You are on page 1of 24

4 Concrete Placement

Classes of Structural Concrete Concrete Plant Inspection


Types of Plants Plant Technician

Preparations for Concrete Placement


Plan Review Site Preparations Weather Restrictions

Concrete Delivery
Delivery Equipment Delivery Tickets

Field Tests
Recording Test Results

Concrete Placement
Segregation Consolidation of Concrete Construction oints Special Cases

Finishing Concrete Surfaces


!inishing "earing #reas $ther Surface Treatments

Curing Substructure Concrete


Cold Water Curing

Method of Measurement and Basis for Payment

C !PT"# F$%#& C$%CRETE P&#CE'E%T


The major topics to be discussed in this chapter are: 1) 2) 3) 4) ) !) #) Classes of concrete Concrete plants Preparations for concrete delivery Field tests Concrete placement Concrete finishin" Curin" methods

Technicians are re$uired to have a basic %no&led"e of concrete used in brid"e construction and the plants that produce the concrete' (uch an understandin" helps to form a cooperative relationship bet&een the Technicians at the plant and the Technicians in the field' C'!SS"S $F ST#%CT%#!' C$(C#"T" (tructural concrete is produced as Class )* Class +* and Class C' The differences bet&een the classes are in the cement and a""re"ate contents and &ater,cementitious ratios' +rid"e construction often re$uires the use of all three classes of concrete' For e-ample* the plans may re$uire Class + concrete for the footin"s* Class ) for the piers and bents* and Class C for the dec%s and railin"s' The .otes section of the /eneral Plan sheet lists the classes of concrete to be used' The +ill of 0aterials section on the detail sheets also lists these classes' 1n most cases* the Contractor may substitute Class C concrete for Class ) concrete and Class ) or Class C concrete for Class + concrete'

421

The materials used in the production of structural concrete include combinations of the follo&in": 1) 2) 3) 4) ) Fine and coarse a""re"ates Portland cement Fly ash 3a coal by2product) 4ater )dmi-tures* includin" retarders* accelerators* &ater reducers* and air entrainin" a"ents

C$(C#"T" P'!(T I(SP"CTI$(


T(PES $! P&#%TS

1.56T cate"ori7es concrete plants as captive plants or commercial plants' Captive plants are usually temporary plants 3constructed on the job2site) and are used primarily to produce concrete for a specific contract' 4hen the contract is finished* the plant is disassembled and moved' Commercial plants 3Fi"ure 421)* on the other hand* are permanent installations'

Figure 4)*+ Commercial Plant 422

Concrete plants are inspected and certified by the 6ffice of 0aterials 0ana"ement' Commercial plants are inspected once a year' Captive plants are inspected at the be"innin" of each construction season and &henever they are moved to a ne& location'
P&#%T TEC)%*C*#%

There are t&o reasons for havin" Technicians at concrete plants' The first is to insure that 1.56T receives the $uality of materials the Contractor has a"reed to supply* and the second is to insure those materials are delivered in the proper $uantities' Plant Technicians are responsible for observin" all &ei"hin"* batchin"* and mi-in" operations* e-cept &hen mi-in" ta%es place a&ay from the plant site' Technicians are re$uired to ensure that all materials have been sampled* tested* and approved' The plant scales used for batchin" cement and a""re"ates are re$uired to be chec%ed for accuracy t&ice a day' Plant Technicians are re$uired to maintain a cooperative relationship &ith the Contractor and plant personnel' +ein" prepared for &or% and %no&in" the re$uirements for the concrete are necessary to maintain this relationship' P#"P!#!TI$(S F$# C$(C#"T" P'!C"M"(T The smooth delivery of concrete to the job2site is critical' 5elays in the delivery of the concrete or durin" the placement operation may cause problems that are time consumin" and costly to resolve' The field Technician* the Contractor* and the concrete plant Technician are re$uired to &or% to"ether to ensure the correct concrete is delivered on time and in the necessary $uantities'
P&#% RE+*EW

