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Properties of Fresh Concrete

Fresh concrete: from time of mixing to end of time concrete surface

finished in its final location in the structure
Operations: batching, mixing, transporting, placing, compacting, surface
Treatment (curing) of in-placed concrete 6-10 hours after casting (placing)
and during first few days of hardening is important.
Concrete properties

Negative properties Positive properties

Low tensile Able to be cast
Volume unstable Caste on the site
Low durability against weigh Economically
Low elasticity Heat resistance

Aesthetic properties
Properties of Fresh Concrete

Fresh state properties enormously affect hardened state

The potential strength and durability of concrete of a
given mix proportion is very dependent on the degree of
its compaction.
The first 48 hours are very important for the performance
of the concrete structure.
It controls the long-term behaviour, influence fck(ultimate
strength), E (elastic modulus), creep, and durability.

Properties of Fresh Concrete

Main properties of fresh concrete during mixing,

transporting, placing and compacting.
• Fluidity or consistency: capability of being handled
and of flowing into formwork and around any
reinforcement, with assistance of compacting
• Compact ability: air entrapped during mixing and
handling should be easily removed by compaction
equipment, such as vibrators.


• Stability or cohesiveness: fresh concrete should

remain homogenous and uniform. No segregation
of cement paste from aggregates (especially
coarse ones)
Fluidity & compactability known as workability
Higher workability concretes are easier to place and
handle but obtaining higher workability by
increasing water content decreases strength and
Properties of Fresh Concrete

Main properties of fresh concrete during

mixing, transporting, placing and compacting.
• Fluidity or consistency:
• Compactability
• Stability or cohesiveness
• Fluidity & compactability known as

Compaction of Concrete Finishing of Concrete

Definition: Effort required to manipulate a concrete mixture with a

minimum of segregation.
Factors affecting concrete workability:
 w/c ratio: increase in w/c ratio increase workability (decrease strength)
 grading of agg.: increase agg. to cement ratio decrease workability
 agg. properties: rounded agg. have high workability (occur segregation)
 time and temperature: high temperature decrease workability
 cement: increase of cement fineness decrease of workability
use new cement decrease workability
 admixture: increasing concrete workability


Workability measurement methods

1. Slump test
2. Compacting factor test
3. Vee-bee test
4. Flow table test

1. Slump test - simplest and crudest test

Fill concrete into Hand tap Lift cone up. Define

frustum of a steel concrete slump as downward
cone in three layers In each layer Movement of the



Concrete Compacting factor

Uses & recommended of compaction
consistency (AC)%

Stiff 75 - 80 Dames-retaining walls (Vibration)

Plastic 80 - 90 All mass structures (hand compaction)

Flowing 90 - 95 Slabs-reinf. Structures (vibration)

Self compacting > 95 Thick steel renif structures(no compaction) 14


Concrete Compacting factor

Uses & recommended of compaction
consistency (AC)%

Stiff 75 - 80 Dames-retaining walls (Vibration)

Plastic 80 - 90 All mass structures (hand compaction)

Flowing 90 - 95 Slabs-reinf. Structures (vibration)

Self compacting > 95 Thick steel renif structures(no compaction)



Veebee test – like slump test measures only the

consistency but more meaningful for mixtures of
concrete with low consistency.
The equipment for the test, as shown in the above
figure, was developed by Swedish engineer V.
Bahrner .
Vebe test equipment consists of a vibrating table, a
cylindrical pan, a slump cone, and a glass or plastic
disk attached to a free-moving rod, which serves as
a reference end point

The cone is placed in the pan, filled with

concrete, and removed like slump test
The disk is brought into position on top of the
concrete cone, and the vibrating table is set in
The time required to remold the concrete, from
the conical to the cylindrical shape until the disk is
completely covered with concrete, is reported as
the Vebe time in seconds
Workability / Veebee test


Segregation and Bleeding

From placing to final set, concrete is in a plastic, semi-fluid

state. Heavier particles (aggregates) have tendency to
move down (SEGREGATION). Mix water has a tendency to
move up (BLEEDING)
 Segregation is when the coarse and fine aggregate, and
cement paste, become separated.
 Segregation may happen when the concrete is mixed,
transported, placed or compacted.
 Segregation makes the concrete:
and will leave A POOR SURFACE FINISH.
Segregation and Bleeding

A layer of water ( 2 % or more of total depth of concrete)
accumulates on surface, later this water evaporates or re-
absorbed into concrete.

