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# International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

## Optimization of concrete mix proportioning

M. Shariq1, J. Prasad2, A. K. Ahuja3
1
Assistant Professor, University Polytechnic, Faculty of Engineering & Technology, AMU Aligarh, India
2
Associate Professor (Retd.), 3Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee, India
Abstract The aim of this paper is to carried out statistical II. OBJECTIVES
analysis for optimization of various concrete mix proportions
by using full factorial experimental technique. The variables
The current study consider the comprehensive effect of
such as 28 days cube compressive strength, water to cement water-cement ratio (W/C), aggregate-cement ratio (TA/C)
ratio (w/c), coarse aggregate to total aggregate ratio (CA/TA) and coarse aggregate to total aggregate ratio (CA/TA) on
and total aggregate to cement ratio (TA/C) were the concrete strength with the following objectives:
parameters to be used for optimization. Four w/c ratios 0.4, To study the influence of various factors in concrete mix
0.45, 0.5 and 0.6, four CA/TA ratios 0.60, 0.63, 0.65 and 0.70 proportioning.
and four TA/C ratios 3.9, 4.6, 5.3 and 6.0 were selected for To develop a statistical model from experimental data.
regression analysis. The influence of w/c ratio, CA/TA ratio
and TA/C ratio on compressive strength was experimentally To optimize the mix proportioning for available material
carried out and analyzed using polynomial regression and conditions.
analysis. Mathematical polynomial model has been developed
for compressive strength of concrete as a function of mix III. MATERIAL PROPERTIES
proportions. Based on the statistical analysis, optimum
The properties of materials used in the concrete mixes
concrete mix for different mix proportions is proposed.
such as cement, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate and water
Keywords Concrete mixes, compressive strength, was confirmed to the specifications laid down in the Indian
optimization, full factorial technique. Standard codes [2, 3]. The following are the material
properties used in the present study.
I. INTRODUCTION Cement:
Design of concrete mixes is influenced by various Ordinary Portland cement 43 grade (OPC 43) was used
factors, which depends upon the sources of materials and throughout the investigation and stored in airtight silos to
their properties, method of preparation, placement, prevent from moisture. The physical properties of cement
compaction and curing of concrete, and the requirement of were carried out as per IS 4031-1988 [2]. The physical
a construction job. For an aggregate from a particular properties of cement are given in Table 1.
source having a specific grading the optimum design of a Fine Aggregate, Coarse Aggregate and Water:
concrete mix involve selection of proportions of ingredients
that yield concrete of the desired strength, workability, and The locally available river sand passed through IS: 480
durability at minimum cost. The most important factors sieve (aperture 4.75 mm square) and retained on IS: 15
which influence are the water cement ratio (W/C), sieve (150 micron size) was used as fine aggregate. The
aggregate-cement ratio (TA/C) and the coarse aggregate to locally available crushed stone aggregate of maximum
total aggregate ratio (CA/TA). Since these factors are nominal size of 16mm was used as coarse aggregate. The
interdependent hence study for various combinations is physical properties of the fine and coarse aggregate are
necessary. Different methods such as the ACI method, IS given in Table 2 as per IS: 383-19703. The water to be used
code method [1], grading curve method and IRC 44 method for both mixing and curing should be free from injurious
of mix proportioning adopted different procedure for amount of deleterious materials. In the present
determining proportions on the basis of required strength investigation potable water was used for mixing and curing
and workability. As per IS: 456-2000 [4].