Preparin" for the delivery of concrete be"ins &ith a revie& of the plans' The class or classes of concrete are re$uired to be chec%ed' The +ill of 0aterials section of the detail sheets is used to locate the estimated $uantities for each class of concrete' (ubstitutions of a hi"her class of concrete are "enerally allo&ed8 ho&ever* the Contractor is never permitted to substitute an inferior class of concrete for the class of concrete re$uired in the plans' The detail sheets also provide important information concernin" the concrete pour* such as the pour se$uence and the locations and dimensions of the construction joints and %ey&ays'

423

S*TE PREP#R#T*$%S

The Technician is re$uired to ensure that the site has been ade$uately prepared for concrete placement' (uch preparations include that: 1) 2) 3) 4) ) !) 9-cavations have been de&atered Forms have been chec%ed for ade$uate bracin" and proper elevations and ali"nment Chamfer strips have been installed and are in "ood shape Trash and debris have been removed from all forms :einforcement has been tied securely and chec%ed for proper clearance and spacin" The Contractor has ade$uate manpo&er and e$uipment to handle the pour to include a sufficient number of vibrators and bac%ups'

WE#T)ER RESTR*CT*$%S

The Technician is re$uired to %no& the &eather forecast for the concrete placement operation' 4eather conditions may influence everythin" from the timin" and method of concrete delivery and placement to postponin" the operation alto"ether' 1deally* concrete is placed in temperatures bet&een ; and <;= F* &hen there is no threat of rain* and &hen steps have been ta%en to protect the concrete from e-cessive &ind' 1n "eneral* &hen the temperature is 3 = F or belo&* the temperature of the concrete is re$uired to be bet&een ; and >;= F at the time of placin"' The Contractor may heat the &ater and,or a""re"ates used in the concrete mito achieve this ran"e of temperatures8 ho&ever* the heatin" is re$uired to be done in accordance &ith the (pecifications for cold2&eather concrete' The Technician is re$uired to use a dial thermometer to chec% the concrete temperature &henever the concrete is suspected to be near the (pecifications limits' C$(C#"T" D"'I,"#.o concrete may be placed &ithout a Technician on the job and another Technician at the concrete plant' Prior to the be"innin" of concrete delivery* the Technician is re$uired to contact the plant Technician to double2chec% the follo&in" items:

424

1) 2) 3) 4) )
DE&*+ER( E,-*P'E%T

The class of concrete to be used The $uantity of concrete needed for the pour The slump and air content re$uirements The proposed startin" time of delivery The desired rate of delivery'

Concrete is typically delivered to the job 2site in mi-er truc%s* a"itator truc%s* or in non2a"itatin" e$uipment' )ll delivery truc%s are re$uired to comply &ith the e$uipment (pecifications desi"nated in (ection ./0+ 0i-er truc%s 3Fi"ure 422) are desi"ned for mi-in" concrete at or on the &ay to the job2 site' For this reason* mi-er truc%s al&ays have a &ater tan% on board and a measurin" device that is capable of controllin" the amount of &ater that is added to the mi-' )"itator truc%s deliver ready2mi-ed concrete' )ny &ater on the truc% is for cleanin" purposes only* not for mi-in"'

Figure 4)0+ Mi1er Truc2s

42

4hen mi-er truc%s are used* the follo&in" items are re$uired to be chec%ed: 1) 2) 3) 0anufacturer?s ratin" plates are in place and le"ible :evolution counters are operatin" properly 0i-in" speed and the number of revolutions are in compliance &ith the (pecifications' The number of revolutions of the drum at mi-in" speed is re$uired to be bet&een #; and 1;;' Truc%s are operated at or belo& their rated capacity 6ld concrete is removed from the drum 4ash &ater is properly drained from the drum

4) ) !)
DE&*+ER( T*C.ETS

)s the concrete is delivered to the job2site* the Technician collects a delivery tic%et from each truc%' 4hen the concrete delivered to the job2 site is produced at a commercial or captive plant* the Producer?s tic%et is used to document delivery' The Producer?s tic%et for the first load of each class of concrete delivered each day is re$uired to contain the follo&in" information: 1) 2) 3) 4) ) !) #) >) <) 1;) The correct contract or project number The correct date The producer?s name The plant location The Contractor The class of concrete delivered The &ei"hts per cubic yard of all materials* includin" admi-tures The number of cubic yards delivered The time of day that the &ater and cement &ere combined The plant Technician?s si"nature 42!