Segregation and Bleeding

Types of segregation:
There are two kinds of segregation
Separation of the mortar (paste + fine aggregate) from the
body of concrete (for example, due to over vibration or
mishandling of concrete)
It is defined as phenomenon by virtue of which water appears
on the surface after a concrete has been placed and
compacted but before it has set.
Bleeding takes place due to sedimentation of the solids in
voids of concrete


Laitance is a form of bleeding in which water

rising in the internal channels within concrete,
carry with it very fine particles of cement, sand,
and clay and deposit them in the form of a scum
at the concrete surface.
Segregation and Bleeding

 There are no tests for the measurement of
 Visual observation and inspection of cores of
hardened concrete are generally adequate to
examine the segregation.
 There is, however, an ASTM standard test for the
measurement of rate of bleeding and the total
bleeding capacity 25

According to ASTM C 232, a sample of concrete

is placed and consolidated in a container 250
mm diameter and 280 mm height. The bleed
water accumulated on the surface is withdrawn
at 10 min. intervals during the first 40 min., and
thereafter at 30 min. intervals.
Bleeding is expressed in terms of the amount of
accumulated water as the percentage of net
mixing water in the sample
Segregation and Bleeding

Causes and Control:

The following are the general causes segregation and
bleeding problems in concrete:
1) Improper consistency
2)Excessive amount of large particles of coarse
aggregate with either too high or too low density
3) Presence of less fines (due to low cement and
sand contents or the use of a poorly graded sand)
4) Inappropriate placing and compacting methods 27

The problems of segregation and bleeding

can be reduced or eliminated by
paying attention to mix proportioning
handling and placement methods
Segregation and Bleeding
Methods of reducing segregation and bleed and their effects

The amount of mechanical work or energy required to produce full
compaction of the concrete without segregation or bleeding.
It means (how easy it is to: PLACE, HANDLE, COMPACT and FINISH a
concrete mix)
Method of Test for Bleeding of Concrete

• A cylindrical container of approximately 0.01 m3 capacity,

having an inside diameter of 250 mm and inside height of
280 mm is used.
• A pepette for drawing off free water from the surface, a
graduated jar of 100 cm3 capacity is required for test.
• A sample of freshly mixed concrete is obtained.
• The concrete is filled in 50 mm layer for a depth of 250 ± 3
mm (5 layers) and each layer is tamped by giving strokes,
and the top surface is made smooth by trowelling.
The test specimen is weighed and the weight of the concrete is
noted. Knowing the total water content in 1 M3 of concrete
quantity of water in the cylindrical container is also calculated.
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Water content of the mix

- The most important factor
- Increasing water Increase the ease of flows and compaction.
Reduce strength and durability.
May lead to segregation and bleeding.
- mixing water is divided into three parts
1- adsorbed on the particle surfaces
2- filled the spaces between the particles.
3- lubricates the particles by separating them with a film of
water finer particles require more water.

Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

To make a more workable mix:

 Add more CEMENT PASTE.
 Use WELL GRADED aggregates.
Never try to make a mixture more workable by just
adding more water because this lowers the strength
and durability of concrete.

Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Aggregate properties
There are two important factors here
1- amount of aggregates.
2- the relative proportions of fine to coarse aggregates.
 increase of aggregate/cement ratio decreases workability
 more cement is needed when finer aggregate grading are used.
 Harsh concrete: deficiency in fine aggregate resulting in lack of the
desired consistency resulting in segregation.
 Shape and texture of aggregate particles.
 Nearly spherical particles give more workable concrete. Spherical
particles give lower surface –to –volume ratio, less mortar to coat
the particles, leaving more water to enhance workability.
 The porosity of the aggregates can absorb a great deal of water and
less will be available to provide workability.
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Time and temperature.

Considerable evidence that temperature increase will decrease workability
as higher temperatures will increase both the evaporation rate and
hydration rate.
Very warm weather will require more water to maintain the same

Cement characteristics.
Less important factor in determining workability than the aggregate
However, increased fineness of type III (rapid –hardening 0 cements will
reduce workability at a given w/c ratio.
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Sample collected Slump Cone Filled

Cone Removed and Concrete Slump Measured 39

Allowed to ‘Slump’
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Process of Manufacture of Concrete

(a ) Batching
(b) Mixing
(c ) Transporting
(d ) Placing
(e) Compacting
(f ) Curing
(g) Finishing.


