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You are on page 1of 9

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

Aparametricstudyforassessingtheeffectsofcoarsenessfactorand

workabilityfactoron concretecompressivestrength

WardaBintAshraf1, MunazAhmedNoor2

1Lecturer,DepartmentofCivilEngineering,Bangladesh University of Engineering

andTechnology(BUET),Dhaka1000,Bangladesh

2Professor,DepartmentofCivilEngineering,BangladeshUniversityofEngineering

andTechnology(BUET),Dhaka1000,Bangladesh

warda03@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Aggregate as the main constituent of concrete (about 60 to 70% by volume) highly

affectsbothfreshandhardenedconcreteproperties.Thustominimizeconcretecostand

improve its quality it is necessary to achieve optimum aggregate gradation. Coarseness

Factor chart is one of the recent popular methods for achieving an optimum aggregate

gradation,whichrepresentstherelationshipbetweenCoarsenessFactorandWorkability

Factorof a mix. This paper utilizes several trial mix data to explorethe relationship of

Coarseness Factor and Workability Factor with different fresh and hardened concrete

properties.

Keywords:Aggregate,Gradation,Concrete,CoarsenessFactor,Compressivestrength

1.Introduction

Concreteconsistoftwosegments1)Aggregate,2)Paste(Abrams,1918),andthe main

vulnerable part is the paste portion. Minimum paste will mean less quantity of cement,

less quantity of water, which will further mean increased economy, higher strength,

lowershrinkage and greaterdurability (Shetty, 2002). All these properties of concrete

can be improved by having well graded aggregates. Thus, the importance of optimum

aggregate gradation arises. The most suitable aggregate gradation for a concrete mix,

however,willdependupontheactualgrading,particleshapesandsurfacetexture.

The optimization of aggregate gradation is advantageous for economical and technical

reasons.Therearevariousmethodsproposedbymanyresearchersforachievingoptimum

aggregate gradation. One way to achieve optimum gradation is to achieve maximum

density.But itwasalso foundthataggregatewith very highdensitywillresult in harsh

mix (Talbot et al. 1923 Walsh, 1933 Besson, 1935). Another method of achieving

optimumaggregategradationistheuseCoarsenessFactorchartsimultaneouslywith8

18 band gradation. Coarseness Factor chart was first introduced by Shilstone (1990).

Coarseness Factor chart mainly graphically characterizes the relationship between

Coarseness Factor and Workability Factor of a mix. However, still the relationships

between various properties of concrete with Coarseness Factor and Workability Factor

areunclear.Ithasbeenobservedinsomeresearchthattheseaggregatepropertiesdonot

haveanycleareffectsonhardenedconcreteproperties(McCalletal.2005).

740

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFCIVILANDSTRUCTURALENGINEERING

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

In this paper, to observe the effect of Coarseness Factor and Workability Factor on

concrete properties, eight concrete mix results are discussed. These mixes were so

designed that the water to cementitious material ratio (w/c ratio) and aggregate to

cementitious material ratio (a/c ratio) for all mixes were same, only the aggregate

gradationswerekeptvariable.Thusonlytheaggregategradationrelatedpropertieswere

varied(i.e.CoarsenessFactor,WorkabilityFactor,fineaggregatetototalaggregateratio

etc),whereotherimportantparameterremainingthesame(i.e.w/cratio, a/cratioetc).

1.1. CoarsenessFactor

CoarsenessFactorwasderivedfromtheaggregategradationtopredicttheworkabilityof

the concrete mix (Shilstone, 1990). Coarseness Factor is the proportion of plus 3/8"

coarse particles in relation to the total coarse particles, expressed as a percent. Total

aggregate gradation can be divided into three fractions (i) Coarse Fraction (Q):

Materials retained on 3/8" sieve, (ii) Intermediate Fractions (I): Passing 3/8" sieve and

retainedon#8,and(iii)FineFraction(W):Passing#8andretainedon#200(Shilstone,

1990).

ThusCoarsenessFactorexpressedas,

Q

CF =

100 %

Q + I

Here,CF=CoarsenessFactor.

ACoarsenessFactor=100wouldrepresentagapgradedaggregatewheretherewasno

#8 to 3/8inch material. A Coarseness Factor = 0 would be an aggregate that has no

materialretainedonthe3/8inchsieve.

1.2.WorkabilityFactor

WorkabilityFactoristhepercentofthecombinedaggregatethatpassestheNo.8sieve.

