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SELF COMPACTING CONCRETE AN INDIAN SCENARIO

R.Gopi, Asst.Prof, Dept.of Civil Engineering, K.S.R College of Engineering, Tiruchengode, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu 637 215

ABSTRACT Concrete is a vital ingredient in infrastructure development with its versatile and extensive applications. The Indian construction industry today is consuming about 400 million tons of concrete every year and is expected to reach a billion tons in less than a decade. It is the most widely used construction material because of its mouldability into any required structural form and shape due to its fluid behavior at fresh state. Inadequate compaction of concrete results in large number of voids, affecting performance and long term durability of structures. Self-compacting concrete (SCC) provides a solution to these problems. As the name signifies, it is able to compact itself without any additional vibration or compaction. Key words: Self Compacting Concrete, vibration, compaction, mouldability, durability 1. Introduction The development of new technology in the material science is progressing rapidly. In last three decades, a lot of research was carried out throughout globe to improve the performance of concrete in terms of strength and durability qualities. Consequently concrete has no longer remained a construction material consisting of cement, aggregate, and water only, but has becomes an engineered custom tailored material with several new constituents to meet the specific needs of construction industry. The growing use of concrete in special architectural configurations and closely spaced reinforcing bars have made it very important to produce concrete that ensures proper filling ability, good structural performance and adequate durability. In recent years, a lot of research was carried out throughout the world to improve the performance of concrete in terms of its most important properties, i.e. strength and durability. Concrete technology has under gone from macro to micro level study in the enhancement of strength and durability properties from 1980s onwards. Till 1980 the research study was focused only to flow ability of concrete, so as to enhance the strength however durability did not draw lot of attention of the concrete technologists. This type of study has resulted in the development of self compacting concrete (SCC), a much needed revolution in concrete industry. Self compacting concrete was first developed in Japan by Prof.Okmura in 1980s.Self compacting concrete is highly engineered concrete with much higher fluidity without segregation and is capable of filling every corner of form work under its self weight only. Thus SCC eliminates the needs of vibration either external or internal for the compaction of the concrete without compromising its engineering properties. ACI 237R-07 says Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) is highly flowable, nonsegregating concrete that can spread into place, fill the formwork, and encapsulate the reinforcement without any mechanical consolidation. It is able to flow under its own weight, completely filling formwork and achieving full compaction, even in the presence of congested reinforcement. The hardened concrete

is dense, homogeneous and has the same engineering properties and durability as traditional vibrated concrete. 2. Need for scc Self compacting concrete is basically a concrete which is capable of flowing in to the formwork, without segregation, to fill uniformly and completely every corner of it by its own weight without any application of vibration or other energy during placing. There is no standard self compacting concrete. Therefore each self-compacting concrete has to be designed for the particular structure to be constructed. However working on the parameters which affect the basic properties of selfcompacting concrete such as plastic viscosity, deformability, flowability and resistance to segregation, self-compacting concrete may be proportioned for almost any type of concrete structure. 3. Advantages of the self compacting concrete 3.1 Financial & Environmental Benefits Minimal labor involved Rapid construction without mechanical vibration Low noise-level in the plants and construction sites Overcome problems arise with vibration. Safer working environment Accelerated project schedules Reduced equipment wear Allows for innovative architectural features Greater Range of Precast Productions 3.2 Engineering Benefits Better surface finishes Easier placing Improved durability Greater freedom in design Thinner concrete sections Ease of filling restricted sections and hard to reach areas Encapsulate congested reinforcement Allows for innovative architectural features Homogeneous and uniform concrete Better reinforcement bonding 4. Properties of scc The 3 main properties of SCC in plastic state are: 1. Filling ability (excellent deformability) 2. Passing ability (ability to pass reinforcement without blocking) 3. High resistance to segregation. 4.1 Filling Ability Self compacting concrete must be able to flow into all the spaces within the formwork under its own weight. This is related to workability, as measured by slump flow or Orimet test. The filling ability

