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COOLING TOWER INSTITUTE

CTI CODE TOWER


Standard Specifications


Recommended Guidelines for
Portland Cement Concrete for
Mechanical Draft Cooling Towers











Revised February 07 ESG-153 (07)

Foreword
This Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) publication is published as an aid to cooling tower purchasers and designers. It may be
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Nothing contained herein is to be construed as granting any right for the manufacture, sale or use in connection with any method,
apparatus, or product covered by letters patent, nor as insuring anyone against liability for infringement of letters patent.
This guideline document summarizes the best current state of knowledge regarding the specific subject. This document
represents a consensus of those individual members who have reviewed this document, its scope and provisions. It is intended to
aid all users or potential users of cooling towers.

Approved by the CTI Executive Board.


This document has been reviewed and approved
as part of CTIs Five Year Review Cycle. This
document is again subject to review in 2012.






Copyright 2007
Approved by the by Cooling Technology Institute CTI - Guideline
CTI Executive Board Printed in U.S.A. ESG-153



TABLE OF CONTENT


Page

1.0 Scope ........................................................................................................................................................ 5

2.0 Applicable Documents ............................................................................................................................. 5

3.0 Terminology ............................................................................................................................................. 6

4.0 Materials ................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.0 Execution .................................................................................................................................................. 6

6.0 Concrete Placement .................................................................................................................................. 8

7.0 Repairs ...................................................................................................................................................... 8

Tables

Table 1 ................................................................................................................................................... 7


































3

























































4

Recommended Guidelines for Portland Cement Concrete
for Mechanical Draft Cooling Towers



1.0 Scope
1.1 This guideline offers recommendations for the use of
Portland cement concrete in the use of mechanical
draft cooling towers. The contents are applicable for
towers, basins and auxiliary structures of both cast in
place and precast concrete construction, except for
prestressed construction. Erection methods are not
covered in these guidelines, and any construction
loads applied to structural members must be included
in the design.
1.2 Recommendations for service in fresh and
brackish/seawater environments are offered in this
standard in Table 1. Technical requirements for
design and construction in high sulfate, chloride or
other aggressive environments should be referred to
design consultants experienced in concrete design for
special environments.
1.3 The technical recommendations outlined in this
guideline are primarily to assure that the concrete
designed and used in mechanical draft towers possess
characteristics for adequate durability. Requirements
for the design strength of the concrete, reinforcing
steel and other parameters should be referred to
licensed professional engineers familiar with the
design and erection of cooling towers.
2.0 Applicable Documents
2.1 This guideline is not intended to replace any design
codes in effect in any jurisdiction. Applicable local
building codes in force shall govern design and
construction.
2.2 Codes and standards referenced in this document are
those in common usage in the United States of
America. If the work is to be performed in a location
outside the United States, the standards in this
document shall be used as a minimum to assure the
necessary chemical and physical characteristics
required in concrete for durability are obtained.
2.3 Unless otherwise noted, the latest edition of the
following standards are intended for usage:
American Concrete Institute (ACI):
117 Standard Specifications for Tolerances for
Concrete Construction and Materials
201 Guide to Durable Concrete
301 Standard Specification for Structural Concrete
304 Guide for Measuring, Mixing, Transporting,
and Placing Concrete
305R Hot Weather Concreting
306R Cold Weather Concreting
308 Standard Practice for Curing Concrete
318 Building Code Requirements for Reinforced
Concrete
350 Evironmental Engineering Structures
American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM):
A82 Standard Specification for Steel Wire, Plain,
for Concrete Reinforcement
A184 Standard Specification for Fabricated
Deformed Steel Bar Mats for Concrete
Reinforcement
A185 Standard Specification for Steel Welded
Wire Fabric, Plain, for Concrete
Reinforcement
A615 Standard Specification for Deformed and
Plain Billet-Steel Bars for Concrete
Reinforcement
A775 Standard Specification for Epoxy-Coated
Steel Reinforcing Bars
C33 Standard Specifications for Concrete
Aggregates
C94 Standard Specification for Ready Mixed
Concrete
C260 Standard Specification for Air-Entraining
Admixtures for Concrete
C494 Standard Specification for Concrete
Admixtures
C618 Standard Specification for Fly Ash and Raw
or Calcinated Natural Pozzolon for Use as a
Mineral Admixture in Portland Cement
Concrete
C989 Standard Specification for Ground
Granulated Blast-Furnace Slag for Use in
Concrete and Mortars




