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Team Members:

Navid Borjian
Dean Arthur
Rey Alcones
Angelique Fabbiani-Leon

SRJC Engr. 45
December 7, 2009
Concrete is composed mainly of cement (commonly Portland cement),
aggregate, water, and chemical admixtures.

Portland Cement Coarse Aggregate

Chemical Admixtures
Fine Aggregate
•Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing with water and placement due
to a chemical process known as hydration.
•The water reacts with the cement, which bonds the other components
together, eventually creating a stone-like material.
•Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world.
•The word concrete comes from the Latin word "concretus" (meaning
compact or condensed).
•The first major concrete users were the Egyptians in around 2,500 BC and
the Romans from 300 BC.

Opus caementicium laying bare on a tomb near Rome. In Outer view of the Roman Pantheon, still the largest
contrast to modern concrete structures, the concrete unreinforced solid concrete dome to this day.
walls of Roman buildings were covered, usually with
brick or stone.
•Concrete has many applications and is used to make pavements, pipe,
structures, foundations, roads, bridges/overpasses, walls and footings for
• Concrete has relatively high compressive strength, but significantly lower
tensile strength, and as such is usually reinforced with materials that are
strong in tension (often steel).

• The elasticity of concrete is relatively constant at low stress levels but starts
decreasing at higher stress levels as matrix cracking develops.

• Concrete has a very low coefficient of thermal expansion, and as it matures

concrete shrinks.

• All concrete structures will crack to some extent, due to shrinkage and

• Concrete can be damaged by fire, aggregate expansion, sea water effects,

bacterial corrosion, leaching, physical damage and chemical damage (from
carbonation, chlorides, sulfates and distillate water).
Types of Concrete:
• There are various types of concrete for different applications that are created by changing the proportions of the
main ingredients.

• The mix design depends on the type of structure being built, how the concrete will be mixed and delivered, and how
it will be placed to form the structure.

• Examples include:

• Regular concrete
• Pre-Mixed concrete
• High-strength concrete
• Stamped concrete
• High-Performance concrete
• UHPC (Ultra-High Performance Concrete)
• Self-consolidating concretes
• Vacuum concretes
• Shotcrete
• Cellular concrete
• Roller-compacted concrete
• Glass concrete
• Asphalt concrete
• Rapid strength concrete
• Rubberized concrete
• Polymer concrete
• Geopolymer or Green concrete
• Limecrete
• Gypsum concrete
• Light-Transmitting Concrete
Basic Composition for Main Concretes

Regular Concrete
Cement, Aggregate, and water

Geopolymer (Green concrete)

Fly Ash and Regular

High Strength Concrete ~<0.35%

Silica Fume
Strong Aggregates

Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC)

Coarse/Fine Aggregate
Silica Fume
Polypropylene Fibers
Our Samples:

• Sample 1:
Portland cement + coarse aggregate + fine aggregate + water

• Sample 2:
Portland cement + coarse aggregate + fine aggregate + water +
fly ash + water reducer

• Sample 3:
Portland cement + coarse aggregate + fine aggregate + water +
fly ash + water reducer + silica fume

• Sample 4:
Portland cement + coarse aggregate + fine aggregate + water +
fly ash + water reducer + silica fume + polypropylene fibers
Admixtures and Properties

There are two types of fly ash used
Fly Ash •
Being a pozzolan, fly ash has the
in concrete which is classified as ability to act cementitious with the
Class-C and Class-F. presence of cement and water. This
• Class-F is more widely used process is able to happen because
because it is made from the burning of fly having silica and alumina.
of older anthracite (i.e. black coal ,
black diamond, etc.) which is in
• Fly ash on a micro level takes the
abundance, with an opposing
form of a sphere which allows the
amount of uses.
particle to fit easily within the pores
• Fly ash that is not used in concrete of the concrete. This circular form of
is poured in landfills with it’s micro the fly ash also allows the concrete
dust particles to flutter in the to be more fluid and workable. When
atmosphere. it comes to setting the concrete, it’s
• As far as human health is concern, a benefit for workers by it having
fly ash in itself contains traces of this feature making it easier to place.
heavy metals which pertains to
arsenic, selenium, lead, and more.