The Coarseness Factor Chart is based upon 6.0 sacks (564 pounds) of cementitious

materials per cubic yard (335 kg/m3). Thus, Workability Factor needs to be adjusted in

ordertoaccountfordifferentcementitiousamounts.Whentheamountofcementexceeds

6.0 sacks, the Workability Factor is adjusted plus 2.5 percent per sack of cement

equivalent. When the amount of cement is below 6.0 sacks, the Workability Factor is

adjustedminus2.5percentpersackofcementequivalent.

WF =W +

2.5(C- 564)

94

Where,

WF=WorkabilityFactor

741

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFCIVILANDSTRUCTURALENGINEERING

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

W=%ofaggregatepassing#8sieve.

C=CementContentofthemixinkg/m3

Here,it is noteworthythatWorkability Factordoesnotcorrelatewithslump(Shilstone,

2002).

1.3. CoarsenessFactorChart

Inregard totheCoarsenessFactorchart,theXaxisrepresentstheCoarsenessFactor,and

theYaxisrepresentstheWorkabilityFactor.Figure1showstheCoarsenessFactorchart

with its different zones. The Coarseness Factor chart is a method of analyzing the size

anduniformityofthecombinedaggregatedistribution,balancedwithrespecttothefine

aggregatecontentofthemix.TheCoarsenessFactordefinestherelationshipbetweenthe

coarseandintermediateparticles.Therearefivezonesidentifyingregionsforacceptance

orrejection.Iftheplotof xand y fallswithintheoptimum zone,this indicatesthatthe

mix is acceptable but it does not tell exactly what to fix if it is not acceptable. This is

useful as a quick check and the plot can be changed with modifications in the fine

aggregate(Fricks,2007).ThediagonalbaristheTrendBarthatdividessandyfromrocky

mixtures. Zone I mixtures segregate during placement. Zone II is the desirable zone.

ZoneIIIisanextensionofZoneIIfor0.5in.(13mm)andfineraggregate.ZoneIVhas

toomuchfinemortarandcanbeexpectedtocrack,producelowstrength,andsegregate

duringvibration.ZoneV istoorocky(Shilstone,2002).Therectangularboxwithinthe

zoneIIrepresentsthe optimum zone. This optimum zone was first marked by Harrison

(2004).

50

WorkabilityFactors(WF)

45

ZoneIV,Sticky

ZoneII,

WellGraded

40

Optimum

ZoneI,

GapGraded

35

30

ZoneIII,WellGraded,1/2inchand

finer

ZoneV,Rocky

25

20

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

CoarsenessFactors(CF)

Figure1:Differentzonesincoarsenessfactorchart

742

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFCIVILANDSTRUCTURALENGINEERING

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

2.Experiment

To observe the effect of Coarseness Factor and Workability Factor of aggregate on

concrete,mixdesignwasdone forafixedw/cratio,whereonlythesizedistributionof

aggregate were varied. 4" X 8" concrete cylindersamples were prepared and tested

accordingtoASTMstandardsat7days,14daysand28days.Threesampleswerecastin

eachcase.ThetestsweredoneusinglocalmaterialsinDhaka,suchaslocalcementbrand

(ensuringCEMIIB/Mstandards),localsand(FM=1.13),Sylhetsand(FM=2.75)and

local coarseaggregate(stonechips).Totaleighttrial mixeswereprepared.Forallthese

trialmixesnominalmaximumsizeofaggregatewas19mm.

2.1.Mix Proportion

Asitismentionedearlier,forallthetrialmixesw/cratioanda/cratiowerekeptconstant.

Thus forallthe mixes,quantity(weightbasis)ofwater,aggregateandcementwerethe

same for a given moisture condition. Table 1 shows the mix proportions in saturated

surfacedry(SSD)conditionofaggregates.

Component

Water

Cement

Aggregate

Required(kg/m3)

195

440

1790

ByWeight(kg)

4.0

9.1

36.9

Table1:MixProportionsinSSDConditionofAggregates

2.2.AggregateProperties

Table2showsthecombinedaggregatepropertiesfordifferenttrialmixes,obtainedfrom

standardtests. The shaded areas representthe maximum value of particular parameters.

From Table 2 it was observed that % void for all type of gradation are nearly same,

irrespective of well graded or not well graded aggregate, as it was proved by many

researchers(Karthik,2008 AshrafandNoor,2011 ).

