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# Mix Proportioning

## Dr. Kimberly Kurtis

School of Civil Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia
Mix Proportioning
Workability
Strength with Time
Durability
Economy
Variables under control of designer
Materials selection
Cement paste/aggregate
W/C or W/Cm
Sand/coarse aggregate
Use of chemical and mineral admixtures
Mix Proportioning
Balance between the
desired properties
can be difficult to
achieve.
(L) Segregation
ACI Absolute Volume Method
Most common method in U.S.
Considered to be reliable
Determine amount of coarse aggregate, fine
aggregate, cement, water, entrained and
entrapped air to produce 1 cu.yd. or 27 cu.ft.
of concrete
On most states P.E. exam
Must know these specifications:
Grading of fine and coarse aggregate, including FM
Unit weight of the aggregate
BSG (bulk specific gravity) of the aggregate; SG of cementitious
materials
Absorption capacity and moisture content in the aggregate
Variations in water requirement with different slump, air content,
Relationships between strength and w/c
Job specifications (e.g., max w/c, min air content, MSA, etc.)
ACI Method
Step 1: Select appropriate slump
ACI Method
Step 2: Select appropriate MSA
For economy select maximum
MSA within these
guidelines:
MSA should be smaller than
1/5 of the narrowest
dimension of the form
MSA should be smaller than of the maximum clear
distance between the reinforcing bars (and cover)
MSA should be smaller than 1/3 the slab depth
ACI Method
Step 3: Determine required strength
f
cr
= (f
c
500) + ts
f
cr
= strength required including some allowance for
variability in materials, mixing, transporting, placing,
curing, and testing
t = 2.328, a statistical variable representing the
probability that no more than 1 in 100 occurrence
that an individual cylinder strength will be below fc
s = standard deviation (usually provided), based on
previous track records kept by contractor
no cylinder < f
c
- 500 psi
ACI Method
Step 3: Determine required strength
Use if standard deviation information is not available
Step 4: Estimate water and air contents
ACI Method
Step 5: Select w/c
Consider strength
ACI Method
Step 5: Select w/c
And durability
?Select lower w/c
ACI Method
Step 5: Select w/c
ACI Method
Step 6: Calculate cement content
c w
W
C
/
?
ACI Method
Step 7: Estimate coarse aggregate content
Multiply by 27
to convert to
volume in cu.ft.
Multiply by dry-
rodded unit weight
(bulk density)
to convert volume
to weight
ACI Method
Step 8: Estimate fine aggregate content
V
FA
(cu.ft./cu.yd.)= 27 (V
water
+V
cement
+V
CA
+V
air
)
Can calculate volume from the weight divided
by the unit weight (=BSGX62.4 lbs/cu.ft.)
All volumes should be in cu.ft./cu.yd., as we
are designing for 1 cu. yd. of concrete
ACI Method
Step 9: Calculate unit weight of mixture
Unit weight =
(W
water
+W
cement
+W
CA
+W
FA
)/(27cu.ft./cu.yd.)
ACI Method
Step 10: Adjust for field moisture conditions
Aggregate is assumed to be SSD
If MC
field
< SSD or air dry, need to decrease aggregate
and increase water
If MC
field
> SSD or wet, need to increase aggregate and
decrease water
CHECK : Total weight should be the same as in the
previous step!
ACI Method
solid
water-filled pores
solid
air-filled pores
water-filled pores
solid
water-filled pores
surface water
? too much solid,
not enough water
? too much water,
not enough solid
EXAMPLE
Materials
Type I cement, BSG=3.15
? 3.15x62.4lb/cu.ft.=196lb/cu.ft.= density
FA with BSG=2.60, density=162 lb/cu ft.
