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Concreting that is done in the water is known as under
water concreting.
The variations in properties are not much different, the
problem associated with washout of concrete poses
requirement of addition of admixtures to reduce the
washout properties of UWC.
Placing concrete under water and also in very deep
foundations, such as caissons requires different
methods than ordinarily employed for placing in air.
The repair of concrete underwater is usually
difficult, requiring specialized products and systems,
and the services of highly qualified and experienced

Admixtures used for UWC
Methods of UWC
Causes of Deterioration of UWC
Methods of Repairs of UWC
Specification usually require that cofferdams forms
be sufficiently tight enough to the flow or current of
water through the space to be concreted with
Pumping of water is not permitted while concrete is
being placed, nor until 24 hours thereafter.
Concrete should not be placed in water having
temperature below 1.7 deg.C., because it will
harden very slowly.
The temperature of the concrete when deposited should
be between 15 and 28 deg.C.
The proportion of the fine and coarse aggregate should
be adjusted to produce the desired workability with
some what higher proportions of fine aggregates than
used for normal conditions
The u.w.c. should have resistance to damages caused
by micro organism, chemical attack, corrosion, freezing
and thawing, salt scaling, mechanical damage.

Viscosity Modifying Admixture (VMA).
The key function of a VMA is to modify the
rheological properties of the cement paste.
The rheology of fresh concrete can be mainly
described by its yield point and plastic viscosity.
The balance between the yield point and the plastic
viscosity is key to obtaining the appropriate
concrete rheology. VMAs change the rheological
properties of concrete by increasing the plastic
viscosity but usually cause only a small increase in
the yield point.
Admixtures which decrease the yield point are
called plasticizers and are often used in conjunction
with a VMA to optimize the yield point.
The stability of the mix is not helped by the fact
that underwater concrete is difficult to place and
compact and therefore requires a high workability.
This significantly increases the chance that water
will mix with the cement paste and be washed out
of the mix or that it has a higher than intended
water cement ratio and is therefore low in strength.
The major effect of a VMA for underwater concrete
is to increase the cohesiveness of the fresh concrete
to such a level that during and after placing the
fresh concrete is not washed out.
Most VMAs are based on high molecular weight
polymers with a high affinity to water.
Some VMAs are based on inorganic materials such
as colloidal silica which is amorphous with small
insoluble, non-diffusible particles, larger than
molecules but small enough to remain suspended in
water without settling.
By ionic interaction of the silica and calcium from
the cement a three dimensional gel is formed which
increases the viscosity and/or yield point of the
The increased cohesion provided by very fine
binders such as silica fume have been found
particularly effective in some applications.
Sand contents are also high, typically 45% or higher
and the sand needs to have a uniform grading.
The dosage of the VMA has to give an appropriate
cohesiveness that is sufficient to prevent washout.
However, high dosages can lead to reduced flow
and unwanted secondary effects such as increased air
content or retardation.
The dosage depends on the application but typically
ranges from 0.1 to 1.5% by weight of cement but can
be varied for specific applications.
Pumping of concrete with V.M.A.

Pumping of concrete without

Grouted aggregate.
Sacked concrete.
Concrete pump.

The tremie consists of a water pipe, often 250 mm
in diameter, long enough to reach from a working
platform above water level to the lowest point of
A receiving hopper is provided at the top of the
pipe and a lower end is some time equipped with a
Every precaution should be taken both in handling
and placing the concrete to a minimum the tendency
to segregate.
During the placing operation the previously placed
concrete should be disturbed as little as possible and
top surface of the concrete should be kept as near
level as practicable.
Once the concerting is been started the tremie
should not be moved laterally through the deposited
concrete as this will disturb it.
When necessary to shift the position of tremie it
should lifted out of the concrete and moved to a
new position.

When large quantity of concrete is to be placed over
an extensive area it advisable to use a number of
When the concrete left at the bottom of the pipe in a
horizontal direction as the resistance from already
placed concrete increased, the pressure was relieved
vertically causing a change in the direction of lines
of force and formation of ball of pressure.
As the ball expanded it pushed the concrete out
word and upward until the prevented from further
expansion by the form or the internal friction of
When the tremie was raised enough so the
resistance to the flow was reduced sufficiently
to start the concrete flowing again, a new ball
of pressure was built up.
As this increased in size the previously formed
ball was split open and pushed outward and
The bucket for placing concrete under water is an
open top rectangular or cylindrical bucket with a
drop bottom or roller gate opening in the bottom.
the bucket should be completely filled and the top
covered with a canvas flap.
Care must be taken to prevent discharging the
bucket before it has reached the surface on which
the concrete is to be deposited, there by avoiding
dropping it through water.
Sounding at frequent interval is desirable to assist in
placing so that the top surface of the concrete is
kept level.
In this method the placing of coarse aggregate in the
forms, then injecting grout through pipes which
extends to the bottom of the forms.
The piping are withdrawn as grouting proceeds. The
grout forces the water out of the forms and fills the
interstices in aggregate.

