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ICI Concrete Cube Strength Competition Test report 2013

1. INTRODUCTION

Concrete is the basic engineering material used in most of the civil engineering structures. Its
popularity as basic building material in construction is because of, its economy of use, good
durability and ease with which it can be manufactured at site. The ability to mould it into any
shape and size, because of its plasticity in green stage and its subsequent hardening to achieve
strength, is particularly useful.
Concrete like other engineering materials needs to be designed for properties like strength,
durability, workability and cohesion. Concrete mix design is the science of deciding relative
proportions of ingredients of concrete, to achieve the desired properties in the most economical
way.
With advent of high-rise buildings and pre-stressed concrete, use of higher grades of concrete is
becoming more common. Even the revised IS 456-2000 advocates use of higher grade of
concrete for more severe conditions of exposure, for durability considerations.
With advent of new generation admixtures, it is possible to achieve higher grades of concrete
with high workability levels economically. Use of mineral admixtures like fly ash, slag, meta
kaolin and silica fume have revolutionised the concrete technology by increasing strength and
durability of concrete by many folds. Mix design of concrete is becoming more relevant in the
above-mentioned scenario.
However, it should be borne in mind that mix design when adopted at site should be
implemented with proper understanding and with necessary precautions.

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2. PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS

2.1 SPECIFIC GRAVITY

The specific gravity of an aggregate is the mass of the aggregate in air divided by the mass of an
equal volume of water. An aggregate with a specific gravity of 2.50 would thus be two and one-
half times as heavy as water. Higher the specific gravity, heavier is the sand particles and higher
is the density of concrete. Conversely a lower specific gravity of sand will result in lower density
of concrete. Specific gravity of sand is found with help of pycnometer bottles. Specific gravity of
coarse aggregate is found with help of wire basket. Test for specific gravity was conducted as per
IS 2386 part III

2.1.1 Determination of Specific Gravity by Pycnometer Method


The pycnometer was cleaned and dried. Its cap was screwed tightly. The weight (W1) of
the pycnometer, brass cap and washer was found out.
About 200 to 400g of oven-dried soil was taken and was put in the pycnometer. The
weight (W2) of the pycnometer was found out.
The pycnometer was filled to half its weight with distilled water and it was mixed
thoroughly with a glass rod. More water was added and stirred. The screw top was
replaced and the pycnometer was filled flush with the hole in conical cap. The
pycnometer was dried from outside and the weight (W3) was found.
The pycnometer was emptied, cleaned thoroughly and it was filled with distilled water up
to the hole in the conical cap and the weight (W4) was found.
The test was repeated thrice.

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2.1.2 Observations and Calculations

OBSERVATION NO: 1 2 3

Weight of Pycnometer (g), W1 = 465 465 465


Weight of Pycnometer and dry soil (g)
962 948 959
, W2 =
Weight of Pycnometer, soil and water
1580 1567 1554
(g) , W3 =
Weight of Pycnometer and water (g) ,
1265 1265 1265
W4 =

Specific gravity of soil,


2.73 2.66 2.48
(W2W1)
G=
(W2W1) (W3W4)

Average specific gravity 2.63

Table 2.1 : Observations and Calculations for Determination of Specific Gravity

Figure 2.1 Pycnometer Test

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2.1.3 Determination of Specific Gravity of Coarse Aggregate

Take about 2kg sample larger than 10mm. Wash the sample thoroughly to remove fine
particles and dust.
Place the sample in a wire basket and immerse it in distilled water at a temperature
between 22oC and 320C with a cover of at least 5cm water above the top of the basket.
Remove the entrapped air by lifting the basket containing sample 25mm above the base
of the tank and allowing it to drop 25 times, each per second, care being taken to see that
the sample is completely immersed in water during the operation.
With the sample in water at a temperature of 22oC to 320C, take the weight of the sample
in the density basket(A1).
Remove the basket and aggregate from water and allow to drain for a few minutes. Then
empty the aggregate from basket to a shallow tray.
Immerse the empty basket in water 25 times and then find the weight of the basket in
water(A2).
Place the aggregate in oven at a temperature of 1000C to 1100C for 24 hours. Remove it
from the oven and cool it and find the weight(C).

2.1.4 Observations and Calculations


a) Weight of saturated aggregate in water, g (A) = A1 A2 = 4172 2910 = 1262 g
b) Weight of oven dried aggregate in air, g (C) = 2000 g
c) Apparent Specific gravity = (C) / ( C A ) = (2000) / (2000 1262) = 2.71

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2.2 Sieve Analysis Report

Sieve analysis is the process of dividing a sample of aggregate into fraction of the same size. The
purpose of doing this analysis is to determine the grading or size distribution of the aggregate
which is important to find out whether the aggregate pile we are studying is good for the mix or
not. The grading of the aggregate usually affects the workability of the fresh concrete.

