Masters Thesis Proposal

Case Study on Ready Mixed Concrete Industry In Ethiopian Construction Industry, its advantages And Challenges

By Haftamu Girmay Addis Ababa University School of Graduate Studies Construction Technology and Management

Advisor Professor Abebe Dinku Department of Civil Engineering

Submitted June 26, 2008

Contents of Thesis Proposal: o Motivation and Focus o Parties Involved in Construction Projects o Ready Mixed Concrete Advantages o Ready Mixed Concrete Industry Status in the world o Feasibility of the introduction of the Industry o Benefit of my Research for the Construction Industry o Methodology o Time Table o Chapter Outline of Thesis o Reference

Introduction: Ready mixed concrete is a specialized material in which cement, aggregate, and other ingredients of concrete are weigh batched at a plant in a central or truck mixer before delivery to the construction site in a condition ready for placing by the customer The main topic of discussion for my thesis will be analyzing the feasibility of introduction of this industry to our country’s construction industry, its advantages and challenges. There are three main parties in the RMC industry; the supplier, contractor who is in charge of placing the concrete, the designer who is responsible for designing structures and specifies the quality of the material and inspects it execution methods. Each of these parties in the will be at one point fully responsible for the quality of the supplied concrete during or after its construction. Ready mixed concrete is first patented in Germany in 1903, but means of transporting was not sufficiently developed by then to enable the concept to be utilized commercially. The first commercial delivery of ready mixed concrete was made in Baltimore, USA in 1913 and the first revolving-drum-type transit mixer, of a much smaller capacity than those available to day,


was born in 1926. In 1920s and 1930s, ready mixed concrete was introduced in some European countries. The ‘short’ life of fresh concrete, with only 2 to 3 hours before it must be placed, results in ready mixed concrete being a very much local delivery service which is manufactured at a place away from the construction site, the two locations being linked with by a transport operation, with rarely 30-60 minutes journey. RMC has to be both a product and a delivery service and it has fit in with the consumer’s construction program. Hence the ready mixed concrete supplier is in two separate businesses, processing materials and transporting product with a very short life. When we refer to the customer, we are speaking in effect of two customers. As far as the product is concerned, concrete must satisfy not only the person who is using it, the builder or contractor, but also the authority responsible for defining the properties. However, the ready mixed supplier has only one contract and that is with the builder or contractor and relies on the latter to define exactly the requirements of the specifying authority (engineer). The introduction of ready mixed concrete has gradually replaced the operation in which the contractor made his own concrete on site. When RMC is first introduced, engineers and contractors with considerable expertise in concrete production and quality control were suspicious of the quality of this new product, whose manufacture was no longer under their control. Ready mixed concrete suppliers need to have stringent quality control for their product and its delivery, so that customer’s apprehensions regarding the quality of concrete supplied by them are taken care. It will take a while before the customer places his confidence and trust in the product and services offered by the supplier. Through literature surveys, I am currently researching and will explain in full detail the different types Batching plants in the world and the status of the industry world wide will be presented in the introduction and first section of my thesis.


The two parties, the contractor and the engineer, expect a lot from the RMC supplier regarding the assurance of the quality of his product. Ready-mix concrete is a type of concrete that is manufactured in a factory or batching plant, according to a set recipe, and then delivered to a worksite, by truck mounted transit mixers. This results in a precise mixture, allowing specialty concrete mixtures to be developed and implemented on construction sites. Ready-mix concrete is sometimes preferred over on-site concrete mixing because of the precision of the mixture and reduced worksite confusion. However, using a pre-determined concrete mixture reduces flexibility, both in the supply chain and in the actual components of the concrete. The advantage versus the challenges will be critically analyzed and it will be verified that Ready Mixed Concrete, due to the ability to customize its properties for different applications and its strength and durability to withstand a wide variety of environmental conditions, is one of the most versatile and economical building materials than the currently used site mixed concrete. Methodology: The information regarding the ready Mixed Concrete, advantages, and challenges, will be collected through a literature survey on the topic of Ready Mixed Conrete. This information includes the work of others, but it is to be used only to set the stage for my thesis work. A thorough understanding of why Ready Mixed Concrete is preferable than site mixed concrete and what will be the social and environmental challenges in doing so should be addressed besides its quality and economical benefits and the role of each party should be identified and addressed


