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ACI MANUAL OF

CONCRETE INSPECTION

Reported by ACI Committee 311

Donald E. Dixon

Claude E. Jaycox

Chairman

Secretary

Edward A. Abdun-Nur
Gordon A. Anderson
Joseph F. Artuso
John F. Cook
Robert L. Henry
Charles J. Hookham
Robert S. Jenkins
Thomas A. Johnson
Francis W. Joyce

Oswin Keifer, Jr.


Jay R. Prestera
Michael T. Russell
James L. Trujillo
Stanley E. Tumey
Lewis H. Tuthill
Woodward L. Vogt
Bertold E. Weinberg
Roger E. Wilson
Associate Members

Julia G. Consuegra
Maro R. Diaz
Lawrence Dombrowski, Jr.

Chaman L. Grover
Terrell R. Harper
Marke E. Vincent

Publication SP-2(92)
American Concrete Institute

Eighth Edition
Copyright

(1:)

1992, American Concrete Institute

First Printing, August 1992

All rights reserved including rights to reproduction and use in any form or by any means,
including the making of copies by any photo process, or by any electronic or mechanical device,
printed or written or oral, or recording for sound or visual reproduction or for use in any
knowledge or retrieval system or device, unless permission in writing is obtained from the
copyright proprietors.

ACI Committee Reports, Guides, Standard Practices, and


Commentaries are intended for guidance in designing, planning,
executing, or inspecting construction,
and in preparing
specifications. Reference to these documents shall not be made in
the Project Documents. If items found in these documents are
desired to be part of the Project Documents, they should be
phrased in mandatory language and incorporated into the Project
documents.

The Institute is not responsible for the statements or opinions expressed in its publications.
Institute publications are not able to nor intended to supplant individual training, responsibility,
or judgment of the user, or the supplier, of the information presented.

Technical Editorial Assistance


Mary Caplis-Joseph

LillRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER 92-73232

PREFACE
This book is for tbe guidance, assistance, and instruction of concrete inspectors and otbers engaged in concrete
construction, such as field engineers, construction superintendents, supervisors, laboratory and field tecbnicians and
inspeetors, and workers. Journeymen may find it valuable as a reference for improving their work, while apprentices can
use it as an effective instruction manual. Altbougb designers' duties are primarily confined to office work tbey may find
the manual a valuable tool wbicb provides a ready description of tbe various details of concrete construction. Sucb information may enable designers to better adapt tbeir designs to tbe realities of field construction.
Because of tbe diverse possible uses of tbe manual, and the varied backgrounds of tbe readers, it includes the
reasons bebind tbe tecbnical instructions.
Except for tbe seventb edition, each previous edition included a series of minor revisions over tbe previous edition.
The seventh edition was completely rewritten. This eighth edition was revised wbere deemed necessary or required due
to changes in reference documents. Much of the older material has been retained because experience bas sbown it to
be useful and technically correet. However, tbe field of concrete construction is ever cbanging, and some of the biggest
advances in modern day construction have taken place in the concrete field. A list of onIy a few of the recent developments in materials, equipment, and processes include: shrinkage-compensating cement, sopbisticated admixtures, fibrous
concrete, epoxy resins, bigh capacity and automated concrete production equipment, very bigh strengtb concrete, and
systems building. While tbere has seldom been reason to change the fundamentals developed earlier, added material is
neeessary to recognize new teehnology. The field of inspection bas been drastically expanded, and the approach and
emphasis modified in recent years, without change to the basic teehnology of the past. The need to cover all items wbich
affeet inspection has been tbe reason for continuing our efforts in revising tbis ACI Manual o[ Concrete Inspection.
In preparing tbis edition of tbe manual, as witb previous editions, tbe task of ACI Committee 311 was not to make
policy on construction practices, but rather to interpret tbe policies set forth by otber autborized bodies. As before, the
main empbasis of tbe manual is on the technical aspects of inspeetion and construction. Administrative factors of inspeetion are generally limited to the frrst chapter.
Because tbis manual is general and broad in nature, no part of tbe manual should be included by reference in contract documents. Applicable inspection requirements for each project must be determined and speeified as neeessary.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The manual is based on information from many sources, organizations, and individuals whose contributions an
gratefuUy acknowledged. Many of the published references are listed at the end of the texto References to standarc
specifications and methods of testing are listed separately.
The original manuscript was prepared by Joe W. Kelly, author-chairman of Comnttee 611, and revised over:
period of years to achievc a frst edition in 1941. The second edition, also in 1941, inc1uded a number of corrections aDl
minor rcvisions. The tbird edition, in 1955, incorporated many constructive suggestions from users. The fourth edition
in 1957, brought several sections up to date and contained editorial corrections.
The fifth edition provided new information on scttlement of concrete, shoring and forming, strength requirements
cold weather concreting, and shotcrete. The sixth edition primarily provided updated information in aU chapters, anl
inc1uded editorial and substantive changes throughout.
The seventh edition presented a complete revision of the manual by eliminating sections of the previous editiol
covering concreting methods no longer in use. Chapters 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (partial), 16, 17, and 18 covered materia
which was inc1uded in the manual for the fust time. A1lother material was reviewed and updated as required to conforn
to current practice.
This edition, the eighth, has be en revised as deemed appropriate by the comnttee. Members were assigned chap
ters to review and their suggestions were discussed. Member Oswin Keifer, Jr., was especiaUy helpful in getting the re
visions in order so the full comnttee could make appropriate review. The comnttee thanks Mr. Kiefer. Also membe
Lewis H. TutbiU, a long-time member of tbis comnttee and past president of ACI, retires from active participation witl
his ACI activities. For aU his help over the years, Committee 311 is truly grateful.

Iv

--

DEDICATION

ACI Committee 311, Inspection of Concrete, would like to pay tribute to Lewis H Tuthill ("Tut" to his legion of friends
and admirers.) A pioneer in quality concrete, he has been a giant among its advocates for over half a century. His conceros range from design, tbrough material selection, to construction, including testing and inspection.
Tut, a Past President and Honorary Member of ACI, has had a long and distinguished career, mostly with the Federal
Govcrnment and the State of California. In "retirement" he has worked as a very active consultant, both in the United
States and abroad. The list of his ACI publications on how to achieve quality concrete is endlcss. He has also been a
frequent lecturer on the subject. The Lewis H. TuthiU International Symposium on Concrete and Concrete Construction
was held at the 1987 ACI FalI Convention in Seattle, in recognition of his long advocacy and practice of quality concrete.
(Thc papers were published in a special symposium volume, SP-104.)
Tut has been a member of Committee 311 (formerly Cornmittee 611) since 1953, serving as its second chairman from
1956 to 1962. The fourth edition of this manual was published during his chairmanship. He has made significant contributions to every subsequent edition of the Manual, including this one. During his long service he has been a friend and
guide to two generations of young engineers, teaching and encouraging them, formally and by example.
This edition of the inspection Manual is dedicated to Lewis H. Tuthill with sincere appreciation, respect, and affection.

CONTENTS
PREFACE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
DEDICATION
1. INSPECTION AND THE INSPECTOR
INSPECTION PROCESSES AND ORGANIZA TION
THE INSPECTOR
REFERENCE LlBRARY
MEASUREMENT AND TOLERANCES
SAFETY

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

2. STATISTICAL CONCEPTS FOR QUALlTY ASSURANCE


TRADITIONAL QUALlTY ASSURANCE
STATISTICAL CONCEPTS IN QUALlTY ASSURANCE
BASIC STATISTICAL PROCEDURES AS APPLlED TO
CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
BASIC STATISTICAL CONCEPTS
STATISTICAL TOOLS
CONCLUSION
APPENDIX 1 - SAMPLlNG BY RANDOM NUMBERS
APPENDIX 2-NORMAL
DISTRIBUTION CURVES
APPENDIX 3-COMPUTING
STANDARD DEVIATION AND REQUIRED
AVERAGE CONCRETE STRENGTH
APPENDIX 4-CONTROL
CHARTS ON CONCRETE MATERIALS

.
.
.

.
.

3. INSPECTION AND TESTING OF MATERIALS


CEMENT
AGGREGATES
WATER
ADMIXTURES
STEEL REINFORCEMENT
CURING COMPOUNDS FOR CONCRETE
JOINT MATERIALS

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

4. HANDLING AND STORAGE OF MATERIALS


CEMENT HANDLING AND STORAGE
AGGREGATE HANDLING AND STORAGE
STORAGE AND HANDLING OF POZZOLANIC
MIXTURE STORAGE AND HANDLING

.
.
.
.
.

5. FUNDAMENT ALS OF CONCRETE


GENERAL CLASSIFICATIONS
CONCRETE REQUIREMENTS
NATURE OF CONCRETE
FROST RESISTANCE
SHRINKAGE AND SWELLlNG

MATERIALS

OF CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION

6. CONCRETE MIXES-PROPORTIONING
AND CONTROL
METHODS OF SPECIFYING CONCRETE PROPORTIONS

vi

.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

METHOD OF PROPORTIONING FOR SPECIFIED STRENGTH OR WATER-CEMENT


RATIO
PROPORTlONING FOR RESISTANCE TO VARYlNG EXPOSURE CONDITIONS
PROPORTIONS BY ABSOLUTE VOLUME
CONTROL OF CONCRETE PROPORTIONS
COMPUTATIONS FOR YIELD

44
46
47
49
52

7. BATCHING AND MIXING


BATCHING OPERATIONS
MIXING OPERATIONS
INSPECTION

54
54
58
61

8. INSPECTION BEFORE CONCRETING


PRELlMINARY STUDY
INSPECTION OF PREPARATORY WORK
FINAL INSPECTION BEFORE PLACING
CHECKOUT FORM

65
65
65
72
72

9. CONCRETING OPERATIONS
SITE CONDITIONS
HANDLING OF CONCRETE
CONSOLIDATION
FINISHING
CONSTRUCTlON JOINTS

73
73
73
76
80
82

10. CURING, PROTECTION, FORM REMOVAL, AND RESHORING


REMOVAL AND SUPPORT OF FORMS
CURING
SPECIAL CURING CONDITIONS AND PROTECTION

84
84
85
87

11. CORRECTION OF DEFECTS IN NEWLY HARDENED CONCRETE AND REPAIRS OF


OLDER CONCRETE
PLAIN EXPOSED FORMED SURFACES
REPAIRS TO IN-SERVICE STRUCTURES
:
ARCHITECTURAL CONCRETE
STRUCTURAL CONCRETE
STRUCTURAL REPAIRS USING EPOXY RESIN
SAFETY DURING EPOXY RESIN REPAIR OPERATIONS
REPAIR WITH EPOXY RESIN MORTAR AND CONCRETE
INJECTION GROUTING OF CRACKS

89
89
91
91
91
93
93
93
95

12. SLABS FOR BUILDINGS


POSITIONING REINFORCEMENT
MIX REQUIREMENTS
SLABS ON GRADE
STRUCTURAL SLABS
JOINT CONSTRUCTION

97
97
97
97
100
100

13. PAVEMENT

102

SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS

FOUNDA TION (SUBGRADE AND SUBBASE COURSE)


FORMS
STEEL REINFORCEMENT
vil

102
103
104

CONCRETE
PAVING
ACCEPTANCE
JOINTS
WEATHER PROBLEMS
PROTECTION FROM PREMATURE TRAFFIC
BRIDGE DECKS

10.
10<
11'
11
11
11
11

14. ARCHITECTURAL

11
11
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12

15. SPECIAL CONCRETING

12

CONCRETE
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND COOPERATION
UNIFORMITY
INSPECTION PROCEDURES
FORMS
REINFORCEMENT
CONCRETE MATERIALS
MIXES AND MIX PROPORTIONS
BATCHING, MIXING AND TRANSPORTING
PLACING AND CONSOLlDATION
FINISHING-SURFACE
TREATMENT
EXPOSED AGGREGATE FINISH
CURING
REPAIRS
PRECAST MEMBERS
POST-FINISHING PROTECTION AND ERECTION
FINAL ACCEPTANCE

METHODS
SLlPFORMING VERTICAL STRUCTURES
SLlPFORMING CAST-IN-PLACE PIPE
TILT-UP CONSTRUCTION
LlFT-SLAB CONSTRUCTION
PREPLACED AGGREGATE CONCRETE
UNDERWATER CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
VACUUM CONCRETE
PUMPING CONCRETE
'.'
SHOTCRETE

16. SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

STRUCTURAL LlGHTWEIGHT AGGREGATE CONCRETE


LlGHTWEIGHT FILL CONCRETE
LlGHTWEIGHT INSULATING CONCRETE
HIGH-DENSITY CONCRETE
MASS CONCRETE
MASS CONCRETE FOR DAMS
STRUCTURAL MASS CONCRETE
CONCRETE WITH POZZOLAN
SHRINKAGE-COMPENSATING
CONCRETE

17. PRECAST AND PRESTRESSED CONCRETE


PRECAST CONCRETE
PRECAST PRESTRESSED CONCRETE
CAST-IN-PLACE PRESTRESSED CONCRETE
vIII

121
121

12;
13'
13
13:
13:
13:
13!
141
141

14:
14:
14
141
141

14i
14.
14!
15:
15
151
161

18. CONSTRUCTION RELATED TO CONCRETING


PRESSURE GROUTING
GROUTING UNDER BASE PLATES AND MACHINE BASES
MORTAR AND STUCCO

163
163
163
167

19. TESTING OF CONCRETE AND AGGREGATES


SAMPLlNG
TESTS OF FRESHL y MIXED CONCRETE
STRENGTH TESTS
ACCELERATED CURING OF TEST SPECIMENS
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF LlGHTWEIGHT INSULATING CONCRETE
UNIFORMITY TESTS OF MIXERS
UNIT WEIGHT OF STRUCTURAL LlGHTWEIGHT CONCRETE
TESTS OF COMPLETED STRUCTURES
SHIPPING AND HANDLING SAMPLES
AGGREGATE TESTING
~

168
168
168
170
172
172
172
174
174
176
, 176

20. RECORDS AND REPORTS


QUALlTY CONTROL CHARTS
BATCH PLANT AND MIXING INSPECTION
CONCRETE PLACEMENT
GENERAL RECORD REQUIREMENTS
RETENTION OF RECORDS

180
180
180
181
182
182

21. REFERENCES

188

22. STANDARDS, SPECIFICATIONS,


TEST METHODS, AND REPORTS
PROPORTIONING
CEMENT
AGGREGATES
STEEL FOR CONCRETE REINFORCEMENT AND PRESTRESSED CONCRETE
OTHER MATERIALS
EQUIPMENT
CONSTRUCTION
TESTS ON CONCRETE
CONCRETES
PRECAST CONCRETE UNITS

190

23. CHECKLlST

195

OF INSPECTION

APPENDIX
GUIDE FOR CONCRETE INSPECTION (ACI 311.4R-80) (REVISED 1984)
BATCH PLANT INSPECTION AND FIELD TESTING OF READY-MIXED CONCRETE
METRIC CONVERSION

TABLE

198
(ACI 311.5R-88)
213

INDEX ........................................................................

215

Ix

CHAPTER 1-lNSPECTION
INSPECTION PROCESSES
AND ORGANIZATION
Need

AND THE INSPECTOR


need to be done exactly according to tbe rules of the art,
wbicb all the workmen kuow, but few observe," wrote Sextus
Julius Frontinus, the water commissioner
of Rome, in the
year 97. Times have changed but the problem still exists.

for inspection

The reason for having inspection is to assure the


requirements and intent of the contract documents are
faithfully accomplisbed.
(Some inspcctors, not directly
or indirectly responsible
to tbe building owner, will
have diffcrent responsibilities, as describcd later.)
The term inspection as used in concrete construction ineludes not only visual observations
and field
measurements, but also laboratory testing and the assembly and evaluation of test data. Likewise, the term
inspector also applies in many instances to individuals
classed as laboratory technicians who are assigned to
perform the testing, particularly in the field.
One important
responsibility
for the concrete
inspector is the quality of the material s used in the
concrete. Often low quality raw materials, particularly
aggregate materials, can be used to produce concrete of
satisfactory quality if they are suitably processed or
beneficiated. However, the final materials entering the
concrete mixture must be of specified quality.
It is
difficult and usually impossible to produce specified
concrete from nonconforming
materials.
On the other band, a principal ingredient needed
for specified concrete construction is good quality workmanship in all operations and processes.
This aspect
becomes the inspector' s important responsibility. It bas
been said tbat most good concrete is made from tested
and certified cement; sound, durable, well graded, and
properly tested aggregates; suitable admixtures; and
clean, pure water-and
most nonconfomng
concrete
is made from tbe same good materials.
Manual skills, tecbnical kuowledge, motivation, and
pride of workmansbip-all
contribute to good workmanship, which is tbe real key to quality concrete
construction. Workers in concreting crews may bave
been exposed to some technical training but seldom
adequately. Many workers have pride in tbeir work
aDd do make an attempt to attain satisfactory quality.
However, the need to stay witbin cost limits often requires an emphasis on production rateo If this consideration is uppermost,
quality may receive inadequate
attention.
Ironically, cost may suffer also: unsophisticated pursuit of fast production may increase tbe cost
and slow the schedule. Techniques that speed concrete
placement may add material cost or require extra finishing or repair, or lengthen the curing process.
The desire for quality has led to tbe establishment
of inspection forces to monitor and control concrete
coDstruction. The following quotation provides an example of early-day thinking and problems regarding
concrete construction.
"Nor is greater care required
upon any works than upon such as are to withstand the
action of water; [or this reason, aU parts of the work

Fig. 1.1 - Concrete is able to pro vide any structural


architectural shape and any surface design

or

Jacob Feld, one of the most noted investigators of


structural failures, listed examples in Lessons from Failures
of Concrete Structures/
showing that a high percentage of
failures of concrete structures wbich he had investigated
were caused, at least in significant part, by poor construction - in other words, poor workmanship.
He stated,
"Competent and strict, almost unfriendly, supervision seems
to be one key to the problem of how to prevent failures."
He further added, "The one thing which these failures conelusively point to is that all good concrete construction
should be subjected to rigid inspection ... It is believed that
only by this kind of inspection is it possible to guard against
the failure of concrete structures."
For every monumental structural collapse there are innumerable instances of minimal failure, if this is defined as
nonconformance
with design requirements.
This is particularly true for appearance,
durability, watertightness,
and
other desirable qualities.
But there is requirement
of even more than all the
foregoing to assure good concrete work. Fifty years ago the
late, great F. R. McMillen said it in the foreword to the first
edition of his famous Concrete Primer.2
"Many who have been interested in the cause of better
concrete have noted the difficulty of making any real progress until someone in authority has been convinced that
good concrete can be had, that it should be had, and, having
been so convinced, has sent out the word that it must be
had."

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Importance of specifications
This manual provides details and descriptions of
practices involved in good workmansbip as well as procedures considered necessary to assure satisfactory
concrete construction.
It cannot be empbasized too strongly, bowever, tbat
the inspector is strictly govemed by the requirements of the
contract documents, wbich are a part of tbe contract

defining tbe work. Otber references and tbis manual


can be used only as sources of information for background data and to serve as additional guidance on
items not covered by the contract documents. In some
situations, inspectors will be governed by "performance
criteria supplied by management" or by "provisions of
applicable building codes or regulations." Administrative instructions, including description of specific
duties, must of course be provided by the agency
employing tbe inspector.
The contract documents are the main criteria
governing tbe decisions and actions of an inspector;
therefore clear specifications and drawings are
essential. (Although the inspector has no control over
tbe contract documents for the project under construction, the inspector should provide feedback to the
designer in the form of suggestions for changes to use
in succeeding contract documents if appropriate.)
Mucb of tbe friction in construction arises from differing interpretations of indefinite or incomplete
contract documents. The contract documents need not
be voluminous, but they should be carefully written and
specific.
Development of inspection organizations
The presently used inspection organizations were
developed from tbose originally set up years ago by
governmental agencies to oversee the operations of
contractors performing construction for the agency as
tbe owner. Such inspection would sometimes deteriorate into an adversary relationship between tbe
inspector and the contractor's forces. Recognizing that
everyone benefits from a job well organized and well
done, modern-day inspection has developed into a
cooperative effort between the inspector and the
workers' supervisors. In earlier days inspection would
also frequently be so detailed and intense that it
became unnecessary for the con tractor to perform any
inspection or testing as part of the control of the
operations. In recent years much emphasis bas be en
directed toward returning the responsibility for control
testing and inspection to tbe contractor, wbere it
rightfully belongs.
Functional classification
Responsibilities for and the duties of inspection as
applied to concrete construction bave been broadened
to the point where inspection organizations are mainly
employed for the following purposes:
1. Represent the owner of tbe structure being built

------

INSPECTION

and provide assurance tbat the owner receives what is being


paid foro
2. Assure and document compliance witb tbe specifications and drawings.
3. Represent tbe contractor (the builder), function as
part of the construction team, and provide in-process
evaluation of the quality of operations as part of the
contractor's quality control programo This belps to assure
the contractor that the finished construction will meet all
requirements of the contract documents and thus will be
accepted by the owner's representative.
4. Function as part of the fabricating or manufacturing
team of a producer of concrete materials or products who
furnisbes to tbe construction industry, rather tban only to a
specific project. Examples of sucb operations are cement
milIs, aggregate producers, ready-mixed concrete producers,
precasting plants, and prestressing yards. These inspection
forces operate essentialIy as those described in Item 2 to aid
in assuring that finished products will meet the requirements
of the contract docuinents for a specific project.
5. Represent governmental bodies (licensing boards,
building permit boards, etc.) charged with responsibility for
enforcing building codes and other regulations. In tbis case
the inspection forces will have responsibility only for
assuring that the finished structure conforms to requirements
of the codes or regulations.
Inspectlon organlzatlon
Regardless of classification, an inspection group or team
may consist of a number of individuals or, for very small
projects, may be only one individual- even spending only
part time at an individual project. Inspection (including
testing) may be performed by a variety of groups sucb as the
following:
1. Inspection force maintained by tbe owner. Examples
would be permanent or semi-permanent forces of governmental agencies or large industries with continuing building
programs.
2. Inspection force maintained by a commercial design
firm (arcbitect-engineer firm) for work on projects designed
by tbe firmo
3. Inspection forces from commercial laboratories who
are employed for testing and for inspection services.
4. Inspection force trained and maintained by a contractor to provide quality control (in-process) inspection for
the frrm on projects it constructs.
5. Inspection force trained and maintained by a concrete material and product manufacturing and fabricating
firm for its own in-house use in quality control (in-process)
inspection and testing.
Responsibilitles
1. Inspection for the owner (acceptance inspection). ACI
311.4R, "Guide for Concrete Inspection," (reprinted in the
appendix, p. 198) was prepared to guide arcbitects, engineers, and owners in the development of effective inspection organizations and programs. It is concerned with tbe
acceptance inspection program required to assure owners

INSPECTION

AND THE INSPECTOR

Fig. 1.2 -n/e


castability of
concrete lets artistry and
function go hand in hand

tbat the requirements of the contract documents (drawings and specifications) are fulfilled. It states in part:
For the protection of the owner and the public, the
responsibility for inspection should be vested in the
designer as a continuing function of design responsibility. The responsibility of the designer for inspection
may be discharged directly, or through employees, or
may be delegated to an inspection agency seleeted by
tbe designer. In those cases in wbicb the owner provides the engineering service, tbe owner sbould select
tbe inspection agency. The fee for inspeetion should be
a separate and distinct item and should be paid by tbe
owner directly to the designer or to tbe inspeetion
agency. In as mucb as final responsibility for inspeetion
rests witb tbe designer, close surveillance over wboever
is carrying out tbe details of inspeetion sbould be maintained. At no time sbould acceptance inspeetion or
testing be made a function of tbe construction contractor, except wben required by law or applicable regulations or wben the owner considers tbat its interest is
best served by sucb an arrangement. Furthermore, as a
professional service, the selection of inspection services
sbould be based on qualifications.
The guide furtber states tbat tbe designer sbould
avoidtbe undesirable practice of arranging payment for
acceptance inspection and testing services tbrougb tbe
contractor. Sucb practice is not in tbe owner's interest.
Impartial service is difficult under sucb circumstances,
and the cost is eventually paid by tbe owner in any
case.

When construction is performed under a normal


construction contract, the inspeetion forces representing
tbe owner bave no responsibility or autbority to manage
the eontraetor's forces. The owner's inspeetion forces
are responsible for, and ean onIy be involved witb,
determining that materials, procedures and end produets conform to tbe requirements of the contract
doeuments or to generaUy accepted standards of tbe
industry. There sbould be no question about requiring
tbe eontractor to meet all requirements of the contraet
documents. For the inspector to accept less tban re-

quired is sbortcbanging tbe owner, wbile requiring more


tban caUed for in tbe contract documents may place an
improper burden on the con tractor.
2. Inspection by the con tractor. Inspection and testing,
variously referred to as quality control inspection or in-process
inspection, is performed by forces maintained or speeiaUy
bired by tbe con tractor. In some construction contracts, particularly tbose witb some govemment agencies, the contractor is required to provide a speeified amount of such inspeetion and testing as part of a required formal quality control
programo Even wben not contractuaUy required, many contractors maintain a quality control program wbich includes
inspeetion and testing forces separate from the line of
supervision tbat reports directly to management. The cost
is often retumed many times over througb reduction of rejections and savings in replaeements and repairs. Sometimes
tbis inspeetion work is an informal and automatic part of tbe
contractor's operations, performed by regular production
supervisors.
Inspection performed by or for tbe contractor, particularly wben contractualIy required, will often be much more
detailed tban is the usual present-day praetice for acceptance
inspection. The contraetor's forces will make a mucb more
detailed inspeetion of form alignment, reinforcing bar positioning, cleanup of forms and otber parts of tbe placements,
etc. Even if not required by the contract documents the
con tractor often uses it to insure against later rejeetion of a
complex placement very costly to replace or correet. If sucb
items are not covered by a formal quality control inspeetion
team, tbey sbould be covered by tbe contractor's supervisory
personnel.
When the contract documents require extensive quality
control inspeetion and testing by the contractor, it is
undesirable tbat tbe owner reduce or eliminate acceptanee
inspeetion of bis own. The contractor's quality control inspeetion program tben becomes the owner's acceptance inspeetion program and nullifies tbe system. The objeetions
are exactly as stated previously against the practice of having
the con tractor bire and pay an inspeetion force to perform
acceptance testing for the owner. When the owner requires
tbe contractor to bave a quality control program, tbe owner

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

should maintain formal oversight of qualily acceptance


to provide assurance that the quality control program
achieves its objectives.
3. Inspection by the manufacturer or fabricator.
These programs should paraUel the contractor's
programs and can be as varied, depending on contractual requirements and on the manufacturer's quality
control.
4. Inspection by govemmental enforcing agencies.
This type of inspection is generally performed by permanent inspection forces maintained by the agency. The
amount of inspection is often less than required by
other programs. One inspector may handle a large
number of projects, visiting the smaller ones onIy once
or reviewing the inspection performed by others.
Duties of the inspectlon force
While the basic approach will be the same, detailed
duties and emphasis may vary for the various inspection
forces involved on a project. The owner's inspection
forces will often place emphasis on inspection of the
finished structure, inspection of concrete materials as
they are delivered to the mixer, and testing of the
plastic concrete and the hardened concrete. On the
other hand, the contractor's quality control inspection
forces will emphasize inspection of materials production
processes, setting of formwork, the concreting processes, etc., with reliance on the owner for inspection of the
finished structure. These are the most frequently encountered assignments:
1. Identification, examination, and acceptance of
materials. This will include verification of quality based
on certifications and test results from producers and
suppliers, as well as the sampling and testing of
materials delivered to the job site.
2. Control of proportioning and batching and mix
proportioning and adjustment, tests for consistency, air
content, temperature, and unit weight of concrete.
3. Examination of the foundation, forms, reinforcing steel and embedded items, cleanup, and other
work preparatory to concreting.
4. Inspection of the mixing, conveying, placing,
consolidating, finisbing, curing, and protection of
concrete.
S. Preparation of any required concrete specimens
for laboratory tests, and curing and protecting these
specimens.
6. General observation of contractor's plant and
equipment, working conditions, weather, and other
items affecting the concrete or other related parts of
the structures.
7. Evaluation of test results and performance
charts.
8. Verification that unacceptable items and procedures are corrected.
9. Preparation of record s and reports.

'-<

--

--

---

----------------------------------------

INSPECTION

THEINSPECTOR
Quallflcations of the Inspector
Inspectors must be persons of integrity who have both
practical experience and a technical understanding of the
principIes involved in the assigned construction.
They
should know how and why the work is to be done in a certain way. Inexperienced but technicaUy trained persons
should serve for a period of on-the-job training under the
supervision of more experienced individuals before working
alone.
Increasing attention to control of quality and to refinements of concrete construction often caUs for higher standards of materials and workmanship than were formerly accepted. Sophisticated design methods place more reliance
on the assurance of uniformly high quality concrete.
Superior concrete can be produced without excessive cost if
its producers are vigilant and aware of its requirements.
Inspectors, to be effective, should have sufficient support
from management. Inspectors must be observant, able to
evaluate the relative importance of various work items, and
provide greater attention to the important matters. Above
aU, inspectors must be completely familiar with all acceptance criteria of the contract documents. Inspectors should
always promptly document and report nonconformances to
the contractor's and their own supervision.
Education and certiflcation of inspectors
Properly trained inspectors are much more effective than
those without training. Inspectors can get initial technical
education at junior colleges, trade schools, and similar
educational institutions, but should continually improve their
technical training. It is well worthwhile Cor employers to
encourage tbis effort and provide assistance. The employer
should provide periodic training courses to make certain that
the inspectors receive up-to-date knowledge and training.
Certification of inspectors and technicians is becoming
the norm and should be mandatory. It provides tbird party
assurance that the inspector or technician possesses at least
the basic skills and knowledge to perform the job. Some
states directly require certification, but in most cases the
requirement is placed in industry standards and then
spccified in the building codeso Presently the foUowing
industry standards contain an ACI certification requirement:
ACI311.4R
ACI311.SR
ACI 349
ASTM C 94
ASTM C 1077
ASTM E 329
Authorlty of the Inspector
It is imperative that the inspector's supervisor, at the
start of each job, explain clearly and in detail the authority
that the inspector has as weU as action to be taken in various

INSPECTION

Fig. 1.3- Vertical pattem


accents building design

with visible construction joints

situations that may be encountered. It is recommended


that the duties and responsibilities be provided to the
inspector in written formo An inspector may be authorized to do the foUowing:
1. Refuse approval to commence placement of concrete until the preliminary conditions (such as preparation of forms and construction joints, the placing of
reinforcement, etc.) are satisfactory and accepted, and
until inspection personnel are available for the actual
concreting operations.
2. Refuse to accept the use of materials, equipment, or workmanship which do not conform to the
contract documents or which will cause improper
construction relative to the contract documents.
In the two cases above, the inspector is usuaUy
authorized to take direct action with the contractor's
supervisory personnel, reporting immediately thereafter
to his own supervisor. The inspector should stop work
only as a last resort, when it is evident that unsatisfactory concrete will result from continuing operations,
and only after obtaining the approval of the inspector' s
supervisor. On minor points not covered by instructions or acceptance criteria, it will be necessary for the
inspector to exercise personal judgment and to make
decisions, thus settling as many problems on the job as
possible. Matters of general policy or major points not
specificallycovered by instructions, however, should be
brought immediately to the attention of the inspector's
supervisor.
Relatlons with the contractor,
workers

supervlsors,

and

1. lnspectors representing the owner.


If requirements of the contract documents are fulfilled, the
contractor is entitled to complete the work at the
lowest possible cost. By cooperating with the con-

AND THE INSPECTOR

tractor in every way consistent with the owner's interests, the


inspector may contnoute to reducing the cost of construction
and doing so should secure the contractor's cooperation. Inspections should be made promptly when requested. Conditions that will apparently lead to unsatisfactory work should
be anticipated whenever possible, and should be pointed out
to the contractor at the earliest opportunity to avoid waste
of materials, time, and labor. The inspector should not
delay the contractor unnecessarily, nor interfere with the
contractor's methods unless it is evident that acceptable
work will not be produced. Oemands should never be made
on the con tractor that are not in accordance with the
contract documents. If the contract documents permit a
choice of methods, the inspector may suggest one of the
methods specified but not demaod that it be the method
employed.
The inspector should maintain an impersonal, agreeable,
and helpful attitude toward contractors and their employees.
Familiarity should be avoided, and no personal favors should
ever be accepted from contractors or any of their employees. By dealing fairly and by recognizing and commending
good work, the inspector can usually secure the respect and
cooperation of the contractor's supervisors and workers.
The inspector should particularly refrain from criticizing the
contractor's organization or workers, and from boasting of
mistakes discovered.
Instructions should be given only to the authorized
representatives of the contractor. Instructioos preferably
should be given in the form of a caution that the faulty work
will not be acceptable under the contract documents. Matters involving a potential chaoge in cost, time of completion,
or other factors of a significant nature should be documented by written communication to the authorized representative of the con tractor. A c1ear line of direction should
be established. Instructions that may be subject to controversy should preferably be issued in writing. The inspector
may inadvertently waive the owner's rights by telling the
contractor how to do a certain piece of work. This should
be avoided unless the owoer agrees, since liability for that
portioo of construction may thus automaticaIly be assigned
to the owner or the owner's representative. The inspector
should not attempt to "run the job" but should watch the
various operations carefuIly.
The inspector usually deals directly with subcontractors'
supervisors. If the inspector's instructions are disregarded,
the matters requiring correction should be irnmediately referred to the general con tractor who is legally responsible.
A good start is important; an incorrect method is more
easily corrected the first time it is practiced than after it has
been in use. Since hasty and unsatisfactory work is most
likely to occur at the beginning or end of a working period,
the inspector should be on the job early and late. The inspector should be 00 the job at all times while concrete is
beiog placed, finished, and repaired.
An importaot item not often properly understood is that
samples should be taken in a random manner. Inspection of
the various details and operations should be at irregular
intervals.

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

A most frequent and important difference of


opinion between the inspector and the placing crew
concerns the slump of the concrete. The placing crew
may want a high slump (for example: a wet mix with
possibly 6-8 in. slump) because it will flow into place
with practica11yno shoveling or other effort. However,
with the use of modern superplasticizers, tbis problem
has a practical solution. Instead of adding water which
increases the water-cement ratio and reduces strength,
a superplasticizer can be used to greatly increase slump
and produce a flowable concrete, without reduction in
strength. With modero placing equipment and vibrators, lower slump concrete can, however, be placed and
consolidated without undue expense to the contractor.
The inspector should insist that concrete be placed
within the specified slump range, unless otherwise
authorized by the designer in writing.
2. Inspectors employed by the contractor. The basic
approach to inspection and the inspector's relations
with work crews as discussed previously for inspectors
representing the owner applies also to inspectors employed by the contractor. In many instances, however,
they will have a different approach to their relationship
with the supervisors and the work crews since they are
a11employed by the contractor. The actual relationships must be explained in detail in instructions given
to inspectors by the contractor's management.
REFERENCE

L1BRARY

In addition to the contract documents, and other


documents referenced therein, the concrete inspection
force should have at hand a working reference library.
As a minimum, the fo11owingshould be readily available in addition to this manual:
Field Reference Manual: Specifications for Structural
Concrete for Buildings, with Setcted A C/ and ASTM
ReferenceSJ
Placing Reinforcing Bars4

"Building Code Requirements for Reinforced


Concrete" (ACI 318)
"Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for
Normal, Heavyweight and Mass Concrete," ACI 211.1
Concrete ManuaP
Practical Quality Control for Concrete6

"Guide for Concrete Inspection," ACI 311.4R


reprinted in the appendix of tbis manual, page 198.
"Batch Plant Inspection and Field Testing of
Ready-Mix Concrete," AC1311.5R
Additional references may be se1ected for specific
jobs or subjects, as suggested by the lists of references
and standards at the end of tbis manual.

INSPECTION

MEASUREMENT

AND TOLERANCES

A cornmon and erroneous assumption is that specified


tolerances for lines, grades, dimensions, and surface finish
apply to the setting of forms, screeds, and grade strips. This,
however, is not the case. Tolerances apply oniy to the completed concrete. Forms, screeds, grade strips, etc., should be
set at the exact position indicated on the drawings insofar as
possible so the finished concrete will conform to the required measurements.
Usua11ythe governing measurements of line, grade, and
dimensions are made by the designer. The inspector checks
the alignment of forms and screeds as we11as positioning of
reinforcement and embedded items, and makes determinations of length, volume, and weight as required to assure
that the quantities of materials and finished work meet a11
req uiremen ts.
Recognizing that even the most careful measurement
can never be exact, the inspector should exercise judgment
as to the tolerance to be permitted in specific cases if the
contract documents do not state limiting values or permissible tolerances. Measurements must be evaluated in a
reasonable manner that will withstand questioning and review by higher authority.
It is obvious that forms and
reinforcing steel cannot be aligned to the nearest hundredth
of an inch; hence, permissible deviation from exact value
should be governed by the effect that such deviation will
have upon the structural action or upon the appearance of
the structure. For example, a displacement of reinforcing
bars of 1/2 in. might be of no consequence in a foundation,
but could seriously weaken a tbin slab, or impair protection
of the bars from corrosion. Standards for tolerances not
covered by the contract documents should be established
early in the construction periodo
SAFETY

The inspector should be aware of safety regulations and


requirements at all times, keeping informed of local and
OSHA requirements which often change. This knowledge
will have a definite effect on the performance of the inspector. To ignore safety aspects will imperil the inspector's
own job and subsequent responsibility. A1lunsafe conditions
should be immediately reported to the contractor or other
proper authority and to the inspector's supervisor. Safe
working practices should be encouraged by pointing out
dangerous conditions or other possible sources of danger.
However, inspectors representing the owner or designer may
be prohibited from pointing out safety violations to the
contractor because doing so may result in an unintended
assumption of liability by the inspector's employer.
Inspectors should consult their supervisor for guidance 00
whether and how to be involved in safety matters.

INSPECTION

Fig. 1.4- The inspector must be alert to unwa"anted


changes by other trades. The plumber who cut this reinforcement to make space for his pipe probably did not
realize that safety hangs in the balance

11

AND THE INSPECTOR

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

CHAPTER 2-STATISTICAL
CONCEPTS FOR QUALlTY ASSURANCE
(QUALlTY CONTROL AND QUALlTY ACCEPT ANCE)
Quality assurance as used herein refers to aU of the
programs and functions involved in obtaining the quality of concrete materials and concrete itself which will
provide satisfactory service of the desired concrete
structures. It includes design, production, sampling,
testing, and decision criteria. The two functions which
make up quality assurance are quality control, primarily
a function of the contractor, and quality acceptance,
primarily a function of the owner or the owner's representative.
In the past, to a large extent, the owner has been
assured of quality primarily through the combined skills
and experience of the designer and the contractor involved. Properly applied, such an approach has produced concrete structures of satisfactory quality.
However, modern concrete construction has attained a
rate such that the approach used in the past has often
been unable to keep pace. In addition, the work load
of skilled designers has increased to the point that
many activities and decisions have been delegated to
individuals whose skiUsand experience often are inadequate for on-the-spot decisions that the skilled designer
previously made. Further complicating the problem are
legal requiremeuts for documentary evidence of satisfactory compliance.
TRADITIONAL

QUALlTV ASSURANCE

Many specifications for concrete used in the past


(and still being used) are recipes or prescription-type
specifications rather than end-product specifications.
Some also spell out in detail the operations of the contractor and the equipment to be used in the production
of concrete. Such specifications were developed because adequate quality definitions and test methods,
and their evaluation, pertaining to the quality of the
end product were lacking. Attempts to define required
end-product quality and the values used were usuaUy
based on experience and judgment rather than any rational concept. These specifications, combined with the
skills of experienced designers and the cooperation of
experienced contractors with skilled workers, have produced good concrete structures. However, sometimes
the resulting structures have been of less than desired
quality.
Under the above procedure, usualIy a random, supposedly representative, sample is taken. This sample is
tcsted and the result compared with the specified value
of the particular characteristic. If the test result is
within the specified tolerances, the material passes and
is accepted. If not, the material lails to pass. Engineering judgment must then be applied and a decision
made as to whether the material may be said to substantialIy comply, and thus be accepted, or whether the
material truly lails and must be rejected, or whether the

material should be retested. Substantial compliance is not


defmed, and thus can vary from person to person and job to
job, creating confusion and disputes. Actual research has
shown that as much as 30 percent of some construction controUed by traditional methods has be en outside the stated
limits when closely examined by statistical methods using
random sampling, even though it was considered completely
acceptable under the control practices used.7
When a failing test is encountered, retesting, without
upgrading the material being tested, is not an appropriate
action (unless the original test has been improperly performed, in which case the entire test should be voided).
Even if the results of the two tests (original test and retest)
are averaged, there is a built-in bias because the second test
is taken onIy if the frrst test fails, not if it passes. For
example, consider a material that has a 50 percent chance
of passing the specification limit and a 50 percent chance of
failing. For each test on a certain lot there is always a 50
percent chance that the result will pass and a 50 percent
chance that it will fail. However, when a test is made and
the result fails, if it is decided to re test the same lot, the
retest also has a 50 percent chance of passing and a 50 percent chance of failing. But, since a second test is made onIy
if the original test fails, this second test has biased the
original test so that the overall situation actuaUy becomes a
75 percent pass, 25 percent fail probability. This is illustrated graphically in Fig. 2.1.8

Knowndistribulion01 one101

.j

Pass
.50

Pass

lrili2!J.m

I
.50

I1

Probabilily

Foil

(.50) = (.75)

I
Resomple

_-1'------I
I

.50
Foil
(.25)_
Foil

Probobilily

.50
Poss

Overollprobobilily_(.25)

OVERALL PROBABILlTY

Passing .50 + (.50 . 50) = .50 + .25 = .75


Foiling .50 x .50 = .25

Fig. 2.1 - Probability 01 acceptance when resampling

STATISTICAL

STATISTICAl
CONCEPTS
QUAlITY ASSURANCE

CONCEPTS

IN

The scienee of statistics is a versatile tool. Its use


permits decisions to be Olade with an established degree of confidenee.
Contraet doeuments can be written using statistieal
coneepts to express quality requirements as target
values for contraetors, and to express complianee requirements as plus or minus toleranees. Toleranees for
the target value, preseribed by design needs, can be
based on statistical analyses of the variations in materials, proeesses, sampling, and testing existing in
traditional construetion praetiees. Tolerances derived
in tbis manner ean be both realistie and enforeeable.
They take into account all of the normal causes of variation and allow for the expected distribution of test
results around the average. Provisions ean be made
both for control to the stated level and for control of
the variation from tbis leve!.
In addition to indicating the acceptable and nonaeceptable material in construetion, it is also common in
highway construetion to use statistical methods to indicate "gray areas" where the test results show that the
material is not completely in complianee with the requirements but can be accepted if and when permitted
by the contraet doeuments.
Contraet doeuments based on statistical concepts are
widely used and becoming more common. Primary emphasis on their use has been by publie agencies, particular/y the various state highway departments, beeause
statistical coneepts are particularly appropriate, and
valuable, for use on projeets involving high rates of
produetion and large volumes of conerete or other ma-

FOR QUALITY

ASSURANCE

terials, sueh as highway paving projeets, large dams, and airfield paving. Use of statistical coneepts has proved not only
feasible but very effective and efficient where properly
applied.
BASIC STATISTICAl
PROCEDURES AS APPlIED
CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION

Statistieal procedures for quality assuranee are based on


the laws of probability; consequently, these laws must be allowed to funetion. One of the mosl imporlanl requirements
for proper funetioning is that the data be selected by random
sampling. A true random sample is one for which all parts
of the whole have an equal ehanee of being ehosen for the
sample. Without true random samples, statistical proeedures
give false results.
Randomness is obtained only by positive aetion; a random
selection is not merely a haphazard selection, nor one declared to be without bias. Selection by the proper use of a
standard table of random numbers is acceptable. It is possible and feasible to adapt the use of random numbers to the
laboratory, to the field, and to the factory. Meehanical randomizing devices (dice, spinning wheel, ete.) are sometimes
used, but no device is acceptable as random in the absenee
of passing eertain statistieal tests.
The diffieulties in
attaining randomness are greater than generally known. Applieations of a table of random numbers are shown in Appendix 1 in tbis ehapter. Presently, hand-held calculators
and personal computers are available whieh will generate
pseudo-random numbers meeting all statistical tests. A diseussion of the preparation of sampling plans is presented in
ASTM E 105. Sampling programs eommonly used are listed
below. Table 2.1 shows the advantages and disadvantages of
these programs.9 Normally, no one type of sampling is used
alone.

Table 2.1 - Types of sampllng

riskand
situations
Protects
defects
ahle
reJzation
#X
#against
#ability
7inherent
7X
Low
unknown
unknown
Protects
Low
risk
in
X
knowledgecycles
sampler
organipattems
Higb
Simple
against
cacb
individual
the
same
.I=Satisfies
column
beading
at
uniform
interva
\stwo
in
by
time
day.
location,
etc.,
sample
inofsuccessive
such
ahas
tbat
judgment
distribution
ofaor
sample
parts
independently
rrom
amore
(seleclting
eacb
ormanner
(selecling
ohservations
STRAllFIED
SAMPLING
SYSTEMAllC
SAMPLING
JUDGMENT
SAMPLING
(based
QUOTA
SAMPLING
(making
RANDOM
SAMPLING
(selecting

\.

known
defects
##
Protects
against

TO

require

Does not

10

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

1. Judgment sampling is sampling which is based


solely on the judgment of the sampler with no other
restrictions. The sampler decides when and where a
sample should be taken.
2. Quota sampling is a type of judgmental sampling
based on time of day, geographic areas, etc., according
to the known distribution of facts.
3. Systematic sampling involves the selection of successive observations in a sequence of time, area, etc., at
uniform intervals.
4. Stratified sampling involves dividing a given quan- .
tity of material into independent parts, each to be
sampled separately. Stratified sampling is inherent in
any acceptance sampling based on use of sublots .
5. Random sampling involves the selection of a
sample in such a manner that each increment comprising the lot has the same chance of being chosen for
the sample.9
Examples of sampling by random numbers, using the
typical table of random numbers, are given in Appendix
1 in tbis chapter.9
In addition to randomness, the lots concept is also
essential to the proper application of statistics to
assurance sampling of construction. The importance of
tbis method cannot be overemphasized. A lot can be
considered as a prescribed and defmed quantity of
material (whether it be by volume, area, tonnage, time
of production, units, etc.) that is produced from the
same process for the same purpose. This is the quantity that is offered for acceptance as a unit. AlI
sampling and testing requirements are defmed in relation to and are applied to that quantity. Only by establishing the size of the lot can we select the proper
sampling location and frequency to determine the
quantity of material that is within the specified limits.
Under the concept of lot-by-Iot sampling and testing,
the process of concrete construction may be thought of
as the production of a succession of lots which are each
presented to the designer for acceptance or rejection.
This is illustrated for concrete pavement in Fig. 2.2.9
To inlplement the acceptance plan, each lot is considered to be made up of subdivisions of equal sizes
calledsublots.
Sampling locations are randomized within the boundaries of each sublot. An advantage of tbis
concept is to stratify or separate the lot into smaller
components. While it should not be a principal objective, tbis better assures that the sampling and testing
crews will have their work spaced out so that they are
busy most of the time and not excessively overloaded at
any time. However, some inefficiency of the testing
forces will have to be accepted. It also assures that
there will be no excessive periods without any sampling
and testing, which is particularly important during
startups-both project starts and daily starts.
A sample is that portion of the lot which is taken to
represent the whole. The term sample is used in a statistical sense. The term is not to be confused with the
individual test portions or sample increments which make

INSPECTION

up the sample. Fig. 23 illustrates the relationships between


test portions, sample increments and the sample.9 (Note: In
discussions of sampling and testing of materials or concrete
in other chapters, the term "sample" generally refers to each
individual quantity of material taken for test.)
Normally, it is desirable for each sample to be made up of
four or five sample increments (in other words, there should
be four or five sublots per lot). However, the average of the
test values of sublots in a lot will have a range smaller than
the range of the values of the individual test portioos in the
entire lot.

1.

.J

3 miles
Portlond cemenl concrete
poving projecI

Divide projecl
inlo lols

Divide lot 1 nto sublols


lo lacote rondom somples
lar povemenl Ihickness
meosuremenls

X2 =8.2S"
X3=8.30"
X4=8.1S"
XS=8.10"
The resull 01 01101 Ihe meosurements is o
somple 01 povement thickness olsize n=S for 1011.

Fig. 2.2 - Designation

of lots and sublots


LOI

SUb'O!TSUb'O!iSUb'O!tSub'O!

Sublo!

[";X5

x31xA

Sample Incremen!
( average of 2)

Sample Incremen!
(average of 2 )

B
One sample of size n =

Fig. 2.3 - Definition


in cremen t, and sample

of

test

5
portion,

sample

STATISTICAL

BASIC STATISTICAL

CONCEPTS

CONCEPTS

Research has shown that test results of construction


materials and operations form a defmite paUern
grouping around a central value called the mea n
(average). The measurements generally group around
the average in a symmetrical pattern, thereby allowing
the use of statistics based on the familiar bell-shaped
normal distribution curve. Although slight variation
fram the symmetrical curve may oecur, especially when
thc number of test results is small, the error in
assuming nonnal distribution is usually not large. The
assumption of a normal distribution permits the use of
established relationships of mean (average) and
standard deviation to establish realistic contract
document tolerances for selected sample sizes. Such
tolerances can be established by statistical analysis,
together with engineering judgment.'
A typical distribution of results of compressive
strength tests made on concrete of one specific mix is
shown in Fig. 2.4 from ACI 214. Superimposed on
these ploued results is a normal (bell-shaped) distribution curve computed from test results. This particular set of test results and distribution curve would
be considered a reasonably good fit. Al1 statistical
control procedures for concrete construction, including
control charts, assume the distribution of test results
(regardless of concrete or material quality) will approximate such a normal curve.

25

1III

-l- I

.1

.
-,
-1-

5
95.45%
68.27%
25
I v= 13.2%

FOR QUALITY

11

ASSURANCE

n = Number of observed values or tests in sample


The total number of test results or values under consideration

= Individual observed values


Separate test results (may be written Xl' X2, X3, etc. to
indicate specific test results)
X= average, specifically, sample average, called "bar X'
This is the arithmetic mean of all test results; the sum of all
test result valucs divided by n, the number of valucs

Xl

+ X2 + X3 + ...
n

+ X"

s = Sample standard deviation


As used herein, the sample standard deviation is the square
root of the average obtained by dividing the sum of the
squares of the numerical differences of each test result from
the sample average by one less than the number of tests.

= ~ [_(X_I

A form simpler
calculators is:

n -_X_i
1
X_)_2_+_(X_2_-

and more

...

adaptable

n ~ 1 (L(xi)

+ (X"

xi

for many desk

- (EnX/)

. XII
: 5 = 462p5i
where n

= number of values;

L (xi)

= sum of squares of n values.

EX;

= sum of n values; and

v=

Coefficient of variation
This is the sample standard
percentage of the average.
V

deviation expressed

as a

l~s
X

2400

2000 2800 .000 3200

00 3600

"00 4000

"00 4400

'.00

Compre55ive strenlllh psi

Fig. 2.4 - Frequency distribution of strength data and


corresponding nonnal distribution

R = Sample range
The numerical difference between the largest observed value
(highest test result) and the smallest observed value (lowest
test result)
le = Specified compressive strength of concrete

Usually 28-day strength, but can be specified at any age


Definitions

= Required average strength of concrete


Assures that no more than the permissible proportion of test
results will fall below the specified strength.

fer

Symbols and terms used in this chapter are defined


below. These definitions are commonly used in statistical assurance programs for concrete and are
primarily obtained from ACI 214, with additional
details from References 10 and 11.

Normal distribution curves


See Appendix 2 in this chapter for examples and discussion.

12

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Application of normal distrlbutlon curves to


concrete compresslve strength
In concrete
construction,
frequently
too mucb
empbasis is placed on tbe results of individual cylinder
tests. Low tests are inevitable, but an occasional low
test sbould not be of major concero provided tbe result
is not too low (more tban 500 psi below tbe specified
strengtb) or tbe low test does not represent a portion
or member of tbe structure deemed critical by tbe
designer. On tbe otber hand, a few tests faUing above
tbe specified strength
is not necessarily proof of
adequate
quality concrete
througbout
the entire
structure, since it is quite possible tbat lower strengtb
concrete was placed somewbere in tbe structure but bas
not been inc1uded in tbe tests. Wbat is of concero is
tbat tbe quantity of standard cylinder test results faUing
below le is not more tban aUowed by tbe contract documents. TypicaUy, tbe contract documents require tbat
the average of all sets of three consecutive test results
equal or exceed the specified strengtb.
If the test
results do not meet tbis criterion, changes to tbe
mixture proportions or improvement of quality control
procedures must be made. Further, if tbe test result is
more than 500 psi below the specified strength, the
in-place concrete is in question and appropriate actions
must be taken. See the chapter on criteria in ACI 318.
While not pertinent to statistical evaluation as sucb,
tests of standard concrete control specimens during
construction
provide the basis for evaluation of the
potential strength of the concrete delivered to the placing site. Placing, consolidation,
and curiog techniques
will affect the quality of the hardened concrete in the
structure.
The quality of concrete can best be evaluated by
analysis of at least 30 standard tests from a given mix,
although statistical procedures are available to evaluate
concrete based on fewer tests, and such procedures are
used wbere necessary.
STATISTICAL

TOOLS

Results of concrete compressive strength tests are


plotted to form a histogram, or frequency distribution,
for which the normal
distribution
curve can be
computed. More importantly, the results are tabulated
and X and s computed, to provide background data to
use in selecting a required average strength fa for
future concrete construction.
This required average
strength must be selected so as to provide actual
concrete strength test results which will meet tbe specified concrete strength le within certain specified tolerances. This strength is statistically computed, based
on the average X and the standard deviation s of the
past results. Appendix 3 in tbis chapter shows examples
of how to compute
s and fa for given data.
Normally,
the concrete
inspector
will not be

11..- _

INSPECTION

conceroed with plotting frequency distribution


curves for
concrete strengtb tests. The inspector can determine tbe
mean value and the standard deviation, or coefficient of
variation, for a set of concrete test results from previous
construction records, witbout plotting tbe curve.
Usually a technician employed by tbe concrete producer
or contractor will determine the required average concrete
strength fa and proportion the mix to meet tbis average. Ao
average strength higber tban the required minimum strength
is needed to assure that the in-place concrete will be
accepted when results of concrete control tests on the
upcoming job are compared with the criteria of the contract
documents.
If tbe concrete inspector is required to check the fa value
computed
by the contractor
or concrete producer,
the
inspector must use data computed from previous testing of
concrete produced by the same concrete plant or contractor,
particularly the standard deviation.
The criteria most commonly
referenced
in contract
documents
are those of "Building Code Requirements
for
Reinforced Concrete" (ACI318).
The ACI Building Cade
requires tbat, wbere a concrete production
facility has a
previous record based on at least 30 consecutive strengtb
tests tbat represent similar materials and conditions to those
expected in the new work, the concrete mix shall be proportioned for a required average compressive strengtb f""
wbicb sbaU be tbe larger of tbe values computed by tbe
following formulas:

fa

'2.

le

l.34s

fa

'2.

le

2.33s - 500

where

le = specified compressive strength of concrete, psi


= required average compressive strengtb of concrete,

fer

psi

s = standard deviation, psi (modified if less than 30 tests


are used to determine the sample standard deviation)
All of these required levels of overdesign are based on
statistical computatioos
which will with a specified probability assure that, with the koown standard deviation from
previous construction,
the concrete produced for the new
construction can be expected to meet specification requirements when concrete control cylinders are tested during construction. These levels of overdesign are also based on the
assumption that specification requirements
are the same as
those contained in the ACI 318 Building Cade, which require that the average of all sets of three consecutive
strength tests equals or exceeds the required le and tbat no
individual strength test (average of two cylinders) faUs below
the required

le by more than 500 psi.

AlIowance lor usmg as few as 15 consecutive strength results is made hy using


factors which increase the sample standard deviation used in the above equations.
These factors are: 1.16 for 15 tests, 1.08 for 20 tesis, 1.03 for 25 tesis, and 1.00 for 30
or more tesis.

STATISTICAL

CONCEPTS

Actually, the standard deviation of results of tests for


compressive strength of concrete, or any other test results, is made up of components that are standard deviations of several sub-items. The main components are
deviations due to sampling errors, deviations due to
testing errors, and deviations due to actual variation in
the material itself. A chart showing the relationships
among these sub-items on several different concrete
projects is shown in Fig. 2.5.7 Note that these items are
not additive; instead the relationship consists of:

where So is the overall standard deviation, S, is the


standard deviation of sampling, s, is the standard
deviation of testing, and sm is the standard deviation of
the actual material properties.
Typical values for standard deviation of concrete
strength tests, for various standards of control and for
type of testing, are shown in Table 2.2.
Project

13

Control charts are, in essence, horizontalline


charts. The
horizontal lines (for single test result or for "average" type
charts) generaUy consist of a central line at the specified
average and an upper line at the specified upper acceptance
limit and a lower line at the lower acceptance limit (if both
are applicable)-for
an "acceptance" control chart. For a
true "control" chart (one used for actual process control)
there will usually be the center "average" line plus two lower
lines and two upper lines. The upper and lower lines c10sest
to the average are termed "warning limits," or some similar
name, and the next lines are termed "action limits" or some
similar name. These warning and action limit lines are
placed at some multiple of s, tbe sample standard deviation,
above and below tbe average value.
For tbe case of
concrete tests onIy the "below" limits are of concero with the
warning line at

le (or fa - 1.34 s)
and the "action" line at

~~t~~=~

I .;.;f~:
. .
~

. <1.r.M."'"

Scole is opptiCOble onfy fa


individual
standard deviotion

"

Ov*'QIIstondord
deviotion
connot be reod fl'OlTllCOle.

i~1,st 2~';',~!,i'l$.(~v;"';.,.
Scrnpling

-".

ASSURANCE

No.

~~

f ~'"'

FOR QUAUTY

ISs

3 ::~~:"'l~':~..$~~'
.
4 -~.~~~.,

Ma1eia1

DSm

5 ~~~'~~fJ;:;~'~).,,~.;,;A;:-~~~ZJ~~7~~~~~,

200

400
600
800
Componenlsof the varionce-psi

1000

Fig. 2.5 - Portland cement concrete components


standard deviation, compressive strength

/200

o[

Control charts
While frequency distributions
themselves are used
primarily to establish a proposed average compressive
strength of concrete before commencing work, control
charts are the primary
statistical
tools used for
evaluation of test results on the concrete and concrete
material s during construction.

Table 2.2-Standards

There are standard statistical procedures


for picking the
location of these lines, but the inspector will not be involved
with tbis because tbe limits will be contained in tbe contraet
documents.
A blank sample of a typical actual process
control cbart is shown in Fig. 2.6.9 Note bow the control
lines are related to a standard distribution
eurve (sbown
lying on its side to tbe left).
Also note that tbe S referred
to in tbis paragraph
comes from tests made over short
periods of time when the process is "in control."
Generally, procedures
for using actual process control
charts require that, when a point (test result value) faUs on
or outside either warning line, the producer should examine
its operation to determine what has caused tbis variation and
attempt to correct it. When a point falls on or outside tbe
action line, the producer must stop its operation and make
adjustments necessary to bring the operation under control.
Control charts can onIy indicate that a problem exists, not
where it is located.
Tbis type of horizontal line control chart is used to plot
both single test results and running averages of a specified

of control of concrete compressive strength from ACI 214

4.0
above
5.0
lO
6.0
250
2.0
3.0
300
above
lo
3.0
350
300
350
10
5.0
POOR
500
600
FAIR
GOOD
lO
lo
700
600
700
4.0
200
250
VERY
400
lo
500
GOOD
(42.2
lo
49.2)
(17.6
(21.1
21.1)
24.6)
(35.2
lo
49.2)
42.2)
(14.1
(above
lo
24.6)
17.6)
(28.1
35.2)
CrASS OF OPERATION

le - 500 (or fa - 2.33s+5(0).

3.0
below
below200
2.0
400

Standards for Concrele Conlrol

14

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

number of consecutive test results. Typical charts of


tbis type are shown in Fig. 2.7.8

batch of concrete whose slump is outside of contract


document tolerances should be rejected on the spot.

lowerAveroge
oction
Upper
worning
Lower
Uppe'
warning
aclion limit
limil
Ilimil
imi1

+3

-1

INSPECTION

X
-2

-3
+2
+1

4000

.~
~3000
g'

~
.~ 2000+
\!!

u~ 4000
12345678910

..

Required S1renqth

f~. lo

---------

ot

Eoth """',
"""_
,,_"
fiw provious lest Oroups

MovinQ overoce lo, stren<th

Tesl romber

3000
'j,

Fig. 2.6 - Statistical control chart

300

~
~

Eoch

100

poinl averaQe

ten previous

ffi

7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Test rumber

16

o,

range

Somple numbers

Fig. 2.8 - Quality control charts for concrete


4

8.4

Upper controllimit
-----------------------

8.0
-! 7.6

e'"

7.2

g6.8
u
.: 6.4
e
'" 6.0

C'

~ 5.6
~ 5.2

MoYng
.-ag.

No.

The decision lo occept Iot 16 is bosed on lhe overoge 01 test result.


12 Ihrouqh 16. Fo, lot 17 !he o.eroce of 13 IhrouQh 17 would be used,e1c.

Lower conlrolliinil

4.8
4.4
4.0

Fig.

2.7- Typical

horizontal

lme control charts

Fig. 2.9 - "Bar X' control chart for air content

In addition to control charts for single test results and


averages, it is common to use control charts to record
the variability, or range, of test results, either from a lot
or over some specified periodo These, again, are
horizontal line charts, but normaUy have only a lower
and an upper controllimit (or only an upper or lower
limit).
Control charts for results of tests on concrete
Typical control charts for results of strength test of
concrete are shown in Fig. 2.8 from ACI 214. Control
charts are commonly required to be maintained for
results of tests for air content of concrete. A typical
example of such a control chart is shown in Fig. 2.9.9
Control charts are sometimes maintained for results
of slump tests, and a typical one is shown in Fig. 2.10.8
However, often these are not required because any

Control charts for concrete materials


NormaUy the only concrete material quality for which control charts are maintained is aggregate gradation, usuaUy for
only a few of the sieve sizes. However, where aggregate
quality is particularly important, charts may be maintained
on results of certain quality tests, although statisticaUy tbis
may be an improper application. Control charts for aggregate gradation and quality are also shown in Fig. 2.10. Typical control charts for aggregate gradation for individual
tests, for range, and for sand-equivalent test results are
shown in Appendix 4 of tbis chapter.
CONCLUSION

This chapter gives a background of the underlying concepts for use of statistics in quality assurance programs for
concrete construction, together with examples of the proced-

STATISTICAL

CONCEPTS

ures tbe inspector is likely to encounter. The inspector


should study tbe references noted in tbis cbapter for
detailed instruction in tbe more refined pbases of tbe
use of statistics if be or sbe is involved witb tbem.
However, tbis cbapter gives only background information and typical uses. The inspector must always
followtbe requirements of tbe contract documents.

FOR QUALITY

15

ASSURANCE

Solutlon
1. Lot size-The lot size is a day's praduction of 9 hours
because tbe plant starts at 7:30 a.m. and stops at 4:30 p.m.
2. Sublot size-Divide tbe lot into five equal sublots by
selecting five equal time intervals during tbe 9 bours tbat tbe
plant is operating. The time interval for eacb sublot is :

(9 hr per Iot) (60 min per hr)

mblot time interval =

5 mblots per Iot

108 minper mblot

=
Coution

Operotional

-.

control

3:+2222:2:2'22'J02:2~~22:l:lfS0;Z2'L22

34

'-....
o.!:!
g : 26%

.!

" >
>
"en

iii

""

The division of tbe 9 bours of praduction time into five


equal sublots is sbown diagrammatically in Fig. A1-1, wbieb
indicates tbat Sublot #1 begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 9:18
a.m. Sublot #2 begins at 9:18 a.m. and ends at 11:06 a.m.,
etc.
3. Sample increments-Until
now, notbing bas be en randomized. One sample increment per sublot is required but
tbe exact time witbin eacb sublot wben tbe sample increment
sbould be taken is unknown. The times wben tbe sample
increments are to be obtained must be selected on a random
basis.

::~;:;:;;;';:~~~1~~~~~~::::S::7:GG}772:YVJ::[':::
90
85

Operationol control

g~
80
,,>
u 75

Sublot 1

Sublo! 2

Sublot 3

Sublot 4

Sublot 5

70

,;

90
85
a..

ti ;;.~~~~~~_
'"

~--:

Fig.2.10- Concrete control chart

,."

...
M
M
e~
5~e~
eci.
CIC

'"

...
....
ci.
;1;
ci.

Lo! - Oay's productlon

APPENDIX 1-SAMPLlNG BY
RANDOM NUMBERS
Example 1-Sampling by time sequence
Sampling will be done at tbe place of manufacture.
(For example, tbe manufacture of aggregate, concrete,
or precast products.) The task is to select tbe sample
inerements by means of a stratified random sampling
plan to distribute tbe sampling over a balf day or a full
day, wbicbever is more applicable.
The contract documents will define tbe lot size,
number of sublots per 101, aml/or tbe number of sample
inerements per 101. For tbis example assume tbe contraet documents state tbat tbe lot size is a day's produetion, tbat five sublots are required fram eacb lot,
and tbat one sample increment per sublot must be obtained. The plant operates for 9 br (fram 7:30 a.m. to
4:30 p.m.) to accomplisb one day's production.
Assume tbat tbe plant is running continuously tbraugb the
luneh periodo (Alternatively, one migbt assume a
sampling time to coincide witb tbe actual bours of
production.)

Fig. A1-1-Relationship
interval

between lot and sub/ots, time

Use tbe table of random numbers (rabie A1-1) to randomize tbe timing of sample increments. Cboose consecutive random numbers from either tbe X or Y columns. The
particular column to use may be specified by tbe inspector' s
supervisor.
For tbis example, use Column X to obtain tbe timing of
five sample increments. Note tbat Column Y could have
be en used instead and tbat any five consecutive values could
be selected by starting at any point in tbe table.
Cboosing tbe first five numbers from Column X, tbe numbers are 0.471, 0.6936, 0.6112, 0.7930, and 0.0652. To randomize tbe sampling time witbin eacb sublot, use tbe time
interval (108 min) computed in Step 2. This time interval is
multiplied by eacb of tbe five random numbers selected
previously.

16

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Table A1-1- Table of Random numbers


_ -
1
--0.6922
0.7609
03182
0.8010
0.2909
0.7041
0.0101
69.
0.9411
89.
0.8915
03609
0.1000
0.9363
03410
52
0.7930
0.4604
0.0167
0.6112
0.0077
0.6777
03727
03454
0.9726
0.6454
0.2636
0.9454
0.2909
05909
0.1818
05636
0.1
0.1545
0.7000
0.4000
0.1273
0.4818
0.2091
05091
0.7545
0.7817
0.5636
0.8908
0.2636
03727
0.6454
0.6727
0.6451
0.1818
0.9181
0.6181
0.4272
1.0000
03182
05636
05909
0.8090
0.7272
0.8362
0.4515
03027
0.6074
0.1904
0.4818
0.1273
0.9831
0.6442
0.9454
0.2081
0.7159
03377
0.5651
05102
1.0000
03115
0.0441
0.4622
0.2471
0.4742
0.2951
05693
0.8583
03093
0.9144
0.0314
0.9560
0.1327
0.8725
0.2517
0.9143
0.5723
0.7944
05957
0.0135
0.2044
0.0866
0.7513
0.4783
0.8945
0.8011
0.0166
0.9876
0.0571
0.2889
0.9209
0.8183
0.2896
05567
0.6469
0.1488
0.4797
0.4499
0.9401
0.0312
0.6803
0.7955
0.1507
0.7547
0.4609
03087
000
LR
L
54.
53.
92
85.
83.
94.
68.
71.
74.
76.
78.
67.
66.
63.
55.
84.
75.
57.
79.
60.
90.
95.
98.
65.
73.
86.
88.
91.
97.
LR
L
L,-...
0.4721
0.6936
0.2091
0.0010
0.0893
0.5827
0.6718
0.2536
0.9328
51.
82
99.
72
87.
Y
0.4000
0.8080
0.2763
100.
R
0.0652
0.7522
64.
0.4545
0.2364
0.8908
0.6912
05937
0.0318
0.1303
0.0481
0.4266
03941
0.6893
0.0304
03886
0.6313
05967
0.4542
96.
58.
59.
80.
56.
61.
77.
81.
93.
70.
0.2364
0.8090
0.8362
0.8636
0.6985
62
X
y _ ..
0.6069
0.9483
0.4560
0.7399

RANDOM
X

.........

PosmONS

IN DECIMAL

FRACTIONS

(4 PLACES)

INSPECTION

The computed times are added to the starting times for


each sublot. This results in the randomized time at which
the sample increment is to be obtained. The sampling times
can be summarized as foUows:
Sublot No.

1
2

3
4
5

7:30 a.m.
9:18 a.m.
11:06 a.m.
12:54 p.m.
2:42 p.m.

Sampling
min
+ 75 min
+ 66 min
+ 86 min
+ 7 min

+ 51

time
8:21 a.m.
10:33 a.m.
12:12 p.m.
2:20 p.m.
2:49 p.m.

The frrst sample increment is obtained from Sublot # 1


at 8:21 a.m. The second sample increment is not drawn until10:33 a.m. when Sublot #2 is in production. The remaining sample increments are obtained during the time when
each of the last three sublots is in production.
The five sample increments constitute a sample of size
n = 5, taken from ftve sublots of a day's production (Le., the
lot). Each increment of tbis sample of size n = 5 must be
tested. The data would be employed to estimate the properties of the lot. In other words, the average , the sample
standard deviation s, the coefficient of variation V, or any
other statistic can be computed to reflect the statistical
property of the lot when it is offered by the contractor or
material supplier for acceptable sampling.

Example 2-Sampllng
by material welght
Assume that the contract documents specify a lot size
of 3000 tons with five sublots per lot and that one sample
increment per sublot must be obtained. In addition, assume
that the total tonnage required for the project is 15,000 tons.
The sampling wilI be done from the hauling units at the
manufacturing source.
Solutlon
This solution follows the same basic pattern as the solution given for the previous example. First identify the lot
size and then determine the number of lots, sublot size, and
finalIy the point at which to obtain the sample increments.
1. Lot size and number of lots. Since there are 15,000
tons required for the project and the lot size is 3000 tons,
the total number of lots is:
Number 01 wts =
gto measurea along
starting point (or decimal (raction o( otber units)
y = Decimal (raction o( road (rom outside edge toward centerline (or decimal (raction o( otber units)
R = Indicates measurement (rom rigbt edge
L = Indicates measurement (rom le(t edge

51
75
7 min
86
66
min
Sublot #1:
0.4721
108

Lo

108

15,000 tons
= 5 wts
3000 tons per wt

2. Sublot size. The sublot size is:


S..
LI-t me = ---~-3000 tons per lot = 600 tons per su b'-t
IU7W
w
5 subwts per wt

The relationship between lot and sublot size is shown in Fig.


AI-2.
3. Sample increments. The contract documents require
one sample increment per sublot, but which load should be
sampled is unknown because the sample increments have not
been randomized yet. Referring to Table AI-1, choose five
random numbers from Column Y starting with Number 17

STATISTICAL

CONCEPTS

for tbis randomization process. These numbers are


then multiplied by each of the five sublots as foUows:
Sublot

FOR aUALITY

17

ASSURANCE

Solution
1. Lot size and number of lots.
Lot size = 5000 lin ft

0.1818
Random
Ton
be
toas to
l09tb
0.8362
534tb
Number
0.2364
0.8908
502nd
142nd
600
0.9181
551st
sampled
Sublot
size,

The distance from Statioo 100 + 00 to Statioo 300


is 20,000 ft. The oumber of lots is :
Number oflots

+ 00

20 000 ft
'
= 4lots
ft per lot

SOOO

2. Sublot size. The first lot begins at station 100 + 00


and ends at Station 150 + OO. Divide the distance between
these stations into five equal sublots.
Obtain the first sample increment at the lO9th ton
of the first sublot. Then wait until the frrst sublot of
600 tons is completed before selecting the second sampIe increment at the 534th ton of the second sublot.
Follow the same procedure for obtaining the remaining
three sample increments.
If a cumulative log of the tonnage being produced
..
..
is kepl, it would appear
8+ as foUows. The sampling
sequence for the lot (3000 ton s) should be:

Sublot #1:

+ 502
551
142 =

1134th
+ 534ton=

Lot ton
- ton
5000 ft
2542nd
2302nd
109th
1751st

Sublotsize

= _5_000_ft~p_er_lo_t_
= l(xx) ft per sublot
S sublots

per lot

Fig. AI-3 indicates how tbis lot is divided.

Sublot

Sublot 2

+
8~+..8+..
~

Sublot 3

....
<;)
<;)

Sublot 4

Sublot 5

'<1'

8
+

In actual practice when sampling the sublot, the


hauling units containing the 109th too, 1134th ton,
1751st ton, etc., would be sampled.
Sublot 1

Sublot 2

Sublot 3

Sublot 4

Sublot 5

sublot
ton
600
(typica1)

3000 ton lot

Fig. AI-2-Relationship
quantity interval

Fig. AI-3 -Relationship


distance interval

(Note that random numbers starting somewhere else in the


Table, either list X or list Y, could have been used. Indeed,
the inspector should select the starting point at random to
avoid making the time or location of the sample increment
predictable. )
3. Sample increments. The point at which each sample
increment will be obtained must be randomized in both the
longitudinal (X) directioo and the transverse (Y) direction.
This location by X-Y coordinates is iIlustrated in Fig. Al-4,
in which both the station and the offset are choseo in
separate randomizing operations.
Sublot
No. 1

between lot and sublots-

Example 3-Sampllng depth of concrete pavement


The depth of concrete pavement in a roadway must
be sampled for acceptance purposes. Assume that the
contract documeots require a lot size of 5000 lin fl,
each lot divided into five sublots, and one sample increment per sublot. In addition, assume that the pavement width is 12 ft aod the project begins at Statioo
100 + 00 and eods at Statioo 300 + OO.

between lot and sublots-

---,
x

LOCATION

8
+

8
..

SAMPLE INCREMENT ~
~y

I
I

..-.
Fig. AI-4-

8
+

o..
..

Coordinate system for a pavement sublot

~-----------------

18

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Referring to the table of random numbers (Table


A1-1), use five consecutive random numbers fram
Column X and five from Column Y starting with
number 43. Multiply these X numbers by the length of
each sublot, and multiply the Y numbers by the 12 ft
width of the raadway wearing surface.
sublot
1

INSPECTION

variability is small, s (or TI) is small and the data are closel:
packed. Fig. A2-4 also shows that a high value of fer i
required when the variation is wide.