2.2.1 Objectives:
1. To determine the grading or the size distribution of the aggregates using the sieve analysis.
2. To determine the fineness modulus.
3. To draw the grading curve of pile of aggregate.

The aggregate of interest is thrown into a series of sieves nested in order with the smallest at the
bottom, and after shaking the mass of retained aggregate in each sieve is calculated. The
aggregate we use in our experiment should be representative to the pile we obtained it from, so
we cant just take the mass we need for the experiment arbitrary because this arbitrary specimen
might not contain a certain size of the aggregate. For that reason the Quartering Method is used,
this method involves taking a big amount of aggregate from the pile of interest (more than the
amount we need) and then divide them into quarters or halves till we gain the amount we need
for the experiment.

After sieving the specimen, we calculate the retained mass in each sieve and a table is made and
the grade curve is drawn.

The table should contain the following columns: Sieve size, Mass retained, Percentage retained,
Cumulative percentage passing and Cumulative percentage retained. The percentage retained can
be gained by the following formula: mass retained / total mass x 100%
The grading curve is drawn by using the information of the table. The grading curve represents
the relationship between the Sieve size (the abscissa) and the Cumulative percentage passing (the
ordinates), we use the logarithmic scale to plot the graph. The standards usually give an Upper
limit graph and a lower limit graph so that our graph should be between these 2 graph to be
usable in mixes. The graph is drawn by drawing line segments between the points. Fineness

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Modulus is a measure to the grading of an aggregate pile, and it is used to compare aggregate
that are gained from the same source. It can be defined as the sum of the Cumulative percentage
retained on the sieves of the standard series divided by 100.

2.2.2 Apparatus and Materials:

1. Set of sieves.
2. A dried specimen of aggregate.
3. Trays.
4. Electronic weighting machine.
5. Mechanical shaker.

2.2.3 Procedure

Sieve analysis and grading were done as per the specifications given in the codes IS 383- 1970
and IS 2386 (Part 1) 1963

About 2 kg of all in aggregates were taken in which the proportion of coarse aggregate
used was equal to 64% of weight of total aggregate weight of all in aggregates to be taken
was selected from the table 2 of IS 2386 (Part I) 1963.
The sample for sieving ( Table IV IS 2386 ) shall be prepared from the larger sample
by quartering
Required is sieves were taken. Sieves used are IS sieve 20 mm, IS sieve 10 mm, IS sieve
4.75 mm, IS sieve 2.36 mm, IS sieve 1.18mm, IS sieve 0.6 mm, IS sieve 0.3 mm, IS sieve
0.15 mm.
They were cleaned using a wire brush and were arranged in with 20 mm IS sieve at the
top. This was followed by other sieves in the descending order. A pan was placed at the
bottom of this assembly.
They were then placed in the mechanical shaker and was shaken for 10 minutes
Then the weight of the retained aggregate in each sieve is calculated using the Electronic
weighing machine.
Table of the results is established and the Grading curve is drawn.

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Sieve Sieve Weight % of Cumulative Percentage


opening opening retained weight % of weight fineness
in (mm) in in (gm) retained retained
(micron)
20.00 20000 11 0.55 0.55 99.45
10.00 10000 552 27.60 28.10 71.90
4.75 4750 709 35.45 63.60 36.40
2.36 2360 8 0.40 64.00 36.00
1.18 1180 211 10.55 74.55 25.45
0.60 600 152 7.60 82.15 17.85
0.30 300 265 13.25 95.40 4.60
0.15 150 70 3.50 98.90 1.10

Table 2.2 Sieve Analysis

2.3 Combined Grading Curve


IS requirements for aggregates as per IS 383 table V

64.00% 36.00% Mix Design


% Passing For All In
Mix M 40 Aggregate Grading
Grading 30% 34% 36.00%
Design Grade
Sieve
20mm 10mm Sand Proportion Maximum Minimum
size
20mm 64.8 100 100 20mm 89.4 100 95
10mm 3.2 98.1 100 10mm 70.3 75 60
4.75mm 0 26 99.3 4.75mm 43.1 50 30
2.36mm 0 2 99.6 2.36mm 34.6 45 23
1.18mm. 0 0 79 1.18mm. 26.9 40 16
600mic 0 0 37.4 600mic 12.7 35 10
300mic 0 0 9.3 300mic 3.2 21 5
150mic 0 0 2.6 150mic 0.9 6 0

Table 2.3 Grading Limits for Combined Aggregates

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GRADATION CURVE
120

100

80
% PASSING

Proportion
60
maximum
minimum
40

20

0
20mm 10mm 4.75mm 2.36mm 1.18mm. 600mic 300mic 150mic

Figure 2.2 Gradation Curve

The aggregate we studied consists of coarse aggregate mainly; we noted that from the above
results. From the Grading graph we note that the aggregate we have tested are good for using in
mixes, as the gradation curve of the aggregate lies between the upper limit and the lower limit.