(i ) Volume batching
(ii ) Weigh batching
(ii) Weigh Batching:
• weigh batching is the correct method of measuring the
• Weigh batching system should be adopted.
• Batching, facilitates accuracy, flexibility and simplicity.
• Large weigh batching plants have automatic weighing
• The use of this automatic equipment for batching is one of
sophistication and requires qualified and experienced
• Complication will come to adjust water content to cater for
the moisture content in the aggregate.
• The weighing arrangement consists of two weighing buckets,
each connected through a system of levers to spring-loaded
dials which indicate the load.
• The weighing buckets are mounted on a central spindle
about which they rotate.
• Thus one can be loaded while the other is being discharged
into the mixer skip.
• A simple spring balance or the common platform weighing
machines also can be used for small jobs.
(i ) Hand mixing
(ii )Machine mixing

a. Tilting: 85 T, 100 T, 140 T, 200 T

b. Non-Tilting: 200 NT, 280 NT, 375 NT, 500 NT,
1000 NT
c. Reversing: 200 R, 280 R, 375 R, 500 R and
1000 R
Transporting Concrete

(a) Mortar Pan (b) Wheel Barrow, Hand Cart

(c) Crane, Bucket and Rope way
(d ) Truck Mixer and Dumpers
(e) Belt Conveyors (f ) Chute
(g) Skip and Hoist (h) Tansit Mixer
(i ) Pump and Pipe Line
( j ) Helicoptor.
Placing Concrete
(a) Placing concrete within earth mould. (example: Foundation
concrete for a wall or column).
(b) Placing concrete within large earth mould or timber plank
formwork. (example: Road slab and Airfield slab).
(c ) Placing concrete in layers within timber or steel shutters.
(example: Mass concrete in dam construction or construction
of concrete abutment or pier).
(d ) Placing concrete within usual from work. (example:
Columns, beams and floors).
(e ) Placing concrete under water.
Compaction of Concrete
(a) Hand Compaction
(i ) Rodding (ii ) Ramming (iii ) Tamping
(b) Compaction by Vibration
(i ) Internal vibrator (Needle vibrator)
(ii ) Formwork vibrator (External vibrator)
(iii ) Table vibrator
(iv ) Platform vibrator

(v ) Surface vibrator (Screed vibrator)

(vi ) Vibratory Roller.
(c ) Compaction by Pressure and Jolting
(d) Compaction by Spinning.
• Compaction by Pressure and Jolting: This is one of
the effective methods of compacting very dry
• This method is often used for compacting hollow
blocks, cavity blocks and solid concrete blocks.
• The stiff concrete is vibrated, pressed and also
given jolts.
• With the combined action of the jolts vibrations and
pressure, the stiff concrete gets compacted to a
dense form to give good strength and volume
• By employing great pressure, a concrete of very low
water cement ratio can be compacted to yield very
high strength.
• Compaction by Spinning:
• Spinning is one of the recent methods of
compaction of concrete.
• This method of compaction is adopted for the
fabrication of concrete pipes.
• The plastic concrete when spun at a very high
speed, gets well compacted by centrifugal force.
• Patented products such a “Hume Pipes”, “spun
pipes” are compacted by spinning process.
General Points on Using Vibrators
(a) Electric motors either driving the vibrator through
flexible shaft or situated in the head of the vibrator.
(b) Internal combustion engine driving the vibrator
needle through flexible shaft, and
(c) Compressed-air motor situated near the head of
the vibrator.
Further Instructions on use of Vibrators
•Height of Concrete Layer
•Depth of Immersion of Vibrator
•Spacing and Number of Insertion Positions
•Speed of Insertion and Withdrawal of the Vibrating
•Duration of Vibration
•Vibrating Concrete at Junctions with Hardened

• Vibrating the Reinforced Concrete

• Vibrating near the Formwork
• Vibrating High Walls and Columns
• Over-Vibration
• Output of Immersion Vibrator
• Re-vibration
• Vibration of Lightweight Concrete
Compacting Concrete
Compaction is done by shaking, or vibrating, the concrete which
liquefies it, allowing the trapped air to rise out. The concrete settles,
filling all the space in the forms
Compaction must be done as concrete is placed, while it is still plastic.
Never let concrete dry-out and stiffen because it will be too hard to
Properly compacted concrete is more dense, strong and durable. Off-
form finishes will also be better.