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)
TABLE I The variables such as 28 days cube compressive
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF ORDINARY PORTLAND CEMENT strength, water to cement ratio (w/c), coarse aggregate to
Value Values total aggregate ratio (CA/TA) and total aggregate to cement
Characteristics Obtained Specified by ratio (TA/C) were the parameters to be used for
Experimentally IS: 8112 optimization. Four w/c ratios 0.4, 0.45, 0.5 and 0.6, four
Blaines fineness (m2/kg) 245 225 (Min.) CA/TA ratios 0.60, 0.63, 0.65 and 0.70 and four TA/C
Specific gravity 3.15 - ratios 3.9, 4.6, 5.3 and 6.0 were selected for regression
Soundness (mm) analysis. Table 3 summarized the details of trail mixes.
1.5 10 (Max.)
(By Le Chatelier test)
Normal consistency (%) Preparation and Testing of Specimen:
(Percent of cement by 27 30 A tilting type mixture of 175 kg capacity was used for
weight) mixing the concrete. The size of the specimens was 150 x
Setting time (minutes) 150x 150 mm. Specimens were kept in mould with cover of
(i) Initial 105 30 (Min.) wet gunny bags in laboratory for 24 hours and then de-
(ii) Final 180 600 (Max.)
moulded. After demoulding, the specimens were cured
Compressive strength
(MPa)
under water at ambient condition upto the test day. Three
(i) 3-days 24.9 23 cubes for each mix were tested for compressive strength in
(ii) 7-days 34.4 33 200 tons compression testing machine with a loading rate
(iii) 28-days 45.9 43 of 155 N/Sq. mm/minutes.
TABLE III
TABLE II TRIAL MIX PROPORTIONS AND THEIR MEASURED AND COMPUTED
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF FINE AND COARSE AGGREGATE COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH IN MPA AT 28 DAYS

## Fine Aggregate Mix W/C CA/TA TA/C Measured Computed

Characteristics Observed value number ratio ratio ratio compressive compressive
Grading Zone-II (IS: 383-1970) strength strength
Fineness modulus 2.45 (MPa) (MPa)
Specific gravity 2.61 1 0.40 0.60 3.9 51.12 52.81
Density (Loose) kN/m3 15.4 2 0.40 0.60 4.6 50.60 50.35
Water absorption (%) 0.85 3 0.40 0.60 5.3 43.22 47.33
Coarse Aggregate 4 0.40 0.60 6.0 41.59 43.76
Characteristics Measured value 5 0.40 0.63 3.9 51.40 51.64
Fineness modulus 6.8 6 0.40 0.63 4.6 50.80 48.89
Specific gravity 2.63 7 0.40 0.63 5.3 44.22 45.59
Density (loose) kN/m3 14.3 8 0.40 0.63 6.0 41.90 41.72
Water absorption (%) 1.5 9 0.40 0.65 3.9 50.80 50.48
10 0.40 0.65 4.6 49.28 47.54
IV. TEST PROGRAM 11 0.40 0.65 5.3 43.38 44.05
Concrete Mixes: 12 0.40 0.65 6.0 36.00 40.00
13 0.40 0.70 3.9 49.41 46.29
Three concrete mixes referred to as Mix-I, Mix-II and 14 0.40 0.70 4.6 46.40 42.87
Mix-III were designed to give preliminary design strength 15 0.40 0.70 5.3 38.70 38.90
of 46.5 MPa, 37.0 MPa and 27.0 MPa at 28 days 16 0.40 0.70 6.0 36.20 34.37
respectively. These mix proportions were decided on the 17 0.45 0.60 3.9 47.48 47.36
basis of method of trials and optimized the total mixes by 18 0.45 0.60 4.6 46.95 45.47
using the full factorial experimental technique. This full 19 0.45 0.60 5.3 45.29 43.02
factorial technique was earlier used by Abbasi et al.[5], 20 0.45 0.60 6.0 43.79 40.02
Soudki et al. [6] and Nath and Barua [7] to optimize the 21 0.45 0.63 3.9 47.84 46.24
concrete mix proportions. This section presents the results 22 0.45 0.63 4.6 47.10 44.21
of trial mixes and the full factorial experimental technique 23 0.45 0.63 5.3 46.23 41.62
on 64 mixes was carried out. 24 0.45 0.63 6.0 44.10 38.48
25 0.45 0.65 3.9 41.05 45.12
26 0.45 0.65 4.6 38.87 43.00