•For every ton of Portland cement one ton of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Decreasing the
amount of Portland cement would lower the carbon emissions. Replacing this portion with fly ash would help with
decreasing the amount of Portland cement needed as well as making use for the ash that would otherwise be put
in landfills or the factories.
• Decreasing the amount of water is always a benefit when it comes to cement. Fly ash lowers the amount of
water needed because it’s smoother and spherical shape on a micro level allows the concrete to have more
consistency without plasticizing with more water.
•Fly ash lowers the amount of voids (compared to regular cement) because of the particles’ small size.
Silica Fume

• When silica is in combination of alkali

which is found in the concentration of
concrete a destructive reaction occurs.
When alkali is in the presence of silica
hydroxyl ions expansion occurs causeing
crakes, which is why a low-alkali cement
is used in the presence of silica fume.
• Silica fume, like fly ash, is a pozzolan
and has cement properties. Silica fume Benefits
as the ability to act as if it were cement
(with the presence of water and cement •When concrete has silica fume the strength is greatly increased,
of course) because its’ extremely small having an average compressive strength of 15,000psi.
particles (at the size of about 1/100th to a • With silica fume being very resistant to corrosion, concrete with
cement particle) , having a considerable silica fume is now being used in bridges and for rebuilding older
amount of silicon dioxide, and large structures.
surface area makes the admixture an •Silica fume molecules have the ability to combine with calcium
hydroxide (which is exhaled from the cement during the
active pozzolan.
hydration process) which increases the cement’s overall
• When concrete has silica fume and low durability.
water the outcome of the concrete •Since silica fume’s particle is extremely small which makes it
becomes highly resistant which causes able to fit into the voids made from the spacing between the
penetration by chloride ions. cements’ particle, it reduces permeability. Being a microfiller
helps protect the reinforcing steel from the concrete.
• Polypropylene is a recent additive to cement as of the 1960s,
whereas other fibers are underway of being tested strength
wise for concrete.

•When regular concrete is under a great amount of compression it will spilt and deform on the spot into separate
pieces once it reaches its greatest tensile load. Mixing sporadically polypropylene fibers into the cement will
balance this effect by attaching to the other piece that wants to spilt away and maintain both sides for a longer

•With the addition of polypropylene fiber in the mixture of concrete it enhances the toughness and tensile strength. When
concrete is by itself it has the tendency to be very brittle especially in the area of a tensile test which is where the fibers
come into play to build in where regular concrete lags, which can increase the compressive strength to a dramatic level.

•In coastal areas there is a high concentration of chloride ions from the salty air, this creates corrosion with the steel
product which produces rust as a result. This rust has the capacity to expand four to ten times larger than the iron causing
a large expansion which makes crakes and voids. Polypropylene fibers now are underway in replacing the reinforcing
steel in concrete, which has a much greater strength and can reach up to 20k psi.
Making Our
Slump Test
• The goal of the test is to measure the
consistency of concrete through out the mix.

• "Slump" is simply a term coined to describe how

consistent a concrete sample is.

• The test also further determines the workability

of concrete, how easy is it to handle, compact,
and cure concrete.

• By adjusting the cement-water ratio or adding

plasticizers to increase the slump of the concrete
will give a desired mix.
• Fill one-third of the cone with the concrete mixture. Then
tamp the layer 25 times using the steel rod in a circular
motion, making sure not to stir.