)fter the first load is delivered* the Producer?s name* the plant location* the Contractor* and the &ei"hts of the various materials used in batchin" may be omitted from the Producer?s tic%ets for the rest of the day or until the mi- desi"n is chan"ed' 1f the midesi"n is chan"ed* the tic%et for the first load of the revised mi- is re$uired to indicate all chan"es' FI"'D T"STS Conductin" and,or observin" concrete field tests is one of the most important duties of a Technician' Typical field tests include slump* air content* yield* and &ater,cementitious ratio' The e$uipment used to conduct the tests is re$uired to be clean* in "ood shape* and capable of providin" accurate results' The air meters 3Fi"ure 42 3) used in air content tests and the scales used in yield tests are re$uired to be calibrated and approved' )ll test e$uipment is provided by 5istrict Testin"'

Figure 4)3+ !ir Content Meter The procedures for conductin" slump* air content* fle-ural stren"th* and yield tests are detailed in the 1.56T /eneral 1nstructions to Field 9mployees' The re$uired fre$uency for conductin" all tests is listed in the Fre$uency 0anual' That fre$uency of tests listed* ho&ever* is a minimum and may be increased as specified by the plans* the (pecial Provisions* or by the P9,P(' The follo&in" is a brief description of the purpose of

each test' 42#

(lump tests are conducted to determine the consistency of fresh concrete and to chec% the uniformity of concrete from batch to batch' Typical specification limits for slump for structural concrete are bet&een 1 and 4 in' @nacceptable slump measurements usually indicate improper mi- proportions* especially the &ater content' Contractors are not permitted to add &ater simply to ma%e the mieasier to pour' )ny such chan"e to the mi- desi"n re$uires prior approval' )ir content tests are conducted to determine ho& much air is contained in the concrete' 1n most cases* air has been purposely added or entrained in concrete to ma%e the concrete more durable' )llo&able air content may ran"e from to > A* dependin" on the ma-imum si7e of the a""re"ates used in the mi-' :esults outside the specified limits indicate a re$uirement to adjust the amount of admi-ture in subse$uent batches' Bield tests are conducted to determine the &ei"ht per cubic foot of fresh concrete &hich is used to determine the cement in barrels per cubic yard' Bield tests are not used to chec% the batchin" of any one mi- component' Fle-ural stren"th is conducted to determine &hen forms and,or false&or% may be removed from a structure or to determine &hen a structure may be put into service' This test re$uires placin" fresh concrete in a beam mold and allo&in" the concrete to set and cure under the same conditions as the concrete used in the structure' The concrete is then removed from the mold and bro%en in a controlled environment by a beam brea%er' The test results may then be used to ma%e certain assumptions re"ardin" the stren"th of the concrete used in the structure' 4ater,cementitious ratio is the ratio of the total amount of free &ater in the a""re"ates* includin" all free &ater in the concrete* to the amount of cement in the concrete'
REC$RD*%/ TEST RES-&TS

The results of the slump* air content* and yield tests are recorded and submitted on Form 1T ! 2' Fle-ural stren"th tests are documented on Form 1T #1)* and &ater,cementitious ratio is recorded on Form 1T !2>' C$(C#"T" P'!C"M"(T Compared to the preparations leadin" up to the pour and the testin"* the actual placement operation is relatively simple8 ho&ever* there are still items that may "o &ron"'

42>

SE/RE/#T*$%

(e"re"ation occurs &hen the coarse and fine a""re"ates used in the concrete separate and become unevenly distributed throu"hout the mi-' The lar"er coarse a""re"ate sin%s to the bottom &hile the fines rise to the top' (e"re"ation al&ays leads to an inferior $uality of concrete' For the most part* ho&ever* se"re"ation may be prevented &ith the use of proper placement e$uipment and techni$ues' Concrete is re$uired to be placed as close as possible to the location the concrete occupies in the structure' The concrete should not be dumped in a central location and then spread to the location re$uired in the structure 3Fi"ure 424)'