FM=2.8, moisture state = +2.5% (from SSD)
CA with BSG=2.70, density=168 lb/cu ft.
dry-rodded unit weight=100 lb/cu. ft.,
moisture state=+0.5% (from SSD)
EXAMPLE
Problem statement
Reinforced concrete footing, not exposed to sulfate
or freezing
MSA is 1
Desired slump 3-4
f
c28days
=3000psi, no standard deviation data
available
Step1: Select Slump
Step2: Select MSA
Step3: Select Strength
Step 3: Determine required strength
If standard deviation information is not available:
f
cr
= 3000 + 1200 = 4200psi
Step 4: Estimate water and air contents
water
air
Step 5: w/c
Consider Strength and Durability
no requirements
0.53
Step 6: Cement content
With w/c=0.53 and a water content of 300 lbs./cu.yd.
? Cement content = (300/0.53) = 566 lbs./cu.yd.
What if we are using SCMs?
For example, at 10% silica fume (SG=2.2) replacement
for cement, we would have
cement = 0.90(566 lbs./cu.yd.) = 509.4 lbs.
silica fume = 0.1 (566 lbs./cu.yd.) = 56.6 lbs.
Step 7: Coarse Aggregate Content
Dry rodded-volume CA =0.71x27cu.ft./cu.yd.=19.17cu.ft./cu.yd.
Weight of CA = 19.17cu.ft./cu.yd x 100 lb./cu.ft.=1917 lbs/cu.yd.
dry-rodded unit weight
Step 8: Fine Aggregate Content
V
FA
(cu.ft./cu.yd.) = 27 (V
water
+V
cement
+V
CA
+ V
air
)
= 7.67 cu.ft/cu.yd.
W
FA
(lb./cu. ft.) = 7.67 cu.ft./cu.yd.x162lb./cu.ft.
=1243 lb./cu.yd.
V
water
= (300lb/cu.yd.)/(62.4lb./cu.ft.) = 4.81 cu.ft./cu.yd.
V
cement
= (566lb/cu.yd.)/(3.15x62.4lb./cu.ft.) = 2.88 cu.ft./cu.yd.
V
CA
= (1917lb/cu.yd.)/(2.7x62.4lb./cu.ft.) =11.37 cu.ft/cu.yd.
V
air
= 27 cu.ft./cu.yd. x 0.01 = 0.27 cu.ft/cu.yd.
TOTAL = 19.33 cu.ft/cu.yd.
Step 8: Fine Aggregate Content
with SCMs
V
FA
(cu.ft./cu.yd.) = 27 (V
water
+V
cement
+V
scm
+V
CA
+ V
air
)
= 7.55 cu.ft/cu.yd.
W
FA
(lb./cu. ft.) = 7.55 cu.ft./cu.yd.x162lb./cu.ft.
=1223 lb./cu.yd.
V
water
= (300lb/cu.yd.)/(62.4lb./cu.ft.) = 4.81 cu.ft./cu.yd.
V
cement
= (509.4lb/cu.yd.)/(3.15x62.4lb./cu.ft.) = 2.59 cu.ft./cu.yd.
V
scm
= (56.6lb/cu.yd.)/(2.2x62.4lb./cu.ft.) = 0.41 cu.ft./cu.yd.
V
CA
= (1917lb/cu.yd.)/(2.7x62.4lb./cu.ft.) =11.37 cu.ft/cu.yd.
V
air
= 27 cu.ft./cu.yd. x 0.01 = 0.27 cu.ft/cu.yd.
TOTAL = 19.45 cu.ft/cu.yd.
Step 9: Unit Weight
Unit weight = (W
water
+W
cement
+W
CA
+W
FA
)/27
= 149 lb./cu.yd.
W
water
= 300lb./cu.yd.
W
cement
= 566lb./cu.yd.
W
CA
= 1917lb./cu.yd.
W
FA
= 1243 lb./cu.yd.
Step 10: Field Moisture Correction
Both aggregate were wet ? need to adjust CA, FA, water
present correction SSD basis
Cement 566 566
FA 1243 1243x0.025=31 1274
CA 1917 1917x0.005=10 1927
Water 300 300-(31+10) 259
TOTAL 4026 4026
Deviation in MC from AC