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C1012 Standard Test Method for Length Change of
Hydraulic-Cement Mortars Exposed to a
Sulfate Solution
C1017 Standard Specification for Chemical
Admixtures for Use in Producing Flowing
Concrete
C1218 Standard Test Method for Water-Soluble
Chloride in Mortar and Concrete
C1240 Standard Specification for Use of Silica
Fume as a Mineral Admixture in Hydraulic-
Cement Concrete, Mortar, and Grout
American Welding Society (AWS):
D1.4 Structural Welding Code-Reinforcing Steel
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI):
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Handbook
Prestressed Concrete Institute
PCI Manual 116-99 Quality Control for Precast -
Prestressed Concrete
3.0 Terminology
3.1 Definitions of terms relative to reinforced concrete
can be found in ACI 318.
4.0 Materials
4.1 Concrete
a. Cement: ASTM C150.
b. Fly Ash: ASTM C618, Class C or Class F.
c. Aggregates: Per ASTM C33.
d. Water: Clean, fresh and potable. (Reference ACI
318, 3.4 or ACI 301)
e. Air-entraining admixture: Per ASTM C260.
f. Water reducing admixture: Per ASTM C494,
Type A, F, or G.
g. Accelerating admixtures: Per ASTM C494 Type
C or E, non-chloride type only. The use of
calcium chloride is not permitted.
4.2 Reinforcing Steel
a. Welded steel wire fabric: Plain type, ASTM
A185 in flat sheets.
b. Steel Wire, Plain, for concrete reinforcement per
ASTM A82.
c. Reinforcing steel: ASTM A615 grade 60,
deformed bars.
d. Epoxy-Coated Reinforcement, per ASTM A775.
e. Deformed Bar Mats for Reinforcement, per
ASTM A184.
f. Reinforcement supports: Provide bolsters, chairs,
spacers, ect. In accordance with CRSI Manual of
Standard Practice. All material to be non-
corrosive. In high chloride environments, use
100% plastic or stainless steel materials.
g. Reinforcing ties: Use non-corrosive reinforcing
ties in all precast components. Malleable steel
tie wire is permitted in cast in place concrete
provided that the ends are bent away from the
face of the member prior to concrete placement.
h. Reinforcing shall be clean and free from loose
rust, mill scale, oil grease, paint dirt or any other
contaminants that may reduce its bone with
concrete.
4.3 Embedments
4.3.1 Embedments such as anchor bolts, studded
welded plates, threaded inserts or other metallic items
that will be exposed to circulating water shall be of
suitable non-corrosive material such as stainless steel
or silicon bronze and appropriate for use with the
water chemistry. Embedments consisting of stainless
items welded with black steel embedded items shall
not be allowed.
5.0 Execution
5.1 Durability Considerations
5.1.1 All concrete found within a cooling tower
shall be considered exposed to earth or
weather. Only concrete protected against
exposure such as in a stairwell or other
auxiliary structure is not to be considered as
exposed.
5.1.2 For fresh water applications the minimum
concrete cover provided for reinforcement
shall be per the following table:











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Table 1

Location

Cast in place concrete
Minimum
Cover (in.)
Concrete cast against and permanently exposed to earth 3-1/2
Concrete exposed to earth or weather:
No. 6 through No. 18 bars:
No. 5 bars, W31 or D31 wire and smaller:

2-1/2
2
Concrete not exposed to weather or in contact with ground:
Slabs, walls and joists:
No. 14 and No. 18 bars:
No. 11 bars and smaller:
Beams, columns:
Primary reinforcement, ties, stirrups, spirals


2
1-1/4

2

Precast concrete (manufactured under plant control conditions)

Concrete exposed to earth or weather:
Wall panels;
No. 14 and No 18 bars:
No. 11 bars and smaller:


2-1/2
2
Other members:
No. 14 and No. 18 bars:
No. 6 through No. 11 bars:
No. 5 bars, W31 or D31 wire and smaller:

