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JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY

OF
AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL, CONSTRUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT


CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

AUTHOR: MICHAEL A. MUTOGOH


REG NO:

E25-0128/04

SUPERVISOR: ENG: MANGURIU

This document has been submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of the
degree of Bachelor of science in Civil, Construction and environmental
engineering

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

April 1, 2010

Contents
List of abbreviations ..................................................................................................................................... iv
List of tables ................................................................................................................................................. vi
List of figures ............................................................................................................................................... vii
Dedication .................................................................................................................................................. viii
Acknowledgement ....................................................................................................................................... ix
Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... x
Chapter 1....................................................................................................................................................... 1
1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1
1.1 Background ......................................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Problem statement ............................................................................................................................. 2
1.3 Problem justification ........................................................................................................................... 2
1.4 Objectives............................................................................................................................................ 2
1.4.1 Overall objective .......................................................................................................................... 2
1.5 Project hypothesis............................................................................................................................... 2
1.6 Scope and limitation of study ............................................................................................................. 3
1.6.1 Scope ............................................................................................................................................ 3
1.6.2 Limitations.................................................................................................................................... 3
Chapter 2....................................................................................................................................................... 4
2.0 Literature review..................................................................................................................................... 4
2.1 General overview of pre-casting ......................................................................................................... 4
2.2 Benefits of pre-casting ........................................................................................................................ 4
2.3 Pre-cast elements and lightweight concrete ...................................................................................... 5
2.4 Pumice................................................................................................................................................. 6
2.5.1 Properties of pumice.................................................................................................................... 6
2.5 Mix design ........................................................................................................................................... 7
2.5.1 Objectives of mix design .............................................................................................................. 7
Chapter 3..................................................................................................................................................... 10
3.0 Methodology......................................................................................................................................... 10
3.1 A survey of pumice availability ......................................................................................................... 10
3.2 Collection and sampling of material ................................................................................................. 10
3.4 Sampling of materials ....................................................................................................................... 11
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3.5 Grading of materials for concrete production .................................................................................. 11


3.5.1Coarse aggregate ........................................................................................................................ 11
3.5.2 Fine aggregates .......................................................................................................................... 12
3.6 Determination of specific gravity and water absorption of aggregates ........................................... 13
3.6.1 Method for fine aggregates (5mm and below) .......................................................................... 14
3.6.2 Determination of specific gravity and water absorption for coarse aggregates ....................... 16
3.7 Dry-rodded density of pumice .......................................................................................................... 17
3.8 Concrete mix design.......................................................................................................................... 17
3.8.1 Mix Proportioning Methods....................................................................................................... 17
Background Data required for mix Proportioning .................................................................................. 18
Step-by-Step Procedure of Mix Proportioning Calculations ................................................................... 19
3.9 Control mix ........................................................................................................................................ 20
3.10 Batching .......................................................................................................................................... 20
3.11 Mixing of concrete .......................................................................................................................... 20
3.12 Slump test ....................................................................................................................................... 20
3.13 Compacting test .............................................................................................................................. 21
3.14 Casting of compression test specimen ........................................................................................... 21
3.15 Curing of the test specimen ............................................................................................................ 21
3.16 Compressive strength determination ............................................................................................. 22
3.17 Selection of a mix for precast concrete casting .............................................................................. 22
3.18 Flexural strength test ...................................................................................................................... 23
3.19 Comparison of pre-casted elements made from normal concrete and pumice concrete ............. 23
4.0 Data collection and Results Analysis ..................................................................................................... 24
4.1 Grading .............................................................................................................................................. 24
4.2 Specific gravity and water absorption .............................................................................................. 27
4.3 Moisture content .............................................................................................................................. 30
4.4

Properties of trial mixes .............................................................................................................. 31

4.5

Summary of trial mixes ............................................................................................................... 36

4.6 Flexural strength test results ............................................................................................................ 41


5.0 Discussion of results.............................................................................................................................. 43
5.1 Availabity of Pumice.......................................................................................................................... 43
5.2 Grading .............................................................................................................................................. 43
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5.3 Specific gravity .................................................................................................................................. 43


5.4 Water absorption .............................................................................................................................. 43
5.5 Dry rodded density of pumice aggregates ........................................................................................ 44
5.6. Pumice concrete design ................................................................................................................... 44
5.6.1 Slump ......................................................................................................................................... 45
5.6.2 Compacting factor...................................................................................................................... 45
5.6.3 Density ....................................................................................................................................... 45
5.6.4 Compressive strength ................................................................................................................ 45
5.7 Normal granitic aggregate mix design .............................................................................................. 46
5.7.1 Slump ......................................................................................................................................... 46
5.7.2 Compacting factor...................................................................................................................... 46
5.7.3 Compressive strength ................................................................................................................ 46
5.8 Flexural strength ............................................................................................................................... 46
5.9 Comparison and analysis of pre-casted elements made from normal concrete and pumice
concrete .................................................................................................................................................. 47
5.9.1 Pre- casted pumice structural concrete ..................................................................................... 49
5.9.2 Pumice concrete and eco-sustainability .................................................................................... 50
Chapter 6..................................................................................................................................................... 51
6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 51
6.1 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................................... 51
6.2 Recommendations ............................................................................................................................ 51
7.0 References ............................................................................................................................................ 53
8.0 Appendix ............................................................................................................................................... 54

List of abbreviations
PPC Portland pozzolana cement
Mpa Mega Pascal
ACI American concrete institute
fcr

Required average compressive strength of concrete (N/mm2)

fc Specified compressive strength of Concrete (N/mm2)


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K this value refers to material defects proportion.


S standard deviation of strength test data
BS British Standards
CL Clause
W/C Water Cement ratio
DoE Department of Environment
Tm 1 Trial mix one (0.48 w/c ratio)
Tm 2 Trial mix two (0.54 w/c ratio)
Tm 3 Trial mix three (0.60 w/c ratio)

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List of tables
Table 1: Granitic aggregate grading ........................................................................................................... 24
Table 2: Pumice aggregates grading .......................................................................................................... 25
Table 3: Fine aggregate grading ................................................................................................................. 26
Table 4: Specific gravity and water absorption results for pumice aggregates .......................................... 27
Table 5: Specific gravity and water absorption results for granitic aggregates ......................................... 28
Table 6: specific gravity and water absorption results for sand ................................................................. 29
Table 7: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 1 mixing) ................................................................................... 30
Table 8: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 2 mixing) ................................................................................... 30
Table 9: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 3 mixing) ................................................................................... 30
Table 10: mix proportions for trial mixes (source Tables in the appedix) ................................................... 31
Table 11: compacting factor (Tm 1 - 0.48 w/c ratio) .................................................................................. 31
Table 12: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 1) ........................................................................ 31
Table 13: Compacting factor (Tm 2 - 0.54 w/c ratio) .................................................................................. 33
Table 14: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 2) ........................................................................ 33
Table 15: Compacting factor (Tm 3 - 0.60 w/c ratio) .................................................................................. 34
Table 16: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 3) ........................................................................ 34
Table 17: Summary of slump (trial mixes) .................................................................................................. 36
Table 18: Compacting factor (selected mix - 0.60 w/c ratio) ...................................................................... 38
Table 19: Average density and strength versus age (Selected mix) ............................................................ 38
Table 20: Compaction factor (Normal aggregate mix) ............................................................................... 39
Table 21: Average density and strength versus age (Normal mix) ............................................................. 39
Table 22: Normal concrete mix design table based on procedure by Department of Environment (DoE) London ........................................................................................................................................................ 54
Table 23: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute
(ACI 2000) -TM 1........................................................................................................................................ 55
Table 24: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute
(ACI 2000) -TM 2........................................................................................................................................ 56
Table 25: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute
(ACI 2000) TM 3 ....................................................................................................................................... 57
Table 26: Scaled down trial mixes proportions for actual laboratory casting ............................................ 58
Table 27: Trial mix 1 results (casted on) ..................................................................................................... 58
Table 28: Trial mix 2 results (casted on) .................................................................................................... 59
Table 29: Trial mix 3 results (casted on) ..................................................................................................... 59
Table 30: Selected mix results (casted on).................................................................................................. 60
Table 31: Normal aggregate mix (Casted on) ............................................................................................ 60
Table 32: Slump Ranges for Specific Applications (after ACI, 2000) Table 5.14.......................................... 61
Table 33: Typical State DOT Slump Specifications (data taken from ACPA, 2001) Table 5.15 ................... 61
Table 34: Approximate Mixing Water and Air Content Requirements for Different Slumps and Maximum
Aggregate Sizes (adapted from ACI, 2000) Table 5.16 ............................................................................... 62
Table 35: Water-Cement Ratio and Compressive Strength Relationship (after ACI, 2000) Table 5.17.... 63
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Table 36: Volume of Coarse Aggregate per Unit Volume of PCC for Different Fine aggregate Fineness
Moduli for Pavement PCC (after ACI, 2000) Table 5.18 ............................................................................. 63

List of figures
Figure 1: A house made from lightweight pre- cast concrete ....................................................................... 6
Figure 2: Pumice aggregate .......................................................................................................................... 6
Figure 3: Grading sieves ............................................................................................................................ 12
Figure 4: granitic coarse aggregate grading curve ................................................................................... 24
Figure 5: Pumice coarse aggregate grading curve .................................................................................... 25
Figure 6: Fine aggregate grading curve .................................................................................................... 26
Figure 7: Density variation with age .......................................................................................................... 32
Figure 8: strength development curve: Tm 1 .............................................................................................. 32
Figure 9: Density variation with age (Trial mix 2) .................................................................................... 33
Figure 10: Strength development curve (Tm 2) .......................................................................................... 34
Figure 11: Density Variation with age (Tm 3) ............................................................................................. 35
Figure 12: Strength development curve (Tm 3) .......................................................................................... 35
Figure 13: Summary of strength development for the trial mixes............................................................... 36
Figure 14: 28 day strength versus w/c ratio ............................................................................................... 37
Figure 15: Density versus w/c ratio graph ................................................................................................. 37
Figure 16: Density Variation with age (Selected mix)................................................................................ 38
Figure 17: Strength development curve (Selected mix) .............................................................................. 39
Figure 18 :Density variation with age (Normal mix) ................................................................................... 40
Figure 19: Strength development curve (Normal Mix) ............................................................................... 40
Figure 20: Comparison of Strength development for pumice and normal aggregate concrete ................. 41

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Dedication
I dedicate this work to my loving parents and siblings, most especially to my loving mum who has gone
through a lot to make me who I am.

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Acknowledgement
My final years project would never be were it not for the following people I consider very important and
special. They did all to advice, teach and assist me get information and the insight of the project. First and
foremost Almighty God for his divine love and care. Secondly to My supervisor, Eng. Manguriu for his
continuous and insightful technical advice through out each step of study. My sincere gratitude goes to
the chairman of the department of civil, construction and environmental engineering, Prof. W. Oyawa, for
facilitating finances and equipment for research.
Further appreciation to the laboratory team; Mr. Kamami, Mr. Karugu and Mr. Juma among other very
able laboratory staff that went an extra step to make sure we got utmost knowledge and experience in
material and other tests.
Last but not least, I thank my fellow classmates, friends and all other people who in one way or another
contributed to the success of this project. God bless you all.

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Abstract
Pre- cast concrete has proven to be an efficient method of construction, particularly when time is
considered. It is justifiable to use lightweight concrete to make pre- cast concrete elements. The main
specialties of lightweight concrete are its low density and thermal conductivity. Its advantages are that
there is a reduction of dead load, faster building rates in construction and lower haulage and handling
costs. This would effectively improve the efficiency of using and installing these elements on site.
Pumice is a natural lightweight aggregate that can be used in production of lightweight concrete for precasting. However, pumice is a special kind of material and absorbs a lot of water. In order to use it in precast concrete production, design criteria should be established. Its properties and applicability also needs
to be understood.
Therefore, this fundamental study report is prepared to show how with proper materials engineering
education, pumice can be used to provide economic and sustainable solutions to current global housing
crisis.
Focus was on the appropriate concrete design method to be used for pumice concrete, its performance in
terms of compressive strength, water absorption and density and supplementary tests and comparisons
with normal weight concrete.

