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VARIATION IN FINENESS OF FECTO CEMENT AND ITS EFFECTS


ON OTHER PROPERTIES OF CEMENT AND CONCRETE

Saeed Ahmad*, University of Engineering & Technology, Taxila, Pakistan


Liaqat Ali Qureshi, University of Engineering & Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

29th Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES: 25 - 26 August 2004,


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29 th Conference on OUR WORLD IN CONCRETE & STRUCTURES: 25 - 26 August 2004, Singapore

VARIATION IN FINENESS OF FECTO CEMENT AND ITS EFFECTS

ON OTHER PROPERTIES OF CEMENT AND CONCRETE

Saeed Ahmad*, University of Engineering & Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Liaqat Ali Qureshi, University of Engineering & Technology, Taxila, Pakistan

Abstract

This paper presents the effect of fineness of cement on properties of cement and
concrete (in fresh and hardened state). The objective of this paper is to see these
effects on the indigenous cement keeping other factors constant. It is a part of the
series of research work carried out by the authors on cements manufactured by
different factories using raw materials extracted from local quarries. In this work, fresh
clinker having uniform chemical composition was collected from a factory. Clinker was
ground in laboratory in a ball mill along with 4% gypsum. Six samples with fineness
ranging from 1661 to 3674 cm 2 /g were prepared. British Standards were followed
during this investigation. Consistency, setting time and expansion tests of cement
were performed for all six samples. Mortar cubes were cast using Ottawa sand and
their compressive strength tested at 3, 7 and 28 days. To see the effect of fineness of
cement on properties of concrete, 6/1 x 6/1 x 611 cubes (Mix ratio 1:2:4 and water cement
ratio 0.65) were cast and tested at the age of 3, 7 and 28 days. For workability of
concrete, slump test and compacting factor tests for each mix were performed.
Graphs were drawn between the fineness and different properties of cement and
concrete. While grinding clinker with gypsum, time taken by the ball mill in preparation
of different samples was also noted. These values of time were plotted against
respective finenesses of samples. From the curve attained, comparative study of cost
of grinding against desirable properties of cement and concrete at high fineness levels
was made possible.

It was noted that consistency of cement and compressive strength of concrete as well
as of cement increased by increasing fineness of cement. The results are well in
accordance with the previous published data regarding research work made on
foreign cements. However, no general p attem could be obtained between fineness
versus setting time and expansion of cement. As far as grinding cost is concerned, it
was observed that as the fineness of cement increases, the grinding effort, hence,
grinding cost increases.

Keywords: fineness, clinker, indigenous, ball mill, consistency, setting time, expansion, compressive
strength, workability, slump, compacting factor.

109
1. Introduction

Concrete is one of the most commonly used construction material all over the world. It is a mixture of
different ingredients as cement, coarse aggregate, fine aggregate and water. The individual properties
of each ingredient have tremendous influence on the properties of concrete. Among the constituent
materials, cement is the most important and costly material. Its properties greatly affect the properties
of resulting concrete.

"Fineness", defined as "the total surface area of the cement that is available for hydration", has great
influence on properties of fresh and hardened concrete . In this work, fineness of cement was varied
while other factors like chemical composition, amount of gypsum, temperature etc, were kept constant.
Cement samples of different fineness were prepared in the laboratory. For each sample , tests regarding
other properties of cement like consistency, initial setting time, final setting time, expansion,
compressive strength were performed. Concrete cubes were cast in the laboratory as per British
Standards. A mix ratio of 1:2:4 and wlc ratio of 0.65 was used while preparing the mixes . In fresh state,
slump test and compacting factor tests were also carried out to see the influence of varying fineness on
workability. Compressive strength of cubes at the age of 3, 7 and 28 days was obtained and graphs
were drawn to show the effect of fineness of cement on these properties .