Figure 4)4+ Concrete Placement 4hen possible* concrete is re$uired to be deposited in layers no more than 24 in' thic% 3Fi"ure 42 )' Care is re$uired be ta%en* ho&ever* to place each successive layer before the precedin" layer has ta%en the initial set' This initial set is usually 4 minutes to an hour* dependin" on the temperature' Too much time bet&een the placement of layers usually results in a cold joint &hich is a &ea% line of separation bet&een the layers'

Figure 4)4+ Concrete 'ayers 42<

5roppin" concrete from too "reat a hei"ht causes the finer particles in the mi- to splash a&ay from the lar"er* heavier particles' 1n addition* the force of the mi- stri%in" the reinforcin" steel may shift bars out of position' The ma-imum drop hei"ht or allo&able free fall is ft' Coppers &ith fle-ible chutes called tremies are re$uired to be used to funnel the mi- do&n into tall* narro& forms' 4or%ers may be stationed inside the forms to move the chutes around to ensure an even distribution of the concrete' The hoppers may not rest on the reinforcin" steel and are re$uired to be supported by the form&or%'
C$%S$&*D#T*$% $! C$%CRETE

Fresh concrete naturally contains air poc%ets or voids' 1f the concrete &ere left that &ay* the finished product &ould have a rou"h surface and have $uestionable stren"th' To eliminate voids and to ensure a "ood bond to the reinforcin" steel* the concrete is re$uired to be consolidated to a uniform density' The most common method of consolidatin" concrete is by vibratin" the concrete &ith a portable spud type vibrator 3Fi"ure 42!)' 0ost vibrators have an effective radius of 1> in' all around' 6nce the vibrators are inserted* they consolidate an area appro-imately 3 ft in diameter'

Figure 4)5+ Spud ,ibrator

421;

)lthou"h the procedure is a simple operation* vibratin" concrete is often conducted incorrectly' (ome points that ensure a "ood job include: 1) 2) 3) Dibratin" is re$uired to be done immediately as the concrete is placed Dibrators are re$uired to be inserted and &ithdra&n vertically and should not be dra""ed throu"h the concrete Dibrators are re$uired to be inserted and &ithdra&n &ithin seconds' 6ver2vibratin" forces the finer a""re"ates to the top and drives the lar"er a""re"ates to&ard the bottom' 4hen concrete is poured in layers* the head of the vibrator is re$uired to penetrate throu"h the top layer and partially throu"h the layer underneath 3Fi"ure 42#)'

4)

Figure 4).+ Depth of ,ibration ) The &or%ers are re$uired to avoid contactin" the reinforcin" steel &ith the vibrator so that the bond bet&een the steel and the concrete is not bro%en The &or%ers are re$uired to avoid contactin" the form &alls &ith the vibrator as that may loosen the forms and may also cause honeycombin" of the concrete surface The Contractor is re$uired to have a bac%up vibrator on hand for lar"er pours in case of e$uipment problems

!)

#)
C$%STR-CT*$% $*%TS

The purpose of a construction joint is to join a section of fresh concrete to a previously poured section that has already set' Construction joints are necessary &hen a substructure unit is too lar"e to pour in one continuous operation or &hen rain* e$uipment problems* or other conditions interrupt the pour' @nless construction joints are specifically called for on the plans* the Contractor is re$uired to have &ritten permission to use the 4211

joints' (ome joints* ho&ever* may be described on the plans as optional* and may be used at the Contractor?s discretion' 1n addition* the Contractor may re$uest the relocation or elimination of construction joints' (uch a chan"e is re$uired to be approved by the P9,P(' To ma%e a construction joint* either planned or unplanned* the Contractor is re$uired to form a raised %ey&ay or %ey&ays in the section to be poured later' )fter the first section has hardened* the surface is s&ept clean &ith &ire brooms and %ept &et' 1f a Type ) construction joint is specified 3Fi"ure 42>)* the surface is notched bet&een the reinforcement' 1mmediately before the fresh concrete is placed* the Contractor dra&s the forms up ti"ht a"ainst the concrete in place' To improve the bond bet&een the sections* the Contractor may apply a bondin" epo-y to the e-posed surface before resumin" the pour'