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Chapter 1
1.0 Introduction
The construction industry is no doubt the most vibrant and dynamic industry in many economies in the
world. The growing rate of population increase has led to an increased demand in space and
accommodation. Engineers have had to shift their approach in design of structures in order to meet the
growing population. These structures have had to conform to existing limitations such as scarce land,
cultural and social factors, economic factors and aesthetic factors.
In the recent years, engineers and architects have designed very complicated structures to meet all these
requirements. Concrete has remained one of the most important construction materials used in many
countries. In Kenya, in the rush to meet the millennium development goals and vision 2030, the
government has placed more emphasis on development and use of more eco-sustainable and
environmental friendly materials in construction. It has in the recent past insisted of the maximum use of
the available cheap resources while at the same time checking on quality and most of all, safety of its
people.

1.1 Background
In the use of concrete as a construction material, self weight, especially in the above mentioned situation
of modern and complicated structures, represents a huge proportion of the total weight or load of the
structure. It is without doubt that, from experience and current economic conditions the heavier a
structure is the heavier and expensive the foundation will become. It is also certain that foundation
construction of any structure is the most costly exercise in any engineering project. It is therefore very
true that there are substantial merits in the reduction of the density of construction concrete. One of these
would be reduction of the dead loads and all other loads on structure members. Another would be to
bring down the weight of the concrete units to within the capacities of handling equipment in the case of
precast members and their fitting. This would substantially in turn reduce the size of foundations and
automatically reduce the costs. Therefore the incorporation of lightweight aggregates as structural
concrete constituents would be primarily on economic and efficiency considerations.
Light weight aggregates have been used since time in memorial in construction as structural concrete,
aesthetical concrete among many other uses. Lightweight aggregates as the name suggests have unique
properties that an engineer has to put into consideration when using them. There are many types and kinds
of light weight aggregate majorly natural lightweight aggregates and artificial or manmade lightweight
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aggregates. Pumice is an example of natural lightweight aggregate that is available in Kenya. Pumice is a
light colored froth like volcanic material found mainly in areas that have experienced volcanic activity in
the past.
In this study, lightweight concrete made using pumice will be used in pre-cast elements.

1.2 Problem statement


The rising need for accommodation and scarcity of space has resulted in the design and construction of
complicated structures that are very heavy. These structures are very expensive. This therefore calls for
the reduction of the overall cost of construction by reducing costs related to heavy superstructures while
striving to meet the populations demand of accommodation.

1.3 Problem justification


The essential requirement of any construction medium is strength, durability, fire resistance and the value
for money. On all these counts, pre-cast lightweight concrete made with pumice appears to be a very
sustainable material. The study will try to establish the practicality of using precast concrete elements
with pumice aggregates to reduce loads.

1.4 Objectives
1.4.1 Overall objective
The overall objective would be:To investigate the feasibility of using pre-cast concrete elements with pumice as aggregates and their
significance in load reduction in structures
1.4.2 Specific objectives
To study and investigate the properties of pumice concrete and compare it with normal concrete.
To establish a pumice concrete mix that can be used in modern structures.
To determine whether the incorporation of pumice concrete in structural elements can
significantly reduce dead loads of a super structure and the associated economic implications.

1.5 Project hypothesis


Use of precast concrete with pumice as total and partial replacement of normal coarse aggregates reduces
the dead load in concrete superstructures substantially hence reducing the overall cost of construction
while maintaining the structural soundness.

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1.6 Scope and limitation of study


1.6.1 Scope
The study will cover the following:Investigation of the availability of pumice in Kenya and its material and structural properties.
The feasibility and viability of pumice concrete in reduction of overall density.
Designing a typical mix for precast elements, and recommend a method of design.
Establishing the economic and environmental impacts of incorporating pumice in modern
construction.
Analyze the significance of using pumice in partitions, hollow ports and other fittings and overall
effects on the weight of superstructure.
The following mixes will be dealt with:Normal aggregates with ordinary sand as control concrete (Mix A).
Pumice aggregates with ordinary river sand concrete (Mix B).
1.6.2 Limitations
Though it would be necessary to test analyze the use of different types of cements in the project, time
factors will limit the study to only use of Portland Pozzolana cement (PPC; 32.5N). Factors such as
durability of concrete and carbonization will also not be covered because of limited time. Some structural
implications of joints and their design will not be dealt with.

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Chapter 2
2.0 Literature review
2.1 General overview of pre-casting
Pre-cast units are components of buildings and structures which are pre-formed and made available for
use at site. Such precast units can be classified as small or large depending on their sizes and weights
(A.M HAAS).
Pre-casting generally involves the division of a continuous structure into pieces. These pieces are then
assembled carefully to form the structure. This therefore calls for adequate design to cover these. Careful
study and design of the concrete to be used therefore remains the core challenge in this project.
Lightweight concrete has been used previously in pre-fabricated construction. Pre-casting or
prefabrication in reinforced concrete involves a mould shaped in a way that reinforcement is placed and
concrete is then cast. Such casting is done in a factory or at a fixed location on site. The completed
elements are then finally transported to the erection area.

2.2 Benefits of pre-casting


Economy in the use and cost of formwork and scaffolding
When elements are pre-cast, few moulds are used repeatedly to produce similar elements. This is
contrary to cast insitu work where formwork is required for the entire structural element. The
amount of scaffolding will be reduced since few people will only be required up in the building to
aid in fixing members being fitted. This therefore reduces the cost of formwork that would be
required in the case of casting in situ.
Encourages conservation of available forest resources.
In Kenya today, the major type of formwork and scaffolding used comes from timber and timber
products. This is because timber is relatively cheap and available. This means that for every
construction being done, several trees are cut. Trees are an important part of our ecology and
there is a global call for the restoration of forest cover and closer home, efforts are being done to
reclaim water towers like Mau, Mt. Kenya, Mt Elgon, Aberdares and Cherengani hills among
many others. It is without doubt that if pre-casting is encouraged, fewer trees will be cut for
formwork.
Results in reduced building time.
Pre-casting of elements such as beams and slabs can be done simultaneously with other
construction activities like foundation construction, walling and partition work. When the pre-cast
elements are fixed, construction continues since time for curing and demolition of formwork is
not required.
Provides possibilities of closer control of construction activities.
Pre-casting allows for quality control in concrete mixtures, with parameters such as homogeneity
of mixes, workability, placing, compaction and curing being closely monitored by an appointed
clerk.
Enhances good workmanship.
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With pre-casting, workmanship is closely monitored and it is possible to monitor individual


workers and monitor their output.
Allows utilization of skills.
In pre- casting individual capabilities are utilized for instance, a carpenter or fabricator will make
moulds; a mason will ensure units are laid correctly. This therefore encourages specialization.
Maximum re-use of mould work equipment.
A single mould can be used repeatedly to cast many other similar elements. This therefore
eliminates the need for repetitive fabrication of moulds.
Provides continuity of construction process.
Pre-casting allows construction to proceed since unnecessary stoppages like allowing for casted
parts to get cured and develop strength and lack of working space due to scaffolding and props
and formwork support are eliminated.
Reduced delays due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Pre- casted elements can be made from a workshop and the activity is not affected by uncertain
weather conditions such as rain, snow and sunlight. Some important activities like casting of slabs
are usually interrupted with sudden downpours, sunlight in cast insitu works. This interferes with
the program and even the integrity of work. Such incidents are not common in pre-casted
construction.

2.3 Pre-cast elements and lightweight concrete


Structural lightweight concrete may be regarded as concrete having strength at least in excess of 10 Mpa
and perhaps more importantly having a good degree of durability. Such concrete is likely to have a
density of in the range of 1200 2000 kg/m3.
In the use of precast elements in construction, pumice aggregates make the whole concept very
advantageous and effective. Pumice aggregates in precast concrete elements reduce the weight of the
elements substantially. This in turn increases efficiency in handling, erecting and fitting these elements
together. It also facilitates faster building rates, and lower hauling costs as stated above. In other words, it
is possible to use available cheap handling and lifting equipment.
The weight of a building on the foundations is an important factor in design, particularly now that the
trend is the construction of high rise buildings. The use of lightweight concrete has sometimes made it
possible to proceed with a design which otherwise would have had to be abandoned on the score of
weight (A. Short 1968). In framed structures, the frame has to carry the load of the floors and walls and
considerable savings in cost can be brought about by using lightweight concrete for floors, beams and
walling.
It has been shown experimentally and by practical experience in the industry that faster building rates can
be achieved with lightweight concrete than with the more traditional materials, and for this reason many
builders today are prepared to pay considerably more for lightweight concrete units than for traditional
alternatives, for the same wall area (William Kinniburgh 1968).

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Figure 1: A house made from lightweight pre- cast concrete2.4 Pumice

Pumice is a locally available material. It is also well spread on global basis. Pumice is the oldest known
lightweight aggregate and from 100 B.C. onwards was commonly used as an aggregate in the concrete
roofs and walls of Roman buildings; Pumice is used for reinforced concrete slabs, mainly for industrial
roofs in Germany. With a density of about 700- 1200kg/m3, pumice used in concrete elements can reduce
dead loads by over 30% and hence reduce the overall weight of structures.

Figure 2: Pumice aggregate

2.5.1 Properties of pumice


In the design of precast concrete elements made with pumice, an engineer will have to consider material
properties of pumice and the concrete mix design to achieve strength required. The challenge would be
the task of designing the strength and providing for connections. Aggregate used for concrete work must
produce concrete that is adequately strong and is capable of satisfactory compaction; it must be durable
and free from harmful ingredients (A. Short 1968).
Several studies have been done on pumice as an aggregate in concrete have shown that it is a sound
material in structural concrete. The task is to enforce a suitable and sound quality control and
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management (T. EIGAWA 1992). A less obvious but none the less one of the striking features of
lightweight concrete is the relatively high insulating values which they exhibit, a property which
improves with decreasing density. Pumice aggregates are very porous than gravel and so have absorb a
great deal of more water during the making of the concrete (A. Short and William Kinniburgh 1968).
Although slightly higher fines content may be necessary, structural lightweight concrete is generally
amenable to a mix design process similar to that for normal weight concrete. Sometimes it is better to use
volume batching for lightweight material. This would apply where moisture will vary substantially (J.L
Clarke 1993).
Pumice concrete is not in general suitable for cast in-situ work because of the tendency for this aggregate
to float to the surface, leading to segregation of the mixture. In its natural state pumice usually contains
impurities and if used with reinforcement it must be washed before mixing (A. Short 1968).