Table2:CombinedAggregateProperties

MixID

Mix1

Mix2

Mix3

Mix4

Mix5

Mix6

Mix7

Mix8

Fineaggregateto

totalaggregate

ratio

0.47

0.48

0.35

0.54

0.54

0.38

0.33

0.49

FM

CF WF

2.82

2.57

2.37

3.28

3.59

3.15

2.83

2.81

71

57

55

52

45

56

65

59

47

45

35

45

42

34

31

44

Aggregate

Density

(kg/m3)

1664

1647

1701

1682

1664

1663

1666

1656

%Void

Content

36

37

35

35

36

36

36

36

743

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

2.3. ConcreteProperties

Table3showsprimaryconcreteproperties,suchas,freshconcretedensity(kg/m3),

slump(mm)andcompressivestrength(MPa)forthetrialmixes.

Table3:ConcretePropertiesforDifferentMixes

MixID

Slump CompressiveStrength(MPa)

(mm)

7Days 14Days 28Days

32

18

26

30

65

21

29

31

0

38

39

46

0

38

45

47

6.5

35

42

51

3

33

38

50

25.5

28

33

37

32

29

31

40

FreshConcreteDensity

(kg/m3)

Mix1

Mix2

Mix3

Mix4

Mix5

Mix6

Mix7

Mix8

2302

2256

2204

2258

2284

2292

2290

2266

3.Discussion

3.1. PositionsinCoarsenessFactorChart

Figure2showsthepositionsofthetrialmixes intheCoarsenessFactorchart.Asitwas

mentioned earlier, cement contentofthese mixes was 195 kg/m3 (742lb/yd3) which was

greater than 6.0 sacks of cement (564lb/yd3). Therefore the Workability Factor was

adjustedfor thisincreasedcementcontentasfollowing

WF = W +

2.5(742- 564)

94

50

Mix1

Mix2

Mix8

WorkabilityFactors

(WF)

45

Mix4

Mix5

40

35

Mix3

Mix6

Mix7

30

25

78

68

58

48

38

CoarsenessFactors(CF)

Figure2:TrialmixpositionsonCoarsenessFactorchart.

744

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

From the positions of the trial mixes in the Coarseness Factor chart it can be observed

that,onlytwomixes(mix3and mix6) fall inoptimum mixrange.Fromtable4 itcan

alsoberevealedthattheconcretepropertiesofthesemixes,beingobtainedfromstandard

tests,wereveryclosetoeachother.

Table4:ConcretePropertiesforOptimumzonemixes.

MixID Strength(MPa) Slump(mm) CF WF

Mix3

46

0

55 35

Mix6

50

3

56 34

Againconsideringanothergroupofmixes,thatis,mix2,4and8,itisclearfromFigure

2thatallthesemixesareinZoneIVofCoarsenessFactorchartforwhichtheproperties

areshownintable5.Fromthistableitisobservedthatalthoughthesemixesfallintothe

samezoneandalsotheCF,WFvaluesareveryclose,therearehardlyanysimilaritiesin

theirmajorconcreteproperties.

Table5:ConcretePropertiesforzoneIVmixes.

MixID Strength(MPa) Slump(mm) CF

Mix2

31

65

57

Mix4

47

0

52

Mix8

40

31.75

59

WF

45

45

44

AnotherobservationfromTable3isthatthemix5isabettermixthanmix3andmix6

(mixeswhichfallwithinoptimumzone)whencomparedonlyonthebasisofslumpand

28days compressive strength. Thus, it has the indication regarding a fact that any mix

withintheoptimumzonemaynotalwaysprovidebetterresultsforcompressivestrength

andworkabilitythananyothermixoutsidetheoptimumzone.

3.2.CoarsenessFactorandCompressiveStrength

Figure3showsthatthecompressivestrengthofconcretemixdecreaseswiththeincrease

of Coarseness Factor and viceversa. This is because an increase in Coarseness Factor

impliesadecreaseinintermediatesizeparticles,asdefinedinsection2.Thushigherthe

Coarseness Factor, the more the mix tends to be gapgraded, giving away a lower

compressivestrength.

Focusingonlyontheaggregatedensity, mix3wasthedensestand mix6wasthe most

gapgraded mix as featured in Table 2. But while only the Coarseness Factor (i.e. the

presence of intermediate particles) is under consideration, Table 2 clearly indicatesthat

mix1 was the most gapgraded and mix5 was the densest mix with sufficient

intermediate particles. Although the density of mix3 was maximum, butthere may not

be sufficient amount of intermediate particles, since its Coarseness Factor was higher

745

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

thanmix5.Asaresultofthatthe28dayscompressivestrengthofmix5wasfoundtobe

higherthanthatof mix3(seeTable3).