L
0.1545
R
0.6451
0.4000
of
lot
random
0.6727
12
0.2951
0.0441
0.4742
0.9483
Tra
number
DSVerse
4044.1
2948.3
3295.1
1474.2
565.1
474.2
random
L0.5651
0.1273
12
948.3
295.1
44.1
1000
1000
w
idth,
ft
from
from
start
start
ofright
Sublot
size,
Sublot
location,
size,
ft of
location,
ftleft
Sample
1.5
from
1.8
lengtb
7.7
from
rigbt
4.8
fram
8.1
fram
edge
Location
ofedge
sample,
ft
Longitudinal
Sample
from
edge
roadway

Fig. A2-2 - Quite diflerent distributions may have the


same average
Lower
specified
limil

Coordinates fram beginning of lot and from right


edge of raadway are:
Sublot 1
X = 565.1 ft
y = 10.2 ft
Sublot 2
X = 1474.2
Y = 3.9
Sublot 3
X = 2948.3
Y = 7.2
Sublot 4
X = 3295.1
Y = 4.3
Sublot 5
X = 4044.1
Y = 10.5
APPENDIX 2-NORMAL

Upper
specitied
hmil
Meon ok
scotter (5) ok

~r(s)

I ~ I

~~~~Ok

toa lorge

DISTRIBUTION CURVES
Mecn 100 low
tor omounl ot
scotter (5)

Figs. A2-1, A2-2, A2-3, and A2-4 show examples of


normal distribution curves and how they vary but are
interrelated.

a-Good precision
or uniformily

~tOOh;'h

Fig. A2-3 - Process control related to specification limits

,,

25

20
'"

, '<:'
/b-A:>oror unlform,'y
preci~ion
...

....

...

15

'O
'E

~
~

Fig. A2-1-Nonnal

10

distribution curves

The standard deviation s and the related term V,


coefficient of variation, are measures of the scatter or
variability of data. As ilIustrated in Figs. A2-1 through
A2-4, when the frequency distribution is long and fIat,
s (or TI) is large, indicating wide variation. When the

l ..
--,.--

2000 2400

Fig. A2-4-Nonnal frequency curves and required ferfor


diflerent coefficients of variation

STATlSTICAL

Fig. A2-5 illustrates the proportion


under a standard normal distribution

CONCEPTS

of the total area


curve for each

successive step of distance s from the average (mean).


These proportional areas for deviations of 18, 2s, and 3s
form the basis for statistically based tolerances for test
values. For a standard normal distribution, about 68
percent of all test values fall within one standard
deviation (18) on each side of the average.
More importantly, about 95 percent of all test values will be
within 2s of the average, and almost no test values (less
than 0.3 percent) will be found outside the 3s limits.

FOR QUALITV

19

ASSURANCE

(n - 1) is used here rather than the theoretical


is applicable for an unlimited number of tests.
that (n - 1) inereases the value of s and tends
for the lesser reliability of a small number of

Note that
value n, which
The reason is
to compensate
tests.

Examples of calculatlng deviatlon s


Example 1-Compute

s by Eq. (1a)

Compressive strength tests of concrete cylinders:


Test
No.

X
value,
psi

value

3315
3090
3510
2900
3690
3310
3100
3490
3295
3500
2910
3700
3110
3790
3300
3290
3105
2800
3305
3495

10,989,255*
9,548,100
12, 320,100
8,410,000
13,616,100
10,956,100
9,610,000
12,180,100
10,857,025
12,250,000
8,468,100
13,690,000
9,672,100
14,364,100
10,890,000
10,824,100
9,641,025
7,840,000
10,923,025
12,215,025

2
3
4

5
6
7
Numerical value al individual

tests

9
10
11

Tabular
3I4773
Sld,Multiple
Actual
DevlOfion(s)
Area
Value
as
Decimal
Part
49865
2(.49865=.9973
.3413
.2
2
(.4773)
.9546
01
Total
Area
Curve
2(.3413)
=Under
.6826
01

12
13
14

15

Fig. A2-5 - Division of standard nonnaL distribution

16
17
18

19
20

APPENDIX 3-COMPUTING STANDARD


DEVIATION AND REQUIRED AVERAGE
CONCRETE STRENGTH

IX;

The standard deviation s is defined as the "root


mean square deviation" of test results from their
average and is computed by the following equation :

S -

------------

- ~ (Xl

xi

xi ...

(Xz n - -1

+ (XII -

X)2

66,005

I(X;Z)=

219,264,225

A1though the squared values have been wrilten here for illustration,
Ibis is unnecessa!)'
if Ibe calculalor pennits eacb squared number lo be
summed in memo!)' as il is compUled.

Eq.(l)

X:b Xn are individual strength test values. Or,


in a form simpler and more adaptable for many desk
calculators:

= 20 (number of test results)

whereXp

66,0052 = 217,833,000
20

n
I:(X1 s=.I-----n

[(I:X/ln]
- 1

219,264,225

XZ

where
(X2) is the sum of the squares of all
individual tests, and (EXl is the square of the sum of
all individual tests.

.
s = ';75,327

- 217,833,000
19 .

= 274 psi

20

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Example 2 -Approxirnate method for Eq.(1)


Eq. (1) appears formidable and without the use of
ca1culators or computers, computation of standard
deviation can become long and cumbersome.
However, every inspection department should bave available
one of tbe many inexpensive pocket ca1culators wbicb
will compute s directly. Fortunately, if a ca1culator is
not available, the evaluation of strengtb tests of concrete can be computed witb adequate accuracy by
simple approximate methods. Fig. A3-1 ilIustrates such
428
a metbod, in which strength test values are
rounded
Sum
of tests:off 11
13
and plotted in groups. The groups are plotted in equal
incremen~ of strengtb greater or less than the average
strength X. Thus, computation of (X, - X)2 in Eq. (1)
is done by groups, greatly reducing the number of
computations.
II

Z
:>
.o
E
'O
.,

- I,I

5 o I 25
oI,, I25o o
5'10
.1
464
5o IIIlo
o
132%
II Y'
o : o
95.4%

-1-

-1-

I
682%
I

INSPECTION

5. Find tbe sum of the products of Step 4 and the total


number of tests n.
6. Compute s using Eq. (1). The sum of products from
Step 5 is the numerator, and n - 1 is the denominator.
Multiply by 100 to compensate for dividing by 100 in Step 3.

Example: Using Fig. A3-1, which sbows X = 3500 psi.


256
200
=972
= 288
O528 46
176
X

xX

02

102
62
82
22
42

IX I

AO

s = 100 ~~C46=l5

= 465psi

Ol

2400 2600 2800 3000 3200 3400 3600 3800 4000 4200 4400 4600
Compressive strer>9fh.psi

Fig. A3-1- Nonnal frequency distribution 01 test results


The foUowingrecornmended steps inc1ude selection
of several arbitrary values (e.g., round-off value, ceU
size, graph divisions, and divisor of deviations) which
may be altered without seriously affecting the accuracy
of tbe shortcut method.
1. Compute tbe average strengtb X and round off
to tbe nearest 10 psi.
2. As shown in Fig. A3-1, divide the horizontal
scale into cells 200 psi wide, with tbe midpoint of one
ceU at tbe mean strength test value X and with the
midpoints of the oth~r ceUs located in even multiples of
200 psi away from X. * Any test value within a cell is
plotted at tbe midpoint of tbat ceU.
3. The deviations of the ceUs from average are in
multiples of 200. To avoid working witb large numbers,
divide these deviations by 100, whicb makes tbe
deviations in multiples of 2.
4. Count the number of tests in ceUs of equal
deviation (plus or minus) from average. Multiply tbis
number by the deviation squared.

"If "bar X" equals an odd number such as 3570. then the midpoinls of
the cells will be 3370. 3570. 3970L ete.

Calculatlon of requlred average strength 'er


After the standard deviation has been computed, valuable
information is available based on the theoretical normal
probability curve. Fig. A3-2 shows a typical theoretical beUshaped curve with the values for s indicated grapbica11y.
Regardless of the sbape of the theoretical cu~e and the
v~ue of s, the area under the curve between (X + s) and
(X - s) will always be 68.2 percent of the total artl.a under
the curve, and the area under the curve between (X + 2 $)
and (X - 2s) will be equal to 95.4 percent of the total.
Consideriqg only the half of the curve representing values
l~s thall. X, 34.1 percent of the total area will faU between
X and(X - s), and that leaves 15.9 "percent of tbe area
under the curve for values less than (X - s).
These same percentages will apply for the number of tests
involved, as well as for an area. Therefore, 15.2 percent of
the tests for any normal curve will faU below (X - s).
Table A3-1 is an adaptation of a table from a math handbook (the normal probability integral) altered to show the
as a
percentage of concrete strength tests faUing below
function of the required average strength ler' For example,
just as Fig. A3-2 shows that 15.9 percent of the tests will fall
below (X - s), Table A3-1 shows that if

ter =

t.

tben 15.9 percent of the tests will faU below


Table A3-1 is useful in establisbing the required average
strength and also in determining the probability of low tests
occurring when $ is known. Witb s computed from project
data and
established, Table A3-1 can be used to compute
the required average strengtb fer For ex-ample, assume
tbat a designer would like to limit tbe probability of tests
faUing below 3000 psi to 5 percent and the expected
standard deviation of the concrete is 560 psi. Wbat average
strength should the concrete be designed for?

STATISTICAL

CONCEPTS

FOR QUALITY

From Table A3-1 for 5 percent low tests:


fa

ASSURANCE

21

X.41.89

3$ Lirnits

~, 5.18
n ' 2

UCL51.63
LeL

Note:

Controllimits
bosed on
finl 30 subqroups

.32.15>

+ 1.65 S (by interpolation)


= 3000 + 1.65 (560)
= 3000 + 925 = 3925 psi
=

szeve
NI:Ite:ConIroIlimibbosedon
n

' 30

32
28
24

Fig. A3-2 - Division of the area under the normal


frequency distribution curve based on deviations from "bar
X' in muhiples of s

Table A3-1 - Expected percentages of tests lower


than fe'
Pereen!
1.421.2
low
tests
Pereen!
low
of]s
tests
5.5
0.8
34.5
38.2
9.7of
421
30.9
27.4
11.5
15.9
18.4
13.6
46.0
4.5
29
0.6
0.45
035
0.258.1
0.196.7
3.6
1.824.2
23
1.1
2.43
I.fu
;'
;'
;'
;'
+
+
+0.13
+
+
2.&
2.9$
23
2.5s
2fu
27$
21s
223
2.3.r
1.7$
1.9$
1.&
required, f"
Average
strengtb
Average

chart for range (R) 3/8 in. sieve

Fig. A4-2-Control
(percent passing)

Example calculations and control charts for moving average (five tests) for sand-equivalent test results and for coarse
aggregate material passing the l-in. sieve are shown in Examples 1 and 2, which are taken from Reference 8.
Example 1 - Calculatlons to determine movlng averages for the sand-equivalent test (See Fig. A4-3 for a
plot of the data)
Assume a contract document requirement for individual
test of not less than 73 and a moving average not less than
75. The caution zone for tbis example was arbitrarily set
between 75 and 80. The data tabulation and calculation are
shown below. The operation was discontinued and significant steps were taken by the contractor to correet the
deficiency before additional material was accepted.
APPENDIX 4-CONTROL CHARTS ON
CONCRETE MATERIALS
Normal1y the only concrete material property for
which control charts are maintained is aggregate gradation, usual1y for only a few of the sieve sizes. However, where aggregate quality is particularly important,
charts may be maintained on results of certain quality
tests although statistical1y tbis may be an improper
application. Typical control charts for aggregate gradation for individual tests and for range are shown in Fig.
A4-1 and A4-2.9 Plot gradation in individual percent
retained on the particular sieve.

90

10

15

20

25

30

40

Cubic yards - Hundreds

Fig. A4-3 - Control chart of moving


equivalent

averages for sand

22

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

--

- --

8-28-91
8-29-91
8-22-91
400
79
8-14-91
8-31-91
159
80
85
2543MOVING
8-11-91
8-18-91
8-24-91
6-25-91
9-7-91
9-5-91
385
320
396
323
240
75
74
+(e)
+result
=to
80
77
81
83
80.0
77.0
795
80.7
82.7
79.2
73.8
8-16-91
247
84
82
369
testDate
164
81
72
82.0results
68
Rounded
7983
AVERAGE
(a)
Example210 2-Calculations (minimum
to determine
movlng
number
Sum
(b) of
divided 1byCALCULA1l0NS
EXAMPLE
No. WAS
WERE
TAKEN
BY
THE
CONTRACTOR
TO CORRECT
764
12
11
not
shown
an control
charts.
38
Test
THE 73)
OPERA1l0N
DEFlCIENCY
ANO
BEFORE
SIGNIACANT
ADDmONAL
STEPS
MATERIAL
WAS THE
ACCEPTED.
(minimum
75) DlSCONTINUED
by engineer
averages for 1 1/2 In. waived
x 3/4 and
In.1 accepted
concrete aggregate
5
9
MaterialsIndividual
rejected
and results
(Maxlmum variatlon of percentage of material
passing 1 In. sleve) (See Flg. A4-4 for a plot of
the data)
The contraetor's proposed average Gob formula) is
26 pereent passing the one ineh sieve. Assume the
contraet doeuments allow an individual test variation of
14 pereent and a moving average variation of 12 pereent from the average submitted by the contraetor.
The eaution zone for tbis example was arbitrarily set
between 4 pereent higher than the lower Iimit and 4
pereent lower than the upper Iimit. Data tabulation and
caleulations follow.
38

34

.,

~30
-;;

.~
O>

-~
26
U>

a.
c:

.,
e 22

(a) These results will be rounded up to tbe next wbole number using tbe
same number of significant figures as in tbe individual test resulL
(b) The sum of tbe f!Vemost recent individual test results including tbe
current test resulL

18

(c) Sbow tbis test result as tbe fm;t value on tbe moving average control
chart.

--

- -

20
30
40
50
60
6-6-91
51
24
++ result
6-26-91
6-22-91
6-12-91
6-8-91
168
150
178
143
108
79+3=26.3
28
42
34
40
38
35
29
=to
26
34
36
29
27
25.5
33.6
30.0
35.6
28.6
27.0
6-27-91
196
38
39.2
test
6-5-91
524MOVING
30
37.8
Date189
Rounded
27
(e)
Sum
(b)
(Iimits
dividedAVERAGE
by
(a)
EXAMPLE
2 CALCULA1l0NS
Thousands
No. 14of toresults
6-20-91
6-16-91
DEFlCIENCY
BEFORE
ADDmONAL
numher
6-14-91 Tons -Test
ACCEPTED.
STEPS
TAKEN
DlSCONTINUED
BY
THE CONTRACTOR
ANO MATERIAL
SIGNIACANT
TO WAS
CORRECT
(Iimits
38 THE
%) OPERA1l0N
12 ta 40WERE
%) WAS
8
Individual
waived and accepted 1by engineer
and results not shown on control charts.
4-4 - Control chart of moving Materials
averagesrejected
for grading
5

210
934

10

THE

Fig. A
analysis

(a) These results will be rounded up to tbe next wbole number using tbe
same number of significant figures as in tbe individual test result.
(b) The sum of tbe f!Vemost recent individual test results including tbe
current test resulL
(c) Sbow tbis test result as tbe fm;t value on tbe moving average control
chart.

INSPECTIONITESTING

CHAPTER 3-INSPECTION

Materials are inspected to see that they rneet


contract docurnent requirernents and that they are
properly stored, handled, and used in the work. If
rnaterials are inspected for acceptance before being
shipped to the job, their condition should be checked
for degradation during shiprnent and storage. Tbe
contractor's records pertaining to shiprnents and quality
of rnaterials should be rnade available to the inspector.
Standard rnethods of testing concrete are discussed in
Chapter 19.
CEMENT

Tbere are five standard types of portland cernent


used in concrete as specified in ASTM C 150 (U .S.
Federal Specification SS-C-I92):
Type I-A cernent for general use when the special
properties of other cernents are not needed.
Type II-A cernent for general use that has rnoderate
sulfate resistance and rnoderate heat of hydration.
Type III-A
desired.

cernent for use when high early strength is

Type IV -A cernent for use when low heat of hydration


is necessary, such as for rnass concrete.
Type V -A cernent for use when sulfate resistance is
required, such as for structures in contact with soils or
ground water having a high sulfate content and for
concrete in contact with concentrated dornestic sewage.
ASTM C 150 also includes specifications for airentraining cernent, that is, cernent containing an airentraining agent. Sorne users prefer tbis arrangernent
for introducing the agent into the concrete; others fmd
that they are able to control air content of concrete
better by adding the air-entraining agent at the mixer.
(See discussion in Chapter 7.) ASTM C 150 specifies
tbree types of air-entraining cernent - Types lA, llA,
and lIlA, corresponding to Types 1, 11, and III listed
earlier.
Other cements
Other cernents, both blended and unblended, are
available in certain localities. Tbese are generaUy used
for economic reasons.
Such cernents include: slag
cernent; portland blast-furnace slag cernent; and portland pozzolan cernent.
Certain material s, either noncernentitious by thernselves or only slightly self-cernentitious, are often used

OF MATERIALS

23

AND TESTING OF MATERIALS

to replace a portion of the portland cernent in the mixture.


Tbese are caUed pozzolans and react with the free lime
always present as a product of the hydration of portland
cernent to forrn cernentitious cornpounds of slow strength
gain. Pozzolans are often used for economic reasons in
areas where they are cheaper than portland cernent. Most
pozzolans, used as partial replacernent of the portland
cernent, will produce a concrete mixture with less heat generation (of great advantage in rnassive structures); will prevent or minimize aIkali-aggregate reaction; and except for
Class C, will usuaUy produce a more sulfate-resistant
concrete. Tbe tbree general classes of pozzolans are as
foUows:
Class N-Natural material s such as diatornaceous earth
and certain clays and shales, either calcined or not
Class F - Normal fly ashes usuaUy produced by burning
bituminous coals
Class C - High lime fly ashes that are partiaUy self-cernentitious, usuaUy produced frorn burning lignite or
subbituminous coals.
Optional requlrements
ASTM C 150 contains additional optional "low aIkali,"
false set, 28-day cornpressive strength, heat of hydration, and
sulfate resistance requirements to be applied at the option
of the purchaser.
When the aggregates to be used contain elernents known
to be destructively reactive with sodiurn or potassiurn oxides,
the minor aIkalies found in cernents, then the durability and
serviceability of concrete are better assured if 10w-aIkali
cernent aml/or an acceptable pozzolan is used. Tbe use of
10w-aIkali cernent will often, but not always, assure that
concrete will be free of objectionable aIkali-silica expansion.
By definition, 10w-aIkalicernent contains not more than 0.60
percent of these oxides cornputed as sodiurn oxide.
Petrographic examination of the aggregate is a reliable
rnethod of identifying reactive aggregate (ASTM C 295). An
indication of the potential aIkali reactivity of cernentaggregate cornbinations can be determined by the rnortar bar
test (ASTM C 227) and, less reliably, by the quick chemical
rnethod (ASTM C 289). Tbe percentage of the aIkali oxides
in cernent can be determined by Clame photornetry. At
times, it is mistakenly thought that low alkali content will
render a cernent sulfate-resisting, but it do es noto
Cement and Concrete Tenninology (ACI 116R) defines
false set as "the rapid developrnent of rigidity in a freshly
mixed portland cernent paste, rnortar, or concrete without
the evolution of rnuch heat, which rigidity can be dispeUed
and plasticity regained by further mixing without addition of
water ... " Flash set (or quick set) is defined as "the rapid
developrnent of rigidity in a freshly rnixed portland cernent
paste, rnortar, or concrete, usuaUy with the evolution of
considerable heat, which rigidity cannot be dispeUed nor can

24

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

the plasticity be regained by further mixing without the


addition of water ... " The presence of false set and
flash set may be determined by ASlM C 359 (mortar
method) or C 451 (paste method).
While both of these properties are objectionable,
flash set is the most detrimental. Considerable water
must be added to regain plasticity, with consequent loss
in strength and greatly increased plastic and drying
shrinkage cracking. Cement with flash set properties
will usually fail the requirements for time of set in
ASTM C 150. Flash setting cement should not be used
in typical concrete construction.
False setting of cement will generally have no
deleterious effects on the quality of concrete,
particularIy when transit mixing is employed, since the
longer mixing time will restore the plasticity without
water addition (and often without personnel being
aware that false set has occurred). However, with short
mixing times, severe false setting may require addition
of slightly more mixing water, and consequent
reduction of strength and increased drying shrinkage.
With very short mixing times, false set may occur after
the concrete has been dumped from the mixer, in this
case causing considerable difficulty.
Job delays and too much time from mixing to
placing are the causes of most slump loss problems.
However, they can be aggravated by fast-setting cement,
by cement-admixture incompatibility (particularly in hot
weather), by cement having false-setting tendencies, by
loss of water caused by high temperatures of fresh
concrete, by loss of water to unusually absorptive
aggregates or subgrade, or by loss of water to drying in
sun and wind. In cold weather, a fast set may be caused
by overheating of materials or by too much calcium
chloride.
So-called "hot cement" (cement delivered from the
mili before it has cooled to approximately atmospheric
temperature) has liule effect on the properties of
concrete. It does contribute to increasing the temperature of the concrete, but even this is comparatively
minoro
Sampllng and testing
Testing cement for acceptance is essentially a
laboratory matter, and it is not discussed herein.
Usually the cement is sampled and tested by the mili,
which then issues mili test results and certifications.
Cement remaining in bulk storage at the mili, prior to
shipment, for more than 6 months after completion of
tests should be retested as indicated in ASlM C 150.
Large users, such as state highway departments, will
often either engage an independent laboratory or
perform the work of sampling and testing each silo
themselves. Many other owners will obtain samples
from incoming shipments and have the cement tested
by an independent laboratory as they feel necessary.
The field inspector checks incoming shipments against
the notices of acceptance, and examines the cement for

INSPECTION

any signs of loss, contamination, or exposure to moisture


during the shipment. Inspectors should be sure that seals on
bulk shipment cars are unbroken.
If the cement is sampled at the job, secure a representative sample of the portion in question in accordance with
ASlM C 183. Take samples for test of at least 10 lb each
or at least 5 lb each when they are to be combined into a 10
lb sample. If the cement is in bags, take a small quantity
from one bag for each 100 bags or fraction thereof; mix
these amounts well, and choose a sample with a sample
splitter or by the quartering method.
If the cement is shipped in bulk, take samples either (1)
with a slotted sampling tube or (2) by drawing off a considerable quantity of cement at the discharge opening. From
the quantity thus secured, blend a composite sample as
described above.
Place the cement sample in a clean, dry metal can, and
close the cover tightly to exclude air and moisture. Duct
tape around the sea m of a slipcover can make an excellent
sea!. Completely identify the sample both inside and outside
the can, giving the date, name of job, name of inspector, car
or lot number, brand of cement, quantity represented by
sample, part of work in which cement is used, temperature
when sampled, authority or reason for sampling, and tests
desired.

AGGREGATES

In general, inspection consists of examining and testing


aggregates for acceptability, making necessary control tests,
seeing that the aggregates are properIy stored and handled,
and checking the operations of batching. Minimizing variation in the aggregates as batched is important.
Specificatlons
Standard specifications for aggregates include ordinary
aggregates (ASlM C 33), recommended stock sizes of
aggregate for highway construction (ASlM D 448), and
lightweight aggregates (ASlM C 330 and C 332). In
general, aggregates must be clean, hard, sound, and durable,
and sizes of particles must be graded within stated limits.
However, recent specifications usually require that the
chosen grading of fine aggregate be maintained reasonably
uniform by restrictions on the range of fineness modulus
(see the discussion below under "Tests for Grading") of
various shipments. Various deleterious substances are restricted to small percentages.
Following is a list of deleterious substances listed in
ASlM C 33, showing the reason for restricting amounts of
the material in the final aggregate producto
Clay lumps and friable particles: Unsound particles in
the concrete; may increase water demand if they break down
during mixing.
Material finer tban tbe No. 200 sieve: Increases the mix
water demando

INSPECTION[TESTING

Coal and lignite: Detrimental to surface appearance and cause difficulty in air entrainment.
Soft particles: Reduce performance of heavy-duty
floors and other concrete where surface hardness is
required.
Lightweight chert (with specific gravity less than
2.40): Reduces durability of concrete and is a cause of

OF MATERIALS

25

length of belt is removed. If arrangements cannot be made


to stop the belt, or if there are no belt conveyors on the job,
other means must be used. The next best method is to take
the entire momentary discharge of coarse aggre-gate from a
chute or bin gate. Take at least several cubic feet of
material and quarter the test sample from this amount.
Such samples are most representative when it is possible to
quarter them from material taken from the fust, middle, and
last of the material to be tested.

"popouts."
Sampllng
Select samples of processed aggregate for test
representative of the run of the material as it will be
when batched; i.e., from bins that discharge directly into
the mixer. Use sampling methods meeting AS1M D
75. In production of quality concrete, sampling of
aggregates may be the weakest link, and therefore it
should receive c10se attention.
Expect a reasonable amount of local variation in
the aggregate source and select samples so that the
effects of local variations are neither over- nor underemphasized. In judging test results, consideration may
be given to the statistical distribution of the amount of
undesirable material and the quality control charts of
previous samplings (see Chapter 2). For example, a
single c1aylump in one sample do es not in itself justify
rejection of an entire carload of aggregate, unless the
sample is obviously representative and is supported by
a degradation trend. In judging test results, accept or
reject aggregate in accordance with the contract documents for the project.
Samples may be taken from conveyors, bins, cars,
barges, or stockpiles. Methods of sampling from belts,
bins, and stockpiles are outlined in Chapter 19.
Sampling preferably should be from conveyors or from
the discharge opening of bins (Fig. 3.1). Stockpiles are
most difficult to sample properly and should be avoided
if possible. AS1M D 75 does not cover sampling stockpiles, but if it is necessary, take samples at three or four
points along the length and about mid-elevation of the
pile. Avoid segregated surface material. A satisfactory
method of sampling stockpiles is to use a front-end
loader to scoop material from the stockpile and then
remove sample material from the front of the scoop.
Select a quantity greater than the desired sample at
various intervals or at various places, and then blend
these quantities thoroughly. Obtain the sample from
this total quantity as described later.
The quantity of material represented by a single
sample may vary widely, typically one sample per carloado
The most representative sample possible is that
from a conveyor belt. For fine aggregate take scoopfuls
as the belt goes by until a bucketful is obtained, from
which the test sample can be split or quartered. For
coarse aggregate, take samples from the belt only if it
is practicable to stop it while all material on a short

Fig. 3.1 - Where access is convenient and sale, material may


be sampled from hopper or bin outlet

Make up samples taken from surface aggregate in a bin,


car, barge, or stockpile by taking portions at several
separated points. Avoid an excess of unrepresentative
material such as fmes in the center, coarse sizes toward the
edges, and surface materials wetter or drier than average.
However, all material should be properly represented in the
sample. Sometimes a board can be held in the surface of
sloping material to prevent it from running down while a
sample from under the surface is obtained.
When possible, take fine aggregate samples from damp
material to avoid the segregation tbat occurs in dry sand.
Select samples from below the surface, preferably by means
of a sampling tube driven into the sand at several separated
points. When sampling for moisture content allow for nonuniform moisture distribution. For example, a mass of wet
sand will be wetter toward the bottom a few hours after
water has been applied.
If two or more types of sand or coarse aggregate are to
be batched separately and blended in the mixer to produce
a specified grading, sample and test each type separately and
compute the results for the blended aggregate from the proportions of eacb type. If necessary, adjust the proportions
to obtain the required grading. The computation method
for combining two such aggregates into a desired grading is
identical with that iIlustrated in Table 3.1, even though that
table iIlustrates the overall grading of fine and coarse
aggregates.
The size of sample depends upon the type and number
of tests to be made. Samples of fme aggregate should contain not less than 25 lb, and samples of coarse aggregate

MANUAL

26

OF CONCRETE

Table 3.1- Typlcal


computatlons of flneness modulus
49
77
3O
coarse
aod
60Saod
% ....
Mixture
29
46
2l-io
725
O
94
100
96
85
66
99
98
40%
555

301
n3.01
55.55
75
9sand
37
62
15
4
7.25
85

aggregale
% by weigbl retaioed

coarse
aggregate
No. 4 lO

INSPECTION

Principal tests on aggregates


Concrete inspection is concemed with three types of test
on aggregates:
1. Initiallaboratory acceptance tests for suitability as to
grading, cleanness (silt and organic impurities), soundness
and durability, abrasion resistance, deleterious materials,
foreign substances, and mineral composition.
2. Secondary laboratory tests on approved samples to
deterDne physical plOperties used in mix proportioning,
such as absorption, specific gravity, unit weight, voids, and
bulking.
3. Field tests for secondary acceptance or control, such
as grading, cleanness, deleterious materials, and moisture
contento
The significance of the various tests on aggregate is
discussed in Reference 12.

0.40 x perocot of saod plus 0.60 x perocot of caarse aggregate.

of maximum size up to 1 in. should contain not less


than 165 lb. Requirements for sieving of samples are
discussed below under "Tests for Grading."
Some federal specifications for airport pavements
require much tighter liDts on the amount of deleterious substances in fine and coarse aggregates than
those of ASlM C 33. Such tighter restrictions may
range from 0.1 percent fOl soft particles and chert to
0.5 percent for material passing the No. 200 sieve. To
provide meaningful results and achieve statistical control of tests (Chapter 2) for compliance with these tight
specifications, take much larger size samples.
To obtain a representative sample of aggregate
from a large sample for test, use either a sample
splitter or the method of quartering (ASlM C 702).
Unless the particular test caUs for an exact amount
of material, take the nearest approximate amount
resulting flOm quartering or from the use of the sample
splitter. Adjusting the amount to exactly obtain some
arbitrary quantity by adding or removing material may
change the average characteristics of the sample and
should never be done except when specificaUy required
by the test method.
If samples are to be shipped to a laboratory for
test, use a clean container because even a small amount
of some materials (such as sugar or fertilizer) may
cause serious contaDnation. Close the container tightIy to prevent either contamination or loss of fines.
Identify the sample clearly, inside and outside the container including the date, kind of aggregate, quantity
represented by sample, location and other conditions of
sampling, authority or reason for test, and kind of test
desired.

Tests for gradlng


Sieve analyses of aggregates plOvide the basis on which
gradation is controUed and by which compliance with
specified grading requirements is checked.
Use sieve
analyses of coarse aggregates to deterDne proportions of
each type required to produce a combination most nearly
having the desired grading (ASlM C 136).
Select the amount of the test sample to use for a sieve
analysis in accordance with ASlM
136. To avoid segregation, reduce the sample of fine aggregate to the desired
size before drying .
. Separate the sample into the various sizes with the
specified series of sieves, preferably mounted on a mechanical shaker. Use a combined lateral and vertical motion
of the sieve, accompanied by a jarring action that keeps the
sample moving continuously over the surface of the sieve.
Do not manipula te fragments on the sieves by hand. Do not
add slugs to the sieves as sieving aids. Keep sieves, particularly the small sizes, reasonably clean and unblinded by
careful and moderate use of a good quality brush.
The fineness modulus is an index number which is
rougWy proportional to the average size of particles in a
given aggregate; that is, the coarser the aggregate, the higher
the fineness modulus. It is computed by adding the cumulative percentages coarser than each of the foUowing U.S.
standard sieves and dividing the sum by 100: 3 in., 1 112in.,
3/4 in., 3/8 in., No. 4, No. 8, No. 16, No. 30, No. 50, and No.
100, as shown in Table 3.1. Although it gives no idea of
grading and does not distinguish between a single-size aggregate and a graded aggregate having the same average size,
it does indicate whether one graded aggregate is finer or
coarser than another. It is used for specification and record
purposes and finds particular use as a means for controlling
grading and uniforDty. It is used in one computation
method oI plOportioning aggregates.13 ASlM specifications
require that the fineness modulus of a shipment of fine
aggregate shaU not vary more than a certain amount (in
some cases 0.20) either way from the fineness modulus of an
acceptably representative preliminary sample.
Make sieve analyses only with standard sieves as defined

INSPECTIONrrESTING

by ASlM e 136. Witb tbe aid of a conversion cbart,


it is possible to convert a sieve analysis made using one
series of sieves to an analysis using anotber series of
sieves (perhaps baving round instead of square openings, or tbe reverse). But the conversion is only approximate, and in case of dispute use only the actual
sieves required by the contract documento
Aggregates, particularly coarse aggregates, vary
considerably witbin stockpiles and bins; bence any
single test is of limited significance by itself. Average
eacb new test witb at least two immediately preceding
tests on tbe same material to obtain a more representative analysis of its general run and use tbe average
to adjust tbe mix or to determine if grading requirements are meto
The number of sieve analyses to be made for
acceptance of aggregates depends cbieOy on tbe homogeneity of the supply and to some extent on tbe quantity being used and tbe sbipping units. In general, on
a job of moderate size, make a sieve analysis once or
twice eaeb day, and at any otber time wben it appears
tbat ebanges in grading bave occurred.
Tests for material finer than No. 200 sleve
The extremely fine mineral material (elay, silt, dust,
or loam) occurring in most aggregates requires
relatively large increases in the amounts of mixing
water and tends to work to tbe surfaee of concrete and
to cause checking due to shrinkage upon drying. If the
fmes adbere to tbe larger aggregate partieles, tbey also
tend to interfere with bond between tbe aggregate
partieles and eement-water paste. Specifieations limit
tbe amount of such material to a small percentage.
For specifieation and test purposes, material fmer
than tbe No. 200 sieve was formerly termed "silt." The
test for pereentage of fines in aggregate is described in
Cbapter 19 and in ASlM C 117. Wasb the fme
material tbrough sieves from a weighed sample of
oven-dry aggregate. Oven-dry tbe remaining aggregate
again and weigh it to find the amount of fines removed.
See ASlM D 2419 for a standard field test for fine
mineral material in sand. A simpler sedimentation test
for the approximate amount of fines in sand is often
used in tbe field as foUows.5 Do not dry the sample for
test beca use drying may result in loss of fines.
FilI a elear glass jar or bottle, preferably a 32-oz
graduated prescription bottle, about half full with tbe
sand. Add elear water until the contents reach a level
about twice tbat of tbe inundated sand. Vigorously
sbake tbe container and aUow tbe contents to settle for
1 hr. Measure tbe deptb of tbe layer of fines on top of
the sand and if this exceeds a permissible pereentage of
the deptb of tbe sand and fines, test tbe sand by tbe
more accurate method specified. RougbIy, 2 percent by
volume (deptb) is the equivalent of 1 pereent by weigbt.
Determine tbe amount of elay lumps or otber
friable partieles by the metbods of ASTM C 142. As
described in Cbapter 19, this metbod uses tbe material

OF MATERIALS

27

retained on the No. 16 sieve of the ASTM


117 test. For
fine aggregate, dry tbe material, soak it in distilled water {or
24 br, and tben break tbe friable partieles by squeezing and
rolling between tbe tbumb and forefinger. In the case of
coarse aggregate, dry the material and separate it into tbe
four sizes from No. 4 to 1 in. Then soak tbe different sizes
for 24 br in distilled water and break tbe friable partieles as
for fme aggregate. Separate tbe residue from eacb sample by
wet sieving over preseribed sieve sizes, and compute tbe
amount of friable material as a pereentage of tbe sample
weigbt.
In coarse aggregate, fine minerals or crusber dust in
objectionable quantities is usually cIearly apparent to tbe
eye. ASTM C 33 limits materials passing tbe No. 200 sieve
to one pereent by weigbt. This limit is increased to 1 pereent
if the fme material does not consist of cIay or sbale
materials.
Make tests for material fmer tban No. 200 sieve as a
routine matter perbaps once eaeb day or so, wben statistical
analysis is desired, and at any otber time wben tbere is
reason to believe from tbe appearance or from tbe sieve
analysis tbat tbe permissible amount of fine minerals is being
exceeded.
Tests for organlc Impurltles In flne aggregate
A fraction of 1 pereent of some kinds of organic
material in fine aggregate may delay or prevent bardening of
concrete, and may drasticaUy reduce concrete strength.
Organie matter in sand usually occurs in the form of decayed
vegetable matter. Tannic acid from certain pine tree roots
in certain locations occurs as deposits on tbe partic1e
surfaees and is not removed by wasbing.
A color comparison test for tbe presenee and approximate amount of organic material is described in detail in
ASTM C 40. Use a sligbtly damp sample for test because
an exeess of surfaee moisture weakens tbe testing solution,
and because dried aggregate may lose some of the organic
material in bandling or by burning off. Immerse tbe sample
in a 3 pereent (by weight) solution of sodium bydroxide in
a elear glass bottle.
After vigorous shaking, allow the
sample to stand for 24 br. Note the color of tbe supernatant
liquid and compare it witb a standard color solution
prepared according to ASlM C 40. If tbe solution is c1ear
or ligbter tban tbe standard solution, tbe fme aggregate is
satisfaetorily free from organie matter. If tbe solution is
darker tban tbe standard solution, the presence of organic
impurities is indicated and it may then be necessary to make
comparison strengtb tests of mortar containing the fine
aggregate witb and without the organic impurities in
accordanee with ASlM C 87. Coal or lignite particIes in
fine aggregate may indieate a dark color in the color
comparison test; however, such partieles are permissible in
fme aggregates, provided the amounts do not exceed the
allowable limits of Table 1 in ASlM C 33.
The frequency of testing for organie matter depends on
tbe condition and bomogeneity of tbe fme aggregate and on
tbe requirements of statistical evaluation (Chapter 2). The
color comparison test may be made daily, although for

MANUAL

28

OF CONCRETE

washed Cineaggregate with a satisfactory record it may


be made as infrequently as once each week. Make additional determinations if the amount of organic matter
is near the permissible limit, or if the supply is changed,
or if at any time the concrete hardens more slowly than
normal.

tionsbip is given by tbis equation:


Surface or
free moisture = total moisture absorption capacity
If tbe total moisture is less than the absorption capacity
(as in the case of air-dry aggregate), tbe surface moisture
will be negative, and the aggregate will absorb some of tbe
mixing water.
Tests for tbe determination of moisture content and
absorption of aggregates are described in detail in Reference
70,
127,
128, and
566. The
5 and in AS1M
significance of tbese tests is discussed in Reference 12. For
laboratory purposes, make tbe tests witb a precision which
will yield results accurate to tbe nearest 0.1 percent. Base
the percentages on the oven-dry weight rather tban on the
saturated, surface-dry weigbt or air-dry weight; bowever, the
percentages of moisture and absorption generaUy are so
smalI tbat tbese differences in bases make little difference in
the numerical results.
For job determinations of moisture content of fine
aggregate, speed is more important tban refinement of test
and results. Unless information on cbanges in moisture
content is available in time to make appropriate adjustments
in batcbing, the tests serve little purpose. Electrical and
nuclear equipment for indicating moisture is available which
immediately reflects significant changes in moisture content
of fine aggregate.
Absorption - For practical purposes, tbe total absorption
capacity of a given aggregate does not vary. In bard, dense
natural aggregates it usuaUy amounts to 1 percent or less of
the weight of aggregate but tbis amount may be exceeded
witb some natural aggregates. For blast-fumace slag, it may
be as mucb as 5 percent. For a given type of aggregate on
smalI jobs, the value of absorption is often assumed,19 but,
wbere careful control is desired, tbe absorption should be
accurately determined.
Determine the coarse aggregate absorption using the
procedure in AS1M
127 with deletion of tbe weigbing
under water if specific gravity is not to be determined also.
To measure absorption, bring a damp sample to tbe
saturated and surface-dry condition, weigh it, completely dry
it by beating, and reweigh it. The loss in weigbt after
beating represents the absorption capacity. Obtain the
surface-dry condition by wiping tbe particles with absorbent
clotb.

Tests for molsture and absorptlon


Make tests for moisture content and absorption of
aggregates for these reasons:
1. To determine the amount of water contn"buted
to, or absorbed from, a concrete mixture by the
aggregates. An increase of 1 percent in moisture
content of fine aggregate, for example from 4 to 5
percent, if not compensated, will increase slump of
concrete as much as 1 in. and decrease the compressive
strength of concrete as much as 300 psL
2. To determine the necessary adjustment in
weight or volume to secure uniform quantities of equivalent saturated, surface-dry aggregates in the batch es.
If measurement is by volume, the bulking factor must
be known.
With regard to moisture, aggregates may be in any
of four states, as shown by Fig. 3.2:
1. Oven-dry, Le., completely dry and fulIy absorbent.
2. Air-dry, Le., dry at the surface but containing
some interior moisture less than the amount required
to saturate the particles (calIed the "absorption capacity"), hence somewhat absorbent.
3. Saturated and surface-dry, an ideal condition in
which the aggregate neither contributes water to nor
absorbs water fram the paste.
4. Damp or wet, containing an excess of moisture
on the surface of the particles.
A clear understanding of these relations is necessary for proper proportioning and batching of the
aggregates.
Base aU computations on aggregate in a saturated
surface-dry condition. It is impracticable to secure
aggregates for construction in tbis ideal condition; but
by simple aritbmetic tbe measurements on damp or dry
aggregates may be converted into terms of tbe equivalent amounts of saturated surface-dry aggregate. It is
necessary only to know the total moisture content and
the absorption capacity of the aggregate. The relaSTATE: :

OVE'H-~

O
TOTAL MOI5TUQE::

NON E

INSPECTION

MOI5TURE-:

HE:GATNE

AIR.-DRY

~ . "

' ,1

MOl5T

5ATURATEDAND
.5URFACE-DR-Y

0,

',

"\{~j~~t:/ ;;~{l:~D~W~~.~
\,w!;(\~;:y
:::XW0r;;\
LE:55 THAN

EQUAL TO

AB50RPTION

ABSORPTIOH
CAPACITV

CAPACITV
5UI2F-ACE'

NE-6ATIVE

\'CAPACITV
f=ABSORPTION'
J

Fig. 3.2 - Range of moisture content in aggregate

HON

GRE-ATER THAN

AB50RPTION
CAPAC.ITV

P05ITIVE:

INSPECTION{TESTING

Determine fme aggregate absorption by using


ASTM C 128 with deletion of the use of the flask if
specific gravity is not measured. Bring a damp sample
to the saturated and surface-dry condition, weigh it,
oven-dry it, and reweigh it. Determine the surface-dry
condition using the cone test described in ASTM C
128, as foUows: From time to time, Iightly tamp a
portion of the fine aggregate which is being dried (by
evaporation or a gentle current of warm air) into a
small conical mold open at top and bottom, then Iift
the mold verticaUy. If the pife of fine aggregate retains
the shape of the mold, surface moisture is presento At
the point in the series of tests when the pife begins to
slump, the sand is saturated and surface-dry.
Another indication of the point at which drying
sand becomes saturated and surface-dry is when it just
ceases to adhere to a cIean glass rod or jaro Neither of
the tests for the saturated surface-dry condition is fully
satisfactory for very coarse fme aggegate or for certain
very angular fine aggregate.
Moisture - The surface moisture in fine aggregate
can be determined by means of the Chapman flask
(ASTM C 70). For this test, the specific gravity of
saturated, surface-dry aggregate must be known.
For either fine or coarse aggregate, determine
surface moisture directly by weighing a damp sample,
air-drying it to the saturated and surface-dry condition
asjust described in the case of absorption, and reweighing. A more rapid method described in Chapter 19 and
in ASTM C 566 consists of weighing the damp sample,
drying it by means of heat, and reweighing (Fig. 3.3).
Tbe loss in weight represents the total moisture from
which the absorption capacity is subtracted to obtain
the surface moisture. Aggregates which appear to contain no surface moisture should be tested by this
method of heating because the surface "moisture" in
this case is either zero or negative (indicating that the
aggregate will absorb mix water).
Other common
methods of determining surface moisture involve weighing the aggregate in air and then under water, or the
use of a pycnometer. These methods are described in
Reference 5.
The frequency of testing for moisture content depends on the uniformity of the supply and the requirements for statistical analysis (Chapter 2). Test twice a
dayordinarily, and make additional tests, particularly of
fme aggregates, whenever conditions change appreciably. To mnimize the effect of inaccuracies in sampling and weighing, use as large a sample for moisture
test as can be conveniently handled within the time
available.
From experience with fine aggregate and routine
moisture tests, and by observing the concrete slump and
workability, the inspector should soon be able to judge
with reasonable accuracy any significant changes which
may occur between tests, and to make appropriate
adjustments in the batch.

OF MATERIALS

29

Fig. 3.3 - Drying sand on hot plate to detennine totaL


moisture
Tests far speclflc gravlty
To convert a given weight of aggregate into terms of
solid volume for computing yield, or to convert solid volume
to weight for purposes of batching, it is necessary to know
the specific gravity of the aggregate. Specific gravity is the
ratio of the weight of a given solid volume of the material to
the weight of an equal volume of water. Thus, if a solid
cubic-foot block of granite weigbs 165 lb, its specific gravity
is 165 divided by 62.4 (the weight of a cubic foot of water),
which equals 2.64. The specific gravity of most aggregates
is approximatcly 2.65, although Iimestone may have a
specific gravity as low as 2.50 or less, and traprock may have
a specific gravity of 2.75 or greater. For a given aggregate
the value is substantially constant, and for most purposes it
may be taken as constant without serious error. As a
routine check, make determinations of specific gravity abaut
once each week to detect any change or to confirm that
there has been none.
Make a test to determine specific gravity of coarse
aggregate (ASTM C 127) by weighing a saturated, surfacedry sample in air, weighing the aggregate under water (by
placing the sample in a wire basket that is suspended from
a scale and immersed in water), oven-drying the sample, and
reweighing it. The sample should weigh in pounds at least
10 times the maximum size in inches; thus a 5 lb sample
would be the mnimum required for 1/2-in. aggregate.
Solid (bulk) saturatcd,
surface-dry specific gravity = B/(B - C)

Solid (bulk) oven-dry specific gravity = N(B --C)


in which
A = oven-dry weight of sample
B = saturated, surface-dry weight of sample
C = irnmersed weight of saturated sample

30

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Make a test to determine the specific gravity of


fine aggregate (ASTM C 128) by weighing a waterfilled calibrated flask, weighing the same flask fiUed
with water and a known weight of saturated, surfacedry fme aggregate, drying the aggregate sample with
heat, and reweighing the dried sample. The specific
gravity of fme aggregate may also be determined by
weighing it in air and then in water as described for
coarse aggregate. A special device developed by the
U.S. Bureau of Rec1amation is convenient for tests to
determine moisture, absorption, and specific gravity.
This and other methods of determining specific gravity
are described in Reference
Maximum
4 in.
lY2
in.5.
aggregate
For use with saturated,1 in.surface-dry
aggregates,
base
or less
the specific gravity on the surface-dry condition; for
materials which will be batched on an oven-dry basis,
base the specific gravity on the oven-dry condition. For
aggregates containing other than these two quantities of
moisture, express the aggregate weight in terms of
either of these given conditions (plus excess water), and
use the corresponding dry or saturated, surface-dry
specific gravity. Many engineers prefer to base recommended mix proportions on saturated, surface-dry aggregates. ACI 211.1 uses the oven-dry basis for determination of the dry rodded volume of coarse aggregate.
Convert the dry volume to weight with the measured
dry rodded unit weight, and obtain the saturated,
surface-dry weight of coarse aggregate by adding the
amount ofwater absorbed in 24 hr (ASTM C 127) (see
Chapter 6).
Tests for voids
The percentage of voids in aggregate is usually
computed from the specific gravity and unit weight, as
follows:
erce
P

nta

ge o vOuu =
gravity
62.4 )
if u_
100 ( specific
1 - weight,
lb perx cuft

Always state the condition of the aggregate regarding moisture content and compactness when reporting the amount of voids. For dry rodded aggregate,
the method of determining voids just stated is described
in ASTM C 29. A formerly used method of determining voids by measuring the amount of water required to
fill a container of aggregate is subject to error caused
by entrapped air.
Tests for unit weight
The weight per unit volume of aggregates is used
in computing the amount of voids in aggregate, in
computing proportions of materials, and for conversion
of bulk volume quantities to weight, or vice versa.
The unit weight of a given type of aggregate as
used in the work varies with the degree of compaction
and with the moisture content. In Cine aggregate, the
"bulking" or fluffing apart of partic1es by films of
surface moisture may lessen the unit weight as much as

I ~

INSPECTION

25 percent.
To provide a uniformIy reproducible
basis of
measurement of ordinary aggregates, ASTM has adopted a
standard method of test for unit weight of aggregate (AS'TM
C 29). This test consists of compacting the dry aggregate
into a cylindrical container and weighing the aggregate. In
one method of compac~ion, fill the container in three layers,
rod each layer 25 times, then strike off the excess aggregate
level with the top of the container. The standard sizes of
container are as foUows:
cuft
10.0
Capacity,
14.0
8.0
11.2
11.5
11.0
Inside
Inside
11/2
1/3
diam.,
in.in.
height.

CONTAINER

size of

For aggregate of maximum size greater than 1-1/2 in.,


compact the layers of aggregate by jigging the container
instead of by rodding. Although not specificaUy stated in
the standard method, the term "dry" should be interpreted
as either saturated surface-dry or oven-dry, depending on
which basis of mix computation is employed.
ASTM C 29 also provides for measurement of the unit
weight of dry loose or damp loose aggregate. Determine
such unit weight by filling the standard container heaping
full in one layer. Then strike off the excess aggregate level
with the top of the container without downward pressure,
and weigh the aggregate.
Determine lightweight aggregate's unit weight only by
the shoveling procedure in ASTM C 29. Test the aggregate
in an oven-dry condition.
Although unit weight tests may be made with greater
accuracy, values of unit weight of aggregates are generally
considered to be accurate only within 1 or perhaps 0.5
percent.
Test for unit weight of aggregate when mix proportions
are made on the unit weight basis, and whenever it is
observed that the type or grading of the aggregate has
changed.
Bulking
Except when using volumetric batching and mlXlng
equipment conforming to ASTM C 685, avoid batching of
aggregates by volume whenever possible, because of the
large fluctuations that occur.14 When volume batching is
unavoidable, contract documents should state whether the
basis of measurement is damp loose, dry loose, or dry
rodded volume. To compute the number of cubic feet of
damp loose aggregate corresponding to 1cu ft of dry rodded
aggregate (a ratio called the "buIking factor"), determine the
unit weight under both conditions and determine the
moisture content of the damp aggregate. Then:

-----------

INSPECTION/TESTING

OF MATERIALS

31

WATER

unit weight of surface-dry


rodded aggregate
Bulking factor =

_
unit weight
weight of surface
of damp loose - moisture in unit
aggregate
volume of damp
loose aggregate

Undeslrable substances and propertles of aggregates

ASTM tests for undesirable substances and properties, which may be required by contract documents
for aggregate, are:

Potable water is usually satisfactory for mixing water and


is the quality criterion usuaUy specified. Ordinarily the
presence of harmful impurities such as alkalies, acids,
decayed vegetable matter, oil, sewage, or excessive amounts
of silt will be known. Submit water of doubtful quality for
laboratory analysis; or, if time is available, test specimens of
concrete or mortar made with the doubtful water for
comparative strength and durability with respect to control
specimens made with water known to be satisfactory. ASTM
C 94 aUows the use of mixer wash water in subsequent
batches if the quantity can be accurately measured.
ADMIXTURES

Lightweight pieces C 123


Clay lumps C 142
Coal and lignite C 123
Soundness (sulfate test) C 88
Abrasion C 131, C 535
Petrographic examination C 295
Alkali reactivity (mortar bar) C 227
Alkali reactivity (quick chemical) C 289
Carbonate reactivity C 586
Frost resistance (dilation test) C 682
Organic impurities in fine aggregate C 40
Substances in aggregate that have a deleterious
effect on quality concrete are discussed in detail in
Reference 12. Cherts, "chocolate bars," and clayey
limeston es, which are subject to considerable changes
in volume during wetting and drying or freezing and
thawing and cause spalling, can be detected by
petrographic examination supplemented by visual
inspection, sorting, and weighing. They also often
cause high losses in the sodium or magnesium sulfate
soundness test and in the freezing and thawing tests.
Lightweight chert in coarse aggregate (specific
gravity less than 2.40) contributes to "popouts" at
concrete surfaces. ASTM C 33 limits such chert to 3 to
8 percent depending on exposure conditions. Flat or
elongated particles, which are considered undesirable
under some conditions, likewise can be sorted out of a
sample and weighed to determine the percentage.
Petrographic examination will also identify elements
which occur in some aggregates and which are
undesirably reactive with alkalies in cemento Some of
these elements are opal, chalcedony, tridymite, and acid
or intermediate volcanic glasses. Lightweight materials
which, along with soft and weak material s, usually
detract from concrete strength and quality may be
quickIy separated by flotation in a heavy liquid as
described in ASTM C 123. Substances adversely
affecting the chemical activity (setting) of the cement
are usuaUy organic and can be detected by means of
the colorimetric test.

The standard specification for chemical admixtures


(water-reducing, retarding, and accelerating) for concrete is
ASTM C 494. This specification considers five types of
admixtures with various purposes as foUows:
Type
Type
Type
Type
Type

A- Water-reducing admixtures
B - Retarding admixtures
C-Accelerating admixtures
Water-reducing and retarding admixtures
E- Water-reducing and accelerating admixtures

0-

The standard specification for air-entraining admixtures


is ASTM C 260. These standards provide methods of testing
in the laboratory, but the tests are not intended to simulate
job conditions. The inspector should verify that admixtures
used on the job comply with aU requirements of the contract
documents and that proper storage and dispensing are
provided on the job.
ACI 116R defines an admixlure as "a material other than
water, aggregates, hydraulic cement, and fiber reinforcement,
used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar, and added to
the batch immediately before or during its mixing." Contract
documents may require or permit an admixture to be used
in concrete for one or more of the foUowing purposes:
1. To increase workability without increasing water
content or to decrease the water content at the same
workability
2. To accelerate the rate of strength development at
early stages
3. To increase the strength
4. To either retard or accelerate initial setting
5. To retard or reduce heat evolution
6. To modify the rate of or capacity for bleeding, or
both
7. To increase durability or resistance to s~vere
conditions of exposure, including application of ice removal
salts
8. To control expansion caused by reaction of alkalies
with certain aggregate constituents
9. To decrease capillary flow of water

32

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

10. To decrease the permeability to liquids


11. To produce cellular concrete
12. To improve penetration and pumpability of
grouts and pumpability of concrete
13. To reduce or prevent settlement, or to create
slight expansion, in concrete or mortar used for filling
blockouts or other machinery, colurno or girder spaces,
or for filling postensioning cable ducts or voids in
preplaced aggregate
14. To increase bond of concrete to steel
15. To increase bond between old and new concrete
16. To produce colored concrete or mortar
17. To produce fungicidal, germicidal, and insecticidal properties in concrete or mortars
18. To inhibit corrosion of embedded corrodible
metal
19. To decrease the unit cost of concrete
See ACI 212.1R and ACI 212.2R for more detailed
information.
As a part of acceptance of admixtures, either
perform a laboratory analysis or rely on the manufacturer's statements. Inspection of admixtures includes
seeing that they conform to appropriate specifications;
that they are stored without contam-ination or deterioration; that they are accurately measured; that they are
introduced into the batch as specified; and that they
perform as expected so far as can be determined from
the concrete as mixed and tested. For example, contract
documents should require that calcium chloride (if
allowed) be dissolved before being added to the batch,
to assure uniform distribution and uniform acceleration
of hydration tbroughout the mix.
If at all possible, make routine quality control tests
of admixtures for specific gravity, solids, and pH.

INSPECTION

be necessary to send samples to a laboratory for check tests.


A light film of red rust is not objectionable on ordinary
reinforcement (in fact, its roughness improves the bond), but
a heavy coating consisting of flakes or scales that fly off
when the bar is bent or is struck with a harnmer should be
removed.
Reinforcement should be clean, and oil or
nonadherent mortar which has been spilled on it should be
cleaned off. Epoxy coated reinforcement should be produced
and installed as provided by ASlM A 775.
Occasionally, high strength reinforcement of grade 60 or
75 is cracked or broken, especially in cold weather. Of
course, cracked and broken reinforcement must be rejected.
Inspection of cutting, bending, storing, handling, and
placing reinforcement is described in Chapter 8.
CURING COMPOUNDS

FOR CONCRETE

Membrane-forming concrete curing compounds are


often specified in lieu of water curing or to provide fmal
curing following a short period of water curing. Curing
compounds include clear (with or without a fugitive dye),
and white or gray pigmented materials. ASlM C 309 provides standard specifications and references for testing
methods for curing compounds.
Base acceptance of curing compounds on certification by
reliable manufacturers or on laboratory testing, to insure
compliance with contract documents. Inspection consists of
seeing that the material is properly labeled and is not contaminated, diluted, or altered in any way prior to application; that the compound is thoroughly mixed before and
during application; that it is applied when concrete surfaces
are still damp and full of moisture; that formed concrete is
saturated with water before application; that the specified
coverage rate is attained; and that the compound film remains unbroken for the specified length of curing.

STEEL REINFORCEMENT
JOINT MATERIALS

Steel for concrete reinforcement


is usually
purchased under one of the ASlM specifications listed
in Chapter 22. (See Chapter 17 for discussion of
prestressing steel). Standard practice with regard to
purchase and handling of reinforcement is given in
Reference 15. In general, purchase specifications cover
the method of manufacture, certain chemical requirements, tests in tension and in bending, fmish of surface,
coating for corrosion protection, marking (for size,
grade and point of origin), and permissible variations in
weight. Usually, the reinforcement is inspected for
acceptance at the mili, and is shipped to the job in
bundles marked with tags. The inspector should check
each shipment to see that it has been covered by mili
inspection, that the specified grade has been delivered,
and that the reinforcement has not been damagedeither bent or excessively rusted in storage or en route.
If at any time it appears that the reinforcement do es

Joints create openings which usually must be filled or


sealed to prevent intrusion of dirt, water, or other unwanted
substances. For many years, oil-based mastics or bituminous
compounds and metallic materials were the only joint
sealants available. Fillers available were resilient materials
such as fiber board, wood, rubber, or cork. All of these
materials are still used in some instances.
To overcome the drawbacks of the traditional joint
sealants, many new materials of the "elastomeric" type have
been developed in recent years. The behavior of these
materials is largely elastic rather than plastic, and they are
flexible rather than rigid at normal service temperatures.
Elastomeric materials may be either field-molded or
preformed. The inspector must become familiar with the
description and detailed use of such materials provided in
ACI 504R.
This reference lists the many types of
elastomeric materials and their properties.

nnt meet 'he con"a.t document '.qurremen". i, may

Test and appmve joint materials befo,e they ate ''ipped

INSPECTION(TESTING

to the job, where the inspector will check shipments to


see that the material is not damaged or contaminated,
and that it is properly labeled, stored, prepared, and
instaUed. If laboratory testing is required, prepare
representative samples before shipping to the laboratory.

Instructions for sampling liquid and dry components of a job-mixed mastic joint filler are given in
Reference 5. Thoroughly mix the liquid component
before a sample is taken because it is susceptable to
separation. Obtain a sample of dry component by
usinga sample splitter or by "quartering." Ship samples
in tightly sealed canso
The successful performance of any joint sealant will
depend greatly on proper instaUation. Each step in the
construction and preparation of the joint to reccive the
sealant requires careful workmanship and thorough inspection. The contract documents for the work should
state the type of sealant, the method of instaUation, and
special features required in construction and preparation of the joint to receive it. Inspection of each joint
for cleanness and dryness is essential prior to placing
back-up material S, primers, or sealants. Check joint
widths and concrete temperatures against the design
assumptions if they are stated in the contract documents. In the absence of specified restrictions with
respect to temperature, avoid instaUation at above 90
F and below 40 F.

OF MATERIALS

33

34

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

CHAPTER 4-HANDLlNG
The quality of concrete produced depends on the
quality of the ingredients used. Contaminated, poorly
graded aggregates or old cements degrade the concrete.
Problems such as high or low yield, low strength, and
deterioration can often be traced to poor handling and
storage of materials. Comprehensive recommendations
for transporting and handling are found in ACI 304R.
CEMENT HANDLING AND STORAGE
Bulk storage of cement

For storage of bulk cement, weatherproof and


properly ventilate the bin to prevent moisture accumulation. Use a bin with smooth interiors shaped to
allow removal of all cemento Inverted truncated cones
at the bottom are preferred. Air-diffuser flow pads,
installed before filling, are an excellent means of
loosening cement which has settled tightly in a silo.
Avoid clogged bin vents. Incorrect weights may be
indicated on the cement scale if a tanker is transferring
cement and pressurizing the bin during batching.
Equip each bin or compartment with a gate and
conveyer system for batching. Isolate the conveyor
system from the elements.
On large jobs empty the silos periodically and
inspect them for a buildup of cement, which must be
removed before refilling. Make tbis inspection whenever a new supplier's cement or a new type of cement
is put into an existing silo.
At all times, expose the cement as little as practical
to air, beca use moisture in the air causes partial hydra-

AND STORAGE OF MATERIALS


tion. If cement becomes slightly lumpy during storage, its
use may be permitted if most lumps are sufficiently 50ft to
be crushed between the thumb and fmgers. Ifharder lumps
exist they are removed by screening, provided that tbis is not
prohibited by the contract documents.
Bulk haullng of cement

If cement is hauled in batch trucks, provide adequate


protection to prevent it from being blown away. Suitable
protection is provided by tight-fitting tarpaulins or closed
cement OOxes.Inspect closed cement OOxesperiodically for
buildup of cement and for a tight-fitting cover. Inspect the
loading chutes or OOots used for loading batch trucks or
ready-mixed concrete trucks. The OOot should extend into
the truck or compartment to minimize loss of cement.
Bagged cement

Bagged cement normaUy is used onIy on relatively small


jobs. If bagged cement is used, protect it from both ground
moisture and the elements. The preferred method of storage is in an enclosed building and on pallets above the
floor. If exterior storage is used, all coverings must be
watertight.
When removing bagged cement from storage use the
oldest cement first.
AGGREGATE

..-~----~,-~-~-------------"

HANDLING

AND STORAGE

Keep the grading and moisture content of aggregates as


uniform as possible and protect them from contamination.
Recommendations for handling and measuring materials are
given in ACI 304R and illustrated in Figs. 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and
4.4.

Fig. 4.1 - Aggregate pUes must be kept c/ean and separate.

L ~-~.-=

INSPECTION

Minimize segregation

----,-----------...-------

HANDLING

AND STORAGE

OF MATERIALS

PREFERABLE
CRANE

OR OTHER

MEANS

PLACING MATERIAL
UNITS NOT LARGER
LOAD WHICH
ANO DO NOT

35

OBJECTIONABLE
OF

METHDDS
WHICH PERMIT THE
AGGREGATE
TO ROLL DOWN THE
SLOPE AS IT IS ADDED TO THE
PILE OR PERMIT HAULING

IN PILE IN
THAN A TRUCK-

REMAIN WHERE PLACED


RUN OOWN SLOPE.

LIMITEO

EQUIPMENT
TO OPERATE
OVER
SAME LEVEL REPEATEDLY.

ACCEPTABILITY--GENERALLY

OBJECTIONABLE

BULLDOZER

PILE BUILT RADIALLY


IN
HORIZONTAL
LAYERS BY
BULLDOZER
WORKING
FROM
MATERIALS
AS DROPPED
FROM
CONVEYOR
BELT.
A ROCK
LADDER MAY BE NEEDED
IN
SETUP.

THE

STACKING

PRDGRESSIVE
LAYlRS DN SLOPE
NOT FLATTER
THAN 3: 1UNLESS rtATERIALS STRONGL Y
RES 1ST BREAKAGE.
METHODS
ARE ALSO
OBJECTIONABLE.

THESE

CORRECT
CHIMNEY
SURROUNDING
MATERIAL
FALLING
FROM END OF CONVEYOR
BELT TO PREVENT WIND FROM
SEPARATING
FINE ANO COARSE
MATERIALS.
OPENINGS
PROVIDED
AS REQUIRED
TO DISCHARGE
MATERIALS
AT VARIDUS
ELEVATIONS
ON THE PILE.

WHEN
INCORRECT

CONVEYORS.
MINIMIZED
LADDER.

FREE FALL OF MATERIAL


FROM HIGH
END OF STACKER
PERMITTING
WIND
TO SEPARATE
FINE FROM COARSE
MATERIAL.

UNFINISHED
STORAGE

NOTE:

OR

FINE

STDCKPILING

AGGREGATES

FINISHED

AGGREGATE

FROM

LARGE-SIZED
ELEVATED

BREAKAGE
BY USE OF

AGGREGATE

IS
A ROCK

STORAGE

(DRY MATERIALS)

IF EXCESSIVE

BY STOCKPILING
PLANT WILL BE

FINES

METHODS
REQUIRED.

CANNOT

USED.

BE AVOIDED

FINISH

SCRElNING

IN COARSE
PRIOR

AGGREGATE
TO

TRANSFER

FRACTIONS
TO

BATCH

Fig. 4.2 - Co"ect and inco"ect methods o/ handling and storing aggregates

36

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

tbe beigbt of drop of aggregate is great, use baffles or rock


ladders (Fig. 4.2) to break tbe fall and prevent excessive
segregation and breakage. Segregation of fme aggregate
whicb is dry enougb to be free-flowing can be reduced by
dampening.
Finish screenlng

Fig. 4.3- Variations in consistency are minimized when


the coarse aggregate is finish screened at the batching
plant and undersize is removed by means 01 horizonta/Iy
operating vibrating screens

Avoiding contaminants

in vehicles

Vehicles used for transporting aggregate must be


tight. Do not use straw, hay, sacks, or large pieces of
aggregate to patch vehicles for aggregate sbipment.
Thorougbly clean and wasb the vebicles to rid tbem of
all contaminants before bauling aggregates.
Aggregate stock plles

If aggregates are sto red in piles on tbe ground,


either pave tbe area, lay planks, or leave undisturbed a
bottom layer of aggregate several incbes deep.
Regardless of the method used, level and roIl tbe
ground first. Do not aIlow a crane bucket containing
other aggregates or materials to swing over tbe
aggregate pile. Build up piles of coarse aggregate in
layers to prevent segregation of sizes and reclaim in
such a manner tbat aggregate does not run down tbe
slopes at tbe edge of tbe pile. Excessive handling will
cause segregation and degradation. Definitely separate
adjacent piles, eitber by ample space or by substantial
partitions.
Do not mix or store aggregates from
different sources in tbe same pile, beca use tbis practice
may cause objectionable variation in the concrete. Use
each aggregate until it is gone, and make appropriate
adjustment in proportions for tbe next aggregate if
required. Separa te batcbing is much preferred over
attempts to blend materials by means of clam buckets
or buIldozers. Results by the latter methods are
seldom sufficiently consistent and dependable.
Do not aIlow aggregate to fall from a beight so tbat
larger particles will be thrown beyond tbe smaIler
particles, or that the sizes will be separated by wind. If

Finisb screening of aggregate removes excessive fines


wbicb may be present and belps provide assurance of continuously consistent grading and tbus uniform production of
concrete. It is recommended for at least alllarger projects.
If fmish screens are installed in batcbing plants, many of the
concerns witb aecurate primary screening, handling, and
stockpiling can be eliminated. If spray bars are included, the
effccts of contamination are minimized. With fmish screens,
feed roughly proportionate amounts of each size of aggregate to tbe screens ratber tban a single size at a time. The
grading of each size of aggregate in the storage bins will
tben be more consistent beca use tbe separation of secondary
screens wiIl vary somewhat from tbat of tbe primary screens.

Bln storage of aggregate

Provide bin bottoms sbaped to facilitate a uniform


discharge. When filling the bin, drop the aggregate vertically
into the middle of tbe bin. If segregation oecurs, use a
baffle, splitter or rock ladder. Keep the bin as fuIl as
practicable at all times.
Sand and lightwelght aggregates

Allow washed sand to drain as long as necessary to


reach a practicaIly uniform moisture content in accordance
witb ACI 304R.
The requirements for stockpiling of lightweight aggregates are the same as for normal weight aggregates,
except that care must be exercised to insure that crushing of
the aggregates does not oecur. Because of the possible high
absorption of lightweight aggregate and its effect on slurnp
loss, it rnay be necessary to soak the stockpiles before use or
to add a spray bar on the charging chutes.
STORAGE AND HANDLING OF
POZZOLANIC MATERIALS

Handle and store pozzolans and other cernentitious


materials in essentially the same manner as cement. Many
pozzolans require tighter storage facilities to prevent leakage
but are not as susceptible to deterioration as is cernent.
ADMIXTURE

STORAGE AND HANDLING

Liquid adrnixtures should be sto red in watertight drurns


or tanks and protected frorn freezing. Admixtures rnanufactured in powder forrn are normally converted to liquid
form for dispensing. Agitate rnixing and dispensing tanks to
keep solids in suspension beca use many admixtures tend to
settle out of solution. Agitate before and during batching
operations. Use hydrorneters to check that the solution is of
the required concentration. Because of these potentials for

;:...J

HANDLING

AND STORAGE OF MATERIALS

error, the use of admixtures manufactured in liquid


form is advisable.
Requirements for storage of powdered admixtures

Fig. 4.4 - Concrete mixing plant and aggregate storage.

37

are the same as for storage of cementitious materials.


Detailed recommendations for storage and handling of
admixtures are given in ACI 212.1R and ACI 212.2R.

Bins contain different size aggregates

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

38

INSPECTION

CHAPTER 5-FUNDAMENTALS
The inspector should "know concrete," that is, one
should know why as weU as how things are done. This
chapter presents some of the basic features of concrete
which affect the work of inspection. For detailed study
of principies and practice, see References 5, 12, 16, 17,
and ACI 224.1R.
GENERAL CLASSIFICATIONS
OF
CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION

Most concrete construction can be divided into


formed work, slabs on grade, and mass concrete.
Within these general divisions, subdivisions can be
made, and later chapters will detail inspection
requirements for these subdivisions. The fundamentals
of concrete, however, apply to a11types of construction,
and the three general divisions will suffice for
presentation of the common fundamentaIs. Formed
work such as beams, columns, wa11s,arches, and some
tunnel linings is usuaUy reinforced; the space for
placing concrete is restricted; and, for some, a surface
treatment may come after the forms are removed.
Pavement and fIoor slabs have a relatively large,
exposed horizontal surface which must be finisbed and
protected soon after placing. Mass concrete in dams,
piers,
and
foundations
has relatively
low
surface-to-volume ratio, but the bond between different
lifts and the rise in temperature due to heat of hydration of the cement must be considered.
CONCRETE

REQUIREMENTS

The principal requirements of hardened concrete


are that its constituents be evenly dispersed; that it
have the required strength; that it be watertight and
resistant to weather, wear, and other destructive agents
to which it might be exposed; and that it not shrink
excessively on cooling or drying. The bardened concrete may be required to bave a particular architectural
finisb or appearance. It may be required to bave high
resistance to abrasion, bigh resistance to aggressive
chemicals, or high impermeability to water or other
liquids. For some uses, concrete must meet special requirements; it may be required to be fire resistant, or
to be light in weight, or to be especiaUy smootb, or to
have a purposely textured surface fmish. Fundamental
knowledge of the essentials of concrete enables the de-

AIR

50!.

WATER

j.---PASTE

signer to fulfill the requirements so far as possible and better


enables the inspector to see that these requirements are obtained
NATURE OF CONCRETE

In freshly mixed concrete, aU of the granular solids,


including cement, are temporarily separated by thin layer ~of
water. This separation of the particles and the lubricat.ng
effect of tbe water layers, togetber with certain interparticle
forces, make the mix workable.
It is convenient to thiok of concrete in terms of its two
major components: paste (or binder) and a mineral aggregate, with the individual particles of the aggregate being
embedded in and separated by this paste. The paste is a
mixture of cement, air, and water, as shown in Fig. 5.1. The
volume of the whole mixture is equal to tbe solid volume of
the cement, water, and aggregate, plus the volume of the
entrained and/or entrapped air. The concrete may or may
not contain one or more admixtures.
All concrete will contain some air, known as "entrapped
air," no matter how thoroughly the concrete is consolidated
during placlng. The amount of entrapped air in thoroughly
consolidated normal weight concrete is usua11yless than 2
percent by volume. With the mix proportions and aggregate
characteristics fixed, the entrapped-air content is greater
with stiffer consistency and with smalIer aggregate. The air
entrapped in concrete normaUy exists as scattered voids,
usuaUy having sizes comparable to the larger grains of sand.
Such voids are characteristic of concrete, and their occurrence is neither harmful nor avoidable.
In addition to entrapped air, concrete may contain voids
introduced intentionalIy by means of an air-entraining
admixture. Such admixtures cause the formation of a large
number of smalI spherical voids within the cement paste
during mixing. These voids are comparable in size to the
larger cement grains and the fmer sizes of sands.
Air voids aid the paste in making the mixture workable.
The surface tension and the surface-active agent absorbed at
the void boundaries of entrained-air voids impart added
"body" and cohesiveness to the paste, the effects being particularly noticeable when larger amounts of air are present.
Entrained air, as produced by an air-entraining admixture, is essential to obtain frost resistance where the
hardened concrete is highly saturated and has little opportunity to dry out before being exposed to freezing temperatures. Entrained air in concrete will also substantialIy in-

AGGREGATE(FINE

15 %
_le

Fig. 5.1- Volumes 01 components


admixture

OF CONCRETE

70

AND

COARSE)

INERTMINERALFILLER------'~
01 typical concrete mix containing an air-entraining

FUNDAMENTALS

erease the durability, reduce surface scaling of pavements,add to the workability and cohesiveness, slightly
inerease resistance to sulfate attack by reducing permeability, and reduce segregation and bleeding.
Recommended practices regarding the use of airentrainedconcrete are given tbroughout tbis manual.
Settlement

In undisturbed, newly placed, and consolidated


concrete, the solids will slowly settle tbrough the fluid
partion of the concrete, usually leaving a layer of clear
waterat tbe surface. This is known as bleeding or water
gain. As a result of settlement, tbe solids at tbe bottom
of the concrete member become more closely packed.
During the process, tbe compacted zone gradually
inereases in tbickoess uotil it extends to the surface, or
untilsettlemeot is stopped by the setting of the cement
paste. In the latter case, the upper part of the concrete
remains less compact than the lower part; that is, its
waterand void content remains higher. Because of tbis
settlement and resultant bleeding, the space occupied
by the hardened concrete is slightly less than when it
wasfreshly placed. (lo estimating yardage from a batch
count, allowance should be made for this difference.)
Tbe amount of settlement and resultant bleeding is
influeoced by friction against the forros, by temperature, aod by handling, aod is greatly influenced by the
mixproportioos, air entrainment, consistency, and the
consolidatioo procedures.
Correctly proportioned
mixes and those with low slump settle less than
incorrectlyproportioned or high slump mixes.
When entrained air is present, the process of
settlement is altered, aod the rate and amount of
settlemeot is usually materially reduced.
Sometimes
the bleeding water evaporates as rapidly as it appears,
and thus the use of air entrainment eliminates visible
bleeding.
During hot, dry weather, bleeding may aid in
prevention of excessive surface drying and plastic
shrinkage, but ordinarily the elimination of bleeding is
desirable. B1eeding delays proper fmisbing, because
floating and troweling operations should not be
performed on a wet surface. Unless the concrete is
revibrated just before it sets, bleeding is likely to forro
layers of water and fissures under the aggregate
particles and reinforcing steel, and result in losses in
strength and impermeability. Although, theoretically,
bleedingreduces the water-cement ratio, which should
improveconcrete quality, the foregoing considerations
suggest that bleeding is not advantageous.
Air entrainment will ofteo reduce bleeding by approxirnately
half. Use of a pozzolan also reduces bleeding
appreciably.
Under severe drying conditions, bleeding may continuebelow the surface of flatwork, because the surface
stiffenssufficiently from drying to permit floating and
troweling before the lower concrete has hardened.
Under such conditions, the surface may later scale if

39

OF CONCRETE

the lower plastic concrete continues to bleed to forro a thin


layer of water under the hardened surface. When placing
flatwork under conditions of severe drying, apply either
plastic sheeting or a fine spray from fog nozzles to prevent
the surface from hardening faster than the interior, and
delay finisbing as long as possible. This same problem can
also occur in cold weather when a concrete slab is placed on
extremely cold subgrade while the surface is subjected to
artificial heating.
Composltlon of paste
Because the paste surrounds and separates the individual
aggregate particles, the strength of the concrete is limited by
the weakest of:
The strength of the paste
The strength of the aggregate
The strength of the bond developed between paste and
aggregate
With the paste between, aggregate interlockiog does not
contribute appreciably to the compressive strength of
hardened concrete. It does contribute to flexural strength,
which is important in pavements.
With satisfactory
aggregates, percolating water or weathering agencies must
act on or pass tbrougb the paste. Some of tbe constituents
of the hardened paste are water soluble, and tbe rate of
leacbing of these soluble constituents is greatly diminisbed
witb den ser paste. Hence, it is desirable that tbe paste be
dense and have a low water-cement ratio when the concrete
will bave prolonged contact with soft water or with water
tbat contains cblorides, sulfates, acids, or other aggressive
cbemicals.
The strength and density of the paste depend primarily
on the water-cement ratio (see Fig. 5.2), and on tbe extent

8000

0.5

o.~

WATER-CEMEHT

0.7
RATIO,

0.8
e,V WEIGHT

Fig. 5.2 - Concrete of lower water-cement ratio is stronger


and more nearly watertight. For illustration only, lo show
trends; values will differ with the malerials and conditions of
test

40

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

to which the cement becomes hydrated Upper liots


on the water-cement ratio and ample curing are required to assure a sufficient degree of cement hydration.
Water-cement ratio, often expressed as gaUons of
water per bag of cement, is better expressed by weight,
Le., lb of water per lb of cemento Water-cement ratio
by weight multiplied by 11.27 gives galIons of water per
bag (94 lb) of cement.

INSPECTION

particularly at early ages. The modification o( the gel


produced by earIy high temperatures willlower the ultimate
strength o( the concrete (Fig. 5.3).
'g

240

'O
v
'6

TYPE

.E

I CEMENT

No ca CI2

~200

c;
.s::

The hardening process


For more detailed discussion of the processes by
which the cement paste sets and hardens, see References 18 and 19. The principal reaction product of the
hardening process has a gel configuration, formed from
water and the reacted constituents of the cement
grains.
This process of hydration of cement and
formation of gel continues at a diminishing rate as long
as moisture is available. If the paste is not kept moist,
hydration of the cement ceases when the evaporable
water escapes from the paste; hence, the importance of
adequate curing.
After adequate initial curing, the time during which
hydration of cement will continue varies with the
ambient temperature, and the accessibility of an
external water supply. When concrete of the type
commonly used is cured for 1 month under moist
Jaboratory conditions, more than 80 percent of tbe
cement will become hydrated.
The percentage af
hydration is influenced by the grind of the cement with
the finer cements reaching more complete hydration.
Under field conditions, however, the concrete in tbin
sections and surface concrete may become partiaUy dry
within a few days. Thereafter, the cement may have an
opportunity for continued hydration only by slow
Dgration of water from any subgrade contact or from
moisture obtained during rainy periods or other wetting
conditions. Therefore, only under favorable moisture
conditions wiII the hydration of cement continue for
many years.
Rates of strength development are somewhat
different from, but related to, rates of hydration. At
normal temperature, the earliest stages of hydration
produce relatively little strength.
Under standard
laboratory conditions, about one-half of the ultimate
compressive strength of concrete will be reached during
the first week, and about three-fourths during the frrst
month, when Type I cement is used. Because the gain
in strength is due to an increase in the degree of
cement hydration, drying impedes the development of
strength as it do es the progress of hydration. However,
in cold seasons, after Icngthy water curing, some drying
before exposure wiIIbe advantageous because saturated
concrete is more readily damaged by freezing.
Increasing the ambient temperature increases the
rate of hydration and modifies the physical characteristics of the hydration products. The higher the
ambient temperature, the greater the modification,

o.
~ 160

Ui

,..

':~ 120
Q.

Lt..:

80

r<I
,....

Al! al 7~' F..

~ 40

2e

v..
.f

100'\ R.H.

28

90

~65

Age of Test-doys(log.scole)

Fig. 5.3 -At early ages, the higher the curing temperature the
higher the strengrh. However, high curing lemperalure may
resu/t in relotively /ow slrengrh at laler agd8

Heat of hydratlon
The reaction between the constituents o( portland
cement and water is accompanied by liberation o( heat. Part
of tbis heat escapes through the surface of the concrete, but
some is retained and the concrete gets warmer. Excessive
temperature rise is undesirable because it may reduce the
strength and it produces stresses that may cause cracks as
the temperature drops later. This is particularIy true where
temperature differentials exist between parts o( the mass and
where it is partiaUy restrained. In most concrete structures,
temperature rise is small and of little consequence. In heavy
mass concrete, where the heat escapes slowly, the
temperature rise will be somewhat as shown in Fig. 5.4. As
shown, the temperature rise depends on the type o( cement.
AIso, it is roughly proportional to the cement content o( the
concrete.
To control the temperatures in mass concrete, various
measures have been adopted, such as using a lean mix, using
a low-heat type of cement, replacing some o( the cement
with a pozzolan (see ASlM
618), using a water-reducing
admixture to further reduce cement requirements, precooling
materials, or replacing a portion of mixing water with ice.
Other measures are scheduling placements during cooler
periods of the day or during cooler seasons, scheduling the
placement so as to aUow one layer to cool before placing the
next, and removing heat by means of embedded pipes
through which cool water is circulated.

FUNDAMENTALS

41

OF CONCRETE

FROST RESISTANCE
HIGH-EARL Y_STRENGTH CEMENT TYPE

MODERATE
SULFATE

HEAT ANDSULFATE

Among the natural agencies that can disintegrate


exposed concrete structures, the action of freezing and
thawing is the most common, particularly if the concrete is
saturated at the time of freezing. Under some circumstances, both the hardened cement paste and the aggregate
particles are vulnerable.

RESISTANCE. TYPEtI

RESISTING

28

Fig.5.4 - Temperature rise of concrete when no heat is


Iost, for various types of cement; 376 lb cement per cu yd

and protection
The period of positive curing provided for in the
contraetdocuments is required to assure attainment of
potentialstrength and to prevent formation of surface
craeks caused by rapid loss of water and resultant
shrinkage while the concrete is still \ow in tensile
stteng\n and unab\e \0 tesis\ \ne snrlnkage s\tesses.
Hydration of cement in thin-section beams, columns,
and slabs, not in contact with moist earth or water, is
reduced so as to become insignificant at and near the
surface soon after termination of curing.
If a member is sheltered from rain or other free
water, hydration can proceed at significant rates (in the
partion of concrete that has dried) only when the
relative humidity of ambient air is well above 80
percent.
On the other hand, members with thin
sections in contact with moist earth or other free water,
such as retaining walls and pavement s\abs, wi\l
continue hydration at a significant rateo The principal
purpose of specified curing is to prevent rapid
removal of water by initially dry subgrades or by sun
and wind, so as to assure the ear\y attainment of
specified strength and to reduce the effects of
shrinkage. Hydration of cement beyond that needed for
specified strength is highly desirable for the added
margin of qua lity it produces.
Self-desiecation (removal of available water in the
concrete by hydration of the cement) ofvery rich mixes
may become important when curing formed concrete by
means of commercial membrane-forming curing compounds. The compounds available only retard the
water loss. They do not provide perfect seals, nor do
they supply water. However, when applied promptly
and properIy to mixes of ordinary proportions, they
may reta in the evaporable water sufficiently long for
the concrete to reach its specified strength within an
acceptable period, but little more.
More detailed information on curing is provided in
Chapter 10. That chapter also provides information on
tbe necessary protection of concrete during cold,
normal, and hot weather conditions.
Curing

Nature of frost damage


Normal cement paste is vulnerable because, when saturated, expansion of its freezab\e water content produces a
volume increase in the paste exceeding the amount of
expansion that the paste can withstand without damage.
Some aggregate particles with pore sizes large enough to
allow slow entrance of water, but not large enough to alIow
rapid exit and pressure reHef when freezing commences, can
contain more freezable water than they can accommodate
when freezing oecurs.
Even aggregate particles not
otherwise affected by freezing can have water virtualIy sealed
into the pores of the aggregate by the surrounding dense
cement paste so that freezab\e water in the particles must
either burst the stones or paste, or both, and will cause
damage ii ireezing oecUtS wni\e potes ate iu\\ Ot neat\'j so.
Under most conditions exposed concrete do es not
remain saturated. For example, a pavement or retaining
wall with one side in contact with moist earth and the other
in contact with air generally is not in a water-saturated state,
beca use during most of the time the rate of evaporation
exceeds the rate of replenishment of moisture. The lower
the porosity of the paste the greater the frost resistance of
the concrete.
Protectlon by entralned air
Because the paste in concrete normally contains
freezable water, it cannot long withstand the action of
freezing after it becomes saturated. However, if the paste
has a large number of small, close\y-spaced air voids
produced by an air-entraining admixture, freezing does not
damage the paste, even though the paste surrounding the
voids is water saturated. To be effective, the induced voids
must be so numerous that the ca1culated spacing factor of
air voids is less than 0.008 in.
Such spacing does not normally oecur naturally and must
be produced by use of air-entraining agents.
In general the amount of air-entraining admixture
required for concrete subject to severe freezing is that which
will produce the following total percentage of entrained air
(all based on achieving the previously mentioned spacing of
voids).
Coarse aggregate,
maximum size, in.

Total air,

percent

7'12

1'12

1'12

lVz

5Vz

lVz

3
6

4Vz

lVz

41'h

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

42

There is conflicting opinion on whether air contents


lower than those given in the table should be permitted
for high strength (more than 5500 psi) concrete. ACI
Committee 201 believes that, where supporting experience or experimental data exist for particular combinations of materials, construction practices, and exposure, the air contents may be reduced by approximately 1 percent. For maximum aggregate sizes over
1-1/2 in., this reduction applies to the less than 1-1/2 in.
aggregate-size fraction of the mix. See Chapters 6 and
7 for discussion of other aspects of air entrainment.
SHRINKAGE

AND SWELLlNG

"curl," most noticeably at edges and corners. Curling is


sometimes descn'bed as "warping," but the latter term is
more properIy used to express similar displacements caused
by subgrade movements.
AIthough drying shrinkage is a primary cause of
cracking, other factors such as tensile strength, stressstrain-time
characteristics,
and
moisture-diffusion
characteristics of the concrete must be considered along with
shrinkage to account for differences in cracking of different
concrete structures.
Volume changes of concrete due to temperature changes
are as important to the behavior of structures as is drying
shrinkage. The relative magnitudes are given above (100 F
temperature drop causes approximately same contraction as
drying from saturated to dry state). Restraint of thermal
contraction may cause cracking in structural members or in
slabs. Thus mea sures must be taken to minimize thermal
cracking. In reinforced concrete construction, the reinforcement used for load resistance will generally do this. However, in slabs with light or no reinforcement, joints of proper
spacing and depth must be formed or sawed into the slabs
to provide stress reHef at planned locations and to prevent
uncontrolled cracking. In members requiring no structural
reinforcement, light "temperature steel" is often designed
simply to control thermal cracking by producing many small
insignificant cracks instead of a few large objectionable
cracks.

Concrete shrinks when it dries and expands when


it is moistened. When concrete is kept continuously
damp, it slowly expands for several years, but both the
total amount and the rate of expansion are normaIly so
smaIl that the volume is considered to remain constant.
UsuaIly concrete is not kept continuously damp and
hence is subject to water loss and subsequent shrinkage
rather than expansion. A1so, some of the shrinkage on
initial drying is irreversible; hence, under ordinary
conditions the volume when initiaIly hardened is the
largest which will occur during the life of the concrete.
After concrete has dried to constant water content
under ordinary atmospheric conditions, a drop in
humidity wiIl cause it to lose water or an increase wiIl
~ 1.0
cause it to gain water because hardened cement paste
L
Q.
LIJ
'"
tlJ
is hygroscopic. The paste and the concrete of which itLIJ ;;;;08
~
H3
Q6
is a part will shrink or sweIl with each such change in
water content.
On changing from a saturated to a dry state (50
percent relative humidity or less), an average concrete
will shrink about 2(3 in. per 100 ft, or about 0.06
percent.
This is approximately the amount of
contraction caused by a temperature drop of 100 F.
Many different factors (such as the particular
1lJ
cement or aggregate or porosity in the concrete)
~ OA
~
influence the amount of shrinkage under given drying
conditions, but the most important factor is the total
:r:
amount of water in the original mix.
A good
) Q'Z
correlation between total water content of fresh
~
concrete and drying shrinkage of hardened concrete has
z.
be en found (see Fig. 5.5) for different mixes made with
&
the same materials. Note that the effect of total water
Q o
content is large.
500
bOO
700
I
I
I
37~O
If a concrete member is restrained against
pOUNDS
CEMENT
PER. CUBIC YARD
shrinkage by the subgrade, reinforcement, or structural
connections with other members, it will tend to crack as
a result of drying shrinkage or the combined effects of
Fig. 5.5 - /nterrelation of shrinkage, cement con ten t, watercement ratio, and water content of concrete. For illustration
thermal and drying changes. Further, when the surface
of the hardened concrete in a structural member dries
only, to show trends; values will differ with materials and drying
conditions
more rapidly than the interior, differential stresses are
set up that may cause the formation of a network of
shallow cracks on the surface. Unequal drying of
opposite surfaces of thin slabs with little or no reinforcement, such as pavements, may cause them to

oo
o

---

----

./
/'
/'

CONCRETE

CHAPTER 6-CONCRETE

MIXTURES-PROPORTIONING

It is necessary to consider a number of items in


proportioning concrete mixtures. Durability and
strength (compressive or flexural) as required in the
contract documents, will set the water-cement ratio for
given materials. Durability requirements will also
indieate the need for air entrainment or extra high
strength and dense concrete. Placeability (workability
and consistency) will be dietated to a great extent by
tbe proposed concrete placing methods (buekets, buggies, pumps, conveyors, etc.), by the placing conditions
(form depth and dimension, reinforcement, accessibility,
ete.), and by the method of consolidation (spading, internal or extemal vibration). Appearance, such as that
of architectural concrete, may require consideration of
color and type of tbe coarse aggregate, type of cement,
and fine to coarse aggregate ratio, particularly in the
case of exposed aggregate concrete.
Adjustments oftbe concrete' s setting characteristics
or water requirement may require chemical admixtures
for water reduction or for retardation or acceleration of
set. Other cementitious material s (pozzolans such as fly
ash or silica fume, ground granulated blast fumace slag,
etc.) may also be required or permitted in addition to
portland cement and blended cements.
The required properties of tbe concrete are governed by its use. Such properties are often, but not
always, reflected in the contract documents for tbe job.
A discussion of tbe factors to be taken into consideration and certain general principies employed
when proportioning
concrete mixtures will be presented in tbis cbapter. Detailed mix proportioning
procedures are covered in ACI 211.1, ACI 211.2, and
ACI 211.33. Proportioning of concrete mixtures containing one or more admixtures is discussed in ACI
212.2R. Lightweight concrete mixture proportioning is
also discussed in Cbapter 16 of tbis manual.
METHODS

OF SPECIFYING
PROPORTIONS

CONCRETE

Generally, contract documents require tbat tbe


concrete develop a certain strength at a given age
within a limiting range of consistency (slump). A
maximum water-cement ratio or minimum cement content is often specified as an additional precaution to
assure tbe necessary durability, impermeability, or
workability.
Strength specificatlon

Often tbe specified strength is designated as a


"minimum strength," and literal interpretation leads to
confusion and argument over the occasional low
strength tests wbicb can occur even though satisfactory
concrete mixture proportions are used. Sucb argument
may result in unnecessary modifications to the mixture

43

MIXTURES

AND CONTROL

proportions, increased test requirements or otber undesirable action.


The evaluation of the results of strcngth tests of
concrete takes into consideration that the production of
concrete is susceptible to variations of ingredients, variations
in batching, and testing. Modem codes for structural design
permit occasional lower individual tests as much as 500 psi
below tbe specified (design) strength. The recommended
consideration of occasional low strengths is discussed in
detail in Chapter 2 of tbis manual and in ACI 318.
Because of variability in concrete, as well as variability
in test specimens and in test results (see ACI 214), it is
necessary to proportion concrete for an average strengtb far
enough above the specified le that all but a small proportion of the concrete will equal or exceed
The amount of
"overdesign" for strength in tria! mixes sho~ld be statistically
based on the previous record of concrete production. Some
contract documents require up to 1500 psi overdesign when
the data from previous records indicates extreme variability
in production or when no previous data is available. In the
absence of such contract document requirements, prepare
the design as discussed in Chapter 2. As a history of field
strengths is accumulated using the established mixture proportions, and proper control of field operations is attained,
it may be possible to adjust mixture proportions.
The same approach is used for pavement concrete
except that, in tbis case, concrete strength may be evaluated
as flexural strength of standard test beams instead of
compressive strength.

i.

Proportlon specification

A specification may govern the proportions of materials


by one of the following methods:
1. A fixed or a minimum amount of cement (and admixture, if specified) per cu yd of concrete.
2. A fixed or a maximum ratio of water to cement or
water to cement plus pozzolan.
3. Fixed proportions of cement, fine aggregate, coarse
aggregate and admixtures.
4. Limits on the proportion of fine to total aggregate,
for example, 35 to 50 percent.
Requirements 1 and 2 are often combined and are more
typical than requirements 3 and 4. The consistency (slump)
is also typically specified. For air-entrained concrete, it is
usual to specify the range of total air in the concrete
mixture. If the specified slump range cannot be obtained
with the minimum cement content and maximum watercement ratio specified, several changes can remedy the
situation. For example, the cement content can be increased, the aggregate types can be changed (angular to
rounded), or the relative proportions of Cine to coarse
aggregate can be changed. The desired slump may also be
achieved by using a water-reducing admixture. lf Requirements 1, 2, and 4 are used, specify values, including strength,

44

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

reasonably consistent with respect to each other.


Specify a reasonable range for slump.
METHOD OF PROPORTlONING FOR SPECIFIED
STRENGTH OR WATER-CEMENT RATIO
Cement
The type of cement to be used is usually stated in
the contract documents. For ordinary uses, employ a
5000
4000
2000
normal portland cement
Type
1)
concrete
3000 (ASlM C 150,
strength
at or a
6000
blended cement (ASlM C 595); for special cases, use
moderate heat (Type 11),high early strength (Type I1I),
or sulfate resisting (Type V) cements. When other
than Type I or Type 111is used, a choice as to type will
usuaUy be dictated by considerations other than
strength. However, even under such conditions, a
minimum concrete strength at each specified age is
usuaUy required. (See discussion on cement in Chapter
3.)
Whatever the type of cement to be used, proportioning determines the quantity of cement for a unit
volume of concrete which will produce hardened concrete of specified strength and durability if proper
curing oecurs. The quantity of cement needed depends
on the foUowing factors:
1. Type and quality of cement
2. Quantity and quality of pozzolan or other cementitious material
3. Maximum water-cement (orwater-cementitious
material) ratio
4. Consistency of mixture
5. Use of admixtures, including air-entraining admixtures singly or in combination
6. Maximum size and grading of the aggregate
7. Other characteristics of the aggregate such as
particle shape and surface texture
Water-cement ratlo
If aggregate of approximately the same grading and
maximum size and from the same source is used, and
other materials remain the same, the potential compressive strength of concrete is nearly constant when
the ratio of water to cement is held constant. However,
for a desired slump and strength, the necessary watercement ratio will vary somewhat for different aggregates and for different gradings (particularly in regard
to maximum size of aggregate) and may be modified
substantially with the use of one or more admixtures.
Nevertheless, average relationships of water-cement
ratio and strength are usually sufficiently representative
for proportioning a trial or starting mix. Estmate the
necessary water-cement ratio from a published table of
water-cement ratio and corresponding strength values.
Table 6.1 (adapted from ACI 211.1) gives
approximate strengths for different water-cement ratios,
using average aggregates with and without an airentraining admixture. Strengths obtained from these

INSPECTION

water-cement ratios will generaUy be on the conservativ


side. If there is a history of usage of given materials, :
review of available test information can provide useful data
particularly as to water requirement and strength level of th
concrete.
Table 6.1-Relatlonshlps
between water-cement ratlo
and compresslve strength of concrete
concrete
0.74
Air-entrained ratio by weight
0.41
0.82
0.68
0.48
0.57
0.59
0.40
0.48
Water-cement
Non-air-entrained
Compressive
28 days,
psi*

Values are estimated average strengtbs for concrete containing not more tban tbe
percentage of air sbawn in TabJe 5.3.3 of ACI 211.1. For a constant water-cernent
ratio, tbe strengtb of concrete is reduced as tbe air content is increased. Strengtb
is based on 6 X 12 cylinders moist cured 28 days at 73.4 :!: 3 F in accordance witb
Section 7.3 of ASfM C 31.
Relationship assumes a mnimum size of aggregate about ~ to 1 in.; for a
given sourc:e, strengtb produced for a given water-cernent ratio will increase (as will
cement content) as mnimum size of aggregate decreases; see Sections 3.4 and
5.3.2 of ACI 211.1

Aggregate
The nominal maximum size of aggregate usuaUy is speci
fied or limited by the placing conditions, dimensions o:
structural member, and reinforcing steel spacing and cover
WeU-graded aggregate of large maximum size has less tota
volume of voids than smaller sized aggregate. Hence, con
cretes with the larger size aggregates that are properl)
graded require less mortar, and thus less water, per uni!
volume of concrete. Generally, and for "average" strength
requirements, the maximum size of aggregate should be the
largest that is economicaUy available and consistent with the
dimensions of the structural elements and placing conditions.
When high strength concrete (in excess of 6000 psi) is de
sired, best results may be obtained with reduced maximum
aggregate sizes, usually 3/4 or 1/2 in., because concretes with
these aggregates normaUy have higher strengths at a givelJ
water-cement ratio. However, smaller aggregate will require
more water and thus more cemento
Whenever mixture proportioning studies and concrete
tests are made for evaluation of material S, use each materia]
to the best advantage. Best results from each aggregate are
likely to be obtained with different gradings, especiaUy the
proportion of fine to coarse aggregate. Keep the amount 01
pea gravel or flat and elongated small coarse aggregate at a
minimum to enhance fmishability and pumpability. Nevertheless, whatever aggregates are selected, determine the
most favorable combination of fine with coarse aggregate to
provide the required concrete properties. GeneraUy, keep
the percentage of sand as low as practical but still provide
the needed fme sizes for good workability and minimum
bleeding. Low sand content usuaUy minimizes the water

CONCRETE

requirement of the concrete and gives the most economical proportions provided a gap-grading doesn't
occur due to lack of intermediate sizes. Water requirement, however, increases only by about 1 percent for
each percentage point increase in the sand- aggregate
ratio. A strict minimization of the propor-tion of fine
aggregate is not always advisable, partic-ularly if concrete with more fme aggregate is noticeably easier to
place, consolida te, and fmish. Low sand contents are
desirable in low-slump concrete to maximize strength,
but higher sand contents are needed to minimize segregation in higher slump concretes.
Other factors being the same, aggregates composed
of angular partic1es require more paste than equal
proportions of smooth, rounded partic1es. However,
when concrete strength is the criterion, the rounded
aggregates are not always preferable, because crushed
aggregates normally give higher strengths at a given
water-cement ratio. When durability requirements do
not govern the water-cement ratio, it is sometimes
permissible, on the basis of test data, to use a watercement ratio higher with crushed material than would
be required for rounded material. In other words, with
a different aggregate, a different water- cement ratio
may sometimes be used to achieve the same strength.
For concrete designed on the basis of flexural
strength for pavements, angular aggregates are usually
preferable if available.
After determining the water-cement ratio, the next
step is to find the aggregate proportions that will provide a workable mixture with a minimum amount of
paste. Whenever possible, the mixture should be based
upon trial mixes using job materials. All mixtures
must be workable. The data to be obtained from trial
batches are strength (flexural or compressive), slump,
percent air, and unit weight.
When these tests cannot be made, use recommendations based on experience, such as those found in ACI
211.1 and 211.3 as well as References, 5 and 14. These
recommendations do not explicitly take into account
differences in strength that may arise from differences
in aggregate or cement characteristics, however, they
are sufficiently conservative to provide safe results.
Adjust the initial mixture proportions as necessary
based on test results and observations during production.
Alr entralnment
For nornlal concrete of a given water-cement ratio,
without adjustment of slump increase, the entrainment
of air will reduce strength about 5 percent for each
percent of added air. However, with air entrainment,
less mixing water will be required to provide the same
slump, beca use the smalI air bubbles provide "Iubrication" to the mixture. Therefore, if slump and cement
content remain constant, a lower water-cement ratio
results, which will partly compensate for the strength
loss in ordinary mixes. UsualIy the coarse aggregate

MIXTURES

45

proportions are the same for air-entrained concrete as for


non-air-entrained mixes, but less fme aggregate is needed,
because the air increases the volume of mortar and helps
provide workability. With some lean mixes (low cement
content), use of air entrainment with consequent reduction
in water- cement ratio may actually increase compressive
strength.
Quallty of cementltious material
Concretes containing equal amounts of cement from
different sources (or perhaps the same source at different
times) will not necessarily have the same strength. If highstrength concrete is required, use portland cement meeting
the optional physical requirements given in Table 4 of
ASlM C 150. The same considerations apply to blended cements and other cementitious materials. Further, do not use
air-entraining cement unless it is needed for durability. As
stated in Chapter 3, cement remaining in bulk storage at the
milI for more than 6 months after completion of tests should
be retested as indicated in ASlM C 150.
Quantlty of paste
With given materials, the optimum mixture proportions
use the least amount of total water per unit volume of concrete to obtain the required slump and workability. With a
fIXedwater-cement ratio, material costs are reduced by using
mixtures baving the least paste. The cement in tbe paste is
typically the most costly ingredient of the concrete; therefore, using more paste tban required adds unnecessarily to
the cost of the concrete. However, when using extremely
higb-priced aggregates, balance the cost of paste against the
aggregate cost.
Also, minimizing the paste is desirable beca use water in
the paste is the primary cause of shrinkage as the concrete
hardens and dries. The more water (Le., the more paste),
the greater the drying shrinkage. Also, cement produces beat
as it hydrates. Therefore, high cement contents may produce undesirable temperature rise and crack-producing
temperature differentials.
The quantity of paste required in a unit volume of
concrete depends on tbe following factors:
1. Water-cement ratio of the paste
2. Consistency of the fresh concrete
3. Grading of the aggregate (inc1uding chemical
content in some cases)
4. Shape and surface texture of the aggregate particles
5. Amount of entrained air
6. Chemical and mineral admixtures
7. Nominal maximum size aggregate
8. Proportion of fine aggregate to total aggregate
9. Characteristics of the cement
10. Amount, type, and quality of other cementitious
materials
Nominal maximum size of well-graded aggregate is the
principal feature that determines paste requirement. A
typical relationship is shown in the following table and in
Fig.6.1.

46

MANUAL

Nominal maximum
size of
aggregate, in.

Paste fraction
in unit volume
of concrete

Cement,
lb per

0.40

Y.

0.30

l'h

0.26
0.22

750
565
490
415
395

3
6

cu

0.21

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

fme aggregate than tbe optimum proportion to assure ade


quate workability.

yd

o5AHD
z:

W\

~
~
....
~
::>

"Por a water-cement ratio 010.58 by weigbt .

...

-10.20

-1 0.10

o.

40
%SAt-ID

50

'lO

00

40

IN MIXE"D AGGR.EGATE:, e>YWT.

Fig. 6.2 - The optimum percentage of fine aggregate,that whic


requires the least paste, is somewhat smaller for stiffi
consistencies and finer sands. The optimum percentage of fin
aggregateis a/so less for richer mi.xes and for largermaximw
sizes of aggregate. (These diagrams are for illustration only, I
show trends. The two diagrams are based on different series (
tests.)

1/4

314
MAXIMUM

'-1/2
SIZE OF AGGREGATE.

3
INCHES

Fig. 6.1 - The larger the maximum size of graded aggregate, the smaller the amount of paste required to make
the concrete workable. Water-cement ratio = 0.58 by
weight; medium consistency (3 to 5 in. slump); natural
sand and graveL Non-air-entrained concrete; air content
shown in entrapped air

In mass concrete, nominal maximum aggregate


sizes up to 6 in. can be used advantageously but sizes
larger than 6 in. increase handling difficulties with insufficient compensating advantages.
Proportlon of fine to coarse aggregate
ASTM 33 allows fairly wide limits in the grading
of any particular coarse or fme aggregate. The principal requirement of overall grading is that the optimum proportion of fine to coarse aggregate be established for each pair of aggregates to be combined.
Optimum is defined as the percentage that gives the
required workability with the least amount of water per
unit volume of concrete at the selected water-cement
ratio. A typical effect of varying the percentage of fine
aggregate is shown in Fig. 6.2. Because the curves are
relatively flat, and a small percentage deviation from
optimum will not result in significant variations, it is
sometimes advisable to use one or two percent more

Gradlng of flne aggregate


For improved fmisbability and workability, fine aggregal
needs an adequate percentage of fmes. The required pe:
centage depends on tbe quantity and composition of tb
paste. For high cement content concretes, coarsely grade
sands may be satisfactory because the cement helps provid
the needed fmes, but with low cement content concretes, tt
fine partic1es are necessary for good workable mixtures. ]
air-entrained concrete, deficiencies in sand grading affe.
workability less than tbey do in non-air-entrained concret,
Other cementitious materiaJs also affect the paste chara.
teristics that contribute to the workability o fresh concret,
PROPORTlONING
FOR RESlSTANCE TO VARVING
EXPOSURE CONDlTlONS

When resistance to freezing is necessary, inc1ude a


entrainment and exc1ude unsound aggregates in the COI
crete. To judge the degree of soundness, review the servil
re<cordof the aggregate if possible. For critical constructio:
examination per ASTM 295 of the proposed aggregates I
a qualified petrographer is advisable because tbe pore stru
ture characteristics o aggregate may affect the freeze-tha