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)
27 0.45 0.65 5.3 36.50 40.32 Effect of CA/TA Ratio:
28 0.45 0.65 6.0 34.12 37.08 Surface area also plays a vital role in strength
29 0.45 0.70 3.9 38.60 41.02
development of concrete. Fine aggregate have larger
30 0.45 0.70 4.6 37.20 38.66
surface area than the coarse aggregate on equal weight
31 0.45 0.70 5.3 36.10 35.75
32 0.45 0.70 6.0 32.60 32.28
basis. Higher amount of CA/TA ratio in concrete reduces
33 0.50 0.60 3.9 42.18 42.20 the surface area of combined aggregate. For maximum
34 0.50 0.60 4.6 40.31 40.96 strength of concrete, the quantity of cement paste should be
35 0.50 0.60 5.3 39.45 39.08 available to coat the surface of aggregate particles. Hence,
36 0.50 0.60 6.0 35.36 36.64 in concrete mixes there is an optimum value of CA/FA
37 0.50 0.63 3.9 43.19 41.21 ratio. Figure 1 shows the variation of compressive strength
38 0.50 0.63 4.6 40.92 39.90 with CA/TA ratio for various values of w/c ratio and TA/C
39 0.50 0.63 5.3 40.20 38.03 ratio. It can be seen in figure that the optimum value of
40 0.50 0.63 6.0 36.23 35.60 CA/TA at which the maximum compressive strength is
41 0.50 0.65 3.9 39.77 40.13 developed varies between 0.60 to 0.63 for all w/c ratios and
42 0.50 0.65 4.6 38.23 38.82 TA/C ratios. Hence, CA/TA ratio as 0.62 can be considered
43 0.50 0.65 5.3 37.53 36.95 for all w/c and TA/C ratios. In the present study, the
44 0.50 0.65 6.0 33.50 34.53 CA/TA ratio was considered as a variable for all concrete
45 0.50 0.70 3.9 33.60 36.12 mixes.
46 0.50 0.70 4.6 32.50 34.82
47 0.50 0.70 5.3 31.90 32.97 Effect of TA/C Ratio:
48 0.50 0.70 6.0 30.60 30.55 The effect of TA/C ratio on compressive strength of
49 0.60 0.60 3.9 32.40 33.22 concrete is shown in Figure 2 The compressive strength
50 0.60 0.60 4.6 31.90 33.03 decreases with increase in the TA/C ratio for all w/c and
51 0.60 0.60 5.3 30.80 32.29 CA/TA ratio. For the mix with w/c ratio is 0.4, strength of
52 0.60 0.60 6.0 30.20 30.99 concrete reduced sharply from 4.5 to 5.5 TA/C ratios. For
53 0.60 0.63 3.9 33.10 32.26 mixes with w/c ratio 0.5, the strength was almost equal at
54 0.60 0.63 4.6 32.40 32.38 TA/C ratio of 4.5 to 5.5 and reduced from 5.5 to 6.0 ratio of
55 0.60 0.63 5.3 31.50 31.94
TA/C. For mixes with w/c ratio 0.45 and 0.6, the strength
56 0.60 0.63 6.0 30.80 30.94
reduced from 3.9 to 6.0 TA/C ratios. In the present study,
57 0.60 0.65 3.9 32.00 31.25
58 0.60 0.65 4.6 31.70 31.57
the TA/C ratio equal to 4.4, 5.1 and 5.7 was considered for
59 0.60 0.65 5.3 31.20 31.33 0.45, 0.5 and 0.55 w/c ratio respectively.
60 0.60 0.65 6.0 30.90 30.53
61 0.60 0.70 3.9 29.90 27.42 VI. REGRESSION ANALYSIS
62 0.60 0.70 4.6 28.60 28.24 Polynomial regression analysis has been carried out on
63 0.60 0.70 5.3 28.40 28.50 the trial mixes. The following model shows the best fit for
64 0.60 0.70 6.0 28.80 28.20 the compressive strength of the concrete.
2 2 2
V. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION CA TA W CA TA W
f c k1 k2 k3 k4 k5 k6 k7
Effect of w/c Ratio: TA C C TA C C
CA
TA CA
W
W TA
W TA CA
The water cement ratio plays an important role in k8 k9 k10 k11
concrete strength. The compressive strength is inversely TA C TA C C C C C TA
proportional to the w/c ratio. The variation of strength in Where k1, k2, k3, k4, k5, k6, k7, k8, k9, k10 and k11 are the
the range of 51.12 to 36.2 MPa, 47.48 to 32.6 MPa, 42.18 constants obtained from the regression analysis as given in
to 30.6 MPa and 32.4 to 28.8 MPa for w/c ratio of 0.4, Table 4. The computed cube compressive strength from the
0.45, 0.55 and 0.6 was observed in trial mixes. In the above expression was compared with the experimentally
present work, three w/c ratios were selected as 0.45, 0.5 obtained strength by trial as shown in Figure 3.
and 0.55 to develop the compressive strength of 45, 35 and
25 MPa.