Figure 4)6+ Type ! Construction 7oint To resist shear and other forces* construction joints in footin"s and in abutments for arch brid"es are re$uired to be vertical' Cori7ontal construction joints are used in &alls and columns' Eoints that are e-posed to vie& are re$uired to be constructed strai"ht* clean* and &aterti"ht' This is done by finishin" the concrete &ith the underside of a strai"ht 4212

and level strip of &ood that is nailed to the form at the proper elevation' .o construction joint is allo&ed to be made in areas &here the reinforcin" steel has been spliced' (ection ./0+*4 includes all of the re$uirements for the use of construction joints' (heet .04)B7TS)/4 of the (tandard 5ra&in"s for +rid"es provides additional details' 5urin" the pour* care is re$uired to be ta%en not to disturb the position of any reinforcin" steel that is used to tie the section bein" poured to a section that is poured later' 1f the bars are displaced* they are re$uired to be re2tied immediately in the proper position' Concrete that is splashed on these bars is re$uired to be cleaned off before the ne-t section is poured to ensure a "ood bond' 1f the steel is e-posed to the &eather for some time after the pour* the steel may re$uire coatin" &ith a cement paste or e$uivalent to prevent the steel from rustin"'
SPEC*#& C#SES

The placement of concrete under &ater in footin"s and for foundation seals re$uires techni$ues outside the "eneral rules "iven above' For a complete e-planation of the methods and re$uirements* see (ection ./0+0/8d)f9+ FI(IS I(: C$(C#"T" S%#F!C"S @nless other&ise authori7ed* the surface of the concrete is finished immediately after form removal' 6nly the minimum amount of coverin" necessary to allo& finishin" operations to be done is removed at one time' (ubject to approval* metal ties may be left in the concrete for the purpose of supportin" or bracin" subse$uent &or%' (uch ties are re$uired to be in accordance &ith (ection ./0+*38b9 and be of a type &hich uses a cone and rod as both spreader and tie' +efore final acceptance of the &or%* the cones are removed and the cavities filled* in accordance &ith (ection ./0+*38b9+ )ll concrete surfaces are re$uired to be "iven a finish immediately follo&in" the removal of any forms' The concrete surfaces of pier and bent caps* the

front face of mud&alls* and any other concrete surfaces specified are re$uired to be sealed' The material used for sealin" is re$uired to be in accordance &ith (ection ./;' The seal is applied to obtain a finished film thic%ness of at least 2 ; Fm 31; mils)' 0i-in"* surface preparation* and the method of application are re$uired to be in accordance &ith the manufacturerGs recommendations8 ho&ever* the surfaces to be sealed are prepared in accordance &ith (ection ./; prior to applyin" the sealer'

4213

)t the time of the removal of forms* the concrete surface is scraped to remove all fins and irre"ular projections' The surface is then po&er "round to smooth all joints and chamfers' )fter "rindin" is completed* a paste of "rout is applied to the concrete surface &ith a spon"e float to fill all air holes and small irre"ularities' The paste "rout is re$uired to be ! parts of pre2mi- mortar mi- for masonry and 1 part &hite portland cement in accordance &ith !STM C)*4/* Type 1' )fter the paste "rout ta%es the initial set* the surface of the concrete is scraped &ith a steel dry&all %nife to remove the paste from the surface'
!*%*S)*%/ "E#R*%/ #RE#S

The brid"e seats and areas in bet&een re$uire special treatment at the finishin" sta"e' The tops of the brid"e seats are re$uired to be finished at e-actly the ri"ht elevation and be completely level to ensure full contact &ith the bottom of the bearin" device' The areas in bet&een the brid"e seats are re$uired to be sloped or cro&ned sli"htly to ensure ade$uate surface draina"e' +oth results are obtained throu"h proper finishin" techni$ues'
$T)ER S-R!#CE TRE#T'E%TS