resistance of concretes.
The performance of differeJ
aggregates in concrete may be compared by tbe methods ,
ASTM
666 or ASTM
682.

Quallty of paste
The quality of the paste is a matter of prima
consideration. This is controlled by the use o c1ean mixl
water (Reference 13), appropriate cementitious materia]
and the water-cement ratio. Maximum recornmended valu'

CONCRETE

of water-cement ratio for different conditions of tempera ture and exposure to sulfate environment are given
in Table 6.2. For a complete discussioo 00 durability,
see ACI 201.2R.
Where prolonged exposure to water is expected, a
low water content paste must be provided to reduce
permeability, absorption, and the effect of leacbing.
Also, where the rate of transmission of moisture from
the moist-earth side to the exposed side of the concrete
member is of concero, the density of the paste must be
such as to reduce tbis transmission rate, and hence the
average degree of saturation of the concrete member.
Other cementitious material s are helpful in improving
these characteristics and should be considered. They
contribute to producing less permeable paste through
long-time, slow chemical combination with the free lime
present in the concrete, thus preventing leacbing of the
lime as weU as providing cementing properties.
Requlred alr entralnment
Air entrainment is necessary to provide resistance
to the effects of freezing of concrete (Fig. 6.3).
Aggregate quality, cement content, water-cement ratio,
kind and amount of admixture, consistency, consolidation (density), and curing are aU important to concrete quality and durability, but none of these is as
important in resisting freezing effects as proper
amounts and distribution of entrained air. Chapter 5
gives the desirable amounts of entrained air in the
section on frost resistance. The greater effectiveness of
voids produced by an air-entraining agent, relative to
that of entrapped air voids, is due to their relative
smallness and hence closer spacing in the paste for a
given total amount of air.20 The function of the airentraining admixture is to provide a large number of
small (nearly microscopic) voids in the paste, so that
the calculated spacing factor of air voids is less than
0.008 in. This close spacing aUows relief of the
pressure developed by the moisture in the concrete as
it expands during freezing.

Table 6.2-Maxlmum

47

MIXTURES

Aggregate proportlons
Adjust the percentage of the fme aggregate in the
mixture so that, with the proper amount of entrained air, the
cement-paste content is at a mnimum for the required
consistency. The procedure now generaUy foUowed is: (1)
proportion the mix as would be done without an airentraining agent; then, (2) aUowing for the effect of adding
an air-entraining agent, reduce the proportion of fine
aggregate and water sufficiently to produce concrete of the
same coarse aggregate content and consistency as it would
have without entrained air.7 Such a procedure mnimizes the
effective loss of compressive strength of the concrete caused
by the addition of entrained air.
With a mixture proportioned to include the proper
amount of entrained air, the ability of concrete to resist the
effects of freezing depends mainly on the quality of the paste
and the porosity and pore characteristics of the aggregate
particles, particularly the coarse aggregate particles. See
Chapter 5 for further discussion.
PROPORTIONS

BY ABSOLUTE

VOLUME

If a container is filled exactly to its top with solid material such as gravel, sand, or cement, the volume of the container represents the bu/k volume of the material it contains.
The particles piled together in the container do not fit each
other exactly, so there are tiny spaces (voids) between them.
Thus the bulk volume is the sum of the absolute vo/ume of
aU of the particles plus the total volume of the spaces between particles. Absolute volume is some times caUed solid
volume, particle volume, ordisplacement volume.
The actual amount of solid material in a given bulk
volume of aggregate varies with its grading and with its
degree of consolidation. The absolute volume of solid
material in a given weight of aggregate, cement, or mineral
admixture depends on its specific gravity.
For water,
absolute volume is the same as bulk volume.
When aggregate, cement, and water are mixed to
produce a batch of fresh concrete, the cement-water-sand
mortar fills the spaces between the coarse particles.

permlsslble water-cement ratlos for concrete subJect to severe exposures

Type of structure

Structure wet continuously


or frequentIy exposed to
freezing and thawing

Structure exposed
to sea water
or sulfates

Thin sections (railings, curbs, sills, ledges,


ornamental work) and sections with less than 1 in.
cover over steel

0.45

0.40

AlI other structures


Based on ACI 201.2R, "Guide to Durable Concrete."

0.50
Concrete should also be air entrained .

C ISO) is used, permissible water-cement ratio may be increased by 0.05.

0.45"

If sulfate resisting cement (I'ype 11orType V of ASTM

-----------------------

48

MANUAL

-------------OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

Fig. 6.3 - Examples o[ scaling o[ concrete caused by freeze-thaw effects when there is insufficient entrained air in the concl
Sometimes improper finishing method or timing drives the entrained air out o[ the top surface o[ the concrete
Thus, if the concrete is compacted to remove most
entrapped air, tbe total volume of tbe concrete is tbe
sum of the absolute volumes of tbe ingredients, including tbe entrapped air. If entrained air is included in tbe
mix, the volume of the total air is included in tbe sum
of absolute volumes.
Since it is not practical to batcb aggregate, cement,
or mineral admixture by absolute volume directly, convert a desired absolute volume into terms of weigbt for
purposes of batcbing. Conversely, convert proportions
by weigbt into terms of absolute volume for computing
yield (typicalIy cubic yards or cubic feet of fresb
concrete).
Proportioning
concrete by absolute volume
assumes that tbe volume of compacted fresb concrete
is equal to tbe sum of the absolute volume of aU ingredients.

Computing absolute volume and percentage of


sollds
The absolute volume of a quantity of a material can
be computed from its weigbt and specific gravity. [For
aggregate, tbe same absolute volume will be ca1culated
wbetber using bulk dry specific gravity or saturated,
surface-dry (SSD) specific gravity provided that dry
specific gravities are USed witb dry aggregates and tbat
saturated, surface-dry specific gravities are used witb
saturated, surface-dry aggregates.]
The foUowing examples use the saturated, surface-dry specific gravity.
Absolute volume (SSD) is generaUy based on the density of water at 60 F (62.4 lb per cu ft).

weight, lb
absolute volume, euft
Thus 100 lb of cement
average value) contains

= speeifie gravity

x 62.4

baving a specific gravity 3.15

100
3.15 x 62.4 = 0.509 cu ft 01solid material
If specific gravity and unit weigbt in lb per cu ft o
aggregate in a given condition of compaction are known,
percentages
of solids and voids in tbe aggregate car
computed as foUows:
pereent solids = surface dry unit wt, pel
speeifie gravity x 62.4 x 100
Then
pereentage 01 voids = 100 - pereentage 01 solids
Thus, a saturated and surface-dry rodded aggregate weig
110 lb per cu ft and baving SSD specific gravity of
contains
100 x

= 66.5 percent solids


110
2.65 x 62.4
100 - 66.5 = 33.5 percent voids

Example of proportioning
A common metbod

by absolute volume

of proportioning

concrete

mixtl

CONCRETE

MIXTURES

is by absolute volume. Weight procedures descn"bed in


absolute
volume
Total
air
content To summarize propor- absolute
volume
ofMATERIAL
concrete
ACI 211.1 areCoarse
alsoWater
popular.
aggregate
TOTAL
Fine
aggregate,
tioning procedures,
aCement,
brief
example of absolute volume
calculations is shown:

49

7.12
27
-10.80
ft19.88
COMPUTATION
1.35
3.00
295/62.4
590/(3.15
54.73
percent
x eu
62.4)
27
en
ften
per
yd
1800/(2.67
xof
62.4)

19.88 eu ft

Specification requiremen ts:


= 3000 psi
Slump = 2 to 4 in.
Entrained air content = 4 to 6 percent
Exposure conditions = maximum water-cement ratio
= 0.50 (rabIe 6.2)

t'.

Material Data:
Cement: Type 1, ASlM C 150, with a specific
gravity of 3.15
Fine aggregate: Natural, with specific gravity
(SSD) = 2.62, and fineness modulus = 2.60
Coarse aggregate: Crushed granite, Size No. 57, per
ASlM C 33; specific gravity, saturated surface-dry
(SSD) = 2.67; unit weight, saturated surface-dry,
"rodded = 96.6 lb per cu ft
Admixture: Air entraining admixture
Trial Mix Data: (basic procedures from ) CI 211.1)
1. Estimate water requirement from past experience with materials being used or use approximate
value given in Table 5.3.3 of ACI 211.1. Water content
estimate for 1 in. nominal maximum size aggregate,
air-entrained concrete with 2-4 in. slump is 295 lb per
cu yd of concrete
2. The minimum cement content is set beca use a
water-cement ratio of 0.50 by weight is specified:
cement content = 295/0.50 = 590 lb per cu yd
NOTE: From past experience or average watercement ratio to compressive strength relationship, the
maximum water-cement ratio specified must indicate
that the specified compressive strength might be obtained. In actuality, several trial mixtures should be
proportioned, varying the water-cement ratio (thus
cement content) up to the maximum.
3. Aggregate quantities are determined by several
methods. Concrete with satisfactory workability is
produced when a given volume of coarse aggregate, on
a dry-rodded (or SSD rodded) basis, is used for a unit
volume of concrete. Table 5.3.6 of ACI 211.1 gives the
approximate dry rodded volume of coarse aggregate per
cu yd of concrete based on maximurn aggregate size
and fineness modulus of fine aggregate.
For the
example material, the volurne ratio is 0.69 (the volurne
ratio = 1 - void ratio). Therefore, weight of coarse
aggregate equals
0.69 x 96.6 x 27 = 1800 cu yd of concrete
4. Fine aggregate content is then deterrnined by
difference, using absolute volume computations.

Therefore, weight of fine aggregate equals


7.12 x 2.62 x 62.4
or 1164 lb per cu yd of concrete
5. Mix the materials having the calculated mixture proportions in the laboratory in a laboratory-size batch to
verify that the estimated proportions give the proper results
in terms of water requirement, workability, etc. Fig. 6.4
shows a work sheet which might be used for summarizing
the computations and estimates made.
CONTROL

OF CONCRETE

PROPORTIONS

On large projects, involving large concrete placements


over several days or months, rnixtures are proportioned in
central laboratories, and the proportions are forwarded to
the job as starting mixtures, which may be adjusted slight1y
as needed after trial on the job. Mixtures for many smaller
jobs are proportioned by independent laboratories, with job
control provided by the designer, contractor, or by a
laboratory responsible to them. In sorne cases, contract
docurnents designate the minimurn cernent content and/or
the maximurn water-cernent ratio allowable and the types
and amounts of adrnixtures to be used.
Many contract docurnents for concrete specify either a
definite value of the water-cernent ratio or a rnaxirnurn. In
rnost instances, specifying or lirniting the water-cernent ratio
do es not perrnit taking advantage of high-quality cement, of
favorable types and gradings of aggregate, and of admixtures
to econornize. Conservative values of strengths which may
be obtained for various water-cernent ratios are shown in
Table 6.1. To allow for field fluctuations and to avoid
exceeding a maximurn water-cernent ratio specification,
prepare trial mixture proportions at the highest perrnissible
slump and ternperature. The resulting concrete should provide a strength that exceeds le by the amount specified in
"Building Code Requirernents for Reinforced Concrete"
(ACI 318) or "Specifications for Structural Concrete for
Buildings" (ACI301).
Laboratory batch quantities
The arnount of water to be added to the batch is the
arnount estirnated on a saturated, surface-dry aggregate
basis. The value rnust be corrected for the free surface

50

UNITSCREENS.
WEtGHT.
SPfClFIC
TERC'EMENT
RAno.
ENT FACTOR.
SKS/YO
SCREENS.
PROJECT:

AGGREGATES

MANUAL

ooovmMIGHT

OfV1DE
SUM
BY 100.
SlUMP
.-atES
DMDE
SUM
BY 100.

"ADD"

--....
" - + '4r'.'tl'
"8
,m.5

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

X-SPfClFfC
CfMEIrT:
CSS
l"
ACTUAl
ADD.oo
TO " AETAlNED
DN
cn
VOLUME
SOUD
fSO"
..
1'tI'f:
FIIE
AGC.
MAnRIAl
nST
CTlS.
1.
"c.
COARSfAGG.
Rn.
"n.
RU.
on.
2('00_
CfIIEIrT
lOO
1080
9.08:
WAnR
ACTUAl.
WUGKT.
PCf
WET
100
PASS
WATtR
"1..
WT.
WT.
SIE
WATIII
11ft_1ft
SPECIFIED
AlA CONTENT
BY VOL
ADDED. LIS
MI
COIfTEIIT.
'"L-5~.
100
00
o2-4'LQ
r....
:....
"1k,,d..
If N6..t'JY""\
7.0l
100
'1.'7
L.e~
mlAl
BATCH
WEIGHTS
SPfCS.
"IIhO.
COARSE
AGCIltGATf
OSTM
--ID
1
O
00
:s
leoo
'1.oa('
AIIIIIXTUIIE
1IfO
UNIT
U E AGGREGATE
7.lZ
~
51
D.S-0.0
5'0
25
'ON
t.60
WfIOKT.
62.'1
0.'>0
it-6
'1\
~B
80-100
0.10
25"
50
=
36.1
I~.L
76
NO.
60
'15-100
/.35
,Anl?

MI)(
0
MIX DATA
<s
2-4
50.a5
'~.4
Jo.?o
2H.'1
5'o5:B
82.
92TOTal
alA
100
VOl

VARO
RfOUlRfb:
75
-'
~'ib.3
COMPUTATlON
18
aME_T.
Z~.L
1.1
51.1.4
466
2'1
/0.4
";6.1
'1'1
(;"'1'11
TTP(
AGGRfGATf

2
-,;',SUPPlIEII
o.l.'!
)C9~')C21~
/q
4b.q
q8.~
'3
11o.~
2.3-j./
PEA MIX WArn
'2.4
SUPPUIER
2~.60
'17
300
FtIC.
TO
DETERMINE
E. M.FIN
VAlUE
/J,S
71
2.7
+=f1II(
3.0
1./
H..~
CONCRETE
z.6l
80JC
MIX
2.~J.
'!<'"y
PROPORTlONING
WORK."",SHEET
5QO lBS
AETAINED ON INDICATED

+
~.I>.'H=
q",

2~;~~S
- 1.7~~f'

Fig. 6.4 - Concrete mix proportioning

I
DATA

work sheet

moisture contained on the aggregate. Consider the


water content of admixture solutions as part of the
mixing water. Table 63 provides an example of a laboratory computation of batch quantities of an airentrained concrete mixture, with field corrections.
If the cement content is specified and the watercement ratio is kuown, quantities of aggregate per cu
yd of concrete can be computed as foUows: the total
absolute volume of aggregate is equal to 27 cu ft less
the volume of water, less the absolute volume of cement, less the volume of entrained and entrapped air
(known or estinlated). Use the desired sand-aggregate
ratio or coarse aggregate content (as shown in the
previous example) to determine the fine and coarse
aggregate quantities.
Fleld batch quantltles
Batch quantities are generaUy furnished to field
jobs in terms of weight of each ingredient. These
quantities may be in terms of proportions relative to a
unit proportion of cement, or, far more often, the
amount of each ingredient will be stated in actual
weight per cu yd of concrete, assuming the aggregates
are in a saturated, surface-dry condition. If proportions
are provided in terms other than weight, they must be
converted to weight quantities before computing batch
weights.
Because of conditions that vary between field and
laboratory operation, it may be necessary for the laboratory to adjust proportions in the field to achieve

desired workability, strength, or cement contento


After any necessary adjustments have been made to
accommodate the concrete proportions to other field conditions, adjust batch weights of aggregate and water to take
into account changes in aggregate moisture content from the
saturated surface-dry condition. Table 6.3 ilIustrates corrections for surface moisture present in aggregates. Such a
correction is not a "one time" adjustment since aggregate
moisture contents will change, even tbroughout the day.
Therefore, periodic checks of aggregate moisture contents
and subsequent batch adjustments are required.
Field control of selected proportlons
Select concrete proportions to provide necessary workability (as weU as proper strength and durability) for the
particular application. Workability (inc1uding satisfactory
fmishing properties) encompasses characteristics loosely
implied by both of the terms workability and consistency.
Workability, according to ACI 116R, is that property of
freshly mixed concrete which determines the ease and homogeneity with which it can be mixed, placed, compacted, and
finished. Consistency is the relative mobility or ability of
freshly mixed concrete to flow. It is usually measured in
terms of slump-the higher the slump, the wetter the mixture consistency which affects the ease with which the concrete will flow during placement.
Workability is dictated by requirements of placing.
Because of unavoidable variations in materials, weather, and
other conditions of the work, consistency changes even if a
fixed amount of each constituent material is strictly main-

CONCRETE

MIXTURES

51

Table 6.3-Computatlon
of batch quantities for an air-entralned concrete and correctlon for surface
molsture of aggregate w/c = 0.50

--- --

- --

0.2
21800
93849
3849
1.7
21295
0.9
10.80
1.0
91.35
Air
volume
1164
lb/cu
ft
27.00
4.73
7.12
142.6 Cement590
0.5
Coarse
Total
1184
Z6
1809
Water
590
aggregate
content
3.00
wcight
aggregate
(2.62)"
(2.67)"
(1.00)"
moisture
less
absorbed
aggregates,
(determined
percent
by
by
weight
test)
lb
(percent
times
aggregate
by
drying
with
heat)
moisture)
percent
bydivided
weight
(determined
weight
100)
percent
by weight
(total

Computed unit

Fine

(5.0%)

NOTES: 1. Use of admixtures otber Iban air-enlraining agent is nol considered in Ibis example. 2. Tbe saturated, surface-dry condition is tbe percentage
of moisture at wbich Ibe aggregate will neitber draw mixing water fram tbe pasle nor supply addilional mixing water to Ihe paste. 3. If surface moisture of
aggregates is delermined directly by lest, tbe fines for absorplion and tolal moisture are omitted. Asteris~ indicates specific gravity, SSO.

I
f

j
f

"

:1

tained (Fig. 6.5). Nevertheless, the more uniform the


grading and moisture content of the aggregates, the less
adjustment required. In practice, the jobshould be
supplied with concrete having as nearly a uniform consistency as possible. Make adjustments in the amounts
of water added at the mixer as necessary, in accordance
with the procedures caUed for in the contraci documents. On projects requiring an inspector to monitor
batching and mixing procedures, it is his or her responsibility to assure that necessary adjustments to
batch weights are made. Make adjustments based on
tests for changes in moisture content and, if appr-opriate, aggregate grading, so that concrete having nearly
uniform consistency will be obtained. The concrete
should also vary as little as practical in water-cement
ratio, cement content, strength, or basic proportions, in
accordance with contract document requirements and
good practice. Therefore, uniform batching weights are
most important.
In air-entrained concrete keep the air content as
nearly uniform as practical; otherwise, excessive variation in yield, workability, slump, water and cement
content, water-cement ratio, strength, and durability
will resulto Conduct tests frequently to verify that the
proper air content is presento Adjustment in the dosage of air-entraining admixtures added at the mixer
may be required for major changes in grading of aggregates. Increases in the amount of fines in the fine
aggregate, including the use of mineral admixtures, can
require an increased dosage of the air-entraining agent

to maintain a specified air content. Chemical admixtures


(such as water reducers and retarders) generaUy entrain
some amount of air; thus, if these are used in conjunction
with an air-entraining agent, less than normal dosage of the
air-entraining agent may be required. The required dosage
of air-entraining agent to maintain a specified air content
increases with increasing temperature and vice versa. It will
also increase with the use of low slump concrete (2 in. or
less), high cement contents, and high-early-strength
concretes.
Air-entraining cements (Types lA, llA, and lIlA, AS1M
C 150) are produced with an interground air-entraining
agent. Although convenient for some purposes, the use of
air-entraining portland cement causes difficult and uncertain
adjustment of air content to compensate for changes in
aggregate grading, amount of admixture, or ternperature. If
less air content is desired, the adjustment is likely to be
complex, requiring less cernent or a different cernent or the
mixing in of a proportion of non-air-entraining cernent.
While adjustrnents to achieve increased air content can be
rnade by the addition of an air-entraining agent, these
air-entraining cernents are quite sensitive to such an
addition. Also, the air-entraining capability of such cernent
decreases with age. Consequently, control of air content
with these cernents under variable field conditions is
difficult.
Moisture content of aggregate as batched, particularly of
the fine aggregate, should be monitored continuously, if
possible, by rneans of moisture rneters. Check the moisture
content on a routine basis, several times daily and when-

52

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

either by rodding or by vibration, depending on the slump,


as designated in ASlM C 138, unJess a specific method is
stated in the contract documents.
Tbe yield, in cu ft of
concrete per batch, is as follows:
total weight of materials, lb, in batch
unir weight of concrete, lb per cu ft
Tbe quantity of cement (or other ingredients) per cu yd of
concrete is then the batch weight of cement multiplied by
27/(yield in cu ft).
Assume for example the weights of materials in a typical
batch are:
Cement
Fig. 6.5 - When concrete dries too fast or iJs consistency
is too stiff, the screeding operation cannot close the
surface
ever there is indication it has changed.
Prescribed
aggregate proportions,
or aggregate quantities for a
certain cement content, remain uniform only when the
aggregate and water batch weights are adjusted to take
into account the amount of water in the aggregate. For
example, the aggregate batch weight must be increased
above the specified surface-dry weight to compensate
for the weight of surface and free water contained in
each aggregate; at the same time, the weight of mixing
water should be decreased by the same amount.
To
maintain a nearly constant water-cement
ratio when
water content of aggregate changes, it is necessary to
adjust the weights of the aggregates and also the weight
of the mixing water.
COMPUTATIONS
Yield is defined

in ASlM

Saturated, surface-dry
Saturated, surface-dry
coarse aggregate
Water
TOTAL

9000 lb
1475 lb
19,245 lb

Tbe unit weight of the concrete


lb per cu ft. Tberefore:
yield = 19,245
142.6

2950 lb
5820 lb

sand

was measured

as 142.6

135.0 cuft 01concrete

Using the yield calculated and batch weight of the cement,


its quantity per cu yd can be deterDned.
cement content

= 2950 x --

27

135.0
= 590 lb per cu yd 01concrete

FOR YIELD

e 138 as

the volume of

concrete produced from a mixture of known quantities


of the component
materials.
Cement and Concrete
Tenninology (ACI 116R) defines yield as the volume of
freshly mixed concrete produced from a known quantity
of ingredients, or the total weight of ingredients divided
by the unit weight of the freshly mixed concrete. Yield
is deterDned by the unit weight method.
Tbe purposes of yield computations
are for computation
of
actual cement content, or to check batch-count volume
against observed volume in place. If the quantity of
total mixing water is obtained, the water cement ratio
can be deterDned for verification.

Computation of yield by unit welght measurement


Yield by the unit weight method is described in
ASlM
138. In this standard method, yield is based
on the unit weight of concrete deterDned by weighing
a sample of the fresh concrete.
Tbis method automatically takes into account entrapped and/or entrained
air and is independent
of the specific gravity of the
ingredients. Consolidate concrete in the test container

Tbe
the field
on the
concrete
For

simplified method of making these computations in


is to base the cement content and yield per batch
actual weight of a sample of the freshly mixed
as delivered and batch weights of material used.
any size mixer batch, the yield in cu ft is
total weight of all materials in batch, lb
unit weight 01concrete, lb per cu ft

and the cement

content

in lb per cu yd is

27 x weight of cement per batch x unit weight of concrete


totat weight 01batch
or
27 x weight 01cement per batch
yield, cuft per batch

Note that it is not necessary to know the moisture content


of the aggregate, since the moist weight of the aggregates
and actual weight of added water can be used for calculating
total batch weight.

CONCRETE

MIXTURES

53

For greater accuracy, determine tbe unit weigbt


from tbe average of at least tbree measurements, eacb
taken from a sample of ample size and tbe test made in
at least a 1/2 cu ft container. For projects using largeaggregate mass concrete, determine unit weigbt in larger containers, perbaps as large as 5 cu ft. In aD cases,
consolidation sbould be representative of tbat performed and obtained on tbe job, noting tbat it is possible to overvibrate concrete in a sample container.
Take eacb sample in tbe manner described in AS1M
e 172, "Sampling Fresb Concrete," and test in accordance witb AS1M
138 or AS1M
567 (ligbtweigbt concrete), as appropriate.
Wbatever tbe metbod of mixing or type of mixer,
or metbod of delivery and placement, tbere are often
occasions wben tbe volume of concrete presumably
placed in tbe structure is more tban was calculated
from tbe yield tests and computations and from tbe
computed tbeoretical volume witbin tbe forms. Some
increase in required volume or loss in delivered volume
is inevitable, and tbe amount will depend on tbe
amount of foundation overexcavation, spreading of
forms, loss of entrained air, wastage and spillage, or
amounts lost in wasbout after eacb truck loado Except
for tbe wasbout, tbese are losses for wbicb a supplier of
mixed concrete is not responsible, because they are
entirely out of the supplier's control. Experience can
be used to estimate tbe extra concrete tbat needs to be
supplied to compensate for possible losses and volume
increases on any particular project.

.,

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTlON

54

CHAPTER 7-BATCHING

AND MIXING

The aim of all batching and mixing procedures is to


produce uniform concrete containing the required proportions of materials. To attain this, it is necessary to
assure the following:
1. All ingredients are maintained homogeneous
prior to and during batching.
2. The equipment provided will accurately batch
the required amounts of material and the amounts can
be easily changed, when required.
3. The required proportions of materials are
maintained from batch to batch.
4. All materials are introduced into the mixer in
proper sequence.
5. AlI ingredients are thoroughly intermingled
during mixing, and all aggregate partic1es are completely coated with cement paste.
6. The concrete, when discharged from the mixer,
will be uniform and homogeneous within each batch
and from batch to batch.

Fig. 7.1 - Control console o[ an automatic batching plant


BATCHING OPERATIONS
Tolerances of measurement
Ready-mixed concrete and site-mixed concrete - The
tolerances of batch weight measurements of ingredients for
ready-mixed concrete are provided by ASTM C 94, or by
contract documents. The aIlowable tolerance for weighing
of cement depends on the amount to be weighed and the
applicable specifications. When using ASTM C 94, if the
quantity exceeds 30 percent of the fuIl capacity of the scale,
the batching tolerance is 1 percent of the required weight.
If smaIler weights are to be batched, the tolerance is not less
than the required amount nor more than 4 percent in excess
of the required weight.
If aggregates are weighed in individual batchers, the
aIlowable batching tolerance is 2 percent of the required
weight.
In a cumulative aggregate weigh batcher the
cumulative weight after each successive weighing must be
within 1percent of the cumulative required weight, provided
that the cumulative weight exceeds 30 percent of the scale
capacity. If the cumulative weights of aggregate are less
than 30 percent of capacity, the aIlowable tolerances are
0.3 percent of the scale capacity or 3 percent of the
required cumulative weight, whichever is less.
As specified by ASTM C 94, the water added to the
batch must be measured and batched to an accuracy of 1
percent of required total mix water.
The total water inc1uding surface moisture, ice if used, water in admixtures,
and any wash water must be measured to an accuracy of 3
percent. For admixtures, the batching tolerances are 3
percent of the required amount.

Batching can be done manually, semi-automatically,


or automatically. As the name implies, in manual
batching all operations of weighing and batching of the
concrete ingredients are done by hand, or with the use
of mechanized weigh batchers where the weighing and
cut-off of the ingredients depends on the operator's
obseIVation of scales (or water meter). Manual plants
are acceptable for small jobs having low batching rate
requirements. Attempts to increase the capacity of
manual plants by rapid batching may result in weighing
inaccuracies. In a semi-automatic batching system,
aggregate bin gates for charging batchers are opened by
manually operated push buttons or switches. Gates are
closed automatically when the designated weight of
material has be en delivered.
The system inc1udes
interlocks that prevent batcher charging and discharging
from occurring simultaneously. In an automatic batching plant, automatic batching of all materials is electricaIly activated by a single starter switch (Fig. 7.1).
However, interlocks interrupt the batching cyc1e when
the scale has not returned to 0.3 percent of zero
balance or when preset weighing tolerances are exceeded.
Mixing can be performed in central- or site-mix
plants, truck mixers, pavement mixers, portable mixers
at the placing site, or a combination of two types.
Batching and mixing are fully covered in "Guide for
Measuring, Mixing, Transporting, and Placing Concrete" (ACI 304R) and ASTM C 94 "Standard Specifications for Ready-Mixed Concrete."

=~

...
__ """

..
""'-

.
_ .

Weighing equipment
Weigh hoppers should be constructed so that materials

..
___. .

__
__"'"!_

_-_."."II .__ .
_,...~.,....""'~

._ ~l!!IIo;IIl

BATCHING

discharge easily and completely by gravity with no


accumulations of material s sticking to the hopper.
For aIl semiautomatic and automatic plants,
interlocks should be provided so that: (1) the charging
device can open or start onIy when the scale indicates
zero load, and when the weigh hopper discharging gate
is c1osed; and (2) the discharging gate can open onIy
when the desired weight is in the weigh hopper, and
when the charging device is c1osed. In cumulative
automatic batchers, interlocks are used to ensure that
the scale returns to zero before batching starts and that
each material is within tolerance before the next can be
weighed. The batch plant operator should never
circumvent interlocking devices.
Weigh hoppers for aggregates should be built so
that the contained material can be easily inspected and
the aggregate can be sampled. If aggregates cannot be
sampled from the hoppers, take a sample from the belt
of the conveyer system. Oesirable and undesirable
arrangements of batching hoppers are shown in Fig.
7.2. Make certain that aIl working parts, particularly
the knife edges, are in good condition, free from
friction, readily accessible for inspection and c1eaning,
and protected from faIling or adhering material and
other contamination. AI1nuts that might work loose in
operation should be protected by locking devices.
Tighten the 'weigh hopper and gates against leakage.
Provisions should be made for adjustment in the
amount of material s for a given batch and for ready
removal of excess material in any batch. The weighing
mechanism and indicating dials must be arranged for
convenient observation by the batch plant operator and
the inspector, and for indication when the correct
amount of material is in the hopper. Further details on
weigh hoppers are provided in NRMCA Plant
Certification Check List.
Scales for batching concrete ingredients may be
beam or springless dial scales. Such scales should
conform to applicable sections of the current edition of
Reference 21. Other methods of weighing (electric,
hydraulic, load ceIls, etc.), which meet the above
weighing tolerances, are also acceptable. Beam scales
should be equipped with a balance indicator sufficiently
sensitive to show movement when a weight equal to 0.1
percent of the nominal capacity of the scale is placed in
the batch hopper. Pointer travel should be a minimum
of 5 percent of the net-rated capacity of the largest
weigh beam for underweight and 4 percent for
overweight.
Each plant should be provided with an adequate
amount of test weights, which is usuaIly at least ten
standard 50-lb weights meeting the requirements of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology for
calibrating and testing weighing equipment.
Using
these test weights, check the scales up to the fulI
amount of the batch es. Balance the scale first at zero
load. When the scale has been checked up to the limit
of the weights, remove the weights; place enough

AND MIXING

55

material in the weigh hopper to produce the same scale


setting; and reapply the weights to check the scale at higher
loads. Record the scale reading for each increment of
weight, and adjust the scale to read correctly. Scale adjustment is best done by a scale technician.
At least twice during each shift, balance manualIy
operated scales at zero load. Check automatic batchers with
zero interlocks for proper cut-off. Inspect the scale and
weigh hopper frequentIy for signs of sluggishness, inaccuracy,
damage, or sticking materials that do not discharge.
Check lests-In plants equipped with automatic feeding
and cut-off arrangements and graphic or digital recorders,
one check test consists of applying known loads in increments with the aid of test weights (after first setting the
scale to zero) and comparing the actual load with the corresponding readings of the beam or dial of the recorder.
Then adjust the scale mechanism to comply with the actual
weighing within specified tolerances which is usualIy the
smallest division of the scale. Test the cutoff mechanism
during regular batching operations by bringing the cutoff
setting on a given scale up to the normal setting in several
increments for a number of successive batches and comparing the dial readings at cutoffs with the cutoff settings.
In some plants it will be necessary to adjust both main and
"dribble" feed. Adjust the recorder to be within the aIlowable tolerance which is usuaIly the smallest division of the
scale. Adjust the cutoff mechanism to conform to aIlowable
weighing tolerances.
Batching equlpment

Oesirable and undesirable arrangements of batching


equipment for large instaIlations are shown in Fig. 7.2.
ACI 304R recommends that the batching plant be
planned to conform to the size of the project. Batch plant
bins should be of adequate size to effectively accommodate
the productive capacity of the plant.
Compartments in bins should adequately separate the
various concrete materials.
Shape and arrangement of
aggregate bins should prevent aggregate segregation and
breakage (Fig. 7.3).

Fig. 7.3 -A weLL-organizedplanl is a greal aid lo proper conlrol


of proportions. (This planl conveys graded aggregalefrom
aggregale balcher in cenler lo mixing balcher. Cemenl is
pumped from silos al righl)

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

56

UNIFORMITY

OF
OF

CONCRETE

BATCHER

IS

INSPECTlON

AFFECTEO

SUPPlY

BINS

BY

ANO

o.

THE

IIEIGH

ARRANGEMENT

BATCHERS

b.

CORRECT
FULL

BOTTOM

FROM

HOR I ZONT AL

SLOP

DIRECTIONS

TO

CORNERS

I NG

FLAT

SO

OUTLET

OR

WITH

OF

B I N PROPERL

ROUNDEO

SO

THA T

TER 1 AL

MOVES

BOTTOM

BINS

ARRANGEMENT

1 N ALL

AREAS

BINS

MATHE

OR

THOSE

SLOPES

SUCH

WILL

OUTLET

ALL

TOWARO

OF

NOT

WITH

HAV I NG

THA T

ALL

FLOW

REAOILY

W I THOUT

INCORRECT

CORRECT

INCORRF.CT

MATER

SHOVEL

ANY
CORNERS

I AL

IN

THROUGH

MA TER I AL

OROPS

INTO

DIRECTLY

BIN

I CALL y
OVER

OPENING

PERMITTING

01 SCHARGE

OF

GENERALL

MORE

ON

THE

DISCHARGE

UNIFORf~

1 NG.

VERT

CHUTING
AN

MATERIAL
ANGLE.

F ALL 1 NG
Y

MATERIAL.

OTHER

OVER

OPENING

FORtI

AS

INTO

BIN

MATER 1 AL
THAN
NOT

01 RECTL

ALWAYS

UNI-

01 SCHARGED.

0UT LEY

$lOPE

AGGREGATE BIN

OF AGGREGATE BIN BOTTDMS

FIlllNG

C.
GRAVEL

81NS

AROUNO

CEMENT

ARRANGED

OPEN

CONCENTRICALLY

81 NS.

I NGS

d.

SIOE

::0:

w ......
v)w
w

w:z

ARRANGED

:1J w~ ~
;:J

CIRCU-

(;

LAR

t:

~~

CENTER

8~;: ~

IJ ~ ~

COLLECT

~WITH

I NG

BUT

SUCH

AUTOMATIC

1 NG

MIXER.

EACH

OISCHARGE
SO

AGGREGA

BATCHERS
WI LL

BEU

SUSPENDED

OF

THAT

TE

IS

INSULATED

CONE

OPEN

NOT

OR

TO

MI XER

OR

CEMENT

CEHENT

BE 1 NG
FROM

PERM I T OVERLOAO

IS

BATCH-

,E I GHT

FLOWIIIG

TO

AUTOMA TI CALL y

RECORO

BINS.

FROM

I NG

OPERATOR.

STANTLY

VIBRATION.
1 ON.

CEMENT

INSULATEO

MA TER 1 ALS

OEL 1 VEREO.
PLANT

CORRECT

TE

CUHULATIVELY.

FLOWING
NOT

SEPARA

WEIGHEO

SEPARATELY

PLANT

OVER
PERMIT

VIBRAT

PLA IIILY

SEQUENCE
AVO I O
TOP

OF

OF

OF

ABOVE

01 SCHARGES
MATERIAL
ANO

V 1 S I BLE

CLOSE

GRDUP

1 NGS

WH 1 CH

CAUSE

LONG

BINS

RESUU

IN

IN

IMPAIREO

OF

B IN

SLOPES

OF

SEPARATION

UNIFORt~ITY.

OUMPING

AGGREGA

TE

MATERIAL

CORRECTING

CONIN

OVERLOAOS

f.
'--SIOE

El THER

TEL Y

ION.

cnL

e.

ARRANGEMENTS

PDOR

WE 1 GHEO

EQU I PMENT

PROPER
NECESSARY.

WILL

1 NGS

TRUCK

ARRANGEMENT

BATCHERS

01 REC TL y

CDRNER

BATCHER

AGGREGA

INGREOIENT

BATCHERS,OISCHARG-

COL LEC TI NG

CONTROLLEO

WH ILE

OF

/""-

WEIGHED
SEPARATELY)

ACCEPTABLE

WEIGH

THROUGH

INTO
ER

WEIGHING

INOIVIOUAL

\C~vG

1)

CUMULATIVE
BATCHER
( CEMENT

SQUARE

SHAPE

MEYHOD.

EQU I PMENT

PREFERREDARRANGEMENT

IN

OR

READILY
AVAILABLE
uELIVERY
TO MIXER

MI~ XER

TO

GOOO

LlNE

BINS CONVOOR
CAN BE
HOPPER.

CONE

CEMENT

IN

~G

HEXAGONAL

COMPARTMENT
AGGREGATE
BINS

ARRANGEO

BINS

ABOUT

FG

VIEW

VIEW

~~ -p;;:

PREFERRED
AGGREGATE
TO

11IXER

OISCHARGE
AGGREGA

AUTOMAT
ON

TE

ACCEPTABLE

ARRANGEMENT
ICALLY

CONVOOR

UE IGHEO

BEU.

IS

CONTROLLEO

1S

BE I NG

OELI

CUMULAT

CEMENT
SO

THAT

IVEL

WEIGHEO

cn1ENT

IS

Y,

ANO

CARR lEO

SEPARATELY
FLOWING

l/HILE

ANO

AGGREGATE
SEPARATELY
ING

WHILE

ARRANGEMENT

AUTOMATICALLY
ANO

OISCHARGE

AGGREGATE

VEREO

Fig. 7.2 - Correct and incorrect methods of batching, from ACI 304R

WEIGHEO

IS

CUMULATIVELY.

CONTROLLEO
BEING

OELIVEREO.

SO

THAT

CEMENT
CEMENT

IS

I/EIGHEO
FLOI/-

BATCHING

Make certain that the aggregate bins have adequate separate compartments for fine aggregate and
for each required size of coarse aggregate. Each
compartment should be insta11ed so it will discharge
efficiently and freely, with minimum segregation, into
the weigh hopper.
Cement and pozzolan bins should have a dust
seal between the bin and the weigh hopper. Tbe dust
seal should be insta11ed so that it does not affect the
accuracy of weighing.
Weigh hoppers should have easy-operating
cIamshe11or undercut radial-type bin gates. Poweroperated gates sbould be used to cbarge semiautomatic
and fully automatic batcbers and bave a suitable
"dn'bble" control to obtain the desired weighing
accuracy.
Water measurement-Batch
plants usua11ymeter (Fig.
7.4) or weigh water. In older plants, water may be
measured by volume in a calibrated tank.
Tbe tank or meter should be calibrated by
measuring or weighing sample batcbes of water drawn
out for van'ous settings of tbe device. Modero meters
operate we11over a wide range of pressures, but are
inaccurate at very low flow rates.
Do not permit any leakage into the pipe leading
to the mixer, either from the measuring device or fram
any connections or valves.
Do not permit any arrangement of valves that
a110wsunmeasured water to flow into the mixer from a
tank that is being charged or discharged.
If the mixer is not maintained level at a11times, as
in the case of paving mixers which travel on the subgrade, the tank should be calibrated at grades and side
inclinations up to the maximum to which it may be
subjected. Tbe tank should preferably be one whose
readings are unaffected by ordinary cbanges in
incIination, such as a vertical cylinder with central
siphon discharge.
For proper control of mixing water, the free water
fram tbe aggregate must be accounted foro Moisture
meters or probes are often used to monitor the fine
aggregates for water content. Moisture probes should
be calibrated by comparing readings obtained from the
moisture meter with readings obtained by weighing an
aggregate sample before and after drying the aggregate
in an oyen or over a hot plate (AS1M C 566). Tbe
inspector must be sure that the sample is representative
and must make a suitable correction for absorption.
Admixlures - Liquid admixtures may be dispensed
into the mixer either by weight or by volume. Some
manufacturers of fluid admixtures supply dispensers
wbicb inject the proper dosage into the mixing water or
into the fine aggregate. In any case, be sure dispensing
equipment conforms to AS1M C 94 and provides for
visual confirmation of the correct volume for each
batch, and for a slow discbarge so tbat there is no
possibility for an inadvertent double dosage. See also

57

AND MIXING

"Guide for Use of Admixtures in Concrete" ACI 212.2R. If


a concentrated fluid admixture is used, better accuracy is
secured by preparing it as a dilute solution before batching.
If two or more admixtures are used in tbe concrete,
add them separately to avoid intermixing until they combine
with tbe batch water already in contact with the cement.
Tbe purpose of tbis precaution is to prevent possible
cbemical interaction that could cause partial solidification of
the admixtures, diminish the efficiency of either admixture,
or adversely affect the concrete.
Liquid admixtures (and powdered admixtures dissolved in water prior to use) should be added into tbe
stream of mixing water being batched into the mix.
Admixture supply tanks should be constantly agitated
during batching operations to prevent possible settlement of
the maten'als, if the admixture is a material that will settle
out of suspension.
Powdered admixtures (those used without being first
dissolved in water) should be weighed. Large fluctuations
may occur when measurement is by bulk volume.
Powdered admixtures to be used in small quantities
should be packaged in advance.
However, do not use
powdered admixtures unless absolutely necessary because
tbey are difficult to batch and properly blend ioto tbe mix.
Most contract documents prohibit batching of powdered
admixtures by volume.

Fig. 7.4 - Meter shows quantity 01 water delivered to mixer.


Some meters automaticaLly shut off flow when the desired
quantity has been delivered
Volumetrlc

batching and mlxing

Modero volumetn'c batching equipment combined witb


continuous mixing equipment is now available. In addition
to central and site plants, volumetric batching and mixiog
can also be provided by trucks that carry aggregate, cement,
and other ingredients in separate compartments and mix
fresh concrete at the point of placing. Specifications for
volumetric batching and mixing are provided by ASTM e
685. Frequently check the amount of concrete praduced
during some specified number of revolutions of the equip-

r
MANUAL

58

OF CONCRETE

ment, or by some other output indicator, to monitor


the production rate of such concretes (see Chapter 6).
For tbis purpose, it is recornmended that 2 112 to 3 cu
ft of concrete be discharged into a 35 to 55 gal. drum,
which in turn can be placed on a weighing scale. That
amount of concrete will weigh 350 to 500 lb. The
batching tolerances are the same as for weight batching.
Measuring materials-Cement,
fine and coarse
aggregates, water, and admixtures must be measured
accurately and fed to the mixer in a uniform fIow.
When volume proportioning is employed, counters,
calibrated gate openings or fIowmeters must be
available for controlling and determining the quantities
of ingredients discharged. Check the proportioning and
indicating devices individually by following the equipment manufacturer's recornmendations as related to
each individual concrete batching and mixing unit.
FolIow the manufacturer's recornmendations in the operation of the equipment and in calibrating and using
the various gages, revolution counters, speed indicators
and other control devices.
Mixing mechanism-For continuous mixing, use an
auger-type mixer or any other type suitable for mixing
concrete to meet the required consistency and uniformity requirements of ASTM C 685.

INSPECTION

When aggregates are batched by weight, adjust the batch


weights from time to time during batching to compensate for
variations in moisture content of aggregate. Contract documents or supplementary instructions should make c1earwhat
aggregate conditions the mix proportions are based on, and
whether "dry" aggregate means oven-dry, air-dry, or saturated and surface-dry. Use the selected basis throughout the
batch computations.
At the beginning of a run, the amount of moisture in the
aggregates may differ from the average amount, because the
aggregate is usualIy drawn from the bottom of the bin.
Make cornmon-sense adjustments to offset these variations
until conditions have become stabitized; or better, draw
down and refill the bins with aggregate of known moisture
contento

MIXING OPERATIONS

Essential requirements of satisfactory mixing of


concrete are that the materials be uniformly distributed
throughout the mixture and that alI aggregate surfaces
be well coated with the cement-water paste. To accomplish this within a reasonable time, the mixer must
be c1ean and in good condition, properly designed, particularly as to blading, not overloaded, charged correctly, and operated at the optimum speed as recornmended by the manufacturero The valves controlling the mixing water should not alIow leakage into the
mixer.
Central or site mlxing
Before concrete mixing is begun, examine the mixer
to see that the mixing blades and interior of the drum
are c1ean and the blades are not worn more than 10
percent, and that the batch timer and counter (if
specified) are working properly. Make sure the mixer
drum is watertight.
A reference plate should state the maximum capacity of the mixer and the mixing speed (Fig. 7.5).
Charging the mixer-It is best to feed the water into
the mixer over the fulI period of charging the mixer
with dry material, beginning just before and ending just
after tbis loading operation. Feed all of the dry materials at the same time, so that they will fIow in as
"ribbons," and as rapidly as practical. Do not alIow any
loss of material s, either as spillage or dust, during
charging.

Fig. 7.5 - Plant mixer rating pLate shows


minimum capacity of mixed concrete and
rotating speed of drum
Water temperature-Hot water may be any temperature
that does not result in setting or cement-ball problems but
consistently produces concrete of the required temperature.
Other causes of cement-balIs are the introduction of cement
ahead of coarse aggregate, worn mixer blades, hot aggregate
or cement, and delayed mixing in truck mixers.
Time of mixing- The necessary time of mixing varies
with the size and type of mixer. In the absence of contract
document
requirements
for mixing time, COrnmon
requirements for stationary mixers are those contained in
ASTM C 94, which requires a minimum mixing time of 1
min for batches of 1 cu yd or less, and an additional 15 sec
for each additional cu yd or fraction thereaf.
Determine shorter mixing times, if desired, from
results of performance tests as described in ASTM C 94,

BATCHING

provided that the mixing time is sufficient to produce


uniform concrete.
Require longer mixing time as necessary to
bring results of performance tests up to standard.
Longer mixing time will usually be required if poor or
dirty equipment is used, although use of such
equipment should not be permitted. In modero large
central mixers, failure to obtain well mixed concrete in
45 to 75 sec is most often the result of an inefficient
charging procedure or sequence. Woro blades will also
affect efficiency.
Establish a maximum permissible time of actual
mixing (ACI 304R); and if the batch is to be delayed
6Test
in.
longer, operate the mixer only 4atto inteIVals.
OccaSLUMP
Air
content
(volume
Compressive
Coarse
aggregate
content
Unit
weight
of strength
concrete
Unit
weight
o~"percent
sionally, when there are delays
beyond
the
mixer,
it is
desirable to continue the mixing of a batch for several
minutes. Although additional mixing for a few minutes
is considered beneficial because of the added uniformity and strength, excessive mixing is harmful
beca use there is some grinding action during mixing,
particularly with soft aggregates.
Although some
contract documents limit the time after mixing that the
concrete can be used, there is no reason for such a time
limit if the concrete can be properly placed and fully
consolidated without the addition of water.
The effect of mixing time on air content requires
particular attention. The total percent air content is
increased by about one percent when the mixing time
is increased from 1 to 5 mino It then remains constant
for the next 5 min of mixing; but, after 10 min, air is
gradually lost during further mixing. Chapter 5 discusses the differences between entrained, entrapped,
and total air. It is the entrained air that should be
retained in concrete.
Provide controls to ensure that the batch cannot
be discharged until the required mixing time has
elapsed. At least tbree-quarters of the required mixing
time should take place after the last of the mixing
water has been added.
Use a timing device frequently to check the time of
mixing, beca use the mixer is usually the bottleneck of
the job.
Be sure to understand the effective time in the
cycle at which mixing and discharging are considered to
begin because the difference of a few seconds per batch
may affect the cost considerably. By proper timing of
charging and discharging, high rates of output can be
attained without slighting mixing time.
The mixer should be operated at the speed
recommended by the mixer manufacturero
The entire batch should be discharged before the
mixer is recharged (except for multiple drum paving
mixers).
Segregation in the mixer- If the last portion of a
batch being discharged from the mixer contains an
excess of coarse aggregate, correct the condition by
adjusting the mixer, the charging sequence, or the size
ol the batch. All segregated batches should be wasted.

AND MIXING

59

Batch uniformity may be determined by washing out samples


taken from different portions of the batch as discharged; the
amount of coarse aggregate in one part should not differ
greatly from that in another.
Recommended limits of uniformit-, are given in ASTM
C 94. That standard lists six tests of two concrete samples,
representing the first and last portions of the batch being
tested. The tests and the permissible maximum differences
between the samples are shown in Table 7.1.
Table 7.1-Permissible
tests
difference
4 air-free
in.
or
less
(calculated
ofdays)
concrete)
air free)
(7mortar
(weight
percent)"

dlfferences between

in.
permissible
11 in.
lb
per cu ft
7.5 1.5
1percent
percent
1.6
percent
6.0
percent
Maximum

"Ratio of weight of aggregate retained on and washed over a


No. 4 sieve to the total weight of the concrete sample.
"See Reference 5 (Designation 26) for method.

Test results conforming to the limits of five of the six


tests in the ASTM C 94 example indicate uniform concrete.
Tentative approval of the mixer may be granted pending
results of the 7-day compressive strength tests.
Mixer uniformity tests vary. The Bureau of Reclamation5
requires two samples from the first and last portions of the
batch, similar to the rcquirements of ASTM C 94. Tbe
samples are tested for variance in quantity of coarse aggregate and unit weight of air-free mortar. Tbe Corps of Engineers requires tbree samples taken from the first, middle,
and last portions of the batch. The samples are tested for
unit weight of air-free mortar, quantity of coarse aggregate,
water content, and cement contento
Transporting equipment - Central-mixed concrete may
be transported in truck mixers or agitators or in suitable
nonagitating containers approved by the purchaser. Non-.
agitating equipment should have smooth, watertight, metal
bodies with gates for control of the discharge. Covers should
be provided to protect the concrete from the weather. Uniformity requirements for nonagitated concrete are the same
as discussed above. Tbe requirements for truck mixers and
agitators are discussed in the following section on readymixed concrete.

60

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

Ready-mlxed concrete

ACI 116R defines ready-mixed concrete as


central-mixed, truck-mixed, or shrink-mixed concrete
manufactured for delivery to a purchaser in a plastic
and unhardened sta te. ASTM C 94 is the standard
specification that applies to ready-mixed concrete.
Further details are found in References 22 and 23.
The previous discussion in this chapter regarding
central and site mixing applies to ready-mix operations
that use a central mixing planto This seetion will be
devoted to concrete that is truck-mixed or shrinkmixed, and delivered to the job in truck mixers or
agitators. The mixer unifornty tests discussed above
also apply to truck mixers.
Methods of ordering ready-mixed concrete - ASTM
94 provides for three optional methods of ordering.
The purchaser speeifies the ordering method that will
be used, as well as the maximum size of aggregate, type
of aggregate (normal or lightweight), slump, and air
content.
Each ordering method provides different
responsibilities for deternning proportions that will
provide the required concrete quality.
Option A applies when the purchaser requires
the manufacturer to assume full responsibility for the
seleetion of concrete proportions. In addition to the
requirements of slump, aggregate type and size, and air
content, the purchaser speeifies the required compressive strength at the point of discharge.
If
requested, the manufacturer furnishes the purchaser
with the planned mix proportions, and with evidencc
that the material s and proportions will provide the
required strength (trial mix results or service records).
Option B of ASTM C 94 applies when the purchaser assumes responsibility for the proportioning of
the concrete. In addition to the forcgoing requirements, the purchaser speeifies the cement content,
maximum allowable water content, including aggregate
surface moisture, and the types, names and ranges of
dosages of admixtures, if used.
Option C applies when the purchaser speeifies
a mnimum cement content but rcquires the manufacturer to assumc responsibility for the seleetion of
proportions for concrete.
In addition to the requirements of slump, aggregate type and size, and air
content; the purchaser also speeifies the required
compressive strength of samples taken at point of
discharge, the nnimum cement content and types and
names, types and ranges of dosages of admixtures, if
used. If requested, the manufacturer furnishes the
purchaser with planned mix proportions, and with
evidence that the materials and proportions will provide
the required strength. Whatever strengths are required,
the quantity of cement used lT'ust not be less than the
mnimum speeified.
Under Options A, B, and C, each set of mix proportions should be given a distinctive label to facilitate
identification of each nx delivered to the project. This
designation should be clearly shown on the delivery

-_.-

INSPECTION

ticket. ASTM C 94 speeifies ten mandatory and eight


additional (if so required by the contract documents) items
of information to be provided on the delivery ticket.
Requirements for tlUck mixers and agitators - AS1M C
94 requires that each truck mixer and agitator have an
attached metal plate (Fig. 7.6), giving information such as:
the gross volume of the drum, the capacity of mixed
concrete, and the mnimum and maximum rotating speeds of
the drum, blades, or paddlcs. When transit or shrink mixed,
the volume of mixed concrete should not exceed 63 percent
of the total volume of the drum or the container. If the
concrete is central mixed, the volume of concrete in the
truck mixer or agitator should not excecd 80 percent of the
total volume.
Each truck mixer or agitator should be
equipped with counters or other means by which the number
of revolutions before dischargc can be verified. Standards
for truck mixers and agitators are available in Reference 23.

Fig. 7.6 - TlUCk mixer must not mix and


transport a batch lrger than the capacity shown
on its rating plte. If it operates as an agitator
only, it can transport a Larger amount

All truck mixers should be capable of combining the


ingredients into a thoroughly mixed and uniform mass within
the speeified time or number of revolutions. Agitators
should be capable of maintaining the mixed concrete in a
uniform mass and of discharging the concrete with a satisfactory degree of uniforDty. Slump tests from samples
taken after discharge of approximately 15 and 85 percent of
the load may be taken to check uniforDty. If these.. differ
more than that required in the uniforDty test discussed
above, perform the full uniforDty test and correet the
condition, or use a longer mixing time, a smaller load, or a
more efficient charging sequence.
ExaDne mixcrs and agitators frequently to deteet
changes in condition due to accumulations of hardened concrete or to deteet worn blades, and to assure that there is no
leakage of water from the water tank into the truck miXer.

----------------------------------------------------

BATCHING

Communication - Establish positive communication between the discharge point of ready-mixed


concrete and the central mixing or batching plant. This
will aUow faster changes in proportions that may be
required to obtain proper workability or consistency.
INSPECTION
Plant Inspectlon
At central or site mixing piar',.,;, verify that the
specified type and amount of cement is used, make
necessary acceptance tests of materials, make necessary
ehanges in proportions to adjust for moisture, observe
batching and central mixing, and check the accuracy of
batching devices. Make tests of unit weight, air content, or slump if required at the plant site. Likewise, if
required, fabricate strength specimens and see that they .
are properly stored and delivered to the testing laboratory at the proper time.
Control o[ water content - This is an important
means of assuring quality concrete.
ContinuaUy watch to assure that proper charging
of water takes place as discussed above, and that
proper adjustments are made for the moisture content
of the aggregates.
Check moisture meters, for measuring moisture
in the aggregates, for proper calibration and correct
use, if the plant has these meters instaUed.
Check consistency meters and torque meters for
correct calibration and use them with judgment if the
plant has them instaUed. (See later subparagraph on
control of consistency.)
A source of variation in consistency arises from
fluctuation in water-line pressure, since occasionally,
when pressure is low, the measuring tank does not fill
completely before discharging. This variation can be
prevented with the use of positive interlocks and other
methods as discussed previously.
Control o[ air content - Correct air content is best
obtained with the use of a carefuUy batched airentraining admixture.
The use of air-entraining
eements often leads to lower and erratic air contents,
and it is most difficult to increase the air content by
adding an air-entraining agent because air-entraining
eement is quite sensitive to very smaIl doses.
When air entrainment is required, maximum and
minimum percentages are usuaUy specified for concrete
containing each appropriate size of aggregate. Appropriate amounts are discussed in Chapter 5, and
specific recommendations may be found in ACI 211.1
and 211.2 and ACI 301. The contract documents may
require certain Iimits. UsuaUy the amount of air
required is less for aggregate of larger maximum size,
because the paste content is less. (See Chapter 5 for
the difference between entrapped, entrained, and total
air.) Less air is needed (say 2 or 3 percent less) where
olliy improved workability and cohesion o the mix are
desired rather than freeze-thaw resistance. In some

AND MIXING

61

applications, the contract documents may permit entrained


air but not require it. In other applications, the contract
documents may not allow the use of entrained air, usuaUy
when maximum density or extra-high strength is required.
Another reason to omit entrained air is to improve
uniformity of slump.
In view of the many factors affecting air content and
beca use slump is sensitive to changes in air content, slump
uniformity is adversely affected when entrained air is used.
Sometimes when entrained air is not needed for the sake of
durability, it may also be unnecessary for workability,
particularly when mix proportions are favorable and when
pozzolan or water-reducing admixtures which entrain a slight
amount of air are used.
Whatever the selected amount of entrained air may be,
it is important that the concrete contain a quantity of air
that is uniformly c10se to the desired amount, batch after
batch and day after day. Too much air detracts unnecessari1y from strength without a sufficiently compensating
improvement in durability, whereas too little will fail to
provide workability and durability as desired. If the sand
and water content are at a minimum for a certain amount of
air entrainment, a drop in air content may cause a serious
loss of workability.
On the job, variation in air content obtained from a
given dosage of air-entraining agent may be the result of one
or a combination of influencing factors. Many of these are
recognized qualitatively, but aUvary quantitatively. Learn to
anticipate changes in air content that will be caused by
changing conditions. The amount of air entrained by a given
dosage may vary as a result of a change in strength of the
agent, brand or type of cement, pozzolan or other admixture, temperature of the mix, slump, or length of mixing. A
given dosage will produce less air when temperature of the
mix rises, when mixing is excessively prolonged in truek
mixers, when slump is lower, and when there is an inerease
in amount of fineness of cement or pozzolan. The use of
calcium chloride may affect the amount of air entrained.
Increase or decrease the dosage as necessary to maintain the
air content of concrete at the correct amount.
Make routine tests once or twice a shift to verify that
correct amounts of air are being obtained, or more often if
there is reason to suspect a change. When frequent and
quick indications of the approximate air content are desired,
a smalI pocket-type (Chace) air meter may be used, but it
should not be used as a basis for accepting or rejecting
batch es. In case of doubt, test the concrete by one of the
approved methods. Loss of workability may be eaused by a
sharp reduction in air content; excessive fatness and smoothness may be due to too much entrained air. Air content of
concrete may be determined by one of three methods.
These methods and their individual advantages are discussed
in Chapter 19. Several meters are available for direet
measurement of air content of a representative sample of
the concrete in a properly filled container. Volume and
pressure meter methods are described in Chapter 19 and in
ASTM
173 and
231.
The significant amount of air is the entrained air that is

---------62

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

in concrete in place, after the concrete has been consolidated. Losses of air that occur during handling and
transportation and during vibration of concrete after
placing may not be reflected by tests for air content of
samples taken at the mixer, except for the degree to
which consolidation of the test sample in the air-meter
container represents consolidation in the forms. Fortunately, the first air lost as a result of these manipulations consists of the larger bubbles of entrapped air
which do not contribute to durability. However, such
things as long agitation or mixing in truck mixers or
excessive vibration can seriously reduce the amount of
effeetive entrained air, especially when the initial
amount of entrained air is less than that recommended
in the table in Chapter 5.
OccasionalIy, and especially when there is a
possibility that significant loss has occurred, make a test
of the arnount of air in the concrete after it has been
vibrated in place. It is particularly important that the
surface and upper portion of pavement and bridge deek
slabs, as well as exposed surfaces of hydraulic structures, contain the specified amount of entrained air. If
more than one-fourth of the amount noted in the concrete at the mixer has been lost, correet the practices
causing excessive loss or add compensating entrained
air initially.
ControL of temperature - As noted in Chapter 9,
high temperature within the plastic concrete can cause
excessive evaporation and difficulties in placing and
finishing. High concrete temperatures combined with
atmospheric factors such as high winds and low
humidity can also lead to excessive or rapid drying and
plastic shrinkage. Accordingly, most contract documents limit the temperature of concrete as placed.
Thus, it is essential to measure the temperature of the
mix prior to placing. Several kinds of thermometers
are available and suitable for this test. Record the
temperature each time a slump test or air content test
is conducted, or when compression test cylinders are
made. If plastic concrete temperatures are expeeted to
be less than 50 F, and if low temperature is causing
difficulty, warm water may be used for mix water.
However, cold temperatures not in danger of freezing
are advantageous to the ultimate quality and freedom
from cracking of concrete. (See Chapter 16 for effeet
of high temperatures on heavy concrete seetions such
as rnass concrete.)
Ice is much more effeetive than cold water in
reduction of concrete mix ternperatures, mainly because
ice absorbs heat when it melts (144 BTU per lb of ice).
The resulting melted water absorbs additional heat at
arate of 1 BTU per lb for each degree F change as its
temperature rises from 32 F to the final mix temperature.
Placlng Inspection

Check the revolution counter of the ready-mixed


concrete truck-mixer (Fig. 7.7) to confirm that the

------------------

INSPECTION

number of revolutions at mixing speed is within the


prescribed limits (usually 70 to 100) and that other
revolutions are only at agitating speed. Determine the
consistency of delivered concrete, and take required test
speeimens. Otherwise, the inspector' s duties are similar to
those for job-mixed concrete work.

Fig. 7.7- Mixer revolution counter heLps maintain uniform


consistency of concrete. From 70 to 100 revolutions are
permitted at designated mixing speed for ready-mixed
concrete

SLump Lossduring the time interval between mixing and


placing is sometirnes a serious problern with ready-mixed
concrete because it often causes the addition of extra water
and results in an increase in unit water content. Slurnp loss
greater than 1 in. is objeetionable because it usually creates
a demand for higher initial water content to provide greater
initial slurnp to cornpensate for the slump loss that will occur
before placing. Slurnp loss illcreases as time increases
between start of mixing and placing. It is aggravated by
higher ternperatures, absorptive aggregates, severe false
setting of cernent, richer mixes, or ilI-advised use of an
accelerator.
Reduce slump loss by correeting the causes.
If ternperatures are high, practical means of lowering
concrete and surroullding ternperatures include ice in mixing
water; spraying aggregate, forrns, and subgrade with water;
shading materials; and workillg only at night or durillg early
morning hours.
If a long haul is at fault, make arrangernents to add
water and to mix after trucks arrive at the forrns, or at least
delay mixing until a few minutes before arrival.
If there is too rnuch delay between discharge for the
first and last part of each batch, reduce the size of the
batches.
Make sure the cernent is as cool as possible and free
of any tendency toward false set.
Carefully check the water-cernent ratio and increase
the cernent requirements as necessary to correspond with
increases in unit water colltent.
Consider the use of retarders. However, sometirnes
slump loss may be greater with water-reducing admixtures.
ControL of consistency - As stated in Chapter 6, it is
desirable to maintain the consistency of concrete constant

BATCHING

for a given kind of work to simplify the conveying,


placing, and fmishing. In placing deep lifts, a drier
consistency may be used near the top to offset some of
the effects of bleeding. If the aggregate supply varies in
grading or moisture content, or if different consistencies are required for different parts of the work,
adjustments must be made in batch quantities of one or
more materials. One of the most important duties of
the inspector is to observe the consistency of concrete
at the mixer, in conveying devices, and especiaUy at the
forros. From these observations, determine whether the
specified consistency is being used, judged from the
standpoint of its workability in the forms, particularly
the response of the concrete during vibration. Readily
available radio or telephone cornmunication between
forms and plant are necessary for best control of consistency, especiaUy if truck mixers are used.
A good consistency or slump meter can be of great
help to the mixer operator or ready-mix truck driver in
attaining and adjusting the desired slump as mixed.
Meters recording the power usage of the mixer (wattage, oil pressure, etc.) can be installed in a convenient
location. A relationship between the power used and
the desired slump of the concrete is then established so
that adjustments to the mixing water can be readily
made if the power readings are too high.
The general tendency of some workers is to make
the consistency of concrete as wet as possible, because
wet consistency will reduce the labor of placing (but not
necessarily the over-aU labor requirement). However,
use of a wetter consistency results either in lower
strength of concrete or in a greater cement requirement, according to whether the cement-water paste is
diluted or more cement is added to keep the watercement ratio at the required leve\. Higher water
contents produce concrete with higher shrinkage.
Further, wet concretes are more likely to segrega te.
Hence the mix should be only as wet as absolutely
necessary for proper placement. The use of high range
water reducers makes possible a more fluid consistency
without diluting the water-cement ratio. Consider them
whenever a high slump is desirable.
UsuaUy the consistency is regulated by varying the
amount of water added at the mixer based on observed
or tested consistency of previous batch es. If aggregates
are uniform in moisture content and grading, there will
be small need for varying the amount of added water.
Nevertheless, do not lock the water-measuring device
at a fIXed quantity, beca use unavoidable variations in
moisture content of the aggregate would then result in
variable consistency. The average moisture content of
the aggregates and the average additional water requirements at the mixer will show whether the average
mix conforms to the contract documents regarding
water-cement ratio. If it do es not, adjust the mix (not
the consistency) by exchange of appropriate solid
volumes so as to maintain tbe same yield for the batch
(ACI211.1). Also check extremes of high water con-

AND MIXING

63

tent and if they result in higher than allowable values of


water-cement ratio, either use a richer mix or take effective
action to control fines in the coarse aggregate. Finish
screening at the batching plant, keeping storage piles and
batching-plant bins as full as possible, and routinely c1eaning
out and wasting accumulation of fmes at the bottom of the
bins will help greatly to prevent variations in the aggregates
and thus in mixing-water requirement. Maintain the aggregate moisture content as constant as possible.
Make tests for consistency from time to time for the
record and to determine compliance with the contract documents, but judge the workability of the concrete and suitability of its consistency by how the concrete is responding
to working and vibration in the forros, not by the test alone.
Make and record a test when wetter concrete is subject to
rejection. The usual test for record of consistency is the
slump test, made in accordance with ASTM 143 (Fig. 7.8).
The result of a single slump test should not be the only basis
for rejection, because the test itself is subject to considerable
variation. For example, the indicated slump may be too
much if the base is subjected to jarring, or too stiff if the
base is rough or dry. Usually, contract documents set the
permissible tolerances in slump. However, some contract
documents just state that it shall not exceed a single fixed
value.
The Kelly ball test, a sin1ple, rapid consistency test,
capable of being made even in the forms, consists of observing the penetration of a 6 in., 30 lb metal ball into fresh
concrete (ASTM C 360) (Fig. 7.9). Normally the penetration equals approximately one-half the slump, but the relationship does not necessarily hold for all conditions of test.
A relationship for the mix being used can be established by
a series of slump and ball penetration tests on the same
samples of concrete.
It is best to make tests for consistency and for air
content of concrete at the same time, because increases in
air content may increase slump and vice versa.
When a truck mixer is approved for mixing and delivery
of concrete, do not add water after the initial introduction
of mixing water for the batch, except when concrete arrives
at the job site with lower slump than specified. Record and
note the additional water on the delivery ticket. This additional water to bring the slump within specified limits must
not exceed the design water-cement ratio, otherwise the
batch must be rejected. If additional water is used, it should
be injected into the mixer under the pressure and fIow
needed to meet ASTM 94 uniformity requirements. Turn
the drum or blades an additional 30 revolutions or more at
mixing speed until uniformity is within limits. Do not add
water to the batch at any later time.
The first batches of concrete may be inconsistent
because batching conditions have not yet become stabilized
and because mortar or paste sticks to the mixer and the
conveying devices. To offset this tendency, the first batch
may be oversanded and made somewhat richer and wetter
than normal; these three effects can be accomplished
conveniently by simply leaving out part of the coarse
aggregate, making proper note of the corresponding reduc-

64

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

Fig. 7.8 - The sLump test is made on a smooth nonabsorbent surface, such as a sheet
of metaL Protect the surface from jarring by nearby equipment. Hoid down the sLump
cone with two feet

tion in volume of the batch. Make a change in ratio of


aggregate sizes only under proper supervision. The
starting batches of concrete must never have consistencies on the dry side of the specified slump.
Ir the time between mixing of concrete and its final
placement in the forms is too long, the mix is likely to
have stiffened so much that it cannot be consolidatcd
satisfactorily. The degree of stiffening beyond which
the concrete cannot be consolidated will depend on the
nature of the placement and whether effective vibration
is being used. More than a slight amount of stiffening
calls for correction if the time cannot be sufficiently
reduced. Usually tbe cause can be traced to excessive
evaporation of mixing water by sun or wind, unanticipated bigb absorption of mixing water by aggregates,
higb temperature of one or more of tbe ingrcdicnts, an
improper accelerator, or premature stiffening characteristics of the cement or cement-admixture combinations. Sometimes faulty performance of vibrators gives
a false indicatioD of stiffening. In bot climates, retarders are routinely added to concrete to prevent premature stiffening.
Measuring concrete quamity - Concrete may be measured by volume in tbe receiving bopper or forms; by
weight; or by summation of the absolute volumes of cement, water, air, and aggregates. According to ASTM
C 94 for ready-mixed concrete, the basis of sale is the
volume yield of the batch determined by dividing the

total weight of the materials batched by tbe unit weight of


fresbly mixed, unbardened concrete. While sucb measurements are of interest primarily to tbe producer and contractor, they serve as a check on batch quantities and thus
on cement content. See Chapter 6.

Fig. 7.9 - The baLLpenetration test is made by Lowering the


"baLl' gently into a Leveled-off surface of concrete and observing
its depth of penetration with respect to the stirrup, which rests
on the surface

INSPECTION

BEFORE CONCRETING

CHAPTER 8-INSPECTION
Close inspeetion before concreting takes place
is important. Check the condition of earth foundation
preparation for proper compaction and moisture
contento Thoroughly moisten the foundation material
to provide moisture to the concrete during curing. On
the other band, do not al10wstanding puddles of water,
beeause these will increase the water-cement ratio of
concrete in contact with tbe earth.
Improper
reinforcement placement ean lead to severe cracking,
steel corrosion, and excessive deflections (or even
failure). Form tightness and alignment, coating for
release of forms, and cIeanness are al1 required both
for visual1y pleasing exposed surfaces and for sound
concrete. Common imperfections and disappointing
results in concrete construction are often due to lack
of suitable preparation for tbe work.
PRELlMINARY

STUDY

Upon first arrival at tbe work, become familiar as


soon as possible with the contract documents and with
tbe relevant requirements of any referenced or related
speeifications and building codes as wel1 as site
conditions.
If tbere is no separate engineering staff, see tbat
tbe contract documents correlate witb each other and
with any speeial instructions.
Examine any sbop drawing details and ereetion
or placement drawings and cbeck tbese with tbe contract documents.
Cbeck tbe reinforcment details and otber details
for potential constructibility problems.
Observe tbe general layout of the work, as wel1
as the contractor's plant, equipment, and organization.
Give particular attention to subgrade compaction
equipment and procedures; to tbe concrete batcbing,
mixing, transporting, and placing facilities; to construction joint planning and cIeanup; and to concrete
vibrating equipment.
Review methods to be used for curing, form
stripping, shoring, resboring, and proposed testing
procedures.
Become familiar witb tbe conditions at the site
(lines, grades, foundations); the loeation of rigbts of
way; tbe loeation of roadways, streams, sewers,
pipelines, poIes, or wires wbich might be affeeted by
construction, or other underground or overbead
utilities; regular and speeial traffic arrangements; and
safety regulations.
INSPECTION

OF PREPARATORY

WORK

Before concrete is placed in a given seetion of tbe


work, inspeet excavation, forms, shores, resbores, reinforcement, and embedded items to assure tbat tbey
meet contract document requirements. Also, before
commencing concrete placement, make sure that neces-

65

BEFORE CONCRETING
sary preparations bave been made to form construction
joints and to cure and proteet the concrete. To keep delays
at a minimum, continually inspeet througb tbe three stages
of the work, as fol1ows.
Preliminary - Make a preliminary inspeetion wben
excavation has been completed and forms bave been built.
If form dimensions and stability are satisfactory, tbe
con tractor may then cIean tbe foundation and coat tbe
forms, and instal1 any reinforcement and fixtures.
Semifinal or "cleanup" - When everything is in place
for concreting, make a detailed inspeetion of foundations,
forms, reinforcement, and al1 equipment or parts to be
embedded in the concrete. If tbe instal1ations are satisfactory, the work is ready for final cIeanup.
Final- Final inspeetion is made immediately before
concrete is placed. Forms and fixtures must not bave beeo
displaced. Surfaces must be cIean and, if speeified, must be
wetted. AII pertinent items 00 tbe cbeckout form (described
at the end of tbis chapter) must be properly signed fOL
Assuming that tbe requirements witb regard to suitability
of materials, proportions, and working conditions (weatber,
time, Ighting, equipment, access for prompt delivery of
concrete, curing proteetions, etc.) bave been met, the
contractor may then proceed witb concrete placing.
Excavation and foundation
Excavated surfaces upon or against whicb concrete is to
be placed (Fig. 8.1) sbould conform to tbe speeified location,
dimensions, sbape, compaction and moisture requiremeots.
Make provision for drainage wbere neeessary.
For
discussion of pavement foundations, see Cbapter 13.
For building slabs on grade:

Compact the subgrade to contract document requirements. The type of subgrade material dictates the type of
compaction equipment used. Cobesive materials (cIays) are
best compacted by rol1ers or tamping equipment. Cohesionless materials (sand and granular materials) are best
compacted by using vibrating compaction equipment.
Pay particular attention to the compaction along
edges of foundation wal1s.
Eliminate soft spots, and al1portioos of tbe subgrade
tbat migbt later be subjeet to settlement or swelling. Among
tbese are fissures, incIined layers, cIay layers, and waterbearing sand layers.
Thoroughly compact backfill in trenches and ruts.
For building foundations:

Excavate until sound material is reached because soil


under footings must bave the bearing capacity required in
the designo Sound material may be tbe original undisturbed
soil or a properly compacted soil.
In rock excavation, tbe surface of tbe rock must be
sound, completely exposed, perpendicular to the directioo of
load and of a capacity required by tbe designo
Key tbe footings into rock if so required.
If blasting is required, control the charges to avoid

--~--------------------------66

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

For underwater placement: Do not place concrete under


water except by express permission of the contract
documents or of the architect/engineer.
In such cases,
excavate and clean the foundation with more than ordinary
care, because tbis is a difficult operation to accomplish as
well as to inspect. For further details on underwater
concreting, see Chapter 15.
For pile foundations: If concrete will be supported by
piles, check the number, location, and penetration of each
pile. After the piles are driven, report any that deviate more
than the specified tolerance fram the theoretical alignment.

Fig. 8.1 - CarefuLly excavated trench will serve as


fonn for concrete grade beams to be placed without
wood fonns. Reinforcement will be supported at
co"ect level before concrete is placed
damage to other foundations or fmished work.
For major foundations, appraval of the resident
engineer is usually required before concrete may be
placed.
Surfaces against which concrete will be placed
must be clean and moist, but not soft.
Prefereably, clean rack surfaces of foundations
with water or air-water jet, followed by an air jet to
remove excess water. Remove pools of water.
If new concrete will be placed upon or against
previously cast concrete, clean the surface of the older
concrete. Remove oil, grease, other foreign matter,
and laitance. Wet sandblasting or ultra-high pressure
water blastillg may be required by the contract
documents. Contract documents sometimes require
raughening.
Roughening for its own sake is not
necessary to obtain bond if a thoraughly clean surface,
comparable to a fresh break, is obtained. Such a clean
joint surface appraaching dryness without free water is
best for bond strength. (See Reference 5 regarding
"dry" surface for best joint.) Free surface water will
increase the water-cement ratio and therefore weaken
the mortar or cement paste in the new concrete adjacent to the old concrete.

Forms for bulldings


Before concreting is started, inspect the forms, shores,
and bracing that will support the concrete. Location and
dimension of forms after they are filled with concrete may
not be the same as when they were built and set, because
the weight of concrete, workers, and equipment empIoyed in
placing the concrete may cause the forms to settIe, sag, or
buIge.
Check forms as soon as possible after erection so that
errors can be corrected with minimum delay, and any lack of
tightness can be corrected.
Verify the number, type, and location of shores and
bracing.
It may be necessary to provide shoring at closer
intervals than planned to prevent sagging of bottom forms.
Settlement of shores can be prevented by providing adequate
bearing areas on the graund.
. On some jobs, during concreting operations, it may be
necessary to adjust the shoring by means of screw jacks to
maintain praper elevations.
Place shores supporting successive stories directly over
those below, and shore the number of stories required to
carry the total loads.
Construct and set forms as exactly as possible to
indicated lines, grades, and dimensions, except as necessary
to build in camber as discussed below. Tolerances in "Specifications for Structural Concrete for Buildings" ACI 301 and
ACI 117 "Standard Tolerances for Concrete Construction
and Materials" apply to hardened concrete, not to the forms.
Ensure that the forms will result in hardened concrete
of the required dimensions, alignment, and surface finish.
Governing points of line and grade will be set by the
engineering staff, but additional measurements may be
needed fram and between these points. In many cases, a
homemade template will serve as a convenient and accurate
means of checking dimensions and alignment. An accurate
straightedge of praper length should always be at hand.
Irregularities may be detected by careful sighting, but plumb
lines and stretched lines or wires may be necessary in some
locations.
Use praper bracing, form ties, and sufficientIy stiff
form members to prevent buIging. Fresh concrete, when
vibrated, exerts maximum pressures of the magnitude
indicated in TabIes 8.1 and 8.2, which are taken from
Reference 24.

INSPECTION

Tabl
410
598761

cement R,

Rate of

ft per hplacement R,
2

-- -

-------M

BEFORE

CONCRETING

-- -

- for
- --

d- -

67

----

60
70
F650
1090
1340
793
1522
870
921
825
938
1410
973
1466
750
750
850
881
943
690
80
50
1050
1043
1008
1578
1170
900
712
1293
1130
1230
1200
1246
1050
1865
1275
1500
1725
1795
825
912
40
F
temperature
indicated
1935
p, maximum
lateral pressure,
psf, for the
600 psf664
minimum
governs
90 F

11

forms

NO'IE:
not with
use design
greater
than 150
X height ofslump
fresh no
concrete
in forms.
Thisvibration
table applies
normal weight
concrete Do
made
Type pressures
cement, no
admixtures
or pozzolans,
more than
4 in. and
depthonly
4 ft for
or less.

.---- ---

----

---- - --- - ------------ - - ----- - - --- --- M


-..3000
_-- ------for d
3000
2721
2400
2150
2979
2350
2550
2750
2464
2950
1950
1350
2207
1822
1950
1725
1450
1550
80
60
750
1350
1178
1800
70
950
1250
FFF
900
793
921
1436
1307
1163
712
1050
650
3000
1693
2310
2850
psf minimum
maximum
governs
2250
2100
2670
2550
1613
1750
1050
2130
50
870
1564
2625
1388
1050
2175
1275
1500
1230
1650
1770
938
1410
850
750
1150
2490
P. maximum lateral
pressure,
pSf, governs
for
the temperature690indicated
1590
2400
825
1200
600664
psf

40 F

90 F

NO'IE: Do not use dcsign pressures greater than 150 X heighl of fresh concrete in forms. This table applies only for normal wcight
concrete made with Type 1 cement, no admixtures or pozzolans, slump no more than 4 in. and vibration deplh 4 flor less.

-------------68

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

Bracing and tying of forms (Fig. 8.2) must be


adequate because it is usuaUy impossible to force a
form back into position after it bas bulged or slipped
wbile being filled.

INSPECTlON

of such joints until aU concrete has developed strengtb to


permit the member to act as a span.
Put the builder on written notice of the possibility of
unsatisfactory results if there is doubt about the security and
rigidity of the forms, and no corrective action is taken.
Various materials are used for form facings that are
intended for reuse. Varnish and other sealers effectively
seal wood aUowing repeated use. Steel forms are widely
used. They should not contain cracks, nicks, dents, bulges,
loose joints, or deformations that prevent proper fit.
Plastic-coated plywood provides a smooth hard fmish weU
suited to forms. It can be reused many times if undamaged.
For architecturaUy exposed concrete, glass-fiber reinforced
plastic forms are popular because they can be shaped to any
desired contour. More detailed discussion of forms for
architectural concrete is provided in Chapter 14 of tbis
manual.

Fig. 8.2 - With true, tight, we/l-bracedforms having surfaces


coated or wetted to prevent sticking, the concrete can be
made pleasing in appearance without special decorative
treatment
For large or important concrete placements,
instaU "teUtale" arrangements (stringlines and plumb
Iines left in place during placing operations) at several
locations on tbe forms, particularly wbere settlement or
deflection may be expected. These teUtales will give
early warning of any movement or deflection of tbe
forms. Irnmediate actions can tben be taken to stop
tbese movements or deflections, or at least control
tbem within prescribed Iimits.
Settlement and sagging can be controUed by
building a camber into the formo One widely used rule
is to camber f100r and beam forms 1/4 in. per 10 ft
span. Cambering of the forms is the responsibility of
the contractor.
During concrete placement have one fulltime
worker monitor teUtales; checking for and stopping
leaks; and checking and tightening forms, accessories,
and bracing as required.
If c1imbing forms or "lift" forms are used (Fig.
8.3), puU the form, after being raised, tight against the
concrete aIready cast. Make the joints in forms
especiaUy secure, even, and tight. To avoid unsightly
offsets and mortar leakage at horizontal construction
joints, reset the forms to overlap the concrete only 1 in.
or so. Use ample tie OOltsc10se to the joint to ensure
holding the form tight to the hardened concrete during
concrete placement and vibration .
Shores for cantilevers are frequently critical and
must be adequate to support all loads. Construction
joints may create temporary cantilevers until the member is completed. Support the concrete on OOthsides

Fig. 8.3 - In contrast to continuous


slipforming operation, this chimney is
constructed by means of an adjustable
climbing form that moves upward after
each concrete lift is placed
Construction of forms for structural and architectural
concrete and special formed surfaces are described in Reference 24.
Provide smooth form surfaces with tight joints and
free from holes to prevent any mortar escaping during vibration.
Where appearance of the structure is important,
arrange form Iines and form ties to make neat patterns. The

..;..--------------------I!!!!II!I-~!!!II!!I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IIIIIII""IIIIIIII!III!!I!!!!!I!!!!!!!!!!!!!I~!!II!!!!!!!~~~~!I!II!I!~.!!!II--_.,.IiI!!i!.
111_

INSPECTION

BEFORE CONCRETING

layout should be approved by the designer prior to start


of work.
Form ties and spacers should not leave metal
near an exposed surface, nor bend if workers climb on
them.
Use wire ties only on light work, making holes
for tie wires as sma11as possible.
Clean, and if necessary, recondition the forms
before reuse. Fill open seams, plane warped boards,
straighten metal facings, and rematch join15. Do not
sandblast or abrade metal forms to a bright surface.
Avoid marring the form surfaces tbroughout
construction of forms and other work prelinnary to
concreting.
Before concrete is placed, wet the form surfaces
or coat them with non-staining form oil or other
satisfactory materials. Use only the proper amount of
form coating to avoid discoloration of the concrete.
Do not apply the coatings so tbick that staining or
softening of the concrete surface will occur; sticking will
be prevented by a coating that feels oily. Apply form
coatings to aU contact surfaces and edges. There is a
tendency for air bubbles to form or water to
accumulate at the surface of perfectly tight forms with
dense and impervious surfaces.
The defect is
principally in appearance and is not serious unless
architectural exposed concrete is involved.
Apply form coatings before reinforcement is
placed to avoid coating it and preventing bond with the
concrete.
Remove wooden spacers as the concreting progresses, by means of wires previously attached.
Remove foreign material from inside the forms.
Foreign material include chip s, blocks, sawdust, dried
mortar, snow and ice. Preferably use air and water, or
steam, supplemented by hand cleaning. Foreign material is likely to accumulate in corners and places
difficult to reach. In deep narrow forms, provide holes
for deaning and inspection at the most effective 10cation, usually at the bottom and at joint levels of the
forms. Close these holes before concreting star15 or
just before the concrete reaches their leve!.
Placlng relnforcement
Check reinforcement as soon as possible for proper
strength grade markings, size, bending, horizontal and
vertical spacing, location, adequacy of support and
tying, and surface condition. Do not wait until reinforcement has been wired substantia11y in place (and
more expensive to alter) before checking it. Practical
information with illustrations is contained in References
4 and 15.
Cutting and bending

All bending details must be correcto Unless doser


limits are stated in the contract documen15, straight
bars have a lengtb tolerance of 1 in.4,15Bent bars are
usuallymeasured from outside to outside of bar, but

69

some organizations use center-to-center dimensions.


Regardless of bending tolerances, a11parts of bars
must have the specified cover.
lf reinforcement will be job fabricated, use a bending
pin diameter not less than the recommended sizes in Reference 15 and ACI 318. Different pin diameters are required
for different grades of steel (Grades 40, 60, and 75.) lf
several bars will be bent alike, check the first one bent,
preferably by placing it in the forms, before the others are
bent.
Do not bend or straighten steel in a manner that
would weaken the material.
Heat reinforcement for bending only when approved
by the designer, because heating may change the characteristics of the stee!. In any case, never heat steel above
1200 degrees F and always aUow it to cool slowly.
lf bars being bent by heating are partiaUy embedded
in concrete, avoid damaging the concrete surrounding the
bar by the heating process or by the bending.
Never bend or heat prestressing steel (see Chapter
17).
Storage and handling

Avoid storage conditions that might cause excessive


rusting of the steel.
Before reinforcement is placed, the surface must be
free from objectionable coatings or heavy corrosion. Except
for prestressing tendons, a tbin adherent film of rust or mili
scale is not objectionable because it increases the bond of
steel to concrete.
Remove other objectionable coatings such as paint, oil,
grease, dried mud, and weak dried mortar or concrete.
Brush weak mortar from the bars and remove it from the
forms. lf it is difficult to remove, it is probably harmless and
need not be removed.
Reinforcement

installation

Reinforcement is embedded a minimum distance frODl


the surface of the concrete (clearance), to prevent buckling
under certain conditions of compressive load, rusting when
exposed to weather, or loss of strength when exposed to fire.
Larger dearances are required for concretes exposed to
corrosive Iiquids or vapors and for bridge decks that are
frequently exposed to deicing sal15. Typical recommended
depths of cover are givcn in ACI 301, ACI 318, and ACI
345. Cover must be at least as much as shown in the contract documents, if not, the designer must be consulted.
Reinforcement must be properly spaced, spliced, firmly tied
in position, and embedded to give the required clearance to
a11concrete surfaces (Fig. 8-4). References 4, 15, 25, and
ACI 318 give detailed information on these matters, especially for suppor15 and spacers not shown on the contract
documen15.
Check clearance at stirrups and column ties that project bcyond other reinforcement and to dearance under sagging horizontal bars midway between supports. On structural slabs, especially bridge deck slabs, clear cover between
the top of the slab and the top of the reinforcement is critical.

70

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

is now common. However, unless permitted by the contraet


documents, do not use any mechanical splice unless
approved by the designer in writing beforehand.
e Anchor a bar wherever necessary by extending it
beyond the point of no stress, by bending it around another
bar or steel member; or by bending it into a 90 degree or
semicircular hook of specified mnimum radius.
e EspeciaUy where reinforcement is congested, the
nominal maximum size of aggregate in the concrete mix
must not exceed three-quarters the mnimum c1ear spacing
between bars so as to permit satisfactory placement of concrete around the bars.
e Use vibrator heads that fit between bars in congested
areas. If smalI vibrators are used, reduce the spacing of
vibrator insertion locations and increase vibrating time.
Fig. 8.4 - Reinforcing steel here is ready for plnce-ment
a slab

of

e If there is more than one mat of reinforcement,


align bars verticaUy above each other in both horizontal
directions to mninlZe interference with placing and
consolidating concrete.
e Provide preplanned openings in the upper mat
for dropchutes to help prevent seattering and segregation of the concrete.
e Where reinforcement is too congested to permit
concrete placement, provide openings by temporarily
crowding bars to each side and then replacing them to
designated position. Alternatively, when approved by
the designer, crowd bars to each side and leave them in
that position permanently.
e Stagger bar splices to facilitate concrete placement unless prohibited.
e Stagger the splices in column ties around the
four corners of the column instead of one above the
other.
e Do not splice bars or welded-wire fabric without
the approval of the designer unless shown in the contract documents. Lap bars or welded-wire fabric for
the length specified because length determines the
splice strength. See References 4, 15, and 28 for
lengths of lap, methods of splicing, loeation and orientation of splices, and provisions for lateral support in
certain cases. It is always desirable to stagger splices
whenever possible.
e If splices are welded, make sure that the weld is
the required size and length, and that the bars are not
burned or reduced in cross section. Have a certified
welder do aUwelding in accordance with "Recommended Practice for Welding Reinforcing Steel, Metal Inserts and Connections in Reinforced Concrete Construction," (AWS 01.4). The welding of high strength
reinforcement can lower the strength of the bar and is
prohibited in many contract documents.
e Do not permit tack welding unless aUowed by
the contract documents beca use tack welds weaken bars
at the tack location. If many welds are made, some
weld testing is advisable.
eThe use of patented splicing sleeves for large bars

Support

All reinforcement must be firmly held in place before


and during the casting of concrete.
e Use built-in concrete blocks, metal or plastic supports,
spacer bars, wires, or other devices that will prevent displacement during construction.
e Use a quantity and strength of bar supports and
spacers sufficient to support both reinforcement and construction loads.
e Do not use rocks, wood blocks, or other unapproved
objects to support the steel.
e Use chairs or blocks on the ground sufficiently large
to prevent settling by indenting the soil.
e Support horizontal bars every 5 or 6 ft in general.
For specific recommendations, see References 15 and 25.
e Some spacers expose more metal than necessary at
the surface. To prevent surface staining from rust, contract
documents may require tbat no corrodible metal be left in
the concrete within a stated distance of the surface. To
meet tbis requirement, stainless steel or plastic bar supports
or supports having plastic tips can be used (or concrete
blocks, if permitted).
e Twist the ends of tie wires to project away from a
concrete surface. Use 18 gage or heavier wire for tying bars.
e Tie bars at sufficient intervals so that tbey stay in
place during placing and consolidating concrete.
Six to
eight spots for a 20-ft bar is the usual practice but every
other intersection is better. Tie spacing depends on handling and traffic on the mat and the position it occupies.
e Train workers to recognize the importance of proper
loeation of reinforcement (Fig. 8.5). Ouring the concreting
operation, reinforcement, especiaUy light"temperature steel,"
can become displaced by the runways (although runways
should never be supported on the reinforcement), by accidents, by heavy loads of concrete dumped upon it (especiaUy
in deep forms), or by tools used in consolidating the concrete. Constant attention is required to prevent tbis displacement and to detect and correct any displacement that
do es occur.
e For pavement slabs or mass concrete, when reinforcement is not supported on cbairs, a permissible practice
is to place relatively stiff concrete up to a given level, then

INSPECTION

BEFORE CONCRETING

to lay the mesh or bars on the surface before placing


tbe rest of the concrete. When pavement concrete is
placedin a single course, wire fabric sheets or bar mats
maybe laid in proper horizontal alignment on the full
depth of struck off concrete and machine depressed
with special equipment to proper elevation (see
Chapter 13).
Do not lift or "hook" reinforcement in tbin slabs
Crom the bottom of a slab up to its prescribed level
during concreting operations. This operation is seldom
if ever properly done, and it results in uncertain
location of the steel, with much of it on the bottom.

fj~"'-

71

tbe face of a column except as permitted by the contract


documents or specifically approved by the designer.
Soak wood inserts before concreting, or make sure
tbe wood surface is effectively sealed; otberwise the wood
tends to swell and cause the concrete to split.
Openlngs
Where additional openings not shown on the contract
documents are required, have the proposed openings
approved by the designer. At the corners of all except very
small openings, install short diagonal bars to resist stresses
around the opening.

.m'J

Fig. 8.5 - Continuing attention is required to find and


correct displacement of reinforcement. Here improperly
placed steel is deflecting under the weight
Embedded fixtures
Before concrete is placed, frrmly fix in position all
anchor bolts, inserts, pipe sleeves, pipes, conduits, wiring, flashings, manhole-cover frames, instruments, other
embedded fixtures, and mechanical equipment. For detailed requirements regarding embedded fJXtures, see
ACI 318.
Embedded metals, other than steel reinforceOlent, may cause galvanic action and corrosion unless
coated to isolate them. In particular, do not embed
aluminum in reinforced concrete unless effectively
coated to isolate it. Preparation of contact surfaces
depends upon whether or not bond with concrete is
desired.
Do not allow built-in fJXtures to displace reinforcement except as shown on the contract documents,
nor to appreciably reduce the strength of the construction.
Reinforcement may be moved up to one bar
diameter without other approval according to ACI 301.
In general, conduits 1 in. or less in diameter do
not significantly reduce tbe strengtb of concrete in compression. Conduits coming togetber at a particular 10cation may require extra reinforcement above and below to minimize excessive cracking at such location.
Do not aUow more than one conduit to take space in
the cross section of a column nor to mass together at

Expanslon, contractlon, and constructlon joints


Although many other more-detailed descriptive terms
can be used to describe various joints, the following are the
general definitions:
Expansion joints are designed to allow the structure on
each side of the joint to move independently. If these joints
are omitted, compressive or tensile forces may crush or
crack or otherwise damage the concrete.
Such forces
develop by thermal or chemical expansion, shrinkage,
applied loads, or differential seulements. ReinforceOlent
must not cross expansion joints.
Contraction joints are purposely made planes oC
weakness designed to control cracking that might otherwise
occur due to
contraction of concrete (from drying
shrinkage, temperature drop, etc.). Reinforcement may be
continuous or discontinuous in contraction joints, depending
on the design of the structure.
Constrnction joints are joints created by necessary
interruptions of the placement of concrete (see Chapter 9
for a detailed discussion). If the construction joint is also a
contraction joint, the steel should be treated the same as in
a contraction joint.
Recornmended practice regarding design, location, and
construction of joints is given in ACI 301, ACI 318, and ACI
504R.
Expansion and contraction joints are "working" joints in
contrast with construction joints which are not working
joints, unless they coincide with planned expansion or
contraction joints. Materials for fil1ing working joints are
discussed in Chapter 3, and detailed information on
elastomeric joint sealers is provided in ACI 504R.
Expansion joint material is generally a compressible
filler (and frequently stretchable also). Do not allow plugs
of concrete or otber incompressible material to span or
block tbe expansion joint.
Contraction joint sealing material must bond to the
concrete on each side and have sufficient deformability to
resist breaking under tbe expected joint moveOlent.
Dowels may be required across some joints. If so, align
them carefully, lubricate one end to allow joint movement,
and fit tbat end witb an expansion cap. In a similar Olanner,
sliding joints require a bond breaker installed before casting
tbe adjacent concrete.
Before concreting, mgke sure tbg( tbe specified initig(
joint opening is allowed for, tbat debris can be removed

72

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

from the joint opening, and that the joint surfaces can
be cleaned before installing the joint filler. Be on the
lookout for construction conditions that may later
interfere with movement of joints or with proper water
drainage. Spaces 2 ft wide or more are sometimes left
in casting concrete to aUow some shrinkage of the
concrete to take place before they are filled. In such
cases, to aUow unrestricted
joint
movement,
reinforcement is Japped rather than con tinuous .
Preparation of joints m these cases should be the same
as for construction joints.
FINAL INSPECTION

BEFORE PLACING

Before
concrete,
a fmal
inspection.
Checkplacing
aU bracing
and make
shoring
to ensure
that it
has not been loosened or misplaced.
Check all forms for damage and mortar tightness, and make sure that tie bolts are tight at construction joints.
Check reinforcement for completeness and proper placement and make sure that the specified tbickness of cover will be obtained.
Give special attention to reinforcement that
supports runways for transporting concrete. (This is
poor practice and many contract documents prohibit it.)
lt may be necessary to provide additional bar supports
in these areas.
Recheck all inserts for proper size, location,
mounting, and protection against contamination.
Check the forms and construction joints for cleanliness
and absence of surface moisture.
Remove all foreign material from the forms by
vacuuming or blowing out the debris. The forms
should
Make
be freecertain
of standing
the forms
water,
have
ice,been
or dirt.
oiled. If reNEER
ENGIDATE
Time
CONTR.
Sewer
& Grade
&Steel
80=
Une
Water
Conduit
Ancbor
80lts
Reinforcing

oiling is required, keep reinforcement clean and completely


free of oil.
Check the weather forecast for the day of the concrete placement. If extremely hot, cold, or windy weather is
forecast, see that precautions have been taken to protect
fresh concrete and that materials and equipment for further
protection are immediately availabJe at the placing site for
use in case the weather becomes worse.
When concrete is placed on Fridays, weekends, or
Mondays, exercise extra vigiJance beca use the attention of
the workers and resuJting workmanship may be at a low ebb.
Make sure that all preparations have been completed
during the fmal inspection. Finishing some preparations
while concrete placmg operations are beginnmg is not a
good practice.
CHECKOUT

FORM

As a systematic aid in checking out the various aspects


of
preparation
for of
thea next
placement
forbe
final
approval,
the use
checkout
form of
hasconcrete
proved to
of
great
help on many
Fig. 8.6onis one
an example
comprehensive
form projects.
used successfuUy
project. of
Thea
checkout form is a listing on one sheet of the relevant items
discussed in tbis chapter, or those in Chapter 23, plus any
others that require attention before concrete placement. In
the form, columns at the right are for the name or initials of
supervisors to certify the readiness of each item Cor inspection and for the inspector to sign when he or she approves
it. Space is also provided for the time of each signing.
Place the checkout form in a convenient and protected
spot on the formwork where anyone can quickly verify the
status of the preparations. The completed checkout form is
collected by the concrete placing inspector as authorization
to proceed with concretmg and is included in the fmal
report. Total
Cu.Computed
Vds.
Concrete Cu. Vds.
Computed

Date
Sta.
To
DATE
Elev.
To Time
Date
Time CONCRETE: Sta. From
CONTRACTOR'S
FOREMAN
Elev.
From
Pour
OK No.
TO
PLACE
CONCRETE
PLACEMENT

Fig. 8.6 - Example of a checkout fonn

INSPECTION

Cu.
Vds.Cu.
Waste
Pour
ENGINEER
Total
Vds. atPlant
SUP'T
Cu.
Vds.
Grout
Pour
Completed
Date
Total
Cu.
Vds.Back1ll1
Placed
Computed
Cu.Une
Vds.Cu. Vds.
CHECKOUT
SHEET
Cu.
Vds.
Waste
at Plant
INSPECTOR
Pour
started
Date
Overbreak, Cu. Vds.

CONCRETING

OPERATIONS

CHAPTER 9-CONCRETING
After batching and mixing operations are complete,
satisfactory concrete requires the following:
1. Conveying, placing, and consolidating without
segregation; and consolidating thorough enough to fill
all parts of the form, to essentially eliminate air and
rock pockets, and to form a bond with adjacent steel or
concrete.
2. Maintaining the required quality of the concrete, especially unifonnity.
3. Proper curing.
The principIes of concrete control with regard to
selection and proportioning of material s are discussed
in Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 6. Recommended practice with
regard to batching and mixing is discussed in Chapter
7 and in Reference 5 and ACI 304R. Conveying,
placing, and fmishing are covered in this chapter and in
Reference 5 and ACI 304R.
The ultimate suecess of the concrete operations
involves site preparation, batch plant inspection, transportation to the site, site handling of concrete, and care
after placing.
SITE CONDlTIONS

Do not proceed with concreting unless requirements of the contract documents have been met regarding site preparation as well as location and condition of forms and reinforcement. Items discussed in
Chapter 8 must be completed.
Review the planned placing sequence.
Some contract documents prohibit concreting
at night (to ensure visibility) or during periods of
extreme heat, extreme cold, wind, or rain unless certain
specified protection of the work is provided. (See the
discussion on hot and cold weather concreting in
Chapter 10.) On the other hand, some contract documents require concreting at night in hot weather to
reduce evaporation and to reduce the temperature of
the concrete especially for structures in which cracking
may be a problem, such as bridge decks, pavements,
and mass concrete. Provide adequate lighting for night
work.
Do not place concrete in certain locations (e.g.
columns and walls) until the specified period has
elapsed to allow for settlement, hardening, or cooling
of concrete previously placed.
Do not deliver concrete so fast that proper
placement and consolidation are difficult or impossible.
However, deliver, place, and consolidate concrete fast
enough to prevent undue delays and especially to prevent formation of cold joints. Delays contribute to
slump loss and to slump variation.
Check all equipment for proper operation, and
keep enough equipment on hand to ensure continuity
of tbe placement if failure of some equipment oecurs.

73

OPERATIONS

Schedule enough personnel for the work. For example, large slab areas placed in hot weather require a
greater number of fmishers and better scheduling of operations than the same slabs constructed in cool weather.
HANDLING

OF CONCRETE

The placing inspector is responsible for inspection of the


conveying, placing, consolidation, fmishing, and curing of the
concrete. He or sbe may also be required to make tests of
the fresh concrete. Review Chapter 19 prior to conducting
tests of fresb concrete.
Check the revolution counters on truck mixers (the
mnimum is normally 70 to 100 revolutions at mixing speed)
and that additional revolutions are at agitating speed only.
A1so cbeck water tanks to see tbat tbey are still full when
concrete is discbarged or kept completely empty, as required. Read tbe batcb ticket of each truck mixer and see
tbat tbe ticket is properly signed.
Some contract documents limit the time after mixing
tbat tbe concrete can be used. As explained in Cbapter 7,
a time limit is unnecessary if the concrete can be properly
placed, consolidated and finished without the addition of
water (retempering). Good praetiee, and most contraet
doeuments, prohibit such belated additions of water. But do
not confuse retempering with adding water initially to adjust
a slump during mixing or when truck mixers first arrive at
the job. Sucb initial addition of water is acceptable if slump
loss is considered and the maximum water-cement ratio is
not exceeded.
Conveying
Preserve the quality and uniformity of concrete while
conveying it from the on-site mixer or delivery truck to the
forms. Specific details of conveying equipment are given in
Reference 24.
Dump or drop concrete vertically, otherwise coarse
aggregate will segrega te. The best method of ensuring a vertical drop is to pass the concrete through a short section of
dropchute. Baffle plates are not satisfactory because sometimes they merely change the direction of segregation (see
Fig. 9.1).
Unconfined drops must not cause segregation. A
short fall that results in stacking may eause more serious
segregation than a longer fall that creates a bulging mass.
Scattered individual pieces of coarse aggregate are aeceptable beca use they will be reembedded into the concrete.
Never dump concrete over tbe reinforcement into
deep forms beca use segregation will occur as the coarse
aggregate rattles past the bars.
Many types of conveying devices are used, either alone
or in combination with other types (buckets, buggies, wheelbarrows, trucks, etc., includiDg bucket air-lift as shown in
Fig. 9.2). ID filliDg cODtainers, avoid segregation by using
the methods shown in Fig. 9.1.

MANUAL

74
UNlESS

OISCHARGE

CF

CONCRETE

FROM

OF CONCRETE

FROM

MIXERS

"-

EFFECTIVE

MIXING

INSPECTION

IS

CONTROllEO.

BE

WIll

THE

BY

UESTROYEO

UNIFORMITY

RESUlTlNG

SEPARATION

.....
.....

b.

O.

"

~
~/""""~
:
1...

. i'

j.I

.........

CORRECT

INCORRECT

OROPPING

Of

CONCRETE

O'RECTLY

OVER

OROPP'NG

GdTE

ON

OPEN'NG.
FIllING

BUCKE1S

~-?~--i'
...

~ :_~_~:~;"~'~'~

~pY

OROP'

"''''''

"""" ....,,~.

MORldR--:,~-'OCK

\-----1
.

LEfl
Of

lHE

wHEIHER

CHUTE

CdRS.
O N

CONCP'

lE

CR

CO~CRETE

O'SCH~RGE
GEl

PAR

IS

R O M

A T

ION

A S

DISCHARGEO

I X E

LOdOING

ii

RUBBER
\OUN1ER

.\'.-'

,(N0

.-,.,'-'~'

lHE
dBOVE
SEPdRdl10N
11

'S

BdffLE
..

PERS.

BU(KE1S.

OISCHdRGEO
CdRS.

'NIO

f'CRldR~~_o

TRUCKS.

HOPOR

dS

MdY

BE

BOffLE
G

lO

CEN1[R

Of

SLOPING

fROM

OB14'NEO

TE

BU

"IERELY

lHE

ENO

OF

G G 1

:'1.y../__
'NCH

...:,~ .. -

fO"

dBOVE
:ON.

H E

I'NIO

"AlTER

HOPPER~.

OR

dRRdNGEMErI1
NO

PRE VENT S

HO.,

CONCRETE

IS

~HORI

BE'NG

BU(KETS.

Q-

CARS.

IRUCKS.

Y.

,/

-\

./

.*

.;-

. :-'0

.~ ..

:.r..

MORTt1R

.;:

".".

,""

, ..., ...

~#

..

,/'
'"'DAr

l1P

~.,,".,' .
0 ..

:.~~
:,-::',::~'~'i"-~':"'
__

. ~~~~.~
.. :".-> ,'.

..:~RO(K""
~.. ,.~.

CH~IE.

fORP1S

BQrFlE

Q-,. ,"
\\
\~ 0. ,

SEPd-

1HE

OISCHdRGEO

;~

,..~.,

UO.,HP'PE

. "~.:~
.. ,
'-'
CORRECT

f.

M'N'MUH

L';:~~
~~h

Of

B E l

, o.~
,","J~.

INCORRECT
I MPROPER
CREIE

OR

LAC K Of

CHUTE.

BAffLE

~-"

NO

MERELY

CHANGES

HO"

dI

ENO

Of

ION

ANY

USUALL

SHORI.

OIRECT

OF

CONTROL
A T
THIS

OF

Fig.

CONT ROL

MdTIER

Of

CO/l
y

SE PdRA TI ON.

'0"

T
'TWO

9.1- Co"ect

TRANSFER
CONVEVOR

POINT
BElTS

THE

tPPLlES

/1IX~RS.

cnNTROl

IN

BUGGIES

'

COtHROL
dT
OR SHdLLOI;

OIREeI'ON

I HE

Cf'NVEVOR

HE

II ON

E. SJ

NO SEPtl.RtUION--...

Rdl
CONCRETE

SE PdRd

HE110RaOM

SEPdRdl'ON.

DF

ING

t
\"!r-PROV'OE
10-

. :.'.~-:--M()R!OR

ORIN CO"PLE
C O R
1[ R Ld(K
E C Of
T
BELT
USUdLLY
d BdffLE

WITH

CdUS

O R

e..

0.0

'o'. - .. ~

HOPPER

SEPARATIflN

\
C O '1

IIHETH<R

O F

"HIC':

CHU1[S

CONTROL

'''IPRCPER
ENO Of

GdlE~

EffEeI

flLLING

",IH

fORMS
CONTP.Ol

IN
ENO

"

CHdNGES

HOPPER

dRE
OUl

~ ..; .
l'

~~RO(K-:::",
..,.~.

~"3.W'

OBJ lC TI ONdBLE

. ~ .

..

<>~
..

...

:18

NO
I.N

O A O

:.'.

E
PREV[NIS
C T
WHETHER

.....

SEPORd1'ON

..o,"':..--" .. - ~

dRRdNGEMENl
C O R R
Of CONCRETE

B[lNG

~8

SCRdPER
~E'GHl

.,:~'.:~'I'
. - "

~~L...
~

OPEN'NG

'NIO
dPPROdCH

Hdv' UG 1 0 O, SCHdRGE
Gd lES
()IHE1 OBJfrT'CNdBLE
S C H A R G E O'VIOEO
O F
HOPPERS
H O P

l
~'1

fOR"

CENIER
(ROP

dLTERNd1[

_.........

INCORRECT

OPPOS'lES'OESPERMIISdSRdPIO

g;::
...

._

fRO~

VERIICdL

BUGGY

\<8

'NCH
HEOO
UO"NP 1 PE~~o
PROVIOE
ROOM

INIO

.." .

~ KB'

CORRECT

HOPPERS.

O F

o.'

