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ditors Note …2
osters ………. 3
Civil Engineering Magazine
We are much obliged with
your responses and happy to be a part of
India is a land of agriculture & the work
force we use in the construction feld most-
ly originates from here.
In construction industry we have many is-
sues that creates bottle necks in achieving
required productivity & Quality.
Some of them are
- Un educated & Un trained work force
- Non availability of same person
throughout the duration of the project
We in L&T have taken up major initiatives
in training & developing the rural workers
through Construction skill training insti-
tutes ( CSTI ).
Still there is a large gap in the demand Vs
Supply of the qualifed work force.
This gap cannot be fulflled easily in the
Meanwhile our works are sufering in Qual-
ity & productivity.
In order to tackle this issue , we have to ana-
lyse the problem & frame a system to tackle
the issue now!
Our problem is in front of us we can ensure
the self regulation.
We don't have trained skilled or experi-
enced skilled work force.
Many sites have taken up the issue & estab-
lished screening , training & encouraging
Even if the worker is trained at site in par-
ticular activity say concreting or masonry ,
there is no guarantee that he will continue
for considerable amount of time.
Hence the site engineers & supervisors job
is getting compounded day be day and he is
spending major portion of his time in con-
trolling the work force & rectifying the de-
fects they generated through the work.
It is established fact that “Awareness is the
key to Improvement “.
PT&D IC—Civil Engineering department
believes in this concept & had initiated frst
of its kind step to bring in awareness in the
workers on continuous basis.
Series of posters on workmanship require-
ments were prepared in English , Hindi &
other vernacular languages. This efort is
frst of its kind in construction industry .
Several day to day activities are made in to
Posters and simple language is used to ex-
TSR Bangar Raj u
plain along with appropriate pictures.
As pictures are worth a million words ….,
this concept is the foundation for this de-
velopment. These posters were deployed in
pilot project sites of PT&D and that the
same was well received by staf and workers.
These posters are displayed at prominent
places especially in the assembly area and
Along with this , the efectiveness could be
multifold if PEPTALK is included on the
work methods on daily basis.
Few minutes with the workers in the begin-
ning of every day can bring dramatic
change in their ability to transform to a pro-
We have experienced the power of pep talk
in many walks of our life , right from the as-
sembly sessions in our school to safety pep
talks at our work place.
Hence this can bring a change in workers
mindset & prompt them to adhere to our
standards as time passes by.
This brings in a silent revolution on work-
manship improvement , workers develop-
ment & thus Nation building.
Let us join this movement & bring a change
in our work place.
We call this silent transformation—be a
part of it.
The posters are uploaded in the EIP -Vidya
website. Click on the link given on page—4
You can download the same & print it to A
Zero size fex Boards and display them
where needed & easily seen by all.
We invite your suggestions to improve the
content. Please write to us at
email@example.com for improvisation.
In this month, we have detailed on the ac-
ceptance criteria of concrete in its real
We hope this topic will be of immense use
to Quality Engineers & to all.
We regret for the delay in publishing the
Knowledge Tree—July Issue.
This month is having few important events.
July is observed as Doctors day in India .
July is observed as Guru Purnima
July is observed as International
to Down load
oncrete is a versatile material of the 21st
century. It can be molded in to any
shape or size and can be made to suit to
With the same ingredients and varying proportion
we can obtain diferent concrete grades. The grades
of concrete is designated as M 20 or 25 or 30 Etc.
The M-stands for Mix & the remaining part
stands for the strength of the concrete in N/mm2.
Concrete is stronger in Compression & weaker in
Tension—it is a known fact to all. But the strength
is obtained in concrete with
¬ Careful selection of ingredients
¬ Carrying Mix design for fxing the propor-
tions to suit to the sources.
¬ Following strict Quality control measures
¬ Ensuring proper sampling techniques
¬ Careful curing of the member
Several Quality control measures have to be taken
for ensuring good Product which satisfes the stand-
ards or specifcations of the project.
Diferent countries have diferent criteria's for ac-
In India we follow
1. IS 456—2000 with Amendment—3 for deciding
the acceptance of concrete.
2. Where specifcation demands we may have to
adopt those requirements. For example , for
railways Jobs we use RVNL(Rail Vikas Nigam
Limited ) specifcation criteria.
3. For National Highway / Road Jobs we use
MORTH ( Ministry of Road Transport & High-
ways ) specifcation.
Where as internationally many standard have their
own criteria's for the concrete acceptance.
British standard sets criteria in BS 8110 .
These criteria's are important in deciding the ac-
ceptability of concrete grade.
Many people believe & presume that when a cube is
failed the concrete is failed. But it is not so.
Many factors efects the concrete cube casting & the
subsequent test there on.
The following are the general issues that takes place
in concrete cube failure.
Inbuilt factors : ( Factors that afect concrete
quality & strength )
+ Incorrect selection of material for concrete use
+ Improper quality control mechanism adopted
for material tests.
+ Non adherence to Mix design requirements
+ Improper Batch plant which is out of calibration
+ Un controlled addition of water
Factors that doesn't afect the concrete quality
but reduces the cube strength:
^ Sampling defects
^ Curing inadequacy of the cubes
^ Cube mould disfguring / out of size & Shape
^ Calibration defects of testing machine.
