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Mix Design For Concrete Roads As Per IRC:15-2011
By
Kaushal Kishore, Materials Engineer, Roorkee
ABSTRACT:
The stresses induced in concrete pavements are mainly f lexural. Theref ore f lexural strength is more of ten
specif ied than compressive strength in the design of concrete mixes f or pavement construction. A simple
method of concrete mix design based on f lexural strength f or normal weight concrete mixes is described in
the paper.
INTRODUCTION:
Usual criterion f or the strength of concrete in the building industry is the compressive strength, which is
considered as a measure of quality concrete. However, in pavement constructions, such as highway and
airport runway, the f lexural strength of concrete is considered more important, as the stresses induced in
concrete pavements are mainly f lexural. Theref ore, f lexural strength is more of ten specif ied than
compressive strength in the design of concrete mixes f or pavement construction. It is not perf ectly reliable
to predict f lexural strength f rom compressive strength. Further, various codes of the world specif ied that
the paving concrete mixes should pref erably be designed in the laboratory and controlled in the f ield on the
basis of its f lexural strength. Theref ore, there is a need to design concrete mixes based on f lexural
strength.
The type of aggregate can have a predominant ef f ect, crushed rock aggregate resulting in concrete with
higher f lexural strength than uncrushed (gravel) aggregates f or comparable mixes, assuming that sound
materials are used. The strength of cement inf luences the compressive and f lexural strength of concrete
i.e. with the same water-cement ratio, higher strength cement will produce concrete of higher compressive
and f lexural strength.
MIX DESIGN DETAILS
IRC: 15-2011 specif ied that f or concrete roads OPC should be used. This code also allowed PPC as per IS:
1489 (Part-1) with f lyash content not more than 20 percent by weight of PPC. Accordingly OPC + f ly ash
may be used in concrete roads. Flyash shall be not more than 20 percent by weight of cementitious
material. However, IS: 456-2000 specif ied that f ly ash conf orming to grade-1 of IS” 3812 may be used as
part replacement of OPC provided unif orm blended with cement is essential. The construction sites where
batching plants are used this may be practicable. In ordinary sites where mixer or hand mixing are done
unif orm blending of f ly ash with cement is not practicable. At such construction sites, PPC may be used.
PPC should be used with caution where rapid construction methods like slip f orm is being used. Joints
cutting also need early strength.
1 Characteristic
Flexural
Strength at
28 days
:
4.5 N/mm
2
2 Cement : Three mixes are to be designed
MIX-A
With PPC (Flyash 18 percent based) conf orming to IS:1489-part-I-1991. 7 days
strength 37.5 N/mm
2
. Specif ic Gravity : 3.00
MIX-B
With OPC-43- Grade conf orming to IS: 8112-1989. 7 days strength 40.5 n/mm
2
.
Specif ic Gravity : 3.15
MIX-C
With OPC of Mix-B and Fly ash conf orming to IS:3812 (Part-I)-2003 Specif ic
Gravity : 2.20
Note: Requirements of all the three mixes are the same. Fine Aggregate, Coarse
Aggregate and Retarder Super plasticizer are the same f or all the three mixes.
3 Fly ash
replacement
: 20% Fly ash is required to be replaced with the total cementitious materials.
4 Maximum
nominal size
of
aggregates
: 31.5 mm Crushed aggregate
5 Fine
aggregate
and coarse
aggregate
grading
: Given in Table 1
6 Minimum
cement
content f or
4.5 N/mm2
characteristic
f lexural
strength:
:
(a) OPC shall not be less than 360 kg/m
3
.
(b) PPC shall not be less than 425 kg/m
3
. Fly ash in it 20% maximum by weight of
total cementitious materials
(c) OPC + Fly ash mix OPC shall not be less than 340 kg/m
3
. Fly ash 20%
maximum by weight of cementations material
7 Maximum f ree
W/C Ratio
: (a) For OPC 0.45
(b) For PPC 0.50
8 Workability : 40 mm slump at pour the concrete will be transported f rom central batching plant
through transit mixer, at a distance of 15 Km during June, July months. The
average temperature last year during these months was 30
0
C.