~~~~~~~:"
Jti

CCN~[yOR.

TRUCKS.

T ROL

d.

. -.

..... '.
..~,. ...i..:

. :-0"
/

HE

REGdROLESS

OR

O 'SCHdRGING

BUCKE1S.

d1

SEPORdl10N

Of

'-:"

dRRdNGEMEN1S

PREVENIS
LENG1H

~ ~o
.

CORRECT

Cf

Cf

CONCRETE
OR

---~-;

El THER

CONCRETE
SIOES

HOPPER.

HOFPERS

c.

Of

SLOPING

ETC

CONCRE1E

IS

CONVE YOR

BELT

OF

ENO

10

SLOPING

OISCHARGlS

OS

1"lL

TO

O'SCHARGEO

AS

'Nl0

and inco"ect methods o[ handLing concrete, from ACI 304R

SfPARATION
CIJNCRElE

LONGER
ANOIHER

CHUYES

'ROr<

M"E~S.

CHUTES

BUJ

CHUT[

IRUCK
~JI

OR ONTO

wHEN
d

CONCRETING

OPERATIONS

75

to use a pump, however, test the proposed equipment and


line layout with concrete materials and mixes otherwise
suitable and appropriate for the job. Pipelines are available
in steel, aluminum, and plastic. However, aluminum pipelines are prohibited by most contract documents because
aluminum abraded by the flow of the concrete will often
form hydrogen gas that causes damaging cxpansion of concrete.
Pumping practices are describcd more fully in
Chapter 15.

Fig. 9.2 - Ready-mixed concrete truck discharging concrete


into bucket for helicopter air-lift to wi/demess construction
site
Buckets and hoppers - Bottom dump buckets and
hoppers permit placement of low slump concrete. They
should have side slopes of not less than 60 degrees with
wide, freeworking and tight-closing discharge gates.
Gates must readily open and close at any time
during discharge.
Prevent contamination of the equipment by
loading on platforms rather than on the ground.
Do not swing buckets over freshly finished
concrete.
Avoid concrete build-up during use.
Remove hardened concrete, clean, and lightly
oil the bucket and gate control mechanism after eacb
use.
Chutes and belts - Use round cbutes to avoid
accumulation of concrete in corners. The slope must
be steep enough to permit concrete flow without a
slump greater than that specified or required for
placement (the slope usuaUy required is 1 vertical to 2
or 2 1/2 horizontal).
.Conveyor belts are widely used. The concrete is
deposited through boppers onto the belt in a continuous ribbon. Numerous configurations of belts are
possible to deposit concrete even in relatively inaccessible areas. When using belts, avoid segregation
by discbarge through a suitable dropchute.
In bot, dry, or windy weather, cover long lines of
chutes or belts if necessary to prevent drying of concrete and excessive slump loss. Covering high speed
belt conveyors may not be mandatory except under extreme drying conditions. Use mobile chutes or belts to
move as close as possible to the placement location.
When chutes or belts are flushed with water for cleaning, do not aUow the water and diluted concrete to
drain into the fornlS or on freshly cast or finished
concrete.
Pumping - Pumping with light, small-line pumps
tbat can han die concrete with aggregate up to 1 112 in.
through pipes and hoses ranging from 4 to 6 in. in
diameter is very popular. (Figure 93.) Before deciding

Fig. 9.3 - Pumping enables placement of slab concrete without


runways or crane. Maintain direct communication
between
pump operator and placing crew. The inspector must assure
proper support of steel to prevent dislocation by workers

Pumping requires a continuous supply of uniform, plastic, workable concrete of mcdium consistency. It is helpful
to reduce the coarse aggregate up to 10 percent, but this
increases both the water and the cemcnt content if tbe
water-cement ratio is not to be exceeded. Slump of concrete delivered to the pump should be between 3 and 4 in.,
or slightly higher for air-entrained concrete.
A waterreducing admixture or a pumping aid (admixture) may be
beneficial, cspeciaUy during hot weather.
Inspect the condition of the concrete at tbe end of
the pipeline, slump at each end of the line, and see that no
unauthorized water is placed in the pump hopper.
Thoroughly clean the pump and pipe after pumping
is done. Water used to clean the pipe must be wasted
outside the forms.
Pneumatic placing, described in Chapter 15, is another
method of conveying concrete through pipelines.
Air used to force concrete through pipes tends to
dry the concrete and whip it to a stiffer consistency, Therefore, a consistency wetter than that desired in the forms is
usually necessary at the beginning of tbe line.
Keep discharge lines horizontal or inclined upward
from the machine.
Because segregation occurs when concrete issues at
high velocity from the end of the pipe, discharge concrete
slowly until the end of the pipe is buried in concrete, and
use appropriate discharge hoods to baffle the discharge.
Control pneumatic placing equipment carefully to
produce uniform in-place concrete.

76

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Placing
Placing methods should keep the concrete uniform
and free from obvious imperfections. This stage of the
work often can be the key point of the whole concreting operation. Proper placing methods will prevent
segregation and porous or honeycombed areas, avoid
displacement of forms and reinforcement, secure a firm
bond between layers, mininlize shrinkage cracking, and
produce a structure of good appearance (Reference 5
and ACI 304R).
Directioll and location of concrete drop - Drop
concrete vertically to avoid segregation. Use dropchutes, if necessary, to avoid striking reinforcement or
sides of the formo This wiJl mininze segregation and
coating of surfaces with mortar. Dry mortar coating on
reinforcement reduces bond.
Do not distribute concrete by pushing or pulling lower sections of sectional dropchutes to a considerable angle from the vertical because serious segregation occurs. Instead, hold the lowest section in a
vertical position.
When concrete placement is near the top, segregation and coating of forms can be avoided, time and
labor saved, and concrete better placed and distributed
by dumping buckets or other delivery equipment directly without hoppers or dropchutes (Reference 5).
Deposit concrete near its finallocation, and do
not allow it to flow laterally unless the whole mix is
moving without segregation.
For best durability, place concrete directly in
corners and ends of waUs, so that flow is away from the
corners and ends rather than toward them.
In slab construction, dump new concrete against the concrete in place, not away from it.
Deposit only as much concrete at one place as
can be consolidated conveniently.
Keep the top of a layer nearly leve!.
Linlit the depth of the first layer placed on
hardened concrete or rock to 20 in.
Dig out and scatter segregated coarse aggregate
on other areas rather than covering it with mortar because covering can result in a rock pocket.
An unusually stiff batch of concrete may be
saved by spreading it in a shallow layer and working it
into the other concrete.
Do not use toothed rakes to spread concrete of
any kind; use come-alongs or similar solid faced tools
or shovels.
Deep lifts - Near the top of a deep lift, concrete
tends to become wetter, because water in lower concrete migrates upward. To offset tbis, use a drier
consistency as the level of concrete rises. This normally
causes no problem in placing because concrete near the
top can be reached more easily for vibration. If bleed
water rises to the surface, it is probably due to sand
deficient in fines, a lean mix, or high slump concrete.
Such bleeding, either of elear water or water and fines,
produces a top surface of weak concrete unsuitable

INSPECTION

either for a construction joint surface to which additional


concrete will be bonded or for exposure to weather or
traffic. Air-entrained concrete has a significantly lower
bleeding potential than non-air-entrained concrete.
Before placing concrete in floor slabs and beams on top
of fresh concrete in walls and columns, allow ample time for
settlement of concrete in the vertical placement or else
cracking will result. Delay the second placement until concrete in the walls and columns can no longer be revibrated.
The delay will be shorter in warm weather.
Co"ect placement - Fig. 9.4 and 9.5 show correct methods of placing concrete. If possible, maintain continuity
without undue delays except as noted above, but numerous
occasions will occur when equipment breakdown, rain, etc.,
wiJl interrupt placing operations. Whenever interruptions
occur, protect the concrete face which willlater receive fresh
concrete by shading the concrete and by covering it with wet
(not dripping) burlap, particularly during hot, dry, and windy
conditions. A fog spray is another suitable protection method. If the concrete reaches a permanent set before placing
resumes, see the section on construction joints later in tbis
chapter.
Do not walk on fresh concrete or reinforcement, nor
engage in activities that will affect the uniformity, finish, or
bond.
On wide slab work, provide working platforms that
span the entire width of the slab to avoid disturbing the
freshly placed concrete.
Keep muddy boots out of fresh concrete.
Take datum measurements before, during, and after
concreting. Slow settlements often go unnoticed and excessive deflection or settlement of shores during or after concreting is a sign of trouble. Shores on ground are particulady susceptible to a creeping settlement that causes excessive deflections of green slabs, and cracking.
Inelude provisions for adjustment (wedges, etc.) of
shores. Workers may neglect further adjustment after the
inspector's preliminary approval (before start of concrete
placement), unless required to continually check forms and
bracing during placing. (See discussion of forms in Chapter
8.)
CONSOLlDATION

Consolidate concrete thoroughly as it is being placed


using hand tools, mechanical vibrators (preferably), vibrating
screeds, or finishing machines to secure a dense concrete,
good bond with reinforcement, and smooth surfaces. Work
the concrete well around reinforcement and embedded fixtures and into corners of the forms. If the concrete mixture
tends to segregate or stratify when worked or vibrated,
reduce its water content or reproportion it as necessary.
Be sure sufficient consolidation equipment and personnel are available for the planned production rate which
must allow concrete to be consolidated fast enough to prevent delays and possible cold joints. When consolidation is
slowed unexpectedly by congested conditions, failure of
equipment, poor workability of the mix, or other cause, also
reduce the rate of batching and mixing.

CONCRETING

CONCRETE

'ILL

SEPARA

INTROOUCEO

OPERATIONS

TE

INTO

77

SERIOUSLY

FORMS

UNLESS

PROPERlY

b.
CONS UNT
SLUMP

SLUMP REDUCED
AS FORM IS FILLED

INCORRECT

CORRECI
DISCH~RGE
LlGHI

CONCREIE

HOPPER

LlGHI

FEEDING

FLEXIBLE

SEP~R~1I0N
FORM.S
UNTIL

~NO

INIO
INIO

OROP

CHUTE.

IS

~VOIDED.

SIEEL

~RE

CONCRETE

PERMI1

OR

BUGGY

CONCRETE
TO

FORM

~ND

FORM

FACES

~ND

CLE~N

COVERS

lO

FROM

SIRIKE

C~US

HONEYCOMB

ON

ING
AT

CHUTE

AG~INSI

R ICOCHET

BARS

~ND

SEPARAT

ION

THE

NECESSAR

IHEM.

AT

ILY

B0110M

FORM

IN TOP OF NARR01I FORM

MAOE

IS

c.

ORIER

NARROII
AS

MORE

NEAR

II~TER

EOU~LlZE

CRETE.

CONCRETE

DEEP

LIFTS

REACHED.
lO

IIETTER

OF

CESSIBLE

PLACING ctKRETE

INCORRECI

CORRECI

B0110M.

10P

G~IN

OU~LlTY

SETTLEMENT

USE

~S

REOUIRED

AC-

LIFI.

~RE

RESULlS

TENOS
OF

TO

SLUMP

IN

IHE

MINIMUM.

OF

~I

IIITH

10P

RESUL1~NI
LOSS

ANO

UPPER

TOP

EXCESSIVE

GAIN

OUALlTY

Al

BOTTOM

DISCOLOR~IION.

SHR INK~GE

CnNSISTENCY

SLUMP
~T

HIGH

II~TER

CON-

S~ME

OF

DUR~BILI1Y

IN

L~YER.

OF CONCRETE IN [(EP

NARRO'

FORMS

d.
BUCKET
CRANE
ING

H~NOLEO
~ND

ATT~CHED

FRAMEIIORK
ORRECT

INCORRECI

BY

REM~ I N-

lO

IHEREIO

COLLECTOR

PRO-

IECT

COLLECIOR

CONE

CONE

FROM

BUCKET

O~MAGE.

UNOER
G~TE

PERM~NENILY
ATT~CHEO
BUCKET

.
,-.~:~
:.:.O'

CORO

~.~:

OROP

CONCRETE

INTO

OUTSIDE
FORM

LET

INCORRECT

E~SILY
IIITHOUT

VERT ICALLY
POCKET

OPEN I NG

CONCRETE
OVER

FROM

FORM .

CORRECT

STOP
INIO

UNDER
SO
~ND

~S

lO

FLOII

FORM

TO

PERM I T H I GH

VELOC lIT

OF

CONCRETE

ENTER

AN

~NGLE

IHIS

TO

FROM

INVMI~BLY

SEP~RAT

I ON.

IHE

S TRE~M

FORMS

VERT I C~L.
RESULTS

IN

ON

FLEX

IBLE

CONE.
CRETE
FOR
BEING

DROP
CHUTE

15
THE

CHUTE

OROPPIN.

FL~T

~LLOIIING

SM~LLESI

LARGE

~TT~CHEO

COLL~PSES

SIZE

ENOUH

TO

COLLECIOR

IIHEN
11

~GGRE~TE

FOR

THE

L~RGEsr.

SEP~R~TleN.

PlACING

IN OEEP m

CURvm

TlfU PORT IN FmM

ftALL
PlACING

CONCRETE IN OEEP
NARRO'

Fig. 9.4 - Co"ect and inco"ect methods of placin~ concrete, from A CI 304R

FORMS

NO

TO
~S

CON-

BE

USEO

IIELL

OPERAIE

~CTU~TED

G~IE

E~CH

lO

~IR

lO
FR~ME.

~S

IHE

78

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

CONCRETE

IIIll

SEPARA

TE

!NTO

FORHS

INTROOUCEO

INSPECTION

SERIOUSlY

UNlESS

PROPERlY

f.

INCORRECI

CORRECI
10
OF

OU"P

CONCRETE

CONCRETE

IN

IN10

10

FACE

OUHP

CONCRETE

CONCRETE

PLACE.

IN

AWA1

PLACE.

INCORRECI
PLACE
ENO

BAFFLE
UF

ARA110N
CONCREIE

ANO

OROP

CHUIE

SO

IS

AVOIOEO

IHAI

REHAINS

Al

10

SEP,

FREE

ANO
ON

01 SCHARGE

BE

SLOPE

ENO

PAVEO .ROCK

ANO

GOES

VELOC

I 11

CONCRETE

PlACING

C(JO/EJE

CONCREIE

CHUIE

10

ON
IS

SEPARA

lEO

OF

SLOPE.