Quantitative data of Ready Mixed Concrete suppliers in the world industry will be collected regard to size, location, initial investment, and the type of the plants and will be customized to suit the Ethiopian construction context. From this data collected on the industry’s status. I will be able to indicate the feasibility of the introduction of the industry to our country’s construction industry with respect to the benefit of the Ready Mixed Concrete by minimizing its disadvantages. The next phase of research will be observational research of the process that takes place to determine which party will responsible for what type of failure or inconveniences in the supply of Ready Mixed Concrete from the Ready Mixed Concrete suppliers in Ethiopia and how to enhance and change their experience in to Ready Mixed Concrete Industry of Ethiopia. This will most likely include sitting in on meetings between the contractors, Ready Mixed Concrete suppliers, owners of the project, and project managers on site. Time Table: September 2008: Selection of advisor from department in intended research area. Definition of thesis topic was finalized and the initial search for literature began. November 2008: Complete literature survey of Ready Mixed Concrete Industry. Begin formal thesis introduction on researched material. Thesis proposal is completed and handed in. December 2008: Analyze gathered data from World wide Ready Mixed Concrete industry. Collect extra data from local sources and complete discussion and recommendation, and conclusion sections of thesis. March 2009: Revise completed rough draft and prepare final thesis presentation.


Chapter Outline of Thesis: Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Objectives and Motivation 1.2 Thesis Organization Chapter 2: Observation of the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry 2.1 Visual Assessment 2.2 Types of Batching Plants in the market 2.3 Process adopted for different types of plants Chapter 3: Economical and Environmental Analysis 3.1 Initial cost of the plant 3.2 Construction site location 3.3 Placing and Handling of Concrete Mix 3.4 Temperature Change effects on the supply 3.5 Delivery Methods 3.5 Distance Vs. economy consideration Chapter 4: Technological benefits of the Ready Mixed Concrete 4.1 Intrinsic Cracks 4.1.1 Plastic Shrinkage 4.1.2 Plastic Settlement 4.1.3 Early Thermal Contraction Cracks 4.1.4 Long-term Shrinkage 4.1.5 Crazing Cracks 4.1.6 Corrosion of Reinforcements 4.1.7 Alkali-Aggregate Reaction 4.2 Flexural and Shear Cracks 4.3 Temperature Cracks 4.4 Manufacturing and Shipment Cracks 4.5 Structural vs. Non-Structural 4.6 Cracks due to Inadequate Loading 4.6.1 Shear Cracks 4.6.2 Torsion Cracks 4.6.3 Tensile Cracks 4.6.4 Compression Cracks 4.6.5 Flexural Cracks 4.7 Miscellaneous Cracks Chapter 5: Feasibility of the industry to Ethiopian construction industry 5.1 The plant Operation System 5.1.1 Batching plant types 5.1.2 Central Batching type 5.1.3 Method of Mixing


5.1.4 Site Layout 5.1.5 Auxiliary equipments on site 5.1.6 Method of supply of Cement 5.1.7 Material storage requirements 5.1.8 Working hour considerations 5.2 Technological Advancements 5.2.1 Automated Plants 5.2.2 Customization of Products 5.2.3 Logistical advancements Chapter 6: Responsibility and Specifications of Ready Mixed Concrete 6.1 Designer 6.2 Contractor 6.3 Owner 6.4 Supplier Chapter 7: Discussion and Conclusions Chapter8: Summary and Recommendations; Future Research



A.R. Santhakumar, Concrete Technology,Emeritus professor, Department of Civil engineering,Indian institute of technology (Madras) Chennai1st edition, 2007 National Ready Mixed Concrete Association journal Concrete in practice what, why, and how? CIP-31-Ordering Ready Mixed Concrete Chad Syverson, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, and Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Journal of Economic Perspective, Markets, Ready-Mixed Concrete U.S Army Corps of Engineers. Evaluation and Repair of Concrete Structures. June, 1995. Accessed, October 2003.


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