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Materials of Construction (805261) Prepared by: Dr. Aslam Al-Omari
Materials of Construction
(805261)
Prepared by:
Dr. Aslam Al-Omari
Chapter 5: Fresh Concrete Introduction Workability Factors Affecting Workability Cohesion and Segregation
Chapter 5: Fresh Concrete
Introduction
Workability
Factors Affecting Workability
Cohesion and Segregation
Bleeding
Workability Tests
Chapter 5: Fresh Concrete Comparison of tests Workability Density (Unit Mass or Unit Weight in
Chapter 5: Fresh Concrete
Comparison of tests
Workability
Density (Unit Mass or Unit Weight in Air) of
Fresh Concrete
Introduction Since the long-term properties of hardened concrete: strength, volume stability, and durability are
Introduction
Since the long-term properties of hardened
concrete:
strength, volume stability, and durability
are seriously affected by its degree of compaction, it
is vital that the consistency or workability of the
fresh concrete be such that the concrete can be:
- properly compacted,
- transported,
- placed, and
- finished
sufficiently easily without segregation, which would
be detrimental (harmful or unfavorable) to such
compaction
Workability The strict definition of workability is the amount of useful internal work necessary to
Workability
The strict definition of workability is the amount of
useful internal work necessary to produce full
compaction (ease of placing and consolidating
freshly mixed concrete)
Wet concretes are more workable than dry
concretes, but concretes of the same consistency
(consistency refers to the ease with which the
concrete will flow) may vary in workability
Workability Compression is expressed as a density ratio [a ratio of actual density of a
Workability
Compression is expressed as a density ratio [a ratio
of actual density of a given concrete (partially
compacted) to the density of full compaction]
Strength of Partially Compacted Concrete
Strength Ratio =
Strength of Fully Compacted Concrete
Because the strength of concrete is adversely and
significantly affected by the presence of voids in the
compacted mass, it is vital to achieve a maximum
density. This requires a sufficient workability for
virtually full compaction to be possible using a
reasonable amount of work under the given
conditions
Workability It is obvious that the presence of voids in concrete reduces the density and
Workability
It is obvious that the presence of voids in concrete
reduces the density and greatly reduces the
strength:
(5% of voids can lower the strength as much as 30%)
Types of voids in hardened concrete:
1) Bubbles of entrapped air
2) Spaces left after excess water has been removed
Voids may be useful to prevent freezing and thawing
of water in concrete and they depend on the degree
of compaction
Factors Affecting Workability These factors include: 1. Water Content (most important factor) 2. Aggregate size,
Factors Affecting Workability
These factors include:
1. Water Content (most important factor)
2. Aggregate size, type, and grading
3. Aggregate/cement ratio
4. Presence of admixtures
5. Fineness of cement
Factors Affecting Workability The main factor is water content of the mix since by simply
Factors Affecting Workability
The main factor is water content of the mix since by
simply adding water the interparticle lubrication is
increased
However, to achieve optimum conditions for
minimum voids, or for maximum density with no
segregation, the influence of aggregate type and
grading has to be considered.
For example, finer particles require more water to
wet their larger specific surface, whilst the irregular
shape and rougher texture of an angular aggregate
demand more water than, say, a rounded aggregate
Factors Affecting Workability The main factor is water content of the mix since by simply
Factors Affecting Workability
The main factor is water content of the mix since by
simply adding water the interparticle lubrication is
increased
However, to achieve optimum conditions for
minimum voids, or for maximum density with no
segregation, the influence of aggregate type and
grading has to be considered.
For example, finer particles require more water to
wet their larger specific surface, whilst the irregular
shape and rougher texture of an angular aggregate
demand more water than, say, a rounded aggregate
Factors Affecting Workability
Factors Affecting Workability

Lightweight aggregate tends to lower the workability. In fact, workability is governed by the volumetric proportions of particles of different sizes, so that when aggregates of varying specific gravity (or particle density) are used, e.g. semi-lightweight aggregate, the mix proportions should be assessed on the basis of the absolute volume of each size fraction For a constant water/cement (W/C) ratio, the workability increases as the aggregate/cement ratio is reduced because the amount of water relative to the total surface of solids is increased

Factors Affecting Workability Conversely, too many fines lead to a higher workability but such an
Factors Affecting Workability
Conversely, too many fines lead to a higher
workability but such an over-sanded mix makes less
durable concrete
Air entrainment reduces the water requirement for a
given workability

A rather high ratio of volumes of coarse aggregate to fine aggregate can result in segregation and in a lower workability, so that the mix is harsh and not easily finished.

