Portland Cement Institute

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Eastern Cape Regional Office

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Cement and concrete

ISBN 0 620 10002 X

Published by Portland Cement Instm~re, Midrand, l&vised 1986

Foreword
This booklet has been written for those who wish to acquire a general knowledge of concreting practice without having to delve too deeply into concrete technology. Background information has nevertheless been provided. to explain the basic properties of cements and concretes. It may seem incongruous that, in a booklet largely devoted to the properties of cement and concrete. one single application has been treated in detail: namely, floor construction. Concrete flooring merits particular attention. since the disinte,gration of floors and floor toppings is possibly the commonest type of constructional failure encountered in this country. It is hoped that this booklet will contribute to an improvement in the use of concrete in South Africa. JOHANNESBURG July, 1967

Contents
Page 3 Glossary 5 Chapter 1 Properties of concrete 14 Chapter 2 Materials 26 Chapter 3 Mix and mix design 36 Chapter 4 How to make good concrete 45 Chapter 5 Sand-cement mixes Chapter 6 Concrete floors on the ground 52 and floor finishes 63 Chapter 7 Defects and repairs 68 Appendices

Glossary
Admixture
A material other than aggregate, cement or water added in small quantities during the mixing of concrete to produce some desired modification in its properties.

Cement
The word cemenr refers to any material used for bonding together separate parts to form a single whole. For example, such diverse materials as bitumen, carpenter’s glue, putty, lime and eve” mud may correctly be regarded as cements. In this booklet however, we are concerned only with building materials and we can therefore limit our discussion to cements used for constructional purposes. Of these, portland cements are the best know” and the most widely used. It should be clearly understood that portland is not a trade or brand name, but applies to a particular type of constructional cement manufactured from certain raw materials using a certain process. The portland cements are classified as hydraulic cements because they have the property of hardening when exposed to water; the hardening process involves the reaction between the cement and water. This type of chemical reaction is know” as hydration.

Aggregates
Materials which are mixed with cement and water to provide bulk in concrete or mortar. For convenience, aggregates are generally classified, on a basis of particle size, asfine aggregate (sand) or coarse aggregate (stone). Fine aggregate consists mainly of particles which will pass through a sieve having 4,75 mm square openings. Coarse aggregate is made up of particles which are mainly larger than 4,75 mm. Of the many different materials which may be used as aggregate, sand and stone are by far the most common.

Bleeding and settlement
Once fresh concrete has been placed and compacted, the solid particles, being of a higher density than water, tend to settle while the water tends to migrate upwards. After a time a film of water may be visible on the top of the concrete; this is known as bleed water. Bleeding, accompanied by settlement of the solids, continues until the concrete sets. The extent or amount of bleeding varies from mix to mix and depends also on the temperature of the concrete. 3

Cement: water ratio
The ratio of the mass of cement to the total mass of water in the mix. The strength of a concrete or a mortar depends very largely upon the cementwater ratio.

Concrete
I” the broadest sense, any muxure ot aggregates, cement and water can be regarded

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