The plans or (pecial Provisions may provide for the use of surface treatments other than the three classes of concrete finishes' For e-ample* the plans may re$uire the Contactor to leave a rou"h surface te-ture of e-posed a""re"ate' This may be done by blastin" off the surface mortar &ith a hi"h2pressure &ater hose' The surfaces of pier and bent caps* the front face of mud&alls* and any other areas specified are re$uired to be sealed a"ainst moisture penetration &ith an approved concrete sealer' The surfaces to be sealed are sandblasted to remove form oil and other forei"n matter and are re$uired to be completely dry before the application' The sealant is applied in a criss2cross pattern and is re$uired to be a thic%ness of 1; mils' .o sealed surface is rubbed' (ection ./; describes this operation in detail'

4214

C%#I(: S%BST#%CT%#" C$(C#"T" 6nce the concrete is in place* the concrete is allo&ed to cure a certain amount of time to achieve the full stren"th' 5urin" the curin" period* the concrete is not to be placed under stress' The typical curin" period of the concrete is <! hours after the initial set' The use of certain materials* such as fly ash or Portland2po77olan cement in the concrete* increases the curin" period to 12; hours' The (pecifications describe t&o methods of curin" concrete' The first is called the protective coverin" curin" method' This method re$uires coverin" the surfaces to be cured &ith canvas* stra&* burlap* sand* or other approved material and %eepin" the concrete &et &ith &ater throu"hout the curin" period' The &ater prevents the concrete from dryin" out too $uic%ly' (urfaces that re$uire a Class T&o rubbin" finish are re$uired to have the protective coverin" temporarily removed to allo& the rubbin" to continue' The coverin" is re$uired to be restored as soon as possible' The other curin" method re$uires the use of a membrane formin" curin" compound' The curin" compound may be applied after the concrete surface has received the specified finishin" treatment' @p until then* the concrete is re$uired to be protected by the protective coverin" method or* in the case of vertical surfaces* simply by leavin" the forms in place' Curin" compound is applied at a minimum rate of one "allon for 2 every 1 ; ft of concrete surface' The application is done in t&o sta"es' The first coat is applied immediately after strippin" the forms or upon acceptance of the concrete finish' The surface is re$uired to be &etted &ith &ater and coated &ith the compound as soon as the &ater film disappears' The second application is re$uired to be"in after the first has set and accordin" to the manufacturer?s directions' 5urin" the curin" operation* all untreated areas are re$uired to be %ept &et' Finally* the plans may call for certain areas to be &aterproofed' 4hen the application of &aterproofin" material be"ins* curin" of those areas is no lon"er re$uired'
C$&D W#TER C-R*%/

1n cold &ater &eather 33 = F and belo&)* the Contractor is re$uired to %eep the freshly poured concrete and the forms &ithin a protective enclosure or covered &ith approved insulation material that is at least 2 in' thic%' The air inside the enclosure or under the insulation is re$uired to be %ept above ;= F for at least #2 hours' 1f for any reason the temperature drops belo& ;= F &ithin the enclosure* the heatin" period is re$uired to be e-tended' 4hen dry heat is used to maintain the re$uired temperature* the Contractor is

re$uired to devise a means of providin" enou"h moisture 421

in the air &ithin the enclosure to prevent the concrete from dryin" out too $uic%ly' Ceaters may be used to maintain the re$uired temperature if they provide continuous operation and the Contractor has ta%en ade$uate fire2prevention and safety measures' 4hen rubbin" the concrete is re$uired* the forms are removed and the rubbin" conducted durin" the protection period' )"ain* if this means that the concrete is e-posed to temperatures belo& ;= F before the re$uired #2 hours has transpired* the period of protection and heatin" is re$uired to be e-tended' M"T $D $F M"!S%#"M"(T !(D B!SIS F$# P!-M"(T Concrete is measured and paid for by the cubic yard placed in accordance &ith the plans or as directed' Forms* false&or%* and other miscellaneous items re$uired to complete the &or% are not paid for separately' The costs for these items are included in the costs of the concrete'

421!