2-1/2
2
1-3/4
Concrete not exposed to weather or in contact with ground:
Slabs, walls and joists:
No. 14 and No. 18 bars:
No. 11 bars and smaller:


1-3/4
1-1/8


5.1.3 For brackish or seawater exposures increase
the cover requirements of ACI 318 to a
minimum of 3.
5.1.4 Concrete exposed to seawater or brackish
water is to be type II for moderate exposure or
type V for severe exposure
5.1.5 Concrete exposed to freeze thaw cycles shall
be air entrained in accordance with table 4.2.1
of ACI 318.
5.2 Design Considerations
5.2.2 Concrete strength and proportions shall be
established based on ACI 301.
5.2.3 Minimum design strength for standard
concrete shall be 4,500 psi at 28 days. If fly
ash or silica fume are used to enhance the
properties of the concrete, the design engineer
shall provide mix percentage of the material.
5.2.4 Maximum water/cement ratio for fresh water
exposure should be limited to .45 and the
maximum water/cement ratio for use in
brackish water should be limited to .40.
5.2.5 The use of lightweight concrete in precast
elements is to be at the disgression of the
owner and design engineer. Because of the
variability of absorption rates in lightweight
aggregates, only precasters with documented
histories of use in similar environments shall
be considered.
5.3 Selection of aggregate shall take into account
location of origin and material properties to avoid
reactive aggregates. Concrete coatings are
permissible. Their use should be reviewed with
material suppliers prior to specifying.








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6.0 Concrete Placement
6.1 Volumetric changes from hydration shall be
accounted for in the design. This shall include
lengths of continuous pours and placement of joints
in the slab. Construction joints must be properly
addressed in the construction of slabs and basin walls
to preserve the integrity of the impermeability of the
construction. (Reference ACI 350)
6.2 Provide PVC waterstops or owner approved equal at
all construction joints. Waterstops must be
continuous. Field splice waterstops using
thermostatically controlled devices specifically
intended for this purpose.
6.3 Spacing of reinforcement is critical in crack
prevention and crack size control. Distribution
requirements for reinforcement shall conform to ACI
318 section 10.6, with the use of smaller bars placed
more closely being preferable to the use of larger bars
of equal total area.
6.4 All concrete must be placed within 1hours after the
introduction of water to the cement and aggregates.
Method of transport, distance and mix location shall
be taken into consideration.
6.5 Deposit concrete as near as practical to its final
position to avoid segregation in transport. Limit free
fall of concrete during deposition to 4-0 unless
done in such a manner that segregation is prevented
and an unbroken stream of concrete is ensured.
6.6 Concrete is to be compacted in place by means of
mechanical vibrators. Care must be taken to prevent
over vibration.
6.7 Concrete shall be cured in accordance with the
requirements of ACI 301. Curing is to begin as soon
as the concrete has hardened sufficiently to prevent
surface damage. Curing shall continue for a
minimum of 7 days prior to being subjected to live
loads or as directed by the project engineer.
6.8 Protect concrete from excessive heat and cold during
curing.
6.9 Protect concrete from premature drying during
curing.
6.10 All finish and level requirements shall be indicated
on the basin documents. Basin slabs shall be finished
to a flat slab tolerance as defined by ACI 117 section
4.5.7, or as noted on the drawings.
6.11 Protect concrete from damage during construction.
Chamfer all cast in place concrete min. and
chamfer or radius all precast a minimum of .
6.12 Align and install all required embedments using
plywood templates immediately after placement of
concrete. Installation of embedments after curing has
begun shall not be allowed.
7.0 Repairs
7.1 Prior to repairs being initiated, adequate investigation
of the causes of the concrete deterioration must be
conducted. Any repairs must insure the proposed
materials used will possess elastic and thermal
expansion properties and resistance to sulfates and
chlorides similar to the base material. Proposals for
the repair work must include steps outlining surface
preparation requirements, bonding methods, repair
materials and curing methods.













Cooling Technology Institute

PO Box 73383 Houston, Texas 77273
281.583.4087 Fax: 281.537.1721 www.cti.org
February 2007 Printed in USA