28DaysCompressiveStrength(MPa)

Table2featuresanotherimportantobservation,thatis,theaggregatedensityofbothmix

5andmix1wasthesame(1664kg/m3).Eventhoughthesetwomixespossessthesame

aggregatedensity,persistentdifferentiationisnoticeableinbetween.Thatis,the28days

compressivestrengthofmix5was51MPaandCoarsenessFactorwas45andwhereas

formix1,the28dayscompressivestrengthwas30MPaandCoarsenessFactorwas71.

Thus the presence of intermediate particles highly affects the compressive strengths of

concrete which is in turn gives way to a definite relationship between compressive

strengthofconcreteandtheCoarsenessFactor.

55

45

35

R =0.622

25

R =0.6412

2

R =0.593

15

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

CoarsenessFactor(CF)

Figure3:Compressivestrength(MPa)ofconcretevs.CoarsenessFactor.

3.3. WorkabilityFactorandCompressiveStrength

From Figure 4, it seems that the compressive strength of concrete increases with the

increase of Workability Factor up to a certain limit, after that the strength starts

decreasingreversibly.Thismaybeduetothefactthat,finerparticlesarerequiredtofill

uptheinterparticlevoidsofcoarseparticles.Butafteracertainlimit,whentheamount

of finer particles are higher than the required the mix will become more sandy. Hence,

there should be a suitable range of Workability Factor to get a higher strength, as

indicatedbyFigure4itcanbe0.30to0.37.Butthisrangeneedstobemorepreciseby

applyinglargescaledatasets.

746

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

28DaysCompressiveStrength(Mpa)

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

55

45

R =0.562

35

R =0.2841

25

2

R =0.493

15

30

35

40

45

50

WorkabilityFactor

Figure4:Compressivestrength(MPa)ofconcretevs.WorkabilityFactor

4.Conclusion

This paper is based on the small scale experimental research which was attempted to

quantitatively prove the impacts of some recent aggregate gradation parameters on

concreteproperties.Themainobjectivewasfocusedtoestablishanypossiblerelationship

of the Coarseness Factor as well as the Workability Factor with hardened concrete

properties. From this research, it has been found that both the Coarseness Factor and

WorkabilityFactormighthaverelationshipswithconcretecompressivestrength.Butthe

preciseformoftheserelationshipsmustbeestablishedthroughacomprehensiveresearch

withlargescaledatasets.

Acknowledgement

The Concrete Laboratory of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology

(BUET)aregratefullyacknowledgedhereforprovidingallexperimentalfacilities.

5.References

1. Abrams, D. A.,1918, Design of Concrete Mixtures, Bulletin 1,Structural

MaterialsResearchLaboratory,LewisInstitute,1918.

2. Ashraf, W. B. and Noor, M. A., PerformanceEvaluation Of Concrete

Properties For Different Combined Aggregate Gradation Approaches. The

Twelfth East AsiaPacific Conference on Structural Engineering &

Construction,Hongkong,2011(unpublished)

747

Volume1,No 4,2011

Copyright2011AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

Researcharticle

ISSN0976 4399

3. Besson, F. S., 1935, Case against surface area and Fineness modulus,

EngineeringNewRecord,114(7)

4. Fricks, T., 2007, Concrete for Durable Floors: What you need to know about

concretemixes,ConcreteConstructionMagazine.

5. Harrison,P.J.,2004,ForIdealSlabonGroundMixture,ConcreteInternational

,26(3),pp4955.

6. Karthik H. Obla and Haejin Kim., 2008, On Aggregate GradingIs good

concrete performance dependent on meeting grading limits?,Concrete

Iinternational,pp4550.

7. McCall, C. King, M.E. and Whisonant, M., 2005, Effects of Aggregate

Grading on Drying Shrinkage of Florida Concretes, Concrete International,

27(3),pp4549.

8. Shilstone, J. M. Sr., 1990,Concrete Mixture Optimization, Concrete

International:DesignandConstruction,12(6),pp3339.

9. Shilstone, J. M. Sr., 2002, Performancebased concrete mixtures and

specificationsfortoday,ConcreteInternational.

10. Shetty,M.S.,(2002)ConcreteTechnology,5th edition.

11. Talbot, A. N. and F.E. Richart, 1923, The Strength of Concrete And Its

RelationtoTheCement,Aggregate,Water,BulletinNo.137,pp1116.

12. Walsh, H. N.,1933, Simplified Concrete Mix Design, American Concrete

InstituteJournal,5(2),pp110120.

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