Blaine's air permeability apparatus was used to measure fineness (cm 2/g) of different cement samples .
XRF-cement spectrometer was used to verify the chemical compOSition of cement samples. Cement
clinker was taken from Fecto Cement Limited, Sangjani, Islamabad, situated at12 km aerial distance
from University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan (place of research) . The factory is
renowned in producing ordinary portland cement of high compressive strength as compared to that of
other factories in the area . The factory uses the following sources of raw material for the production of
clinker:

Material Source

Lime stone Margalla Hils


Shale Margalla Hills
Iron ores (Laterite) Attock
Gypsum Kohat (NWFP) Pakistan
.Coal (Fuel) Sore Range, Quetta

2. Preparation of Test Samples

(1) More than 100 kg of cement clinker having the same chemical composition was collected from the
factory, while the kiln was working smoothly. The clinker was brought to laboratory and stored
temporarily in polythene bags . Chemical composition of clinker was checked on XRF-cement
spectrometerlcement analyser and found as under:

22.01 % 5.54% 3.35% 65.66% 2.01% 0.58% 0.24% 0.46%

~ Chemical composition as per Bogue's formula is as under:

56 .76% 20 .30% 9.01% 10.17%

(2) Sieve analYSis of this clinker as well as of gypsum to be mixed was carried out in the laboratory.
The sieve analYSis reports are shown respectively in tables 1 & 2.
(3) The clinker was crushed into smaller sizes by passing successively through jaw crushers and Disc
Pulveriser.
(4) Gypsum was also crushed into semi-powered form by passing through the smaller sized jaw
crusher.
(5) The crushed clinker from (3) was mixed with 4% gypsum from (4) and finely ground in iron-jar type
ball mill at different fineness levels in the laboratory.

110
(6) After continuous grinding of more than 10 days, the following samples were prepared, weighing
more than 15 kg each:

Sample Fineness (cm 2/g)

F1 1661

F2 2028

F3 2580

F4 3033

F5 3369

F6 3674

(7) The prepared samples were sealed in polythene bags and marked accordingly.

3. Experimental Programme

(1) Chemical composition of all the samples were analysed by XRF-cement spectrometer/cement
analyser. The chemical composition shown in table 3 confirms the uniform oxide composition of all
samples.
(2) For cement testing, the following tests were performed on each sample by adopting British
Standard :
(i) Consistency (B.S. 4550 Part 3: Section 3.5: 1978) [13 ]
(ii) Compressive Strength of Mortar Cubes (B .S. 4550: Section 3.4 : 1978) [13]

Test results are shown in table 6.

(3) For concrete testing, 6 inch. cubes were cast from the prepared test samples by adopting British
Standard . The following casting schedule was prepared for each test sample:

Mix ratio W/C ratio No. of cubes

1 : 2: 4 0.65 09

As there were 6 samples, a total no . of 54 cubes were cast.


(4) The sand and coarse aggregates used in casting of cubes were conforming to ASTM 33-93 and
BS 882-1992 [15] . Their sieve analysis reports are given in table 4 and 5 respectively.
(5) Just after mixing of each batch of concrete, the following workability tests were performed on fresh
concrete.
i) Slump test (B.S. 1881: part 102: 1983)[14]
ii) Compacting factor test (B.S. 1881 : part 103: 1983) [14 ]
(6) 6 inch cubes were cast from the test samples in accordance with BS 1881: Part 108, 111 , 116:
1983 [14] . The cubes were stored for 24 hours at a temperature of 20°C and relative humidity 90%.
At the end of this period, the cubes were cured in a temperature controlled water bath . Their 3, 7
and 28 days compressive strength was checked in a 3000 kN compression machine. Results from
testing of fresh and hardened concrete samples are shown in table 7.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1 Cement Testing

Results of cement testing are shown in table 6. It is evident from these results that consistency and
compressive strength of mortar cubes increases with fineness . These effects have been shown
graphically in figure 1 and 2, respectively

Discussion

Consistency indicates the degree of density or stiffness of cement. It is the amount of water
content required for a given cement to get a cement paste of standard consistency. With the
increase of fineness, the specific surface of cement increases. As a result, more surface area is
available for hydration from the same weight of cement. So, more water will be required to produce
the cement paste of same standard consistency.