2.5 Mix design


Unfortunately the state of the art in concrete material science has not yet advanced to the point where we
can rationally determine the expected strength of concrete even if we were provided with all conceivable
information about the constituent materials and their properties. Concrete mix design therefore is a highly
empirical subject so much so that it is necessary to produce trial mixes from which then final mix design
parameters can be designed. (Christian Meyer).
The design of a concrete mix can be defined as the selection of the most suitable materials, i.e. cement
and aggregate, and the most economical proportions of cement, water and the various sizes of aggregates,
to produce a concrete having the required physical properties.
The design of lightweight concrete mixes differs considerably from that used for normal dense concrete
mixes. In many instances, the functional requirements are not merely those of strength and workability, as
in normal structural concrete, and each lightweight aggregate must be separately considered. The
Engineer must be satisfied when specifying a standard mix for the structural.
2.5.1 Objectives of mix design
The objective of mix design is to determine the mix proportions such that the resulting concrete has a
specified strength and meets specific durability requirements. Actually this objective involves three
separate goals:1. To achieve the specified strength and durability requirements.
2. To assure that the mixture is workable.
3. To minimize the amount of cement, the most expensive ingredient of the mix.
Mix designs usually are based upon volumetric measurements, but concrete is usually mixed (at least in a
commercial setting) according to weight of materials. Therefore, a mix design most commonly gives
directions for making the mix based upon weight (www).
A very simple method for mixing concrete is the "1:2:3" method. This type of concrete would use one
part of cement, two parts of fine aggregate (sand), and three parts of coarse aggregate (gravel). To this
mixture is added enough water to bring the concrete to the desired consistency. This will make a good
concrete, but it is rather inefficient, since it tends to use more cement than is necessary.
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As shown in the above example, a mix design will usually give direction as to the quantity of cement,
coarse aggregate, fine aggregate, and water in a specified amount of concrete (usually m3). A mix design
will also give directions as to amounts of admixture such as air entraining agents, water reducers, or
corrosion inhibiting agents.
The first step in creating a concrete mix design is to determine the desired compressive strength of the
finished concrete. This is expressed in terms of the 28-day compressive strength; the strength the concrete
will achieve in 28 days. This is usually based upon statistical data of similar mixes, or there are accepted
formulas that will account for statistical variations in concrete strengths if data is not available.
After determining the design strength, a water-cement ratio is selected. The common source for this is the
American concrete institute (ACI) code, Portland cement Association's Design and Control of Concrete
Mixtures and the British department of environment standard manuals for designing concrete. In these
manuals, tables are available, which show various water contents per cubic meter for varying levels of
slump, coarse aggregate size, and air entrainment. So we now have the amount of water in the mix, and its
ratio to the cement. The amount of water is divided by the water-cement ratio, yielding the weight of
cement needed for the mix.
Water and cement will make the "paste" that holds the aggregates together. The aggregate selection
begins by consulting relevant tables which relates maximum aggregate size of the coarse aggregate, and
fineness modulus of the fine aggregate to show the volume of coarse aggregate per unit of volume of
concrete (www).
After the volume of coarse aggregate has been determined, the weight of each material (water, cement,
and coarse aggregate) per cubic meter of concrete is converted to volume through the use of specific
gravity. The total of these is then subtracted from one cubic meter, and the difference made up using fine
aggregate.
This is a general outline of the process for designing a concrete mix. There are other concerns, such as air
entrainment levels, sulfate resistance, aggregate sizing, and mix water characteristics, which must also be
considered.
Sometimes a mix design can be developed by experience or previously collected field data to arrive at a
required strength of concrete. Though this approach will not be used, it is briefly described here below.
Proportioning from Field Data

This approach consists of adopting the previously used concrete mixture design for a new project
provided that the following requirements are met:
Strength-test data and standard deviations of strength test data collected from field show
that the previously designed mixture is acceptable.
The statistical data should essentially represent the same materials, proportions, and
concreting conditions to be used in the new project.
The data used for proportioning should also be from a concrete with an fc within the
range of the strength of concrete required for the new project

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The data should represent at least 30 consecutive tests or two groups of consecutive tests
totaling at least 30 tests (one test is the average strength of two cubes or cylinders from
the same samples)
Durability requirements must also be met.
If all the above requirements are met the previous mixture design may be approved for the new project
provided that the specified compressive strength of concrete, fcr is equal to or greater than the required
average compressive strength, fcr, of concrete, calculated as follows:
The fcr will be obtained from the following equation:fcr = fc + kS
Where
fcr =required average compressive strength of concrete (N/mm2) to be used as the basis for
selection of concrete proportions
fc = specified compressive strength of Concrete (N/mm2)
S = standard deviation of strength test data, expression of S is given in the DoE booklet and is
provided in the Appendix of this document.
K= this value refers to material defects proportion. It is also provided in DoE booklet and
appendix of this document.

If the fc is less than fcr, or statistical data or test records are insufficient or are not available, the mixture
should be proportioned by the trial-mixture method.

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Chapter 3
3.0 Methodology
The following was done during the study:1. Determination of pumice availability
2. Collection and sampling of material.
3. Grading of materials according to BS 882 and other associated codes.
4. Carrying out of the specific gravity tests.
5. Establishing of mix designs (trial mixes) for different blends i.e.
Normal aggregates with ordinary river sand fines concrete.
Pumice aggregates with ordinary river sand fines concrete.
6. Establishing the properties of green concrete in the above listed mixes and casting of cubes for
testing at different ages.
7.

Establishing the properties of hardened concrete (Concrete cubes and beams) of the above listed
mixes.

8. Casting of reinforced beams of the above mixes and testing their flexural strength variations.

3.1 A survey of pumice availability


The availability of pumice aggregate and its distribution in Kenya was determined. This involved study of
geological and soil maps available. It involved checking on available publications on this material in
libraries. It also involved the consultation of respective experts and scholars in the geology department.

3.2 Collection and sampling of material


Pumice was collected from one of the quarries in the Great Rift Valley. The quarries were found around
Kijabe, Mai -Mahiu, Longonot, Suswa and many parts around Nakuru.
Ordinary granitic aggregates were obtained from quarries around college. Ordinary river sand was
obtained from local suppliers. It was ensured that these materials were of quality and with negligible
defectives.
Aggregates of sizes 20mm were used for the study. Pumice naturally occurs with ashes, clay and other
deleterious materials.
For design purposes, the aggregates were washed to remove the dust and deleterious materials.

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3.4 Sampling of materials


The material was sampled to obtain representative samples. Sampling was done by the riffling box
method. The method is described here below.
The box was assembled and placed on a flat surface. The material was then scooped using a hand shovel.
The scooped material was then poured on top of the box till the collecting boxes below were full.
The material on one of the two receiving containers was discarded and the material in the remaining
container re- introduced in the box as described above.
The material on one of the receiving containers was taken as a representative material for testing.

3.5 Grading of materials for concrete production


In order to design and produce a concrete mix, it is important that the grading of the constituents be done.
This is done on coarse and fine aggregates to establish whether the particular particle distribution of a
batch is good for concrete production. This then enables the materials engineer to choose the source of his
materials (quarry and river).
Grading for ordinary material was done using the British standards (BS 882: 1992 specification for
aggregates from natural sources for concrete).
The code gives the sieves and envelopes (bounds) or limits required for coarse and fine aggregates.
3.5.1Coarse aggregate
Coarse aggregate is defined as aggregate mainly retained on a 5.0 mm BS 410 test sieve and containing
no more finer material than is permitted for the various sizes in this specification (CL 2.2).
Coarse aggregate may be described as gravel (uncrushed, crushed or partially crushed) as defined in 2.2.1,
or as crushed rock as defined in CL2.2.2, or as blended coarse aggregate as defined in CL2.2.3.
In this project the pumice collected occurs naturally as uncrushed material. The ordinary granite is a
product of crushed rock.
When determined in accordance with BS 812-103.1 using test sieves of the sizes given in Table 3,
complying with BS 410, full tolerance, the grading of the coarse aggregate was to be within the
appropriate limits given in Table 3 of BS 882. The material used was 20 mm and below.

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3.5.2 Fine aggregates


When determined in accordance with BS 812-103.1, using test sieves of the sizes given in Table 4
complying with BS 410, full tolerance, the grading of the sand was to comply with the overall limits
given in Table 4. Additionally, not more than one in ten consecutive samples was to have a grading
outside the limits for any one of the grading C, M or F, given in Table 4 (CL 5.2.1).
The method of grading for both fines and coarse aggregates is described here below:-

Figure 3: Grading sieves

Object

To determine the particle size distribution of aggregates by sieving


Apparatus

Balance accurate to 0.5% of mass of test sample.


Test sieves as listed a below
Oven capable of maintaining constant temperature to within 5%
Mechanism of shaking sieves.
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Chart for recoding results.


Sieve sizes
Coarse aggregates: 50mm, 37.5mm, 20mm, 14mm, 10mm, 5mm and 2.36mm.
Fine aggregates: 10mm, 5mm, 2.36mm, 1.18mm, 0.6mm, 0.3mm and 0.15mm
Procedure

The test samples were dried to a constant mass by oven drying at not more than 1055 0C
An approximate sample was taken from the original sample by riffling.
It was ensured that the sieves wert dry and clean before using them.
The required sample was then weighed out.
The sieve of the largest mesh size was placed in the tray and the weighed sample put on to the sieve.
The sieve was shaken horizontally with a jerking motion in all directions for at least 2 minutes and until
no more than a trace of a sample was passing. It was ensured that all material passing fell into the tray.
All material retained on the sieve was weighed.
The results were tabulated in the table provided and the cumulative weight passing each sieve calculated
as a percentage of the total sample to the nearest whole number.
The grading curve for the sample was plotted in the grading chart.

3.6 Determination of specific gravity and water absorption of aggregates


Specific gravity also known as particle density is an important parameter in the design of a concrete mix.
It helps in the determination of the overall density of final concrete produced.
In the project, specific gravity was done in accordance with BS EN 1097: part 6 2000(Test for mechanical
and physical properties of aggregates).
The pycometer method was used for determination of specific gravity and water absorption for fine
aggregates (CL 9), while the wire basket method was used in the determination of specific gravity and
water absorption of coarse aggregates (Annex c determination of particle density and water absorption
for lightweight aggregates).

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The parameters that would be required at the end of the test were as stated below:1. Particle density on an oven- dried basis
Ratio of oven dried sample of aggregates to the volume it occupies in water including both
internal sealed voids and water accessible voids (CL 3.2).
2. Apparent particle density
Ratio of oven dried mass of sample of aggregated to the volume it occupies in water including
any internal sealed voids but excluding water accessible voids (CL3.3).
3. Particle density on a saturated surface -dry basis
Ratio of the combined mass of a sample of aggregate and the mass of water in the water
accessible voids to the volume it occupies in water including both internally sealed voids and
water accessible voids if present (CL 3.4).
4. Water absorption
Increase in mass of a sample of oven dried aggregate due to the penetration of water into the
water accessible voids (CL 3.6).
The methods are described here blow:3.6.1 Method for fine aggregates (5mm and below)
Object

To determine the specific gravity and the water absorption values of aggregates.
Apparatus

i.

A balance

ii.

A drying oven

iii.

A pycometer bottle

iv.

Sample containers

v.

Stirring rod

Sample for test

A sample of about 500g was used for aggregates less than 5mm.
The sample was thoroughly washed to remove all material finer than 0.075mm test sieve as follows:The test sample was placed in the tray and enough water added to cover it. The sample was agitated
vigorously and immediately poured over the sieve which had previously been wetted on both sides. The
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operation was repeated until the wash water was clear. All material retained on the sieve was returned to
the washed sample.
Procedure

Transfer the washed sample to the tray and add further water to ensure that the sample is completely
immersed. Ensure that the sample is completely immersed.
The sample was kept immersed in water for 24 hours. The aggregate was placed in the pycometer and
filled with water.
The cone was screwed in to place and any entrapped air eliminated by rotating it on the sides.
The bottle was dried on the outside and weighed as (A).
The sample was emptied in to the tray; the pycometer refilled with water to the same level as before,
dried on the outside and weighed as (B).
Water was carefully drained from the sample by decantation through a 0.075mm sieve and any material
retained returned to the sample.
The aggregate was exposed to a gentle current of warm air to evaporate surface moisture and was stirred
at frequent intervals to ensure uniform drying until no free surface moisture could be seen. The saturated
and surface dry sample was then weighed as (C).
The sample was placed in the tray and dried in an oven at a temperature of 104 105 C for 24 hours. It
was then cooled in a dessicator and weighed as (D).
Calculations

i.

Specific gravity on an oven dried basis


=

ii.

Specific gravity on a saturated and surface dried basis


=

iii.

Apparent specific gravity


=

iv.

