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CEMENT TESTING

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this Instruction is to is to explain the steps required
to be followed for testing of Cement so as to ensure that testing is
done as per the requirements of relevant codes and standard test
methods.
The following Cement test methods are covered in this Work
Instruction :
A. Consistency
B. Initial & final Setting Time
C. Compressive strength
D. Fineness ( Same to be submitted to Central Lab. Thane)
Reference Standards
IS: 4031- Part 1to Part 11
Cement
IS: 3535
Cement

: Method of Physical Tests for


: Method of Sampling Hydraulic

PROCEDURES:A) Consistency of Cement Paste


APPARATUS:
The Vicat apparatus conforming to IS: 5513 with 10 mm diameter
plunger
STEPS :
The standard consistency of a cement paste is defined as that
consistency which will permit the Vicat plunger to penetrate to a
point 5 to 7 mm from the bottom of the Vicat mould.
1. Ensure the temperature of moulding room, dry materials and
water at
27 2 C and the relative humidity of the
moulding room at 65 5 % .
2. Prepare a paste of weighed quantity of cement (400g) with a
weighed quantity of water, (25 to 30% by wt of cement)
taking care that the time of gauging is not less than 3
minutes, or not more than 5 minutes, and the gauging shall
be completed before any signs of setting occur.
Approximately 400g of cement shall be taken and water in
the range of 25% to 30% shall be added. The gauging time

shall be counted from the time of adding water to the dry


cement until commencing to fill the mould.
3. Fill the Vicat mould with this paste, the mould resting upon
surface of the paste, making it level with the top of the
mould. The mould may be slightly shaken to expel the air.
4. Clean appliances shall be used for gauging.
5. In filling the mould, the operators hands and the blade of the
gauging towel shall alone be used. The trowel shall weigh
210 + 10g.
6. Place the test block in the mould, together with the nonporous testing plate, under the rod bearing the plunger,
lower the plunger gently to touch the surface of the test
block, and quickly release, allowing it to sink into the paste.
The operation shall be carried out immediately after filling
the mould.
7. Prepare trial pastes with varying percentages of water and
test as described above until the amount of water necessary
for making up the standard consistency. Express the result
as P amount of water as a percentage by weight of the dry
cement to one decimal place.
RECORDS:
Test results are maintained in format no. FT32.
B) Initial And Final Setting Time:
APPARATUS:
i. Vicat Apparatus Vicat apparatus shall conform to IS: 5513.
ii. Balance The balance shall have permissible variation of + 0.1 g at a
load of 1000 g.
iii. Gauging Trowel Gauging trowel shall conform to IS 10086

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION
Ensure the temperature of moulding room, dry materials and water at
27 2 C and the relative humidity of the moulding room at 65 5
%.
STEPS:

1. Preparation of Test Block


I. Take 400 g of cement and add potable or distilled water to it
(0.85 times the water required to give a paste of standard
consistency.)
II. Start a stopwatch at the instant when water is added to the
cement.
III. Mix thoroughly taking care that time of gauging is not less tan
3 minutes and not more than 5 minutes.
IV. Fill the Vicat mould resting on a nonporous plate completely
and smooth off the surface of the paste making it level with
the top of the mould. The cement block thus prepared in the
mould is the test block.
V. Immediately after moulding, place the mould in the humidity
chamber which is maintained at 27 2 C and the relative
humidity not less then 90 % and allow the mould to remain in
humidity chamber except when determination of time of
setting is being made.
2. Determination of Initial Setting Time
I. Place the test block confined in the mould and resting on the
non-porous plate, under the rod bearing the initial setting
needle.
II. Lower the needle gently until it comes in contact with the
surface of the test block and quickly release, allowing it to
penetrate into the test block. In the beginning, the needle will
completely pierce the block.
III. Repeat this procedure until the needle, when brought in
contact with the test block and released as described above,
fail to pierce the block beyond 5.0 + 0.5 mm measured from
the bottom of the mould.
IV. The period elapsing between the time when water is added
to the cement and the time at which the needle fails to pierce
the test block to a point 5.0 + 0.5 mm measured from the
bottom of the mould shall be the initial setting time.
3. Determination of Final Setting Time
I. Replace the initial setting needle of the Vicat apparatus by the
final setting needle with an annular attachment.
II. Lower the needle gently until it comes in contact with the
surface of the test block and quickly release
III. The cement shall be considered as finally set when, upon
applying the needle gently to the surface of the test block,
the needle makes an impression thereon, while the
attachment fails to do so.
IV. The period elapsing between the times when water is added
to the cement and the time at which the needle makes an