III
4.2 Concrete Testing

The results of workability tests and compressive strength tests are summarized in table 7.

(a) Workability

Workability as shown by slump and compacting factor tests of fresh concrete increases with
increasing fineness. Typical curves showing effect of fineness on slump and compacting factor are
shown in figures 4 & 5 respectively. The curves show that workability increases by increasing
fineness .

Discussion
According to previous research, the effect of fineness on workability is controversial. However, our
results show an increase in workability with the increase in fineness. It can be better understood
with the fact that the increase in fineness is associated with increased cohesion and reduced
bleeding. Also, very fine cements produce a fat and sticky concrete.

(b) Compressive strength

Compressive strength of concrete cubes, cast from test samples was checked as the main
property of hardened concrete. Typical curves showing the effect of fineness on compressive
strength are shown in figure 3. According to these curves, compressive strength increases with
increasing fineness . This increase in compressive strength is at a higher rate for 28 days age while
at slower rate for 7-days and 3-days ages.

Discussion
As already discussed, with the increase in fineness, setting time decreases i.e., cement past
hardens quickly. As a result, with increasing fineness, the compressive strength also increases.
The same is evident form graphs, shown in Fig 3.

4.3 Grinding Time/Grinding cost

Figure 6 shows curve between fineness 0 f cement and time consumed i n grinding c linker with
gypsum in the ball mill to reach at required finesses values . The grinding time is proportional to the
cost involved in the main cement mill of factory to achieve practical finesses levels of cement. The
curve is flat at lower finesses while it is steeper at higher finesses levels.

5. Conclusions/Recommendations

(1) According to this research, consistency and compressive strength of cement, workability of fresh
concrete and compressive strength of hardened concrete increases with increasing fineness.
Greater grinding cost is involved to reach these higher values. Hence, a compromise between
desirable properties of cement/concrete at higher finesses values and the cost involved in reaching
at these higher values is necessary.
2
(2) The optimum compressive strength may be taken at a fineness of about 3200 cm /g. If fineness is
taken above this value, the gain in compressive strength ceases while grinding effort and, hence,
cost of production increases.

References:­

[1] W.H. PRICE, Factors affecting concrete strength. J. AMER CONC. Inst. 47, pp. 417-32 (Feb.
1951 ).
[2] U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION , Investigations into the effects of Cement Fineness and alkali
cement on various properties of conc. And mortar conc. Laboratory report on C-814 (Denver,
COLORADO, 1956).
[3] KUHL, Cement Chemistry in Theory and Practice, pss (LONDON 1931).
th
[4] H.C. ENTROY, Trans. 8 Inst. Cong., Large Dams, 3,193 (1964).
[5] Properties of Conc., 4th Edition, by A.M. NEVILLE (1995).
[6] Chemistry of Cement and Conc. By F.M. LIE.
[7] M. VENAULT, Revue meter Const. Tran. Publ., Nos.550-553 (1961),595-596 (1965).

112
[8] F.W. LOUCHER, WOHRER and K.SEHWEDEN, Tonind - ztg, keram Rdsh . 90, 547 (1966).
[9] J. WOHRER Zement - kalk gips 3,148 (1950), A.RIO and F. VON BADASS .
[10] M.J.M. JASPERS, Revue meter Canst. Tran. Publ., Nos.429,160,430,207,431,254 (1951) W.
CZERNIN, Zement - KALK - GIPS, 7 160 (1954).
[11] E.C. HIGGINSON, "The effect of cement fineness on conc." Fineness of cement, ASTM STP 473,
American SOCiety for Testing and Material, 1970, pp 71-81.
[12] British Standard (B.S. 12: 1991)
[13] British Standard (B .S. 4550: 1978)
[14] British Standard (B.S . 1881 :1983)
[15] British Standard (B .S . 882:1992)
[16] Pakistan standard (PS 232: 1983)
[17] LlAQAT ALI QURESHI, "Effect of fineness of cement on properties of fresh and hardened
concrete" (M .Sc. thesis, 1991)