^ Technicians skill or training inadequacy
^ Incorrect placement of cubes in the machine &
So Standard has set criteria for acceptance of con-
crete taking in to the above possible errors in to
The errors that are inbuilt factors produce defective
concrete , where as for the other factors as men-
tioned above the concrete is not defective. But the
sampling , testing mechanism & methods are defec-
In order to know whether the concrete poured is
passing or failing the required grade we must not
rely on a single cube , rather on set of cubes that
represents the complete pour.
If one cube from a complete set gets less strength
than the required grade we must not label it as fail-
The following both criteria must be satisfed to ac-
cept the concrete grade.
Primarily the concrete can be accepted or rejected
based on the grade of it or as per Table—2 of IS 456.
However to evaluate the concrete grade statistically
we must satisfy the following criteria from IS 456—
A. The individual cube result shall not be less than
B. The average determined from any group of 4
consecutive non overlapping test results shall
not be less than f
To understand better , let us consider the cube test
results of M25 grade concrete cast on a given day .
of concrete was cast at a site & 9 samples
were taken ( 3 specimens per sample )the results are
as given in the following table.
1. First check whether all the samples are having
strength more or equal to F
In this case two
specimens found to have less than F
value of 25
Though the sample strength is less than specifed
grade ( 25 N/mm2 ) we can’t reject the concrete
right away. But we need to verify the Acceptance
criteria per Section 16.1.
2. Second check whether the individual specimen
difers from average of the 3 specimens in the
sample. If there is a variation more than ± 15%
then that sample shall be rejected or not to be
taken in to consideration for acceptance criteria.
( it doesn't mean that the concrete representing
the sample is rejected )
3. Check whether any individual specimen is less
—3. In our illustration, none of them are
less than the same.
4. Then arrange the samples ( average of 3 speci-
mens ) in groups of 4 ( with out using the same
sample again ).
5. Take the average of the 4 samples. (consecutive
non overlapping sample results ). Out of the ver-
ifcation , even if any one sample passes the F
+3 requirement along with check on step—4 ,
the concrete grade is accepted.
Final Result : As both the criteria's are met , the
grade is accepted.
For all the above purposes the frequency of concrete
cube casting as mentioned in IS 456—Section 15.2.2
must be followed.
In case the frequency of sampling is not mentioned
in the specifcation or in tender , then the maxi-
mum concrete that 4 consecutive test results repre-
sents must be limited to 60m
This means when concrete is carried in small batch-
es , then to evaluate the grade of concrete , the total
quantity of all such concretes must not exceed
. ( this concrete may be carried in same day or
in 2 or 3 days ).
In order to ensure that such low strength doesn't
arise , we need to check the sampling methods
adopted & correct them where necessary.
If the result doesn't satisfy the above requirements
Sample -1 28 26.00 8%
Sample -2 27 28.67 -6%
Sample -3 30 29.33 2%
Sample -4 29 29.67 -2%
Sample -5 29 28.00 4%
Sample -6 29 27.00 7%
Sample -7 29 29.33 -1%
Sample -8 33 31.00 6%
Sample -9 30 28.00 7%
This result is higher
than 15% hence
Mean of 4
25 + 3 =
25 - 3 = 22
Mean of 4
Sample results Evaluation
then further investigation need to be carried using
NDT techniques .
For the railway projects in India the acceptance
criteria is applied as below:
For the frst 5 sets
A. The average strength determined from any
group of the three consecutive test cubes ex-
ceeds the specifed characteristic strength +o.6X
B. Only one individual test cube in any set may be
below 0.95X specifed characteristic strength
After 5 sets
The average strength of any 15 consecutive cubes
exceeds the specifc characteristic cube strength +
0.9 X current margin
All the subsequent results are accepted if
A. The average strength of any group of three con-
secutive test cubes exceeds the specifed charac-
teristic strength + 0.6 X current margin.
B. Only one individual cube test result in any set
may fail below the specifed characteristic
strength provided that his value is not less than
0.9 X characteristic strength.
Current margin for all grades is 9.
As per MORTH specifcation , concrete grade is
accepted only when both the conditions are
A. The mean strength determined from any group
of four consecutive samples exceed specifed
B. Strength of any sample is not less than the speci-
fed characteristic compressive strength—3 N/
3. CARRIED TO PROMOTE HYDRATION OF
5. VERSATILE MATERIAL IN CONSTRUC-
8. ENSURES REPRESENTETIVE IS EQUAL
9. LOSING SHAPE OR SIZE
10. STANDS FOR M IN GRADE OF CON-
1. INHERENT CHARECTER OF THE MATE-
2. ONE OF THE INGREDIENT IN CON-
CRETE THAT IS NON REACTIVE
4. NEEDED TO USE A MACHINE OR CARRY
5. BINDING MATERIAL IN CONCRETE
6. NATIONAL HIGHWAY AUTHORITY OF
7. CARRIED TO CHECK EQUIPMENTS AC-
Disclaimer : No part of this publication shall be reproduced without the written permission from the Editors. The views
expressed here need not be the views of the L&T—Construction . L&T doesn't take any responsibility of what so ever for the views expressed by the Editors / Authors. This is for the
S Ramya Sri
G Anitha Nivashini
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