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3. MIX DESIGN
Concrete like other engineering materials needs to be designed for properties like strength,
durability, workability and cohesion. Concrete mix design is the science of deciding relative
proportions of ingredients of concrete, to achieve the desired properties in the most economical
way.

3.1 WHAT IS MIX DESIGN?

Concrete is an extremely versatile building material because, it can be designed for strength
ranging from M10 (10 Mpa) to M100 (100 Mpa) and workability ranging from 0 mm slump to
150 mm slump. In all these cases the basic ingredients of concrete are the same, but it is their
relative proportioning that makes the difference.

Basic Ingredients of Concrete: -

1. Cement It is the basic binding material in concrete.

2. Water It hydrates cement and also makes concrete workable.

3. Coarse Aggregate It is the basic building component of concrete.

4. Fine Aggregate Along with cement paste it forms mortar grout and fills the voids in the
coarse aggregates.

5. Admixtures They enhance certain properties of concrete e.g. gain of strength,


workability, setting properties, imperviousness etc.

Concrete needs to be designed for certain properties in the plastic stage as well as in the
hardened stage.

Properties desired from concrete in plastic stage: -

Workability

Cohesiveness

Initial set retardation


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Properties desired from concrete in hardened stage:-

Strength

Imperviousness

Durability

Concrete mix design is the method of correct proportioning of ingredients of concrete, in order to
optimize the above properties of concrete as per site requirements. In other words, we determine
the relative proportions of ingredients of concrete to achieve desired strength & workability in a
most economical way.

3.2 ADVANTAGES OF MIX DESIGN

Mix design aims to achieve good quality concrete at site economically.

3.2.1 Quality concrete means

Better strength

Better imperviousness and durability

Dense and homogeneous concrete

3.2.2 Economy

a) Economy in cement consumption

It is possible to save up to 15% of cement for M20 grade of concrete with the help of concrete
mix design. In fact higher the grade of concrete more are the savings. Lower cement content also
results in lower heat of hydration and hence reduces shrinkage cracks.

b) Best use of available materials:

Site conditions often restrict the quality and quantity of ingredient materials. Concrete mix
design offers a lot of flexibility on type of aggregates to be used in mix design. Mix design can
give an economical solution based on the available materials if they meet the basic IS
requirements. This can lead to saving in transportation costs from longer distances.

c) Other properties:

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Mix design can help us to achieve form finishes, high early strengths for early deshuttering,
concrete with better flexural strengths, concrete with pumpability and concrete with lower
densities.

3.3 CONCRETE MIX DESIGN METHODS

The basic objective of concrete mix design is to find the most economical proportions
(optimisation) to achieve the desired end results (strength, cohesion, workability, durability, As
mentioned earlier the proportioning of concrete is based on certain material properties of
cement, sand and aggregates. Concrete mix design is basically a process of taking trials with
certain proportions. Methods have been developed to arrive at these proportions in a scientific
manner. No mix design method directly gives the exact proportions that will most economically
achieve end results. These methods only serve as a base to start and achieve the end results in the
fewest possible trials. The code of practice for mix design-IS 10262clearly states following: -
The basic assumption made in mix design is that the compressive strength of workable concretes,
by and large, governed by the water/cement ratio. Another most convenient relationship
applicable to normal concrete is that for a given type, shape, size and grading of aggregates, the
amount of water determines its workability. However, there are various other factors which affect
the properties of concrete, for example the quality & quantity of cement, water and aggregates;
batching; transportation; placing; compaction; curing; etc. Therefore, the specific relationships
that are used in proportioning concrete mixes should be considered only as the basis for trial,
subject to modifications in the light of experience as well as for the particular materials used at
the site in each case. Different mix design methods help us to arrive at the trial mix that will give
us required strength, workability, cohesion etc. These mix design methods have same common
threads in arriving at proportions but their method of calculation is different. Basic steps in mix
design are as follows:

a. Find the target mean strength.

b. Determine the curve of cement based on its strength.

c. Determine water/cement ratio.

d. Determine cement content.