Water absorption (% of dry mass)


=
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3.6.2 Determination of specific gravity and water absorption for coarse aggregates
Apparatus

(i) Double beam balance of capacity 5kg


(ii) Container of steel or enameled iron with rubber plate.
(iii) Wire basket of opening 3mm or less, dia 20 cm and height 20 cm.
Preparation of sample

A representative sample was obtained by quartering or riffling.


The weight of the sample was to be 2kg for less than 20mm aggregates.
The sample was washed thoroughly with water to remove the dust on the surface of the grain and then
soaked in water at 25 C for 24 hours.
The specimen was removed from water, shaken off, and rolled in large absorbent cloth until all the
visible films of water were removed.
The large particles were wiped individually. The sample was divided into two parts to be used each for
one test.
Procedure for testing

The sample was weighed to the nearest o.5 g (Ws).


The sample was then placed in the wire basket, immersed in water at room temperature, and tapped to
remove entrapped air on the surface and between the grains and weighed while immersed (Ww).
The sample was removed from the water, dried in drying oven to constant weight at the temperature of
105 C and cooled at room temperature and weighed to the nearest 0.5g (Wd).
Results

The results were calculated as follows:(i) Specific gravity on saturated- surface dry basis
=
(ii) Absolute dry specific gravity
=
(iii) Water absorption (% of dry weight)
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3.7 Dry-rodded density of pumice


This is the weight of aggregate that would fill a container of unit volume. It is used to convert quantities
by weight to quantities by volume.
Dry aggregates were gently placed in the container of known volume in three layers and each layer
tamped a prescribed number of times with a 16mm diameter round nosed rod. The overflow was removed
by rolling a rod across the top of the container. The net weight of the aggregates in the container was
divided with the volume of the container to obtain the dry rodded density.

3.8 Concrete mix design


Concrete mix design was carried out to determine the proportions of constituents of concrete that was to
meet the desired strength and other properties. This was done according to accepted standards and
specifications.
Mix design enabled choosing of a mix that was recommended in the casting of precast element for testing.
It entailed coming up with adequate water/ cement ratio that would give adequate compressive strength.
3.8.1 Mix Proportioning Methods
Various mix proportioning methods have been developed that are used in mix proportioning.
The following two methods have been described in the ACI Committee 211 standard practice for
proportioning of concrete mixes

Weight method
Absolute-volume method
3.8.1.1 The Weight-proportioning method

This is fairly simple and quick for estimating mix proportions using an assumed or known weight of the
concrete per unit volume (i.e. Density).
This method was used to design the normal weight mix that was used in the project as control mix and to
whose other mixes was compared to.
3.8.1.2 The Absolute-volume-proportioning method

This is a more accurate method and involves use of specific gravity values for all the ingredients to
calculate the absolute volume each would occupy in a unit volume of concrete.

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This method is usually used in the design of concrete with constituents of special or different properties
from those of normal constituents.
In this project, the absolute-volume method, was used since pumice, a lightweight material was being
dealt with. There are two approaches in this method. These are:Mix proportioning from field data
Mix proportioning by trial mixtures
It may be noted that any mix design method provides only a first approximation of proportions. This has
to be checked by trial batches in the lab.
In the project, the second approach was used. This is because of unavailability reliable field data to
support the first approach. The trial mixture is described here below:Proportioning by Trial Mixtures

Involved, first establishing the relationship between strength and w/c ratio for the materials to be
used in the concrete.
This relationship was then used for proportioning the concrete ingredients using an appropriate
method.
The strength versus w/c ratio curve was established by preparing the three mixtures with three
different w/c ratios to produce a range of strengths that encompass fcr
The mixtures were prepared using the same materials proposed for the work
The mixtures were to have a slump and air content within 25 - 50m and 2%, respectively.
Three cubes per w/c ratio were made and cured.
At 28th day test age, the compressive strength of concrete was determined by testing the cubes in
compression
The test results were plotted to produce strength versus w/c ratio curve that was used to
proportion an appropriate mix for the pre-casting exercise.
For required average compressive strength of concrete, fcr, the w/c ratio was obtained using ACI
method.
Background Data required for mix Proportioning
The following background data was gathered before starting the mix proportioning calculations:
Sieve analysis of fine and coarse aggregate; fineness modulus
Dry-rodded unit weight of coarse aggregate
Bulk specific gravity of materials
Absorption capacity, or free moisture in the aggregate

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Variations in the approximate mixing water requirement with slump, air content, and grading of
the available aggregates
Relationship between strength and w/c ratio for available combinations of cement and aggregate
Job specifications if any [e.g., maximum w/c ratio, minimum air content, minimum slump,
maximum size of aggregate, and 28-day compressive strength]. In this case the precast elements
would require class 15- 20 concrete.
Step-by-Step Procedure of Mix Proportioning Calculations

The required compressive strength of concrete was determined by a suitable criterion (the DoE
Method was used in this case i.e. fcr = fc + kS
The w/c ratio was then selected (the ACI tables was adopted in this project and ratios 0.48, 0.54
and 0.6 were used).
The maximum size of aggregate was selected.
The air content was then selected.
The slump was selected.
The water content was then selected.
The cement content was then selected.
The coarse-aggregate content was calculated.
The air content was calculated.
The fine-aggregate content was calculated as:
Weight of fine aggregates for a given vol. of concrete
= absolute vol. of fine agg.

sp. gravity

unit weight of water

Absolute vol. of fine aggregate


= Vol. of concrete sum of absolute volumes of water, cement, air, and coarse aggregate
Absolute vol. of an ingredient of concrete except air
= (weight of ingredient) / (sp. gravity of
Ingredient

unit weight of water)

Absolute vol. of air


= (% air content

vol. of concrete) /100

The weight of water, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate was corrected to compensate for the
moisture in the aggregates
The calculations for laboratory trial batch were made and the concrete produced.
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The slump, air content, unit weight and 28-day compressive strength of the produced concrete
mix was measured.
the batch re-adjustments were done till the desired slump, air content, and 28-day compressive
strength were achieved

3.9 Control mix


A normal concrete mix design was done for the normal granitic aggregates and was used in this project as
the control. The procedure was as described here below:Stage 1 selection of target water/ cement ratio
Stage 2 selection of free water content.
Stage 3 determination of cement content.
Stage 4 determination of total aggregate.
Stage 5 selections of fine and coarse and aggregate contents.

3.10 Batching
Batching involves proportioning the material or the constituents of concrete to produce the concrete. The

batches were done according to the mix design results. These proportions were reduced to a volume
corresponding to the amount of concrete required. The size of the mix is arranged so that there was a
percentage extra to cater for waste.

3.11 Mixing of concrete


After mix design of three mixes of different water cement ratio, the trial mixes the trial mixes were done
and their properties as fresh concrete established. The mixing was done by hand using a pan. A pan mixer
could be used instead. The interior surfaces of the pan or mixer were cleaned and then wetted a bit. The
ingredients of concrete were added in a definite order so that the total quantity of one particular material
or grading was not added all at once. Mixing was continuous and it was ensured that all material formed a
homogeneous mix.

3.12 Slump test


This is a well established test that was carried out in the form of a frustum of a cone having an upper
diameter of 100 mm, and a lower diameter of 200 mm and a height of 300 mm. The mould was placed in
a smooth, horizontal, vibration free and non -absorbent surface and was filled in three equal layers with
the concrete to be tested, each layer being tamped 25 times with a standard tamping rod. The top layer
was struck off level with the mould and the cone was immediately lifted and amount of by which concrete
slumps was measured. It was important that the cone was lifted truly vertical. The slump was measured
using a steel rule. The inside of the mould was made free from superfluous moisture.

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3.13 Compacting test


This test was used to determine the compacting factor. The test is designed to apply a given amount of
work to a given amount of concrete and to reduce to a minimum the work lost in overcoming the friction
between the concrete and the containing surfaces.
The apparatus consisted of two conical hoppers fitted with strong doors at their base and a cylinder below
them. The top hopper was filled with concrete to be tested using a scoop ensuring not to compact it to any
extent.
The door at the bottom of the top hopper was then opened and concrete allowed to fall in to the bottom
hopper, care was taken to see that no concrete fell to the cylinder below during this process. The concrete
was then allowed to fall into the cylinder by opening the door at the bottom of the second hopper. The
cylinder was leveled off without compacting it in any way. The cylinder was then weighed and recorded
as w.
The cylinder was then emptied and filled with compacted concrete. The cylinder was again weighed and
recorded as W.
The compacting factor was computed as w/W.

3.14 Casting of compression test specimen


Compressive strength is the primary physical property of concrete (others are generally defined from it),
and is the one most used in design. It is one of the fundamental properties used for quality control for
lightweight concrete. Compressive strength may be defined as the measured maximum resistance of a
concrete specimen to axial loading. It is found by measuring the highest compression stress that a test
cylinder or cube will support.
The mixes were then be used to cast cubes for testing. This was done according to BS 1881 part 108 1983. Ten cubes were casted for each mix. The cubes were crushed to determine the strength
development at different ages.

3.15 Curing of the test specimen


This was done according to the British practice (BS 1881 Part 111). The test specimen was cured 16 24
hours after casting. This was done at a constant temperature of about 20 220 0C and relative humidity of
about 90 %.

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3.16 Compressive strength determination


The test cubes were crushed using a universal test machine complying with BS 1881 part 115 1986
specifications.
The testing procedure was as described in BS EN 12390-3: 2003 as below:The test cube was removed from the curing tank and the excess moisture from the surface of the specimen
wiped and weighed before placing it on the testing machine.
All testing machine bearing surfaces were wiped clean and any loose grit or other extraneous material
removed from the surfaces of the specimen that was in contact with the platens. The cube specimens were
then placed in a way that the load was applied perpendicularly to the direction of casting. The specimen
was centered with respect to the lower platen to an accuracy of 1 % of the designated size of cube. A
constant rate of loading within the range 0, 2 MPa/s (N/mm2 _ s) to 1,0 MPa/s (N/mm2 _ s) was selected.
The load to the specimen was applied without shock and is increased continuously, at the selected
constant rate 10 %, until no greater load can be sustained. This load was recorded.
The crushing was done as follows:3 cubes for 7th day strength
2 cubes for 14th day strength
2 cubes for 21th day strength
3 cubes for 28th day strength
The 28 day strength was plotted against the respective water cement ratios to obtain a curve that aided in
selecting the best mix for concrete that was used in pre-cast elements.

3.17 Selection of a mix for precast concrete casting


In order to precast, a suitable mix had to be selected from the mixes above aided with the water/ cement
ratio versus 28th day strength curve drawn as stated above. Among the important parameters considered
were:Strength
Water/ cement ratio
Density
Workability

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The selected mix was then prepared and its properties determined as described in the above procedures.
An additional test; the flexural strength test was done on this selected mix. This was done according to BS
1881 and as described here below:-

3.18 Flexural strength test


Beams of size 100mm x 100mm x 500mm were casted and tested on a span of 400mm as in BS 1881 part
109 -1983. These beams were tested using the compression test machine with a special adaptor for
flexural test.
The specimen was placed in the machine, correctly centered with the longitudinal axis of the specimen at
right angles to the rollers. The mould-filling direction was placed normal to the direction of loading.
Loading was not started until all loading and supporting rollers were in contact with the test specimen.
The load was then applied steadily and without shock at such a rate as to increase the stress at a rate of
about 0.06 0.04 N/ (mm2s). Lower loading rates were used for low strength concretes and the higher
loading rates for high strength concrete. Once adjusted, the rate of loading was maintained without
change until failure occurred. The maximum load read on the scale was recorded as the breaking load.