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)
It can be seen from the figure that there is good VII. CONCLUSIONS
agreement between the computed and experimental values In the present study, various mix proportions using full
as 97 percent data predicted by proposed correlation is in factorial design were used. Empirical relationships for
agreement with the experimentally obtained trial mix data compressive strength were derived as function of mix
within the error band of 10 percent. ingredients. The following conclusion is drawn:
TABLE IV The following conclusions have been drawn:
COEFFICIENT OF POLYNOMIAL EQUATION A statistical model for concrete strength as a function of
Regression constant Values of coefficient w/c ratio, CA/TA ratio and TA/C ratio in terms of
(Intercept) k1 -133.28 interpolating polynomial has been established.
(CA/TA) k2 676.66 Good agreement is found between the computed and
(TA/C) k3 36.60 experimental values.
(w/c) k4 70.86 Maximum compressive strength is obtained at W/C =
(CA/TA)2 k5 -372.97 0.4 with CA/TA = 0.60 and TA/C = 4.5.
(TA/C)2 k6 -0.569
Optimum value for compressive strength can be taken as
(w/c)2 k7 73.36
CA/TA between 0.6 to 0.63 and TA/C between 3.9 and
(CA/TA)* (TA/C) k8 -69.64
(CA/TA)* (w/c) k9 -509.28
4.6 for all w/c ratios.
(w/c)* (TA/C) k10 -67.70
(CA/TA)* (TA/C)* (w/c) k11 139.92

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)

55 50
w/c = 0.40 w/c = 0.45

## Compressive strength (MPa)

Compressive strength (MPa)

50 45
45
40
40
35
35
TA/C = 3.9 TA/C = 3.9
30 TA/C = 4.6 30 TA/C = 4.6
TA/C = 5.3 TA/C = 5.3
TA/C = 6.0 TA/C = 6.0
25 25
0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75
CA/TA ratio CA/TA ratio

50 35
w/c = 0.50 w/c = 0.60
Compressive strength (MPa)

45 33

40 31

35 29

## TA/C = 3.9 TA/C = 3.9

30 TA/C = 4.6 27 TA/C = 4.6
TA/C = 5.3 TA/C = 5.3
TA/C = 6.0 TA/C = 6.0
25 25
0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75
CA/TA ratio CA/TA ratio

## Fig. 1: Effect of CA/TA Ratio on Compressive Strength of Concrete

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)

55 50
w/c = 0.40 w/c = 0.45
Compressive strength (MPa)

50
45
45
40
40

## CA/TA = 0.60 35 CA/TA = 0.60

35 CA/TA = 0.63 CA/TA = 0.63
CA/TA = 0.65 CA/TA = 0.65
CA/TA = 0.70 CA/TA = 0.70
30 30
3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0
TA/C ratio TA/C ratio

45 35
w/c = 0.50 w/c = 0.60
Compressive strength (MPa)

40

35 30

## 30 CA/TA = 0.60 CA/TA = 0.60

CA/TA = 0.63 CA/TA = 0.63
CA/TA = 0.65 CA/TA = 0.65
CA/TA = 0.70 CA/TA = 0.70
25 25
3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0
TA/C ratio TA/C ratio

## Fig. 2: Effect of TA/C Ratio on Compressive Strength of Concrete

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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2012)

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## Computed Compressive Strength (MPa)

50

45 +10%

40

35 -10%

30

25
25 30 35 40 45 50 55
Measured Compressive Strength (MPa)
Fig. 3: Measured and Computed Strength

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[5] Abbasi, A.F., Munir, A. and Wasim, M. 1987. Optimization of
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