impression on the surface of test block while the attachment


fails to do so shall be the final setting time.
The results of initial and final setting time shall be reported to
the nearest five minutes.
RECORDS:
Test results are maintained in format no. : FT 32
C) COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF CEMENT
APPARATUS:
1. Vibration Machine Vibration machine shall conform to IS:
10080. Schematic diagram of mortar vibration machine and
poking rod is shown in figure-1of IS 4031.
2. Poking Rod Poking rod shall conform to IS: 10080
3. Cube Mould The mould shall be of 70.6 mm size conforming
to IS: 10080.
4. Gauging Trowel The gauging trowel shall conform to IS:
10086
5. Balance The balance shall conform to the permissible
variation of + 1.0 g at a load of 1000 g.
6. Graduated Glass Cylinders The graduated glass cylinders
shall conform to the permissible variation of + 1.0 ml at a
volume of 150 to 200 ml capacity.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The temperature of the gauging room, dry materials and water
shall be maintained at 27 + 20C. The relative humidity of the
laboratory shall be 65 + 5 percent.
The humidity chamber shall be maintained at 27 + 20C and at a
relative humidity of not less than 90 percent.
STANDARD SAND:
The standard sand to be used in the test shall conform to IS:
650.The different fractions of sand shall be suitably combined in
proportions so as to meet the requirements as specified by the
standard.
PREPARATION OF TEST SPECIMENS:
1. Mix Proportions and Mixing Clean appliances shall be
used for mixing and the temperature of water and that of the
test room at the time when the above operations are being

performed shall be 27 + 20C. Potable/distilled water shall be


used in preparing the cubes.
2. The material for each cube shall be mixed separately and the
quantity of cement, standard sand and water shall be as
follows:
Cement = 200 g
Standard Sand = 600 g (Combining Grade I, II & III in proportions as
determined from Individual gradations results)
Water

(P / 4 + 3.0) x weight of cement and sand, g


100
Where P is the percentage of water required to produce a paste of
standard consistency.
3. Place on a nonporous plate, a mixture of cement and standard
sand. Mix it dry with a trowel for one minute and then with
weighed quantity of water until the mixture is of uniform color.
The time of mixing shall in any event be not less than 3 min
and should the time to obtain a uniform colour exceed 4 min.
MOULDING SPECIMENS:
1. In assembling the moulds ready for use, cover the joints
between the halves of the mould with a thin film of petroleum
jelly and apply a similar coating of petroleum jelly between the
contact surfaces of the bottom of the mould and its base plate
in order to ensure that no water escapes during vibration.
Treat the interior faces of the mould with a thin coating of
mould oil.
2. Place the assembled mould on the table of the vibration
machine and hold it firmly in position by means of a suitable
clamp. Attach a hopper of suitable size and shape securely at
the top of the mould to facilitate filling and this hopper shall not
be removed until the completion of the vibration period.
3. Immediately after mixing the mortar in accordance with place
the mortar in the cube mould and prod with the poking rod.
The mortar shall be prodded 20 times in about 8 sec to ensure
elimination of entrained air and honeycombing. Place the
remaining quantity of mortar in the hopper of the cube mould
and prod again as specified for the first layer and then
compact the mortar by vibration.
4. The period of vibration shall be two minutes at the specified
speed of 12000 + 400 vibrations per minute.

5. At the end of vibration, remove the mould together with the


base plate from the machine and finish the top surface of the
cube in the mould by smoothing the surface with the blade of
a trowel.
CURING SPECIMENS:
Keep the filled moulds in humidity chamber for 24 hours after
completion of vibration. At the end of that period, remove them from
the moulds and immediately submerge in clean fresh water and
keep there until taken out just prior to breaking. The water in which
the cubes are submerged shall be renewed every 7 days and shall
be maintained at a temperature of 27 + 2 0 C. After they have been
taken out and until they are broken, the cubes shall not be allowed
to become dry.
TESTING:
1. Test three cubes for compressive strength for each sample, for
a period of curing 3-days, 7-days & 28-days.
2. The cubes shall be tested on their sides without any packing
between the cube and the steel platens of the testing machine.
One of the platens shall be carried on a base and shall be selfadjusting and the load shall be steadily and uniformly applied,
starting from zero at a rate of 2.9 kN/s.
CALCULATION:
The measured compressive strength of the cubes shall be
calculated by dividing the maximum load applied to the cubes
during the test by the cross-sectional area, calculated from the
mean dimensions of the section and shall be expressed to the
nearest 1 kg/cm2.
In determining the compressive strength, do not consider
specimens that give strengths differing by more than 10 percent
from the average value of all the test specimens. After discarding
specimens or strength values, if less than two strength values are
left for determining the compressive strength at any given period, a
retest shall be made.
RECORDS:
The test results are maintained in format no. FT 31
END OF INSTRUCTION