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Published by Ratna Sai

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Published by: Ratna Sai on Jun 29, 2012
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Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and othercementitious materials such as coarse aggregate, fine aggregate,waterandchemical admixtures. Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing with water and placement due to achemical processknown ashydration.The water reacts with the cement, which bonds the other components together, eventually creating robust stone-like material. Concrete is by farthe most widely used construction material today. Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world. As of 2006, about 7.5 billion cubic meters of concrete are madeeach year more than one cubic meter for every person on Earth. It is used to makepavements, pipe,architectural structures, foundations,motorways/roads, bridges /overpasses, parking structures, brick  /block walls,footingsfor gates,fencesandpolesand evenboats.Its success and popularity may be largely attributed to (1) durability under hostile environment (2) easewith which it can be cast into a variety of shapes and sizes, and (3) its relative economy andeasy availability. The main strength of concrete lies in its compression bearing ability, whichsurpasses that of traditional material like brick and stone masonry.Concrete is remarkably strong in compression, but it is equally remarkably weak intension. Its tensile strength is approximately one tenth of compressive strength. Due to this,concrete is weak in bending, shear and torsion. Hence the use of plain concrete is limited toapplications where great compressive strength and weight are principal requirements andwhere tensile stresses are either totally absent or are extremely low. However, to use cementconcrete for common structures such as beams, slab, retaining wall etc; steel bars may beplace at tensile zone of the structure which may be concrete, take the tensile stresses. Theconcrete so obtained is termed as reinforcement cement concrete, commonly abbreviated asR.C.C.Reinforced concrete, prestressed concreteandprecast concreteare the most widely used types of concrete in modern days.
FIG: 1.1. Largest
man made-island PALM DEIRA Of DUBAIEgyptian pyramids were constructed by concrete, but this type of concrete might havesome different composition. Roman concrete was made from quick 
lime, pozolana and an
aggregate of pumice concrete, as the Roman‘s knew, it was new and revolutionar 
y materials,laid in the shape of arches, vaults and domes of the internal rusts and strain. Modern
structural concrete differs from Roman‘s concrete into two important details: First, its mixed
consistency is fluid and homogenous and it is to be poured into forms rather than requiringhand layering together with the placement of aggregate which in Roman, often consisted of rubble. Second, integral reinforcing steels gives modern concrete assemblies great strength intension ,whereas Roman concrete could depends only upon the strength of the concretebonding to resist the tension.
A Drexel University professor has determined that the GreatPyramids of Giza are constructed with a combination of not only carved stones but the firstblocks of limestone-based concrete cast by any civilization.
FIG: 1.2.The Great PyramidsOne of the ultimate aims of studying the various properties of the materials of concrete, plastic concrete and hardened concrete is to enable a concrete technologist to designa concrete mix of particular strength. The design of concrete mix is not a simple task onaccount of the widely varying properties of the constituent materials, the condition thatprevails at the site of work for which the mix is designed. Thus mix design can be defined asthe process of selecting suitable ingredients of concrete and determining their relativeproportions with the object of producing concrete of certain minimum strength and durabilityas economically as possible. The purpose of designing as can be seen from the abovedefinitions is twofold. The first object is to achieve the stipulated minimum strength. Thesecond object is to make the concrete in the most economical manner.The relationship between aggregate and paste are the two essential ingredients of concrete. Workability of mass is provided by the lubricating effect of the paste and isinfluenced by the amount of dilution of paste. The strength of concrete is limited by theamount of dilution of paste, since little water flows through aggregate either under pressureor by the capillarity. Further, the predominant contribution to drying shrinkage of concrete isthat of paste. Since the properties of the concrete are governed to a considerable extent by thepaste, it is helpful to consider more closely the structure of the paste. The fresh paste is asuspension, not a solution of cement and water.The more dilute the paste, the greater the spacing between cement particles, and thus theweaker will be the ultimate paste structure. The other conditions being equal, for workablemixes, the strength of concrete varies as an inverse function of the water
cement ratio. Since

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