3.19 Comparison of pre-casted elements made from normal concrete and pumice concrete
From the above determined concrete mix and the above tested properties of the mix, a comparison and
analysis of using pumice and normal aggregates was done. The two materials were compared by the
following parameters:Weigh
Density
Flexural strength

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4.0 Data collection and Results Analysis


In this chapter, focus was on the performance of concrete made from pumice aggregates. All the tests
method adopted were as described in the previous chapter. The results presented in this chapter regarded
the compressive strength test, density, moisture content, and water absorption for different trial mixes of
the lightweight concrete and comparison to normal concrete.

4.1 Grading
Sieve sizes (mm)

Wt. retained (g)

Wt. passing (g)

% retained

Total % passing

38.1

5112

0.0

100.0

19

1642

3470

32.1

67.9

13.2

1084

2386

21.2

46.7

9.5

1698.5

687.5

33.2

13.4

4.75

636.5

51

12.5

1.0

2.36

42.5

8.5

0.8

0.2

1.18

8.5

0.2

0.0

Table 1: Granitic aggregate grading

120.0

COARSE AGGREGATES SIEVE ANALYSIS BS 882:1992

Cumulative % PASSING

100.0
80.0
60.0

Series1
Limits

40.0

Limits

20.0
0.0
1
-20.0

10
Sieve sizes

Figure 4: granitic coarse aggregate grading curve

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Sieve sizes (mm)

Wt. retained (g)

Wt. passing (g)

% retained

1350

Total % passing
100

20

15

1335

1.1

98.9

14

350

985

25.9

73

10

643

342

47.6

25.4

295

47

21.9

3.5

2.36

47

3.5

1.18
total

1350
Table 2: Pumice aggregates grading

120

cumulative % passing

100
80
BS 882 lower bound
60

BS 882 upperbound
pumice grading

40
20
0
1

sieve sizes 10
(logarithmic)
Figure 5: Pumice coarse aggregate grading curve

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Sieve sizes (mm)

Wt. retained
(g)

Wt. passing
(g)

% retained

Cumulative %
retained

Cumulative % passing

5.0

40.5

1496.00

2.64

2.64

97.36

2.0

47.0

1449.00

3.06

5.69

94.31

1.18

210.0

1239.00

13.67

19.36

80.64

0.6

419.5

819.50

27.30

46.66

53.34

0.3

537.0

282.50

34.95

81.61

18.39

0.2

215.5

67.00

14.03

95.64

4.36

0.1

67.0

0.00

4.36

100.00

0.00

Total

1536.5

Table 3: Fine aggregate grading

Fine Aggregate Sieve Analysis


120.00

Cumulative % Passing

100.00
80.00
sand grading

60.00

lower BS 882 bounds

40.00

upper BS 882 bounds

20.00
0.00
0.0

0.1

1.0
Sieve Sizes

Figure 6: Fine aggregate grading curve

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4.2 Specific gravity and water absorption


Pumice coarse aggregates
A

Av.

Weight of wire basket (a)

398

398.5

Weight of wire basket +

493

477

95

78.5

454

422

355

327

1.26

1.23

1.25

0.99

0.95

0.97

27.9

29.1

28.5

aggregate (b)
Weight of aggregate in water
(a+b) (Ww)
Weight of saturated surface
dry sample (Ws)
Weight of oven dried sample
(Wd)
Specific gravity on saturated
surface dry basis =

Absolute dry specific gravity


=

Water absorption (% of dry


weight) =

Table 4: Specific gravity and water absorption results for pumice aggregates

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Weight of wire basket (a)

Granite coarse aggregates


B
Av.
417

A
420

Weight of wire basket +


aggregate (b)
Weight of aggregate in water
(a+b) (Ww)
Weight of saturated surface
dry sample (Ws)
Weight of oven dried sample
(Wd)
Specific gravity on saturated
surface dry basis =

1015

1020

595

603

983.5

1003

963

984

2.53

2.51

2.52

Absolute dry specific gravity


=

2.36

2.46

2.41

Water absorption (% of dry


weight) =

2.1

1.9

2.0

Table 5: Specific gravity and water absorption results for granitic aggregates

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Weight of jar + sample + water (A)

1706

Ordinary Sand
Sample
B
1734.5

Weight of jar +water (B

1417

1417

Weight of saturated surface dry


Sample (C)

460

505.5

Weight of oven dried sample (D)

457.5

503.5

Specific gravity on an oven dried


basis =

2.68

2.68

2.68

Specific gravity on a saturated and


surface dried basis =

2.69

2.69

2.69

Apparent specific gravity


=

2.71

2.71

2.71

Water absorption (% of dry mass)


=

0.55

0.40

0.48

Sample

Mean values
Specific gravity on an
oven dried basis

2.68

Specific gravity on a saturated


and surface dried basis

2.69

Apparent specific gravity


2.71
Water absorption
(% of dry mass)

0.48

Table 6: specific gravity and water absorption results for sand

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4.3 Moisture content

Sample A

Sample B

Weight of moist aggregates (g) A

301.1

340.9

Weight of oven dry aggregates(g ) B

253

285

Weight of moisture(g)

48.1

55.9

% weight of moisture

19%

19.6%

Table 7: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 1 mixing)

Sample A

Sample B

Weight of moist aggregates (g) A

296

307.7

Weight of oven dry aggregates(g ) B

244.6

257.3

Weight of moisture(g)

51.4

50.4

% weight of moisture

21%

19.6%

Table 8: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 2 mixing)

Sample A

Sample B

Weight of moist aggregates (g) A

385.5

398.1

Weight of oven dry aggregates(g ) B

321.8

331.7

Weight of moisture(g)

63.7

66.4

% weight of moisture=

19.8%

20%

Table 9: Moisture content of pumice (Tm 3 mixing)

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STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Proportions of concrete constituents for trial mixes

The following proportions were arrived at from the mix design procedure as shown in tables in the
appendix section of the report.
water

Cement

Fine aggregates

Coarse aggregates

Trial mix 1

241.732

395.833

626.4

648

Trial mix 2

241.678

351.852

615.6

648

Trial mix 3

242.069

316.67

693.9

648

Table 10: mix proportions for trial mixes (source Tables in the appendix)

4.4 Properties of trial mixes

Weight of partially compacted concrete

2.4

Weight of fully compacted concrete

2.8

Compacting factor

0.86

Table 11: compacting factor (Tm 1 - 0.48 w/c ratio)

Slump
The slump was 30mm

Age (Days)
7
14
21
28

Average
density
(Kg/m3)
1863.957
1865.825
1859.694
1846.976

Average compressive
strength (N/mm2)
8.354893
9.852809
10.72049
12.44835

Table 12: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 1)

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Density (kg/m3)

Tm 1: Density variation with Age


1880
1875
1870
1865
1860
1855
1850
1845
1840
1835
1830

density

14

21

28

Age (days)

Figure 7: Density variation with age

Strength development curve :Tm1

14
Strength (N/mm2)

12
10
8
6
4

0.48 w/c ratio

2
0
0

10

20

Age (Days)

Figure 8: strength development curve: Tm 1

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Weight of partially compacted concrete

2.5

Weight of fully compacted concrete

2.85

Compacting factor

0.88

Table 13: Compacting factor (Tm 2 - 0.54 w/c ratio)

Slump
Trial mix 1 produced a36mm slump.

Age (Days)
7
14
21
28

Average
density
1866.3
1862.023
1858.076
1850.032

Average compressive
strength
8.088064
8.554882
10.28593
11.88544

Table 14: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 2)

Tm 2: Density variatin with Age


1870

Density (kg/m3)

1865
1860
1855
density

1850
1845
1840
7

14

21

28

Age (Days)

Figure 9: Density variation with age (Trial mix 2)

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Strength Development curve: Tm 2

14
Strength (N/mm2)

12
10
8
6
4

0.54 w/c ratio

2
0
0

10

20

30

Age (Days)

Figure 10: Strength development curve (Tm 2)

Weight of partially compacted concrete

2.55

Weight of fully compacted concrete

2.9

Compacting factor

0.88

Table 15: Compacting factor (Tm 3 - 0.60 w/c ratio)

Slump

The slump for trial mix 3 was found to be 39mm

Age (Days)
7
14
21
28

Average
density
1875.004
1867.896
1861.769
1854.791

Average compressive
strength
7.524718
8.447321
9.636248
11.52402

Table 16: Average density and strength versus age (Tm 3)

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Tm 3: Density Variation with Age


1880

Density (Kg/m3)

1875
1870
1865
1860
1855

density

1850
1845
1840
7

14

21

28

Age (days)

Figure 11: Density Variation with age (Tm 3)

Strength Development Curve

Strength (N/mm2)

14
12
10
8
6
0.60 w/c ratio

4
2
0
0

10

20

Age (Days)
Figure 12: Strength development curve (Tm 3)

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4.5 Summary of trial mixes

Mix

Slump

Tm 1 (0.48 w/c ratio)

30

Tm 2 (0.54 w/c ratio)

36

Tm 3 (0.60 w/c ratio)

39

Table 17: Summary of slump (trial mixes)

Summary of strength development curves


14

Strength N/mm2

12
10
8
0.48 w/c ratio

0.54 w/c ratio

0.60 w/c ratio

2
0
0

10

20

30

Age (Days)

Figure 13: Summary of strength development for the trial mixes

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28 day strength vs w/c Ratio curve


28 Day strength (N/mm2)

12.6
12.4
12.2
12
11.8
11.6

28 day strength

11.4
11.2
11
0.48

0.54

0.6

Water Cement Ratio

Figure 14: 28 day strength versus w/c ratio

Density vs w/c ratio


1856
1854

Density (Kg/m3)

1852
1850
1848

Density

1846
1844
1842
0.48

0.54

Water / Cement Ratio

Figure 15: Density versus w/c ratio graph

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Weight of partially compacted concrete

2.5

Weight of fully compacted concrete

2.8

Compacting factor

0.89

Table 18: Compacting factor (selected mix - 0.60 w/c ratio)

Slump

The slump for the selected mix was 40mm

Age (Days)
7
14
21
28

Average
density
1850.333
1847
1846
1843

Average compressive
strength
8.27
9.56
10.59
11.61

Table 19: Average density and strength versus age (Selected mix)

Sm: Density Variation with Age


1852

Density (Kg/m3)

1850
1848
1846
density

1844
1842
1840
1838
7

14

21

28

Age (Days)
Figure 16: Density Variation with age (Selected mix)

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strength Development Curve


14

Strength (N/mm2)

12
10
8
6
0.60 w/c ratio

4
2
0
0

10

20

30

Age (Days)

Figure 17: Strength development curve (Selected mix)

Normal aggregates mix (control)


Weight of partially compacted concrete (kg)

3.2

Weight of fully compacted concrete (kg)

3.7

Compacting factor

0.86

Table 20: Compaction factor (Normal aggregate mix)

Slump 36
Trial mix 1: Average density and strength versus age

Age (Days)
7
14
21
28

Average
density
2376.26
2363.11
2362.52
2354.28

Average compressive
strength
14.90
19.92
22.52
24.99

Table 21: Average density and strength versus age (Normal mix)

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Nm: Density Variation with Age


2380

Density (Kg/m3)

2375
2370
2365
2360
2355

density

2350
2345
2340
7

14

21

28

Age (Days)

Figure 18 : Density variation with age (Normal mix)

strength development curve


Strength (N/mm2)

30
25
20
15
10

strength

5
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

Age (days)

Figure 19: Strength development curve (Normal Mix)

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Pumice and Normal concrete strength development curve

Strength (N/mm2)

30
25
20
15
pumice

10

Normal

5
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

Age ( Days)

Figure 20: Comparison of Strength development for pumice and normal aggregate concrete

4.6 Flexural strength test results


The table below summarizes the results from the test done in the laboratory. (Source: table in
appendix section)
Beam
Mark

Age (days)

Max. Load
(T)

Nm

28

2.6

3.5

28

1.6

2.1

Sm

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STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

stress strain curves


4
stress (N/mm2)

3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5

pumice

normal

0.5
0
0

50

100

150

200

strain

Figure 21: stress stain curve

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5.0 Discussion of results


5.1 Availabity of Pumice
Pumice deposits were found to exist along the Great Rift Valley. Pumice was found to be abundant in
areas around Mt. Longonot, Naivasha, Nakuru and Kijabe. They were found to occur in there natural state
and no crushing was necessary.