Compacting Concrete
The Mechanical Screed:
Concrete is screeded TWICE.
 The first screed levels the concrete roughly and compacts it.
 The second screed levels and compacts the concrete more.
 The screed is pulled along the top of the forms by two workers.

Compacting Concrete
is done with a mechanical vibrator or poker vibrator.
The POKER is put into concrete and vibrates it from the inside.
Method of internal vibrations:
Make sure there are enough workers so some can compact while others
continue to place.
Put the poker into the concrete QUICKLY.
Take the poker out very SLOWLY otherwise a hole, or weak spot, may be
left in the concrete

Compacting Concrete
•The SIZE of the poker determines how much concrete is vibrated at one time.
•The area vibrated at one time is called the RADIUS OF ACTION.
•This can be seen by over what radius air bubbles rise to the surface.
•The radius of action will be greater with a LARGER poker and more-workable
•Always compact in a definite pattern so the radius of action overlaps and
covers the whole area of the concrete.

Compacting Concrete

1. Taking the poker out TOO QUICKLY will leave a hole in
the concrete.
2. To close the hole, vibrate near the hole and take the
poker out VERY SLOWLY.
3. NEVER touch the form face with the poker as it can
damage the formwork and the concrete.
4. NEVER touch the reinforcement with the poker.
5. NEVER spread or move concrete sideways with the
poker, always use a shovel.

Compacting Concrete


 For concrete of average workability ( slump of 60 mm) with a
poker size between 25–75 mm, concrete should usually be
vibrated for between 5 and 15 seconds.
 It is worse to UNDER-VIBRATE than to OVER-VIBRATE concrete.

Curing; protection of concrete from moisture loss from as
soon after placing as possible, and for the first few days of
------Curing means to cover the concrete so it stays MOIST-----
By keeping concrete moist the bond between the paste and
the aggregates gets stronger. Concrete doesn’t harden
properly if it is left to dry out.


WHEN TO CURE Curing is done just after finishing the

concrete surface, as soon as it will not be damaged.
WHY CURE Concrete that is cured is:
HOW TO CURE Concrete is cured by:
APPLYING EXTRA WATER to the surface of the
concrete, or
STOPPING water loss from the concrete.

• It has been mentioned earlier that cement

requires a water/cement ratio about 0.23 for
hydration and a water/cement ratio of 0.15
for filling the voids in the gel pores.
• In other words, a water/cement ratio of about
0.38 would be required to hydrate all the
particles of cement and also to occupy the
space in the gel pores.
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Effect of curing temperature

Hydration reactions between cement and water are
temperature dependent and rate of reaction
increases with curing temperature

At early ages, rate of strength gain increases with

curing temperature (higher temperatures increases
rate of reaction, thus more C-S-H and gel is
produced at earlier times, achieving a higher gel/
space ratio and thus higher strength)

At later ages, higher strength are obtained from

concrete cured at lower temperatures.
(C-S- H gel is more rapidly produced at higher
temperature and is less uniform and hence
weaker than produced at lower temperatures)
Standard curing temperature is 22 ± 1 º C
Hydration proceeds below 0 º C, stop
completely at -10 º C
Properties of Fresh Concrete (Cont.)

Curing methods
1. Spraying surface of concrete with water
2. Protecting exposed surfaces from wind and sun by
windbreaks and sunshades
3. Covering surfaces with wet hessian and/or polythene
4. Applying a curing membrane, a spray-applied resin seal, to
the exposed surface to prevent moisture loss

Curing methods
• Spraying surface of concrete with water
• Protecting exposed surfaces from wind and
sun by windbreaks and sunshades
• Covering surfaces with wet hessian and/or
polythene sheets
• Applying a curing membrane, a spray-applied
resin seal, to the exposed surface to prevent
moisture loss 73
Curing Methods
(a)Water curing
(b)Membrane curing
(c ) Application of heat
(d) Miscellaneous
Water Curing
(a ) Immersion
(b) Ponding
(c ) Spraying or Fogging
(d ) Wet covering
Application of heat
(a ) Concrete is vulnerable to damage only for short
(b) Concrete member can be handled very quickly.
(c ) Less space will be sufficient in the casting yerd.
(d ) A smaller curing tank will be sufficient.
(e ) A higher outturn is possible for a given capital
(f ) The work can be put on to service at a much early
(g) A fewer number of formwork will be sufficient or
alternatively with the given number
of formwork more outturn will be achieved.
(h) Prestressing bed can be released early for further