9 Exposure
condition
: Moderate
10 Method of
placing
: Fully mechanised construction
11 Degree of
supervision
: Good
12 Maximum of
cement
content
:
(a) OPC 425 kg/m
3
(b) PPC 425 kg/m
3
13 Chemical
admixture
: Retarder Super plasticizer conf orming to IS:9103-1999. With the given
requirements and materials, the manuf acturer of Retarder Super plasticizer
recommends dosages of 1% bw of OPC, which will reduce 15% of water without
loss of workability. For f ly ash included cement dosages will be required to be
adjusted by experience/ trials.2% maximum by weight of cementitious material
14 Values of Z x
(f or National
Highway)
: 1.96 x 0.40
TEST DATA FOR MATERIALS AND OTHER DETAILS
1. The grading of f ine aggregate, 1 & 2 aggregates are as given in Table. 1.
2. Properties of aggregates
Tests Fine aggregate Aggregate 1 Aggregate 2
Specif ic Gravity 2.65 2.65 2.65
Water Absorption % 0.8 0.5 0.5
3. Target average f lexural strength f or all A, B and C mixes
S = S+ Zq
=4.5 + 1.96 x 0.40
= 5.3 N/mm
2
at 28 days age
4. For Mix A, B and C f ree W/C ratio with crushed aggregate and required average f lexural target strength of
5.3 N/mm
2
at 28 days f rom Fig. 1 Curve D f ound to be 0.42. This is lower than specif ied maximum W/C ratio
value of 0.45 f or OPC and 0.50 f or PPC.
Note:
In absence of cement strength, but cement conf orming to IS Codes, assume f rom Fig. 1
Curve C and D f or OPC 43 Grade
Take curves C and D f or PPC, as PPC is being manuf actured in minimum of 43 Grade of strength.
5. Other data’s: The Mixes are to be designed on the basis of saturated and surf ace dry aggregates. At the
time of concreting, moisture content of site aggregates are to be determine. If it carries surf ace moisture
this is to be deducted f rom the mixing water and if it is dry add in mixing water the quantity of water
required f or absorption. The weight of aggregates are also adjusted accordingly.
DESIGN OF MIX-A WITH PPC
a) Free W/C ratio f or the target f lexural strength of 5.3 N/mm
2
as worked out is 0.42 f or f irst trial.
b) Free water f or 40 mm slump f rom Table 2 f or 31.5 mm maximum size of aggregate.
2/3×170 + 1/3×200= 180 kg/m
3
From trials it is f ound that Retarder Super plasticizer at a dosages of 1.3% bw of PPC may reduce 15%
water without loss of workability
Then water = 180 – (180 x 0.15) = 153 kg/m
3
c) PPC = 153/0.42 = 364 kg/m
3
(Required minimum PPC is 425 kg/m
3
)
d) Formula f or calculation of f resh concrete weight in kg/m
3
U
m
= 10 x G
a
(100 – A) + C
m
(1 – G
a
/G
c
) – W
m
(Ga – 1)
Where,
U
m
=Weight of f resh concrete kg/m3
G
a
=Weighted average specif ic gravity of combined f ine and coarse aggregate bulk, SSD
G
c
=Specif ic gravity of cement. Determine actual value, in absence assume 3.15 f or OPC and 3.00 f or PPC
(Fly ash based)
A=Air content, percent. Assume f or trial entrapped air 1.5%
For 31.5 mm maximum size of aggregate
There is always entrapped air in concrete. Theref ore ignoring entrapped air value as NIL will lead the
calculation of higher value of density. Take exact value of air as obtained in the test
W
m
=Mixing water required in kg/m
3
C
m
=Cement required, kg/m
3
Note:- The exact density may be obtained by f illing and f ully compacting constant volume suitable metal
container f rom the trial batches of calculated design mixes. The mix be altered with the actual obtained
density of the mix.