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e. Determine fine and coarse aggregate proportions

3.4 IS METHOD

The IS method treats normal mixes (up to M35) and high strength mixes (M40 and above)
differently. This is logical because richer mixes need lower sand content when compared with
leaner mixes. The method also gives correction factors for different w/c ratios, workability and
for rounded coarse aggregate. In IS method, the quantities of fine and coarse aggregate are
calculated with help of yield equation, which is based on specific gravities of ingredients. Thus
plastic density of concrete calculated from yield equation can be close to actual plastic density
obtained in laboratory, if specific gravities are calculated accurately. Thus actual cement
consumption will be close to that targeted in the first trial mix itself. The water cement ratio is
calculated from cement curves based on 28 days strength of cement. This can be time consuming
and impractical at times. The IS method gives separate graphs using accelerated strength of
cement with reference mix method. This greatly reduces the time required for mix design. The IS
method suffers from following limitations: -

a) The IS method recommends 35 % sand content by absolute volume for zone II sand with
correction of +1.5 % for zone I and 1.5 % for zone III. These zones have wide range and this
correction is not adequate to achieve a cohesive mix. Sometimes a correction may be required
even when fine aggregate varies from upper side to lower side of a particular zone.

b) Though sand content is adjusted for lower water-cement ratio there is no direct adjustment for
cement content. As discussed earlier, the cement particles act, as fines in concrete and richer
mixes often require lesser fine aggregate when compared to leaner mixes. A mix in which cement
content has been lowered by use of plasticisers may require higher sand content to improve
cohesion.

c) The IS method gives different tables for determining sand content for concrete up to M 35
grade and above M 35 grade. There is an abrupt change in sand content from 35% to 25% in the
two tables when shifting from M 35 grade concrete to M40 grade concrete. The change may be
justified to account for higher cement content but it should be gradual in nature.

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d) The IS method considers compaction factor as measure for workability, to calculate the water
demand. Compaction factor may not correctly represent workability and the revised IS 456 2000
has excluded compaction factor as a measure of workability. It recommends use of slump as a
measure for workability. Relationship between slump and compaction factor is difficult to
standardize.

e) The IS method does not take into account the effect of the surface texture and flakiness of
aggregate on sand and water content. It does not recommend any corrections when crushed fine
aggregate is used against natural fine aggregate as in case of DOE method.

f) The IS method does not easily account for blending of different fine aggregates or coarse
aggregates when they individually do not conform to IS requirements. On the other hand in RRL
method, coarse sand can be blended with fine sand or stone dust to get the required gradation
(Natural sand and stone dust will have different specific gravities). Even coarse aggregates of
different sizes, gradation and specific gravities can be blended to achieve the required gradation
in RRL method.

g) The IS method gives water demand and fine aggregate content for 10mm, 20mm and 40mm
down aggregate. In practice the maximum size of coarse aggregate is often between 20mm and
40mm, the estimation of water and sand content is difficult.

h) The quantities of fine aggregate and coarse aggregates are calculated from the yield equation.
The yield equation is based on concept, that volume of concrete is summation of absolute
volumes of its ingredients. Absolute volume of ingredients is function of specific gravities of
ingredients. The plastic density of concrete if theoretically calculated on the basis of specific
gravities, may not match with that actually measured from concrete.

i) The IS method does not have a specific method of combining 10mm aggregates with 20 mm
aggregates. The grading limits for combined aggregates in IS383 are too broad and do not help
much to arrive at particular ratio of different coarse aggregates.

j) The IS method does not have an adjustment in fine aggregate content for different levels of
workability. Higher workability mixes require more fine aggregate content to maintain cohesion
of mix.

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4. MIX DESIGN USING FLY ASH AS PART REPLACEMENT


OF OPC
4.1 STIPULATIONS FOR PROPORTIONING
a) Grade designation : M40
b) Type of cement : OPC 43 grade conforming to IS 8112
c) Type of mineral admixture : Fly ash conforming to IS 3812 (Part 1)
d) Maximum nominal size of aggregate : 20mm
e) Minimum cement content : 320 kg/m3
t) Maximum water-cement ratio : 0.40
g) Workability : 100 mm (slump)
h) Exposure condition : Severe (for reinforced concrete)
m) Type of aggregate : Crushed angular aggregate
n) Maximum cement (OPC) content : 450 kg/m3
p) Chemical admixture type : Superplasticizer

4.2 TARGET STRENGTH FOR MIX PROPORTIONING


This is found as per the given equation
f = fck + (l.65 x s) where
fck = target average compressive strength at 28 days,
fck = characteristics compressive strength at 28 days, and
s = standard deviation.
From Table I
Standard Deviation, s = 5 N/mm2.
Therefore,
Target strength = 40 + 1.65 x 5 = 48.25 N/mm2.