TABLE 1: SIEVE ANALYSIS REPORT OF CLINKER

Ttl . ht =94 0 k,g


oa W elgl
SIEVE SIZE MASS RETAINED % RETAINED CUMULATIVE CUMULATIVE
(mm) (Kg) PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE
PASSING RETAINED
30 03.89 04.14 95.86 04.14
25 06.20 06.60 89.26 10.74
19 14.91 15.86 73.4 26.60
12.5 24.24 25.79 47.61 52.39
10 15.95 16.97 30.64 69.36
05 11.00 11.70 18.94 81.06
02 09.00 09.57 9.37 90.63
1.18 02.66 02.77 6.60 93.40
0.5 02.41 02.56 4.04 95.96
PAN 03.74 03.98 - -

TABLE 2: SIEVE ANALYSIS REPORT OF GYPSUM

Ttl
oa W elgl =
. ht 23 5 k 9
SIEVE SIZE MASS PERCENTAGE CUMULATIVE CUMULATIVE
(mm) RETAINED RETAINED PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE
(Kg) PASSING RETAINED
30 2.58 10.99 89.01 10.99
25 1.42 6.03 82.98 17.02
19 4.01 17.07 65.91 34 .90
12.5 3.89 16.54 49.37 50.63
10 3.6 15.33 34.04 65.96
05 2.00 8.5 25.54 74.46
02 1.7 7.24 18.3 81.70
1.18 0.498 2.12 16.18 83.82
0.5 0.3 1.28 14.90 85.10
PAN 3.5 14.89 - -

113
TABLE 3: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF CEMENT SAMPLES
SAMPLE FINENESS CHEMICAL COMPOSITION (%)
2
(cm /g) Si02 AI203 Fe20J CaO MgO Na20 S03 K 20 Ti02 Mn 2 03
F1 1661 21 .36 5.15 3.34 68.75 1.69 .02 2.31 0.74 0.32 0.03
F2 2028 21.48 5.13 3.34 63.85 1.68 0.02 2.32 0.75 0.32 0.04
F3 2580 21 .32 5.12 3.31 63.89 1.67 0.02 2.28 0.75 0.32 0.03
F4 3033 21.36 5.10 3.35 63.62 1.71 0.02 2.28 0.74 0.32 0.03
F5 3369 21.32 5.10 3.34 63.48 1.72 0.03 2.28 0.75 0.32 0.04
F6 3674 21 .38 5.10 3.34 63 .53 1.71 0.02 2.27 0.76 0.32 0.04

TABLE 4: SIEVE ANALYSIS REPORT OF COARSE AGGREGATE

A= % in . passing & % in . retained

B= % in . passing

C = Pan

Total Mass taken

A= 1 kg

B= 0.75 kg =750 g

C= 0.25 kg = 250 g

A : B:C = 4:3:1

SIEVE SIZE MASS PERCENTAGE CUMULATIVE CUMULATIVE


(mm) RETAINED RETAINED PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE
5S (g) PASSING RETAINED
50 .0 0 0 100 0
37.5 0 0 100 0
20.0 25 1.25 98.75 1.25
14.0 790 39.5 59 .25 40.57
10.0 443 22.15 37.1 62.9
5.0 528 26.4 10.7 89.3
2.36 195 9.75 - -