U
m
=10 x G
a
(100 – A) + C
m
(1 – G
a
/G
c
) – W
m
(G
a
– 1)
=10 x 2.65 (100 – 1.5) + 425(1- 2.65/3.00) – 153 (2.65 -1)
=2409 kg/m
3
e) Aggregates = 2409 – 425 – 153 = 1831 kg/m
3
f ) Fine aggregate = 1831 x 0.45 = 824 kg/m
3
Aggregate 1 = 1831 x 0.29 = 531 kg/m
3
Aggregate 2 = 1831 x 0.26 = 476 kg/m
3
g) Thus f or 4.5 N/mm2 f lexural strength quantity of materials per cu.m. of concrete on the basis of
saturated and surf ace dry aggregates:
Water = 153 kg/m
3
PPC = 425 kg/m
3
Fine Aggregate (sand) = 824 kg/m
3
Aggregate (1) = 531 kg/m
3
Aggregate (2) = 476 kg/m
3
Retarder Super Plasticizer 1.3% bw of PPC = 5.525 kg/m
3
MIX- B WITH OPC
a) Water = 180 – (180 x 0.15) = 153 kg/m
3
b) OPC = 153/0.42 = 364 kg/m
3
c) Density: 10 x 2.65 (100 – 1.5) + 364 (1 – 2.65/3.15) – 153 (2.65 – 1)= 2416 kg/m
3
d) Total Aggregates = 2416 – 364 – 153 = 1899 kg/m
3
Aggregate 1 = 1899 x 0.29 = 551 kg/m
3
Aggregate 2 = 1899 x 0.26 = 494 kg/m
3
Fine Aggregate = 1899 x 0.45 = 854 kg/m
3
e) Thus f or 4.5 N/mm
2
f lexural strength quantity of materials per cu.m of concrete on the basis of SSD
aggregates are given below:
Water = 153 kg/m
3
OPC = 364 kg/m
3
Fine Aggregate (sand) = 854 kg/m
3
Aggregate (1) = 551 kg/m
3
Aggregate (2) = 494 kg/m
3
Retarder Super Plasticizer 1% bw OPC = 3.640 kg/m3
MIX-C WITH OPC + FLY ASH
With a total cementitious material of 430 kg/m
3
,
OPC = 430 x 0.80 = 344 kg/m
3
Fly ash = 430 x 0.20 = 86 kg/m
3
Mix on the basis of SSD Aggregates,
(1) Water as worked out earlier = 153 kg/m
3
(2) OPC = 344 kg/m
3
(3) Fly ash = 86 kg/m3
Density = 10 x 2.65 (100 – 1.5) + 430 (1 – 2.65/3.00) – 153 (2.65 – 1) = 2410 kg/m
3
Total Aggregates = 2410 – 153 – 344 – 86 = 1827 kg/m
3
(4) Fine aggregate 0.45 x 1827 = 822 kg/m
3
(5) Aggregate (1) 0.29 x 1827 = 530 kg/m
3
(6) Aggregate (2) 0.26 x 1827 = 475 kg/m
3
(7) Retarder super plasticizer 1.5% bw of cementitious material = 6.450 kg/m
3
Note:
(1) Cementitious material worked out as per IRC : 15-2011, which specif ied: In case f ly ash (as per IS: 3912
Part 1) is blended at site, the quantity of f ly ash shall be restricted to 20 percent by weight of cementitious
material and the quantity of OPC in such a blend shall not be less than 340 kg/m
3
.
(2) Af ter the f irst trial mix, its actual density is to be determined, as specif ied elase where in this paper. The
mix proportions shall then be worked out accordingly including the water content, the dosages of Retarder
SP f or required workability keeping the f ree w/c ratio with in the permissible limits and adjusting it according
to the required f lexural strength.