B0110"

IENOS

10

OOWN

SLOPE

ON A SlOPING

FROH

A SLOPE

PlACING

10

SlAB

COCRETE

FRI1 BUGGIES

CARR1

g.

SURFACE

h.

AOEQUAIE
10

SUPPORIS

HAINIAIN

PIPE

OROP

RIGIO

ANO

PLUMB

MOR lAR

CORRECI

INCORRECT

PlACING

CONCRETE IN TOP OF NARROII FORH


BY COCREIT

PlJf'

Al{) HOSE

J.

.,

~
..

(J,'

ti .' ,:'
OF

PLACEMENI

....
REINFORCEO

.~~~.;j
\RANSFER

10

POI NI

. O

~ ..

RUBBER

CONCREIE
01 SCAROEO

.-.- :';.:;.:-~~O#.~~.:.~,.~:O:
OF

BOOI

CUSHION
Al

ENO

PLACEHENI

(:)
rS

SUPPOR

PlACING
HORIAR

ORRECI

INCORRECI

PLACING
B1

IN

CONCRETE

OEEP
PUHP

OR

CURVEO

ANO

WALL

C~CRETE

BY

ORCJ> PIPE

ROe K

NOTE: A STRONG OPEN TUB FROM WHICH


CONCRETE
OVERFlOWS INTO A REGULAR HOPPER FOR A DISCHARGE TO
~o:EWiE

B~~~rR~~r~Ug=E&U~of.AN

HOSE

Fig. 9.5 - Correct and incorrect methods of placing concrete, from ACI 304R

BE SUBSTITUTED

FROH

CONCRETING

Do not allow unconsolidated concrete to accumulate in the forms or to stand idle and stiffen in the
mixer, hopper, bucket, or other part of the conveying
system.
Hand tamping

For dry, hand-tamped concrete, ram the surfaces


with heavy flat-faced tools until a tbin film of mortar or
paste appears at the surface, showing that voids of the
aggregate have been filled.
Vlbration

Vibration will consolidate low slump mixes that


cannot be compacted by hand methods except possibly
by rarnming, which is expensive, and often infeasible.
Vibration permits placing and consolidating concrete
with slump of 2 to 4 in. in heavily reinforced members,
and even lower slump in open placements. Low slump
concrete has less tendency to segregate than the wetter,
higher slump mixtures that are necessary when concrete
is consolidated by hand. Do not expect vibration to
correct segregation that has already occurred because
of faulty methods of handling and placing, nor to
guarantee good results if the mix proportions are not
correct.
Detailed recornmendations for consolidating concrete by vibration, including information on vibrator
types and sizes are given in ACI 309.
Vibrators are of three general types: internal,
surface, and form vibrators. When internal vibrators
can be used, best results will be obtained if vibrators of
the size, frequency, and amplitude recornmended in
ACI 309 are used. Apply vibrators systematically at
close intervals so that vibrated areas of concrete
overlap without omission. For normal weight concrete,
continue vibration until the concrete is thoroughly
consolidated and the voids filled, as evidenced by the
leveled appearance of the concrete at the exposed
surface and the embedment of surface aggregate.
When in doubt as to the adequacy of the vibration
procedure for normal weight concrete, apply more
vibration. There is little chance of overvibrating a
properly proportioned mix. Because concrete that can
be overvibrated is too wet or too susceptible to
segregation, reduce the slump, or modify the mix
proportions rather than reduce the vibration. Fear of
overvibration has caused more poor results than
overvibration itself.
However, when the coarse aggregate is much lighter than the mortar, such as with lightweight aggregate,
prolonged vibration or other consolidation effort tends
to stratify the mixture, and there is danger from overvibration. Because of the lower specific gravity of lightweight coarse aggregate, some large particles will probably rise to the surface, even under careful vibration.
In tbis case, use a tamper grate to drive the particles
below the surface, and thus allow proper finishing (see
Chapter 16). For either lightweight or heavyweight

OPERATIONS

79

concrete mixtures, limit vibration to that necessary for effective consolidation. For structural concrete, the desired results will usually be secured within 5 to 15 sec when vibration points are 18 to 30 in. apart rather than for longer
periods at wider intervals. See Chapter 13 for proper procedures for consolidation of concrete pavement.
Quickly insert an internal vibrator vertically (Fig. 9.6) to
the full depth of the layer being placed. Do not drag it
through the concrete, but slowly withdraw it vertically while
operating it continuously so that no hole will be left in any
stiff concrete. Do not use the vibrator to cause concrete to
flow from one location to another, because such a practice
usually causes segregation with the larger coarse aggregate
remaining bebind. In thin slabs, it is not feasible to use
internal vibrators inserted vertically. See Chapter 12 for
detailed discussion of consolidation of concrete in slabs.

Fig. 9.6-Internal
vibration momentarily liquefies
the mix, removing entrapped air and readily
consolidating low-slump concrete

When consolidating concrete placed on hardened concrete or rock, the first layer requires more vibration than
succeeding layers to assure continuous tight contact at the
cold joint. This working is best accomplished by insertion o
the vibrators at about half the normal spacing for short
periods of time. Thoroughly vibrate succeeding layers into
the preceding layer while both are still soft.
Ordinarily internal vibrators will not damage concrete in
lower lifts nor steel reinforcement. In fact, revibration of
concrete is beneficial ir the concrete will respond to the
vibrator and again become plastic (that is, a running internal
vibrator will sink into the concrete of its own weight). Leave
vibrators running as they are slowly withdrawn. Late revibration of the concrete will do much to eliminate horizontal
checks and shrinkage cracks caused by the settlement of
concrete held up by reinforcement or irregular forms. Revibration will increase concrete strength, decrease the number of air bubble holes in upper formed areas, strengthen
bond under horizontal bars and embedments, and reduce
leakage under form bolts.
The same revibration procedures around built-in frames
(such as windows) wilJ help avoid cracking from uneven
settlement.
Begin placing and consolidating concrete on a slope at

MANUAL

80

OF CONCRETE

the bottom, and delay finishing operations to avoid sag.


Heavy powered nonvibrated screeds are helpful in securing the proper slope.
Asurface vibrator (see Chapter 13, Fig. 13.5) should
consolidate the layer being placed to its full depth. If
not, either reduce the depth of layer or use a more
powerful machine. Use of a surface vibrator (vibratory
screed, pan-type vibrator, form vibrator, etc.) requires
that the concrete mix be properiy proportioned and
have a low slump. Otherwise, an undesirable amount
of laitance may be (and probably will be) brought to
the surface.
Fonn vibrators are used most frequently in prccasting operations (Fig. 9.7). However, form vibra tia n
is suitable for thin sections of cast-in-place concrete
and is a useful supplement to internal vibration at locations where it is difficuIt or impossible to insert an internal vibrator. It is also useful in reducing air voids
(bug holes) on formed surfaces. Select and mount the
form vibrator to be most effective (Fig. 9.8) and, if necessary, strengthen and stiffen the forms. Form vibrators must be powerful enough to effectively vibrate the
forms. This, in turn, requires that the forms be sufficiently strong and rigid to withstand the vibration
without distortion or leakage of mortar.

Fig. 9.7- Ekctric-driven


used for waLLplacement

immersion

type vibrator being

FINISHING

The quality of a concrete surface is largely judged


by the condition and appearance of the finished surface. Exposed surfaces are subjected to conditions
(ranging from benign to severe) of wetting or drying,
temperature changes, and mechanical wear. In addition, most concrete surfaces are subject to cracking
from excessive drying shrinkage. To improve these
conditions, the concrete must contain the proper mix
(without excessive water content), must be properiy

~-=~___~_u

INSPECTION

consolidated and finished, and must be properly cured for


the specified time, according to ACI 302.1R.

Fig. 9.8 - External vibrators may be mounted on brackets


attached to fonns. Use this method with caution, employing
only low-amplitude, high-frequency units

Unformed suaces
Select concrete proportions and consistency and consolidation methods so that onIy sufficient mortar for finishing
purposes isavailable at the surface. If the mix is oversanded
or too wet, or if the concrete is overworked in consolidating
or finishing, the surface is likely to be covered with bleed
water or to contain a relatively decp layer of overwet mortar
or laitance. Spread the concrete evenly ahead of the strikeoff
screed. During early finishing operations, work the surface
as little as possible .
Darbying or bull floating (Fig. 9.9) is used to remove
high and low spots and to produce a true plane surface. After darbying or bulI floating is complete and while the surface is still fairly soft, check the surface for alignment by
using a straightedge or template. Carrect high and low
areas at once. Perform initial edging and joint grooving
operations at this stage while the concrete is still fairly
plastic .
AIlow water that comes to the surface during darbying or bulI floating to evaporate before the surface is floated
with hand or machine floats.
Start hand or machine floating just after the surface
sheen disappears. If the amount of water or laitance is excessive, "scrape" it off before the surface is floated again. A
large loop of garden hose puUed across the surface is effective for removing excess surface water. Do not sprinkle dry
cement or a mixture of dry cement and sand ("dry shake")
on the surface of the fresh concrete. However, the absorbent properties of dry cement placed on top of buriap covering the surface can be used to advantage in certain special
techniques for hardened floor finishing and pavement construction. Before finishing, carefulIy remove the buriap to
prevent contamination of the surface.

CONCRETING

Control all finishing operations to prevent bringing


an excess of paste to the surface. No finishing operation should take place while there is excess wetness or
bleed water at the surface.
After darbying or bull floating and prior to troweling, use floating (by hand or with power floats) to remove remaining minor irregularities in the surface and
to begin densification of the surface.
Concrete is
ready for floating when any water sheen has disappeared and when a person stepping on the surface
leaves an imprint about 1/4 in. deep.
Delay troweling as long as possible. The proper
time interval varies with the cement, weather, and other
conditions; rougWy, it is ready when the surface just
reaches the stage that it can no longer be dented with
the finger. If the surface is troweled too soon, a layer
of scum (Iaitance) is formed at the surface; if too late,
the partly hardened concrete is too hard to be troweled
effectively.
During troweling, tilt the steel trowel at a slight
angle, and exert heavy pressure to compact the paste
and form a dense, hard surface. Increase both the angle
and pressure of the trowel with each operation if the
surface will receive more than one troweling. See
Chapter 15 for vacuum processing of slab surfaces.
In general, form edge fmishes at joints and edges
with jointers and edgers and c1ear away surplus mortar.
Use thin, small radius edgers and jointers, and avoid
working the concrete at joints and edges more than the
absolute mininlUm.

Fig. 9.9 - Long-handled bull float used on pavement slab.


Long-handled cutting straightedge must be used to tfUe up
the surface

Air-entrained concrete - Because air-entrained concrete has less bleeding, it is sometimes considered more
difficult to finish because the surface layer tends to
stiffen more rapidly than the interior of the slab. It
may be helpful to use a stiffer mix that will provide
more uniformity in setting throughout the depth, and to
finish earlier than is usual for non-air-entrained concrete. A magnesium or aluminum float, instead of
wood, facilitates finishing of air-entrained concrete.
Plastic shrinkage cracking - Cracks appearing on

OPERATIONS

81

unformed concrete surfaces soon after placement (while the


concrete is stil\ plastic) are usualIy caused by excessive
evapora tia n due to ex1reme heat and dry wind and are commonIy called plastic shrinkage cracks. These are randomly
oriented, unconnected cracks, wide at the surface but only
moderately deep. Fog spraying, wind screens, sun shades,
plastic sheeting covers, or other procedures to inhibit loss of
moisture between finishing operations will minimize plastic
shrinkage cracking in flat work placed under unfavorable
conditions. Sometimes this plastic cracking can be prevented
or remedied by timely working of the surface, accomplished
by a somewhat later-than-usual floating followed by a slightly
early troweling. Cracks that formed before troweling can often be successfully beaten together with the float. If cracks
are merely troweled over, they are Iikely to show later.
Rain - During a rain, either provide a fully effective
shelter or discontinue the work until the rain has stopped.
So far as practicable, make preparations in advance for protection from rain when work must continue under such conditions. Rain falling on freshly placed concrete may erode
the surface of the fresh concrete, dilute the mortar at and
near the surface and quickly damage newly finished work.
Formad surfaces
Contract documents should state c1early what finish is
required or will be permitted on formed surfaces. These
fmishes may range from merely knocking off the fins and
repairing imperfections to one of several decorative finishes.
See Reference 26 and ACI 303R. Regardless of the method
of finishing, uniformity of surface texture and color is of
primary importance for good appearance.
Repair imperfections as early as possible to make
the repair more nearly monolithic with the base concrete.
By the time the forms are removed concrete has acquired a
considerable degree of hardness, therefore, many finish operations (other than tex1ures provided by the forms) must be
applied as soon as possible.
Finishing procedures used on formed surfaces inelude sandblasting, brushing, scrubbing, bagging, and
rubbing. If the surface will be ground, chipped, or bushhammered, delay operations until the concrete has gained
sufficient strength to prevent loosening the coarse aggregate
partic1es.
Plastering can be done any time after concrete has
cured sufficiently that shrinkage has stopped.
At the time forms are removed, observe the condition of the concrete surface to determine the necessity for
repairs and to plan finishing and repairing operations.
Damp-pack holes left by tie rods with stiff mortar of
the same materials as, but somewhat leaner than, that in the
concrete. To make holes less conspicuous use some white
cement in the patching mortar. The amount of white cement can be determined by several trial patches left to dry
for several weeks. Surface finish the mortar with a wood
block to render the patch less conspicuous. Do not use
metal tools because they will darken it.
Repair defective areas a[ once by approved m(j(bods
and not by cosmetic applications that hide deeper problems.

82

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

Do not allow repair work to interfere with


immediate application of continuous moist curing on
adjacent areas. Because the two operations tend to be
conflicting, this matter requires special attention by the
inspector. Throughout the operations of repairing defects and finisbing the surface, do not allow the surface
to become dry or the new repairs to be damaged by the
curing operations.
Chapter 11 discusses repairs in detail.
CONSTRUCTION

JOINTS

Planned construction joints

Construction joints, as distinguished from expansion


joints, are required by construction operations but do
not necessarily allow movement across the joint. Plan
construction joint locations ahead of placing, and adhere to these locations if possible. Generally they mar k
the top of a lift, the end of a monolith, or the end of a
day's work. They should be properly located, neat, and
well bonded.
Locate construction joints in floor slabs and
beams near the middle of the span (where the shear is
least) and make them vertical (normal to the axis of the
slab or beam). Always locate construction joints in
highway or airport pavements at planned contraction or
expansion joints (see Chapter 13).
Because construction joints frequently leak and
degrade in the weather, avoid them as much as possible, consistent with contract document limits or good
practice on depth and extent of placements.
Preparing joint surfaces and edges - Cleaning of
surfaces, construction of keys, or insertion of dowels or
tie bars at construction joints may be required by contract documents. Recornmended practice regarding 10cation, design, and preparation of construction joints is
given in Reference 5 and ACI 304R. See Chapter 13
for discussion of joints in pavements.
In a wall, colunm, or other vertical lift, when the
level of concrete reaches a horizontal construction
joint, bring the exposed edge of the joint to a neat line,
by either forming or trinuning. For succeeding placements, hold and tie the form tight against a joint edge
with mininlUm overlap before additional concrete is
placed, to prevent mortar leakage or offset of surfaces.
If only a few hours elapse between successive lifts
that should be well bonded, it is not necessary to prepare the contact surface of the older concrete if the
surface is clean and damp, but not wet. If green concrete is not dirty, dry, or covered with a layer of
laitance, new concrete can be adequately bonded by
vibrating it thoroughly over the area of contact. Obviously, the earlier the subsequent lift is placed, the
better the chances for achievmg satisfactory bond.
The essential requirements for joint surfaces on the
older concrete are that they be clean and that the aggregate not be loosened nor the edges or corners of the

INSPECTION

concrete shattered. Cleaning by means of an air-water jet or


wire brooming can be done when the concrete is still soft
enough that any scum (laitance) can be removed, but has
hardened enough that the aggregate will not be loosened.
Then keep the surface damp by ponding or sprinkling with
water, or by covering with damp sand until the new concrete
is placed or until the specified time of curing has elapsed.
Otherwise, such surfaces are usually so contaminated by the
time the next lift is to be placed that only sandblasting or
ultra-high pressure water blasting will restore their cleanness
acceptably.
For economy and assurance of cleanliness,
postpone the cleanup until just before placing the next lift of
concrete, and then use wet sandblast or ultra-high pressure
water jet to remove the surface film and contaminations.
These procedures are usually applicable to dams, but are not
widely used in building construction. However, where high
quality joints are desired similar procedures should be used
for buildings.
PLacing practices, starting mixes - Embed coarse aggregate in the surface concrete when it is placed because roughness may interfere with a thorough cleanup of the joint surface. Rouglmess of a joint surface is not required for a
well-bonded joint. When placing new concrete on a horizontal surface, a bedding layer of mortar of the same mixture as
that in the concrete may be broomed into the old surface
after it has been kept continuously moist for several hours.
This was a cornmon practice in the past but is now losing
favor for most applications.
Instead of using the mortar treatment, most authorities
prefer to start placing with a starting concrete mixture on a
clean joint surface that is damp but not wet. If the regular
concrete contains aggregate larger than 3/4 in., a suitable
starting-mix can be made simply by omitting that part of the
aggregate that is larger than 3/4 in. If 3/4 in. or less is the
specified maximum aggregate size, an extra bag of cement
per cu yd in the first batches and enough more water to
make a 6-in. slump will serve the purpose. Provide enough
of tbis concrete to make a layer 4 to 6 in. deep, and drop it
into place at many locations so that it will be well spread on
the joint surface. When the first layer of normal-mix concrete is placed on this starting-mix, vibrate both layers thoroughIy, making sure the vibrators penetrate to hard bottom
each time. If the joint surface is clean, the starting-mix
method is just as effective in bonding, and it avoids possible
concentrations of mortar and problems caused by interruption of the concreting operation. A slight change in color
may be noted at the joints with either process. The mortar
procedure is much easier when the contact surfaces are
small, as in most building construction.
If the mortar from concrete is well vibrated against verticalor steeply inclined surfaces, it is generally considered to
be ample. However, if strong bond is required, first sandblast
the surface of the old concrete when it is accessible prior to
form erection. Later, as concrete is placed, thoroughly vibrate it against the joint. Because upper areas of a vertical
joint are weakened by bleeding and water gain, vibrate concrete at the joint deeply as late as the running vibrator will
penetra te the concrete of its own weight.

CONCRETING

Unplanned constructlon jolnts

Breakdowns, lack of concrete delivery, or many


other construction problems may make it necessary to
stop placement of concrete at locations other than
those previously planned. The designer and the inspector should require that tentative plans and details for
installing such a construction joint be made ahead of
time. When need for an unplanned construction joint
arises, consult with the designer regarding possible
effects of the joint on structural behavior or safety.
When joints are not indicated on the plans, locate
and construct them so as to least impair strength of the
structure. In construction of unplanned joints, observe
all of the precautions and methods discussed above.

OPERATIONS

83

84

MANUAL

CHAPTER 10-CURING,

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

PROTECTION, FORM REMOVAL, AND RESHORING

Inspection do es not end with the actual casting of


concrete; it is still necessary to see that the concrete is
protected from damage and is properly cured. Continue
observation of finished parts of the work throughout
the construction periodo

time should the construction load exceed that for which the
member was designed. Sometimes, the designer will provide
for construction loads, such as in multistory work.

REMOVAL AND SUPPORT OF FORMS

Time of removal
The time of form removal is based on tbe effect on
the concrete.
Contract documents usuaUy contain
requirements for removal time based on tests of job
cured cylinders. For methods of evaluation of these test
results, and for minimum cylinder strengths, see detailed recommendations for removal of forms (and for
support and reshoring, discussed below) in ACI 301,
AC1306R, ACI 318, and ACI 347R.
Keep records of weather conditions and other
pertinent information and use these in conjunction with
the test results .
When test cylinders are used to determine
stripping (form removal) tin1es, cure them under conditions that are not more favorable than the most
unfavorable conditions of the concrete that the cylinders represen 1.
UsualJy the designer's approval is required
before supporting forms can be removed but in many
cases this responsibility is delegated to the inspector
under a general ruling of policy.
When stripping operations are not controUed by the
contract documents, "Guide to Fom1work for Concrete
(ACI 347R)," provides minimum times that should
elapse prior to stripping, depending on the type of
concrete member. These tin1es are the accumulated
number of days for air temperatures above 50 F, assuming that Type I portland cement is used. If Type
III cement is used, these times may be reduced on
approval of the designer. Of course, the times must be
increased if low temperatures are experienced.
Early removal of forms is desirable for finishing
and is usual1y desirable for curing. When protection is
not needed, nonsupporting forms (e.g., for waUs, columns, and beam sides) can be removed as soon as it
can be done without damage to concrete surfaces and
edges. In warm, dry weather especial1y, it is preferable
to remove the forms and start curing as soon as
possible. While forms remain in place, keep exposed
portions of the concrete we1. In hot, dry weather, keep
wood forms we1.
Support and reshorlng
AUow forms supporting concrete (Fig. 10.1) to
rema in undisturbed uotil the concrete can bear its own
weight plus construction live aod dead loads. At no

. Fig. 1O.1-High
waLLfonn with ties, studding, waLes, and
bracing in pLace- concrete pLacement in progress

Timing of removal of supporting forms and shores must


be approved by the designer or as specified in the contract
documents. As a general rule, forms for columns, piers, and
waUs can be removed before those for beams and slabs.
Always remove forms and supports without impact or shock,
and aUow the concrete to assume load graduaUy aod
uniformly.
Multistory work Multistory work presents special
conditions for removal of forms and shores. The shoring
that supports fresh (greeo) concrete is necessarily supported
by lower floors, that may oot have been designed for these
loads. In such a case, the lower floors must also be shored
to help carry the load of shores above. Shoring must be
provided for a sufficient number of floors to support the
imposed loads without excessive stress or deflection.
Reference 24 aod ACI 347R provide detailed information on
the design of economical forms and shores to support
concrete.
For multistory construction, a structural engineer must
design aU shores, reshores, and other supports. Recent
failures have indicated that past engineering practice 00
reshores has not beeo sufficiently conservative. The designer
should be certain that reshores extend through a sufficient
number of lower floors.
Reshoring (Fig. 10.2) is one of the most critical
operations in multistory construction. Reshore only at times
when large areas of oew construction will not be required to
support combined dead and construction loads in excess of
their capability as defined above.
Carry out removal
operatioos in a sequeoce, so that the supported structure is
not subjected to impact or loadiog eccentricities.

CURING,

PROTECTION,

While reshoring is under way, do not pennit


constrnction loads on the new constrnction. Locate reshores in the same position on each suecessive floor.
Where shores are not directly over reshores, an analysis
should be made by tbe designer responsible for shoring
to determine if detrimental bending stress will be
produced in tbe lower slab. ACI 347R provides
detailed guidance for placing reshores. Be familiar with
those details.
Place reshores as soon as possible after stripping
operations are complete, but in no case later than the
end of the working day on which stripping oecurs. Place
reshores at the location and timing approved by the
architect/engineer.
Do not remove reshoring until the supported
concrete member has attained sufficient strength to
carry aU loads on it.
LateraUy brace shores and reshores, and remove
reshores only with the approval of the designer.

Fig.10.2- lnclined surface of concrete base reshored after


lorm removal

Protection from darnage


Construction operations may injure concrete
already in place by overloading, jarring, or marring of
surfaces. Oecasional jarring or vibration, if not severe,
generaUy is not detrimental, but do not permit heavy
impact likely to damage green concrete. Loads imposed by storage of construction material, by reshoring
of upper floors, and by operation of construction
equipment are, in many cases, the most severe loads
that will be imposed on the structure.
Make sure storage loads are spaced to avoid
overloading any portion of the structure. Additional
reshoring may be required in congested areas where
such loads cannot be spread out.
Cover the floors on which construction activity is
taking place to protect the surface. Check curing
membranes and coverings regularly for signs of damage.
Protect inserts, piping, and projecting ornamentation
from falling material and debris tbat plug openings and
make future work difficult. Attach nothing to projecting

FORM REMOVAL,

RESHORING

85

reinforcement. Give special protection to architectural and


ornamental concrete.
Backfilling Leave underpinning and protective
sheetpiling in place until the concrete has hardened. Place
and compact backfill on and against concrete only when the
concrete is strong enough to carry the load, and with care to
avoid impact. CarefuUy control backfilling and compaction
against waUs, particularly high unbraced walls, using hand
compactors. Do not use heavy equipment close to any waU
as it may cause cracking, abrasion or other damage.
Prevent damage to curing compounds, waterproof
coatings, insulation, and similar material s by excluding large
or sharp pieces of material from the backfill near the
concrete .
CURING
Most contract documents require that exposed surfaces
of concrete containing standard portland cement (Type 1)be
kept continuously moist for at least 7 days. Concretes
containing high early-strength cements (Type 111) require
less time (about hal!), and slow-bardening cements (Types
11,IV, V and IP and pozzolanic cement replacements) need
more time than standard Type I cement for best results (two
to three times as long). Extensive tests indicate that the
greater the amount of moisture retained within the concrete,
the greater the curing efficiency.
Moist curlng
The preferred method of curing is moist curing by use
of continuous sprays, flowing or ponded water, or continuously saturated coverings of sand, burlap, or other absorbent material.
Apply water to unformed surfaces as soon as it will not
damage the finish, and to formed surfaces immediately after
forms are stripped. Use non-staining water for curing where
appearance is important in the completed structure. Staining may be caused by water containing a high iron content,
by ferrous pipes used to spread the curing water, and by
other staining agents. Perforated plastic tubing or canvas
soaker hoses are satisfactory for distribution of curing water.
Wet burlap is inexpensive and can be applied without
damage to the surface almost irnmediately after concrete is
finisbed. Cotton mats and old carpets may be used in the
same manner as burlap. Burlap or other wet covers should
be clean and not sta in the concrete. Unless trials show
otherwise, new burlap may stain the concrete and old produce sacks may stain or degrade the concrete beca use they
are often contaminated.
Keep burlap on formed surfaces wet with perforated
plastic tubing or soaker hose (Fig. 10.3) along the top of the
work or by other means and maintain the burlap in contact
with the concrete surface. Use more than one thickness of
burlap. If the burlap or other cover is used for the entire
curing period, aUow it to dry before removal (particularly in
dry weatber). The concrete will then dry more slowly and be
less subject to cracking.
If water curing sprays are planned, use moist burlap or

86

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

other mats first. Leave these mats in place and keep


them wet until there is no danger of surface erosion by
the curing sprays.
If wet earth or salid is used as a curing agent, make
sure it is free from large lumps or stones (beca use
drying occurs more quickIy at such points) and keep it
continuously wet. In addition, make sure that it does
not have injurious amounts of organic matter or other
substances that will damage the concrete.

Fig. 10.3 - Excellellt curing may be obtained with


saturated cover held in contact with the concrete surface
as soon as forms are removed, and kept wet with a soil
soaker hose along the top for the duration of the curing
periad

Membrana curing
Membrane-forming curing compounds, meeting
AS1M C 309, applied to the concrete surface will effectively retard evaporation of the mixing water. These
euring compounds are a satisfactory means of curing,
particularly if preceded by wet curing.
Whitepigmented curing compounds are commonly used
where future appearance is not eritical because
coverage is easily verified and reflection minimizes
surface temperatures. Clear compounds (used on areas
where the appearance of white euring compounds
would be objectionable during the period that it is
weathering off), should contain a fugitive (quick-fading)
dye to assure complete coverage.
The surfaee receiving a curing compound should
still be moist and above 40 F when the coating is
applied. The application should be made with power
spraying equipment in a smooth even-textured coat.
Apply two-coats, with the second eoat at right angles to
the first coat.

INSPECTION

If required coverage is not specified, the coverage for


each coat should not exceed 400 sq ft per gaI. Do not use
curing compounds on surfaces that will receive additiooal
concrete, paint, or tile that requires positive bond, unless it
has been c1early demonstrated that the membrane can be
satisfaetorily removed before the subsequent application is
made, or that the membrane can serve satisfactorily as a
base for the later application. Hand-operated "garden-type"
sprayers should be permitted only on the smallest jobs.
Check the completeness and uniformity oE coverage and
the amount of material used as compared with the area of
surfaee covered. Before work is resumed on an area that has
been treated with a curing compound, make sure the
compound has sufficient strength to resist foot or other traffie. Damaged spots should be resealed immediately during
the euring periodo
In arid areas, a membrane curing compound can be
satisfactory if one of the wet euring methods discussed above
is employed during the first 24 hours after finishing or form
removaI. Without ample initial water euring, sealing of
formed concrete is of linted value in an arid c1imate. In
normal c1imates, only one double coat is required, but under
very dry conditions two double coats are necessary beeause
llDute "pin holes" in the first coat will permit considerable
evaporation.
Wood forms, kept wet, and metal forms provide some
protection against loss of moisture. Exposed top surfaees of
the concrete must be kept wet enough to assure that water
runs down the inside of the previously loosened forms.
Otherwise, forms should be removed as soon as possible, so
that preseribed curing may be commeoced with the least
possible delay. If a membrane is to be used for the curing of
surfaces on which the forms have been left for 24 hours or
more, the surface should be soaked for several hours before
euring compound is applied. Soaking is important, especialIy
for rieh mixes, because concrete becomes partly dry tbrough
self-desiccation whieh accompanies the reaetion between
cement and water (see also "Curing" in Chapter 5).
Impermeable sheets for curlng
Polyethylene film is a satisfactory curing agent for flat
work if it is held c10se against the concrete surface. lo
addition to retarding evaporation of mixing water from the
concrete, these sheets tend to protect the concrete from
damage during construction. Waterproof (kraft) paper is
also used successfully.
Tightly seal the seams between adjacent sheets and
protect them from damage.
Avoid the use of dark colo red plastie film during warm
weather except for interiors; however, beca use of its heat
absorption qualities, it does have advantages in cold weather.
Inspeet the concrete surface beneath the sheets
occasionalIy; if it is found to be dry, the surface should be
rewetted and the openings again sealed. Under certain
conditions, the combination of plastic film bonded to
absorbent fabrie works more efficiently because this helps to
retain and distribute the moisture released from the concrete
and eondensed on the euring cover.

CURING,

PROTECTION,

Wbere appearance is a special consideration,


concrete sbould be cured by otber means because
moisture condensing on tbe underside of smootb plastic
film (particularly in wrink1es) creates an uneven
distribution of water in tbe concrete, witb migration of
soluble substances that will often result in a mottled
appearance, as weU as discoloration from differential
hydration.
On decks and pavements requiring a
textured surface, keep tbe covering from damaging tbe
texture while the concrete is still plastic.
Accelerated curing

Most precast and particularly prestressed concrete,


other tban decorative panels, is cured by accelerated
curing procedures. Accelerated c41ringis acbieved witb
tbe use of saturated steam, or witb dry beat which
requires tbe concrete member to be sealed to prevent
loss of mixing water. See Chapter 17 for optimum
metbods for accelerated curing.
Accelerators

Some contract documents bave inc1uded tbe use of


accelerators, as a means of increasing tbe rate of bydration and tbus accelerating tbe strengtb gain of concrete. Among otber advantages, tbis reduces tbe time
tbat protection is needed. Accelerators may also accelerate tbe setting and bardening of concrete, tbus
expediting tbe start of finisbing operations.
In tbe past calcium cbloride was often used as an
accelerator. Many proprietary admixtures, primariJy
water-reducing admixtures, used as accelerators (and
even normal-setting water reducers) contain calcium
cbloride as tbe active ingredient. If calcium cbloride or
otber admixtures containing cbloride ions are used, tbe
total cbloride ion content of tbe concrete sbould meet
tbe requirements of ACI 318 "Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete." Accelerators containing little or no cblorides are available to minimize
the introduction of additional chloride ions into tbe
concrete.
Always thoroughly dissolve accelerators in water
before introduction into the mix. Never use dry calcium
chloride in a mix.
AlI calcium chloride used sbould meet tbe requirements of ASTM D 98. Do not use calcium chloride
and otber accelerators indiscriminately, but only if absolutely necessary. Severe side effects, such as corrosion of metals, bave often been found.
Calcium cbloride aIso increases susceptibility to
sulfate attack and increases alkali-aggregate reaction.
Do not use calcium cbloride as an admixture in
concrete tbat will be exposed to severe or very severe
sulfate-containing solutions as stated in ACI 318. Do
not use calcium cbJoride in prestressed concrete. Do
not use patcbing materials containing cbloride in
members containing prestressing strand or rods.
The use of accelerators in warm weather often
results in a rapid set of the concrete, making finisbing

FORM REMOVAL,

87

RESHORING

difficult or impossible.
In cold weatber, many people mistakenly believe tbat
calcium cbloride or otber accelerators will act as an
"antifreeze" in concrete. Even at maximum pernssible
dosages, accelerators cannot significantly lower tbe freezing
temperature of concrete.
SPECIAL CURING CONDITIONS

AND PROTECTION

Altbougb tbe curing requirements for concrete placed


during extremely cold or bot weather remain the same as
during normal temperatures, the techniques used to achieve
tbem become extremely critical. Plan curing and protection
techniques for botb types of weatber extremes weU in
advance of their occurrence.
Cold weather protection

Whenever air at the point of placement is likely to reach


freezing temperatures or lower after placing concrete, take
protective measures as outlined in ACI 306R. When the
mean daily temperature is likely to be above 40 F, protect
newly placed concrete from freezing only during the first 24
hours. See Cbapter 16 for curing and protection of massive
concrete sections.
Protection temperatures - As required by ACI 301, ACI
306R, and ACI 318, when mean daily air temperatures are
expected to be less than 40 F, provide artificial heating and
protection of the concrete or insulation. Keep tbin sections
of newly placed air-entrained concrete made with Type 1 or
Type 11cernent witbout acceleration at a ternperature of not
less tban 50 F for 6 days for safe strengtb under partialload.
Keep concrete made with Type III (high-early-strength)
cement, accelerator, or extra cement at not less than 50 F
for 4 days for durability and for partly loaded members.
The designer should analyze the structure to assure that
aUowable stresses in the concrete are not exceeded. Nonair-entrained concrete (not recommended where dura-bility
to freezing and thawing is necessary) requires about twice
these periods of protection.
At the end of the period of protection, artificial heating
should be discontinued and housings removed so that the
faU in ternperature at any point in the concrete will be
gradual and not exceed 20 F in 24 bours for rnernbers 72 in.
thick or 50 F in 24 hours for members 12 in. tbick or less
(ACI 306R). If tbe ternperature is aUowed to faUtoo rapidly,
tbere will be excessive surface shrinkage that will result in
cracking.
Stop wet curing during protection soon enough so that
the concrete will not be saturated when protection from
freezing is stopped. Keep a record of the temperatures of
tbe outside air, tbe enclosure, and the concrete surface.
Surface temperature is normaUy measured by thermometers
embedded in the concrete with 1116 to 118 in. of cover.
Protection - The preferred method of protection at low
ternperatures requires complete insulation or enc10sure of
the fresh concrete (Fig. 10.4), with heaters in the enclosure
as necessary. On above-grade construction, it is often

88

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

troublesome to enc10se tbe top surface of tbe concrete.


In tbese cases, one solution is to cover tbe concrete
witb polyetbylene film and tben witb protective blankets
and insulation designed for tbis purpose. Convenient
electric beating blankets are available. In cases wbere
top enc10sures are impractical, it is often necessary to
provide partial enc10sure or a windbreaker to prevent
cbilling winds from freezing tbe concrete.

Fig. lOA-Concreting in co/d weather requires special


vigilance to see that no part of the concrete becomes
frozen or dried
Air temperature can be maintained witbin tbe
enc10sure by low pressure steam or by electric or fuel
burning beaters. Prevent excessively bot and dry air
from beaters from blowing directly onto tbe concrete,
or rapid drying and sbrinkage will occur (Fig. 10.5).

Fig. 10.5- Heater for co/d weather protection.


Combustion gases must be vented outside enc/osure

INSPECTION

Fuel burning beaters must be properly vented or tbey


will cause rapid carbonation to occur on tbe surface of tbe
concrete, bringing about later dusting problems. Drying and
carbonation problems during cold weatber curing and protection can be avoided by using saturated steam injected
witbin tbe enc1osure. It is most important tbat tbe enclosure
be relatively tight, and tbat tbe steam be maintained as near
tbe saturation point as possible.
Curing compounds sbould not be used on surfaces cured
with steam.
During curing and protection, make certain tbat all
surfaces of tbe concrete are at tbe proper temperature. Do
not aUow excessive beating on one side of a section to cause
bigb differential temperatures (over 50 F) between tbe two
sides.
Hot weather curlng
Review ACI 308 prior to placing concrete during periods
of hot weather. Improper curing during periods of extreme
hot weatber can cause poor appearance and low concrete
strengtb tbat result from excessive and rapid evaporation
and increased plastic shrinkage cracks. Concrete placed at
temperatures above 70 F wilI experience bigber water requirements, possible premature stiffening, difficulties in
keeping tbe concrete moist, and relatively lower strengtb at
later ages.
In extremely bot and windy weather, if tbe evaporation
rate exceeds that recommended by ACI 305, it is necessary
to provide a windbreak, fog sprays, plastic sbeeting, or otber
protection to prevent excessive drying of tbe concrete
surface before bardening occurs (Fig. 10.6).
Start curing as early as possible because long delays will
result in excessive evaporation and cracking. Avoid dar k
colo red coverings and dark colo red membrane curing
compounds, because they increase tbe already higb surface
temperature tbrougb absorption of heat radiation.
Keep accurate records of tbe protection provided to tbe
concrete, temperature, curing time and type of curing used.
Plastic sbrinkage cracking, wbich can be a problem
during bot, dry, windy weatber, is discussed in Cbapters 5, 9,
and 13.

Fig. 1O.6-Early covering with mats, kept water soaked,


protects concrete while curing in hot wealher

CORRECTING

DEFECTS

IN NEW CONCRETE,

REPAIRING

OLD

CHAPTER 11-CORRECTION
OF DEFECTS IN NEWLY HARDENED
AND REPAIRS OF OLDER CONCRETE
In spite of good workmanship and efforts to
produce flawless concrete, some correction of defects
may be required when forms are removed. In addition,
repairs may be necessary to in-service structures as a
result of overload, design deficiency, abrasion, fire,
freezing, aggressive chemical attack, or corrosion of
reinforcing. Good information on concrete repair and
maintenaoce will be found in Reference 5 as well as in
the recommendations of ACI Cornmittee 546. A general discussion of evaluating damage aod selecting a
repair method is presented in ACI 201.2R.
Investigate the extent of repair needed, and the
quality of the undamaged portion of the structure first
to determine whether the necessary restoration costs
are justified. Consider the possibility that some modification to the original structure, such as more support,
enlargemeot of section, or better drainage, would contribute to better future serviceability.
For high quality and satisfactory results, only
knowledgeable personnel should make repairs to concrete.
For exposed concrete repairs, the texture and
color should blend inconspicuously with the original
concrete.
Make all repairs using procedures that ensure
long-time durability.
On important structures, plan and demonstrate
repair methods first, perhaps by coostructing mock-up
demonstration panels for approval. Such panels help
the inspector judge the repairs required and the procedures used later during construction. On any job
where appearance is important but demonstration
paneIs are not required, develop effective repair
procedures and demonstrate them as soon as possible
on surfaces that will be out of sight in the finished work
such as on a basement wall.
Make repairs to newly hardened concrete as soon
as the need for such repairs is evident. This greatly
improves their compatibility with the original concrete,
because the "greener" the base concrete is, the more
receptive the surface is for bonding of the repairs.
Simultaneous curing of the base concrete aod repair
will promote better color match. The best and least
expensive way to deal with repairs is to avoid the need
for them by means of tight forms, proper placing
methods, and thorough consolidation by ample
vibration.
PLAIN EXPOSED FORMED SURFACES

Care in fabrication, erection, and removal of formwork, will greatly reduce the need for corrective measures. Carefully examine the formwork for correct applicatioo of parting agents, and for potential causes of

89

CONCRETE

bad surfaces such as unsuitable sheathing materials, opeo


joints, cracks, offsets, and other poor workmanship that
could cause fms, mortar leakage, and other defects.
Reinforcement must have proper cover to avoid rusting in
the structure. Exposed concrete surfaces can be marred by
careless form removal such as spalling of formed edges by
careless use of prybars. To avoid tbis kind of damage, use
only nonmetallic wedges. Careless removal of form ties is
another cause of damage.
Blemish repair
The exposed surfaces of plain concrete are blemished
when spots or areas vary noticeably, and detract from the
appearance of surrounding surface areas. Consider whether
the repair will be less apparent and have a more pleasing
appearance than the original blemish. Unfortunately, many
repairs do noL For example, surface voids (bug holes) are
common and their repair, except for sack rubbing or similar
treatment, may be less satisfactory than no repair. The same
observation usually applies to treatment of horizontal offsets
where forms have not been anchored and tightened properly
at the bottom of a new lift of concrete.
Choose the materials for blemish repair carefully and
apply them by approved methods that have been established
before construction.
Minimize dark patches by avoiding rich mixes and
steel finishing tools and by using some white cement in the
repair material. Adjust the proportions of white to gray
cement to most closely match the color tone of surrouoding
surfaces after both have been cured for a month or more.
In repair of surface blemishes or peeled areas, do not
interfere with curing of the original concrete. Only as much
area as can be conveniently repaired in a reasonably short
time should be temporarily stopped from curing.
Make repairs irnmediately after forms are removed.
Satisfactory repairs require experienced workers and
supervisors.
The most difficult areas to repair satisfactorily are those
from which the surface has peeled as well as other defects
requiring relatively shaUow repairs. Peeling generally occurs
when the forms have not been properly oiled, are too hot, or
have been stripped too early before the concrete has
attained sufficient strength. To prevent peeling, apply form
oil properly, keep the forms cool, and restrict the tinIe of
stripping. Sometimes revibration before initial set in upper
portions of waUs and columns will eliminate peeling and
discoloration in those areas.
Shotcrete for repair - Peeled areas and other shallow defects may be repaired by pneumatically spraying a damppack type mortar onto the surface at high velocity. This is
a small scale shotcrete operation using a premixed mortar
and small equipment with rigid control of operations. A
typical custom-made "gun" (see Fig. 11.1) requires a gun

90

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

operator and a helpcr to feed the mortar to the gun.


Air pressure to the gun should be betwcen 60 and 75
psi.
For pneumatically placed mortar use 1 part
portland cement, 4 parts by weight of standard concrete
sand (ASTM C 33), and a water-cement ratio of
approximately 0.35 by weight. Water content should
produce a mortar that will feed well but will not have
excessive rebound.
Mortar with the correet water
content will just reta in its shape when squeezed into a
ball in the hand.
Apply the mortar in accordance with good
shotcrete practice (see Chapter 15). Make sure the base
concrete is damp but not wet at time of application.

NOTE:

Oimensions shown ore opproximote

Fig. 11.1-Mortar gun for concrete repair


Bonding shallow repairs - Hand-plastered mortar
and other hand placing operations are rarely satisfactory for shallow repairs unless great care is taken. If
hand plastering methods must be used, bond the repair
with epoxy or latex resins. (See discussion below of
bonding.) The base concrete for epoxy resin bonding
should be dry and at least 50 F, preferably 70 F or
more. Avoid disturbing the bond while finisbing the
applied mortar.
Do not use a steel trowel because the rcsult will be
a dark, slick surface contrasting with the formed
surface.
Curillg Repair material on peeled surfaces is
generally quite thin; therefore it is important that the
new surface be protected from freezing and be moist
cured for a period of at least 7 days, followed by application of a curing compound or inlpervious membrane. Adequate curing is essential for repairs because
bond strength develops much more slowly than compressive strength.
If the curing is insufficient, the
mortar will either develop excessive cracking or may
peel off.
Sack rubbing
Sack rubbing is used to repair blemishes, fill bug
holes, and produce a uniform appearance in exposed
concrete.

INSPECTION

Hand apply a tbick creamy slurry consisting of 1 part


cement to 2 parts of fine sand (passing the No. 30 screen) to
the entire surface and rub it into all surface voids with clean
burlap or a rubber float while the surface is still damp after
a thorough wetting.
Apply heavy pressure (ltelbowgreaselt) to the surface.
After the slurry is sufficiently hard to not be pulled
from the surface, rub the surface again with dry cement and
fine sand to remove all surplus material, being careful not to
remove it from the surface voids. Timing of the seeond
rubbing is crucial. If done too soon, the filIing will be
partially removed from the voids; if done too late, removal
of the excess material will be difficult or impossible.
Sack-rubbed surfaces must be adequately cured
In warm drying weather, if possible, sack rub the
surface when it is in the shade.
Tle rod holes and other sman, deep holes
Tie rod holes, particularly those formed by cones, are
often left open to provide an architectural effeet to the
concrete surface. If tbis is the case, make provisions to
prevent future corrosion of "snap-off' ties by coating the tie
end ~ith an epoxy or by inserting speeial plugs of plastic,
lead, or other materials, so that the plug remains recessed.
Drive in the plugs tightly.
If the contract documents require that tie rod and other
similar holes be plugged flush, use a dry-tamp mortar.
Experiment with color match using some white cement prior
to application. The consistency of the mortar should be
such that when balled in the hand, the hand is left moist but
not dirty. After slightly premoistening the inside surface or
applying an extremely tbin bonding coat, place the mortar in
the tie rod hole and pack it with a hardwood tamper. After
the hole is filled, finish off the surface with a wood block
because steel tools will darken the filling. Follow with
adequate curing. For best results, fill the holes soon after
forms come off so that the filIings are cured with the
concrete. Never use dry tamped mortar for shallow repairs
or where positive lateral restraint cannot be obtained.
Epoxy mortars developed for filIing tie rod holes with a
cauIking gun have the advantage of not requiring curing,
other than temperature proteetion. If these materials are
used, comply with manufacturer's recommendations. Avoid
smearing the concrete surface.
Staln removal
Stains 00 concrete have many sources including rust
from curing water and from embedded steel as well as stains
or marks on the form facing before concrete is cast. Of
course, prevention is best, but some staining seems
uoavoidable. Refereoces 27 and 28 provide much information on a wide range of methods for stain removal.
Plan the cleaning procedure carefully, aod make 00
attempt at stain removal until the stain is identified.
Experiment first on the stains located in an inconspicuous
area. The removal of stains may change the surface
appearance unless the preeautions are taken. The least
surface change is caused by scrubbing with strong detergent

CORRECTING

DEFECTS

IN NEW CONCRETE,

solutions, but they are effective only for surface stains


and should be applied as soon as possible. Scrub with
detergents to remove greases, oils, asphalt, and similar
materials, ratber than solvents because tbe latter will
carry these stains deeper into tbe concrete.
Use specific chemicals according to tbe nature of
the stain. The treatment acts eitber by dissolving the
stain or by bleaching or changing the stain to a product
that will not show. Use chemicals only after becoming
familiar with their use and after experimenting on
inconspicuous surfaces because they can change the
character of the surface. Flush the concrete surface
after using chemicals. Reference 62 provides methods
for chemical removal of stains on flatwork.
Efflorescence, a common type of staining, is a
deposit of salts, usually white, leached from the concrete and deposited on the surface. If detergent
scrubbing fails to remove the efflorescence, try an
application of muriatic acid. Consider tbe appearance
change that results from etching of the concrete
surface. Try weak soIutions of the acid (less than 5
percent by voIume) first, and do not use soIutions
stronger than 10 percent. ThoroughIy wet the concrete
surface before applying the acid, and flush the surface
immediately after frothing on the surface has ceased,
otherwise an insoluble white silicate may be deposited
on the concrete surface, particularly with stronger
solutions. Make sure that acid solution and rinse water
does not contact surrounding and underlying surfaces.
Protect workers from inhalation of vapors and acid
burns of clothing, skin and eyes.
The usual mechanical methods for sta in removal
are sandblasting, grinding, steam cleaning, brushing,
and scouring, but do not use wire brushes because they
deposit metal particles in the surface, which later cause
rust stains. Light sandblasting is one of the best
methods for removal of stains on formed concrete;
however, some abrasion of the concrete surface wilI
occur. Sandblasting, even light applications, will expose
defects previously hidden below the surface.
If
sandblasting is chosen, consider using it on all exposed
concrete surfaces to maintain uniforrnity of appearance.
The precautions for sandblasting apply also to
flexible-disc sanding. Sack rubbing may acceptably
reduce the disfiguring contrasts of staining or of
unacceptable, incomplete stain removal.
REPAIRS TO IN-SERVICE STRUCTURES

References 5, 30 and ACI 201.2R as well as ACI


Committees 364 and 546 are excellent sources of information on concrete repairs. The foIlowing text under
"Structural Concrete" is applicable to repair of inservice structures as well as structures under construction. The differences in preparation for such
repairs when applied to in-service structures are noted
in that section.

REPAIRING

91

OLD

ARCHITECTURAL

CONCRETE

By the nature of its character and purpose, the


correction of defects in architectural concrete is more
demanding than for plain exposed concrete surfaces.
Greater care and better workmanship must be devoted to
restoring and obtaining the required appearance.
STRUCTURAL

CONCRETE

Special attention and care must be taken with other tban


surface repairs of structural concrete, especially if these
repairs will affect the future structural behavior of the
member. Make an engineering analysis to assure that the
repaired concrete will function as intended. Common causes
of the need for structural repairs are improper placement of
reinforcement, defective concrete, stress cracking, or thermal
and drying shrinkage cracking.
In older structures,
deteriorated or damaged concrete may require repair.
Raplacement wlth new concrete--daep or larga areas
Repair preparation Remove all defective concrete
down to sound concrete, and leave the edges perpendicular
to the concrete surface, preferabIy by sawing. Avoid feather
edges and sbarp corners. Wben repairing weatbered concrete
especially, remove more than may seem necessary, in order
to assure removal of material iD an early, undetected stage
of deterioration, that would degrade after repairs are made.
Remove concrete with haDd tools and light duty hand-held
power tools, particularly around the edges, to prevent
damage to remaining concrete and steel. If reinforcemeDt is
in the repair area, remove corrosioD products and concrete
to give a clearance of at least 1 in. to the steel.
Repair materials - Plan proportions and placement of
the repair concrete to assure maximum bODd to the original
concrete aDd to minimize drying shrinkage of the repairs. In
new work, early repair helps achieve these objectives. To
assure minimum shrinkage, mix the repair concrete with a
low water content and slump and allow it to age for 30 to 60
min before use. If possible, use repair concrete of the same
materials and mix design as the original concrete. If repairs
will be exposed permaneDtly, take texture and color
precautioDs as described above.
Fonns for repair - Forms for concrete replacement must
be tight at perimeters aDd joiDtS, strong, and securely held
in position so they canDot leak mortar when the concrete is
vibrated. To provide maximum access for placement and
vibration of concrete in some applications over 18 in. high
iDstall the face form in 12 in. high SectiODSas each 12-in.1ift
of concrete is placed. (The back form may be built in one
piece.) Provide a full width "chimney" at the top to assure
filling to the top of the opeDing. Use a pressure cap ODthe
concrete in the chimney simultaneously tighteniDg and
revibrating the form to assure a tight seal at the top of the
repair. When the form is removed, carefully chip away the
chimDey CODcrete to avoid breaking CODcrete out of the
surface to remaiD, and dress the surface of tbe new concrete
as required.
See Fig. 11.2 aDd 11.3, reproduced from
Reference 5.

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

92

INSPECTION

Do not use epoxy resin bond-coats on large surface


areas exposed to severe c1imates where moisture rnigrating
toward the surface wilI be blocked by the impermeable
epoxy barrier. Blocked water can freeze and break off the
repair. Never aIlow chemical agents to set before applying
the repair concrete.

Fig. 11.2-Slope
top edge of opening to pennit vibration
of concrete without leaving air pockets at the top of the
repalr

Fig. Il.4-For
repair of parking deck, unsound concrete was
removed, reinforcement sandblasted to remove rnst, and extra
reinforcement
bars installed alongside some damaged or
corroded bars. A bonding layer of neat cement grout was
applied just before placing the concrete overlay

8ack

built

tOril

Curing of repalrs mada with portland camant mortar or


concreta

lI'Iay be

in one piece.

By use of ancho, bolts, these f,on. forms may be used fo, ,eplacements
in the surfaces of massive concrete structures

Fig. 11.3 - F onns for concrete replacement

in walls

Repair surface preparation Assure bond of new


concrete to original concrete in all repairs by thoroughly c1eaning the original concrete. One of the best
c1eaning methods is sandblasting. Regardless of the
method used, remove aIl blasting sand, abraded concrete, and other fines from the cavity.
Dampen the surface of the original concrete (it
should not be wet!) then apply a portland cement
mortar bond-coat. Use a mixture of one part cement to
one part of fine sand passing the No. 30 screen, and
enough water to make a consistency of thick cream.
Scrub or rub the bond-coat into the original
concrete surface. Sometimes a neat cement bond-coat
is used (Fig. 11.4). Never alIow the bond-coat to set
before placing the new concrete. Chemical bonding
agents, such as epoxy resins and latexes, are avaiJable
and often useful for specialized repair applications.
Properly used according to the manufacturer's recommendations, material s formulated for this use can aid
in obtaining bond under difficult conditions, particularly
for thin repairs.

For the best durabiJity, cure repairs for at least 7 days


above freezing using a wet cover, then aIlow the cover to dry
completely before removal. For formed repairs, insert six or
more layers of saturated burlap under the forms and put the
forms back tightly in place after removing the chimney and
dressing the concrete. Other repairs can be covered with
boards or plywood held firmIy against the thick wet burlap
cover.
When curing with a membrane apply it at after at least
24 hr (preferably 3 days) curing by water-saturated cover as
described above.
Structural rapairs uslng othar portland camant basad
materials

If the total volume is not too large, satisfactory


structural repairs can be made using damp-pack type mortar
pneumaticalIy sprayed with smaIl scale equipment, as previously described for shalIow repairs. Make larger structural
repairs by using shotcrete, maintaining c10se control over aIl
operations. See ACI 506R as weIl as Chapter 15. Do not
use a bond-coat of any kind with either of these repair methods. For both of these types of repair, fIare the edges of the
concrete removal area outward at about 1 to 1 slope, so that
rebound wilI faIl free. Make round inside comers. One advantage of both methods is that forming is unnecessary or at
least very Iimited.
Satisfactory repairs are made with preplaced aggregate

CORRECTING

DEFECTS

IN NEW CONCRETE,

concrete. The material and its use are described in


Chapter 15. 115advantages for repair work are its low
shrinkage and that it can be successfully placed under
water.
STRUCTURAL

REPAIRS USING EPOXY RESIN

Of the large variety of epoxy resins available, use


only those formulated specificalIy for concrete repairs.
NormalIy these will be two-component, 100 percent
solids, epoxy resins with no diluents or nonreactive
Iiquids. Epoxy resin materials are furnished in different
grades, ranging fro01 the un010dified binder O1aterials
with low viscosity tbrough the various grades of grout.
Grout ranges from high viscosity f1uids to trowelable
pastes and gels for01ed by the addition of tbickeners or
fine mineral fillers. The inspector is governed by the
requirements ofthe contract documents in the selection
of epoxy resin materials for repairs. In the absence of
contract document requiremen15, consult the designer
for requirements and instruction. ASlM C 881 has
been developed to cover the various types of epoxy
resin used for bonding concrete. Information given
here is only for background data and additional
guidance.
At times, material s other than epoxy resins, particularly latex and polyester materials, are also used as
bonding agents and as admixtures to increase the f1exural strength and elongation of portland cement O1ortars for repairs.
Detailed guidance for the use of epoxy resin
materials in concrete construction, including repair
work, is available in the guide prepared by ACI Committee 503, and in four ACI standard specifications
(ACI 503.1, 503.2, 503.3, and 503.4). Additional data
can be found in References 5 and 31. Consult these
references before using epoxy resin in concrete repair
work.
Molsture and temperature

sensitivlty

Early epoxy resins were sensitive to moisture, both


during cure and, to a much lesser extent, after
hardening; and many presently available products still
are. Many such material s are good products, but their
use must be restricted to locations where they will not
be subjected to moisture either before curing or for
long periods after curing. Epoxy resins now available
that are insensitive to moisture can be used for
applications when it is impractical to completely dry the
base concrete, for bonding fresh portland ce01ent
concrete, and for locations that will be under water in
service.
Epoxy resins bond to most construction materials.
Specialized products that bond to PVC and to
neoprene can be used for concrete repairs involving
water stops. However, epoxy resin does not bond to
materials such as polyethylene, Teflon, and greased or
waxed surfaces. Polyethylene and heavy waxed paper
are used for form lining for epoxy resin repairs.

REPAIRING

OLD

93

Hardened epoxy resin has a much higher thermal coefficient of expansion than concrete. Unless co01pensated for,
alI epoxy repairs tend to crack and come unbonded under
expansion-contraction cycling produced by temperature
changes. But epoxy resin bond-coats are not a problem
beca use of the tbinness of the coat (a reason for keeping
bond-coats thin). For epoxy mortar and concrete always use
epoxy resins that have high extensibility, thus alIowing the
material to stretch and relieve differential stress for thick
coatings. When fillers are added to epoxy resins and aggregates are used in mortars and concretes, the "dilution" effect
produces a lower coefficient of expansion in the total mixed
material and provides considerable relief.
Epoxy resins cure with almost no shrinkage.
Low
shrinkage is an advantage in repair work, but can present
problems for repairs to newly hardened concrete that has
not yet reached a stable condition of volume. Using extensible epoxy resins aUows the differential stress to be
relieved.
Temperature

limltations

Few epoxy resins cure satisfactorily at temperatures


below 50 F and almost none below 40 F. Do not attempt
repairs using epoxy resin at temperatures below 50 F until a
test application using the proposed materials has been made
at the expected temperature, and test cubes or cores indicate
that the desired strength is achieved. Avoid high temperatures (generaUy those above 85 F) beca use increased
temperature increases the rate of hardening and makes it
difficult to mix, place, and finish the epoxy resin material
before it hardens. At higher temperatures, use a material
with a longer pot life, mix it in smaller batches, and place it
in shallow lifts. Never use tbinners with epoxy resin.
SAFETV DURING EPOXY RESIN REPAIR
OPERATIONS

Avoid contact of the epoxy resin or solvents with the


skin.
Wear protective clotbing, including gloves and goggles.
Apply protective creams to exposed skin areas.
Ventila te indoor repair areas, otherwise fire and explosion are hazards from the solvents used in cIeanup.
Prevent human contact with solvents.
lmmediately remove epoxy from skin by washing with
soap and water, but never use solven15.
REPAIR WITH EPOXY RESIN MORTAR AND
CONCRETE

Mortars and concrete are site-mixed with only epoxy


resin and aggregates, using fine aggregate for mortar and
using both fine and coarse aggregate for concrete. Both
mortars and concretes make excellent repair materials but
their cost needs to be justified for repairs other than for
small areas and for areas subject to severe service conditions
such as cavitation, high abrasion, excessive point loadings,
chemical attack, and similar conditions. NormalIy epoxy
mortar is used for repairs less than 1 112or 2 in. deep and
epoxy concrete for deeper repairs.

94

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Materlals
Use epoxy resin binders specially formulated for
the intended use, normally the more extensible
materials. Use hard, dense, cIean aggregates, rounded
or cubical in shape, and completely dry. Table 11.1
gives recommended aggregate gradations.
Coarse
aggregates larger than 3/4 in. are seldom used. For
epoxy mortars, use tbe coarser gradations of fine
aggregate for deeper repairs and the finer gradations
for shallow repairs but material passing the No. 16
sieve is the coarsest that should be used if neat
feather-edging of the mortar is required. The epoxy
size sbown are those
Sieve
mortar aggregate gradations
found to
CaBne
No.
No.
16
No. 8
No. 4
No.sO
No. JO
100'
In J/8in.in.
(1G-15)
(2-10)
J/4
D.
give optimum results in producing nonsag mortars.
Many otber gradations are suecessfully used, some even
consisting of uniform sized aggregate.
Epoxy resin mortar proportions normaUy are 1 part
epoxy resin to 4 to 7 parts aggregate by weigbt. Epoxy
resin concrete proportions normally are 1 part epoxy
resin to 6 to 10 parts aggregate by weigbt. With the
aggregate gradations shown in Table 11.1, equal parts
of fine and coarse aggregates are used. Use the
maximum quantity of aggregate practicable, but never
more than will be completely wetted by the epoxy resin
and will bave all voids filled when tbe mixture is
compacted.
Surface preparation
In general, prepare the surface by foUowing the
requirements previously discussed for otber structural
repairs. Outline the repair area with a saw cut, 1/2 in.
deep for mortars and 1 to 2 in. deep for concrete. If
practicable, make sure the surface of the base concrete
is thoroughly dry, otherwise, a moisture tolerant epoxy
resin must be used. Compressed air lines used for
cIeaning and drying the surface must be equipped with
adequate water and oil separators. If possible, base
concrete and ambient air should be at moderate
temperatures (60 to 80 F) both before placing the
epoxy resin material and during cure.
Preparation, mixing, and handling
Condition the oven-dried aggregate and the epoxy
resin to a temperature between 70 and 85 F before
mixing. Mix the epoxy resin separately before adding
aggregate, being sure to add the curing agent
component to the epoxy component (following formulator's direction) beca use using the reverse order may
cause difficulties. Mix the epoxy resin with mechanical
equipment such as a low speed pneumatic or sparkproof electric drill with a paint mixer or propeUer
attachment.
Mixing must thorougbly blend aU of eacb component and must be at a low speed to prevent entrapping air bubbles. Then transfer the mixed epoxy
resin to larger mixers or containers, and add the
aggregate. The resin-aggregate mixing may be done by
hand in a large pan or mortar box or in a mechanical

INSPECTION

mixer but horizontal shaft mortar mixers are preferable.


Power mixers using disposable 5 gal. pails mounted at an
angle on a power drive base are often used.
For epoxy concrete, add aU of the coarse aggregate to
the epoxy binder first to get better dispersion. Continue
mixing until aU aggregate particIes are completely coated.
Dump the batch as soon as mixing is complete and spread
it on tbe repair area to minimize temperature buildup.
rabIe 11.1-Aggregate
and concretes

gradatlon for epoxy mortars

J/8
D.
No.
No.
No.
16
JO
J7-SS
8-18
16-26
80-90
65-77
4().6()
G-S
100
15-4.5
6J-7S
J8-S6
100
No.
84
12-22
24-J6
15-JS
4G-60
100far
9S-100
100
IS-JS
4G-70
G-IS
65-77
J().6()
22-40
16-J4
IG-15
IS-JS
gate
6-14
90-100
aggJe(12-22)
(14-22)
(c.I1)
(6-14)
(4-12)
g<teFme 60-80
aggJeg<te
for epoxy
(IS-15)
(2G-JO)
(8-18)
epoxy
aggJe(36-46)
MAXIMUM

reQn
concrete

resin
SIZEmanar

Cumulative peroent by weight passing

Fme

lr

balC or more of tbe minus No. 100 material passes tbe No. 200 sieve. use tbe limits in

parentbcses.

"ASTM

e JJ. Size No. 7.

Placlng and finlshlng


Immediately prior to placing epoxy resin mortar or
concrete, coat the surface of the base concrete with a thin
layer of epoxy resin binder scrubbed into the surface. Avoid
pools of liquid material. Delay placing of the mortar or
concrete until the bond-coat becomes slightly tacky, but
placing must be completed before the bond-coat hardens.
If the bond-coat does harden, lightly abrade the surface,
then apply another bond-coat.
Place the epoxy resin mortar and concrete in layers 2 in.
thick or less, with a slight delay between layers. If excessive
heat buildup oecurs, lengthen the del ay. Consolidate the
material by hand tamping to elimina te aU voids. Screed and
finish the same as for other mortar and concretes. Never
use a thioner to aid in finishing. Use wood floats and steel
trowels for fmishing. If sticking is a problem, wrap steel
trowels with polyethylene or use special plastic trowels.
Where repairs should blend with tbe surrounding
concrete, the glazed surface can be removed by light sanding
or sandblasting of the hardened repair. Some choice of color
in epoxy resios is available and a material can be chosen to
match the surrounding concrete. To help achieve a color

CORRECTING

DEFECTS

IN NEW CONCRETE,

matchon unformed surfaces, portland cement can be


lightlysprinkled on the surface before final troweling.
and protection
Cure epoxy resin mortars and concretes at least 72
hrs at temperatures between 60 and 80 F. Protect
themfrom water, abrasion, and significant loads for at
least24 hr.
Curlng

Cleanup

Clean the equipment immediately after use, before


the epoxy resin hardens.
The solvent toluene is
cornmonlyused for cIeaning. Solvents of the ketone
amilycan be used and are faster, but they present
muchgreater safety problems, both as health and as
explosion hazards. See the section above on safety
precautions.
INJECTION

GROUTING

OF CRACKS

Repairing structural concrete by injection grouting


o cracks will almost completely resto re its structural
capacity. Grouting of cracks as small as 0.002 in. wide
is possible. Injection grouting should be cIosely supervised by a structural engineer. Some cracks are symptoms of basic structural distress and, if grouted, will
reappear nearby as a new crack. Do not grout joints
designed for movement.
Before repairs of cracking in structural concrete are
made, identify the structural requirements and effects
o the crack. GeneraUy, if the required longitudinal
and stirrup reinforcement are present and not subject
\0 mo\s\\1re \eaKa'be <..and\\1\1Scorros\on) \\1rougn \ne
cracks, repairs are cosmetic in nature. U reinforcemen\
is not present and cracking was induced by stresses,
consider replacement of the cracked member or the use
of external reinforcement.
If structural cracking is to be repaired, use pressure
grouting with an epoxy resin, as described in foUowing
paragraphs.
Grouting is best delayed until drying
shrinkage or temperature movements are substantially
stabitized at a maximum crack opening. Without tbis
delay, shrinkage and temperature movement will probably cause a new crack more or less parallel to the
original. Application of pressure injected epoxy and
safety precautions should meet the manufacturers' or
jobbers' recommendations.
Materials
For grouting narrow cracks, use a low viscosity
grout, and an epoxy resin that will bond to a moist
surface because it is usually impossible to remove
moisture in the crack. Do not incIude solvents in the
formulation, and do not thin it later. Use an epoxy
resin capable of remaining fluid for a predetermined
time limit, and formulated for use in the temperature
range in which will be used. Flexible resins are sometimes considered more desirable than other resins,

REPAIRING

OLD

95

especiaUy if the repaired member is likely to be subjected to


volume changes and deformations that might not be
accommodated by a very hard and brittle material.
Relatively wide cracks can be filled by normal construction crews using moderate viscosity epoxy resin grouts.
The epoxy resin used must have a relatively long pot life to
permit the grout to be handled conveniently. A mnimum of
30 min is needed.
Narrow cracks and extremely fine cracks, down to 0.002
in. wide, are commonly filled by special crews trained and
licensed by the epoxy formulator using a very low viscosity
epoxy resin specially formulated for this work. Filling fine
cracks, especially deep ones, requires relatively high injection
pressures. Short pot life epoxy resins are often used for tbis
work partly to aid in retaining the material in the cracks.
Equlpment
Fill wide cracks by using pouring pots and caulking guns
when the width of the crack and the viscosity of material will
permit complete filling of the cracks. Otherwise, inject batch
mixed material in wide cracks with pressure pots somewhat
similar to spray painting equipment, and with hydraulic
pumps operating from open containers. Such equipment
requires premixed epoxy resin with a relatively long pot life.
Mix the epoxy resin as previously described under epoxy
mortars and concrete.
Never use these methods for cracks so narrow that the
material does not enter easily; instead, for narrow and fine
cracks, use specialized pressure injection equipment. The
most commonly used injection equipment on fine cracks for
major jobs consists of pumping equipment which supplies
the two separate epoxy resin components through separate
unes \0' an mune con\\nuous me\e1"\ng,and mixing, de",icc
\ocated where \he \wo unes }oin a\ \ne m}ec\\O'nnozzle. NO'
other equipment is required, and this system is capable of
handling epoxy resins having extremely short pOI life.
Preparatlon
In preparation for injection, remove as much dirt and
other debris from the cracks as possible by mechanical
means, washing, and blowing with compressed air, being
careful not to inflict any further damage. Blow cracks as dry
as possible. Equip all compressed air lines with water and
oil separators.
To keep the grout from leaking out before it has geUed,
seal the crack at the surface by brusbing a special epoxy
resin along the crack and allowing it to harden. If high
injection pressure is needed, enlarge the depth and the width
of the crack at the surface and fill it with an epoxy resin to
provide a stronger seal.
InstaU entry ports for injection. One method is to drill
holes into the crack through the resin seal and insert pipe
nipples, Alemite fittings, tire valve stems, or other specially
fabricated fittings that are bonded and held in place by
synthetic epoxy resin. Another method is to omit the fittings
completely and simply leave a gap in the seal. In either case
tbese ports can be injected witb a nozzle baving an
elastomeric tip that will fit snugly against the entry port

96

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

under hand-applied pressure against the nozzle and


permit injeetion without leakage.
Space the injection ports the same as the depth of
injection required from that surface. There must be
sufficient distance between ports to assure that the
liquid injected into the port will flow through the fuIl
depth of the crack before flowing out of the next port.
Injectlon
After aIl epoxy resin used to seal the crack and to
bond the entry ports has hardened, mix and inject the
epoxy resin grout, preferably during a time of day (or
night) when the concrete is coolest and the cracks are
widest. However, do not exceed temperature Iimits of
the epoxy resin being used.
If the crack is vertical, start injecting into the
lowest port until it oozes out of the port above. Then
seal the lowest port and inject into the next port.
Continue in tbis manner until complete. With horizontal cracks, proceed from one end of the crack to the
other. Injeet horizontal members from the underside, if
possible.
The crack is considered full if pressure can be
maintained. If tbis is not the case, the grout is still
flowing into the unfilled crack or leaking out. Do not
apply a pressure so high during injection that the
member is damaged by hydraulic action of the fluid
grout. After the resin has cured, remove aUfittings, and
then grind and repair the surface as neeessary.
Sometimes the gravity method of epoxy resin
grouting may be used on horizontal surfaces, such as
floors and deeks. An epoxy resin of very low viscosity
is aIlowed to penetrate into the cracks by gravity. If
the crack penetrates through the entire depth of a slab,
seal the underneath side of the crack to prevent the
grout from running out. Cut the top edges of the
cracks to a V-shape approximately 114 in. deep, blow
out and c1ean it by oil-free compressed air or by
vacuuming. Then mix the resin and pour it into the
"vee." Repeated filling of the vee may be neeessary to
completely fill the crack.
If a prelinnary calculation has been Olade of the
theoretical amount of grout required, and tbis amount
has not been used, there is reason to suspect that the
crack is either not fuIl, or narrower or shallower than
expeeted. The only way to be sure that grouting has
been successful is to drill small diameter cores at the
crack.

INSPECTION

SLABS FOR BUILDING S

CHAPTER 12-SLABS

Concrete slabs demand close attention to all


applicable factors of concrete inspection and construction in order to produce a high quality fmished
product. Because of their large unformed surfaces,
slabs require much more time and effort than most
other concrete items. Depending on the location and
intended use, some aspects of inspection and construction may be more important than others, but
conformation to contract document requirements,
finished design elevation and surface tolerances, serviceability, durability, and appearance are always prime
objectives.
Before becoming involved with slab construction,
become completely familiar with ACI 302.1R.
POSITIONING

REINFORCEMENT

Many slabs on grade are designed with reinforcement; usually welded-wire fabric is specified. The
precise placement of tbis reinforcement is important,
yet is often ignored, with the result that it is frequently
found either at the very OOttom of the slab or so near
the top surface that cover is inadequate (Fig. 12.1).
Concrete slabs on grade constructed with expansive
cement normally require reinforcement in the top half
of the slab. Structural slabs often contain two layers of
reinforcement; one placed near the top and one near
the OOttom. In tbis case, precision of placement is even
more important. Pay special attention to placing the
reinforcing around corners of slab openings, where
cracking frequently oecurs. Reinforcement must be
rigidly supported at its designed elevation before
concreting conmlences. Never place reinforcement,
particularly welded-wire fabric, on the subgrade and
then later attempt to pull it into place in the center of
the slab after concrete is placed.

Fig. 12.1- Wire mesh taken from a roll may tend to be


wal)', as shown here. Make sure that mesh is reasonably
flat and at specified height
MIX REQUIREMENTS

General job mix requirements are usuaUy satisfactory for slabs (see Chapter 6). However, mixes need

97

FOR BUILDINGS

good finishability, and for this reason they should meet the
requirements of ACI 302.1R. If not otherwise specified, use
a water content producing slumps conforming to the provisions of Section 3.5 of "Specifications for Structural
Concrete for Buildings" (ACI 301). The concrete must have
satisfactory plasticity and finisbing qualities and must be
sufficiently cohesive to minimize segregation. The use of
water-reducing admixtures may help to overcome problems
of placement in large, flat structures. Concrete for exterior
slabs must be air entraincd where required by the exposure
conditions. Normal weight concrete for many other exposures may have a small amount of entrained air to increase
the workability of the concrete and to reduce bleeding.
Concrete made with lightweight aggregate may require air
entrainment to improve workability. See page 45 for comments on how temperature, slump, and water reducers may
affect air entrainment.
If excess bleeding (presence of free water on the slab
surface) oecurs, the sand may contain insufficient fines
passing the No. 50, No. 100, and No. 200 sieves. This can
sometimes be corrected by the use of appropriate admixtures, blending sand to improve the gradation, pozzolan, or
increased cement content, with an appropriate reproportioning of the mix. If the mix causes difficulties in workability and finishing, adjust the mix. Plastieizing admixtures
may help to overcome this problem. However, obtain the
designer's approval before changing the mix proportions.
Mixes should contain the maximum amount of coarse aggregate that can be used without causing difficulty in placing
and finishing. Nominal maximum size of coarse aggregate
should not exceed one-tbird the depth of the slab and should
generally not exceed 1 1/2 io. Heavy-duty topping mixes
must have low slump and less fines in the mix.
SLABS ON GRADE

Prior to placiog slabs 00 grade, prepare and compact the


subgrade in accordanec witb tbe contraet documeots. Drain
the bottom of graouJar base COurses. Otherwise tbe bottom
must not be lower than the adjacent finished grade. Undrained base courses becomc reservoirs for water.
lo many cases, particularly for floors of enclosed
buildings, impervious sheeting or similar material is specified
to be placed over the subgrade as a vapor barrier to prevent
migration through the concrete of capillary water that rises
to the surface of fine-grained subgrade soils. If such
impervious material is used, it should have full coverage, and
each sheet should adequately lap adjoining sheets. Takc
precautions during installation and concreting to prevent
puncturing of the vapor barrier. This vapor barrier do es not
constitute waterproofing.
Section 2.4.1 of ACI 302.1R points out that the usual
dryiog shrinkage cracking of slabs on vapor barrier is much
less if 3 in. of wet sand is first placed 011 the vapor barrier.
If there is 00 vapor barrier specificd, dampen the

98

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

subgrade by spraying with water before concreting.