TABLE 5: SIEVE ANALYSIS REPORT OF FINE AGGREGATE

SIEVE SIZE MASS PERCENTAGE CUMULATIVE CUMULATIVE


(mm) RETAINED RETAINED PERCENTAGE PERCENTAGE
(g) ('%) PASSING(%) RETAINED (%)
10 mm 0 - 100 0
5mm 0 - 100 0
2.36 mm 3 0.6 99.4 0.6
1.18 mm - - - -
620 11m 51 10.26 89.14 10.86
330 11m 248 49.89 39.25 60.75
160 11m 166 33.4 5.85 94 .15

<160 flm 29 5.8 0.05 -


TOTAL = 497 g TOTAL = 166.36

Fineness Modulus = 1.66 Zone = Fine grading

114
TABLE 6: RESULTS OF CEMENT TESTING

SAMPLE FINENESS CONSISTENCY 3·DAYS 7·DAYS 28·DAYS


2
(cm /g) (%) COMP COMPo COMPo
STRENGTH STRENGTH STRENGTH
(psi) (psi) (psi)
F1 1661 24.5 2981 4684 5993
F2 2028 25.0 3912 5265 6473
F3 2580 25.0 4654 6080 7098
F4 3033 25.5 5280 6328 7403
F5 3369 25.5 5420 6551 7691
F6 3674 26.0 5614 6726 7892

TABLE 7: RESULTS OF CONCRETE TESTING

FINENESS MIX WIC SLUMP COMPACTING 3·DAYS 7-DAYS 28·DAYS


2
(cm /g) RATIO RATIO (mm) FACTOR COMPo COMPo COMPo
STRENGTH STRENGTH STRENGTH
(psi) (psi) (psi)
1661 1:2:4 0.65 2 0.813 2102 2456 2873
2028 1:2:4 0.65 5 0.823 2665 3102 4496
2580 1:2:4 0.65 8 0.826 2727 3591 4673
3033 1:2:4 0.65 12 0.830 3498 3888 5064
3369 1:2:4 0.65 20 0.883 3669 4237 5607
3674 1:2:4 0.65 22 0.890 3925 4460 5760

115
FIGURE I : FINENESS VERSUS CONSISTENCY OF CEMENT FIGURE 2: FINENESS OF CEMENT VERS US
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF MORTAR CUBES

,.., r------------------------, ~.---------------------------------------,

,.

·
•..
• 6000
R' =0.9983

~
•.
,.~

~
"t: R' =0.9952
~
~
.
0
U
25 a.
: R"=O .9957
I:

" • 3-DAYS STRENGTH


2000
414.5 A 7-DAY S STRENGTH
• 28-DA YS STRENGTH

,,+----~--~
'000 .... ___~----~------_P-----~
.... 1000 .,.. '50' lOOO

FINENESS Icm',g)

FIGURE 4: FINENESS OF CEMENT VERSUS SLUMP


FIG 3: FINENESS OF CEMENT VERSUS COMPRESSIVE

IMIX 1:2:4 W/C 0.&5)


STRENGTH OF CONCRETE CUBES

25r-------------------------------------,
20

..
:I:

"
II:
R';{).9067
E 15

..
w
II:
.§.

.
1/1
w
iii
:Ii
:>
~ 10

1/1 3-DAYS STRENGTH


.o
w
II:
I: R'=0 .9535 A 7-DAYS S1R8IlGTH
~

• 28-DAYS STRENGTH
1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000

FINENESS (em'/D) FINENESS (em"D)

FIGURE 5: FINENESS OF CEMENT VERSUS COMPACnNG

FACTOR
FIGURE & : FINENESS VERSUS GRINDING TIME
(MIX 1 :2:4 W/C 0.65)

900

0.95
800
0.93

···
700
0.91

It:
...u0
0.89
1·.
600

.. 0.87 II:
u.

"F 0.85
2
.;::
•i
500

..
u
•;;
400

"­ 0.83
:Ii
0
u 0.81 • .

300

0.79
200
0.77

0.75 100
1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000
FINENESS (em"D) FINENESS (em"g)

116