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Concrete Technology

Concrete Technology

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Published by eskinderm

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Published by: eskinderm on Aug 12, 2009
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11/25/2015

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Setting time means the time required for stiffening of
cement paste to a defined consistency. There are two
important limits on time scale which are important for setting
of cement:

(i)Initial setting time
(ii)Final setting time.

(i) Initial setting time

By definition it is the time from addition of water to a
time when the paste starts losing its plasticity. The test is
conducted using ‘Vicat’s apparatus’. A needle of size 1 mm2
is used for measuring the penetration. 500 g of cement is
taken and water equal to 0.85 ‘P’ is added to make paste
and the test is conducted at 27+2o

C. The needle is lowered
till it touches the top surface of paste in the mould and then
tightened. The needle is then quickly released and
penetration is recorded. Initially it may go down and touch
the bottom. As the time passes and the paste stiffens, the
penetration of the needle will reduce. The test is repeated till
such time when the needle is 5 mm (+0.5 mm) above bottom
of mould. This time is called ‘Initial setting time’. When the
test is repeated, the mould should be slightly displaced so
that the needle doesnt penetrate at the same location.

(ii) Final setting time

It is the time from addition of water to the time when
paste completely loses its plasticity. The earlier test is
continued but with the changed needle. This needle has

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special attachment such that when the penetration is more
than 0.5 mm, there will be two impressions on cement
paste, one of main needle and second of a circular cutting
edge. But there will be only one impression of main needle
when penetration is less than 0.5 mm.

Therefore ‘final setting time’ is the time from addition
of water to the time when the penetration is just less than
0.5 mm or when the circular cutting edge fails to make an
impression on the cement paste.

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