(3) The mix proportions given in this paper are f or f irst trial and to be adjusted as per actual site materials,
conditions and requirements.
For 4.5 N/mm
2
flexural strength quantity of material per cu.m of concrete on the basis of saturated
and surface dry aggregates of Mix ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘c’ are given below:
Materials MIX. ‘A’ with PPC Mix. ‘B’ with OPC Mix. ‘C’ with OPC+Flyash
Water kg/m
3
153 153 153
PPC kg/m
3
425 – –
OPC kg/m
3
– 364 344
Flyash kg/m
3
– – 86
Fine Agg. kg/m
3
824 854 822
Agg. (1) kg/m
3
531 551 530
Agg. (2) kg/m
3
476 494 475
Retarder Super- plasticizer kg/m
3
5.525 3.640 6.450
W/ Cementitious ratio 0.36 0.42 0.356
Note:-
1. For exact W/C ratio the water in admixture should also be taken into account.
2. PPC reduces 5% water demand. If this is f ound by trial then take reduce water f or calculation.
3. If the trial mixes does not gives the required properties of the mix, it is then required to be altered
accordingly. However, when the experiences grows with the particular set of materials and site conditions
very f ew trials will be required, and a expert of such site very rarely will be required a 2nd trial.
CONCLUSION
1. For 4.5 N/mm
2
f lexural strength concrete having same material and requirement, but without water
reducer, the OPC required will be 180/0.42 = 429 kg/m
3
2. With the use of superplasticizer the saving in OPC is 65 kg/m
3
and water 27 lit/m
3
.
3. In the f inancial year 2009-2010 India has produces 200 million tonnes of cement. In India one kg of
cement produce emitted 0.93 kg of CO
2
. Thus the production of 200 million tonnes of cement had emitted
200 x 0.93 = 186 million tonnes of CO
2
to the atmosphere.
4. If 50 million tonnes cement in making concrete uses Water Reducers 7500000 tonnes of cement can be
saved. 3750000 KL of potable water will be saved and the saving of Rs. 3300 crores per year to the
construction Industry. 6975000 tonnes of CO
2
will be prevented to be emitted to the atmosphere. The
benef its in the uses of water reducers not limited to this. When water reduces shrinkage and porosity of
concrete are reduces which provides the durability to concrete structures.
5. India is f acing serious air, water, soil, f ood and noise pollution problems. Every ef f orts theref ore are
necessary to prevent pollution on top priority basis.
6. As the stress induced in concrete pavements are mainly f lexural, it is desirable that their design is based
on the f lexural strength of concrete. The quality of concrete is normally assessed by measuring its
compressive strength. For pavings, however, it is the f lexural strength rather than the compression
strength of concrete which determine the degree of cracking and thus the perf ormance of road, and it is
imperative to control the quality on the basis of f lexural strength.
7. As per IRC: 15-2011, in case of small size projects, where f acilities f or testing beams with three print
loading are not available, in such cases, the mix design may be carried out by using compressive strength
values and there af ter f lexural strength will be determined as per correlation between f lexural strength with
compressive strength given the f ollowing equation.
Where f cr is the f lexural strength in MPa or N/mm
2
and f ck is the characteristic compressive strength in
MPa or N/mm
2
as per IS: 456-2000.