5.2 Grading
Normal granitic aggregates

The batch of normal aggregates available was found to conform to BS 882 requirements as shown
by figure 4.
Pumice aggregates

The batch of pumice aggregate used in the study was found to conform to the BS 882
requirements. As shown on figure 5, only one point came out of the required bounds. Therefore
the pumice aggregates used had satisfactory grading for concrete production. The maximum size
of aggregate used was 20 mm.
Ordinary sand

The ordinary sand used for concrete production in the laboratory was satisfactory as per the
required standards. The sand was found to fit in zone 2. The sand had a silt content of 4.5%
percent and this was acceptable.
The modulus of fineness was found to be 3.00

5.3 Specific gravity


Normal granitic aggregates

From the analysis, the specific gravity on saturated surface dry basis was found to be 2.52. The
specific gravity on oven dry basis was found to be 2.41.
Pumice aggregates

The specific gravity on saturated surface dry basis of pumice aggregates was found to be 1.25.
The specific gravity on oven dry basis was found to be 0.97. It was noted from these results that
individual pumice particles were about a half of normal aggregates weight.
Ordinary sand

The specific gravity on saturated surface dry basis of sand fine aggregates was found to be 2.69.
The specific gravity on oven dry basis was found to be 2.68.

5.4 Water absorption


Normal granitic aggregates

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The normal aggregates were found to absorb water about 2% of their own weight as in table 4.
This was found to be normal absorption and did not adversely affect the design of concrete.
Pumice aggregates

The quantity of water absorbed by the pumice aggregates was found to be about 29% of the
aggregates own weight as shown in table 5. This high water absorption was found to occur
because pumice has pores and cavities in its structure. Water absorption is an important factor to
put in to consideration due to the porous structure of the pumice lightweight aggregates. The
water absorption test was done as part of the specific gravity test.

5.5 Dry rodded density of pumice aggregates


The dry rodded density of the pumice aggregates was found to be 647kg/m3. This was within the range
given in the literature review of between 500Kg/m3 and 900kg/m3.

5.6. Pumice concrete design


Pumice being a light weight material meant that a small weight was bulky as compared to same weight of
normal aggregates. This therefore posed a challenge in the design using normal mix design that uses
weight criteria. Therefore the method found to be appropriate for the design of pumice concrete was the
absolute volume method. This method took in to account the proportion of each constituent of concrete
that was required in a unit volume of concrete. The method assumed that the volume of compacted
concrete was equal to the sum of the absolute volumes of all constituents.
As observed from table 5, pumice was found to absorb about 29% of its own weight of water. This meant
that some of the design water required for hydration of cement would be absorbed into the pumice pores.
The absolute volume method of mix design provided the option of correcting the amount of water to be
used for concrete production.
The method adopted by the American concrete institute was used. The concrete produced was meant for
pre-cast elements and therefore the following requirements were met as shown by the results.
Slump 25- 50 mm (for flexural elements and walling)
Air entrainment 2% (maximum)
Note:
The method shown in tables is a procedure recommended for cases where the moisture content of the
aggregates is known just before mixing. The water correction (water added to net design water) takes to
account the difference between aggregates water absorption and the moisture content.
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For situations where moisture content is not known, the aggregates can be soaked in water for a minimum
of 30 minutes and then the water correction taken as equal to the absorption capacity.
5.6.1 Slump
The slumps of the trial mixes were very satisfactory as summarized in table 17 above. The slump
according to the ACI tables was within the range of 25 50 mm. A slump at this range produced
workable concrete that was easy and convenient to place and compact. It was also evident that the lower
the water cement ratio, the lower was the workability. It is clear that when an element being casted is
narrow or when there are numerous corners or inaccessible parts, concrete must have adequate
workability so that full compaction can be achieved with a reasonable amount of effort. For pre-cast
elements, such workability was adequate.
5.6.2 Compacting factor
The results for the compacting factor test using the compacting factor machine as summarized in tables
11, 13 and 15showed that the concrete produced from the trial mixes was within the required range of
compacting factors 0.85 0.92 for workability necessary for pre- cast elements.
5.6.3 Density
From the general analysis density of all mixes showed a reduction in density as age increased (Figure 7, 9,
11 and 16). This was attributed to the fact that water in the concrete was being used for hydration. It was
also evident from figure 15 for trial mixes that the higher the water cement ratio the higher the density.
5.6.4 Compressive strength
As discussed before, trial method was used in determining the most suitable mixture in preparing research
samples. Three (3) trial mixes were prepared during the study and from the results, the mixture with the
highest compressive strength with low density was be used for further investigation.
Compressive strength of pumice lightweight concrete for each trial mix was determined on the 7, 14, 21
and 28 days for each sample. There were three samples each for age 7 and 28 days and two samples each
for age 14 and 21 days test and the results was be taken as the average of each.. The variable that was
used was the cement content as water cement ratio.
The comparison between the compressive strength of these three trial mixtures is illustrated in Figure 13.
From the results presented in tables 12, 14 and 16, the highest compressive strength measured was 12.44
N/mm2. This was produced by trial mix 1(w/c ratio 0.48). The lowest compressive strength was found to
be 11.52 from the trial mix 3 (w/c ratio 0.60).
From these results it was evident that the amount of cement in pumice concrete influenced the 28th day
strength. The highest strength obtained in these mixes in traditional standards was not structural.

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From the above observations, trial mix 3 (0.6 w/c ratio) was selected. This was so because this mix was
economical in terms of cement content yet with careful and precise design produced strength close to the
two other mixes as seen from figure 13. Also the strength development curve showed that its trend was
stable.

5.7 Normal granitic aggregate mix design


The normal British method (Department of Environment) as shown on table 22 in the appendix section of
this document was used to design the control mix. The selected characteristic strength was selected as
25N/mm2 as from the summary table. A margin of 13.12 was given and therefore a target mean strength
of 38.12 N/mm 2was arrived at.
The coarse aggregates used were crushed while the fine ones were uncrushed. A slump of 30 mm was
selected. The proportions of water, cement, fines aggregates and coarse aggregates were found to be 210,
350, 644 and 1196 Kg respectively per cubic meter of concrete. This was close to class 25 concrete.
5.7.1 Slump
The slump for the normal granitic aggregates concrete was found as 35mm. This slump was satisfactory
as per the requirements of pre- casting.
5.7.2 Compacting factor
The compacting factor for normal concrete mix was found to be 0.86 as in table 20 and satisfactory as
required for pre- casting.
5.7.3 Compressive strength
The normal granitic aggregate concrete produced an average strength of 24.88 N/mm2 as seen from table.
This was in effect class 25 concrete as expected from design.

5.8 Flexural strength


The comparison between pumice concrete and normal concrete was as shown on figure 21in terms of
stress strain curve.
From the analysis shown, lightweight concrete from pumice aggregates showed the same pattern of
failure as that of normal concrete. However the strength was about 60 % of the normal aggregate. This
was attributed to the structural weakness of pumice aggregates. The beams all failed within the middle
third

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Figure 22: Flexural strength test and a strain gauge on specimen

5.9 Comparison and analysis of pre-casted elements made from normal concrete and
pumice concrete
From the results illustrated in figures 16 and 18, pre-cast elements made with pumice concrete were very
light with a density of around 1800 kg/m3 this was unlike the normal concrete which had a density of
2400 kg/m3. This was found to be about 25% reduction of the density.
It was found that using the absolute volume method of design and using all in pumice aggregates,
densities of down to 1500 Kg/m3 could be achieved. For pre-casted non structural non load bearing
elements e.g. wall panels, and blocks, this could reduce dead loads substantially at very effective costs.
From the results, it was evident that the dead loads of a superstructure could be reduced down to about
25%. This is substantial reduction of dead loads. If we consider high rise structures whose partitions and
other fittings are done with pre-cast pumice lightweight concrete, the observation evident was that much
taller structures could be erected on the same foundation as normal concrete structures. Below are some
pre- cast elements that were done in the laboratory.

Figure 23: Hollow blocks made from pumice concrete (ideal for walling and partitioning high-rise structures.)

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Figure 24 A 100 x 300 x1500 pre-casted pumice concrete wall panel done in the laboratory

Figure 25: pre-cast elements and there application

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Pre- casted lightweight concrete done with pumice aggregates was found to be an effective technique for
providing low cost durable and decent housing. It was found that pre- casted lightweight concrete wall
panel such as one shown on figure 25 could be easily carried by a single person. This implied that several
of these enough to erect a small house could be loaded to a truck or even a pick- up truck and transported
to site for erection with much ease.
In Kenya many of the housing problems could be solved by using this technique. For example, in the
internally displaced peoples case it could take only a pick up full of pre-casted pumice concrete wall
panels to erect a decent and reasonable house for a cost of almost about the same the government used on
tents and others.

Figure 25: A kind of house done by pre- cast walls and tin roof. (Ideal for IDPs and other housing crisis cases )

Use of the pre- casted concrete elements for eco sustainable housing could also be applied to the nomadic
communities. Very decent and beautiful houses that can be assembled and again dismantled with ease
could be done with such lightweight panels and fittings. When a family has to move in search of pasture
and water, all they need to do is dismantle their houses and load the lightweight elements to animal carts
and move. On reaching the desired location, re- assembly of the house takes only a few men and a few
hours and their beautiful house is erected.
5.9.1 Pre- casted pumice structural concrete
From the study it was evident that in order to achieve concrete of structural quality using sand and
pumice, a lot of cement would be required. Concrete with all in pumice aggregates could not be used
structurally because of the low compressive strengths achieved.

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However, the absolute volume method of concrete design gives an option to a designer to blend material
constituents to achieve whatever mix one desires. This only required one to know the specific gravity of
each constituent and then mix them appropriately.
From such findings, it was evident that pumice aggregates could be blended with a little of normal
aggregates to achieve strengths of structural integrity. With precision and care strengths of over 20N/mm2
could be achieved. This concrete could be used for light slabs and short spanning lightly loaded beams.
This implied a little heavier concrete but lighter than normal weight concrete hence of advantage in
general.
5.9.2 Pumice concrete and eco-sustainability
As used in everyday speech, to sustain means to support or to keep a process going. The goal of
sustainability is that life on the planet can be sustained for the foreseeable future. There are three
components of sustainability: environment, economy, and society. To meet its goal, sustainable
development must provide that these three components remain healthy and balanced.
From the study, it was evident that there are substantial merits in use of pumice aggregates in pre- casted
concrete elements. A lighter structure implies a lighter foundation. The cost of foundations takes a huge
proportion of the total construction cost. Pre- casted concrete elements using pumice are very light as
shown and their incorporation in to buildings would result in lesser excavations and volume of material
hence cheaper and economical construction.

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Chapter 6
6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 Conclusions
Pumice is a lightweight volcanic rock that is found in many parts of the world where volcanoes are
present. It is a sponge like material formed by expansion of gases while molten lava rapidly cools. It is a
porous glass froth that is found in very shallow deposits in such places as Mai mahiu, Mt. Longonot,
Kijabe, Naivasha, Areas around Nakuru and Meru.
From the study, pumice was found to be lightweight and inert material and therefore had no reaction with
any of the ingredients of concrete.
Pumice was found to produce a low density concrete that could be used effectively in pre- cast elements.
The strength of pumice lightweight concrete achieved during the study was low for low density mixtures.
Thus the resulting lightweight concrete produced was not suitable to be used in structural or load bearing
elements, but the compressive strength obtained was acceptable for non-load bearing elements like wall
panels.
However, with careful design and monitoring of processes it was evident that it could produce a mix that
succeeds in providing structural strength and insulation in one material. The findings showed that pumice
lightweight concrete could achieve desirable strengths to be an alternative construction material for the
industrialized building system and also for provision of affordable solutions to the local and global
housing problems.
Due to the special properties of pumice aggregates for instance the high water absorption, it was found
that pumice concrete could produce quality elements if pre- casted in a central place. This would ensure
quality control of the casting processes and workmanship than when done insitu.