Never place concrete for slabs on grade on frozen
ground.
Placlng and consolldatlon of concrete
Place concrete carefuUy to attain the designed slab
tbickness, within the specified tolerances, after finishing. This can be done by using a sufficient number of
suitable rigid screeds and checking of the depth to
grade at sufficient points. The bulkheads or forms may
serve as screeds. They must be set at proper elevation,
and must have no projections so that the concrete may
be uniformly struck off. Another method for obtaining
proper elevation of the concrete is with the use of a
concrete screed, sometimes caUed a wet screed. Low
slump concrete is cast between grade stakes and struck
off at the proper level. The grade stakes are then removed and the remainder of the slab placed and finished using these strips of concrete as screeds. Use of
wet screeds for placing concrete in slabs is difficult to
control properly. Irnmediately discontinue the use of
concrete screeds if there is doubt about consolidation
of the concrete in the screeds or in the slab concrete
along the sides of the concrete screeds.
Place concrete for slabs by crane and buckets,
pumps, conveyors, or by hand or power buggies. Take
care to maintain proper location of reinforcement.
Deposit the concrete as close to final location as
possible without building up piles. Avoid excessive
horizontal movement and segregation. As concrete is
delivered, the drop onto the slab must be vertical and
as low as possible. Distribute horizontaUy with squarepointed shovels and not with vibration.
Internal vibrators provide the best means of consolidation of tbicker concrete slabs. They should be
inserted and removed in the vertical position and
moved at short spacing over the entire area. Pay particular attention to vibration along bulkheads and at
corners. If vibrators are not available, thorough spading will be required as the concrete is placed. To prevent bringing an excess of fine material and water to
the surface,sl carefully avoid overvibration, which is
easy to produce in thin slabs.
Concrete in tbinner slabs may be consolidated by
the "sawing" motion used with rigid strikeoffs, by
vibratory screeds (strikeoffs), and by rollers. Pan-type
surface vibrators can be used but care must be taken to
prevent working too much paste to the surface. Grate
tampers Gitterbugs) can be used with low slump
concrete but should be used with great careo Do not
use them with the higher slump mixes or with
lightweight aggregate concrete. Never use vibratory
grate tampers because of probable overvibration and
resulting segregation with excessive paste worked to the
surface.
Flnishing
Immediately after the concrete has been consol-

INSPECTION

idated and screeded to grade, remove surface irregu-Iarities


using a buU float or a darby. This must be done before any
water appears at the surface. Suspend aU work-ing of the
surface until time for floating. Never work the surface while
water is present.
The next operation, after strikeoff and initialleveling, is
floating. Floating may be done by hand or with power floats
(Fig. 12.2). Do not begin floating until all of the bleed water
sheen has disappeared and the concrete has stiffened
sufficiently to aUow walking on the surface without leaving
heel prints more than about 114in. deep. If the concrete is
air entrained, use a magnesium or aluminum tool to prevent
tearing of the surface. An experienced finisher will use the
proper amount of pressure to provide the best results.
Premature finishing will bring excessive fines to the surface,
which will tend to dust in service. Avoid overfloating or any
overfinishing. Float only to the extent necessary to assure
that a layer of mortar will cover the coarse aggregate.
Observe tbis precaution in particular when power floats are
used. Floating may be used as the final finishing operation
or may be foUowed by troweling.

Fig. 12.2- Finishing


concrete slab

machines float and troweL surface 01

Perform edging only where required by the eontraet


documents. If edging is required, be careful not to overwork
the concrete. Edgers must have a radius no greater than
permitted by the contraet documents; if not specified, the
radius should not exeeed 3/16 in. Instead of edging, the
edges of the surface at construetion joints may be lightly
stoned after the forms are stripped and before plaeing the
adjacent slab.
Additional water must not be applied to the surfaee by
dashing with a brush, sprinkling, or spraying during fmisbing
or edging operations. With proper seheduling of the finisbing
operations to meet prcvailing conditions, no additional water
should be necessary. Never use finishing machines with
water attaehments to wet the slab.
Many slabs require a troweled surface. Troweling is

SLABS FOR BUILDINGS

99

Hardened surface slabs


Industrial floors, particularly those for warehouses,
are at times designed to receive a hardened surface
produced by use of a shake of metallic aggregate. A
manufactured aggregate, usually mixed with dry cement
by the manufacturer, is evenly distributed over the
surface after floating the surface once. (Do not confuse tbis with using added cement to blot up excessive
bleed water prior to finisbing, which is never permitted.) Two-thirds of the dry shake is first applied in
one direction and then floated into the surface, without
addition of water. Tbe remaining third is then applied
at right angles to the first and again floated to assure
uniform application. Finishing operations are then conducted as described above. Abrasive aggregate is often
added to slab surfaces in much the same way to produce a nonslip surface.

course concrete that is hardened and has appreciable age


(bonded topping).
Construct the base course slab using single-course
methods, but use only buU float or darby finishing because
it produces a surface to which the topping will bond well.
Apply integral toppings when the base course concrete has
hardened sufficiently that footprints of the workers are
barely perceptible.
Before applying a bonded topping course to hardened
base slabs, thoroughly cIean the base slab of aU loose
material, laitance, scale, or other material such as oil, paint,
or dirt. These can be removed by sandblasting or ultrahigh-pressure water jet. However, these methods may not
be acceptable for inside building work. Indoors it may be
necessary to use cIeaning agents that will not leave a residue,
or to treat with a 10 percent solution of muriatic acid
scrubbed over the contaminated area, followed by thorough
flushing. Store and han die the acid carefuUy. Before placing
the top course, thoroughly moisten the bottom course.
Never allow pools of free water to remain. A neat cement
grout mixed to the consistency of thick paint or a specified
bonding agent is sometimes applied to the surface, just prior
to concrete placement. Tbese should not be aUowed to dry
or set before the top course is applied.
The mix proportions of the topping course (minimum
tbickness of 3/4 in.) are important. With crushed stone or
pea gravel, No. 4 to 3/8 or 1/2 inch in size as the coarse
aggregate, the mix should be 1:1:1 1/2 by weight with no
more than 42 lb (5 gal.) of water per 100 lb of cemento
Water content should be carefully controlled and specified
as the minimum that will permit placing, consolidating, and
screeding to be accomplished without undue difficulty.
Usually tbis is a slump less than 1 in. A better quality of
finished surface will result if these instructions are foUowed
without exception.
Tbe finisbing methods for two-course slabs are the same
as for single course slabs.
Heavy-duty toppings should be constructed with a mix
having no more than 31 lb (3.75 gal.) of water per 100 lb of
cement and a slump not to exceed 2 in. unless a high range
water reducing admixture is used to increase slump.
Consolidate and finish these toppings with disc-type power
floats equipped with an integral impact mechanism.

Two-course construction and speclal topplngs


Caution. Bonding of two-course floors is a highly
critical operation requiring the most meticulous attention to the procedure described. Even so, experience
with such bonding has not always been successfuI. As
a result, some organizations no longer use regular
bonded two-course floors, preferring instead to make
the second course tbick enough to be serviceable of
itself in cases where the second course must come later.
In such cases, no particular effort is made to bond the
thick second course to the base course.
Two-course floors can be constructed by applying
a thin topping to base course concrete that has not
completely hardened (integral topping), or to base

Curing and protectlon


Curing is one of the most important factors in attaining
durable concrete. This phase of slab construction cannot be
overemphasized. It is important to begin curing immediately
after the finisbing phase is completed.
Currently, use of membrane-forming curing compounds
is the most common method of curing concrete slabs.
UsuaUy the acceptable types and brands are listed in the
contract documents, along with approved methods and rates
of application. Tbey are ordinarily sprayed on. If manufacturer's directions are followed, reasonably good results
can be expected, 8ince the curing compounds retard 108Sof
water by evaporation. They should be applied immediately
after striking off and initial leveling or after completion of

done after floating and should be delayed as long as


possible to prevent working excess fines and water to
the surface, certainly until the surface moisture film
and shine remaining after floating has disappeared.
However, do not delay so long that the surface becomes too hard to permit compacting the fines at the
surface. Do not trowel any surface that has not first
been floated.
In most modero operations power
troweling is performed first, foUowed by finish troweling by hand. Trowels are made of spring steel, and for
second and succeeding trowelings they are tilted slightly
to increase the pressure of the contact area, thus producing a dense, hard surface. Hand troweling requires
a high degree of skill to produce a uniformly dense
surface, free of "chatter" marks or other imperfections.
Where a hard troweled or burnished surface is required, finish troweling is continued until a ringing
sound is created.
For some walks or ramps, particularly exterior
walks, it is more desirable to use only a wood-float
finish, without troweling, to improve traction, since it
provides a rougher surface. Tbis condition can also be
attained by first applying a steel-troweled finish and
then, just before the concrete sets, lightly brooming the
surface with afine hair pushbroom or similar device.

100

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

finishing, depending on type of membrane used and the


manufacturer's instructions.
Where practical, the best method of curing slabs is
by "ponding," which, as the name implics, is a method
of maintaining a depth of water over the entire area
after finishing has been completed and the concrete has
achieved initial sel. In most cases, however, it is impractical to use this method because of construction
complexities and cost of retaining the water.
Another very effective method is to cover the slab
with burlap or similar material, which must be kept
soaked during the entire curing period in order to be
effective. It is best to wait until after initial set has
taken place before covering with burlap. Otherwise,
undesirable marks at joints or creases in the burlap will
show on tbe concrete after removal. In drying weather,
after the specified wet curing period has elapsed, cracking will be less likely to occur ir the wet curing is discontinued in such manner that the concrete will dry
slowly. One way to slow the drying process is to leave
the burlap cover in place until the burlap has dried.
Avoid the use of new burlap where staining of the concrete is objectionable unless trials have shown that
there is no problem. Use clean burlap; do not use old
produce sacks because they are often contaminated.
Another way to cure slabs is by using curing paper
or plastic sheeting. If discoloration or mottling of the
surface must be prevented, some other means of curing
may be preferred. When curing paper or plastic sheeting is used, it is possible to prevent discoloration or
mottling onIy if complete, intima te, wrinkJe-free contact
can be achieved and maintained over tbe whole area.
Mottling can be mininlized (and curing improved) by
keeping free water under the covering.
Maintain the curing for the specified minimum
periodo Normally 7 days is recommended when Type
1 cement is used.
Before concrete placements start, make sure all
materials and equipment neccssary to protect tbe concrete are in place. Also provide materials and procedures necessary to protect against sudden changes in
weather (rain, snow, wind, drastic temperature change,
etc.)
Protection during co/d weather - Properly cured concrete placed and cured at 50 F should provide excellent
long term strength and durability. In moderately cold
weather, for instance when the mean daily temperature
at the job site falls below 40 F for more than 1 day,
protect all concrete from freezing for at least the first
24 hr after it is placed. Make provisions for sin1ilar
initial protection from freezing unless the mean daily
temperature has been above 40 F for more than 3 consecutive days. Concrete so protected will be safe from
damage by freezing at an early age and, if air entrained
and subsequently properly cured, will be unimpaired in
ultimate durability, provided the concrete is not permitted to freeze in a saturated condition. ACI 306R gives
additional guidance on protection during cold weather.

INSPECTION

Protection during hot weather-On


hot, dry, windy days,
slab surfaces may dry faster than bleed water rises to the
surface. This can cause a layer of dry concrete at the surface over unhardened interior concrete. Plastic shrinkage
cracking also occurs under these weather conditions. Protection should consist of shading, wind screens, or fog sprays,
according to ACI 30SR.
STRUCTURAL

SLABS

Satisfactory construction of structural slabs involves most


of the same requirements as those described above for slabs
on grade. Consequently, onIy additional requirements for
structural slabs will be discussed below. The inspector of
structural slabs should be thoroughly familiar with the
necessary requirements for slabs on grade. Reference 40
gives additional guidance for structural slabs.
Screeds
Place screeds for reinforced structural slabs over the
form-supporting members. In all cases, take into account
the deflections of the supporting members caused by
imposed concrete loads, and allow for such deflections in
setting the screeds. This may require shoring of the support
members. If shoring is used, trace the vertical loads and
provide additional shoring at lower floors, ir required, to
prevent possible deflections of lower floor members that
support the shoring.
Check the final top-of-slab elevations around columns
carefully since there is a tendency to overfiU at these points.
Protection
ID addition to the curing and protection requiremeDts
discussed above for slabs on grade, protect the bottom
surfaces of structural slabs as weU as the topo Refer to
Chapter 10 for details of protection of concrete, incIuding
hot and cold weather concreting.
JOINT CONSTRUCTION

Types and locations of joints for building slabs, either


slabs on grade or structural slabs, are usuaUy shown in the
contract documents; aUow DO deviation. Joints should be
carefuUy planned by the designer to serve the intended
purpose, such as isolation of columns (Fig. 123) or control
of expansion or shrinkage (Fig. 12.4).
DependiDg on the purpose of the joint, various types of
fillers or armored protection may be specified. The inspector should verify that tbe filler, armor, or expansion joint
material is as specified and is properly placed and treated.
Plan the casting of concrete for tbe slab in conjunction
with joint locations. If possible, have construction joints
coincide witb planned joints.
Joints for control of dryiDg sbrinkage are often sawed.
See Chapter 13 on pavements for tbe optimum conditions
for successful joint sawing. ID building slabs on grade, saw
the joints at least one-fourth of the slab thickness. It is most
important that no unspecified joints be placed in a structuraL
sLab without the prior approval of the designer.

101

SLABS FOR BUILDINGS

Filled araund column


.2
is cast~

u"{I3mm) thlck

I>'E?, ===~ ::,~:,e;;


; prefo.rmedstrip
I

alter floor

jolnt

?'::;

~
Joint keyed or
dowelled for

construction
purposes

Fig. 12.3a - Location 01 isolation and control joints lor


concrete floor salbs, from ACI 302. IR

Fig. I2.3b - Detail shows the isolation joints at columns

Fig. 12.4-In slabs on grade, the contraction joint lormed by deeply


tooling the fresh concrete provides a weakened plane that prevents
random cracking caused by shrinkage or thermal effects

102

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

CHAPTER 13- PAVEMENT SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS


Concrete pavements vary from relatively thin 5 or
6 in. thick slabs used for light load traffic for parking
lots and some residential streets; to thicker slabs for
primary streets and roads; to slabs for interstate pavements designed to carry high speed, high intensity,
heavy load vehicular traffic; and finaUy, to slabs for
airfield pavements, which may be up to 24 in. thick
and designed to carry aircraft with gross loads up to
750,000 lb. Each of these types may be unreinforced;
may have distnouted steel only; may be relatively
heavily reinforced, such as continuously reinforced
concrete pavement; or may even be prestressed.
In general, the thicker the pavement or the higher
the load rating, the higher the cost per unit area, and
the greater the priority given to (and the more money
available for) inspection, testing, and sopbisticated
construction control measures. This is not necessarily
an entirely good arrangement of priorities. Often, a
liule more money spent on inspection and construction
control for tbe ligbter-duty pavements would return
great benefits in upgrading their quality and lengthening their service life. The purpose of aU inspection
and construction control is to produce a smooth-riding
pavement with a long service life-one able to withstand the repeated loadings and wear of traffic and the
deteriorating effects of natural weathering, often
intensified by deicing cbemicals- aIl at the lowest
possible cost.
The inspector (and testing technician), whether
employed directly or indirectly by the owner for acceptance inspection, or by the con tractor for quality
control inspection, bas an important role in tbe production of satisfactory pavements. As with aU other
discussion of concrete inspection in this manual, it is
strongly empbasized tbat tbe inspector is strictly
governed by tbe requirements of tbe contract documents. Instructions and discussions of paving practices
herein give background data and to serve as additional
guidance only on items not fuUy covered by the contract documents.
For more detailed information refer to "Recommendations for Construction of Concrete Pavements
and Concrete Bases (ACI 3l6R)," Better Concrete Pavement Serviceability,32 and Roadway and Airport Pavements.33 Useful information can also be found in Reference 34.
FOUNDATION (SUBGRADE
AND SUBBASE COURSE)

Brand new pavement provides tbe smoothest ride.


The degree of smoothness retained depends, to a large
extent, upon tbe quality of the foundation. Grading
and compaction of subgrades and construction of subbase courses should be strictly in accordance with the

contract documents. A smooth, thoroughly compacted base


is critical for a satisfactory pavement.
Low traffic volume pavements such as residential streets
and secondary roads often do not have a subbase. Construction of a select material subbase course may facilitate construction, and its use is at times permiued at the contractor's
option.
Fine grading 01 subgrade or subbase
Fine grading for slipformed concrete pavements is
almost always done by machines with automatic grade control devices operating from preset stringlines or wires or
from adjacent completed, fine-graded subgrade (Fig. 13.1).
In practice, grade wires are instaIled first by accurate
measurement from the designer's survey stakes, and tben, by
carefully sighting along the wire, correcting for discrepancies
in either the measurements or the survey stakes.
For jobs with fIXed-form paving, the fine grading is done
by machines operated off of grade stakes or off of tbe set
forms.
The inspector's job is to see that tbe fine grading
achieves the correct elevation by measuring from a stringline
or straightedge based on the elevation of the grade stakes.
Fine gtading to the correct elevation wiIl reduce concrete
yield losses and reduce conflicts over pavement depth foIlowing coring.
If permiued by the contract docurnents, concrete haul
units are sometirnes aIlowed to operate on the prepared subgrade. In tbis case, the inspector should make sure that any
subgrade deforrnations are corrected and recompacted, with
water added as necessary, prior to concrete placernent.
Stabilized base
Some beavy-duty bighway and airfield pavernents are
placed on a granular subbase or base course wbicb has be en
stabilized by adding chernical stabilizing rnaterials such as
cernent, asphalt, lime, or cornbinations of these. It is important that such bases be finished to exact grade, within specified tolerances, at the time of original construction. Avoid
excessive rnanipulation of the surface beca use this results in
a weakened top layer susceptible to deterioration during
service. This leads to joint faulting and other pavement
problems. A stabilized base should be protected frorn damage after placing.
Equiprnent for placing subbase or base course should
have autornatic grade control. A typical surface tolerance
for stabilized bases under concrete pavement is 1/4 in.
when checked by a 10-ft straightedge.
Increasing use is being made of a lean concrete base,
often caIled econocrete or controIled density fill, placed by
the sarne equipment already on the job for constructing the
concrete pavement. NorrnaIly, no hand finishing should be
done behind the paver. Membrane-forrning curing cornpound is sprayed on the surface to reta in the rnoisture re-

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS

103

Fig. 13.1-Subgrade trimmer operating from stringline for both line and grade
quired for cement hydration and to provide a bond
breaker between subbase and pavement. The lean concrete base should contain entrained air for durability.
Fabrication and testing of strength test specimens, as
welI as tests of fresh concrete for such properties as air
cantent and consistency, sbould be done in tbe same
manner as for concrete pavement. Regardless of tbe
type of subgrade or subbase or base provided, tbe essential requirement for good concrete pavement performance is uniformity of support. Uniformity in
materials, compaction, and base tbickness sbould be
closely controlIed. Clase attention to tbese features of
prepaving operations will pay off in the years abead in
reduced maintenance and longer pavement life.
FORMS

Early pavement construction required tbe use of


flXedforms to contain tbe concrete in tbe paving lane.
In tbe late 1950s, slipform paving equipment was introduced aod its use rapidly iocreased to tbe poiot that
a bigb perceotage of large paving projects employ tbis
metbod. lo slipform paving, tbe coocrete is extruded or
formed by a paver equipped witb moviog side forms
tbat mold aod reta in tbe stiff plastic concrete for only
momeots as they pass. Fixed-forro paving is ofteo used
for small paving areas involving concrete that is band
placed aod finished and for some applicatioos, such as
variable-width ramp or street paving, wbere spreadiog
and finisbing is dooe by equipmeot that rides 00 the
forms. Fixed forms are still used for some large jobs,
but tbis use is decliniog. Forms are normalIy made of
steel aod must be stroog enough to support the paviog
macbines without excessive deflections (Fig. 13.2). The
forms sbould be straigbt witbin a toleraoce of 1/8 ioch
in 10 ft aloog tbe top rail, aod 1/4 ioch in 10 ft 00 the
sides. Forms to support paving equipmeot should be
made of steel not less than 5/16 in. thick.
The forros should normally have a depth equal to
the thickness of the coocrete. Por small areas of vari-

able tbickness pavemeot, tbey may be built up with full


widtb wood boards securely attacbed to tbe bottom to
increase the deptb not more tbao 25 perceot of the original
form deptb. Do oot add to tbe top of tbe formo The base
widtb of all forms must be at least tbree-quarters of the
depth of the forms (Fig. 13.3). Use flexible or curved forms
for curves of 100-ft radius or less.
Beot, deoted, aod twisted forms not meeting the above
requiremeots sbould be removed from the project. Rusty
forms aod forms caked with hardeoed coocrete must be
cleaned before use.
Stake tbe forms seeurely to tbe grade and make sure
they are in fulI cootact at alI points. Fill in aod recompact
low spots in tbe grade before forms are reset. Do oot
attempt to fill and compact low spots uoder tbe forms after
they are in place. Do oot use shims to correet uoeveo
support. Forms must be full deptb of tbe pavement. Never
place them in depressions or 00 mouods to compensate for
improper heigbt. Lock abuttiog seetions of forms together
tightly. Make final adjustmeots after cbecking grade from
grade stakes and checking smootbness with a straightedge.
The inside form face should be ligbtly oiled before concrete
placemeot.
Keyway forms

Keys for load transfer across joints are often required in


longitudinal joints. The groove or keyway form is almost
always attached to tbe paving forros for the first lane (or
lanes) of pavement placed (Fig. 13.4). On adjoining or fillio lanes, the other balf of the key is formed as the concrete
in tbis lane is molded agaiost tbe first placement. Attach the
keyway form securely to the paving form to prevent movemeot. Tack welding to steel forms is usualIy required. The
dimensions of tbe key and location at mid-depth of the slab
are very important and must cooform to the contract documents. The effectiveness of off-center and improperly dimensioned keys decreases rapidly as the key varies from
required location and dimension. Wood keys may swell with
water and crack the keyway.

104

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

Fig. 13.2 - Paving airport taxiway in altemate lanes. After form remova~ the lanes between are paved

Fig. 13.3 -Illstallillg


stabilizes form

form for airport rullway.

Wide base

Strlngline

The stringline or wire for guiding automatic control


devices on slipform pavers must be carefuUy set to line
and grade. Maintain sufficient tension in the stringline
lo prevent sag.
STEEL REINFORCEMENT

Distributed reinforcing steel, usuaUy welded-wire


fabric, is used in concrete pavement in areas with high
cracking tendency. Distributed steel refers to reinforcing steel used in a nninlUm amount- usually 0.05
percen t of the cross section area of the concrete - to

Fig. 13.4-Fixed-form
paver with keyway form attached to
form rail at right. In foreground, dowels are positioned for
expansion joint

insure intimate contact of adjacent slab faces at cracks. Essentially, it has no other function. It acts to maintain any
cracks in a tightly closed condition so that aggregate interlock will provide load transfer at these locations. Normally
transverse contraction joints are constructed at close enough
intervals to prevent transverse cracking, in which case distributed reinforcing steel is not provided, except for oddshaped slabs and areas where joints are mismatched. High
percentages of reinforcing steel are used in structural slabs
and continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP).
Reinforcement may be welded-wire fabric (plain or de-

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE

DECKS

105

formed), bar mats, or separate bars.


Light rusting of reinforcement is not harmful and
actualIy improves bond with the concrete. If the rust is
so deep that it reduces the cross section of the steel,
the reinforcement must be replaced. Loose rust that
can be removed by rubbing with burlap or other effective means should be removed. When the steel is unloaded and stacked, rust protection is needed only for
long-term storage. In these cases, rust protection is
provided by placing the steel on a layer of polyethylene
sheeting and covering the pile with the same material.
There are several methods of installing steel
reinforcement in the pavement. In two-course construction, the first course is struck off to the specified
depth of the steel, the steel is placed on the concrete,
and then the top course of concrete is placed. The top
course must be placed before the lower course begins
to harden to avoid a cold joint that may result in pavement failure.
Another method of positioning steel is to set it on
fabricated chairs (supports) staked in the grade prior to
paving. The concrete is then placed fuIl depth in one
pass. A tbird method is to place the concrete fuIl depth,
lay the steel on the surface, and then depress it to its
specified position by a separate machine.
If the contract documents calI for only longitudinal
bars when continuously reinforced concrete pavement
is being constructed, the bars required are often
assembled on the grade and fed through the bellshaped entrances of tubes attached to the front of the
paver. The tubes are adjusted to guide the bars to the
correct spacing and elevation in the completed pavemento
Never lay reinforcing steel, either welded-wire fabric
or reinforcing bars, on the subgrade and attempt to pulI
it up into position after the concrete is placed. Heavy
welded wire fabric is much easier to han die when
furnished as flat mats rather than rolIs.
Regardless of the method used for positioning reinforcing steel, the inspector should probe into the fresh
concrete bebind the paver to assure that the steel is in
its proper position within specified toleraoces.

ticles can cause popouts in the pavement surface. This is


particularly undesirable in airfield pavements for jet aircraft.
The suction and blast from the jet engines pick up the loosc
particles from the surface and they are often sucked into the
jet engines where they can cause major damage. For these
pavements, the contract documents may have very tight
limits on such deleterious materials.
Another aggregate problem peculiar to pavements is
D-cracking. Some impure limestones cause major problems
when used for coarse aggregate in pavement concrete. The
aggregate particles are unsound, and as they deteriora te a
progressive crack pattern forms, rougWy paralIel to pavement edges and joints. The usual way to minimize or prevent D-cracking when such coarse aggregates must be used
is to limit the maximum size of coarse aggregates to 112 or
3/4 in. and to use an extremely low percentage of coarse aggregate, possibly 40 to 50 percent at the most.
Admixtures used in pavement concrete coosist of the
foIlowing:
Air-entraining agents- used in most pavement concrete,
even in mild climates
Retarders - used particularly in hot weather
Water-reducers-used
fairly commonly
Calcium chloride-at times used in pavemeot concrete
constructed during cold weather. However, most specifications discourage, or even prohibit, its use.

CONCRETE

Batchlng and mlxlng


In early paving operations, concrete materials for large
jobs were batched at a central plant, hauled to the paving
site, and mixed in paving mixers operating adjacent to the
placement. This system is seldom used now, and has generalIy been replaced by central plant concrete production.
Here, the pavement concrete is batched at a central plant,
either the contractor's own plant set up on or near the job
for larger projects, or at a commercial ready-mixed concrete
plant for smaller projects. The concrete is either mixed in
stationary mixers at the central plant, mixed in transit-mix
trucks en route to the paving site, or shrink-mixed (partially
mixed at the central plant and finished in truck mixers).
Central-mixed concrete is hauled in agitating trucks, in
ready-mixed concrete trucks, in special nonagitating trucks,

Materials
Cement should be furnished in bulk and each shipmeot checked to assure compliance with contract documents.
Maintain close control on aggregates to assure
compliance with contract documents.
Variation in
gradation of the aggregates can cause considerable
difficulty in maintaining uniform consistency of the
concrete. In many areas, coarse aggregates, particularly
gravels, contain significant amounts of materials that
are unstable when subjected to freezing and thawing or
even wetting and drying. When used in pavement concrete subjected to severe weather, these unstable par-

Mlxes and mlx proportloning


Mixes for paving concrete should be proportioned in
accordance with the latest editioo of "Recommended Practice for Selecting Proportions for Normal, Heavyweight, and
Mass Concrete (ACI211.1)."
Flexural strength is the common basis for developing mix
proportions and for determining the quality of paving
concrete since tbis is the basis of pavement tbickness designo
However, the use of cylinders to determine compressive
strength is often the method of control on smaIler projects.
In either case, strictly folIow standard sampling and testing
procedures if the results are to be meaningful. It is particularly important that the upper exposed surface of test beams
be protected to avoid drying, which may produce lower apparent strengths.

106

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

and at times, where well-proportioned mixes of low


slump are used, regular dump trucks. Time limits are
often specified for delivery, with longer times aUowed
for agitating units and truck mixers. However, it is the
condition of the concrete at time of placement that is
important. It should meet -aUrequirements for proportions, uniformity, consistency, temperature, air content,
and strength.
The inspector should be alert to visual changes in
the concrete and its handling characteristics, which may
indica te significant changes in essential properties. If
there are variations among the batches, differential
settlement will occur during hardening and may result
in a rough pavement.
Make uniformity tests if specified or if there are
doubts as to within-batch uniformity of the concrete.
In these tests, concrete samples from the first and last
portions of a batch are obtained and tested as described in AS1M C 94 or as otherwise specified. See
Chapter 19.
One of the most important responsibilities of the
inspector (or testing technician) is to ensure that the
concrete contains the specified percentage of entrained
air and is of the proper consistency (slump). In areas
where the concrete will be subjected to freezing and
thawing and to deicing salts, the proper amount of entrained air is essential for durability. In aU climates, air
entrainment improves concrete workability and reduces
bleeding. Use onIy specified test equipment and test
procedures for acceptance or rejection of the concrete.
Slump of the concrete is in1portant since variation
in slump will affect the operation of the finishing
equipment.
This is particularly true for slipform
paving. Contract documents often limit slump of concrete for fixed-form paving to a maxinlUm of 2 in. and
for slipform paving to 1 112 in.
Concrete placement
To provide moisture that will later aid in curing the
concrete, and to help hold down concrete temperatures
on hot days, the grade should be moist, but without excess free water, when the concrete is placed. The concrete should be placed evenly across the width of the
lane. If placed in piles or windrows, uneven consolidation of the concrete will occur, resulting in rough
pavement. Keep concrete hauling equipment off the
prepared subgrade in the lane being paved, particularly
where subgrades are too soft to support concrete haul
units without deformation. If hauling on the prepared
grade is prohibited by the contract documents, use
transfer equipment consisting of belt spreaders or
moving hoppers to transfer the concrete from trucks on
the shoulder to the front of the paver. If the subgrade
or base course is stabilized with chemical additives
(lime, cement, asphalt, etc.), hauling equipment may
drive in the paving lane and discharge the concrete
immediately in front of the paver.

INSPECTION

PAVING

Vlbration
Adequate vibration is essential for successful paving.
This is often accomplished by a combination of internal spud
vibrators and surface tamping bars (Fig. 13.5). They should
be rigidly gang mounted on the front of the paver so aU are
at the same depth and angle. Spud vibrators are usuaUy oriented paraUel to the longitudinal direction of paving and
should be located at intervals of not more than 2 or 2 112 ft
across the width of the paver. Sometimes, however, it is advantageous to orient them transversely when working with
stiff, lean mixes such as those used for concrete subbases.
A minimum frequency is usuaUy specified; measure the actual frequency by tacho meter to assure compliance. Minimum amplitude is also frequently specified.
Provide means for varying the frequency and depth of
the vibrators in accordance with concrete consistency,
materials, weather conditions, and other variables. Maintain
a sizeable head of concrete over the vibrators to achieve
effective consolidation. Provide interlocks for automatic
cutoff of vibration when the paver stops moving.
Paver

In addition to the gang-vibrator, the paver should have


a "knock-down" spreadcr at the front to spread the concrete
uniformly across the lane with the surface slightly above
finished grade. The spreader is usually an auger or paddle
type.

Slipform pavers are self-propelled and ride on crawler


tracks that are outside of the paving lane. Slipform pavers
range in size from those designed for curb and gutter construction to those paving 50 ft in one pass. They handle
deptbs from as little as 2 in. on resurfacing projects to 20
in. or more for airfield pavements. They can be small
enough to be moved intact several times a day on municipal
paving projects, or large enough to pave several miles of
interstate highway in a single day. Slipform pavers are
equipped with sensors and electronic or hydraulic controls
for automatic grade control from stringlines or wires (Fig.
13.6).

Some slipform pavers are equipped with oscillating


transverse screeds to strike off and finish the concrete
surface. Others have a broad extrusion plate that forms the
concrete surface. They have moving side forms that confine
the concrete and mold the pavement edges.
With properly proportioned concrete, slipform pavers
will extrude exact tongue or groove keyways where additional lanes are planned. They can instaU tie bars to the
specified position. They can also instaU dowels for longitudinal construction joints and contraction joints, but care
must be exercised to assure placement in proper position
with thick pavements.
Edgc slump (sagging of the plastic concrete at the
pavement edge) may sometimes become a problem with slipform paving, especially in the thicker pavements. Correct
excessive edge slump by adjusting the moving forms of the

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE

DECKS

107

Fig. 13.5 - Paver-mounted vibrators: gang-mounted spud vibrators


(top) and pan-type surface vibrator (bollom)
paver to squeeze in more, and by varying the consistency and proportions of the concrete mix, particularly
changing the sand contento A commonly used limit for
maximum aUowable edge slump is 114in.
Pavers for fixed-form paving are self-propelled and
ride on top of the forros with flanged wheels, or on the
adjoining pavement slab with hard rubber-tired wheels
(Fig. 13.7). Most fixed-form pavers have oscillating
transverse screeds to strike off and finish the concrete
(Fig. 13.8). Some have a type of extrusion plate. All
wheels riding on the forms should be equipped with
scrapers that can be adjusted tightly against the wheels
to keep them and tbe top of the forms free fram concrete.

Fig. 13.6-Slipfonn

paver guided by stringline

Uniform concrete is a large factor in successful paving,


particularly slipform paving. The inspector' s job is not just
to make tests-it is to ensure acceptable and uniform concrete. Testing is one of the tools, but alertness to changing
conditions through observations based on experience provides the assurance that the desired results are being achieved. Although the use of proper slipform paving equipment in itself pravides a quality safeguard, the inspector's
insight and awareness are nccessary to assure quality concrete pavement. An understanding of the subtle relationships
of mix proportions to items such as finishing and rideability
of the pavement as weU as the edge slump-concrete slump
relationship wi1ldevelop with experience.

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

108

INSPECTION

Fig. 13.7- Spreader and finishing machine supported on previously paved lane at left and on lonn rail at right.
Subbase is moistened ahead 01 spreader

Flnishing

Mechanical finishing operations behind the paver


include use of wide transverse floats, roUers, and nonrotating pipe floats operated at an angle to the center
line of the lane. Use of rotating type pipe or drum
floats or screeds is usuaUy undesirable because they
work too much mortar to the surface.
Hand finishing operations behind the paver include:
Occasional smoothing with long handled
floats and straightedges
Edging
Correction of minor surface defeets

Modero pavers are designed to produce pavements of


speeified cross seetion and riding quality with a minimum of
hand finishing. Vibrators, conforming screeds, extrusion
plates, and pan floats can be quickly adjusted to regulate the
amount of concrete surge behind the paver, so that the
completed surface is at the speeified elevation with the
required crown (Fig. 13.9). Quick crown changc adjustments
to screeds and mechanical floats permit smooth changes in
crown as neeessary.
Although the screeds and floats are initiaUy in correet
adjustment, some changes will be required as the work
progresses. Be aware of changes in weather, mix propor-

Fig. 13.8 - Oscillating screed attached to concrete spreader produces specified crown in paved surface

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS

109

Fig. 13.9- Components of slipfonn paver, which extrndes concrete to exact width, depth, and crown: (1) primary concrete
spreader screw; (2) primary concrete feed meter; (3) vibrator mounting ann; (4) secondary concrete feed meter; (5) primary
oscillating extrnsion finisher; (6) final oscillating extrnsion finisher; and (7) floating fin e surface finisher

tions, and otber variables tbat may affeet tbe finisbing


cbaracteristics of tbe concrete. If tbe surface begins to
tear, for example, band floats can be used to close tbe
surface. But correet tbe condition irnmediately by adjusting tbe paver or concrete mix proportion (for adequate workability), so that band work can be reduced
or eliminated.
Excessive fmisbing, eitber by mecbanical equipment
or by band, creates a weakened layer at tbe surface of
tbe pavement, wbicb tends to deteriorate under traffic
and weatber.
Especially avoid adding water during
band finisbing because tbis literally wasbes cement and
entrained air out of the surface layer.
During finisbing, add water to tbe surface only in
emergencies,
sucb as wben rapid drying conditions
cause tearing of tbe surface and the formation of plastic sbrinkage cracks. Under sucb conditions add water
only in tbe form of a pressurized fog spray, just enough
to restore the surface sbeen. Repair dripping nozzles,
leaky pipes, and otber defeets in tbe system promptly.
A good entrained air system at the surface is essential for freezing climates.
Close control of air
content and tbe avoidance of excess finisbing bebind
the paver will belp prolong the skid resistant texture
provided during construction.
Texturing
Tbe two major factors affeeting tbe initial
resistance of concrete pavement are:

Tbe fine aggregate in tbe surface mortar

Tbe texture formed in tbe surface

skid

Tbe fine aggregate should bave a bigb percentage


of siliceous particles, and tbe proportion of fme aggregate in the concrete mix sbould be near the upper
limit of tbe range tbat permits proper placing, finisbing,
and texturing.
Surface texture determines how fast water escapes
from between the tire and the pavement, and also how
fast water drains from the surface during rain. Water
on the pavement

can result in loss of contact between

tire and pavement, causing loss ofvehicular direction control


and skidding. Tbis phenomenon,
known as hydro-planing,
occurs during high speed travel when the depth of water on
the surface is at a critical level in relation to vehicle speed.
For low speed street and parking lot pavement, adequate
texture can be provided by dragging burlap over the plastic
concrete. Make sure at least 3 ft of burlap is in contact with
the surface for the full width of the pavement.
Tbe operation should begin as soon as possible behind the finisher,
certainly before the water sheen has disappeared from the
surface of the pavement.
Good texture can also be provided
for low speed pavements by dragging stiff bristle brooms
transversely across the pavement at a time when they will
not cause excessive tearing. Tbey may be hand brooms or
attachments to a machine (Fig. 13.10).
For high speed pavements, a burlap drag texture in itself
may not provide adequate skid resistance. One method used
for producing deeper texture employs combs with wire tines
to mecbanically form grooves in the surface to permit faster
drainage and better tire contact with the pavement (Fig.
13.11). Grooves may be either transverse or longitudinal.
Transverse
grooves provide better drainage; longitudinal
grooves are quieter. Groove spacing should average approximately 1/2 to 114 in. for highways. Wider spacings up to 2
in. or more are satisfactory for airfield pavements.
For
bigbways, the grooves are about 118 in. wide and 118 in.
deep. Groove depths and widths for airports range up to
3/16 in. Tbe timing for forming grooves in plastic concrete
is extremely critical, and an experienced operator is neeessary.
Anotber metbod of grooving concrete pavement is to
saw tbe grooves after the concrete has hardened,
using
machines equipped with multiple diamond-tipped
blades
(Fig. 13.12). Tbe grooves provide an escape path for the
water between the wheel and pavement and thus prevent
hydroplaning.
Sawing grooves in the longitudinal direction
improves the directional control of vehicles and is often
done on highways, especially on curves. Tbis has drama ticaUy reduced wet weather skidding accidents. Sawing the
grooves transversely increases the coefficient of friction

110

Fig. 13.1O-Machine
paved concrete

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

producing brnshed texture in freshly

to a greater degree and is often done at locations


where stopping or speed reductions are common.
Grooves in airfield runways are sawed transversely (Fig.
13.13).

Producing a satisfactory surface texture that wilI


last under traffic depends upon the enforcement of
high standards during construction.
High quality
materials, close control of mix proportioning, construction methods that produce a durable pavement surface,
and adequate curing are necessary.

white pigmeot to indicate when coverage is complete and to


reduce concrete temperatures by reOecting sunlight. To
insure uoiform dispersion of the pigment, agitation is required both before and during application.
Curing compound should be applied by power sprayers
to the surface and to the exposed edges. If fixed forms are
used, it should be applied to the edges as soon as the forms
are removed. Spray all exposed concrete surfaces as soon
as pavement texturing is completed.
The specified rate of application of curing compound
varies with the type of pavement and surface texture. It is
usually applied in a double coat with the application rate for
each coat ranging from 300 to 400 sq ft per gaI.; slightly
heavier coats are applied when the surface is heavily
textured. The inspector should check the amount actualIy
being applied. Means should be provided for protecting
against wind loss of the liquido
Other means of curing concrete pavement include waterproof paper, plastic sheeting, or wet burlap. All require
constant attention during the specified curing periodo
Waterproof covers are hard to keep in place on windy days
and must be constantly checked if praper curing is to result.
Burlap covers must be constantly wet during the curing
periodo This requires close attentioo and repeated applications of water. AlI methods employing loose covers require large amounts of material on hand for large production jobs, such as those averaging a mile or more per day.
ACCEPTANCE

Curing

Adequate curing is especially important in achieving the desired concrete properties for pavements. It
is essential for obtaining the concrete strength and
durability levels upon which the pavement desigo is
based.
The most common meaos of curing concrete pavements is by spraying 00 liquid membrane-forming compound. Coverage should be complete, and no further
attention is required during the curing period, except to
see that areas are resprayed when the membrane is
damaged by construction traffic.
Curing compounds for pavements generally contain

Fig. J3.11-Machine

Final acceptance requirements contained in contract


documents for concrete pavement logically vary with the
class of project. It is more important to pay for specifying
and enforcing closer toleraoces for a runway on a major airport thao for a residential street pavement.
A commoo requiremeot is strength, which is determioed
fram beams or cylinders cast fram the concrete being placed
(see Chapter 19). Another is slab thickness, determioed
fram cores removed from the hardened concrete. Specified
sampling plaos vary with the type and volume of traffic the
pavement is expected to serve. Sophisticated and statis-

forming grooves in freshly paved concrete

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE

Fig. 13.J2-Skid-resistant grooves sawed into hardened


concrete pavement by mul1iple diamond-tipped blades

Fig. 13.13-Machine
pavement

grooving

hardened

concrete

ticaUy based plans are drawn up for many larger projects.


Evenness of surface may be specified for pavements
serving large volumes of high speed traffic. This is
often determined by measuring vertical deviations of
the hardened concrete from the underside of a lO-ft
straightedge. Profilometers, devices on wheels that
measure surface deviations in inches per mile, are in
increasing use. Where profilometer measurements are
specified for the pavement, contractors should also use
a profilometer to check the subbase surface prior to
paving.
Pavement evenness is usuaUyconsidered acceptable
for high speed traffic if vertical deviations from the
underside of a IO-ft straightedge do not exceed 118in.
The straightedge itself should be checked by a stringline to ensure that it is straight. It is picked up and set
down on the plastic concrete at intervals not exceeding
half its length. It can also be used as a finishing tool to
scrape off high spots and fill in low spots when necessary.
Pavement evenness is critical for freeways and

DECKS

111

airfield runways. Contract documents may be less strict for


low speed pavements, such as on intersection ramps,
residential streets, parking lots, and airfield parking aprons,
where evenness is more difficult to achieve and is not so
important. Tolerances of 3/16 or 114inch in 10 ft are often
specified for such applications.
Another requirement that is being enforced more often
for high speed pavements is average texture depth, an indication of skid resistance. This is determined by spreading a
known volume of fine dry sand on the pavement surface in
a circular area and measuring the area covered The test is
described in Reference 35.
Follow specified sampling and testing methods for determining these concrete pavement properties to the letter to
ensure fairness to aU parties and to avoid expensive legal
disputes.
One fmal factor to be considered in final acceptance of
a project is the cleanup of aU construction residue.
JOINTS
In constructing abutting pavements separately, it is
important that the pavement surface do es not sag at the
edges. Careful adjustment of equipment and concrete mix
proportions is critical in achieving specified surface tolerance
near the pavement edges. However, with close attention and
good cooperation among aU concerned, it can be accomplished. Checks by straightedge will determine if surface
tolerances are being met at longitudinal construction joints.
To construct a joint that will function properly, it is
necessary to understand the purpose of the joint. Pavement
design engineers have carefully tailored a number of different joint types. Each is intended to serve a special function
in the pavement. If these joints are not constructed as
shown on the contract documents and at the proper locations trouble will result.
Contraction Jolnts
Normal concrete pavement shrinks upon hardening and
drying and will never again be as long (occupy as much
volume) as when first constructed. This causes cracking,
particularly transverse cracking because of the long paving
lanes normaUy used. Contraction joints are weakened
planes instaUed to predetermine the locations of transverse
cracks and to ensure that they occur in straight lines. The
weakened planes may be formed in the plastic concrete by
special tools, by removable inserts, or by permanent inserts,
or they may be sawed with diamond or Carborundum blades
after the concrete has hardened.
The initial cracking and opening at contraction joints
provides sufficient space to accommodate later expansion
cycles, if the joint remains free of incompressible foreign
material. However, clogged joints result in concrete spalling
and pavement blowups as expansion occurs during warm
weather. Joints are filled with joint sealant to block the
intrusion of foreign material. Proper joints are critical in
reducing maintenance cosls and pro\onging pavement tife.
A vertical fm normal to the bottom of a hand float is

112

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

sometimes used to form the weakened plane in parking lot and residential pavements. Delay its use until it
is assured that the depression it forms is permanent
and that a crack will form below it. Temporary inserts
are also used for forming the weakened planeo They
should not be removed until the danger of damage to
the concrete has passed. Somctimes these inserts are
removed by sawing after the concrete has hardened.
Make permanent inserts of material that will not
deteriorate under traffic and weather.
Asphaltimpregnated fiber board is econo-mical and has performed satisfactorily.
TIming is critical for sawing contraction joints in
the hardened concrete. Experienced operators can
determine when to saw without causing cxccssive raveling of the concrete, but before uncontrolled cracks
develop. This timing varies with weather conditions,
concrete materials, and the type of pavement foundation. It is generaUy within 8 to 24 hr after concrete
placement, and may occur at any time, day or night.
Therefore, make sure adequate lighting is available for
night sawing, and that a standby saw is available in case
of equipment breakdown.
Expanslon Joints
Expansion joints consist of vertical, compressible
inserts, extending the full depth of the pavement to
permit movement of adjoining slabs or to isolate slab
movements from fixed structures, such as bridge
approach slabs or concrete waUs and directional
changes and blockouts. Premolded expansion joint
material is installed to form these joints.
The expansion filler must be in contact with the
grade throughout its length and extend the full width of
the lane to exclude plugs of concrete from the expansion space. Keep the filler vertical during concrete
placement and hardening. Otherwise, when movement
occurs, one slab will tend to ride up over the other,
possibly causing joint faulting, spalling, or a blowup.
The expansion joint filler should extend to within
only about 1(2 in. of the pavement surface to provide
space for the joint sealant. This is often formed with a
removable insert on the top of the filler.
Pavement dowels
For heavy-duty pavements, mechanicalload transfer
may be specified for transverse joints. This is provided
by smooth, round steel dowel bars. Dowels in transverse joints are usually installed in wire basket assemblies that are staked in the grade ahead of paving. The
dowels are intended to transfer loads across the joint
and reduce deflections at the joint. But at the same
time they must permit unrestricted horizontal movement as the joint opens and closes. Therefore, they
must be completely smooth and free of burrs. They are
painted and one half lightly oiled to prevent bond to
the concrete. Some dowels are manufactured with plastic coatings to reduce bond to the concrete and to

INSPECTION

prevent corrosion.
To function properly, the dowels must be installed
parallel to the center line and surface of the pavement.
Specified tolerances often require that misalignment shall
not exceed 118 inch in 12 inches. Alignment can be checked
by levels and measuring tapes and templates. Stiff concrete
can shove baskets and dowels out of alignment unless precautions are taken in the way the concrete is placed.
Special caps, designed to provide space for concrete
expansion are installed on the free-moving ends of dowels at
expansion joints (Fig. 13.14). This space provides for
concrete movement without the buildup of critical stresses
that could shatter the concrete.
Machines are available for mechanically inserting dowels
in transverse joints and in longitudinal construction joints
and contraction joints. The dowels are inserted from the
surface after the concrete bas been placed. Some types of
dowel inserters do not function properly for longitudinal
construction joints in thick slipformed pavements. If tbe
inserters cannot be used for tbese pavements, cement the
dowels with epoxy resin into boles carefully drilled into the
hardened concrete. Check tbe dowel positioning frequently
for compliance with the specified tolerances.

Fig. 13.14-Dowels

Transverse constructlon Joints


Transverse construction joints are constructed by
installing transverse forms, or headers as tbey are commonly
called, at the end of a day's run, or wbenever placement may
be interrupted long enough that there is danger that the
concrete in place may begin to harden. Wooden forms with
holes drilled for placing dowels or tie bars are usually
employed.
Considerable hand finishing is required at
headers.
If the last delivered concrete does not quite reach the
header, there is a temptation to use excess grout carried
over from normal paving operations to extend the pavement
up to the header. However, transverse construction joints
cause more than their share of pavement problems, and
concrete at these locations should be of the highest quality.

..

pm::Y.)q:>
100

.J!

in place with caps for expansion joint

'(lo~nb~J]
qld~p 10~P!JJnSfi!]0 Sln:>M~Sfi! ~fi!l(ns~J

-- .-- ----.

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(~uliou ~ql
uuql JQqlo lU p~l!nb~J S!10!of uop:>nJ1S000u JI 'pafoJd
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JO 'onJ S,UP~ql qS!U!]01 p~Uah!pp al~J:>ooo~J1X~ahuH

112

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

some times used to form the weakened plane in parking lot and residential pavements. Delay its use until it
is assured that the depression it forms is permanent
and that a crack will form below it. Temporary inserts
are also used for forming the weakened planeo They
should not be removed until the danger of damage to
the concrete has passed. Somctimes these inserts are
removed by sawing after the concrete has hardened.
Make permanent inserts of material that will not
deteriorate under traffic and weather.
Asphaltimpregnated fiber board is econo-mical and has performed satisfactorily.
TlDling is critical for sawing contraction joints in
the hardened concrete. Experienced operators can
determine when to saw without causing excessive raveling of the concrete, but before uncontrolled cracks
develop. This timing varies with weather conditions,
concrete materials, and the type of pavement foundation. It is generally within 8 to 24 hr after concrete
placement, and may occur at any time, day or night.
Therefore, make sure adequate lighting is available for
night sawing, and that a standby saw is available in case
of equipment breakdown.
Expanslon Joints
Expansion joints consist of vertical, compressible
inserts, extending the full depth of the pavement to
permit movement of adjoining slabs or to isolate slab
movements from fixed structures, such as bridge
approach slabs or concrete walls and directional
changes and blockouts. Premolded expansion joint
material is installed to form these joints.
The expansion filler must be in contact with the
grade throughout its length and extend the full width of
the lane to exclude plugs of concrete from the expansion space. Keep the filler vertical during concrete
placement and hardening. Otherwise, when movement
occurs, one slab will tend to ride up over the other,
possibly causing joint faulting, spalling, or a blowup.
The expansion joint filler should extend to within
only about 1/2 in. of the pavement surface to provide
space for the joint sealant. This is often formed with a
removable insert on the top of the filler.
Pavement dowels
For heavy-duty pavements, mechanicalload transfer
may be specified for transverse joints. This is provided
by smooth, round steel dowel bars. Dowels in transverse joints are usually installed in wire basket assemblies that are staked in the grade ahead of pavil1g. The
dowels are intended to transfer loads across the joint
and reduce deflections at the joint. But at the same
time they must permit unrestricted horizontal movement as the joint opens and closes. Therefore, they
must be completely smooth and free of burrs. They are
painted and one half lightly oiled to prevent bond to
the concrete. Some dowels are manufactured with plastic coatings to reduce bond to the concrete and to

tudinal Jomts IS eXlTt:U1CIY'-. 1""<11 Y'~' ~"'~b


longitudinal cracks and should be of constant concero
to the inspector. The specified depth is often onequarter the pavement thickness plus 114 in.
One way to form the joint is with a strip of polyethylene tape of tbe specified thickness and width,
which is installed automatically from a reel through a
special attachment on the paver. The top of the tape
should be at or sligbtly below the pavement surface.
Make sure that the installed tape is vertical.
The other common way to construct longitudinal,
weakened-plane joints is by sawing after the concrete
has hardened (Fig. 13.15). Timing is not as critical as
for sawing transverse contraction joints because shrinkage in the transverse direction is less since there is not
the length of concrete to move. However, both are
usuaUv sawed :lt thE". ~~mp tin,,' r~~~I-.- .L_ .- --.

INSPECTION

prevent corrosion.
To function properly, the dowels must be instaUed
paraUel to the center line and surface of the pavement.
Specified tolerances often require that misalignment shaU
not exceed 1/8 inch in 12 inches. Alignment can be checked
by levels and measuring tapes and templates. Stiff concrete
can shove baskets and dowels out of alignment unless precautions are taken in the way the concrete is placed.
Special caps, designed to provide space for concrete
expansion are installed on the free-moving ends of dowels at
expansion joints (Fig. 13.14).
This space provides for
concrete movement without the buildup of critical stresses
that could shatter the concrete.
Machines are available for mechanicaUy inserting dowels
in transverse joints and in longitudinal construction joints
and contraction joints. The dowels are inserted from the
surface after the concrete has been placed. Some types of
dowel inserters do not function properly for longitudinal
construction joints in thick slipformed pavements. If the
inserters cannot be used for these pavements, cement the
dowels with epoxy resin into holes carefully drilled into the
hardened concrete. Check the dowel positioning frequently
for compliance with the specified tolerances.

Fig. 13.14-Dowe/s

in place with caps for expansion joint

Transverse constructlon Joints


Transverse construction joints are constructed by
installing transverse forms, or headers as they are commonly
called, at the end of a day's run, or whenever placement may
be interrupted long enough that there is danger that the
concrete in place may begin to harden. Wooden forms with
holes drilled for placing dowels or tie bars are usually
employed.
Considerable hand finishing is required at
headers.
If the last delivered concrete does not quite reach the
header, there is a temptation to use excess grout carried
over from normal paving operations to extend the pavement
up to the header. However, transverse constructioll joints
cause more than their share of pavement problems, and
concrete at these locations should be of the highest quality.

- ---0"

material. If this material gets into the joints, it causes


extreme stresses in the concrete and resulting pavement
damage during expansion cycles. Sealing of joints also reduces the penetration of water into the foundation. Joint
sealing is a critical operation on heavy-duty pavements. It
is often not required on low volume street and parking lot
pavements if joints are closely spaced, so that the joint
movements are minimal.
Hot-poured rubber asphalt are the usual materials for
sealing concrete pavement joints. Cold-applied mastics,
single or multiple component types, are also used. On hightype pavements, longer lasting preformed neoprene compression seals are often inserted into sawed joints. The dimensions and configurations of preformed seals are designed for
individual joint widths to always be in compression :lmi tn

112

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

sometimes used to form the weakened plane in parking lot and residential pavements. Delay its use until it
is assured that the depression it forms is permanent
and that a crack will form below it. Temporary inserts
are also used for forming the weakened planeo They
should not be removed until the danger of damage to
the concrete has passed. Sometimes these inserts are
removed by sawing after the concrete has hardened.
Make permanent inserts of material that wiU not
deteriorate under traffic and weather.
Asphaltimpregnated fiber board is econo-mical and has performed satisfactorily.
Tuning is critical for sawing contraction joints in
the hardened concrete. Experienced operators can
determine when to saw without causing excessive raveling of the concrete, but before uncontroUed cracks
develop. This timing varies with weather conditions,
concrete materials, and the type of pavement foundation. It is generaUy witbin 8 to 24 br after concrete
placement, and may occur at any time, day or nigbt.
Therefore, make sure adequate ligbting is available for
night sawing, and tbat a standby saw is available in case
of equipment breakdown.
Expanslon )olnts
Expansion joints consist of vertical, compressible
inserts, extending the full depth of the pavement to
permit movement of adjoining slabs or to isolate slab
movements from fixed structures, such as bridge
approacb slabs or concrete walls and directional
changes and blockouts. Premolded expansion joint
material is installed to form tbese joints.
The expansion filler must be in contact with the
grade througbout its length and extend the fuUwidth of
the lane to exc1ude plugs of concrete from the expansion space. Keep the filler vertical during concrete
placement and hardening. Otherwise, when movement
occurs, one slab will tend to ride up over the other,
possibly causing joint faulting, spalling, or a blowup.
The expansion joint filler should extend to within
only about 1/2 in. of the pavement surface to provide
space for the joint sealant. This is often formed with a
removable insert on the top of the filler.
Pavement dowels
For heavy-duty pavements, mechanicalload transfer
may be specified for transverse joints. This is provided
by smooth, round steel dowel bars. Dowels in transverse joints are usually installed in wire basket assemblies that are staked in the grade ahead of pavillg. 111e
dowels are intended to transfer loads across the joint
and reduce deflections at the joint. But at the same
time they must permit unrestricted horizontal movement as the joint opens and c1oses. Therefore, they
must be completely smooth and free of burrs. They are
painted and one half lightly oiled to prevent bond to
the concrete. Some dowels are manufactured with plastic coatings to reduce bond to the concrete and to

INSPECTION

prevent corrosion.
To function properly, the dowels must be instaUed
paraUel to the center line and surface of the pavement.
Specified tolerances often require that misalignment shall
not exceed 1/8 inch in 12 inches. Alignment can be checked
by levels and measuring tapes and templates. Stiff concrete
can shove baskets and dowels out of alignment unless precautions are taken in the way tbe concrete is placed.
Special caps, designed to provide space for concrete
expansion are installed on tbe free-moving ends of dowels at
expansion joints (Fig. 13.14). This space provides for
concrete movement without tbe buildup of critical stresses
that could shatter the concrete.
Machines are available for mechanicaUy inserting dowels
in transverse joints and in longitudinal construction joints
and contraction joints. The dowels are inserted from the
surface after the concrete has been placed. Some types of
dowel inserters do not function properly for longitudinal
construction joints in tbick slipformed pavements. If the
inserters cannot be used for these pavements, cement the
dowels witb epoxy resin into holes carefully drilled into the
hardened concrete. Check the dowel positioning frequently
for compliance with the specified tolerances.

Fig. 13.14-Dowels

in place with caps for expansion joint

Transverse constructlon )olnts


Transverse construction joints are constructed by
installing transverse forms, or headers as they are commonly
called, at the end of a day's run, or whenever placement may
be interrupted long enough that there is danger that the
concrete in place may begin to harden. Wooden forms with
holes drilled for placing dowels or tie bars are usually
employed.
Considerable hand finishing is required at
headers.
If the last delivered concrete does not quite reach the
header, there is a temptation to use excess grout carried
over from normal paving operations to extend the pavement
up to the header. However, transverse construction joints
cause more than their share of pavement problems, and
concrete at these locations should be of the highest quality.

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS

Have extra concrete delivered to finish the day's run, or


move the joint back. Run the paver en-tirely past the
header, carrying a roU of concrete with it. Careful
hand vibration is required on both sides of transverse
construction joints to ensure adequate con-crete
consolidation.
Where possible, locate transverse construction
joints at planned contraction joint locations. When a
construction joint occurs at the normal location of a
contraction joint, smooth dowels are usuaUy instaUed,
even if they are not provided at the other joints on the
project. Ir a construction joint is required at other than
the norotal contraction joint spacing, instaU deformed
tie bars to prevent subsequent joint movements. This
is done to prevent propagation cracking in pavement
abutting previously completed lanes.
In continuously reinforced pavement, the longitudinal steel extends through the transverse construction joint a specified length and is lapped by new steel
when paving resumes. Maintaining the specified lap
lengths is extremely important. Extra steel is often
specified at construction joints in continuously' reinforced pavement.
Longitudlnal contractlon Joints
Where concrete pavement is placed in wide lane
widths in one pass, a longitudinal weakened-plane joint
is required to prevent uncontroUed longitudinal cracking. Such cracking is due to warping stresses caused by
the tendency of concrete to curl when there are temperature and moisture differences between top and
bottom of the slab. Because of tbis, these joints in two
lane pavements are often referred to as hinge joints.
Unlike transverse joints, they are not intended to open
and c1ose. In road pavements and in outer lanes of
wide aprons, deformed steel tie bars are normaUy instaUed across longitudinal joints to keep them tightly
c1osed. The depth of the weakened plane for longitudinal joints is extremely critical in preventing
longitudinal cracks and should be of constant concero
to the inspector. The specified depth is often onequarter the pavement tbickness plus 114 in.
One way to form the joint is with a strip of polyethylene tape of the specified thickness and width,
which is instaUed automatically from a reel through a
special attachment on the paver. The top of the tape
should be at or slightly below the pavement surface.
Make sure that the installed tape is vertical.
The other common way to construct longitudinal,
weakened-plane joints is by sawing after the concrete
has hardened (Fig. 13.15). Timing is not as critical as
for sawing transverse contraction joints because shrinkage in the transverse direction is less since there is not
the length of concrete to move. However, both are
usuaUy sawed at the same tinte. Complete the longitudinal joint within 3 days and before any traffic,
including coostruetioo traffie, is allowed 00 the
pavement. Be aware that saw blades wear rapidly,

113

resulting in saw cuts of insufficient depth if not checked


frequently.

Fg. 13.15 - Sawing longitudnal contracton jont


Longltudlnal construction Joints
Longitudinal construction joints occur in concrete pavements at the edges of the paving lanes. When one or more
lanes are constructed separately, longitudinal construction
joints, in which new concrete abuts previously placed pavement, are required. Either a tongue or groove keyway can
be extruded in the edge of the first-placed slab to provide
load transfer. Dowels are commonly used for load transfer
for heavy-duty pavements.
For slipformed pavements, deformed tie bars (not
dowels) bent at right angles can be mechanicaUy inserted
into the slab keyway. They are later straightened before the
adjoining slab is placed.
Jolnt seallng
Sealing of joints prevents the entrance of incompressible
material. If tbis material gets into the joints, it causes
extreme stresses in the concrete and resulting pavement
damage during expansion cycles. Sealing of joints also reduces the penetration of water into the foundation. Joint
sealing is a critical operation on heavy-duty pavements. lt
is often not required on low volume street and parking lot
pavements if joints are cIosely spaced, so that the joint
movements are minimal.
Hot-poured rubber asphalt are the usual material s for
sealing concrete pavement joints. Cold-applied mastics,
single or multiple component types, are also used. On hightype pavements, longer lasting preformed neoprene compression seals are ofteD inserted into sawed joints. The dimensions and configurations of preformed seals are designed for
individual joint widths to always be in compression and to
maintain a tight seal.
Joints must be cIean and completely dry at time of sealing. Do DOtallow curing compound in the joints because it
prevents bond of the sealant to the joint faces. Often joints

114

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

are sandblasted to present clean faces for good bond.


Clean the joints of foreign material by compressed air
before sealing. If preformed seals are to be installed, all
spalls at the joints must be repaired by epoxy patches
or other means. OtheJWise the seals will not remain in
place.
Heat hot-applied liquid sealant in a double-boilertype kettle with positive temperature control to prevent
chemical breakdown by overbeating. Never rebeat material. Apply liquid sealants tbrougb a nozzle inserted
into the joint (Fig. 13.16), and fill tbe joint from tbe
bottom up to prevent voids. In some cases, jute cord
or rope is installed in tbe joint ahead of time to a
specified deptb to control tbe shape factor of the
sealant and to prevent it from bonding to the bottom of
the sealant space.
On warm days, installliquid sealant to a level near
the pavement surface. On cooler days apply it to a
level 114 in. or so below the pavement surface to
prevent extrusion wben tbe joint begins to c10se as tbe
temperature rises. Remove Iiquid sealant spilled on tbe
pavement surface immediately.
When preformed compression seals are instaUed, a
Iiquid adhesive-Iubricant is first applied to tbe sides of
tbe joint. The preformed seals should be instaUed
mechanicaUy to prevent excessive stretcbing of the
material. Contract documents usuaUy limit stretcbing of
the material to 1 percent during installation to ensure
satisfactory performance.

INSPECTION

potential paving time, including days when weather conditions may require special precautions to produce an acceptable product. When weather conditions occur that may adversely affect paving operations, notify the appropriate person to obtain instructions.
Requirements for concreting during botb bot and cold
weatber are described in Cbapter 10.
Before concreting operations start, aU materials neces
sary to protect tbe concrete sbould be in place. Agree upar
materials and procedures to be used in case of sudder
changes in weatber (rain, snow, wind, drastic temperatur~
change, etc.) before concreting commences.
Hot weather
During bot weather it is sometimes difficult to saw join~
soon enougb to prevent uncontroUed shrinkage cracking. 11
may be useful to minimize evaporation by wetting tbe surface by fog spraying. Forros, stabilized subbases, and
existing pavements being resurfaced may also be cooled b)
water before concrete placement. Set-retarding admixture~
often facilitate fmisbing during bot weatber.
Pavemenl
construction is sometimes limited to tbe cooler bours of tbe
day or nigbt.

Ral"
Wben newly placed concrete is exposed to unexpected
rain, tbe first priority is to get it under cover. Apply protective covers immediately. Keep materials sucb as plastic
sbeeting or burlap on band at all times. A roll of plastic
sbeeting is often carried on tbe curing macbine for sucb
emergencies.
It is sometimes specified tbat temporary side forros be
instaUed on slipform paving projects when it rains. How
ever, if tbis delays tbe placement of protective covering,
surface water may flow to tbe pavement edge and down be
tween tbe concrete and the forros, damaging the edge.
Temporary forms may be set for tbe repair of any edge
damage wben tbe rain stops.
If tbe rain stops before the concrete bas hardened, re
store texture damaged by the protective covers and apply additional curing compound. If tbe concrete has bardened,
leave it undisturbed until after the curing periodo Texturing
can tben be restored by sawing grooves in tbe surface.

PROTECTION

Fig. 13.16-Sealing expansioll joint in airport runway

WEATHER

PROBLEMS

Contractors cannot afford to wait for ideal weathcr


to pave. To meet completion dates, they must use aU

FROM PREMATURE

TRAFFIC

One of tbe most difficult tasks on paving projects i:


keeping traffic off the new pavement until the concrete h31
attained its specified strengtb. Ban all public and construc
tion traffic during this period cxcept the equipment for saw
ing and sealing joints.
Adequate barricades and warning signs must be in place
Employ special precautions on projects involving improve
ments of existing roads on whicb traffic is maintained durin!
construction.
Do not aUow traffic on the new pavement ontiJ tb(
joints have been sealed and adequate strength attained.

114

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

are sandblasted to present c1ean faces for good bond.


Clean the joints of foreign material by compressed air
before sealing. If preformed seals are to be instal1ed, al1
spalls at tbe joints must be repaired by epoxy patches
or other means. Otherwise the seals will not remain in
place.
Heat hot-applied liquid sealant in a double-boilertype kettle with positive temperature control to prevent
chemical breakdown by overheating. Never reheat material. Apply liquid sealants through a nozzle inserted
into the joint (Fig. 13.16), and fill the joint from the
bottom up to prevent voids. In some cases, jute cord
or rope is instaUed in the joint ahead of time to a
specified depth to control the shape factor of the
sealant and to prevent it from bonding to the bottom of
the sealant space.
On warm days, instal1 liquid sealant to a level near
the pavement surface. On cooler dayS apply it to a
level 1/4 in. or so below the pavement surface to
prevent extrusion when the joint begins to c10se as the
temperature rises. Remove liquid sealant spilled on the
pavement surface imrnediately.
When preformed compression seals are instal1ed, a
liquid adhesive-lubricant is frrst applied to the sides of
the joint. The preformed seals should be instaUed
mechanical1y to prevent excessive stretching of the
material. Contract documents usuaUy limit stretcbing of
the material to 1 percent during instaUation to ensure
satisfactory performance.

INSPECTION

potential paving time, inc1uding days when weather conditions may require special precautions to produce an acceptable product. When weather conditions occur that may adversely affect paving operations, notify the appropriate person to obtain instructions.
Requirements for concreting during both hot and cold
weather are described in Chapter 10.
Before concreting operations start, al1 material s neces
sary to protect the concrete should be in place. Agree upor
material s and procedures to be used in case of sudder
changes in weather (rain, snow, wind, drastic temperatuH
change, etc.) before concreting commences.
Hot weather
During hot weather it is sometimes difficult to saw join~
socn enough to prevent uncontrol1ed shrinkage cracking. I1
may be useful to minimize evaporation by wetting the sur
face by fog spraying. Forms, stabilized subbases, and
existing pavements being resurfaced may also be cooled b}
water before concrete placcment. Set-retarding admixture~
often facilitate fmisbing during hot weather.
Pavemenl
construction is sometimes limited to the cooler hours of the
day or night.
Raln

When newly placed concrete is exposed to unexpected


rain, the first priority is to get it under cover. Apply protective covers imrnediately. Keep materials such as plastic
sheeting or burlap on hand at aU times. A roll of plastic
sheeting is often carried on the curing machine for sucb
emergencies.
It is sometimes specified that temporary side forms be
instal1ed on slipform paving projects when it rains. How
ever, if tbis delays the placement of protective covering,
surface water may flow to the pavement edge and down be
tween the concrete and the forms, damaging the edge.
Temporary forms may be set for the repair of any edge
damage when the rain stops.
If the rain stops before the concrete has hardened, re
store texture damaged by the protective covers and apply ad
ditional curing compound. If the concrete has hardened,
leave it undisturbed until after the curing periodo Texturing
can then be restored by sawing grooves in the surface.
PROTECTlON

Fig. 13.16-Sealing expansion joint in airport runway

WEATHER

PROBLEMS

Contractors cannot afford to wait for ideal weather


to pave. To meet completion dates, they must use al1

FROM PREMATURE

TRAFFIC

One of the most difficult tasks on paving projects i:


keeping traffic off the new pavement until the concrete ha~
attained its specified strength. Ban all public and construc
tion traffic during tbis period except the equipment for saw
ing and sealing joints.
Adequate barrica des and warning signs must be in place
Employ special precautions on projects involving improve.
ments of existing roads on which traffic is maintained durin!
construction.
Do not aUow traffic on the new pavement until th(
joints have be en sealed and adequate strength attained.

PAVEMENT

SLABS AND BRIDGE DECKS

BRIDGE DECKS

The quality of bridge decks depends upon the same


factors as those for concrete pavements on grade (ACI
345). However, space limitations require somewhat different equipment and techniques for delivering, placing,
and finishing the concrete.
The same principIes of quality concrete apply.
Uniformity of the concrete among and within batches
is essential for satisfactory performance. The inspector
must be constantly alert for changes in air content and
consistency, as indicated by tests and observed variations in finishing characteristics and in the tendency
for bleeding.
To achieve the proper amount of entrained air,
check the air content of every batch of concrete deIivered to the job. A pocket air indicator is useful in
detecting variations in air content, but do not use it for
acceptance or rejection of the concrete.
In bridge deck paving, grade control is based on
the screed rails that support the paver. They are positioned on supports with adjustable nuts for correcting
the elevation. Position the rails to produce an accurate
grade line, taking into account deflections from dead
loads. Check the elevation of the rails by instrument,
and make final minor adjustments by sighting along the
rails to assure a smooth line.
Before paving, adjust the finishing machine to
produce the specified crown. This is checked by
ascertaining that screeds and floats match the crown of
the dam plates at the ends of the deck sections.
The depth of the top reinforcing steel is critical to
bridge deck performance.
If sufficient cover is not
provided, cracks may develop in the concrete over the
steel. These will permit water and deicing chemicals to

Fig.

13.17- Placzg

concrete

by

115

penetrate to the steel, causing corrosion and subsequent


spalling of the con-crete. A minimum cover of 2 in. is
normally specified where deicing salts are to be used.
The position of the steel can be checked by making a
dry run with the paver and measuring down from a screed
or pan float. Wet down reinforcing steel and forms before
concrete placement.
Concrete placement
Concrete for bridge decks is usually placed by crane
buckets (Fig. 13.17) or tbrough hoses from concrete pumps.
When cranes are used, two buckets are often provided so
that concrete is being placed in one while the other is
discharging.
Place the concrete as c10se to its final position as
possible to reduce segregation and differential settlement.
The c10se spacing of reinforcing steel in bridge decks requires special attention to concrete placement and consolidation to prevent the formation of voids and to provide adequate bonding of the concrete and steel.
Spud vibrators are often used to consolidate the concrete around the reinforcement, or vibrating screeds are
used to finish the concrete. Do not use vibrators to move
the concrete horizontally. Do not operate vibrators in one
location long enough to cause segregation of the concrete
materials.
The finishing machine should move slowly at a uniform
rate, timed to concrete delivery. Provide an excess of concrete for the full length of all screeds and floats on the
machine.
Final flnlshlng
Because of limited space, hand finishing is done from
work bridges. Do not allow workers to walk in the concrete

bucket for railroad bridge span

116

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

behind the finishing machine.


Hand floats are usually provided for closing the
surface where necessary. Their use should not be required for the entire surface. If much hand floating
becomes necessary, make adjustments to the fmishing
machine or concrete mix proportions.
Delay finishing by long-handled lO-ft scraping
straightedges as long as possible to permit subsidence
of the concrete to occur. Sometimes the concrete is
revibrated after bleed water has disappeared from the
surface to eliminate voids below the reinforcing steel
caused by unequal concrete seulement.
Studies of cores removed from scaled bridge decks
constructed with air-entrained concrete indicate that
scaling is invariably associated with areas deficient in
entrained air at or near the surface. Nonuniform distribution of entrained air bubbles is attributed to disturbance of the air void system during final finishing operations. Therefore, avoid excessive manipulation of the
concrete surface during finishing. In particular, prohibit the addition of water to the surface during finishing.
If hot weather causes finishing difficulties, night
paving may be considered in the interest of improved
bridge deck performance.
Make a final check of surface evenness with a lO-ft
straightedge. Correct any deviations of more than 1/8
in. before the concrete hardens.
The final texture is applied by a burlap drag.
Additional skid resistance on bridge decks can be applied by metal tines forming longitudinal grooves in the
plastic concrete. Just as for pavement on grade, the
tinlng of the texturing operation is critical for achieving
optimum results and should be determined by an experienced operator.
Apply curing material as soon as finishing operations are completed. Spraying white-pigmented curing
compound on the surface is an effective means of curing. However, in hot weather, a curing method involving water may be desirable to control concrete temperatures. If burlap is used, it must be constantly wet
throughout the curing periodo At the end of the curing
period, allow the burlap to dry completely before removal to prevent rapid drying of the concrete surface.
Bridges are usually completed ahead of other paving operations. Paving equipment can then cross the
bridges, expediting completion of the project. Make
sure the bridge concrete has reached its specified
strength first.

---------

INSPECTION

ARCHITECTURAL

117

CONCRETE

CHAPTER 14-ARCHITECTURAL CONCRETE

The term architectural concrete is applied to concrete


elements for which unusual care is taken to produce
unblemished surfaces or in which the exposed surfaces
have been treated to enhance their visual appearance.
The surface treatrnent can be as varied as the hurnan
mind can conceive. Cornmon treatrnents include:
AGGREGA TE EXPOSURE, ranging frorn slight to
deep
SURFACE ABRASION, or rernoval o part o the
surface
COLOR, either by tbe addition of cOloring agents to
the concrete mixture, by tbe se1ection of aggregates or
a specific color, or by tbe use o a specific color of
cernent
PATfERNS OR TEXTURES, produced in unormed surfaces by tooling and other treatrnents, and in
ormed surfaces by tbe use of textured or patterned
sheathing or liners (Fig. 14.1) or by various treatments
after form rernoval (Fig. 14.2).

Fig. 14.2 - Vertical ribs formed in concrete are hacked after


form removal to provide rough appearance

Fig.14.1-Rough wood grain surface formed in concrete


by a fiber glass form liner canying the impression of a
wood pattem

Architectural concrete also includes concrete elements designed with unusual, sornetimes cornplex, shapes
or esthetic appeal.
Architectural concrete rnay be either cast-in-place or
precast, either load-bearing structural elements or nonload-bearing facing units (Fig. 143).