REFERENCES:
1 IS : 383-
1970
Specif ications f or coarse and f ine aggregates f rom natural sources f or concrete
(second revision) BIS, New Delhi
2 IS: 456-
2000
Code of practice f or plain and reinf orced concrete (f ourth revision), BIS, New
Delhi
3 IS: 9103-
1999
Specif ication f or admixtures f or concrete (f irst revision) BIS, New Delhi
4 IS: 8112-
1989
Specif ications f or 43 Grade ordinary portland cement (f irst revision) BIS, New
Delhi
5 IS: 2386
(Part-III)
1963
method of test f or aggregate f or concrete. Specif ic gravity, density, voids,
absorption and bulking, BIS, New Delhi
6 IS: 3812
(Part-I)
2003
Specif ication f or pulverized f uel ash: Part-I f or use as pozzolana in cement,
cement mortar and concrete (second revision) BIS, New Delhi
7 IS: 1489-
Part-I 1991
Specif ications f or portland pozzolana cement (Part-I) Flyash based. (Third
revision), BIS, New Delhi
8 IRC: 15-2011 – Standard specif ications and code of practice f or construction of concrete road
(Fourth revision)
9 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design Based on Flexural strength f or Air-Entrained Concrete”,
Proceeding of 13
th
Conf erence on our World in Concrete and Structures, 25-26, August, 1988,
Singapore.
10 Kishore Kaushal, “Method of Concrete Mix Design Based on Flexural Strength”, Proceeding of the
International Conf erence on Road and Road Transport Problems ICORT, 12-15 December, 1988,
New Delhi, pp. 296-305.
11 Kishore Kaushal, “Mix Design Based on Flexural Strength of Air-Entrained Concrete”. The Indian
Concrete Journal, February, 1989, pp. 93-97.
12 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design Containing Chemical Admixtures”, Journal of the National
Building Organization, April, 1990, pp. 1-12.
13 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design f or Road Bridges”, INDIAN HIGHWAYS, Vol. 19, No. 11,
November, 1991, pp. 31-37
14 Kishore Kaushal, “ Mix Design f or Pumped Concrete”, Journal of Central Board of Irrigation and
Power, Vol. 49, No.2, April, 1992, pp. 81-92
15 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design with Fly Ash”, Indian Construction, January, 1995, pp. 16-
17
16 Kishore Kaushal, “High-Strength Concrete”, Bulletin of Indian Concrete Institute No. 51, April-June,
1995, pp. 29-31
17 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design Simplif ied”, Indian Concrete Institute Bulletin No. 56, July-
September, 1996, pp.25-30.
18 Kishore Kaushal, “Concrete Mix Design with Fly Ash & Superplasticizer”, ICI Bulletin No. 59, April-
June 1997, pp. 29-30
19 Kishore Kaushal. “Mix Design f or Pumped Concrete”, CE & CR October, 2006, pp. 44-50.
Table. 1: Grading of Aggregates
IS Sieve
Designation
Percentage of passing by mass
Fine
aggregate
f rom river
45%
Crushed
aggregate
Combined
grading of
mix
IRC: 15-2011 recommended grading of combined
aggregates f or pavement quality concrete (PQC)
(1)
29%
(2)
26%
31.50 mm 100 100 100 100 100
26.50 mm 100 100 98 99 85 – 95
19.0 mm 100 100 25 81 68 – 88
9.50 mm 100 46 0 58 45 – 65
4.75 mm 94 5 44 30 – 55
600 micron 42 0 19 8 – 30
150 micron 10 5 5 – 15
75 micron 2 1 0 – 5
Table. 2: Approximate free-water content (kg/m3) required to give various levels of workability for
non-air-entrained (with normal entrapped air) concrete.
Maximum size of aggregate (mm) Type of aggregate Slump (mm) 25 + 10 40 + 1031.5
Uncrushed
Crushed
160
190
170
200
Note:- When coarse and f ine aggregate of dif f erent types are used, the f ree water content is estimated by
the expression.
2/3W
f
+1/3W
c
Where,
W
fsub>= Free water content appropriate to type of fine Aggregate
And W
c
= Free water content appropriate to type of coarse aggregate.
We at engineeringcivil.com are thankful to Er. Kaushal Kishore for submitting the revised mix design as per
IRC:15-2011. This will be of great help to all civil engineering students and faculty who are seeking information
on mix design based on revised IRC.