or flowability is the property that characterizes the ability of the SCC of flowing into formwork and filling all space under its own weight, guaranteeing total covering of the reinforcement. The mechanisms that govern this property are high fluidity and cohesion of the mixture. 4.2 Passing Ability Self compacting concrete must flow through tight openings such as spaces between steel reinforcing bars under its own weight. The mix must not block during placement. The passing ability is the property that characterizes the ability of the SCC to pass between obstacles- gaps between reinforcement, holes, and narrow sections, without blocking. The mechanisms that govern this property are moderate viscosity of the paste and mortar, and the properties of the aggregates, principally, maximum size of the coarse aggregate. Stability or resistance to the segregation is the property that characterizes the ability of the SCC to avoid the segregation of its components, such as the coarse aggregates. Such a property provides uniformity of the mixture during transport, placement and consolidation. The mechanisms that govern this property are the viscosity and cohesion of the mixture. 4.3 Resistance to Segregation Self compacting concrete must meet the requirements of 1 and 2 while its original composition remains uniform. The key properties must be maintained at adequate levels for the required period of time (e.g.20 min) after completion of mixing. It is property 2 the passing ability and property 3 resistance to segregation that constitute the major advance, form a merely super plasticized fresh mix which may be more fluid than self compacting concrete mix. Latest developments in accordance with the objectives of the European SCC project aim to limit the admixtures used for general purpose SCC s to only one by using new types and combinations of polymers. Experience has shown that such an admixture may have to add to generate and maintain compacting concrete using less liable materials. 5. Materials for scc Cement: Ordinary Portland cement. Aggregates : The maximum size of aggregates is generally limited to 20 mm. Aggregates of size 10 to 12mm is desirable for structures having congested reinforcement. Wherever possible size of aggregates higher then 20mm could also be used. Well grated cubical or rounted aggregates are desirable. Aggregates should be of uniform quality with respect to shape and grading. Fine aggregates can be natural or manufactured. The grading must be uniform throughout the work. The moisture content or absorption characteristics must be clously monitored as quality of self compacting concrete will be sensitive to such changes. Particals smaller than 0.125 mm i.e 125 micronsize are considered as FINES which contribute to the powder content. Mixing Waer: Water quality must be established on the same line as that for using reinforced concrete or concrete prestressed concrete . Chemical Admixtures: Superplaseizers are an essential companent of self compacting concrete to provide necessary workability. The new generation superpasticizers termed poly- carboxylated ethers (PCE) is partically useful for self compacting concrete.

Other types may be incorporated as necessary ,such as viscosity modifying agents 9VMA) for stability, air entraining agents (AEA) to improve freeze-thaw resistance , and retarders for control of setting. 6. Mix design There is no standard method for mix design for self compacting concrete. The following guide lines gives mix compaction of SCC.

Reducing the volume ratio of aggregate to cementitious material (1:2) Increasing the paste volume and water-cement ratio (w/c) The maximum coarse aggregate size (Normally 16 20 mm) Usage of Superplasticizer admixtures Viscosity enhancing admixtures The coarse aggregate content in concrete is limited to 50% of solid volume The fine aggregate content in concrete is fixed to 40% of the mortar volume The water/powder ratio is assumed to range of 0.8-1.0,depending on the properties of the powder The superplasticizer dosage and final water/powder ratio are determined so as to ensure self compactibility.

Fig.1. SCC Mix Design Sequences 6. Indian scenario of scc In India, the development of concrete possessing self compacting properties is still very much in its infancy. During the last couple of years, few attempts were made using European Guidelines for testing SCC in the laboratories and in the field. As mentioned by M. S. Shetty [3] SCC was used by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. at Tarapur, Kaiga and Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP). Some pioneering efforts have been made in Delhi Metro Project.

7. Testing of scc European guideline for testing, covers number of parameters ranging from material selection, mixture designs and testing methods like Slump flow test, L-box test, V-funnel test, U-box test, Orimet test and GTM screen stability test as recommended by EFNARC for determining properties of SCC in fresh state. Most of Indian researchers are following these guidelines to determine the rheological properties of SCC mixes. It is important to mention that none of the test methods for SCC have yet been standardized and included in Indian Standard Code for the present. The following are some of the features of self compacting concrete mentioned in Indian Standard code IS: 456-2000. 1. Slump flow: Minimum 600 mm. 2. Sufficient amount of fines (<0.125 mm) preferably in the range of 400 kg/m3 to 600 kg/m3. This can be achieved by having sand content more than 38% and using mineral admixture to the order of 25 to 50% by mass of cementitious materials. 2. Use of high range water reducing (HRWR) admixture and viscosity modifying agent (VMA) in appropriate dosages is permitted. 8. Testing methods of scc Slump flow Test - The slump flow test is used to assess the horizontal free flow of SCC in the absence of obstructions. The test also indicates resistance to segregation. On lifting the slump cone, filled with concrete the average diameter of spread of the concrete is measured. It indicates the filling ability of the concrete.