Fig. 14.3-Mural
panels

formed of assembled precast concrete

Contract documents

As with aU other concrete construction, the primary


guides for the inspector are the contract docurnents CODsisting of project specifications and drawings. This manual

118

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

gives information and instructions intended to provide


background to help the inspector understand the contraet
documents and recognize the extra importance of many
of their requirements; and to provide guidelines that will
be helpful where items and procedures are inadequately
covered by contraet documents.
For architectural concrete, specifications may be the
perfonnance type whereby the appearance of the fmished
product is evaluated to determine compliance. This is
accomplished by comparison of the fmished surfaces with
the appearance of approved preconstruction mockups, by
comparison with photographic and other iIIustrative examples referenced in the specifications, and by comparison with the requirements of narrative descriptions in
the specifications. However, it may not be possible to
adequately describe and handle all acceptance requirements in tbis manner, and it becomes necessary to use
prescriplion (how-to-do-it) specifications to an appreciable
extent. Another reason that prescription-type requirements are specified is that when an element of a structure fails to meet a perfomlance requirement there is
usuaUy a reluctance (often justified) to require removal
and replacement when repair is impossible. When prescription-type specification requirements are used, the
contractor must perform with total and uniform compliance. It is often impossible to correct the effects of
noncompliance later.
Deslgn considerations
Obviously the inspector has no control over the
design of the structure or the preparation of the contract
documents. However, the designer should have considered the feasibility of construction and the practicality of
attaining the desired appearance. Some typical design
items that make it difficult to achieve a pleasing appearance are:
Large panels of flat surfaces, unbroken by visible
joints, rustication strips, pattems, or textured surface
Use of white or colored concrete in large panels
of uninterrupted flat surfaces
Use of concrete r~quiring coloring pigments when
the concrete must come from a commercial ready-mixed
concrete plant simultaneously serving other customers
Unnecessary use of intricate designs, particularly
with fragile details in the member, subject to easy
breakage during form removal and subsequent operations
References
Prior to start of any job involving appreciable quantities of architectural concrete, the inspector should obtain and study at least the following applicable references
to obtain detailed information:
"Guide to Cast-In-Place Architectural Concrete Practice," (ACI 303R)
"Cast-In-Place Architectural Concrete," 36

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND COOPERATION


Acceptablllty
In addition to the requirements applying to aU concrete
work, a prime consideration of the acceptability of architectural concrete is the visual appearance of the exposed surfaces. Unfortunately, visual appearance is difficult to describe or measure in exact terms.
The architect mentally establishes criteria of acceptability
as the structure is conceived. However, no method has yet
been found to completely convey those criteria to the
contractor through the contract documents. Oemonstration
panels or areas are often necessary.
Cooperation
Since evaluation cannot be based upon precise
measurement, general acceptability requires realistic cooperation among aU parties. A1though perfect uniformity in
color and texture may be desired, materials in concrete have
an inherent degree of nonuniformity, and the uniform placing and fmisbing of a heterogeneous material over a large
area cannot be guaranteed.
One would not expect uniformity of color and texture of marble or granite over large
areas.
Nevertheless, the contractor should realize that the
owner is entitled to a surface appearance of special quality.
It is vital to develop an understanding of what is
acceptable among the architect, the inspector, and the
contractor early in the construction project. This understanding is best accomplished by having the three parties
simultaneously inspect finished work of adequate quantity to
permit the architect to point out acceptable areas, minimaUy
acceptable areas and, where present, unacceptable areas.
Any dispute between the architect and contractor regarding
acceptability should be settled before further work is started.
These identified acceptable areas can be used for comparison in judging future work. Trials of methods and finishes
can be demonstrated on less important parts of the structure, such as basement waUs which will not be visible after
completion.
Preconstructlon conslderations
The contract documents for architectural concrete can
only describe the desired surface in general terms. The
color of the cement may be specified as weU as the color,
size, shape, and gradation of the aggregates. In some cases,
the source of these materials may be specified. Surface
texture may be described in general terms such as "light
sandblasting," "hcavy exposure of coarse aggregate," or
similar terms. A1though the specifications should be precise,
it is difficult to describe an artistic rendering with the written
word.
Design reference sampk - Since the written contract
documents cannot fully communicate the desires of the
architect, a design reference or prebid sample is often caUed

-----------------------------------ARCHITECTURAL

foro The design reference sample sbould be at least 18


x 18 incbes in area and 2 in. tbick to adequately indicate
tbe desired color and texture. The sample can be prepared for the architect and made a part of the contract
documents, or the specifications can require the contractor to prepare various samples, based upon specified
requirements, from which the architect can select one to
be tbe design reference sample.
The prinlary purpose of the design reference sample
is to supplement tbe written specification; it brings tbe
architect, inspector, and contractor to a cIoser understanding. However, it cannot be assumed that each and
every smaIl area of tbe finisbed structure will precisely
match the sample, because the reference sample can be
and usually is cast with greater precision than is attainable witb a larger mass of concrete.
Concrete mockup - For arcbitectural concrete tbe
contract documents may require the contractor to construct a fUIl-scale mockup section prior to initiation of
construction (Fig. 14.4). Even if such a mockup is not
required, the contractor should consider constructing
one. The mockup sbould represent a typicaJ portion of
the structure, and be built using tbe procedures and
equipment intended for tbe structure, incIuding formwork; placement of reinforcement; mix proportioning,
placement, and curing of tbe concrete; and surface
treatment. The primary purpose of tbe mockup is to
provide a large sample of work wbich can be fairly
judged by tbe arcbitect. Approval of tbe mockup by tbe
arcbitect is usuaUy required before starting work on tbe
arcbitectural concrete.

CONCRETE

119

The mockup may deliberately incIude variations in tbe finish


to demonstrate a range of acceptability (Fig. 14.5). It should
incIude form tie holes and joints between form panels.
Imperfections requiring repair should be deliberately incIuded so that repair operations can be demonstrated.

Fig. 14.5 - Preconstrnction mockup wilh lIoned jimshes

Fig. 14.4-SampLe paneL with formed rusticated surface

The inspector should form an understanding with the


architect and contractor regarding the acceptability of the
mockup, and how much variation from tbe mockup is
acceptable. The mockup should be built at or near the job
site so that it is readily available for comparison with future
site work. It could even be an inconspicuous part of the
structure at the basement leve!.
Precast concrete finish demonstration - For precast
architectural concrete, the mockup concept as discussed
above can be used, or acceptability of finish can be
demonstrated by the fabrication of a typical unit for
inspection and approval by the architect. For inspection at
the plant, tbis unit should be among the last scheduled for
erection on the job so that it will be available to the
inspector for comparison with day-to-day production. If

..----

120

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

tbere is no sucb plant inspection, tbe typical unit sbould


be among tbe first delivered to tbe job for future
comparison. Comparison units as weU as production units
sbould be elean at tbe time of comparison.
The design reference sample and tbe mockup
represent steps in tbe common understanding by the
inspector and contractor of tbe desires of the architect.
The combined inspection by these three parties at an
early stage of construction, as previously mentioned, is
another important step, as is periodic inspection by the
architect together with the inspector throughout the
duration of the job.

INSPECTION

contractor regarding the use of equipment or distribution of


the work force, but the inspector has a duty to insist on
uniformity of the fmished producto
INSPECTION

PROCEDURES

Except for the appearance of the surface, there is no


basic difference between architectural concrete and conventional cast-in-place or precast concrete. Consequently,
the general procedures of inspection covered elsewhere in
tbis manual apply to architectural concrete as weU. However,
since architectural concrete is a specialized product, more
careful application o tbe general procedures o inspection
is required

UNlFORMlTY

Unifomuty is the key word for acceptable architectural concrete- uniformity of material S, uniformity of
equipment, uniformity of operations (ineluding scheduling), and uniformity of workmanship.
Where feasible, obtain each material from a single
source, and for manufactured or processed material S,
from a single production run. If possible, aU materials
should be obtained and stockpiled or stored at the site
before construction begins. The material s must be suitably stored to protect them from deterioration, contamination, intermingling or, in case of aggregates, segregation. The inspector should be constantly alert to detect
any change in quality or appearance of any material during progress of the work, as revealed by either test results
or by visual observation.
Uniformity of product is best attained by using the
same equipment in the same manner throughout the job.
Two concrete mixers may not mix materials with the
same degree of unifomuty. Changes of vibration equipment may affect the distribution of aggregate near the
surface. Altemate jet nozzles may produce different
sandblasted textures.
Workmanship is in the same category. Two laborers
with two vibrators can achieve different distributions of
aggregate near the surface if they have not be en trained
to use the vibrators in the identical manner. The concrete
must be mixed to the same consistency and must be
placed in the same manner day after day. For architectural concrete, the work force must be trained to work
as one body. Laborers on vibrators, on sandblasting
nozzles, on bushhammers, on rubbing blocks, or on any
operation affecting the appearance of the finished product, must be trained to perform their function with
equal ability. Indiscriminate replacement of work crew
members should not be tolerated.
Except as necessary to acconml0date varying conditions of weather and varying structural elements, the
operations of concrete batching, mixing, transporting,
placing, vibrating, form removal, finishing, and curing
should be performed in the same manner from day to
day with the same timing. Variation in the manner or
timing for any of these operations can cause variation in
appearance of the concrete surface.
An owner's inspector may not presume to advise a

FORMS

Structural design of the forms must in general meet the


same requirements as for forros for other concrete construction. Often, however, tighter limits are set for forro
deflection. The materials, textures, and pattems of the forro
sheathing or lining are primarily govemed either by direct
specification requirements or by requirements to match the
preconstruction mockup. Tolerances for setting forros are
usuaUy more restrictive than for ordinary exposed building
concrete. Of course, workmanship in fabricating forms is
more critical than with ordinary construction (Fig. 14.6).
Detailed inforroation on forms can be found in Reference
24.

Fig. 14.6-Repairing imperfections infonn surface to provide


unblemished ceiling coves when waffle slab is cast
Form sheathlng or lining
There is an almost unlimited selection of material s for
form sheathing and lining. These inelude wood, plywood,
metal (aluminum, steel, and magnesium), plastic (reinforced
and nonreinforced), plaster waste molds, and rubber liners.
Each material has advantages and limitations.
Wood or plywood used for sheathing or lining can affect
the color of the stripped concrete through variations in
absorption of different portions of the board, particularly
between the springwood and summerwood rings. The more
pervious portions will absorb more water from the fresh
concrete, and thus lower the water-cement ratio, causing a
darker surface color. Organic substances in the wood can
result in a dark colored concrete surface, and sometimes

121

ARCHITECTURALCONCRETE

cause dusting. Release agents can correct for these


conditions when using wooden forms. To reduce the
effect of these variations during the fIrst use of wood
forms, treat the wood surface with a lime-water solution
or a cement slurry wbich will react witb and neutralize
the organic substances and will fill porous surfaces. After
the first use, wood forms produce much less variation in
color.
Textures and patterns
The textures and patterns produced by different form
sheathing and liner materials vary widely. Some liners are
factory cast from plastics and rubbers; some are job-built
sheathing and liners constructed to produce specific
large-scale patterns on tbe concrete surface; and some
sheatbing and liners are materials having specific texture
when supplied by the manufacturer or a texture produced
by treatment on the job. The inspector must assure that
the texture and surface of each set of forms are the same
as aUothers and that tbe texture and surface of reused
forms are not altered from one use to the next. Form
surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and forms retightened between uses, without degrading the surface
pattern or texture.
Form joints
Joints between form sheathing or lining panels must
be completely tight and sealed to prevent al1 leakage.
Leakage of water or paste produces sand streaks on the
surface (rock pockets in extreme cases); and slower
leakage or absorption of moisture will produce bydration
discoloration (dark streaks), particularly on sandblasted
surfaces. It is nearly impossible to remove either of these
imperfections, although hydration discoloration may
become lighter and hardly visible after several years o
weathering. Leakage can be prevented by staggering
joints of form lining from the joints in the sheathing, by
the use of special rubber gaskets and, when further
treatment of the concrete surface will occur, by the use
of pressure sensitive tape. Caulking of joints, together
with batten backing strips, can be used if carefuUy
inspected.
Form sealers and form release agents (form coatings)

Form sealers are often used on wood or plywood


forms to seal the surfaces to correct nonuniform absorption, to prevent emphasis of grain pattern, and
prolong tbe life of the forms. Release agents (form
coatings) are used to prevent the forms from sticking to
the concrete surfaces. Numerous kinds of release agents
are available. Be sure to use a release agent that is
compatible with the form material or sealer, and with the
concrete itself, and one that will not stain the concrete
surface. The release agent should also be compatible with
joint sealants and caulking compounds to be used later.
Test release agents in mockups or on unexposed surfaces
to determine performance before using on exposed sur-

faces. Normal1y the release agent is a tbin-bodied material


and is applicd in a tbin coating. Avoid tbick coatings of
viscous materials. If oily coatings are applied to the forms
too far in advance of placing concrete and are not suitably
protected, dirt can coUect on the coating and cause problems.
Form ti es
Holes left by removal of form ties must be filled or
otherwise treated as required by tbe contract documents.
Filling of form tie holes is also discussed in Chapter 11.
Even if not required by the contract documents, it is highly
desirable to have form ties instaUed in a uniform patten so
that holes in the concrete surface, whether fiUed or not,
form a similar uniform pattern for a more pleasing appearance. Sometimes form tie holes are designed to be
plugged with manufactured plugs,usuaUy plastic, driven into
the hole.
Form removal
Form removal is especial1y critical for architectural
concrete, both to prevent ordinary surface marring and to
prevent damage to any intricate surface designo Normally,
wedges should not be used. But, if used, they should be
nonmetallic. For white or colored concrete, forms for similar
surfaces should be removed at the end of similar time
periods, except when necessary to vary the time because of
weather conditions. Remove forms carefuUy to prevent a
sudden drop in concrete surface temperature, which can
cause surface cracking. During cold weather, the surface
temperature should drop graduaUy, no more than 40 F in 24
hr, and that drop should occur evenly over the 24-hr periodo
REINFORCEMENT

Reinforcement must be located where shown in the


contract documents. If it is too close to the surface, coarse
aggregate may be prevented from getting between bars and
the formwork, and the reinforcement pattern will be
"mirrored" on the concrete surface, particularly with smooth
surfaces of light colors. Reinforcement too close to the
surface also tends to produce rust stain at the surface.
Sometimes coated reinforcement is used in critical areas to
prevent rusting. Avoid locating reinforcement supports
adjacent to exposed surfaces. If supports must be used on
exposed surfaces, the supports should be made of plastic,
plastic-coated metal, precast concrete block, or stainless
steel. Ends of tie wires should always be bent back toward
the interior of the concrete. On vertical faces, tie support
blocks with one diagonal vertical for better undersealing as
concrete is placed.
CONCRETE

MATERIALS

Some contract documents may limit the materials to be


used-particularly
cement, aggregates, and pigments--to
specific materials from specific sources. Other contract documents do not contain such a limit, but simply require the

~--------------

MANUAL

122

OF CONCRETE

contractor to loca te suitable materials to produce concrete with an appearance matching the design reference
sample.
Cement

Cement normaUy must meet the quality requirements


for ordinary concrete construction. The color is usuaUy
controlled by requiring that the color of the concrete
match that of the design reference sample, and that all
cement come from one milI, preferably from one grind.
There are presently no reference specifications controlling the color of white or colored cement. Some colored
cements, particularly those in the buff-yellow-brown
range, are produced by special grindings and burning
operations using normal raw materials; other colored
cements are produced by intergrinding mineral pigments
at the cement milI. Cement produced by the frrst method
is sometimes specified because of its better uniformity of
color. Some of these special cements have unusually high
water demands which may result in low strengths.
Aggregates

Aggregates are usually required to meet quality requirements for ordinary concrete aggregates. Often additional requirements severely limit the presence of partieles which can cause staining on the concrete surface
(principally iron compounds) and those unstable materials which can produce popouts during weather changes.
The color of the fine aggregate has much more effect on
the color of the concrete than does the color of the
coarse aggregate. The grading of coarse aggregate should
be more elosely controlled for exposed architectural
concrete than for conventional concrete.
Admixtures
Air-entraining,

water-reducing, and retarding admixtures

- Quality requirements
ordinary concrete.

are usually the same as for

Calcium chloride Many contract documents


prohibit the use of calcium chloride in architectural
concrete. Even if not prohibited, its use should be
discouraged Ca1cium chloride may tend to cause
mottling or surface checking.
Pigments Until recently, pigments for use in
concrete were usually restricted to mineral pigments.
Recently some satisfactory organic dyes have become
available. Never use more pigment than necessary to
achieve the required color. Excess pigment may reduce
the quality of the concrete.
MIXES AND MlX PROPORTlONS

Mix proportions, other than for gap-graded mixes,


are usually selected in the same manner as for ordinary
concrete. It is common to keep the water-cement ratio
low, not over 0.46, and to limit the slump to 4 in.
maximum. Slightly dryer mixes are sometimes used for
the top part of walls to prevent the color variation that
may be caused as excess water rises from below into the

INSPECTION

concrete in the top part of the wall. When mineral pigments


are being used, trials must be made to determine that the
required color is attained after hardening and drying.
Where concrete surfaces are to be treated to expose the
aggregate, gap-graded mixes are often specified to provide
a higher percentage of coarse aggregate with better
distribution in the concrete surface and thus a more pleasing
appearance as the aggregate is exposed. A relatively large
coarse aggregate with a narrow size range is used with intermediate size aggregate and fine aggregate consisting of
concrete sand or often masonry sand.
BATCHlNG,

MlXlNG,

AND TRANSPORTlNG

Uniformity of material s and uniformity of mixing is


extremely important. This becomes even more critical when
colored pigments are used.
Al1 batching, mixing, and transporting equipment must
be thoroughly and completely elean before starting production of architectural concrete each day and each shift,
particularly when producing white or colored concrete.
Preferably, separate equipment should be reserved for tbis
use.
Aggregate storage piles should be controlled to prevent
contamination, intermingling, or segregation. As much as
possible, the fine aggregate and the smallest size coarse
aggregate should be maintained at a uniform moisture
content to prevent variations in the water content of the
concrete and in the consistency of the batch es of concrete.
Contract documents may require on-site batching and
mixing for large, important jobs.
Close control must be maintained on air content and
slump of the concrete to provide uniformity. Temperature of
the fresh concrete should be maintained reasonably uniform
and, if possible, in the range of 65-85 F for optimum color
uniformity. Concrete at higher temperatures will be harder
to handle properly and will have a tendency toward
decreased setting time, visible flow lines, and possible cold
joints. Segregation must be guarded against at all stages of
operations.
Transportation from the mixers to the forms should be
reasonably rapid. Carefully control scheduling of operations
to prevent any delays in the period between charging the
mixers and depositing the concrete in the forms. Such
delays, which cause the concrete to be held in mixers,
transporting equipment, buckets, pump lines, conveyor lines,
or anywhere else tend to cause nonuniformity in the placed
concrete.
PLAClNG

AND CONSOLlDATlON

This stage is the major factor in the attainment of


acceptable architectural concrete. Rate of placement must be
slow enough to permit proper vibration, yet rapid enough to
prevent cold joints. A1Ivibrating must be done by workers
specifically trained to use vibrators in the correct manner,
with emphasis on the fact that vibrators in concrete must be
moving at aD tinles. The vibrator should be lowered rapidly
through the bottom of the lift, then raised slowly to the
surface. As the vibrator is raised slowly and steadily, air

ARCHITECTURAL

bubbles dislodged from the form surface have time to


riseahead of the vibrator to the surface of the concrete.
Keep the vibrator away from the form to prevent damage
lo Ihe form surface.
To mininze bug holes:
Place concrete in relatively shaUow layers of not
more than 15-18 in.
Vibra te the concrete 50 percent longer than
otherwise necessary.
Double-vibrate the drier batches of concrete. Two
insertions are much more effective than a single insertion
for twice the time.
Always revibrate the lower layer with each new
layer placed (preferably at least 6 in.)
Revibrate the top of the placement as late and as
deep as the running vibrator will sink of its own weight,
then withdraw it slowly.
If forms are sufficiently rigid, form vibrators are
satisfactory although internal spud vibrators may also be
required to remove air bubbles (the source of bug holes)
from the formed surface. If the forms are not sufficiently
rigid, the form vibrators may cause nonuniform distribution of the coarse aggregate in the vicinity of the
vibrator. There is no universal system of vibration; that
which works best on one job may not be satisfactory on
the next. Experimentation to attain an acceptable technique can be permitted in the early part of the job. However, once established and approved, the technique must
be applied uniformly for the remainder of the job. For
the uniformity and consistency of concrete required for
architectural concrete, overvibration is better than undervibration.
FINISHING

SURFACE TREATMENT

As with other operations, uniformity of workmanship


is critical. Surface treatments normaUy applied to formed
concrete surfaces consist of various degrees of abrasive
blasting (including not only sandblasting, but blasting
with steel slag, corn cobs, walnut shells, rice hulls, etc.),
water jet blasting with or without the use of surface
retarders, acid etching, bushharnmering, and manual
looling.
Sandblasting is a common surface treatment and is
not a difficult operation. However, as much as possible,
the sandblasting crew and equipment used should remain
the same throughout the job. Changes in either tend to
produce variation in the appearance of the fmished surface. Everyone concerned should be aware that the lighter degrees of sandblasting emphasize visible defects, particularly bug holes, and reveal defects previously hidden
by the surface skin of the concrete. Seldom will sandblasting actuaUy remove deformities in the surface texture or hydration marks. For the heavier degrees of sandblasting, the concrete must be strong enough (at least
2000 psi) to prevent dislodging particles of coarse aggregate. Sandblasting can be used to produce an exposed
aggregate finish but has the disadvantage that it produces
a frosted surface on the coarse aggregate surfaces.

123

CONCRETE

Various degrees of sandblasting are often defined as


follows:
Brush - Remove coating, expose fine aggregate, no
reveal. (Reveal is defined as the projection of coarse aggregate from the matrix after exposure.)
Light Expose fine aggregate and some coarse
aggregate, color uniform, maximum reveal 1/16 in.
Medium - Generally expose coarse aggregate, maximum
reveal 114 in.
l/eavy Expose coarse aggregate to maximum
projection of one-third its dimension, reveal 3/8 to 1/2 in.;
produces rugged and uneven surface
Experience has shown that sandblasting of slipformed
concrete surfaces does not produce a desirable finish.

Bushhammering is done with pneumatic tools fitted with


a bushharnmer, comb, or multiple pointed attachment. Most
bushharnmering will remove about 3/16 in. of concrete. Care
should be taken next to edges and corners. The concrete
should have a strength of at least 4000 psi before bushharnmering is performed.
Grinding is normally done with power griDders and must
not be done uDtil the concrete has reached a strength of at
least 3000 psi. Hand griDding with a mason's stone can be
done on green concrete provided it goes no deeper than will
barely contact the coarse aggregate. Deeper hand griDding
must be delayed the same as power griDding.
A cornmon manual treatment cODsistsof breaking off the
tops of ridges iD heavily fluted or similarly textured formed
concrete to produce a broken surface appearance on the
flutes.
High-pressure water jet blasting (1500 psi or more) can
be used to cut the surface. In general, it produces an
expoSed aggregate surface somewhat similar to that described below.
Although the above treatmeDts are geDeraUyconsidered
as being for use on formed surfaces, they caD be used on
unformed surfaces too. More common treatments for
uDformed surfaces are to impress a pattern in the plastic
concrete or to give it an exposed aggregate finish.
EXPOSED AGGREGATE

FINISH

Exposed aggregate finish is produced by removing,


usuaUy by combined water jet and brusbiDg with a fiber
brush, the cemeDt-sand paste from the CODcretesurface and
exposing the coarse aggregate (Fig. 14.7 and 14.8). Usually
an attractive coarse aggregate is used in the concrete.
Gap-graded mixes are often used to increase the amouDt of
coarse aggregate available for exposure.
For unformed surfaces tbis exposure method is relatively
simple. The main point to watch is timing. Expose the
aggregate as SOODas the concrete has hardened enough that
the coarse aggregate particles will not be dislodged.
Sometimes surface retarders are sprayed on the surface of
the fresh concrete, in which case tinDg is not so critical. In
lieu of having a desired attractive coarse aggregate in the
concrete mix, a layer of it can be seeded ODthe surface of

-------~-------- ---~--------124

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

ordinary concrete at the end of tbe finishing operation


and floated into tbe surface.

INSPECTION

od whereby the attractive aggregate is glued to the inside of


tbe forros witb water soluble glue before tbe concrete is
placed. Cement-sand paste surrounds tbe particIes and can
be removed from the surface after forms are removed. A
third metbod used is tbe patented Arbeton metbod wberein
attractive aggregates are beld against tbe forros by smallmesh wire fabric and only the paste from tbe concrete seeps
tbrougb tbe mesh to anchor the aggregate. For tilt-up
panels, coarse aggregate can be spread on a bed of sand
(Fig. 14.9). For additional information, see References 26
and 37.

Fig. 14.7- Exposed aggregate retaining waLL retains its


appearance after 60 years

Fig. 14.9 - One method of providing an exposed aggregate


surface in a ti/J-up waLLpanel is to spread a layer of aggregate
on a bed of sand, then place the concrete over the aggregate.
Sometimes the aggregate is grouted to ho/d it in position before
placing the concrete. After the panel has cured, it is raised and
any clinging sand is washed off

Fig. 14.8-Appearance
ofthese smooth concrete panels is
spoiled by stains while the adjacent exposed aggregate
pallels are unsullied

For formed surfaces, the process is more involved.


Sometimes a surface retarder is applied to tbe inside of
tbe forms immediately before concrete is placed. This
retards setting of the concrete surface sufficiently tbat tbe
coarse aggregate can still be exposed by washing and
brushing the surface wben tbe forms are removed at 24
hr. Anotber metbod used is tbe aggregate transfer meth-

CURING
Metbods used and timing of curing operations must be
maintained uniform in order to produce uniform color in the
concrete.
Be careful protective coverings do not mar tbe surface
of immature concrete. Uneven application of steam or water
can cause more or less temporary blotching. If plastic sheets
are used, tbey must not be allowed to wrinkJe. WrinkJes lead
to a dappled appearance caused by uneven moisture
condensation.
When wood forms are used, curing in the forms, witb
tbe forros maintained wet is a good method. The forro
surfaces must have be en sealed to prevent staining.
When using moist curing, be sure that tbe water is
nonstaining. No iron or steel pipes sbould be used. If plastic
sbeeting is used for curing, tbe sheets must fit tigbt against
tbe concrete at aU points; otberwise, mottling will occur
(greenhouse effect). When membrane curing is used, a colorless material, usually with a fugitive dye, sbould be used.
Try tbe material first on an unexposed surface to be sure it
do es not cause staining a few days after application.

ARCHITECTURALCONCRETE

REPAIRS

FINAL ACCEPTANCE

A poor repair in arcbitectural concrete can look


worse tban tbe initial defect. A bandful of gray cement
mixed witb two bandfuls of sand and pusbed into place
witb tbe tbumb cannot be accepted. Skilled artisans are
available wbo can blend cements, aggregates, and epoxies
so tbat tbe repaired area cannot be detected witb tbe
unaided eye.
Tbe contractor sbould employ or bave available artisans skilled in sucb work. Some damage or blemisbes
must be expected in production of arcbitectural concrete.
Therefore a specification wbicb does not permit repairing
is unrealistic. On tbe otber band, any repair so poorly
made tbat it is obviously noticeable sbould be rejected
immediately. Cbapter 11 gives detailed information on
repairs to arcbitectural concrete.
PRECAST MEMBERS

Storage of precast members


Sunligbt and weatbering can affect tbe color and
appearance of tbe concrete surface. When practical, tbe
precast units sbould be sto red so tbat tbey will obtain
equal exposure. This problem is not extremely serious,
since color variation due to exposure will equalize itself
with time after the units have been placed on the structure. Stacking units on top of each other can cause
problems. Blocking should be used between units to prevent damage. Wood blocking and wedges sbould be of a
material which will not discolor tbe architectural surface.
Transportation of precast units
Road dirt can cause unsigbtly stains on precast
concrete. Since sucb stains may be difficult to remove,
it is best to avoid dirt stains by covering tbe members
during transporto Improper blocking and supporting
during hauling is one of the most common causes of
cracked members.
Erectlon of precast unlts
Erect precast units carefully to prevent damage to
exposed surfaces. Location and use of lifting inserts
sbould be spelled out on shop and erection drawings for
approval prior to production and erection.
POST-FINISHING

PROTECTION

AND ERECTION

Acceptable architectural concrete can be ruined by


tbe thougbtlessness of other trades following completion
of work on the exposed concrete surface. Temporary
erection of nonprotected steel above the concrete can
produce unsightly rust stains. Weld spatter can produce
pock marks. Similarly, an acid wash of the architectural
concrete can permanently damage glass or other concrete
if not removed immediately. The only real solution to
these problems is proper careo However, sealing the
surface of precast architectural concrete before placing
concrete or grout above will enable grout leak and drip
to be removed more easily.

--

----- --

125

Tbe considerations and attitudes descn'bed earlier in this


chapter should lead to a successful working relationship
among tbe arcbitect, inspector, and contractor. Tbe primary
consideration for understanding and harmony is realization
that perfection is an ideal, althougb unattainable goal.
Tbe more predominant problems faced at tbe time of
fmal inspection are cracks, surface defects, blow holes or bug
holes, and variations in color. Tbere is a misconception that
sandblasting magically cancels out these defects, but experience has shown that sandblasting magnifies them.
Sandblasting intended for surface improvement, such as
grime removal, must be very light and used with careo
Cracks in cast-in-place concrete are usually associated
with drying shrinkage. AIthough cracks may be patched by
a skilled artisan, they are best controlled by providing
sufficient built-in crack control joints in the architectural
design, or by the use of sufficient crack control reinforcement to minimize potential crack widtb.
Surface defects include areas of honeycomb, groupings of
bug boles, aggregate popouts, and local damage from
handling. Acceptability of surface defects has be en difficult
to define, and depends greatly on the distance of the
inspector's or other viewer's eye from the surface of the
concrete.
By comparison, a surface defect at the third story level
can be tolerated to a greater extent than the same defect
located adjacent to the en trance of the structure. Consequently, evaluation by the inspector should be influenced by
the distance from the potential observer to the surface in
question ratber tban by an arm's length distance from tbe
scaffold.
With tbis thought in mind, the Ioternational Couocil for
Building Research Studies and Documentatioo (CIB)38 has
suggested methods of establishing tolerances on blemishes
of concrete.
Bug holes - Giveo the present state of the art, bug
holes are as much a part of concrete as sand and cement. A
previous paragraph stated that bug holes can be minimized,
but not eliminated, by the use of proper vibration techniques. As with other surface defects, the size and
distributioo of bug holes must be judged on the basis of
poteotial viewiog distaoces rather than 00 the basis of a
nose-on-surface inspectioo.
Color variation - Even if all precautions are taken,
some variation in color can be expected. In general, disputes
concerning color variation are more likely to occur with
precast units rather than with cast-in-place work. Often the
problem can be minimized by selective placement of the
precast units on the basis of color or texture, rather than on
the schedule of loadiog and delivery.
However, as pointed out in a previous paragraph, color
variation is often caused by variable conditions in curing.
Therefore, time, sunlight, and exposure to the elemeots may
even out the variation to a great extent. Often color
variations can be reduced by using a hose to subject the
surface to a series of wetting and drying cycles.

126

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

CHAPTER 15-SPECIAL

Preceding chapters cover inspection of more


common types of concrete construction under normal
conditions. Information in tbis chapter is supplementary
and briefly covers the special kinds of concrete work
listed below, with special reference to inspection. For
satisfactory production of this special work, it is
important that the inspector study more detailed discussions, such as those references listed at the end of
each topie in this chapter.
SLlPFORMING

VERTICAL STRUCTURES

Slipform construction is similar to an extrusion


process. A system of formwork is lifted at a controUed
rateo Plastic concrete placed at the top of the form
becomes physicaUy stable by the time the formwork
moves upward enough to leave it below. Silos,
chimneys, storage bins, bridge piers, water tanks, shaft
liners, and serviee cores and bearing waUs for buildings
(Fig. 15.1 and 15.2) are typical slipformed structures.
(Note: A form that does not move continuously is not
a slipform. A form that is stationary during placing of
concrete, and is moved upward in steps, as in Fig. 8.3,
is called a c1inlbing form, jump form, or lift form.)
Vertical slipforming may be done continuously around
the dock, or it may be planned to stop at desired
elevations and resume the sliding operation later.
Projections transverse to the direction of slide
decrease the efficiency of the slipforming process.

INSPECTION

CONCRETING METHODS

set of the concrete. The jacks dimb on smooth rods or


structural tubing embedded in the hardened concrete.
Forms are normaUy about 4 ft deep and slip rates are
so that the concrete will detach itself fram the forms as soon
about 6 to 15 in. per hr. The forms may be slightIy tapered
\
as adequate set has occurred. A taper of 1116 in. per ft of
form depth is norma\. The width of the forms at about
midheight should be equal to the desired wall tbickness.
Keep forms leve! as they move upward, or binding, scoring,
and lifting are likely to occur.
Blockouts for openings in the walls are formed by fIXing
polystyrene, cardboard, precast concrete, or wood frames so
that they remain in place as the forms move by. Normally
the blockouts are attached to the reinforcement.
Relnforclng steel
Simple reinforcement details are essential, because of
time constraints on placing and inspection during construction. In slipform construction it is particularly important that
all reinforcement be carefully placed as shown on the draw-

Mix requirements
Concrete for slipforming may require a greater
percentage of sand than conventionally placed concrete.
The maximum size of aggregate should be less than the
thickness of the cover over the reinforcement.
When selecting a mix, the setting time is of prime
importance. A penetration resistance of between 50 and
200 psi measured in accordance with ASTM
403 is
normally required at the trailing edge of the formwork.
Concrete with a penetration resistance of below about
15 psi is susceptible to sagging or faUout. Concrete with
a penetration resistance of 500 psi has reached initial
set. As initial set is approached, frietion makes slipping
difficult and the form tends to lift the concrete, later
resulting in horizontal checks and cracks; the forms
tend to score wall faces, and surface finisbing becomes
difficult. Make laboratory tests to measure precisely the
setting rate for the chosen mix at the temperature the
concrete will have in the forms.
If needed, suitable retarders or accelerators may be
used to modify and control the setting of the concrete.40

Formwork
As concrete is placed, the forms are slowly jacked
upward at a predetermined rate based on the rate of

Fig. 15.1-Slipfonned
550

ft high

service core of office building over

'"J

SPECIAL CONCRETING

Fig. 15.2-Slipfonning

the core of a high-rise building

ings. Vertical bars are normaUy positioned by templates


mounted a few feet above the forms and moving with
them, or by spacer bars attached to the top of the formo
Vertical laps should be staggered. Horizontal bars are
placed a layer at a time as the work progresses. A large
number of horizontal bars cannot be placed in advance,
and because the horizontal steel is continually disappearing into the concrete as the forms rise, monitoring the horizontal bar spacings is difficult.
Horizontal bars must be tied or firmly held in place.
Lap splices of horizontal bars should be staggered
rather than in a vertical line to avoid the so-called
"zipper" action.
To facilitate placing and inspection of the
horizontal reinforcement, scribe or crayon marks should
be made on selected vertical bars or other types of
spacing controls should be devised. Reinforcing bars
should be relatively short-lO to 12 ft-to permit easy
handling, unless longer bars can be easily placed.
Control of concrete placement

Concrete is normal1y placed at the top of the forms


in layers about 6 to 9 in. deep. Keep the forms as ful1
as possible to aUow the concrete the expected time to
reach stability before it becomes exposed.
Normal1y, only the uppermost layer of concrete is
vibrated, with penetration into the layer below, and no
longer than necessary. Extra or deeper vibrations with
usual rates of slipping can retard the essential early
stiffening of the mix, but, more seriously, may cause a
sag or faUout below the forms.
Monitor the setting time of the concrete frequently,
and immediately adjust the slip rate, if necessary.
To check on the progress of the concrete set, push
a 1/2-in.-diameter rod verticaUy into the concrete. If the
rod can be pushed below midheight of the concrete in
the forms, concrete set is too slow and the rate of form

- -------

127

METHODS

Iift should be reduced.


Slump will indicate mix uniformity, but uniformity
should be obvious to an experienced inspector or foreman
from the concrete's visual appearance. Greater slumps will
indicate an increase in setting time of concrete and lesser
slumps a decrease.
Some slipformed work has difficulty meeting the
tolerances of conventionally formed work. Vertical tolerances of 1 in. per 50 ft of height (but not more than 8
in.)and tolerances for elevations of blockouts and inserts of
1/2 in. are normalIy considered acceptable in the absence of
specified tolerances.
Flnlshlng and curlng

NormalIya secondary or trailing platform is provided for


fmishing and curing. Defects in the still green concrete
leaving the forms can be readily corrected. Small holes are
normally filIed and a uniform appearance achieved witb a
sponge f1oat. Avoid steel trowel finisbes beca use tbe
troweled surfacc is more susceptible to crazing, map
cracking, and other blemishes.
A curing compound is normal1y applied immediately
after finishing. Water curing is also possible, by means of a
wet skirt of suitable length carried and wetted from the
finisher's platform. Problems with wind, variations in
pressure, and cIogging nozzles have made the frrst method
more general1y used.
For added guidance on slipforming vertical structures,
see References 24, 39, and 40.
SLlPFORMING

CAST-IN-PLACE

PIPE

Cast-in-place pipe is constructed in a previously


excavated trench with near-vertical sidesand a circular
bottom. Tbe outsidc bottom portion of the pipe is formed
against the circular trench bottom, while the inside is formed
by a special1y designed slipform.

------------------128

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Slipformed pipes are used for flow line or


low-pressure sewers, storm drains, and agricultural
purposes. Pipes have been built in diameters of 12 to

INSPECTION

inch in 10 ft. The slab surface must be carefuUy inspected


for surface defects which Dght mechanicaUy bond the waU
to the slab and inhibit tilting.

120 in.

Forms
Since the trench is a portion of the form, check its
shape, line, and grade frequently checked to assure
correct waU thickness of the pipe. The circular bottom
of the trench, which is the forming surface, should also
be frequently checked to insure that it is dense, clean,
and free of serious irregularities. Any standing water in
the trench should be removed. If the trench is very dry,
it should be dampened for better curing of the
concrete.
The inside of the pipe is formed either by metal
forms or a speciaUy designed inflated tube. The top of
the pipe is ordinarily hand fmished, but may be
partially formed at its sides.
Control of concrete placement
The concrete can be placed in a two-stage manual
operation or in a one- or two-stage mechanical operation. In the two-stage operation, the lower portion of
the pipe is placed frrst, foUowed shortly thereafter by
the top portion. Check the condition of the top of the
walls of the lower portion frequently before placement
of the upper portion. Laitance or foreign matter, which
may adversely affect watertightness of the construction
joint, should be removed.
Continuously inspect the concrete pipe as it leaves
the forms to detect and resolve problems in the
shortest possible travel distance. To properly inspect
the pipe, it must be viewed both from the outside and
from the inside. For additional information on slipfornng cast-in-place concrete pipe, see Reference 5,
ACI 346, and ACI 346R.
TILT-UP CONSTRUCTION

In tilt-up cOflstrnctiofl, waUs of a building are cast


horizontally on the site, tilted or lifted into vertical
position, set in place, and made an integral part of the
structure (Fig. 15.3). Walls up to 3 stories high are
commonly formed in this manner. The waUs may be architecturally treated, utilitarian, load-bearing, or simply
c10sure waUs (Fig. 15.4).
Castlng platform
Surface inlperfections of the casting platform will
show on the waU panel. Platforms for special architecturaUy treated waU panels may require a high quality
finish to achieve the specified surface. Where surface
appearance is not critical, the earth is sometimes used.
UsuaUy the building floor slab serves as the casting
surface (Fig. 15.5), occasionally with some patching or
topping. Tolerances for floor slabs used as casting platforms must also satisfy waU tolerances, normaUy 114

Fig. 15.3 - Tilt-up panel during erec/ion

Forms
The only forms normaUy required in tilt-up construction
are around the waU edges and at openings. Edge forms
should be sufficiently stiff and weU braced to maintain the
edges in good alignment, particularly those forming the top
and bottom edges of the waU (Fig. 15.6).
Bond prevention
Liquid membrane curing compounds are commonly used
to prevent bonding of the tilt-up waUs to the floor slab. They
should be applied in two or more coatings, with the first coat
sealing the slab surface soon after placement and the final
coat applied shortly before placement of the waU concrete
to prevent bonding. The inspector should confirm that both
coats of the membrane are placed uniformIy and completely
cover the casting surface. Application of the bond breaker in
two directions is advisable.
Concrete
Concrete should be placed with the minimum practical
slump, and should be worked in place without injury to the
platform coating. Particular care should be taken to obtain
dense homogeneous concrete along aU edges of the panel.
Some special architectural surface treatments, such as a
pebble finish, should be cast face up to better control the
uniforDty of texture.
Erection
The inspector should verify that the erection procedure
used is the one designed for. Walls must develop sufficient
strength to prevent cracking during tilt-up. Cracking may
also be caused by lifting the panel at points other than those
indicated by the design; by lifting too strongly when it is
difficult to break bond; or by jerking or jarring the panel.

SPECIAL CONCRETING

METHODS

Fig. 15.4 - Tilt-up construction pennits an unlimited


archilectural treatment in design and exterior finishes

129

expression

o/

Fig. 15.5- Sandwich construction places rigid insulation over first layer o/
concrete, with a second layer o/ concrete cast over the insulation where a
durable interior surface is needed

130

MANUAL

Fig.

15.6- Wood

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

edge fonn for tilt-up waLlpanel with textured li/ler in place

Tilt-up walls may be set vertically before, during, or


after the erection of the structural frame. If the walls
are set before or during the erection of the structural
frame, temporary bracing is required (Fig. 15.7). The
inspector should observe carefully to see tbat the
erector gives adequate attention to bracing needs. Walls
are normally ancbored to tbe structure frame by
bolting, welding, or by being keyed in to precast or
cast-in-place colunms. Because of tbe extremely critical
nature of tbe transfer of stresses tbrougb tbe precast
concrete wall connections, do not permit even
apparently minor deviations from the design documents
witbout tbe arcbitect-engineer's approva!.
For additional guidance on tilt-up construction, see
References 41, 42, 43, and 44.

LlFT-SLAB

CONSTRUCTION

In Iift-slab construction, the floors and roof slabs of a


building are cast in layers one on top of another at or near
ground leve!. Openings are left around the building colunms.
When tbe slabs have cured sufficiently, tbey are successively
jacked up into proper position and connected to the colunms
(Fig. 15.8).
Forms
The onIy forms normally required for casting Iift slabs
are around tbe edges and at openings. The bottom forro is
tbe top of the previously placed slab. If tbe ceilings in the
building are to be exposed, slab finishing requires special
careo Any imperfections in the top of one slab will be
transferred to the underside of the slab above. Rougb fmish-

Fig. 15.7- Erecti/lg tilt-up panel with pipe bracing already attached.
The bracing stabilizes the waLl panel until the who/e structure is tied
together

SPECIAL

CONCRETING

METHODS

131

placing compacted coarse aggregate, and then filling the


voids by injection of grout. Preplaced aggregate concrete
contains a higher percentage of coarse aggregate than
conventional concrete and, because ofpoint-to-point contact
of the coarse aggregate, has about half the drying shrinkage
of conventional concrete.
Aggregate placement
The coarse aggregate should be well graded from about
3/4 in. up to the largest size which can be placed without
excessive segregation. The void content of the coarse
aggregate after placement in the form customarily ranges
between 38 and 48 percent. The aggregate should be washed
and screened immediately before placing in the forms (Fig.
15.9) so that it will be free of undersize material and will be
surface moist at the time of grout injection. Dry aggregate
fosters poor filling of the voids and reduces mortar bond
with the coarse aggregate.

Fig. 15.8 - Lift-slab constmctioll of a 13-story building


employs post-tellSioned concrete slabs supp0l1ed by steel
columllS and slipformed concrete towers

ing can also inhibit lifting by developing a mechanical


bond between slabs.
Bond prevention
Liquid membrane curing compounds are normally
used to prevent bonding of lift slabs. A major concern
for the inspector is confirming that the membrane is
placed uniformly and that it completely covers each
slab. Poor application of bond breakers has been a
major problem in lift-slab construction.
Polyethylene sheets are excellent materials for
prevention of bonding; however, they may wrinkle
during concrete placement and may cause a poor finish.
When they are used, special care should be taken to
prevent wrinkling if the ceilings are exposed.
Erection
When the concrete has gained sufficient strength,
the slabs are successively lifted into their final position
by jacks mounted on top of the building' s columns. The
inspector should verify that the lifting procedures to be
used are the ones for which the slabs were designed.
For additional guidance on lift-slab construction, see
Reference 24.
PREPLACED AGGREGATE CONCRETE
Preplaced aggregate concrete is produced by frrst

--

.. -- -- -

----

Fig. 15.9 - Placing


aggregate for preplnced-aggregate
constmction by flowillg washed aggregate through mbber "elephallt tmnk"

Grout materials and mixing


The grout is basically composed of portland cement,
sand, and water. Admixtures such as pozzolans, fluidifiers,
expansion agents, air-entraining agents, or coloring materials
are effective modifiers. Cement-sand ratios commonly range

132

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

from 1:1 to 1:2 by weight. Although ratios as lean as 1:3


have been used for structural graut, it is usually not
desirable to exceed 1:2. Sand for the grout should be
well-graded with 95 percent passing the No. 16 sieve
and with a fineness modulus between 1.2 and 2.0.
A vertical spindle, paddle-type mixer or horizontal
shaft mixer, similar to a large plaster mixer, may be
used. Conventional revolving drum concrete mixers are
not recommended unless the mixing is pralonged
because mixing action is less effective than in the
high-speed types. A grout agitator tank should be
provided to permit optimum effective use of the mixing
equipment and also to pravide storage capacity. A
screen with openings not smaller than 3/16 in. or larger
than 3/8 in. should be located ahead of the pump to
remove oversized material.
Use a standard flow cone to control the consistency
of grout containing fine sand in accordance with ASTM
C 939. Test cylinders should be made and tested in
accordance with ASTM C 942.
Grouting operations
Typically graut is injected through insert pipes 3/4
to 1 inch in diameter, spaced between 6 and 8 ft on
center. The insert pipes may extend horizontally
through the formwork or vertically fram above. Vertical
insert pipes should extend to at least within 6 in. of the
bottom of the formo
Graut is normally injected in horizontallayers or by
advancing slope techniques. With either system, graut
should start fram the lowest point in the forms. In the
horizontal method, grout is injected through each insert
pipe in sequence to raise the grout at each point from
3 to 5 ft, or as necessary to assure that the next layer
will go on while the one below is still soft. The inserts
are then withdrawn an appropriate distance and
grouting continued.
In the advancing slope method, intrusion starts at
one end of the form and pumping continues through
raws of inserts, the surface of the grout assuming a
gentle slope.
Vent pipes should be pravided at all locations
where water or air may be trapped under form surfaces
by the rising graut.
Use sounding wells, horizontal insert pipes, or
electranically calibrated detector wires to constantly
monitor the rise of the grout. Sounding weUs may be
left in place.
Clean all caked graut from equipment and all graut
lines after each shift.
For additional guidance on preplaced-aggregate
concrete construction, see References 5 and 17 and
ACI 304R and 304.1R.
UNDERWATER CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION
Concrete should not be placed under water unless
placement in air is impractical, and then only as
explicitly permitted by contract documents or by the

architect-engineer. Underwater placement is used primarily


for cofferdams, caissons, bridge piers, and drydock waUs.
The concrete placed under water is seldom as uniform as the
concrete placed in the dry and therefore is not suitable for
small or tbin sections.
Equipment and method
Concrete is normally placed under water by either the
preplaced aggregate method or the tremie method, or
occasionally in woven cloth bags. With the preplaced
aggregate method discussed earlier in tbis chapter water is
displaced from the forms by the rising grout.
Tremie concrete is placed under water by gravity feed
through a vertical pipe with one end above water for
charging with concrete, and the bottom immersed in the
concrete being placed. The tremie pipe diameter should be
approximately eight times the maximum aggregate size. The
tremie is flrst plugged and lowered into position. After the
tremie is filled with concrete, the plug is pushed out and the
concrete forms a seal around the bottom of the tremie pipe.
The pipe is lifted slowly during placement, always keeping
the bottom of the pipe embedded in the concrete. Placing
rates normally vary from 1-1/2 to 10 ft of height per hr.
In difflcult locations or where flowing water cannot be
avoided, it may be necessary to use coarsely woven cloth
bags partly filled with concrete. A diver carefuUy places the
bags in a header and stretcher system so that the whole mass
is interIocked. The bags should be free from contamination
by material s deleterious to concrete such as sugar, fertilizer,
and organic materials.
Mlx requlrements for tremie concrete
The concrete should contain at least 650 lb of cement
per cu yd. The fine aggregate is usuaUy 40 to 50 percent of
the total aggregate by weight. Water-reducing retarders,
air-entraining admixtures, and pozzolans are often added to
imprave flow. The mix should be sufficiently plastic to flow
readily into place without vibrating. A maximum watercement ratio of 0.44 by weight is normally recommended.
Slump between 6 and 9 in. is necessary for the concrete to
move properIy under water, where it weighs less than in air.
For additional guidance on underwater concrete construction, see References 5 and 17 and ACI 304R.
VACUUM CONCRETE
Vacuum dewatering is a method of extraction of excess
water from concrete shortly after it is placed. This permits
concrete to stiffen rapidly through reduction of the water
contento The resulting reduced water-cement ratio may also
increase the 28-day compressive strength of the concrete as
much as 25 percent, reduce shriokage cracking, and imprave
wear resistance. The method is used almost exclusively on
slabs, although it can also be used on vertical surfaces and
on forms for precast concrete.
Reduction In thlckness
Removal of water by the vacuum pracess can noticeably
reduce a slab's tbickness. Ordinarily, a 6-in. slab cast with

SPECIAL

CONCRETING

concrete having a 6-in. slump will be reduced in


thickness 1/8 to 1/4 in. If the slump is 3-1/2 in. or less,
the thickness reduction is usuaUy less than 1/8 in. When
necessary, the thickness of the slab as placed should be
increased so that the full design thickness is obtained
after dewatering. Slumps of concrete used in adjacent
areas should be approximately tbe same; otherwise
variations in the surface elevation will occur.
Processing
Vacuum mats should be arranged to permit
dewatering of the concrete soon after it is deposited,
struck off, and buU floated. Preferably, processing
should begin within 30 min in normal weather,
somewhat later in cold weather, and somewhat earlier
in very hot, dry weather. Most specifications require
vacuum processing to continue for 1 to 3 min per in. of
slab thickness. The effectiveness of water removal
decreases with depth. It is seldom practical to reduce
the water-cement ratio below a depth of 12 in. The
inspector should principaUy check the extent and
uniformity with which water is extracted, through
observation of the vacuum and of the timing and
duration of extraction. Final finishing operations should
commence as soon as processing is complete.
Maintenance of equipment
Vacuum mats should be kept clcan and in good
mechanical condition. If any mat shows a tendency to
pick up surface concrete, it should be wetted down
thoroughly at the start of work, washed at noon, and
very thoroughly washed at the end of the day to
prevent tbe retention of cement fIlm in tbe pores of tbe
muslin. If the mat sbows considerable wear, the muslin
should be replaced and the wire-screen backing
scrubbed clean.
For additional guidance on vacuum concrete
construction, see References 5, 45, and 46.
PUMPING

CONCRETE

Pumped concrete may be defined as concrete that


is conveyed by pressure either through rigid pipes or
flexible hose, and discharged directly into the desired
area. Pumping may be used for almost aU concrete
construction but is especiaUy useful where tbere is inadequate space for other concrete placing equipment to
be operated.
A steady supply of pumpable concrete is necessary
for satisfactory pumping. Pumpable concrete, like
conventional mixes, requires good quality control; Le.,
properly graded uniform aggregates, and material s uniformIy and consistently batched and thoroughly mixed.
Types of equlpment
Pisto n pumps and squeeze pressure pumps are the
two primary types presently available.
A piston pump includes a hopper equipped with

METHODS

133

remixing blades for receiving the mixed concrete, an in-let


valve, an outlet valve, and a piston in a cylinder. The outlet
valve is located in the discharge line. When tbe piston starts
its backward stroke, tbe inlet valve opens and the outtet
valve closes, and concrete fills the cylinder. On tbe forward
piston stroke, the inlet valve closes and the outlet valve
opens, and the piston pushes the concrete from the cylinder
into the pipeline or hose. Some pumps have two cylinders so
that one pumps on the forward stroke while the other is
filling on its backward stroke.
A squeeze pressure pump has a receiving hopper with
remixing blades, a flexible hose, and roUers operating inside
a metal drum maintained under a high vacuum. The flexible
hose is connected at the bottom of the receiving hopper and
enters at the bottom of the drum. The hose runs around the
inside periphery of the drum and out at tbe topo The
hydraulicaUy powered roUer assembly rotates witbin the
drum so tbat the roUers roU along the flexible hose alld
squeeze tbe concrete out at the topo The vacuum helps
restore the tube to normal shape after it is flattened by the
roUer and thus keeps a steady supply of concrete in tbe tube
from tbe receiving hopper.
Rigid pipe or a combination of rigid pipe and heavy-duty
flexible hose is normaUy used to carry pumped concrete to
the placement area. Rigid pipe normaUy made of steel is
available in diameters from 3 to 8 in. Flexible bose in
diameters from 3 to 5 in. is made of rubber, spiral wound
flexible metal, and plastic. Altbougb flexible bose develops
greater resistance to tbe movement of concrete than pipes
do, it can advantageously be used at locations such as curves,
difficult placement areas, and connections to movable
cranes. Rubber hose should not be used close to tbe pump
if a long line will follow.
Aluminum pipe shouJd not be used for tbe deJivery of
concrete. There have be en cases in which concrete pumped
through aluminum pipe has exhibited abnormal expansion,
caused by tbe formation of bydrogen gas, generated by the
aluminum flakes abraded from the surface.
Line couplings sbould be rated to resist the anticipatcd
line pressures. Couplings should be designed to allow
replacement of any line section without moving any other
line sections and should provide a full internal cross section
with no constrictions or crevices to disrupt the smooth flow
of concrete. Leaky couplings should be replaced immediately.
Pneumatic placers provide another method of conveying
concrete through pipelines. They consist of a pressure vessel
and equipment for supplying compressed air. Concretc is
delivered into the pressure vessel and the vessel sealed
tightly. Compressed air supplied into the top of the vessel
pushes the concrete out tbrough a pipe connected at the
bottom. A reblending discharge box is required at the end of
the line to bleed off the air and to prevent segregation and
spraying. Compressors should normaUy have a nnimum
capacity of 125 cu ft per min. The system must include an
air receiving tank betwecn the compressor outlet and the
pressure vessel to stabilize the compressed air supply and
assure a steady flow of concrete.

134

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Mlx requlrements
Although the ingredients of both pumped mixes
and those placed by other methods are the same, more
emphasis on reducing variability is essential to the
production of a successful pump mix.
The maximum size of angular coarse aggregate
should be Iimited to one-third of the mnimum inside
diameter of the pipe or hose, and the maximum size of
weU-rounded aggregate should be Iimited to 40 percent
of the inside diameter. Coarse normal weight aggregate
and sand should meet the grading requirements of
ASTM C 33, with the additional requirements that 15
to 30 percent of the sand particles pass the No. 50
screen and 5 to 10 percent pass the No. 100 screen.
Sands having a fineness modulus less than 2.40 or
greater than 3.0 should generaIly not be alIowed. To
improve pumpability, the volume of normal weight
coarse aggregate per unit volume of concrete may need
to be reduced by up to 10 percent, compared with
concrete placed by other methods, depending on
aggregate shape, cement and fly ash contents, or the
use of a pumping aid, and the capability of the
pumping equipment and operator.
Lightweight aggregates absorb more water than
normal weight aggregates, and under pumping
pressures may absorb considerably more. This can
result in water loss from the concrete in the line, and
thereby impair its pumpability. Lightweight aggregate
should be thoroughly presoaked prior to being used in
concrete for pumping. The minimum moisture content
after soaking should be equal to or in excess of the
average 24-hr absorption of the aggregate. AlIow free
water to drain from presoaked stockpiled aggregates for
2 to 4 hr before mixing to permit uniform slump
control.
Lightweight aggregates should meet the grading
limits stated in ASTM C 330, and, in addition, from 20
to 35 percent of the sand should pass the No. 50 screen
and 10 to 20 percent should pass the No. 100 screen.
Lightweight sand having a fineness modulus of less
than 2.20 or greater than 2.80 should generaIly not be
allowed. Much of the Iightweight concrete to be
pumped contains alI natural sand for the fme aggregate.
Gradation of tbis natural sand should conform to
requirements for sand for normal weight concrete.
Experience indicates that concrete with slumps
(measured at the intake) less than 2 in. are impractical
for pumping, while concrete with slumps above 6 in.
tend to segrega te. Because of the usuaUy higher range
in slump and aggregate sizes, and gradings requiring
more mixing water, pumped mixes usualIy require more
cement than conventionaIly placed concrete. Lightweight mixes normaUy require even more cement since
they usuaUy require even higher slump to compensate
for the slump losses under pumping pressure.
Admi.xJures frequently used in pump mixes are

INSPECTION

water-reducing admixtures, air-entraining admixtures, and


finely divided mineral admixtures or pumping aids. Properly
used, these admixtures can provide desirable effects such as
improved lubrication, reduced segregation, improved
workability, and decreased bleeding. Loss of air content
during pumping should be considered in establisbing the mix
requirements.
Prepare and test trial mixes intended for pumping in a
laboratory in accordance with aU applicable ASTM standards. For normal weight concrete, foUow the method
described in ACI 211.1, using Table 5.3.6 to select the
volume of coarse aggregate per unit volume of concrete. For
Iightweight concrete, foUow the method described in ACI
211.2, but use Table 4 of ACI 304.2R as a guide to selecting
the volume of atmosphericaIly soaked coarse aggregate and
Table 2 of ACI 304.2R for vacuum saturated or thermalIy
saturated aggregates.
Since there is no standardized way to test the pumpability of a mix in the laboratory, it is recornmended that a
mix be accepted for a pumping job based on a test under
actual field conditions. Testing for pumpability involves
duplication of anticipated job conditions including the
batching and truck mixing, the pump and operator, the pipe
and hose layouts, and, if possible, temperature. Prior use of
a mix on another job may furnish evidence of pumpability,
but only if aIl conditions are the same.
Control of placement
The pump should be located as near to the placing area
as practical, and the delivery to the pump should not impede
the continuous supply of concrete. Pump Iines should be laid
out with a minimum of bends, firmly supported, using
alternate Iines and flexible pipe or hose to permit placing
over a large area directly into the work without rehandling
(Fig. 15.10). For important concrete placements or large
jobs, standby power and pumping equipment should be
readily available.
When pumping downward 50 ft or more, it may be
desirable, depending on the manufacturer's recornmendations, to provide an air release valve at the middle of the
top bend to prevent vacuum or air buildup. When pumping
upward, it is desirable to have a valve near the pump to
prevent reverse flow of concrete during the fitting of c1eanup
equipment, or when working on the pump.
The pump operator should maintain direct cornmunication with the concrete placing crew. Good cornmunication
between the pump operator and the batch plant is also
important. As a final check, the pump should be started and
operated without concrete to be certain that alI moving parts
are operating properly. Mortar or a batch of regular
concrete without coarse aggregate should be fed into the line
ahead of the concrete to lubricate the pipes and reduce
friction. Make sure that the lubricating mix is wasted and is
not placed with the concrete. As soon as concrete is
received, the pump should be operated slowly until the Iines
are completely fuIl and the concrete is moving steadily.

SPECIAL

CONCRETING

METHODS

135

Fig. 15.JO-Placemenl boom supports and positions hose to deliver


pumped concrete
Monitor the point of discharge carefully to assure
that segregation, displacement of reinforcement, and
damage to forms do not take place. Pneumatic systems
should be equipped with a blending box at the end of
the Iines to avoid these problems. The pump end
should be monitored to assure that water is not added
to the concrete in the pump hopper.
During hot weather, shading, covering the pipe with
damp material, or painting the pipe white helps in
reducing slump loss and in mininzing concrete temperature rise.
Continuous pumping is desirable beca use, if the
pump is stopped, movement of the concrete in the line
may be difficult or impossible to start again. When a
delay occurs because of concrete delivery, form repairs,
or other factors, the pump should be slowed down to
maintain some movement of the concrete to avoid
plugging. If, after a delay, concrete cannot be moved in
the line, it will be necessary to cIean out one line
section, several sections, or the entire line and start
over.
When the form is nearly full, and there is enough
concrete in the line to complete the placement, the
pump is stopped and a "go-devil" is inserted and forced
through the line to cIean it out. Either water or air
under pressure may be used to push the go-devil. When
water is used, the go-devil should be stopped several
feet from the end of the line so that the water in the
line will not spill into the placement area. If air is used,
both the air supply and pressures must be carefully
regulated, and a trap should be installed at the end of
the line to prevent the go-devil from being ejected as a
dangerous projectile. An air release valve should also
be installed in the line to prevent buildup of pressure.

- -------

After aU concrete has been removed from the lines, aU Iines


and equipment should be thoroughly cIeaned irnmediately.
Concrete samples- To monitor the effect of pumping on
the final quality of the concrete being placed take samples
as required at the placement end of the line, with
corresponding samples taken at the point of delivery to the
pump. Periodically, it may be advantageous to take
additional concrete samples at the outlet end of the pump
line to detect any changes in slump, air content, or other
significant mix characteristics. Extra care of specimens
sampled at the placement site is necessary to assure no
damage during the setting and initial curing period of the
concrete. It is preferable to take a sufficiently large sample
at the pump outlet, immediately lower the sample to the
ground and make control measurements and specirnens in
the same manner as for control sampling and testing.
For additional guidance on pumping concrete, see
References 5 and 17 and ACI 304R and 304.2R.
SHOTCRETE

Shotcrete is mortar or concrete pneumatically projected


at high velocity onto a surface. Since shotcrete is generaUy
used without exterior forms, the mixture should have a
minimum slump so that sagging of the shotcrete is avoided,
particularly for vertical or overhead applications. Shotcrete
in the past has been cornmonly caUed air-blown mortar,
sprayed concrete, pneumatically applied mortar, or gunned
concrete (also known by proprietary terms such as Gunite
and Jetcrete). Shotcrete equipment can apply shotcrete with
maximum size aggregate up to 3/4 in.
Shotcrete is used for new construction and for repair
work. The economy of shotcrete comes from reduced
forming costs and the use of small, portable plants for
mixing and placement, but shotcrete is CarCrominexpensive.

136

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Conml0n uses of shotcrete are new structures with


more complex forming requirements such as folded or
curved roofs or waUs (Fig. 15.11), prestressed tanks,
reservoir and canal linings, and swirnming pools. A
more recent development in North America has been
the use of shotcrete for tunnel support during driving
and sometimes for tunnel lining.
Shotcrete is widely used for repair of existing
structures-for
example, reservoir linings, dams,
tunnels, waterfront structures, pipe, bridge and stadium
superstructures, and masonry and concrete structures
damaged by earthquake or fire.
Shotcreting processes
Shotcreting processes can be subdivided into two
basic types: the dry-mix process and the wet-mix
process.
Dry-mix shotcrete-With
the dry-mix process,
cement, sand, aml/or coarse aggregate are mixed dry
and fed with compressed air through hose lines to a
mixing nozzle. Depending upon the exact technique
employed, the sand may be damp or dry before mixing,
and the mix may be dry until reaching the nozzle or
may be dampened before delivery to the nozzle. A
separate line delivers water and admixtures (if used) to
the nozzle, which provides fmal mixing. The mortar or
concrete is then jetted at high velocity onto the surface
to be shotcreted.
Wet-mix shotcrete-In
the wet-mix process, aU
mortar or concrete ingredients (with the possible
exception of super-fast accelerators47) are mixed prior
to introduction into the delivery hose to be conveyed to
the nozzle by compressed air or pump pressure.
Additional compressed air is injected at the nozzle to
jet the shotcrete at high velocity onto the surface.

INSPECTION

ComparisOfl of processes-Either
process can produce
shotcrete suitable for normal construction requirements.
Differences in equipment, maintenance, and operational
features may make one or the other process more attractive
for a particular operation. However, the wet-mix application
is not subject to variation and to inclusion of lenses of
rebound to the degree that is often found in dry-mix
shotcrete. ACI 506R provides a comparison of the processes
(rabie 15.1).
Qualificatlons and dutles o, craftsmen
The quality of shotcrete in structures depends largely on
the skill of the application crew. AlI members of the crew
and the inspector should provide evidence of training and
experience in satisfactory work in similar capacities.
The inspector should observe the nozzlemen as they
perform the following duties:
1. Verify that all surfaces to be shot are clean and free
of laitance or loose material, using air, air and water, or
saodblast from the nozzle as required.
2. Verify that the operating air pressure is uniform and
provides proper nozzle velocity for good compaction.
3. Regulate the water conteot so that the mix will be
plastic enough to give good compaction and a low
percentage of rebound, but stiff eoough oot to sag. (In the
dry-mix process the oozzleman directly controls the mixing
water, while in the wet-mix process he calls for changes io
consistency as required.)
4. Hold the nozzle at the proper distance and as nearly
perpendicular to the surface as the type of work will permit,
to secure maxinlum compaction with minimum rebound (Fig.
15.12).

5. Follow a routine that fills corners with sound shotcrete and encase reinforcement without porous material
behiod it, using the maximum practical layer thickness.

Fig. J 5. J J - Undulating concrete sheLlwas covered with neoprene after shotcreting,


then coated with a plastic based paint

SPECIAL

CONCRETING

Table 1S.1-Comparison of operatlonal


features of dry- and wet-mlx shotcrete
processes from ACI S06R

DRY-MIX
PROCESS
riable
field
characterislics
are beller
wilh
aggregales.
and
for
grealer
nglh
ys.
of mix
al
properlies.
operalion.
bility.
Beller
Capable
suiled
forof placing
higher
slrenglhs.
mixes
Capable
of being
lransported
er mixing

WET-MIX
PROCESS
walerdusling
is
Ihoroughly
mixed
wilh
delivery
Mixing
accuralely
waler
e<juipmenl
is
measured.
controlled
and
can
al
beIhe
resulling
Normally
inof
less
has
malerial
lower
rebound
wasle.
Capable
Beller
olher
assurance
grealer
ingredients.
lhal
produclion.
Ihe
mixing
accompanies
Less
Ihe
gunning
and
cemenl
1055

6. Determine necessary operating procedures for


placement in c10se quarters, extended distances, or
around unusual obstructions where placement veIocities
and mix consistency must be adjusted.
7. Direct the crew when to start and stop the f10w
of material, and stop the work when material is not
arriving uniformly at the nozzle.
8. Insure that sand or slough pockets are cut out
for replacement.
9. Bring the shotcrete to fmish lines in a neat and
workmanlike manner.
10. In repair work, confirm that old concrete or
masonry has be en properly prepared, thoroughly
moistened, and surface water removed prior to
shotcreting.
11. Sound hardened surfaces with a hammer to
detect incIusions of rebound or the presence of hollow
spots.
The nozzleman's helper operates an air blow pipe
at least 3/4 inch in diameter, to assist the nozz1eman in
keeping alI rebound and other loose porous material
out of the new construction (except in cIasses of work
where the trapped rebound can readily be removed by
the nozzleman). The helper also assists the nozzleman
in other assignments as required.
The nozzleman's other assistant is the hoseman,
who helps with the delivery hose, keeping it advanced
for efficient progress. On some jobs the helper also acts
as hoseman.
Equipment
Original shotcrete equipment (Gunite and similar)
was developed about 80 years ago for dry-mix fineaggregate shotcrete. Such equipment is in considerable
use today.

--- ---

METHODS

137

Since that time, other types of equipment have been


developed to apply both wet- and dry-process shotcrete using
coarse aggregate. There is no consensus regarding superiority of one process over the other. Each process should be
assessed in relation to particular job conditions. The choice
of process is the contractor's unless the contract documents
limit it.
Shotcrete equipment should be kept in good condition
to avoid reduced pressure and consequent reduced velocity
of material. The interior of the drums, the feed gearing, and
the valves should be c1eaned as often as necessary, but at
least once every 8-hr shift, to prevent caking of material on
critical parts. Nozzle liners should be replaced when wom to
the point where uniformity of material f10w is 10s1. For
rough or heavy work, a pressure of 50 to 60 psi is required
at the nozzle. This pressure should be increased up to 75 psi
for high lifts or for hose lengths over 100 ft, to prevent
cIogging. For finishing work, best results are obtained with
nozzle delivery pressures between 25 and 50 psi. Both water
and air supply pressures must be uniformly steady, and water
pressure should be maintained approximately 15 psi higher
than the highest air supply pressure.

Fig. 15.12-Shotcrete
(sprayed mortar) shou/d be builJ up
gradualJy in layers, without sagging. Blow pipe clears away
loose material

Mix proportlons
For dry-mix fine-aggregate shotcrete, the mix proportions should ordinarily be 1 part cement to 3 to 4 1/2 parts
damp sand, measured by volume. The sand should contain
3 to 6 percent moisture, both to assure a homogeneous mix
and to prevent discomfort to the nozzleman from buildup of
static electricity.
With either dry- or wet-mix coarse aggregate shotcrete,
weight batching is preferred. Mixes may contain 560 to 850
lb of portland cement per yd3 and generally contain more

_____

138

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

sand tban conventional concrete. A typical coarse


aggregate sbotcrete prior to application migbt bave
proportions of cement, fine, and coarse aggregate
ranging from 1:3:2 to 1:3:1 depending upon job
requirements (see ACI 506R).
These mix proportions do no! represent tbe sbotcrete in place because they will be cbanged by loss due
to rebound of the solid ingredients. The in-place mix
proportions of shotcrete are fairly indeterminate. The
in-place quality should be establisbed by tests as
discussed below.
Shotcretes containing quick-setting admixtures or
fast-setting modified portland cements are required for
underground structural support. Sucb shotcrete should
bave bigh earIy strength of 500 to IODO psi or bigher at
8 hr.
Both liquid and powdered admixtures have been
used for high earIy strength shotcrete.4743 In most cases,
these admixtures have been transmitted by air or water
to the nozzle, since almost instant set is required. The
initial set time may be 1 min or less.
Research with shotcrete containing fast-setting
modified portland cement has indicated that such cement may have beneficial use in shotcrete.4743 Sbotcrete
containing the modified cement has bigher early and
later strength than the shotcrete with admixtures used
for comparison purposes.
It should be realized that any concrete, incIuding
shotcrete, that has high early strength will have lower
strength gain at later ages than that containing normal
portland cements.
Preparation of surfaces
Where shotcrete is to be placed against earth
surfaces, as in canal Iinings, such surfaces should first
be thoroughly compacted and trimmed to line and
grade. Shotcrete should not be placed on any surface
which is frozen, spongy, or where there is free water.
The surface should be kept damp for several hours
before applying shotcrete.
Where shotcrete is used for repairing deteriorated
concrete, it is essential that all unsound material first
be removed. Chipping should continue until there are
no offsets in the cavity which would cause an abrupt
change in the surface to be repaired. No square
shoulders should be left at tbe perimeter of the cavity;
all edges should be tapered. The final cut surface
sbould be critically examined to insure tbat it is sound
and properIy shaped. Improper preparatory work causes
more shotcrete failures in repair work tban any other
single factor.
Placing
The quality of dry-mix shotcrete, either mortar or
concrete, depends particularIy on the skill and
understanding of the nozzle operator. Contractors Cor
application of shotcrete should understand the importance of the n07Zle operator and should either provide

INSPECTION

experienced operators or provide for training them.


A11sand pockets, sloughed material, and rebound must
be continually removed to avoid being covered by shotcrete.
In most cases, rebound is best removed with a compressed
air jet.
Provided the rebound is properly cIeared away, the
nozzleman may work from bottom to topo Corners should be
filled first. The distance of the nozzle from the work is
generally about 3 ft. Direction of the gunning should be as
perpendicular to the surface as possible. When placing
shotcrete bebind reinforcing bars, the nozzle should be at a
slight angle and the concrete should be built up from botb
sides to permit better encasement of the bars. Full tbickness
of shotcrete should be built up in layers that will not result
in slougbing or sagging.
Placement should be temporarily halted if high winds
separate sand and cement at the nozzle, if freezing of the
shotcrete is threatened, or if damaging rain occurs.
Forms and ground wlres
Forms, wherever required, should be designed to permit
the escape of air and rebound. Forms need to be placed on
onIy one side of a wall. Adequate ground (gaging) wires
should be used to establish the thickness, surface planes, and
fmish Iines of the shotcrete. They should be taut, secure, and
true to line and plane.
Time between coats
The time interval between successive applications in
sloping, overhanging, or vertical work should be sufficient to
allow strength gain adequate to support the additional
layers. While the initial set is developing, the surface should
be Iightly and carefully broomed to remove any film and to
provide a better bond for the next application.
Constructlon jolnts
Construction or day's-end joints should be sloped off to
a tbin, cIcan, regular edge, preferably at a 45-degree slope.
Surface flnish
In surface finishing, the shotcrete should be brought up
to an even plane and well-formed corners by working to
ground wires or other thickness and alignment guides.
Reduced placing pressure assists in forming the corners. If
screeding is required, it should be performed with a tbin
slicing edge worked up against gravity to trim off high spots
and expose low spots. A tbin finish or flash coat may be
applied to remove rough areas after the ground wires have
be en removed, or the flash coat may cover the ground wires.
If a float finisb is desired, the final surface should be Iightly
rubbed with a flat burlap or rubber pad, with a circular or
spiral motion. If a troweled finish is desired, the steel
troweling should follow careful screeding to obtain satisfactory results with the least trowel pressure. Troweling
should be performed within 1 hr of placement.
Curing and protection
Curing and cold-weather

protection

should follow

SPECIAL CONCRETING

approved concrete practices, unless otherwise specified. Application of curing co01pounds is gellerally the
O1ost practical type of curillg procedure (see Chapter
10), but oot necessarily the best. Water curing is the
O1ost desirable.

Control testlng
There is no successful O1ethod of directly forong
test speci01ens by the shotcrete
O1ethod. The O1ost
reliable speci01ens are obtained fro01 cores either fro01
the structure or fro01 special test panels. These test
panels should be fabricated by the nozzle01an doing tbe
on-site work, holding tbe nozzle at the sa01e angle as
used 00 the structure. For fine aggregate sbotcrete, test
panels are generally about 18xl8x3 in. and tbe cores
about 3 inches in dia01eter with a finished length
so01ewhat less than 3 in. For coarse aggregate shotcrete, panels should be larger and at least 6 in. tbick.
The core dia01eter should be 3 in. When coring test
panels for test specimens, avoid areas near the edges of
the panel to obtain materials typical of that in the
structure. If test speci01ens are obtained fro01 panels,
cores should occasionally be taken fro01 the structure
to assure that the test paoels properly reflect the
quality of the concrete. Obtain and test the cores in
accordance with ASTM C 42.
Particularly for undergrouod
support structures, a
measure of strength withill less than 8 hr is desirable.
The shotcrete at tbis tender age usually cannot be
cored without damage to the speci01en. Promising research has indicated that the cone pullout apparatus
may have O1erit for the purpose. Good correlation
between pullout and formed cylinder strengths were
obtained.
Safety
Shotcreting requires special regard to safety. The
nozzle01an and crew should wear safety glasses with
side shields to preveot eye damage fro01 flying rebound.
In particularly
dusty situations,
such as sandblast
cIeanup, air-ventilated helmets may be required. It is
often necessary for the applicators to turo the nozzle
away fro01 the work during periods of unsatisfactory
feed conditions; they should be most careful to avoid
directing the nozzle at other O1e01bers of the crew. Care
should be taken to prevent caustic accelerators from
contact with the skin or eyes.
ACI 506R and Reference
49 are good general
references on shotcreting. References 47 and 48 are
special publications devoted to the use of shotcrete for
underground structural support, but they contain O1uch
information applicable to alI kinds of shotcreting. Reference 5 also contains pertinent information on shotcreting.

