test dispersion for the 4 x 8s, but concluded that thedifference was not statistically significant.In a 1993 study,
compressive strength data from 3and 6 in. (75 and 150 mm) diameter cylinders cast underlaboratory conditions were analyzed. It was found that thewithin-test COV for the smaller cylinders was approximately6%, whereas it was 3 to 4% for the larger cylinders.In a later study,
compressive strength data for 3, 4,and 6 in. (75, 100, and 150 mm) diameter concretecylinders from 20 publications were analyzed. Eight ofthese publications also contained data pertaining to thewithin-laboratory standard deviations for differentcylinder sizes, comprising a total of 122 data points. Itwas found that “[t]he coefficient of variation for strengthfor 100-mm [4-in.] cylinders is equivalent to that for150-mm [6-in.] cylinders over a broad range thatencompasses normal, high, and very high-strengthconcrete.”
The study concluded, “Some specificationsrequire the testing of two 150-mm [6-in.] cylinders todetermine strength. Due to the equivalence of coefficientsof variation, there is little justification for futurespecifications to require the testing of 3 rather than 2cylinders when 100-mm [4-in.] plastic molds are used.”The majority of the data in the literature were obtainedfrom tests of concrete cylinders cast and cured underlaboratory conditions. For acceptance testing, however,it’s important to examine data based on cylinders castand cured initially under field conditions that prevail inactual acceptance testing. A previous round robin study
evaluated the precision of tests using 4 x 8s cast andcured initially under field conditions. The COVs obtainedcompared favorably with published values in ASTM C39/C39M-05 for 6 x 12s cast and cured under field conditions.That study, however, did not make any direct comparisonsof the two cylinder sizes.
Although we do test cylinders at other ages, the majorityof our cylinders are broken at 28 days, and these are theonly tests included in our analysis. The cylinders are castand cured in the field in accordance with the requirementsfor standard curing in ASTM C31/C31M, stored in thelaboratory until age 28 days, and tested in accordancewith ASTM C39/C39M.Temperatures in the Minneapolis area vary from anaverage low of 4 °F (–16 °C) in January to an average highof 83 °F (28 °C) in July. Because of the wide range ofambient temperatures, proper field curing of the cylindershas always been one of the most challenging aspects ofASTM C31/C31M to meet consistently and in a cost-effectivemanner. While it’s fairly easy to control field curingtemperatures where dedicated curing containers areavailable and properly set up, it’s not always practical toprovide such curing containers for every concrete placement.On large or long-term projects we have both the leadtime and the resources to provide dedicated curingcontainers. For winter construction we use temperature-controlled enclosures or “hot boxes” to maintaintemperatures. These insulated containers are equippedwith thermostatically controlled electric heaters tomaintain the appropriate curing temperature.When temperatures rise to about 75 °F (24 °C), wenormally begin using water troughs or stock tanks.During warmer weather the curing temperatures aremaintained through the exchange or addition of coolwater, ice, or both to the tank.On shorter or smaller projects, such as residentialcurbing or small foundations, we typically don’t haveaccess to power for heating curing containers, nor is itpractical to deliver hot boxes or stock tanks to the site.For these projects we rely on a number of methods tomaintain proper temperatures. In late fall and earlyspring, when temperatures can drop near freezing, weuse insulated containers. Depending on the anticipatedtemperatures, we may provide additional insulation orput cylinder molds filled with hot water (which is generallyavailable from the concrete truck) in with the specimensfor additional warmth.During warm weather, we’ve had good success withwater-filled ice chests. When temperatures approach90 °F (32 °C) or above, we may also add to the ice chestsone or more 4 x 8 molds (marked for that use) filled withice. We monitor curing temperatures using digitalthermometers, predominately waterproof models, aswater is often used during field curing. These thermometersrecord the minimum and maximum temperaturesreached inside the curing container. We log these datainto our Laboratory Information Management System.
The Braun Intertec Materials Laboratory has beenaccredited by AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratorysince 1990. Our concrete laboratory technicians arerequired to maintain ACI certification for concretestrength testing.Cylinders arriving at the laboratory are matched tolabels generated by computer based on the data enteredby the technician in the field. The cylinders are strippedfrom the molds and labeled with sample identificationinformation, test date, and an “X” to indicate when
isgreater than or equal to 6000 psi (41.5 MPa). The cylindersare then transferred to the moist room, where 100%relative humidity is maintained. The ends of cylinderswith a specified strength of 6000 psi (41.5 MPa) or greaterand those not meeting the criteria of Section 9.5 (finishing)of ASTM C31/C31M or Section 6.2 (perpendicularity) ofASTM C39/C39M are cut off before testing. Cylinders witha specified strength of 6000 psi (41.5 MPa) or greater