• Add more concrete mixture to the two-thirds mark. Repeat

tamping for 25 times again. Tamp just barely into the
previous layer(1")

• Fill up the whole cone up to the top with some excess

concrete coming out of top, then repeat tamping 25 times.
(If there is not enough concrete from tamping compression,
stop tamping, add more, then continue tamping at previous

• Remove excess concrete from the opening of the slump

cone by using tamping rod in a rolling motion until flat.
• Slowly and carefully remove the cone by
lifting it vertically (5 seconds +/- 2
seconds), making sure that the concrete
sample does not move.
• After the concrete stabilizes, measure the
slump-height by turning the slump cone
upside down next to the sample, placing
the tamping rod on the slump cone and
measuring the distance from the rod to the
original displaced center.
• A change in slump height would
demonstrate an undesired change in the
ratio of the concrete ingredients; the
proportions of the ingredients are then
adjusted to keep a concrete batch
consistent. This homogeneity improves the
quality and structural integrity of the cured
Data & Results

What We Learned
Our Procedures
• Test first sample at 11 days, second sample at 18 days.

• Test third sample (comprised of two cylinders) at 25 days.

• First two samples and one of the third samples loaded wet
side down.

• Last sample loaded dry side down.

• Photograph and record ultimate failure loads.

Common Failure Modes
Our Failure Modes
Test 1
Sample 1 Sample 2

Load:28000# Load:32000#
Psi:990 Psi:1132

Sample 3 Sample 4

Load:38500# Load:33000#
Psi:1362 Psi:1167
Our Failure Modes
Test 2
Sample 1 Sample 2

Load:46000# Load:25500#
Psi:1626 Psi:902

Sample 3 Sample 4

Our Failure Modes
Test 3 (Two Cylinders)
Sample 1 Sample 2

(Averaged) (Averaged)
Load: 33750# Load:28250#
Psi:1194 Psi:999

Sample 3 Sample 4

(Averaged) Load:41500#
Load:39500# Psi:1468
Results from Data
Concrete Age/Admixture Strengthening
Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3 Sample 4




Pressure (Kilo-Pounds)







9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27
Cure Time (Days)
Interpretation of Data
• General trend of all samples (except sample 2) were

• Silica Fume and Silica Fume/Fiber mix did appear to

increase overall compressive strength.

• Fly Ash data may be inconclusive when considering other

sample’s upward trends.

• Appears that all samples may have been affected more by

the constant water ratio (.45) than admixtures.
Potential Sources of Error
(Based on Standardized Testing Methods)

• “A test result is the average of at least two standard-

cured strength specimens made from the same
concrete sample and tested at the same age. In most
cases strength requirements for concrete are at an
age of 28 days”

• “To provide for a uniform load distribution when

testing, cylinders are capped generally with sulfur

• “The loading rate on a hydraulic machine should be

maintained in a range of 20 to 50 psi/s”
• Failure mode observed was non standard, but appears
potentially related to machined grooves in testing

• Lack of over-all data points makes first two tests

relatively inconclusive.

• Concrete never reached potential compressive

strength (even with anomalous samples).

• Water Ratios appear to affect compressive strength

more than admixtures.
• Images:
• http://img.ecplaza.com/my/metfabExportHouse/7.jpg
• http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/pccp/pubs/04150/images/fig138.gif
• http://www.buildinggreentv.com/files/u5/concrete.jpg
• http://www.luxuryhousingtrends.com/artistic-concrete-flooring.jpg
• http://www.engineeringfiber.com/images/products/polypropylene_fiber.jpg

• Text:
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite
• http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Foundations/fly-ash-concrete
• http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/us/25sludge.html
• http://www.silicafume.org/general-silicafume.html
• http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_admixtures/silica_fume.htm
• http://www.uritc.uri.edu/media/finalreportspdf/536101.pdf
• www.nrmca.com/aboutconcrete/cips/35p.pdf
Superior Supplies Inc.
40 Ridgway Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 546-7864

Very special thanks to Burt Lockwood and everyone

at Superior Supplies Inc.! As a group we cannot
express enough how much we appreciate the help,
materials, time and knowledge given to us for this
concrete compression project!