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4.3 SELECTION OF WATER-CEMENT RATIO

As per the code IS 10262: 2009


From Table 5 of IS 456, maximum water-cement ratio = 0.40
adopted water-cement ratio is = 0.40

4.4 SELECTION OF WATER CONTENT

As per Table 2 of IS 10262: 2009


Maximum water Content
for 20 mm aggregate = 186 liter (for 25 to 50 mm Slump
range)
6
Estimated water content for 100mm slump = 186 + x 186 = 197 litre
100

As super plasticizer is used, the water content can be reduced up to 30 percent. Based on trials
with the given super plasticizer water content reduction of 14 percent has been achieved. Hence,
the
Adopted water content = 197 x 0.86 = 169.5 litres.

4.5 CALCULATION OF CEMENT AND FLY ASH CONTENT

Water-cement ratio = 0.40


169.5
Cementitious material (cement + fly ash) content = = 423.75 kg/m3
0.4
As per Table 5 of IS 456.
Minimum cement content for severe condition = 320 kg/rn3
Hence, O.K.
Now, to proportion a mix containing fly ash the following steps are suggested:
a) Decide the percentage fly ash to he used based on project requirement and quality of materials
b) In certain situations increase in cementitious material content may be warranted. The decision

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on increase in cementitious material content and its percentage may be based on experience and
trial.

Cementitious material content = 423.75 x 1.10 = 466.1 kg/rn3


Water Content = 169.5 kg/rn3
169.5
So, water-cement ratio = = 0.364
466.1
Fly ash ( 24% of total cementitious
material content) = 466.1 x 24% = 111.8 kg/rn3
Cement (OPC) = 466.1 111.8 = 354.3 kg/rn3
Saving of cement while using fly ash = 423.75 354.3 = 69.45 kg/m3
Fly ash being utilized = 111.8 kg/rn3

4.6 PROPORTION OF VOLUME OF COARSE AGGREGATE AND FINE


AGGREGATE CONTENT

As per Table 5 of IS 10262: 2009


Volume of coarse aggregate corresponding to 20 mm size aggregate and fine aggregate (Zone II)
For water-cement ratio of 0.50 = 0.62.

In the present case water-cement ratio is 0.40. Therefore, volume of coarse aggregate is required
to be increased to decrease the fine aggregate content. As the water-cement ratio is lower by
0.10, the proportion of volume of coarse aggregate is increased by 0.02 (at the rate of .I+ 0.01 for
every 0.05 change in water-cement ratio). Therefore corrected proportion of volume of
aggregate for the water-cement ratio of 0.40 = 0.64

4.7 MIX CALCULATIONS


Mix calculations per unit volume of concrete is as follows
a) Volume of concrete = 1m3

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Mass of cement 1
b) Volume of cement = x
Specific gravity of cement 1000

354.3 1
= x
3.15 1000
= 0.112 m3

Mass of fly ash 1


c) Volume of fly ash = x
Specific gravity of fly ash 1000

111.8 1
= x
2.0 1000
= 0.056 m3

Mass of water 1
d) Volume of water = x
Specific gravity of water 1000

169.5 1
= x
1 1000
= 0.170 m3

e) Volume of chemical admixture


(Super plasticizer) @ 0.50 % by
Mass of admixture 1
mass of cementitious material = x
Specific gravity of admixture 1000

2.12 1
= x
1.25 1000
= 0.0017 m3
f) Volume of all in aggregate = [a - (b + c + d + e)]
= 1- (0.112 + 0.056 + 0.170 + 0.0017)
= 0.66 m3
g) Mass of coarse aggregate = f x volume of coarse aggregate x specific
gravity x 1000
= 0.66 x 0.64 x 2.71 x 1000

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= 1144.7 kg/m3
h) Mass of fine aggregate = f x volume of fine aggregate x specific
gravity x 1000
= 0.66 x 0.36 x 2.63 x 1000
= 624.88 kg/m3

4.8 MIX PROPORTIONS FOR TRIAL

Cement = 354.3kg/rn3

FlyAsh = 111.8 kg/rn3

Water = 169.5 kg/rn3

Fine aggregate = 624.88 kg/m3

Coarse aggregate = 1144.7 kg/rn3

Chemical admixture = 2.12 kg/rn3

Water-cement ratio = 0.364

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