Fig.2. Slump Flow Test V-Funnel Test - The flowability of the fresh concrete can be tested with the V-funnel test, whereby the flow time is measured. The funnel is filled with about 12 litres of concrete and the time taken for it to flow through the apparatus is measured. Shorter flow time indicate greater flowability.

Fig.3. V Funnel Test L-Box Test - This is a widely used test, suitable for laboratory and site use. It assesses filling and passing ability of SCC and serious lack of stability (segregation) can be detected visually. The vertical section of the LBox is filled with concrete, and then the gate is lifted to let the concrete flow into the horizontal section. Blocking ratio (i.e. is ratio of the height of the concrete at the end of the horizontal section (h2) to height of concrete at beginning of horizontal section (h1)) is determined. It indicates passing ability of concrete or the degree to which the passage of concrete through the bars is restricted.

Fig.4. L Box Test U-Box Test - The test is used to measure the filling and passing ability of self-compacting concrete. The apparatus consists of a U shape vessel that is divided by a middle wall into two compartments. The U-box test indicates degree of compactability in terms of filling height i.e. (h1-h2), difference of height of concrete attained in two compartment of U-box.

Fig.5. U Box Test Orimet Test - Orimet test is able to simulate the flow of fresh concrete during actual placing on sites. The Orimet apparatus is filled with about 8 litres of concrete and the time taken for it to flow through the apparatus is measured.

Fig.6. Orimet Test J Ring Test - The JRing can be used in conjunction with the Slumpflow, the Orimet test, or eventually even the V funnel. These combinations test the flowing ability and (the contribution of the JRing) the passing ability of the concrete. The orimet time and/or slumpflow spread are

measured as usual to assess flow characteristics. The JRing bars can principally be set at any spacing to impose a more or less severe test of the passing ability of the concrete. After the test, the difference in height between the concrete inside and that just outside the JRing is measured. This is an indication of passing ability, or the degree to which the passage of concrete through the bars is restricted.

Fig.7. J Ring Test GTM Screen Stability Test - GTM screen stability test is a very effective way of assessing the stability of SCC. It consists of taking a sample of 10 litre of concrete, allowing it to stand for a period to allow any internal segregation to occur, then pouring it on to a 5mm sieve of 350mm diameter. After two minutes, the mortar which passed through the sieve is weighed and expressed as a percentage of the weight of the original sample on the sieve (i.e. Segregation Ratio). 9. Acceptance criteria for self-compacting concrete (As per EFNARC)

Table.1: Acceptance Criteria for Self-Compacting Concrete EFNARC says that These typical requirements shown against each test method are based on current knowledge and practice. However future developments may lead to different requirements being adopted. Values outside these ranges may be acceptable if the producer can demonstrate satisfactory performance in the specific conditions, eg, large spaces between reinforcement, layer thickness less

than 500 mm, short distance of flow from point of discharge, very few obstructions to pass in the formwork, very simple design of formwork, etc. 10. Conclusion To make durable concrete structures sufficient compaction is required. Compaction for conventional concrete is done by vibrating. Over vibration can easily cause segregation. In conventional concrete, it is difficult to ensure uniform material quality and good density in heavily reinforced locations. If steel is not properly surrounded by concrete, it leads to durability problems. The answer to the problem may be a type of concrete, which can get compacted into every corner of formwork and gap between steel, purely by means of its own weight and without the need for compaction. The SCC concept was introduced to overcome these difficulties. This concrete meets special performance and uniformity requirements that cannot always be obtained by using conventional ingredients, normal mixing procedure and curing practices.

References
1. Hajime Okamura, Masahiro Ouchi (2003) Self-Compacting Concrete, Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology, Vol.1, No.1, 5-15. 2. Specifications and Guidelines for Self Compacting Concrete (2002), European Federation of Products and Contractors of Specialist Products for Structures (EFNARC). 3. Dr. Hmant Sood, Dr.R.K.Khitoliya, S. S. Pathak Dr. Hemant Sood Incorporating European Standards for Testing Self Compacting Concrete in Indian Conditions, International Journal of Recent Trends in Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 6, May 2009. 4. G. De Schutter Guidelines For Testing Fresh Self-Compacting Concrete (2005), European Research Project: Measurement of Properties of Fresh Self-Compacting Concrete.