6.2 Recommendations
1.) Pumice absorbs a lot of water and therefore care during casting should be observed to attain
reasonable strengths. It is recommended that the water absorption of a batch be pre- determined
before casting to have an idea of how much water should be added. The pumice aggregates
should be soaked in this amount of water at least about 15 minutes before casting.
2.) Alternatively, though this method is demanding, the moisture content of the pumice batch id
determined prior to casting and the water content correction determined by subtracting the
moisture content from the absorption capacity as shown in the mix design procedures in tables.

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STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

April 1, 2010

3.) Pumice aggregates are found in their natural form and no much crushing is required. However, in
this state, pumice aggregates contain a lot of dust, ash, twigs and decomposing matter. All these
are very deleterious substances and highly affect strength development in pumice concrete. The
remedy is to ensure that the material is washed carefully to remove the deleterious substances and
not to remove the required fines.
4.) To improve the compressive strength a small portion of the coarse pumice aggregate can be
replaced with well graded stronger material like granite. The absolute volume method discussed
can be effectively be used to determine these proportions according to how they are desired using
their specific gravities.
5.) Durability of pumice concrete should be determined to ensure protection of steel in such concrete.
One method would be to determine the permeability of the concrete as a measure of permeability.
6.) In cases where the primary objective is to achieve lighter concrete i.e. for non load bearing units,
pumice fines can be used together with pumice coarse aggregates. The absolute volume method
of mix design again makes this possible.
7.) The pre- casting workshops should be constructed close to pumice deposits so that only finished
elements are transported to the market.
8.) Other methods of concrete mix design should be studied.

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STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

April 1, 2010

7.0 References
1. Ravindra K. Dhir and M. Roderick Jones (1993), Concrete 2000: Economic and durable
construction through excellence; Chapman & Hall, London, UK.
2. A.M Neville & J.J Brooks (2001), concrete technology; Pearson Prentice Hall, Edinburgh,
Harlow.
3. J.L Clarke (1993), structural lightweight aggregate content; Chapman & Hall, Glasgow.
4. Kims S. Elliot (2002), precast concrete structures; Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.
5. A. Short and W. Kinniburgh (1968), Lightweight Concrete second edition revised; CR BOOKS
LTD, London.
6. L. J Murdock, K. M. Brook and J. D. Dewar (1991), Concrete Materials and practice, 6th Edition;
London Melbourne Auckland, London.
7. www.pumicececrete.com
8. www.clpumice.com

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April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

8.0 Appendix
Table 22: Normal concrete mix design table based on procedure by Department of Environment (DoE) - London
Stage
1.

Item
1.1 Characteristic strength
1.2 standard deviation
1.3 Margin

1.4 target mean strength


1.4.1 air content
1.5 cement type
1.6 Aggregate type: Coarse
Aggregate type: fine
1.7 Free- water/Cement ratio
1.8 Maximum free water/ cement
ratio
2.1 Slump or V B time
2.2 Maximum aggregate size
2.3 Free- water content
3.1 Cement content
3.2 Maximum cement content
3.3 Minimum cement content
3.4 Modified free-water/ cement
ratio
4.1 Relative density of aggregate
(SSD)
4.2 Concrete Density
4.3 Total aggregate content
5.1 Grading of fine aggregates
5.2 proportion of fine aggregate

Reference or
calculations
specified

values
25 N/mm2 at
28
Proportion defective
5
8
N/mm2 or no Data
(k = 1.64
x 8
=
13.12

Fig 3
C1
or
specified
C2 & para 8.1

N/mm2

+
13.12
= 38.12
0
%
Portland pozzolana cement
Crushed
uncrushed
0.56
Use the lower value
0.6

Table 2, Fig 4
Specified
Specified
Specified
Table 3 & para
8.2
C3
specified
specified

Slump

30
20
210
210
400
200

Kg/m3

0.60
Kg/m3
Kg/m3

= 350

Kg/m3

Kg/m3

2.6
2400
Kg/m3
2400 - 350 - 210

Fig 5 para 8.3


C4
Percentage
passing 600
Fig 6

0.56

mm or V B
mm

0.60

Known/ Assumed
=

1840

Kg/m3

Zone 2

35%
0.35 X 1840
=
644
Kg/m3
0.65 X 1840
= 1196
Kg/m3
Water (Kg ) Fine aggregates(Kg)
Coarse aggregate (Kg)
210
644
1196
1.84
3.42

54
E25-0128/04

N/mm2
N/mm2

25

specified

5.3 Fine aggregate content


C5
5.4 Coarse aggregate content
Quantities
Cement (Kg)
350
1

days
%

April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 23: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute (ACI 2000) -TM 1
Stage
1.0 Compressive strength
2.0 Water/ Cement ratio
3.0 Maximum size of aggregate
4.0 Air content
4.1 Volume of air

6.1Volume of water

Reference and calculation


Specified
Table 5.17(ACI 2000)
Specified from grading
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
=
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
For 20mm aggregate
=

7.0 Cement content

5.0Slump
6.0 Water content

7.1 Volume of cement


8.0 Coarse aggregate content

8.1 Volume of coarse aggregate


9.0 Fine aggregate content

10.0 water correction

values

=
Table 5.18 (ACI 2000)
Fineness modulus of sand (grading)
Selected volume (against agg. size)
Dry rodded density of aggregate
Weight = 0.60 x 900
Specific gravity
=
Specific gravity (Lab test)
Unit volume of concrete
Unit volume of air
Unit volume of cement
Unit volume of coarse aggregate
Unit volume of water
Unit volume of sand
Weight = 0.232 x 2700
CA moisture content
FA moisture content
CA absorption capacity
FA absorption capacity
Corrected CA weight
Corrected FA weight
Corrected water weight

N/mm2

=
=
=
=
=

25
0.48
20
2
0.02

25-50

mm

=
=

190
0.19

Kg/m3
M3

395.83

Kg/m3

0.126

M3

=
=
=
=
=
=

3.00
0.6
900
540
1.25
0.432

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

2.7
1.000
0.020
0.126
0.432
0. 190
0.232
626.4

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

20
0
29
0.5
648
626.4
241.6

.
mm
%
M3

.
.
Kg/m3
Kg/m
.
M3
.
M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
Kg/m3
%
%
%
%
Kg/m3
Kg/m3
Kg/m3

11.0 Quantities
Water
(Kg/m3)

Cement
(Kg/m3)

Fine aggregates
(Kg/m3)

Coarse aggregates (Kg/m3)

241.732

395.833

626.4

648

55
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April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 24: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute (ACI 2000) -TM 2
Stage
1.0 Compressive strength
2.0 Water/ Cement ratio
3.0 Maximum size of aggregate
4.0 Air content
4.1 Volume of air

6.1Volume of water

Reference and calculation


Specified
Table 5.17(ACI 2000)
Specified from grading
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
=
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
For 20mm aggregate
=

7.0 Cement content

5.0Slump
6.0 Water content

7.1 Volume of cement


8.0 Coarse aggregate content

8.1 Volume of coarse aggregate


9.0 Fine aggregate content

10.0 water correction

=
Table 5.18 (ACI 2000)
Fineness modulus of sand (grading)
Selected volume (against agg. size)
Dry rodded density of aggregate
Weight = 0.60 x 900
Specific gravity
=
Specific gravity (Lab test)
Unit volume of concrete
Unit volume of air
Unit volume of cement
Unit volume of coarse aggregate
Unit volume of water
Unit volume of sand
Weight = 0.246 x 2700
CA moisture content
FA moisture content
CA absorption capacity
FA absorption capacity
Corrected CA weight
Corrected FA weight
Corrected water weight

values
30
0.54
20
2

25-50

mm

=
=

190

Kg/m3
M3

351.851

Kg/m3

0.112

M3

mm
%
M3

3.00
0.6
900
540
1.25
0.432

M3

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

2.69
1.000
0.020
0.112
0.432
0. 190
0.246
661.74

M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
Kg/m3

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

20
0
29
0.5
648
615.6
241.678

%
%
%
%
Kg/m3
Kg/m3
Kg/m3

Cement
(Kg/m3)

Fine aggregates
(Kg/m3)

241.678

351.852

661.74

E25-0128/04

=
=
=
=
=
=

11.0 Quantities
Water
(Kg/m3)

56

N/mm2

=
=
=
=
=

Kg/m3
Kg/m

Coarse aggregates (Kg/m3)

648

April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 25: Absolute volume mix design method table based on procedure by American concrete institute (ACI 2000) TM 3

Stage
1.0 Compressive strength
2.0 Water/ Cement ratio
3.0 Maximum size of aggregate
4.0 Air content
4.1 Volume of air

6.1Volume of water

Reference and calculation


Specified
Table 5.17(ACI 2000)
Specified from grading
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
=
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
Table 5.16 (ACI 2000)
For 20mm aggregate
=

7.0 Cement content

5.0Slump
6.0 Water content

7.1 Volume of cement


8.0 Coarse aggregate content

8.1 Volume of coarse aggregate


9.0 Fine aggregate content

10.0 water correction

=
Table 5.18 (ACI 2000)
Fineness modulus of sand (grading)
Selected volume (against agg. size)
Dry rodded density of aggregate
Weight = 0.60 x 900
Specific gravity
=
Specific gravity (Lab test)
Unit volume of concrete
Unit volume of air
Unit volume of cement
Unit volume of coarse aggregate
Unit volume of water
Unit volume of sand
Weight = 0.257 x 2700
CA moisture content
FA moisture content
CA absorption capacity
FA absorption capacity
Corrected CA weight
Corrected FA weight
Corrected water weight

=
=
=
=
=

values
25
0.60
20
2
0.02

25-50

mm

=
=

190

Kg/m3
M3

316.67

Kg/m3

0.101

M3

N/mm2
mm
%
M3

=
=
=
=
=
=

3.00
0.6
900
540
1.25
0.432

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

2.69
1.000
0.020
0.101
0.432
0. 190
0.257
693.9

M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
M3
Kg/m3

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

20
0
29
0.5
648
693.9
242.069

%
%
%
%
Kg/m3
Kg/m3
Kg/m3

.
Kg/m3
Kg/m
M3

11.0 Quantities
Water
(Kg/m3)

Cement
(Kg/m3)

Fine aggregates
(Kg/m3)

Coarse aggregates
(Kg/m3)

242.069

316.67

693.9

648

57
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April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 26: Scaled down trial mixes proportions for actual laboratory casting

water

Cement

Fine aggregates

Coarse aggregates

Trial mix 1

8.974301

14.6953001

23.2551

24.057

Trial mix 2

8.972296

13.0625055

22.85415

24.057

Trial mix 3

8.986812

11.7563738

25.7610375

24.057

Table 27: Trial mix 1 results

Cube
mark

Age
(Days)

Dimension

Volume

(mm)

(M3)

Weight
(g)

Density

Dial
reading

Strength
(N/mm2)

(kg/M3)

(N/mm2)

Tm 1 a)

150

0.003375

6371

1887.7037

19.3

8.4148

Tm 1 b)

150

0.003375

6384

1891.55556

19.2

8.3712

Tm 1 c)

151

0.003443

6369

1849.86658

19.5

8.38976361

Tm 1 d)

14

151

0.003443

6368

1849.57613

23

9.89561861

Tm 1 e)

