aggregates. The use of recycled aggregates in concrete prove to be a valuable building materials
in technical, environment and economical respect

Recycled aggregate posses relatively lower bulk density, crushing and impact values and higher
water absorption as compared to natural aggregate. The compressive strength of recycled
aggregate concrete is relatively lower up to 15% than natural aggregate concrete. The variation
also depends on the original concrete from which the aggregates have been obtained. The
durability parameters studied at SERC(G) confirms suitability of RCA & RAC in making
durable concrete structures of selected types.

There are several reliable applications for using recycled coarse aggregate in construction.
`owever, more research and initiation of pilot project for application of RCA is needed for
modifying our design codes, specifications and procedure for use of recycled aggregate concrete.
The subject of use of RCA in construction works in India should be given impetus, because of
big infrastructural projects are being commissioned including Common Wealth Games in 2010.

1. `ansen, T.C. (1992), ³Recycling of Demolished Concrete Masonry, Rilem Report No. 6,
E&FN Spon, London, Great Britain, pp. 316.
2. Oikonomou,N.D.(2005)´Recycled Concrete Aggregates,´ Cement & Concrete
Composites, Rol. 27, pp315-318.
3. Thielen,G.(2004)´Concrete Technology Reports 2001- 2003,"German Cement Works
4. US Deptt. of Transportation (2000) ³Recycled Materials in European `ighways
Environment-Uses, Technologies and Policies,´ Int. Technology Exchange Programme.
5. Biojen,J. (1996) ³Waste Materials and Alternative Products ³Pro¶s and Con¶s´ Concrete
for Environmental enhanced and Protection, E & FN Spon, pp. 587-598.
6. Buchner, S. and Scholten, L.J. (1992). ³Demolition and Construction Debris Recycling in
Europe,´ European Demolition Association (EDA).
7. Ferguson, J.; Kermode, O.N.; Nash, C.L.; Sketch, W.A.J. and `uxford, R.P. (1995),
³Managing and Minimising Construction Waste,´ Institution of Civil Engineers, Thomas,
Telford Publications, U.K., pp. 1-60.
8. Gottfredsen, F.R. and Thogerson,F. (1994), ³Recycling of Concrete in Aggressive
Environment,´ Demolition and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry; Rilem Proceeding 23, E
& FN Spon, pp. 309-317.
9. `ansen, T.C. (1986) ³Recycled Aggregate and Recycled Aggregate Concrete, Seocnd
state of Art Report, Development 1945±1985,´ Rilem TC-DRC, Material & Structure,
Rol. 19, No. III. pp. 201- 248.
10. `endricks, Ch.F. (1996), ³Recycling and Reuse as a Basis of Sustainable Development in
Construction Industry,´ Concrete for Environment, Enhancement and Protection, E&FN
Spon, pp. 43-54.
11. Kikuchi, M. and Yasunaga, A. (1994), ³The Total Evaluation of Recycled Aggregate and
Recycled Concrete´ Demolition and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry, Rilem Proceedings
23, E&FN Spon, pp. 367-377.
12. Lauritzen, E.K. (1994), ³Introduction,´ Disaster Planning, Structural Assessment,
Demolition and Recycling, Rilem Report No. 9, E&FN Spon pp.1 ±10.
13. Mc Laughliu, J. (1993), ³A Review of the Prospect for Greater Use of Recycled and
Secondary Aggregate in Concrete,´ Concrete, The Concrete Society Journal, Rol. 27,
NO. 6,pp. 16-18.
14. Merlet, J.D. and Pimienta, P. (1994), ³Mechanical and Physico- Chemical Properties of
Concrete Produced with Coarse and Fine Recycled Concrete Aggregates,´ Demolition
and Reuse of Concrete and Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 343-353.
15. Nikon, P.J. (1986), ³Recycled Concrete an Aggregate for Concrete±a Review,´ Rilem
TC-37, DRC, Materials Structures, Rol. 19, No. 111.
16. Pauw, C.D. (1994), ³Reuse of Building Materials and Disposal of Structural Waste
Material,´ Disaster Planning, Structural Assessment, Demolition and Recycling, Rilem
Report 9, E&FN Spon, pp. 133-159.
17. RILEM TC 121 DRG Recommendation (1994), ³Specification for Concrete with
Recycled Aggregates,´ Materials and Structure, Ro. 27, No. 173, pp. 557- 559.
18. Singh, S.K., Sharma, P.C., and Nagraj, N. (1997), ³State-of-Art Report on Recycled
Aggregate Concrete,´ SERC Report, Ghaziabad.
19. Sharma, P.C., Singh, S.K. and Nagraj, N. (1998), ³Future of Recycled Aggregate
Concrete in India,´ National Seminar on New Materials and Technology in Building
Industry, July 24-25, Rigyan Bhawan,New Delhi, pp. IR-197-IR- 205.
20. Singh, S. K. and P. C. Sharma (1998)´Recycling and Reuse of Building Waste in
Constructions- A Review,´ All India Seminar on Concrete for Infrastructural
Development, Roorkee, pp 317-329.
21. Tavakoli, M. and Soroushian, P. (1996), ³Strength of Recycled Aggregate Concrete made
using Field Demolished Concrete as Aggregate,´ ACI Materials Journal, Rol. 93, No.2,
22. Tavakoli, M. and Soroushian, P.(1996), ³Drying Shrinkage Behavior of Recycled
Aggregate Concrete,´ Concrete International, Rol. 18, No. 11, pp. 58-61.
23. Ryncke, J. Rousseau, E. (1994), ³Recycling and Construction and Demolition Waste in
Belgium : Actual Situation and Future Evaluation,´ Demolition and Reuse of Concrete &
Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp. 57- 69.
24. Yogishita, F. et al. (1994), ³Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Beams containing Recycled
Coarse Aggregate´ Demolition and Reuse of Concrete & Masonry Rilem Proceeding 23,
E&FN Spon, pp. 331-342.
25. Yangani, K., `isaka, M. and Kasai, Y. (1994), ³Physical Properties of Recycled Concrete
using Recycled Coarse Aggregate made of Construction with Finishing Mater4ials,´
Demolition and Reuse of Concrete & Masonry, Rilem Proceeding 23, E&FN Spon, pp.
26. Sharma, P.C., Nagraj, N.(1999), ³Recycled Aggregate Concrete and Its Importance in
Indian Conditions´± All India Seminar on Indian Cement Industries : Challenges and
Prospects of Cement´ Chandrapur (Maharashtra)
27. Ramammurthy, K. & Gumaste, K.S.(1998), ³Properties of Recycled Aggregate
Concrete,´ Indian Concrete Journal, pp. 49-53.
28. Rahal, K. (2007) ³Mechnical Properties of Concrete with Recycled Coarse Aggregate,´
Building & Environment,Rol. 42, pp 407-415.



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