Factors Affecting Workability There are other two factors affecting workability; time and temperature.
Factors Affecting Workability
There are other two factors affecting workability;
time and temperature.

Freshly mixed concrete stiffens with time. Some of the mixing water is absorbed by the aggregate, some is lost by evaporation (particularly if the concrete is exposed to the sun or wind), and some is removed by initial chemical reactions.

Factors Affecting Workability The stiffening of concrete is effectively measured by a loss of workability
Factors Affecting Workability
The stiffening of concrete is effectively measured by
a loss of workability with time, knowing as slump
loss, which varies with:
richness of the mix,
type of cement,
temperature of concrete, and
initial workability.
A higher temperature reduces the workability and
increases the slump loss
Cohesion and Segregation In considering the workability of concrete, concrete should not segregate, and it
Cohesion and Segregation
In considering the workability of concrete, concrete
should not segregate, and it ought to be cohesive.
The absence of segregation is essential if full
compaction is to be achieved
Segregation can be defined as separation of the
constituents of a heterogeneous mixture so that the
distribution is no longer uniform.
Cohesion and Segregation In the case of concrete, it is the differences in the size
Cohesion and Segregation
In the case of concrete, it is the differences in the
size of particles (and sometimes in the specific
gravity of the mix constituents) that are the primary
cause of segregation, but its extent can be
controlled by:
1) The choice of suitable grading
2) Care in handling
Cohesion and Segregation (occurs mostly in wet mixes)
Cohesion and Segregation
(occurs mostly in wet mixes)

The actual extent of segregation depends on the method of handling and placing of concrete. If the concrete does not have far to travel and is transferred directly from the skip or the wheelbarrow to the final position in the formwork, the danger of segregation is small Segregation forms:

1) The coarser particles tend to separate out since they travel further along a slope or settle more than the finer particles (occurs mostly in dry mixes) 2) Separation of grout (cement + water)

Cohesion and Segregation The addition of water would improve the cohesion of the mix, but
Cohesion and Segregation
The addition of water would improve the cohesion of
the mix, but when the mix becomes too wet the
second type of segregation would take place.
To prevent or reduce segregation:
1) Good grading
2) Appropriate handling and placing
3) Proper vibration, needed to achieve good
compaction: neither under nor over vibration
4) Using of air entrainment (reduces segregation)
5) Close specific gravity values for coarse and fine
aggregate
Cohesion and Segregation It must be stressed, nevertheless, that concrete should always be placed direct
Cohesion and Segregation
It must be stressed, nevertheless, that concrete
should always be placed direct in the position in
which it is to remain and must not be allowed to flow
or be worked along the form
This prohibition includes the use of a vibrator to
spread a heap of concrete over a larger area.
Vibration provides a most valuable means of
compacting concrete, but, because a large amount
of work is being done on the concrete, the danger of
segregation (in placing, as distinct from handling) is
increased with improper use of a vibrator.
Cohesion and Segregation This is particularly so when vibration is allowed to continue too long:
Cohesion and Segregation
This is particularly so when vibration is allowed to
continue too long: with many mixes, separation of
coarse aggregate toward the bottom of the form and
of the cement paste toward the top may result.
Segregation is difficult to measure quantitatively but
is easily detected and can be evaluated by:

a) Measuring mix cohesion by the flow table test, or b) By vibrating a concrete cube or cylinder for about 10 minutes and then strip it to observe the distribution of coarse aggregate (any segregation will be easily seen)