14

150

0.003375

6352

1882.07407

22.5

9.81

Tm 1 f)

21

150

0.003375

6341

1878.81481

25

10.9

Tm 1 g)

21

151

0.003443

6337

1840.57223

24.5

10.540985

Tm 1 h)

28

151

0.003443

6315

1834.18236

28.5

12.2619622

Tm 1 i)

28

151

0.003443

6320

1835.63461

29

12.4770843

Tm 1 j)

28

150

0.003375

6315

1871.11111

28.5

12.426

58
E25-0128/04

Average
strength
8.3919212

9.85280931
10.7204925
12.3883488

April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 28: Trial mix 2 results (casted on)

Cube
mark

Age
(Days)

Dimension

Volume

(mm)

(M3)

Weight
(g)

Density

Dial
reading

Strength
(N/mm2)

(kg/M3)

Average
strength
(N/mm2)

Tm 2 a)

150

0.003375

6364

1885.62963

18.5

8.066

Tm 2 b)

151

0.003442

6319

1835.34416

18.8

8.08859261

Tm 2 c)

150

0.003375

6338

1877.92593

18.6

8.1096

Tm 2 d)

14

151

0.003443

6304

1830.98743

20

8.60488575

Tm 2 e)

14

151

0.003443

6298

1829.24474

19.5

8.38976361

Tm 2 f)

21

152

0.003511

6289

1790.81544

24

10.1904432

Tm 2 g)

21

151

0.003443

6278

1823.43577

23.5

10.1107408

Tm 2 h)

28

153

0.003582

6287

1755.37201

27.5

11.5244137

Tm 2 i)

28

150

0.003375

6200

1837.03704

27

11.772

Tm 2 j)

28

150

0.003375

6242

1849.48148

28

12.208

8.0880642

8.49732468
10.150592
11.8348046

Table 29: Trial mix 3 results (casted on)

Cube
mark

Age
(Days)

Dimension
(mm)

Volume

Weight
(g)

Density

Dial
reading

Strength
(N/mm2)

Average
strength
(N/mm2)

Tm 3 a)

150

0.003375

6376

1889.18519

17.5

7.63

7.52471763

Tm 3 b)

151

0.003443

6363

1848.12389

17

7.31415289

Tm 3 c)

150

0.003375

6371

1887.7037

17.5

7.63

Tm 3 d)

14

151

0.003443

6369

1849.86658

19

8.17464146

Tm 3 e)

14

150

0.003375

6365

1885.92593

20

8.72

Tm 3 f)

21

151

0.003443

6362

1847.83344

22.5

9.68049647

Tm 3 g)

21

150

0.003375

6371

1887.7037

22

9.592

Tm 3 h)

28

150

0.003375

6351

1881.77778

26.5

11.554

Tm 3 i)

28

151

0.003443

6342

1842.02447

26.5

11.4014736

Tm 3 j)

28

151

0.003443

6337

1840.57223

27

11.6165958

59
E25-0128/04

8.44732073
9.63624823
11.5240231

April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 30: Selected mix results (casted on)

Cube
mark

Age
(Days)

Dimension

Volume

(mm)

(M3)

Weight
(g)

Density

Dial
reading

Strength
(N/mm2)

(kg/M3)

Average
strength
(N/mm2)

Sm a)

100

0.001

1850

1850

8.5

8.3385

Sm b)

100

0.001

1849

1849

8.4

8.2404

Sm c)

100

0.001

1852

1852

8.4

8.2404

Sm d)

14

100

0.001

1847

1847

10

9.81

Sm e)

14

100

0.001

1847

1847

9.5

9.3195

Sm f)

21

100

0.001

1849

1849

10.6

10.3986

Sm h)

21

100

0.001

1843

1843

11

10.791

Sm i)

28

100

0.001

1842

1842

11.5

11.2815

Sm j)

28

100

0.001

1846

1846

12

11.772

Sm k)

28

100

0.001

1841

1841

12

11.772

8.2731

9.56475
10.5948
11.6085

Table 31: Normal aggregate mix (Casted on)

Cube
mark

Age

Dimension

Volume

(mm)

(M3)

Weight
(g)

Density

Dial
reading

Strength
(N/mm2)

(kg/M3)

(N/mm2)

Nm a)

150

0.003375

8074

2392.30

33

14.39

Nm b)

151

0.003443

8075

2345.37

35

15.06

Nm c)

150

0.003375

8070

2391.11

35

15.26

Nm d)

14

150

0.003375

8054

2386.37

45

19.62

Nm e)

14

151

0.003443

8056

2339.85

47

20.22

Nm f)

21

151

0.003443

8056

2339.85

52

22.37

Nm g)

21

150

0.003375

8050

2385.19

52

22.67

Nm h)

28

151

0.003443

8052

2338.69

57.5

24.74

Nm i)

28

151

0.003443

8054

2339.27

59

25.38

Nm k)

28

150

0.003375

8049

2384.89

57

24.85

60
E25-0128/04

Average
strength
14.902183

19.920740
22.522351
24.99181

April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 32: Slump Ranges for Specific Applications (after ACI, 2000) Table 5.14

Slump
Type of Construction
(mm)

(inches)

25 - 75

1-3

Plain footings, caissons and substructure


25 - 75
walls

1-3

Beams and reinforced walls

25 - 100

1-4

Building columns

25 - 100

1-4

Pavements and slabs

25 - 75

1-3

Mass concrete

25 - 50

1-2

Reinforced foundation walls and


footings

Table 33: Typical State DOT Slump Specifications (data taken from ACPA, 2001) Table 5.15

Fixed Form

Slip Form

Specifications
(mm)

(inches)

(mm)

(inches)

Typical

25 - 75

1-3

0 - 75

0-3

Extremes

as low as 25
as high as 175

as low as 1
as high as 7

as low as 0
as high as 125

as low as 0
as high as 5

61
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April 1, 2010

STUDY AND DESIGN OF PRE- CAST LIGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE WITH PUMICE AS AGGREGATES

Table 34: Approximate Mixing Water and Air Content Requirements


for Different Slumps and Maximum Aggregate Sizes (adapted from ACI, 2000) Table 5.16

Mixing Water Quantity in kg/m3 (lb/yd3) for the listed Nominal Maximum Aggregate
Size
Slump

9.5 mm
12.5 mm
(0.375 in.) (0.5 in.)

19 mm
25 mm
(0.75 in.) (1 in.)

37.5 mm
(1.5 in.)

50 mm
(2 in.)

75 mm
(3 in.)

100 mm
(4 in.)

Non-Air-Entrained PCC
25 - 50
(1 - 2)

207
(350)

199
(335)

190
(315)

179
(300)

166
(275)

154
(260)

130
(220)

113
(190)

75 - 100
(3 - 4)

228
(385)

216
(365)

205
(340)

193
(325)

181
(300)

169
(285)

145
(245)

124
(210)

150 - 175
(6 - 7)

243
(410)

228
(385)

216
(360)

202
(340)

190
(315)

178
(300)

160
(270)

Typical entrapped air


(percent)

2.5

1.5

0.5

0.3

0.2

25 - 50
(1 - 2)

181
(305)

175
(295)

168
(280)

160
(270)

148
(250)

142
(240)

122
(205)

107
(180)

75 - 100
(3 - 4)

202
(340)

193
(325)

184
(305)

175
(295)

165
(275)

157
(265)

133
(225)

119
(200)

150 - 175
(6 - 7)

216
(365)

205
(345)

197
(325)

184
(310)

174
(290)

166
(280)

154
(260)

Air-Entrained PCC

Recommended Air Content (percent)


Mild Exposure

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

Moderate Exposure

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

Severe Exposure

7.5

7.0

6.0

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0

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Table 35: Water-Cement Ratio and Compressive Strength Relationship


(after ACI, 2000) Table 5.17

28-Day Compressive
Strength in MPa (psi)

Water-cement ratio by weight


Non-Air-Entrained

Air-Entrained

41.4 (6000)

0.41

34.5 (5000)

0.48

0.40

27.6 (4000)

0.57

0.48

20.7 (3000)

0.68

0.59

13.8 (2000)

0.82

0.74

Table 36: Volume of Coarse Aggregate per Unit Volume of PCC


for Different Fine aggregate Fineness Moduli (after ACI, 2000) Table 5.18

Nominal Maximum
Aggregate Size

Fine Aggregate Fineness Modulus


2.40

2.60

2.80

3.00

9.5 mm (0.375 inches)

0.50

0.48

0.46

0.44

12.5 mm (0.5 inches)

0.59

0.57

0.55

0.53

19 mm (0.75 inches)

0.66

0.64

0.62

0.60

25 mm (1 inches)

0.71

0.69

0.67

0.65

37.5 mm (1.5 inches)

0.75

0.73

0.71

0.69

50 mm (2 inches)

0.78

0.76

0.74

0.72

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Table 37: Results from flexural strength test

Load
(Ton)
0.0714
0.1429
0.2429
0.2857
0.3714
0.4286
0.5143
0.6143
0.6428
0.7143
0.8000
0.8571
0.9286
1.0000
1.0714
1.1428
1.2286
1.2714
1.3714
1.4429
1.4857
1.5571
0.0286

Pumice concrete
Deflections
(mm)
strain
0.05
4
0.05
9
0.05
14
0.05
17
0.05
23
0.05
26
0.05
35
0.05
41
0.05
49
0.05
56
0.1
61
0.15
70
0.15
73
0.15
79
0.2
87
0.25
96
0.3
104
0.3
112
0.35
124
0.35
141
0.4
163
0.4
198
5.95

Stress
(N/mm2)
0.0952
0.1905
0.3238
0.3809
0.4952
0.5714
0.6857
0.8190
0.8571
0.9524
1.0667
1.1429
1.2381
1.3333
1.4286
1.5238
1.6381
1.6952
1.8286
1.9238
1.9810
2.0762
0.0381

Load
(Ton)

Normal concrete
Deflections
(mm)
strain

0.14

0.05

0.31

0.05

0.43

0.05

0.60

0.05

10

0.73

0.10

12

0.87

0.20

16

1.01

0.30

23

1.16

0.40

28

1.27

0.55

35

1.41

0.65

39

1.57

0.80

48

1.73

0.85

54

1.87

1.00

59

2.03

1.05

64

2.31

1.15

75

2.38

1.25

81

2.45

1.25

90

2.52

100

2.57

112

2.60

121

Stress
(N/mm2)
0.19067
0.4187
0.5733
0.8000
0.9733
1.1600
1.3467
1.5467
1.6933
1.8800
2.0933
2.3067
2.4933
2.7067
3.0800
3.1733
3.2667
3.3600
3.4267
3.4667

THE MIX DESIGN PROCESS


(Based on the procedure given by the Department of Environment Transport and Road Research
Laboratory, London)

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Figure 3: Relationship between standard deviation and characteristic strength


Figure 4: Relationship between compressive strength and Free water/cement ratio
The margin; Equation C1
The margin may be derived from the calculation below;
..C1
Where;

The margin.

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April 1, 2010

A value appropriate to the percentage defectives permitted below the characteristic strength.
The standard deviation
The target mean strength; Equation C2
....C2
Where;

The target mean strength


The specified characteristic strength
The margin

Cement content; Equation C3


Cement content =

...C3

Total Aggregate content; Equation C4


Total aggregate content (saturated surface dry) =
Where;

..C4

The wet density of concrete (Kg/m3)


The cement content (Kg/m3)
The free water content (Kg/m3)

Fine and coarse aggregates contents; Equation C5


Fine aggregate content = Total aggregate content Proportion of fines
Coarse aggregate content = Total aggregate content fine aggregate content
.C5

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Figure 5: Estimated wet density of fully compacted concrete


Figure 6: Recommended proportions of fine aggregates for BS grading zones 1, 2, 3 and 4

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Figure 6: (continued)

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