Concrete pump
In this method concrete by pumping into position
without the use of separate tremie has been done.
The pipe is plugged at the bottom end and
lowered in water where concreting is to be done,
such as caissons or piers after removing muck from
Pumping of concrete was then started.
Underwater concrete deterioration in tidal and
splash zones is a serious economic problem.
Water that contains oxygen and contaminants can
cause aggressive attack on concrete.
Underwater repair of concrete is a specialized and
highly technical part of concrete repair
It presents problems of selecting appropriate
repair materials and methods, and maintaining
quality control not normally associated with
repair above water.

Marine organisms
Deficient construction practices and errors
Chemical attack
Mechanical damage
Freezing-and-thawing damage
Salt scaling
Marine organisms:
Acid attack from acid-producing bacteria:

Anaerobic, sulfate-reducing bacteria can produce
hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, if also
present, can oxidize the hydrogen sulfide to produce
sulfuric acid, common in sewers.
These acids attack portland cement paste in
concrete, dissolving the surface.
The acids can also lower the pH of the concrete to a
level where the reinforcement is no longer passivated.
Once this occurs, corrosion in the reinforcing steel
can begin, often at an accelerated rate
Deteriorated pile in tidal and Advanced deterioration the pile has
exposed zone been cleaned.
Chemical Attack:
Sulfate attack The chemical reactions that take
place between sulfate ions and Portland cement
result in reaction products that have a greater
Soft water attackSoft water has very low
concentrations of dissolved minerals, and may leach
calcium from the cement paste or aggregate. This
attack apparently takes place very slowly.
The design objective of the repair largely dictates
the type of repair used on a project.

For a minor spall or crack, a simple surface patch
or crack-injection system may be adequate to
provide protection to the reinforcing steel.

The severity of the damage often determines the
type of surface preparation, forming system,
reinforcement arrangement, and repair medium
used for the repairs.

ACI 546R contains considerable information on
repair design that is applicable to underwater

by using grouting
by using tremie
by using concrete pump
by hand placing
by free dump through water

By using Grouting:
Installation procedures:
All damaged or weakened concrete is first
removed to a predetermined depth or to sound
material, whichever is greater.
Where reinforcement is corroded, loose rust is
removed or the bars replaced or supplemented
as the situation requires. Applying bonding
agents is neither necessary nor desirable.
The method also has been widely applied to the
repair of piers supporting control gates on
spillways and hydroelectric outlet structures that
have suffered damage from ice abrasion or
freezing and thawing.
Tremie concrete is probably best suited for
larger-volume repair placements where the
tremie does not need to be relocated frequently,
or for deeper placements where pumping is
impractical. Tremie methods, however, have
successfully been used for small grout
placements, such as filling cavities.

By using Tremie:
By using Free dump through water.

Definition and descriptionFree dump through
water is the placement of freshly mixed concrete by
allowing it to fall through water without the benefit of
confinements such as a tremie pipe or pump line.
Anti-washout admixtures may or may not be used.

Typical usesThe free-dump method is used for
placing concrete containing anti-washout admixture
underwater in new construction and to repair old

Tremie and concrete by pumping are better methods
of concreting for U.W.C.
It was found that on this work that the rate of
hardening was faster than had been expected .the
surface of undisturbed concrete hardened within 45
minutes instead of several hours as might have been
Use of VMA in u.w.c. will not make concrete to
segregate and reduces anti washout properties.
The purpose of the addition of a VMA is to replace
or limit the addition of fines, thus making a fresh
concrete more cohesive.
As in any repair project, a complete understanding of
the conditions and an accurate appraisal of the
problem are essential to selecting the proper materials
and developing suitable repair procedures.
EFNARC www.efnarc.org ENC 179VMA r12,
Concrete information portland cement association,
no 33 wesr grand avenue, Chicago. Structure
buero.st12-1 to st12-2.
CORPORATION 110 Plains Rd , Essex, CT
800-USA-DIVE. www.uccdive.com
Guide to Underwater Repair of Concrete Reported
by ACI Committee 546.
Case study: www.hvfacprojectindia.com
M.sonebi and Khayat effect of mixture
composition on relative strength of highly flowable
underwater concreteACI materials journal/may-
June 2001.