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Concrete Flow Using Rheological parameters.pdf

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Concrete flow using rheological parameters

Concrete in its fresh state can be thought of as a fluid, provided that a certain degree of

flow can be achieved and that concrete is homogeneous. This constraint could be defined

by a slump of at least 100 mm and no segregation. This statement excludes

roller-compacted concretes, for instance. The description of flow of a fluid uses concepts

such as shear stress and shear rate as described in the following references [5, 8].

Concrete, as a fluid, is most often assumed to behave like a Bingham fluid. In this case, its

flow is defined by two parameters: yield stress and plastic viscosity. The Bingham equation

is:

= 0 +

where is the shear stress applied to the material, is the shear strain rate (also called

the strain gradient), 0 is the yield stress and is the plastic viscosity. To determine the

Bingham parameters, there are two possibilities: 1) the stress applied to the material is

increased slowly and the shear rate is measured. When the stress is high enough the

concrete will start flowing. The point at which the materials flow is the yield stress and the

slope of the curve above this stress is the plastic viscosity; 2) The fresh concrete is sheared

at high rate before the rheological test. Then, the shear rate is decreased gradually and the

stress is measured. The relationship between the stress and shear rate is plotted and the

intercept at zero-shear rate is the yield stress, while the slope is the plastic viscosity. In this

review, we will assume that the fresh concrete has been sheared at a high rate before the

rheological test, because this is the most commonly used procedure. The main reason that

this procedure is the most widely used is that it is easier to develop a rheometer that is

shear-rate-controlled (procedure 2) than stress-controlled (procedure 1).

In addition, some concretes, such as self-compacting concrete (SCC), do not follow the

linear function described by Bingham [9]. In fact, the calculation of a yield stress using a

Bingham equation in the case of SCC will result in a negative yield stress as shown in Figure

1. De Larrard et al. [10] use another equation that describes the flow of suspensions, the

Herschel-Bulkley (HB) equation. This provides a relationship of shear stress to shear strain

based on a power function:

= '0 + a b

where is the shear stress, is the shear strain rate imposed on the sample, and '0 is

the yield stress, a and b are the new characteristic parameters describing the rheological

behavior of the concrete. In this case, plastic viscosity cannot be calculated directly.

http://ciks.cbt.nist.gov/~garbocz/materialscience2000/node2.htm (1 of 4)4/29/2008 1:41:32 PM

Fresh Concrete Rheology - Recent Developments

De Larrard et al. [10] also investigated the possibility of reducing the number of parameters

to two while still using the Herschel-Bulkley equation. The Herschel-Bulkley equation could

be considered as a linear relationship for a "short" range of shear strain rate. The yield

stress is calculated by the Herschel-Bulkley (HB) equation, while the viscosity is calculated

using the following equation:

where ' is the slope of the straight dotted line in Figure 2 and max is the maximum

shear strain rate achieved in the test and a, b are the parameters as calculated by the

Herschel-Bulkley equation. This Bingham modified equation is determined by approximation

of the HB equation with a straight line, minimizing (using a least-square method) the

deviation between the two models, i.e., HB and straight line (modified Bingham equation).

Figure 1: Self-compacting concrete flow measured with a parallel plate concrete

http://ciks.cbt.nist.gov/~garbocz/materialscience2000/node2.htm (2 of 4)4/29/2008 1:41:32 PM

Fresh Concrete Rheology - Recent Developments

rheometer, BTRHEOM1 [9]. The torque is a measure of the shear stresses and

the rotation speed is related to the shear rates.

Figure 2: Calculation of the Bingham parameters based on the Herschel-Bulkley

model. The dotted straight line departs from the same point as the HB model (0,

'0).

In summary, it should be noted that concrete needs to be defined by at least two

parameters because it shows an initial resistance to flow, yield stress, and a plastic viscosity

that governs the flow after it is initiated. Nevertheless, most commonly used tests to

describe concrete flow are limited to the measurement of only one parameter, often not

directly related to either of the Bingham parameters. Only recently were some instruments

designed to better describe concrete flow [11]. A description of the available tests is given

below.

1 Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this review to foster

understanding. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National

Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the materials or equipment identified

are necessarily the best available for the purpose

http://ciks.cbt.nist.gov/~garbocz/materialscience2000/node2.htm (3 of 4)4/29/2008 1:41:32 PM

Fresh Concrete Rheology - Recent Developments

Next: Measurement techniques Up: Main Previous: Introduction

http://ciks.cbt.nist.gov/~garbocz/materialscience2000/node2.htm (4 of 4)4/29/2008 1:41:32 PM

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