METHODS

139

140

MANUAL

CHAPTER 16 -

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

STRUCTURAL LlGHTWEIGHT
AGGREGATE CONCRETE

Structurallightweight aggregate concrete is generally used when reduced unit weight will produce economy in buildings and bridges. For most structures,
designs generally require the same compressive strength
levels as those used for normal weight concrete. Structural lightweight aggregate concrete is sometimes defined as having a 28-day compressive strength over 2500
psi and an air-dry unit weight less than 115 pcf. However, concretes having compressive strengths in excess
of 5000 psi can be economically produced with most
manufactured lightweight aggregates available in the
United States and Canada. A strength "ceiling" will
generally be found at higher strengths, the level depending on the particular aggregate. Some lightweight
aggregates are suitable to consistently produce concretes with strengths in excess of 5000 to 6000 psi.
There are two general c1asses of structural grade
lightweight aggregates:
Those produced by extruding, calcining, or sintering products such as blast furnace slag, c1ay,
diatomite, f1yash, shale, and slate
Those produced by processing natural materials
such as scoria, pumice, and tuff
Aggregates
Most structural grade lightweight aggregates are
produced using rotary kilns or sintering grates, with tbe
rotary kilns being preferred. Complete details of the
manufacture of structural lightweight aggregate are
found in ACI 213R.
To be acceptable for use in structural concrete,
lightweight aggregates must meet the requirements of
ASTM C 330. This specification covers such items as
grading, unit weight, deleterious substances, and concrete-making properties.
Although many structures have been built with concrete containing both coarse and fme lightweight aggregates to obtain the lowest possible unit weight at the
required strength level, much structural ligbtweight
aggregate concrete contains natural sand for the fine
aggregate. Natural sand is usually more economical
al1d also provides improvement for certain concrete
properties, such as tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, creep, and drying shrinkage.
Mixtura proportionlng and control
Mix proportioning methods for structural lightweight aggregate concrete generaUy differ somewhat
from those for normal weight concrete. The principal
properties that require modification of proportioning
and control procedures are the greater total water ab-

sorption and rate of absorption of lightweight aggregates,


plus their low weight, per se. The absorption of water by
the aggregate has little effect on compressive strength,
provided that enough water is supplied to saturate the
aggregate. The moisture content of the aggregate must be
known, and adjustments must be made from batch to batch
to provide constant cement and air contents, similar slumps,
and a constant volume of aggregates.
The net water-cement ratio of most structural lightweight aggregate concretes cannot be established with
sufficient accuracy to use as a basis for mix proportioning.
This is due to the difficulty of determining the percentage of
the total water that is absorbed in the aggregate and thus
unavailable for hydration of the cement.
Regardless of exposure conditions, entrained air is desirable in lightweight aggregate concrete. In addition to
improving durability, the entrained air enhances workability
and decreases bleeding. Recommended air contents are 4
to 8 percent with 3/4 in. maximum size aggregate and 5 to 9
percent with 3/8 in. aggregate. Do not use pressure air
meters for measuring air content of lightweight aggregate
concretes; the compression of air into the aggregate particles
during the test often makes the test results unreliable. The
volumetric metbod (ASTM C 173) provides the most reliable
results. In some arcas, however, low-pressure (3 psi) air
meters bave be en used with apparent success.
Mix proportioning metbods are presented in detail in
"Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for Structural
Ligbtweigbt Concrete (ACI211.2)." This reference presents
three metbods of proportioning. 1\vo of these, the weight
metbod and pycnometer method, have not been widely used
even tbougb tbey may provide more accurate procedures.
Witb some lightweigbt aggregates, particularly tbose having
a low rate of absorption and low total absorption, tbe
proportioning procedures for normal weigbt concrete may be
used (see Chapter 6).
The most widely used method of proportioning structural ligbtweigbt aggregate concrete is tbe cement content
versus compressive strength method (ratber tban watercement ratio versus compressive strengtb as used for normal
weigbt concrete.) Many aggregate producers can furnisb
sucb a relationsbip for their particular product and mixes
that bave proved satisfactory in use. For large or important
structures, tbe mixture proportions sbould be confirmed. It
is even more desirable, especially for large or important
structures, tbat separate mix proportioning studies be made.
Trial mixes sbould be made at tbree different cement contents (such as 500, 600, and 700 lb of cement per cu yd) witb
slumps of less than 4 in. and air contents of 5 to 6 percent.
It is best to make the proportioning studies with the
ligbtweigbt aggregate presaturated. Otherwise, rapid slump
loss will occur as additiol1al water is absorbed by tbe aggregate when it is introduced into the mixer.
To start, a trial batch should be made at one of tbe

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

sclected cement contents. Ir the lightweight aggregate


bas not been presaturated, aU of the aggregatc (including the sand) should be premixed with about twotbirds of the estimated water for a minute or so. Then
tbe cement and most of tbe additional water (including
water with the air-entraining agent mixed in) should be
introduced. The last of the water should be added
carefully and the total water should be adjusted to
achieve the proper slump as estimated by the operator.
Water beld back or increased from the original estimated amount should be carefulIy weighed and recorded to arrive at the total water actualIy in the batch.
When mixing is complete, measure slump, unit weight,
and air contento
This first trial batch should be examined for
workability, over- or under-sanding, harshness, and
proper air contento It will probably be necessary to
make a second trial mix at the same cement content,
adjusting quantities of sand, coarse aggregatc, water,
and air-entraining agent as determined from the results
of the first trial. See ACI 211.2 for information on
tbese adjustments.
The proportions for tbis second trial mix can be
obtained through the use of the specific gravity factor
method. This factor is obtained by summing the absolute volumes of cement, sand (SSD), water, and air
content (per cu yd of fresh concrete) based on the final
proportions of the first trial mix. This sum is then
subtracted from 27 cu ft to find the in-place volume of
the coarse lightweight aggregate. The specific gravity
factor for the dry lightweigbt aggregate is tben computed from:
specr."c
;~ gravl .tyfiac t07 = -~-~--~~~weight 01coarse aggregate
in-place volume x 62.4

This factor can then be used for adjustment of proportions as if it were a true specific gravity. It cannot be
used to find water-cement ratio, since part of the total
water has been absorbed by the aggregate.
After a satisfactory set of proportions has been
achieved with one selected cement content, compressive
strength specimens should be cast for testing at 7 and
28 days and such other ages as desired, and specimens
for plastic (wet) unit weight and for air-dry unit weight
(see below) should be prepared.
Mixes with the other two selected cement contents
should then be made to obtain strengths and unit
weights for these cement contents. In establisbing the
proportions for these mixes, the weight of coarse
lightweight aggregate and total water will not change
appreciably. Absolute volume of sand sbould be varied
inversely as cement content is changed and the airentraining agent dosage adjusted as necessary for each
cement contento
Once tbe compressive strengtbs have been obtained, a curve of strength versus cement content can
be established. The proper cement content for the

-- --~=--------

141

specified strength (plus necessary overdesign) can then be


found. This strength should be confirmed by further trial
mixing.
Testlng
The specifications for structural lightweight aggregate
concrete often require laboratory testing in addition to tbat
for minimum compressive strength (ASTM C 39) and maximum air-dry unit weight (ASTM C 567). These additional
tests are usuaUy for modulus of elasticity (ASTM C 469) and
splitting tensilc strength (ASTM C 496).
Field testing of structural lightweight concrete is generaUy limited to slump, fresh unit weight, air content, and
compressive strength. Note that ACI 318 "Building Code
Requirements for Reinforced Concrete" states that the
splitting tensile strength tests shalI not be used as a basis for
field aeceptance of concrete.
AU field testing and molding of specimens sbould be
done at the site after alI water has been added and the concrete thoroughly mixed.

Batchlng and mlxlng


The principIes of batching and mixing structural lightweight concrete are the same as for normal weight concrete.
It is recommended that, immediately prior to discharge, a
truck mixer be rotated some ten revolutions at mixing speed
to mininlize segregation.
The lightweight aggregate should be prewetted to as uniform a moisture content as possible, or premixed with the
mix water prior to the addition of the other ingredients of
the concrete. This will help to avoid slump control problems
at the mixer and to avoid slump loss which may oecur after
discharge from the mixer if the lightweight aggregate is
relatively dry. Slump control can be further aggravated if
tbe concrete is pumped.
With lightweight aggregates that have a low water absorption, special prewetting may' not be required prior to
batching and mixing. In many cases, the absorptive nature
of the, ligbtweight aggregate will require prewetting to a
fairly high and uniform moisture content to minimize slump
loss as discussed above. Ir the concrete will be exposed to
severe cold before sufficient drying oecurs, complete saturation of the aggregate during prewetting operations may have
to be avoided to maintain good durability.
Ir the structural lightweight aggregate concrete is to be
placed by pumping, it will often be necessary to completely
saturate the aggregate to prevent severe slump loss during
pumping. Under these conditions, the concrete should have
a long drying period before exposure to freezing and
tbawing. ACI 213R and ACI 304R should be carefully
studied in planning the pumping of structural ligbtweigbt
concrete.
Water-reducing admixtures, accelerators, and retarders
can be used in structural lightweight aggregate concrete in
essentialIy the same manner as in normal weight concrete.
Pozzolans can be used for partial replacement of portland
cement, just as tbey are used in normal weight concrete.

142

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Placing, consolidation, and finishing


Placing of structurallightweight aggregate concrete,
with the exception of pumping noted above, differs little from proper placing of normal weight concrete. As
in all concrete, segregation of coarse aggregate from
tbe mortar should be avoided. In consolidation of
lightweight aggregate concrete, be careful not to overvibrate. Since the coarse aggregate particles are the
ligbtest solid ingredients in the mix, overvibration can
cause the particles to rise, so tbat finisbing problems
result from "floating" aggregate and strength is nonuniform through the depth of the member. In addition
to care in vibration, the use of slumps less than 4 in.
helps greatly in avoiding segregation, during both
handling and consolidation and finisbing.
Properly proportioned structurallightweight aggregate concrete can generally be finished earlier than is
practical with normal weight concrete. Avoid overworking of the surface even more than with normal
weight concrete. Overworking will drve tbe heavier
mortar away from the surface and tend to bring excess
lightweight coarse aggregate to the surface. Surface
preparation of structurallightweigbt aggregate concrete
prior to troweling is best accomplished witb magnesium
or alunDum screeds and floats. The use of tbese tools
will minimize surface tearing and pullouts.
Grate
tampers Gitterbugs), both fixed and roller type, may be
of advantage in depressing coarse particles and developing a good mortar surface, providing tbeir use is
ligbt, c1ose1ycontrolled, and limited to only one pass
over the surface (see ACI 302.1R, Section 7.2.1). If
grate tampers are used, it is even more necessary to
keep tbe slump low-not over 2 in. Vibrating grate
tampers sbould never be used for structurallightweight
aggregate concrete.
Curing and protection
111ecuring and protection of structural lightweight
concrete is no different from that of normal weight
concrete. See Chapter 10 of this manual.
LlGHTWEIGHT FILL CONCRETE
The term lightweight fiU concrete as used in this
manual designates concretes witb oven-dry unit weights
between 50 and 90 pcf and generally with compressive
strengths less than 2500 psi. Applications for such concretes range from insulating fills to structural elements.
The aggregates in fill concrete include not only the aggregates of ASlM C 330, but also those of ASlM C
332. Cellular concrete witb added sand or other fine
aggregates is also used for fill concrete.
Aggregates and cellular concretes conforming to
ASlM C 332 are described in the following discussion
of insulating concretes. Oetailed infomlation regarding
lightweight fill concrete is provided in ACI 523.3R.
Aggregates
Lightweight coarse aggregates of these types are

INSPECTION

generally used with similar lightweigbt fine aggregates, but


may at times be used with natural sand. AlI aggregates for
fill concretes should meet the requirements of ASlM C 33,
C 144, C 330, or C 332, wbichever is applicable.
Mlx proportlonlng and control
The general objective for proportioning lightweight fill
concrete is achievement of the proper strength without
exceeding the specified unit weigbt. This is accomplished by
tral mixing. The details of tral mixing with expanded or
sintered shales, c1ays, etc., or with processed natural materals are the same as those for structural ligbtweigbt concrete descrbed above. Likewise the procedures for vermiculite, perlite, or foamed concretes are the same as for insulating concretes described below.
Water-reducing admixtures, accelerators, and retarders
can be used in lightweight fill concrete in essentially tbe
same manner as in nomlal weight concrete. Pozzolans can
be used for partial replacement of portland cement, as in
normal weight concrete.
Testlng
The laboratory and fie1d testing procedures for lightweight fill concrete are identical with tbe applicable details
given above and below for structural lightweight aggregate
concrete and insulating concrete, respectively.
Productlon
Methods of batching and mixing, placing and consolidation, and curing and protection are essentially the same
as the applicable details in the preceding and following
sections of tbis chapter.
LlGHTWEIGHT INSULATING CONCRETE
As used in tbis manual, low-density concrete is concrete
made with or without aggregate and having an oven-dry unit
weight of 50 pcf or less. Field placed low-density concrete
(lightweight insulating concrete) is commonly used to
provide thermal insulation and added stiffness in roof decks
(Fig. 16.1). Such concrete may also be used to reduce heat
transmission tbrougb floors and walls. Low-density concrete
is of two generic types:
Aggregate type - Concrete made predominantly witb lowdensity mineral aggregates sucb as expanded perlite or vermiculite, or low-density synthetic aggregates
Cellular type - Concrete made by forming a cement
matrix around air voids wbich are generated by preformed
foams or special foaming agents, with or without the addition of mineral aggregates
Aggregates
Aggregates for low-density concrete must meet the
requirements of ASlM C 332. ACI 523.1R provides detailed information on low-density concrete. Oetailed information on aggregates, foams, and mix proportions is also
available from producers and their trade associations. There
are two kinds of mineral aggregates for low-density insulating concrete:

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

143

must have sufficient stability to maiotain its structure until


the concrete hardens.
Mixer generated or in-situ foams are generated with
high-speed, high-shear mixing of water, foaming agent, cement, and aggregate (if required) with sinlUltaneous air entrapment. Initially large air bubbles are reduced to reasonably uniform size as mixing proceeds.
The quantity of preformed foam or foaming agent required is determined by trial mixing and depends on the
type, the efficiency of the mixer, and the desired unit weight
of concrete. Up to 80 percent of the final concrete mix
volume may be air.
Fig. 16.1- Constructed oflightweight concrete weighing 19
lb per cu fr, this hyperbolic paraboloid roof is supported
only at four comers

Group I consists of aggregates made by expanding products such as perlite and verOliculite. They
generally produce concretes having air-dry unit weights
between 15 and 50 pcf.
Group 11aggregates consist of the same materals listed for structurallightweight concrete aggregates.
They generally produce concrete having air-dry unit
weigh15 between 45 and 90 pcr.
The most commonly used natural aggregates for
low-density insulating concretes are the expanded minerais, vermiculite, and perlite. Vermiculite is a micalike mineral. When expanded by heat, the particles are
accordion shaped. 115dry-Ioose unit weight is 6 to 10
pcf, and it is usually produced in graded sizes.
Perlite is a naturally occurrng glassy siliceous rock;
when expanded by heat it produces light-colored, generally spherical particles. The particles contain closed
air cells. Perlite aggregate, which has a dry- loose unit
weight of 7 112 to 12 pcf, is also produced in graded
sizes.
Other aggregates used to produce insulating concrete are primarily synthetic materals and ioclude
ceramic and glass granules, hoUow polystyrene beads,
ground paper, and sawdust. Most of these particles are
single sized.
Sand used in low-density concrete should meet the
requirements of ASTM 33 (concrete sand) or ASTM
144 (mortar sand). Aggregates used for insulating
concrete seldom exceed 3/8 in. maximum size and
frequently are less than 118 in. maxinlum size.

Foams (cellular concrete)


Both preformed and mixer-generated foams are
used in insulatil1g concrete. Preformed foam is generated by introducil1g controlled quantities of air, water,
and foaming agent under pressure into a foaming
nozzle. The foaming agent is often a protein-type
material sinlilar to that used for foam-type fire extinguishers. The preformed foam is blended with a
cement slurry or cement-aggregate slurry either in
batched volumes or continuous batching. The foam

..-- --=~---=

Mix proportloning and control


For most applications, the proportions for insulating
concrete are chosen to provide a specified dry density, since
thermal properties are primarily a function of density.
Aggregate-type insulating concrete-Mixes
that contaill
lightweight aggregate are frequently specified in terms of cu
ft (bulk volume) of aggregate per bag of cement. A 1:6 mix
would contain one bag of portland cement and 6 cu ft of
aggregate. A better method is to specify such mixes in terms
of weight per cu yd of concrete. In these uni15, cement
contents may vary from 330 to 630 lb of cement per cu yd of
concrete.
An air-entraioing admixture is usuaUy included in iosulating concrete rnade with lightweight aggregates. The
air-entrainiog admixture acts as a wettiog agent, lowers the
specific gravity of the paste, and iocrcases relative specific
gravity of the coarse particles. Thus the tendency of the aggregates to float is substantiaUy reduced. Furthcr, mixiog
water content is also reduced. This is particularly important
with fluid mixes that are to be pumped through smaU (2- to
4-in.) hose lines. Such mixes are nearly self-Ieveling. The
amount of air entrainment is often adjusted to attain the required dry unit weight of the concrete produced.
Water requiremen15 of insulating concretes made with
lightweight aggregates vary greatly witb the absorption of the
aggregates and the desired fluidity of the mix. Vermiculite
aggregate is highly absorptive and typically requires 600 to
700 lb of water per cu yd for fluid rnixes. Most perlites are
less absorptive, and the water requireOlent may be between
300 and 500 lb per cu yd.
Foam-type (cellular) insulating concrete-Cernent
contents for ceUular concrete may range from 470 to 940 lb per
cu yd. When unit weights greater than 30 pcf are desired,
fine sand is usually added, and the cernent contents then are
generally 470 to 550 lb. No aggregate is used when the desired dry unit weigbt is less than 30 pcf. The water contents
of ceUular insulating concretes witbout aggregate are generally 300 to 500 lb per cu yd; with sand io the mix, water
vares between 200 and 375 lb.
Effect of pumping on mix proporlions-If
iosulatiog concrete is to be conveyed by pumping, whenever possible all
laboratory mixes should be trial pumped under field conditions prior to construction. Pumping can influence the
water requirernent, change wet and dry unit weights, and
improve mix uniformity. It may be necessary to start with

144

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

additional amounts of air or foam to make up losses in


blending, pumping, and placing of insulating concretes.
Testing
Laboratory tests of insulating concrete trial
mixtures are generaUy limited to compressive strength
and plastic (Le., freshly mixed) and dry unit weights.
Compressive strength and dry unit weight specimens
are molded (3x6-in. cylinders) and tested in accordance
with ASTM C 495. Plastic unit weights are determined
in a manner similar to that for other concretes (ASTM
C 138) except that the concrete is generaUy consolidated by tapping the sides of the container rather than
by rodding. Correlation of the plastic (wet) unit weight
with dry unit weight should be made to permit construction control to be based on plastic unit weight.
Once satisfactory Olixproportions have be en estabIished, other laboratory tests may be required. Since
these concretes are used for insulation, the themlal
resistivity and resistance are measured with a guarded
hot plate (ASTM C 177) or a calibrated hot conductometer (ASTM C 518). Specific heat and thermal
diffusivity are sometimes needed for design purposes.
Tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, Poisson's
ratio, and drying shrinkage measurements are infrequently required. Tbe techniques for these are the
same as for structural concrete. However, the equipment used should have sufficient sensitivity for the
generallow values encountered. Orying shrinkage of
insulating concrete is high relative to structural concrete and can be as much as 0.5 percent.
Tbe penetration resistance is sometimes used to
define the ability of low-density concrete to sustain
normal construction foot traffic. For acceptable walkability, the Proctor penetrometer should indicate an
average bearing value in excess of 10 lb with a 1I4-in.
penetration of a 1!20-sq- in. needle.
A measure of nailability may also be required for
low density concrete. Nail withdrawal resistance is
tested according to ASTM O 1037. Satisfactory nailability should incIude receiving of the specified type of
nail without shattering and the ability to withstand a
withdrawal force of 40 lb.
Field control tests are generaUy limited to compressive strength, as described above, and wet (plastic)
unit weight. Because of variances in weights of aggregates, cement and water, unit weight measurements,
accurate within plus or minus 1 percent are generaUy
considered acceptable. Unless otherwise specified, an
ordinary galvanized, lO-qt pail (approximately 113 cu ft)
or sinli1ar calibrated container along with a spring
balance scale can be used for unit weight determination. Calibrate the pail before using and check the
scale least once a week during use.
Batchlng and mixing
In batch mixing operations, first pour the required
amount ofwater into the mixer folIowed by the cement,

INSPECTION

air-entraining or foaming agent, aggregate, preformed foam,


amI/or other additives. Materials should be mixed so that
the design plastic (wet) unit weight is obtained at the point
of placement. Make alIowance for any changes to the mix
which may result from the method of placement, such as
mechanical or pneumatic pumping.
When transit mixing equipment is used for low-density
concrete containing aggregate, the mixer should not be
operated on the way to the job site.
For continuous mixing operations, provide for the uniform (and continuous) rate of addition of alI materials in
their correct ratio at appropriate positions in the mixing
machine, to assure uniform unit weight at the point of placement.
Placlng and consolldation
Most insulating concretes are pumped as extremely fluid
mixes GeneraUy, only screeding and minor floating operations complete the placing and finishing. When an aggregate is highly friable or when higher strengths are desired at
a specified dry unit weight, keep the water content lower
and place without pumping. Screeding and finishing are still
extremely simple when compared with structural concrete.
Tbe concrete is Iight and easily pushed into place. Vibration
is rarely used. External vibration may sometimes be used for
molded shapes or formed cavities.
Curlng and protection
Do not alIow the surface of freshly finished low-density
concrete to dry appreciably for the first 3 days. Vermiculite
and perlite concretes with their high water content do not
generalIy require a membrane or curing water under mild
weather conditions. In hot, dry, windy weather, membranes
should be used.
CelIular concretes typicaUy have higher cement and
lower water contents than the aggregate concretes. Specific
curing procedures, such as membranes or curing water,
should be specified and used with ceUular concrete to prevent premature drying. If such curing is not used, strengths
will be low and excessive drying shrinkage may resulto
HIGH-DENSITY

CONCRETE

Concretes having densities substantially above the 150 lb


per cu ft of normal weight concrete are used as shielding to
protect people and equipment from harmful radiation such
as X-rays, gamma rays, and neutrons.
Tbese concretes are made with heavy aggregates that
range in density up to about 350 lb per cu ft. For neutron
shielding, high-density concrete also incIudes concretes which
contain hydrous ores as aggregate and high cement contents
to increase the amount of hydrated water. Such concretes
may not be heavier than normal weight concretes but they
are more efficient in neutron shielding, since they contain
more hydrogen. High-density concretes are usuaUy used
where there is insufficient space for an equal weight of
normal weight concrete. The desired high density must be

3)
)O
7)"
**3.1)
4.8)
4.8)
to
2.6)
es

SPECIAL

TYPES OF CONCRETE

obtained if the concrete is to provide the desired


shielding.
Aggregates
Heavyweight aggregates for preparing high-density
concrete consist of such natural minerals as barite,
ferrophosphorous, goethite, hematite, ilmenite, limonite, and magnetite, plus man-made materials such as
steel punchings and shot. Where high fIXed-water
content is desirable, as described above, hydrous-iron
ore, serpentine (slightly heavier than normal weight
aggregate), or bauxite may be used. Table 16.1 provides speeific gravity and percent of fIXed water for
some of these materials. To produce concrete weighing
230 to 240 lb per cu ft, the aggregate should have a
specific gravity of atsieve
least
4.5. To produce concrete
size 1
square
I 1/2
in.
io.
weighing around
300
lb
per
cu ft, the aggregate should
11/4
1/2
io.
io.
8
11No.
3/4
io.
3/8
3/4in.
No.
4io.
have a specific gravity of at least 6.0.

145

Natural aggregates and ferrophosphorus should be weU


graded and within the limits shown in Table 16.2 for coarse
aggregates and Table 16.3 for fme aggregates.50 Fine aggregate having Gradation 7 should be used when the specific
gravity of the grout sand is greater than 3.0. Coarse metallic
aggregates should have a maximum dirnension (measured diagonaUy) of 1 in., with aU coarse aggregate retained on a
3/8-in.-square screen. Ungraded shot or ground iron fme
metallic aggregates should conform to the gradation requirements in Table 16.3.50 In difficult placement conditions, it
is often mandatory to limit oversize.
Table 16.2-Gradlng requlrements for coarse
aggregates-percent by welght flner than sleve
size shown
Nomioal

...
..
....
......
.....

70 100
95
lo .100
100
40
60
20
35
40
20
O
lo
10
lo
lo
80
lo
85
50
70
80
45
95
O
.loO10
.OlO
100
.10
4Gradalioo
2Gradatioo
320
100
O
O
275
O
10
Coovenliooal
90
50
lo
100
Gradalioo
10
lo
30
55
5215
placemeol
placemenl
Prepacked
Gradalioo

Table 16.1-Speclflc gravlty of aggregates


used In shieldlng concrete
NA 11JRAL
MINERAL
Calcium
borales
Boron
carbide
(2.5
lO
2.6)
)jmonile
[8 to 12
12
(3.4
percent]
to
Borocalcile
Colemanite
Gerslley
(2.3
borale
(23
lO3.8)
2.4)
lo(2.0)
2.4)
Goethile
(3.4
lo
3.8)
Heavy ore

Boron
Boraled
addilives
dialomaceous
SYN1HE11C
Metalic
iron
products
Ferrophosphorus
Sheared
Ferrosilicon
Iron
Croshed
shol
bars
aggrqales
(6.5
(75
(7.7107.8)
(5.8
lo
to2.6)
7.0)
7.6)
106.3)
Boron
Ferroboron
earlh
frit
(2.4
(-1.0)
lO
(5.0)
Sleel
punchings
(7.7107.8)
Heavy
slags
(-5.0)

'Specific gravity shawo in pareotheses.


by brackets.

"Water of hydratioo is indicated

In general, the selection of an aggregate is de termined by physical properties, availability, and cost.
Heavyweight aggregates should be reasonably free of
deleterious material, oil, and foreign coatings that
affeet either the bonding of the paste to the aggregate
particle or hydration of the cemento They should also
be nonreactive with alkalies. For good workability,
maximum density, and economy, aggregates should be
roughly cubical in shape and free of flat or elongated
particles.

Mlx proportions and control


Concrete of normal placeability can be proportioned for
densities as high as 350 lb per cu ft by using heavy aggregates such as iron ore, barite, or iron shot and iron punchings. Although each material has its own special characteristics, it can be processed to meet standard require-ments for
grading, soundness, and c1eanliness. The acceptability of the
aggregate depends on its intended use. For radiation shielding, determination should be made of trace elements in the
material which may become reactive when subjected to radiation. In the selection of materials and proportioning of
heavyweight concrete, the data needed and procedures used
are similar to that required for normal weight concrete
except for the following items.
In selecting an aggregate for specified density, the
specific gravity of the fine aggregate should be comparable
to that of the coarse aggregate to reduce settlement of the
coarse aggregate through the mortar matrix. Some of the
materials used as heavy aggregates are shown in Table 16.1.
Ferrophosphorous and ferrosilicon (heavyweight slags)
should be used only after laboratory mix testshave shown the
suitability of the materials. Hydrogen evolution in heavyweight concrete containing these aggregates has been known
to result in a self-limiting reaction that produces over 25

146

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Table 16.3-Grading requlrements for fina


aggregates: percent by welght flner than slave
slze shown

...
O
0105
O
lO
lo
10
550
1.30
20
1.00
2...
lo
lo
10
40
1.90
1.60
80
95
25
50
10
30
100
65
75
lo
lO
100
lO
lo
100
lO
10
...
100
30
85
60
95
90
Gradalion
5. 6.7,
10
lo
30
2.3 lo Gradalion
3.1
45
lo
65
Gradalion
Cine
grOUI
aggregale
sand
grOUI
sand
Nominal
modulus
318 in.

INSPECTION

8. Because of the high loads placed on mixing equipment, avoid stopping and starting while loading mixers.
ACI 211.1 gives additional details regarding the proportioning, batching, and mixing of high-density concrete.
Placlng, consolldatlon, and flnlshing
Methods used for normal weight concretes are generaUy
applicable, but because of high density, be careful not to
overload conveying equipment. Forms roust be designed to
withstand the high weights of the concretes. High-density
concretes can be pumped, but the height or distance is less
than for normal weight concretes.
Segregation of the dense coarse aggregates can occur.
Keep the slump low and avoid overvibration. Coarse aggregate is sometimes preplaced (see Chapter 15).
Puddling is another method used to obtain a uniform
coarse aggregate distribution. Mortar is placed in layers of
controUed thickness and a measured quantity of coarse
aggregate is placed over and vibrated into the mortar .

'Fineness

modulus shall no val)' more Iban 0.2 from Iba! of approved

sample.

times its VOIUOleof hydrogen before the reaction


ceases. Antifoam agents can help reduce entrapped air.
Batching and mixlng
The techniques and equipment for producing
heavyweight concrete are the same as used with normal
weight concrete, but, because of the importance of
meeting a weight specification, testing and quality control measures, especiaUy unit weight determinations,
assume even greater importance in enforcing strict
qua lity control. Give special attention to the foUowing:
1. Prevent contamination with normal weight aggregate in stockpiles and conveying equipment.
2. Avoid overmixing because some heavyweight
aggregates are subject to breakage.
3. Purge alI aggregate handling and batching
equipment, premixers, and truck mixers before batching
and mixing heavyweight concrete.
4. Check accuracy and condition of conveying and
scale equipment, aggregate storage, and concrete batching bins. Because of the greater weight of heavy-weight
aggregate, the permissible volume batched in a bin is
considerably less than the design capacity. For example: a 100-ton aggregate bin designed for 75 cu yd of
normal weight aggregate should be loaded with only 25
to 55 cu yd for the range of specific gravities shown
above.
5. Check condition and loading of mixing equipment. For concretes weighing approximately 4800 to
9500 lb per cu yd, the volumetric capacity of a truck
mixer, without overloading, is reduced by from 20 to 60
percent.
6. Proportion aggregate accurately to maintain
water-cement ratio.
7. Check fresh unit weight frequently.

Curlng and protaction


Requirements for curing and protection are the same as
for normal weight concretes.
MASS CONCRETE
Mass concrete is concrete, not necessarily with extremely
large aggregate, for which consideration must be given to
temperature rise caused by the hydration of the cement, and
to the subsequent drop of temperature to ambient conditions. Mass concrete is usually required to be placed at a
low temperature, often 60 F or less. Using ice to replace
part of the mixing water often helps control the temperature.
In practice, mass concrete falls into two categories:
Concrete for large structures such as dams
Concrete for deep, tbick structural members, such as
heavy mats and waUs for nuclear containment or other
structures or for heavy, long-span spandrel beams.
Since the concretes for these two types of structures
differ widely, they are discussed separately. References 51
and 52 give information on inspection and vibration of mass
concrete.
MASS CONCRETE FOR DAMS
To save cement and reduce temperature rise, concrete
in daros has low cement content, large maximum sized
aggregate (generally 3 or 6 in.), low percentage of fine
aggregate, and often contains a pozzolan as a replacement
for part of the portland cement. References 5, 17, and 53
and ACI 207.1R and ACI 304R provide detailed information
on concrete for dams. Only the most important aspects of
inspection and concrete for dams will be presented in tbis
manual. Those directly involved in dam design and construction should obtain further information from the cited
references.
Mix proportionlng and control
The objective of mass concrete mix investigation is

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

selcction of materials whose type and quantity will provide economy, low temperature rise potential, and adequate properties ofworkability, strength, durability, and
permeability. To achieve this objective, it is common
to use Types 11or IV portland cements along with pozzolans or portland-pozzolan cements. In gravity dams,
stresses are low and develop slowly; thus gravity dams
are usualIy designed for low strength concrete with low
cement content. The design compressive strength is
usualIy specified to be achieved at 90 days or 1 year.
Arch dams may require somewhat higher strengths at
these ages, but again stresses develop slowly. Waterreducing and air-entraining admixtures are used primarily to reduce cement content.
Experience has shown that a rather wide range of
coarse aggregate (maximum size 6 in.) grading may be
used. Grading limits are usualIy about 20 to 35 percent
retained 011 each of the 3-in., 1 l/2-in., 3/4-in., and
3/16-in. screens. Sand grading limits are generalIy
somewhat more restrictive in range than that provided
by ASTM C 33.
Trial mix proportions for mass concrete for dams
are generalIy selected folIowing the recommendations
of ACI 211.1 (see Chapter 6 of tbis manual). Slumps
are generalIy limited to 11/2 to 2 in. to prevent segregation. The ratio of Cineaggregate to total aggregate
by absolute volume may be as low as 21 percent with
natural aggregates; with crushed aggregate the ratio
may range from 25 to 27 percent.
Testing
Make some compressive strength specimens containing the ful! mass mix; they should have a diameter
not less than 3 times the maximum size aggregate and
should be tested at the specified design strength age.
Job-control cylinders of necessity must be tested at
earlier ages if they are to be useful in maintaining
control and uniformity of the concrete. For job-control
spccimens, wet screen or hand pick the fresh concrete
sample to remove alI aggregate larger than 1 1/2 in.,
and then mold standard 6 x 12 in. cylinders. Measure
slumps and air contents on similarly wet-screened or
hand-picked concrete.
Since 6 x 12 in. cylinders are used for job control
whereas design strength is confirmed with cylinders of
suitable diameter, correlation tests of the relative
strengths oe these specimens should be made in the laboratory welI ahead of construction (see References 5,
53, and ACI 207.1R).
Special equipment and procedures
Proper batching of mass concrete requires the same
accurate, uniform, reliable batching procedures that are
essential for other classes of concrete. Because of the
unusual!y low amount of mortar in mass concrete for
dams, the critical workability is more sensitive to usual
variations in batching. Fortunately it is economicalIy
feasible on large mass concrete jobs to specify the most

--

..

---

--_.

---

147

effective methods and equipment for batching. Among


these are:
1. Finish screening of coarse aggregate
2. Refinements in batching equipment
3. Automatic weighing and cutoff features
4. Interlocks to prevent recharging when material
remains in the hopper
5. A device for instant reading of sand moisture content
6. Recording of the various weighing and mixing operations.
Bins and dispensers are required for such materials as
pozzolans; ice; and air-entraining, water-reducing, and
set-controlIing admixtures.
Mixers for mass concrete for dams are stationary, central
plant mixers, with a tilting discharge arrangement and usualIy of at least 4 cu yd capacity. Specifications for mixing
time relate to mixer capacity - ranging from a mnimum of
1 mn for the first cubic yard plus 15 sec for each additional
yard of mixer capacity to 1 1/2 mn for the f11"st2 cu yd plus
30 sec for each additional yard. Mixer performance tests are
usualIy required; criteria for these are found in ASTM C 94,
Table 1. During mixing is the last opportunity for observation and adjustment to obtain the desired uniform consistency and slump. This requires alertness on the part of the
inspector and operator. In order to judge if the slump is
correct or if adjustment ofwater is needed, operators should
be stationed where they can see the batch in the mixer.
Prior to placing of mass concrete for dams, horizontal
construction joints must be cleaned preferably by wet sand
blasting or by high-pressure water jet. Surface retarders
have not been an important means of cleanup of horizontal
joints in mass concrete. Protruding coarse aggregate is unneccssary. Wet sand-blasting provides the most satisfactory
surfaces under varying circumstances, and the cost varies
slightly from the cost of other methods. Brooming of a thin
layer of sand-cement mortar may be specified on horizontal
construction joints, but the value of tbis practice is questionable (ACI 207.1R).
When fresh concrete is placed, joint surfaces should be
damp or approaching dryness, and totalIy without free moisture.
Mass concrete is best placed in successive layers not
exceeding 18 to 20 in. for 6 in. maximum aggregate concrete.
ShalIower rather than deeper layers give better assurance of
satisfactory consolidation.
The layers should be carried
forward and added in the block by successive rows of bucket
dumps, such that there wiII be a setback of about 5 ft between successive layers.
Vibration is the key to successful use of lean, low-slump
mass concrete. In recent years, vibrators for this purpose
have been large, spud types operated by one persono Oneman air vibrators now available are better than the two-man
electric vibrators that were considered best some years ago.
Assuring ful! vibration where the perimeters of two batches
join requires special attention, and a little more than fulI
depth at each layer. Vibrators operated in a vertical position
should penetrate several inches into lower layers; vibratian

---- ----------------148

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

should continue untit large air bubbles have ceased to


escape from the concrete. Overvibration of low-slump
mass concrete is unlikely. See Reference 52 and ACI
309 for detailed recornmendations for mass concrete
vibration.
Temperature control

Temperature must be controlIed in mass concrete


for dams to nnimize the cracking due to untenable
differentials between high internal temperatures and
low exterior temperatures caused by ambient conditions. There is also strength loss at later ages if
temperature rise is not controlIed. It is cornmon practice with the efficient equipment now available to produce concrete at temperatures less than 50 F in practically any summer weather. The use of finely chipped
ice in place of mixing water and shading of damp (not
wet) aggregate will reduce concrete temperature to
near 50 F in alI but the hottest weather.
Coarse
aggregate can be cooled by passing frigid air through
the bins or by passing the coarse aggregate through ice
water. Aggregate can also be coolOOby vacuum processes, but, unless the moisture content of the aggregate is quite uniform, this can lead to difficulties with
slump control. For other recornmendations see ACI
305R.
Aside from pipe cooling, temperature rise can be
minimized by: (1) using steel forms for quick heat
transfer, sprayed with cold water if necessary, and (2)
water curing of horizontal construction joints with controlIed evaporative spraying.
Embedded pipe cooling-a series of evenly spaced
pipe coils which circulate refrigerated water-is used to
limit concrete temperatures near foundations, when less
expensive cooling measures are not effective. Pipe
cooling may also be required to assure contraction joint
openings if grouting of these joints is required. For
other recommendations, see Reference 53 and ACI
207.1R.
STRUCTURAL

MASS CONCRETE

Limitation of temperature rise is important in a


number of types of modern structural members.
Among these are heavy mat foundations (Fig. 16.2) for
talI buildings or power plants, heavy bridge piers, thick
nuclear containment walIs, and heavy, thick, spandrel
beams. Structural mass concrete is generally considered to be that which is 3 ft thick or more. Further
discussion is contained in a job-oriented paper (Reference 54).
ACI has not prepared guides or recommended
practices for structural mass concrete. However, ACI
349 and ACI 359 provide information useful to inspectors at nuclear plant construction. While many of the
recommendations for normal and mass concretes will
apply, structural mass concrete differs from that in
dams in several respects. Structural mass concretes
generalIy require compressive strengths higher than for

-. -=~------.- -.

Fig. 16.2 - Thick mat foundation with both top and bottom
reinforcement is an exampLe of structuraL mass concrete in
which mix ingredients shou/d be kept cooL and other speciaL
precautions shou/d be taken in hot weather

massive structures such as dams. Required strengths may


range from 3000 to 5000 psi or higher. Strength will often be
specified to be achieved at 28 days age, but may be later--up
to 90 days. The maximum size of aggregate will probably be
no greater than 1 1/2 in. and often will be onJy 3/4 in.
Slumps are gener-ally specified between 3 and 4 in. and air
contets from 4 to 6 percent, although the value of using
entrained air in most of this, rich, massive, well-drained
concrete is questionable.
The efficient means for cooling concrete ingredients as
used in dams are generally too costly for structural mass
concrete. Chipped ice is often used to replace mixing water
in hot weather. Maximum placing temperatures are often
specified at 70 F; lower values are preferable and practical,
as shown in Reference 11.
For nuclear construction, al1 concrete ingredients are
carefully specified and tested prior to use in the structure.
Portland cements are usualIy specified to be Type 11. Aggregates are carefuUy sampled and tested for grading and examined petrographically for quality and identification of
deleter-ious materials. Efforts are made to minimize the
chert content of fine aggregates. Air-entraining admixtures,
water-reducing admixtures, and fly ash are tested for
compliance with ASlM C 260, C 494, and C 618,
respectively.
Trial mix proportioning is done in accordance with ACI
211. Compressive test specimens are generalIy 6 x 12-in.
cylinders.
Structural mass concrete may be placed by any of the
conventional methods, including pumping. Consolida-tion is
similar to other structural concretes. As in mass concrete
for dams, avoid cold joints and thoroughly clean planned
construc-tion joints before resumption of concreting.
CONCRETE

WITH POZZOLAN

The use of pozzolans as replacement of a certain portion


of the portland cement in concrete is not a new develop-

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

mento Pozzolans have be en widely used in massive


structures such as dams since the late 1940s. Since that
time, pozzolans, particularly fly ash, have also found
considerable use in structural concrete. Pozzolans can
improve workability, reduce heat of hydration, inerease
impermeability, improve sulfate resistance and reduce
expansions caused by reaction between certain aggregates and the alkalies in cemento Importantly, the use
of pozzolans can result in greater economy of concrete,
particularly if design compressive strengths are specified
at ages greater than 28 days.
In the 1980s an ultra-fine pozzolan caUed microsilica or silica fume gained attention as a minearal admixture contributing to the development of a new generation of high strength concretes, ranging upward from
12,000 psi in strength. Silica fume, a byproduct of the
industrial manufacture of ferrosilicon and metallic silicon, has particles about 1/100 the size of portland cement grains. Consult Reference 55 for detailed information.
The use of pozzolans generaUy reduces the rate of
early strength development so that concrete strengths
at early ages may be less than those of comparable
mixes with only portland cement, but strengths at later
ages will be nearly equal or higher. Class N pozzolans
may iuncrease mixing water requirements, and thus, at
least theoreticalIy, drying shrinkage, but no difference
is evident in field structures.
Resistance to freezing and thawing may be lowered
where the concrete is wet, unless air is entrained carefulIy. The concrete color may vary depending upon the
color of the pozzolans. Class F (fly ash) pozzolan more
often reduces mixing water requirement than increases
it (Fig. 16.3). In order to properly assess the advantages and disadvantages of using pozzolans, make laboratory studies of proposed concretes using actual job
materials. When the aggregates are potentialIy reactive,
alkalies in the pozzolans as well as those in the cement
should be considered in evaluating the cement-pozzolan
combination. Oetailed information on the use of pozzolans in concrete can be found in References 5, 17,56,
and 57 as well as in Reference 55.
Materials
AlI pozzolanic materials for use in concrete should
conform to the requirements of ASTM C 618. This
specification provides three classes of pozzolans as
follows:
Class N - Raw or caIcined natural pozzolans, such
as some diatomaceous earths, opaline cherts, shales,
tuffs, voIcanic ashes or pumicites, and some clays and
shales
Class F Fly ashes that are a finely divided
residue resulting from the combustion of ground or
powdered anthracite or bitunnous coal
Class C - Fly ash produced from burning lignite or
subbituminous coal and generalIy having sufficient lime
content to have some cementitious properties

149

Mlx proportloning and control


FolIow the recommendations of ACI 211.1 for trial mix
proportioning of concretes containing pozzolans (also see
Chapter 6 of this manual). It is important to know accurately
the specific gravity of the pozzolan.
To properly assess the economy and desired concrete
properties, make trial nxes with job materials at three levels
of pozzolan usage. These may be expressed as a percentage
of the actual portland cement content, generalIy in the range
of 10 to 50 percent by weight of cemento For analysis of test
results and for interpolation of desired compressive
strengths, plot trial mix compressive strength as a function
of the weight ratio of (water) to (cement plus pozzolan).
After satisfactory strengths, workability, and economy
have been established, test the proposed field proportions
for drying shrinkage and durability, if these are important to
the particular structure.
Carefully identify batchinglstorage equipment to differentiate between portland cement and fly ash, since the color
of these may be nearly the same.

Fig. 16.3 - Highly magnified particles 01 portland cement (left)


and fly ash (right) reveal spherical shape 01 fly ash that makes
it flow easily and improve mix workability
SHRINKAGE-COMPENSATING

CONCRETE

Shrinkage-compensating concrete is used in various types


of construction to minimize cracking caused by drying
shrinkage of hardened concrete. Such shrinkage compensation is achieved through the use of expansive cements.
These cause expansion after setting to compensate for subsequent shrinkage (Fig. 16.4).
The characteristics of shrinkage-compensating concretes
are sinlar in most respects to other types of portland cement concrete. However, the proportions, placement, and
curing must be such that expansion for shrinkage compensation is achieved in the structure in the amount and at the
time required. In addition, the reinforcement system must
provide the proper restraint to the expansion. Oetailed information regarding shrinkage-compensating concrete can be
found in ACI 223.
Materials
ASTM C 845 defines three types of expansive cement:
Type K
Type M
Type S

150

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

While each type is produced by a different process,


each results in formation of the same compound, ettringite, in the concrete. The formation of this compound
is the source of the expansive force in the hardening
concrete. Approximately 90 percent of expansive cement consists of the constituents of conventional portland cement with added sources of aluminate and calcium sulfate. Thus the oxide analysis as shown on mili
test reports will not differ substantially from ASTM
C 150 portland cements.
Two basic factors are essential to the development
of expansion: an appropriate amount of soluble sulfates
and the availability of sufficient water curing for hydration. Ettringite begins to form almost irnmediately
when water is introduced, and its formation is accelerated by mixing. To be effective, a major part
of the
concreteat 28
strength
50006000
4000
ettringite must form after
attainment of some strength;
3000
otherwise, the expansive force will dissipate in deformation of the plastic concrete. Extended mixing is
detrimental to expansion, and for long ready-mixed
concrete hauls this must be considered in proportioning
and trial mixing. Cement fineness above the optimum
also accelerates formation of ettringite.
The use of admixtures in shrinkage-compensating
concrete may be either beneficial or detrimental to
expansion. During warm periods, slump loss has been
experienced with shrinkage-compensating concrete, and
an admixture may be desirable.
In aU cases, test
admixtures in trial mixes with job materials and proportions under simulated job conditions. Air-entraining
agents are as effective in increasing durability of
shrinkage-compensating concrete as with portland
cement concretes.

PORTLANO

CEMENT

CONCRETE

THE SHRINKAGE

COMPENSATlNG

CEMENT

r----------1
ORIGINAL

LENGTH

1-__
SHRIN~AGE

ORYING

rI

:=;::

L~"""'"""'
I

TENSILE

STRESS

OEVELOPS

" TENSIL[
ST~SS
15
GREATER
THAN
TENSILE
STRENGTH,CONCRETE
CRACKS

LENGTH

r--!.-~c~~--~

ON

ORIGINAL

~
I

TENSION
ANO
COMPRESSION

I EXPANSION

CONCRETE

PUTS

r---!'-$

STEEL

C ~

IN
IN

1--.1

~~--1
jI~I
l

STRESS
LOSS
RESIDUAL
OUE TO
EXPANSION
SHRIN~AGE
OR COULO
BE SMALL
CONTRACTlON
IN SHRINKAGE
COMPENSATlNG
CONCRETE

Fig. 16.4- Tensile stresses resulting from shrinkage may


cause cracks in portland cement concrete (left). /nitial
e.xpansion compensates for drying and hydration shrinkage in shrinkage-compensating
concrete (right).

INSPECTION

Mix proportlonlng and control


Trial mix proportioning of shrinkage-compensating
concrete is generaUy achieved with the methods and recommendations of ACI 211.1 for normal weight concrete and
ACI 211.2 for lightweight concrete.
The best data for cement content and required watercement ratio for a specified compressive strength may be
available from the producer of the expansive cemento If past
performance data are not available, ACI223 offers the guide
to required water-cement ratio shown in Table 16.4. Concrete made with shrinkage-compensating cement has a high
water demando
Table 16.4- Trial mlx gulde for shrinkagecompensatlng concrete, from ACI 223

concrete
Non-air-entrained
0.60-0.63
0.51-0.53
0.71-0.75
0.50-0.53
0.62-0.65
0.42-0.44
0.42-0.45
Air-entrained
Absolute
water-cement

ratio by weight

Compressive
days.
psi

When determining the required water-cement ratio and


corresponding cement content, consider the effect of restrained expansion. Expansion increases with increasing
cement and decreases as the cement content is lowered. A
lower limit of 515 lb of cement per cu yd of concrete is
recommended to achieve the required expansion with minimum reinforcement (0.15 percent). It is always advisable to
have a qualified laboratory determine the expansion of the
concrete by means of restrained 3x3xl0-in. prsm specimens
according to ASTM C 878.
Some p07.Zolanswhen used with expansive cements may
cause the loss of the benefits of the cemento Do not use
p07.Zolans with expansive cement without performing mix
proportioning studies.
Tral mixes using job materials should be made in the
laboratory at the approximate concrete temperatures anticipated in the field The foUowing procedures have been successful in developing satisfactory batching plant and job
control programs under differing conditions.
For shrinkage-compensating concrete where delay between mixing and placement is not more than 15 min, such
as precast plant or job site mixing, the total mixing water
required will not be much greater than that of a Type I or
Type 11 portland cement concrete for the specified slump.
Tral batches to develop satisfactory aggregate proportions,
cement content, and the water requirement should foUow
the procedures of ACI 211.1 and ACI 211.2.
For shrinkage-compensating concrete when the water is
added at the batch plant and where delivery will require 30
to 40 min travel time or expected concrete temperature will
exceed approximately 75 F, some slump loss can be expected
and must be compen-sated for by a relatively high initial

SPECIAL TYPES OF CONCRETE

slump to produce the slump required at the job site.


Under such conditions, both Procedure A and Procedure B for trial batch tests have been used
successfuIly.
Procedure A
1. Prepare batch according to ASlM C 192, but
add 10 percent more water than normally used for
Type 1 cement.
2. Perform initial mixing in accordance with
ASlM C 192 (3 min mix followed by 3 min rest and 2
min remix).
3. Determine slump and record as initial slump.
4. Continue mixing for 15 mino
5. Determine slump and record as placement
slump. Experience has shown tbis slump correlates with
that expected for a 30- to 40-min delivery time. Ir this
slump does not meet the required placement specification limits, discard and repeat the procedure with an
appropriate water adjustment.
6. Cast compressive strength and expansion specimens and determine plastic properties - unit weight, air
content, temperature, etc.
Procedure B
1. Prepare the batch according to ASlM C 192
for the specified slump.
2. Mix in accordance with ASlM C 192 (3 min
mix, 3 min rest, 2 min remix) and confirm slump.
3. Stop mixer and cover batch with wet burlap for
20 mino
4. Determine slump.
5. Remix 2 min, adding water to produce the
specified placement slump. The total water (initial plus
the remix water), is that required at batching plant to
give the proper job site slump after a 30 to 40 min
delivery tinte.
6. Cast compressive strength and expansion specimens and determine plastic properties-unit weight, air
content, temperature, etc.
Productlon, placing, and finishing
Control of slump is most important in production
of shrinkage-compensating concrete. Good results can
be obtained using slumps at time of placement within
the maximum range specified by ACI 211.1 for the
work involved when concrete temperatures do not exceed 75 F. At higher concrete temperatures, the
following maxinlUm slumps are recommended:
Type of Construction
Reinforced foundation walls and footings
Plain footings, caissons, and substructure
walIs
Slabs, beams, and reinforced walIs
Building columns
Pavements
Heavy mass construction

Slump
5 in.

4 in.
6 in.
6 in.
4 in.
4 in.

151

With ready-mixed concrete, the delivery time of concrete


between the batch plant and placement may at times be as
short as 20 min or as long as 1 112hr. Ettringite will begin
to form during tbis period in some shrinkage-compensating
concretes, resulting in a stiffening and significant slump loss.
It is, therefore, essential that sufficient slump within maximum allowable water limits be provided at the batch plant
to insure that the specified or desired slump is obtained at
the job site. The importance of taking tbis slump loss into
account in the mix proportioning for shrinkage-compensating
concretes cannot be overemphasized. It becomes even more
important during hot weather when concrete temperatures
are relatively high and reactions are accelerated. While
normal delivery time of portland cement ready-mixed concrete under adverse hot weather conditions results in a significant slump loss, some shrinkage-compensating concretes
develop an even greater slump loss under the same conditions.
Slump loss controls in hot weather which are successful
for other portland cement concretes are equaIly effective for
shrinkage-compensating concretes. These control measures
must be strictly enforced when expansive cements are used
because of the possible greater slump loss. Recommended
controls include cooling concrete, reducing speed of truck
mixer drum to a minimum during travel and waiting time,
and efficient truck scheduling to reduce the period between
mixing and delivery to an absolute minimum. When job
locations require extended travel time, dry-batched truck
delivery with job site mixing is effective. See ACI 305R for
a more complete discussion of hot weather concreting.
Provided that slumps are proper, no special techniques
or equipment are required for placement of shrinkagecompensating concrete.
Methods common to portland
cement concrete are satisfactory. (Fig. 16.5 shows difference
in placement patterns for slabs.) Precautions advisable to
obtain the benefits of expansion include:
Soak base material
Take measures to avoid plastic shrinkage cracking
and uneven moisture loss
Set reinforcement in the proper position to provide
the required restraint
Avoid placing delays when using truck mixers
Limit the temperature of shrinkage-compen-sating
concrete to 90 F. At 85 to 90 F, limit tinte between mixing
and placing and finisbing to 1 hr.
Finishing qualities of shrinkage-compensating concrete
are similar to those of air-entrained concrete. GeneralIy,
there is little bleeding, and there may be a tendency for
finishers to start too soon. In general, however, fmisbing
should start earlier than with comparable portland cement
concrete beca use of faster set. Thus finisbing may require
more workers for a shorter periodo
Curlng and protectlon
Shrinkage-compensating concrete, in common with all
portland cement concrete, requires continuous curing at
moderate temperatures for several days after final finisbing

152

MANUAL OF CONCRETE

to prevent early drying shrinkage and to develop


strellgth,
durability,
and other desired properties.
Curing deficiencies may also reduce the amount of initial expansion, which is needed to offset later drying
shrinkage. Such drying shrinkage will occur when wet
curing stops. Curing methods that provide additional
moisture to the concrete such as ponding, continuous
sprinkling, and wet coverings are preferred to insure
adequate water for ettringite formation and expansion.
As much as half of the expansion capability of such
concrete can be lost by using other than water curing
methods. See Reference 58.
For best results, water curing of shrinkage-compensating concrete should be continued for a mininlUm of
7 days.
Protect shrinkage-compensating
concrete during the
initial curing period against extremes of temperature
during either cold weather (can cause no-growth) or
hot weather periods.
ACI 305R and 306R describe
reconmlended
methods.

80 ft

40 ft
CONSTRUCTlON
JOINTS
(column lines)

40 tI

120 tI

40 tI

40 ft

CONSTRUCTION
JOINTS
(column lines)

40 ft

40 ft

SAW CUT
JOINTS
(control joints)

Fig. 16.5 - Comparison of concrete placement for slab on


grade using shrinkage-compensated
concrete (a) and portland cement concrete (b). 1he shrinkage compensated
concrete can be cast in larger sections, without saw cuts
and without open space around the columns

INSPECTION

PRECAST/PRESTRESSED

CONCRETE

CHAPTER 17 - PRECAST AND PRESTRESSED

153

CONCRETE

Precast concrete refers to members that are cast at

some location other than their final position in the


structure. When they have cured to sufficient strength
for handling, they are removed from the forms and
placed in the structure (Fig. 17.1). Precast concrete
may be either structural precast concrete or architectural precast concrete, either one of which may also
be prestressed concrete.

Fig. 17.2 - Constructing prestressed bridge superstructure by


assembLing hoL/ow precast members. Keys cast in box girder
walls align each member with the member previously
instaLled

Fig. 17.1-Service
cores of airport traffic control tower are
assembled from hoL/ow precast modules

Structural precast concrete usually includes beams,


girders, T-beams, joists, purlins, lintels, columns, posts,
piers, piles, pile caps, slab or deck members (Fig. 17.2),
and load-bearing wall panels. This concrete may be
conventionally reinforced concrete or prestressed
concrete.
Architectural precast concrete usually includes all
precast elements intended to achieve the textures or
decorative fea tures specified by the designer. Typical
architectural precast concrete elements include wall
panels, window-wall panels, mullions, and colurno covers.
This concrete may be plain (unreinforced),
conventionally reinforced, or prestressed.

Prestressed concrete refers to concrete in which the


internal stresses induced by its own reinforcement (under
tension) are of such magnitude and distribution that the
concrete tensile stresses resulting from the loads imposed
are counteracted to a desired degree. Prestressed concrete
normally is achieved by pretensioning or post-tensioning or
a combination of the two.
Pretensioning refers to a method of prestressing concrete
in which the tendons are tensioned before placement of the
concrete. Usually concrete is placed around reinforcement
tendons that have been properly placed in the form and
stressed to a specified tensile force and curvature. The
concrete is carefully placed, consolidated, and cured to
assure adequate bond to the pretensioned tendons. After
the concrete has developed the necessary minimum strength,
the tensile anchors of the tendons are released and, through
the bond between steel and concrete, the initial tension in
the steel produces the required compression in the concrete.
Post-tensioning refers to a method of prestressing concrete in which the tendons are tensioned after the concrete
has hardened. Concrete is placed around channels or tubes
in the formwork that form voids or ducts running lengthwise
through the full concrete member. Before or after placing
concrete, steel tendons are inserted in the channels or tubes
so that the tendons will be free to move after the concrete
has hardened. After the concrete has developed the necessary minimum strength, the tendons are stretched to the
required tension and ancho red to the concrete at the ends
to retain tension in the steel and thus develop compression
in the concrete. Tendons may remain unbonded or may be
bonded by grout. Some tendons are wrapped over part or
all of their length to prevent bonding where desired.
Prestressed concrete may be either precast or cast in
place. When precast, tension is applied by either preten-

154

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

sioning or post-tensioning. When it is cast in place in


the structure, the tendons are stressed by posttensioning.
References 59 through 63 and ACI 423.3R and
ACI 523.2R contain detailed information concerning
precast and prestressed concrete and should be studied
by personnel involved in such construction.
Details of inspection unique to precast and
prestressed concrete are presented in tbis cbapter.
Otber chapters of tbis manual cover some details with
respect to precast concrete. However, much of tbe information provided in tbis chapter has been summarized from tbe PCI manuaI,s9 which explains quality
control requirements for prestressed concrete. Each
inspector involved with tbis work sbould bave Reference 59.
PRECAST CONCRETE

Precast reinforced concrete (Fig. 17.3) has much in


common with cast-in-place concrete. Tbe many details
of inspection outlined in otber areas of tbis manual are
applicable to precast construction and should be reviewed. Such items include forming, setting of reinforcement, special finishes, curing, and stripping of
forms.

Fig. 17.3- Precast traffic dividers stored after removal


from forms
Inspection during production in the precasting plant
may consist of quality control testing and quality
assurance (acceptance) testing. Quality control and
quality assurance are defined in Committee 31l's
"Guide for Concrete Inspection;" see p. 198 of tbis
manual. For quality control inspection, plant certification by the Prestressed Concrete Institute requires
that plant management maintain a quality control
group independent of the production forces. Tbe term
inspector or inspection as used in tbis cbapter, may
apply to either quality control or quality assurance.
Tbe inspector should have a complete and up-todate set of contract documents covering the precast
members being fabricated. It is the inspector' s responsibility to verify that the members are fabricated in
accordance with these documents and with any other

INSPECTION

documents to which they refer.


It is the purpose of tbis chapter to guide the inspector,
but not to overrule the designer's intent. If tolerances or
other items are at variance, those listed in the contract
documents govern.
Plant requirements
Conditions affecting finished surfaces, dimensional
tolerances, and other details can usually be controlled to a
closer range for plant-cast members than for members cast
in the field Plant equipri1ent and operation should be
adequate to produce the quality level called for by the
contract documents.
Casting beds and forms should generallY have concrete
support on unyielding foundations. For standard members,
forms should be adequately braced, stiffened, ancho red, and
aligned to produce members that meet required dimensional
tolerances. Forms for special or non standard members will
have linted use but should be constructed adequately for
the manufacture of members within specified tolerances.
Bulkheads and sinlar equipment that influence the
accuracy of dimensions and alignment should be inspected
regularly and maintained as necessary.
Accurate alignment of forms must be maintained during
casting. Form alignment and grade should be checked for
each casting. Form joints should be smooth and sufficiently
tight to prevent leakage of paste. Plugging of holes and slots
in the forms should be done neatly so the finished member
will have an acceptable appearance. Beds and forms should
be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Form release coatings
should not be allowed to build up. Dust must not be
allowed to accumulate on the coating before the concrete is
placed.
Forms for Internal volds
Forms used for internal voids such as ten don ducts and
hollow cores may be any of several types for which service
adequacy has been demonstrated.
Tbey should be strong
enough to provide stability during handling and placing of
concrete. Tbese forms should be held in place during placing and consolidating of the concrete so that their correct
positions will be maintained within the lints of dimensional
tolerances.
Improper location or shape of voids will change the
structural properties of the member and can result in a weak
member. It is, therefore, necessary to check the position of
voids during casting, or otherwise assure that the position of
voids is correcto Removable templates should remain in
place after placing concrete long enough that the void will
not be displaced upon removal of the template. Tbe concrete should still be plastic enough that holes left by
template removal can be filled and the concrete compacted
into the surrounding mass.
Bar and wire fabric reinforcement
Bar and wire fabric reinforcement should be fabricated
as shown in the contract documents, and positioned in the
member within specified tolerances. Reinforcement should

----------------------PRECAST/PRESTRESSED

be adequately secured by chairs or blocking to beds and


forms, or by ties to tendons, so that it will maintain its
position during casting and vibrating of the concrete.
Bars may be fabricated into cages by tying, or as
specified (Fig. 17.4).

CONCRETE

155

Bearlngs
In addition to observing tolerances that may be
specified, bearing shoes which are to be anchored in the
concrete should be placed with the greatest accuracy. They
should be level, aligned properly, and ancho red in the exact
location shown in the contract documents.
Dimensional tolerances
If the contract documents do not specify tolerances,
Sections 55.1 througb 5.5.11 of the PCI quality control
manual (Reference 59) will serve as a guide to usuaUy
acceptable and reasonable practices.

Fig. 17.4-Fonn
for precast post-tensioned
trnss.
Reinforcing steel cage was fabricated separately and
dropped into the form before placing concrete

Welding in the vicinity of prestressing wires, strands,


Heat from a
or high-strength bars must be avoided.

torch, arc, or hot weld metal can reduce the tendon's


strength by more than 50 percent. The damage may
not be visible to the naked eye and on1y becomes
apparent when the tendon fails during tensioning.
Ends of tie wires used to fasten bars should be bent
into the member to provide maximum cover. This will
help prevent later fomlation of rust blenshes.
Bars extending out of the member that are intended to provide structural connection to cast-in-place
concrete should be carefully placed. Improper extension could result in a weak joint. NormaUy, the extensions should be within 1/2 in. of plan dimensions.
Paste adhering to extended steel should be removed.
Inserts
Tolerances for inserts should depend on their
intended use.
If especially c10se tolerances are
required, they should be so stated on the shop
drawings. Inserts should be firmly positioned so they
will not become displaced during the placing of concrete. Anchor bolts and bearing plates should be 10cated with special accuracy. Built-in fixtures should be
placed where they do not affect the position of the
main reinforcement or the placing of concrete. Wooden inserts should be avoided beca use of their tendency
to become displaced or to swell and crack the concrete.
Aluminum conduit should not be used in reinforced
or prestressed members because of possible induced
corrosion from galvanic action.
Lifting devices are discussed later in tbis chapter.

- -- ----- - ---

Necesslty for inspection


Specifications and construction manuals can prescribe
and explain proper methods for all pbases of production
consistent witb products of specified quality. To assure that
these methods are being followed, all precasting plants
should have plant inspection personnel witb a regular
program of inspecting all aspects of production. Inspectors
sbould be responsible for quality on1y and sbould not be
responsible for or primarily concemed witb production.
Inspection operations should be so managed tbat production is not delayed as long as specified procedures are
being followed Every effort toward cooperation should be
observed between production personnel and plant inspection
personnel. Inspectors employed by tbe plant sbould be responsible to tbe chief engineer or management rather than
to the production superintendent.
Scope of inspectlon
In general, inspection to be performed in precasting
plants should include the following:
1. Identification, examination, acceptance, and any
plant testing of materials;
2. Inspecting and recording of tensioning (if the
product is prestressed);
3. Inspecting beds and forms prior to concreting;
4. Checking dimensions of members, positions of
tendons, reinforcing steel, other incorporated materials,
openings, blockouts;
5. Inspection of batching, mixing, conveying, placing,
consolidation, finisbing, and curing of concrete;
6. Preparation of concrete specimens for testing;
performing specified tests for slump, air content, cylinder
strength, etc.
The number of persons needed to perforro plant
inspection services varies with the size of the plant. For
smaller plants, one or two inspectors may perform all of the
services prescribed above. For larger plants, specific services
should be assigned to a sufficient number of inspectors so
that all necessary inspections can be performed satisfactorily.
AlI inspection services necessary to assure high quality
products should be provided. Clearly defined functions
should be assigned to each inspector, and inspectors should
be given authority to require a uniform standard of quality

156

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

in all phases of production. Adequate and accurate


records should be kept.
Record keeplng
To establish evidence of proper manufacture and
quality of preeast concrete members, records should
provide full information regarding the testing of materials, tensioning, concrete proportioning, placing and
curing, and disposition of members.
Each preeast concrete member should be identified
by bed and date cast and should bear an identification
number, which is referenced to design caIculations,
shop drawings, tensioning records, concreting records,
cylinder strengths, and ereetion plans.
Inspection
personnel should keep these records.
Manufacturer's test reports
Certified test reports for material s that are not
plant tested should be required of manufacturers.
Thesc reports should show that the matcrials comply
with the applicable contract document provisions.
Items for which manufacturer's test reports should be
required inelude, but are not limited to:
strand, wire, bars, or other ten don material s
reinforcing steel
cement
aggregates
admixtures
curing materials
Each report should be identified with reels, packs,
heats, bins, cars, or other specific lots.
Steam curing
The purpose of steam or other accelerated curing
is the attainment of high early strength, and thus a
faster production cyele. The effeets of higher early
temperatures on the properties of concrete are discussed in Chapter 5 of this manual.
With any type of accelerated curing, there is a
compromise between levels of early strength and those
desired at later ages. Reference 59 defines curing conditions to achieve an optimum compromise as foUows:
1. After placement and consolidation, allow the
concrete to attain initial set prior to steam application.
Initial set requires 2 to 4 hr with most cements.
However, tests have shown that a "delay" of 4 to 5 hr
may provide better early and later strengths.
If
ambient temperatures in the plant are below 50 F,
sufficient low hcat should be applied during the delay
period to maintain the casting temperature of the
concrete. Surface drying of the concrete should be
prevented during the delay periodo
2. Increase the ambient temperature around the
concrete 30 to 50 F per hr during initial stages of steam
curing.
3. Maintain
a maximum
ambient
curing
temperature of 140 to 160 F until similarly cured 6 x
12-in. or 4 x 8-in. concretc cylinders indicate sufficient

strength for stripping (and detensioning in the case of


prestressed concrete). Avoid concrete curing temperatures
in excess of 175 F to prevent an adverse effeet on compressive strength.
The enelosure for steam curing should retain the live
steam to minimize moisture and heat losses. Free circulation of the steam around the top and sides of the member
should be maintained. Steam jets should not be allowed to
impinge directly on the concrete. Recording thermometers
showing the time-temperature
relationship should be
instaUed not more than 200 ft apart.
Curlng wlth radlant heat and molsture
Radiant heat may be applied to beds by means of pipes
circulating steam, hot oil, or hot water, or by electric
blankets or heating elements on forms. Pipes, blankets, or
heating elements should not be in direct contact with fresh
concrete.
During radiant heat curing, effeetive means should be
provided to prevent loss of moisture in any part of the
member. Moisture may be retained by covering the member
with a plastic sheet in combination with an insulating cover.
Moisture may be applied by a cover of moist burlap, cotton
matting, or by flooding the exposed surface. Covering
materials sbould be carefully seleeted to avoid staining.
Temperature limits and use of recording tbermometers
should be similar to those recommended for steam curing.
Beause of the slow rise of ambient temperatures with
radiant heat, application of the heat cyele may be accelerated to offset elimatic conditions, and obtain the desired
concrete temperatures.
However, the curing procedure
should always be weU-establishcd and carefuUy controUed
Handling, storage, and transportatlon
The location of pickup points for handling of members
and details of pickup devices are important parts of the
design of preeast concrete members and should be in
accordance witb shop drawings (Fig. 17.5). Members should
be handled only by means of approved devices at designated
locations (Fig. 17.6).

Fig. 17.5 -Stored

precast elements with cast-in lifting studs

158

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

bearing surfaces make full contact with bearing


supports, the structure may develop serious structural
weakness or distortion.
Members should be connected in strict accordance
with the contract documents. Welded connections to
provide continuity should be made onJy by qualified
welders using equipment and electro des applicable to
the base metals (Fig. 17.10). Members should be
positioned to avoid eccentric application of forces not
considered in designo

Pretensioned bonded tendons


Tendons which are used in precast, pretensioned,
bonded, prestressed concrete members are stress-relieved
wires or strands. The vast majority are 7-wire strands
meeting the requirements of ASTM A 416. Although not
included in A 416, small diameter 2-wire and 3-wire,
stress-relieved strands are sometimes used in small precast,
prestressed members.
The stress-strain properties of aU tendons must be
known within close limits in order to compute elongations
resulting from tensioning. The stress-strain relationship,
caUed modulus of elasticity, varies among the several types
of tendons and between tendons of the same type from
different milIs.
Each shipment of tendons from the same manufacturer
should be accompanied by a certificate indicating it has been
manufactured and tested in accordance with the applicable
ASTM specifications. In the absence of an ASTM specification, or when requested by the prestressed concrete
manufacturer, one certified test report should be furnished
for every 20 tons or part thereof to show compliance with
the applicable specifications. If a typical stress-strain curve
is furnished in lieu of a specific stress-strain curve, the strand
manufacturer must certify that it is representative of the
material shipped.
Placing, tensioning, and defIecting strands are extremely
important operations in the manufacture of precast, pretensioned concrete members. These operations are covered in
much greater detail in the PCI quality control manual,
Division 1, Section 2.59

Fig. 17.10 - Precast bridge deck members are joined


by we/ding the reinforcing bars; thell spaces around
reillforcement joint are packed with mortar

Handling and storage of tendons


Stress-relieved strands are made of extremely highstrength wire and are more susceptible to damage than
ordinary reinforcing bars or structural steel. Handling and
storage of these material s require special careo
Prestressing steel should be free of deleterious materials,
such as grease, oil, wax, dirt, paint, loose rust, or other
similar contaminants that would reduce bond between steel
and concrete. Prestressing steel should not be contaminated
with form release agents.
Because of its high strength and hardness, prestressing
steel is brittle. A nick or notch in a wire becomes a stress
raiser. Such a nick will reduce the ultimate strength of the
wire, and consequently the wire is especiaUy susceptible to
failure under fatigue loading. It is also important to avoid
kinks.
More than half of the ultimate strength of prestressing
wires in strand is produced by cold-working after the final
heat treatment. This changes the internal structure from
granular to fibrous. Excessive heat can instantaneously

PRECAST PRESTRESSED

CONCRETE

Quality control considerations for precast prestressed concrete differ from those of precast reinforced concrete in that:
1. Tendons require special handling for their
protection, to insure that they are properly placed and
tensioned, and for the safety of plant personnel;
2. Good quality control is essential if problems
such as excessive or inadequate camber are to be
avoided;
3. The finished product is quite resistant to
cracking when properly lifted or supported and
therefore is much easier to han die and transport.
Concrete materials
Concrete in prestressed members is usually of
higher strength and frequently of lower slump than
concrete in other precast members. The requirements
for concrete in prestressed members are covered
elsewhere in this chapter.

change the fibrous structure back to the low strength, granular


structure.

Cornmon sources of excessive heat are welding torches,


arc welding currents, and drops of nlOlten metal spatter from
welding operations. Wire or strand damage from excessive

PRECAST/PRESTRESSED

heat is not necessarily visible to the naked eye. It may


not be noticed until the tendon fails during tensioning
or later.
According to ASTM A 416, "Slight rusting,
provided it is not sufficient to cause pits visible to the
naked eye, shaU not be cause for rejection." Slight
rusting is often desirable because it increases the bond
of the tendon to the concrete. Heavy rusting is not
acceptable since it reduces the area of steel available to
carry load; pits visible to the naked eye are stress
raisers much like the nicks from mechanical damage.
Attachments for tendons
Strand vises for pretensioning should be capable of
anchoring the strand positively without slippage after
seating. Length of grips and configuration of serrations
should be such as to insure against strand failure within
the grips at stresses less than 90 percent of ultimate
strength. Verification should be made that the proper
wedges are placed in their respective anchor bodies.
(Using jaws for 3/8-in. strand with l!2-in. anchor casings
may cause premature failure of strands much below
ultimate load.) Steel cases for strand vises should be
proof tested by the manufacturer to at least 90 percent
of the ultimate strength of the strand.
Deflectlon devices
Devices used for deflecting or otherwise changing
the path of a ten don from a straight line should be
designed so that the increase in strand stress due to
pressure from the deflecting device is not critical.
Among the several factors affecting the pressure of
the deflecting pin on individual wires are:
1. The larger the diameter of the pin, the lower
the pressure on the strand
2. The smaller the angle through which the strand
is bent, the lower the pressure.
3. If the pin has a semicircular groove just slightly
larger than the strand, several wires will bear on the
surfaces of the groove at one time, and the pressure on
the individual wires will be greatly reduced.
4. If several strands in one vertical row are
deflected at one point so that each strand bears on the
strand above it and the top strand bears on a pin, the
pressure on the top strand will be high.
Deflection devices have been used successfully, but
the pin detail, the number of strands' and the angle
tbrough which they are bent should be considered in
the light of past experience to avoid overstressing.
Tensionlng of tendons
Tendons must be stressed accurately as recommended below if acceptable members are to be
produced. The ultimate capacity of a prestressed
member is usually not affected by moderate variations
in stress levels of ten don s, but camber, cracking load,
and other properties can be.
ln aU methods oi tensioning, the stress induced in

-- -~,~- ---.--

CONCRETE

159

the tendons is determined by measurement of elongation


and, independently, by direct measurement of force using a
pressure gage, dynamometer, or load ceU. The two determinations should check each other, with the maximum difference between values not to exceed 5 percent of the average.
The gaging system indicates that the proper force has
been applied, and a check of the elongation provides a check
on the gaging system. If there are discrepancies in excess of
5 percent between forces determined by elongation measurements and by gage readings, the entire operation should be
checked and the source of error determined before proceeding further. Reference 59 should be consulted relative to
methods of stress measurements in prestressing strand,
description of gaging systems, and control of jacking forces.
Wlre fallure In tendons
Failure of wires in a pretensioning strand or of wires in
a post-tensioning ten don is acceptable provided the total
area of wire failure is not more than 2 percent of the total
area of tendons in any member, and provided the responsible engineer is satisfied that the failure is not symptomatic
of a more extensive distress condition.
Stress transfer or detensioning
Stress transfer to pretensioned members should not be
performed until concrete strength, as indicated by test
cylinders, has reached specified transfer strength.
For
certain dry-mix, machine-cast products, cylinders cannot be
made that are representative of the units in the bed. In
these instances, concrete strength verification should be by
approved test methods recommended by the association of
manufacturers of machine-cast products.
If concrete has been heat cured, the detensioning should
be performed foUowing the curing period while the concrete
is still warm and moist. If aUowed to dry and cool prior to
detensioning, dimensional changes may cause cracking or undesirable stresses in the concrete. This is especiaUy true if
hold-downs are used to deflect the strands'
In all detensioning operations, the prestressing forces
must be kept nearly symmetrical about the vertical axis of
the member and be applied in a manner that will minimize
sudden or shock loading. Maximum eccentricity about the
vertical axis should be limited to one strand. For unusual
and unsymmetrical shapes, shop drawings should show
detensioning procedures.
Forros, ties, inserts, hold-downs, blockouts, or other
devices that would restrict longitudinal movement of the
members along the bed must be removed or loosened, and
detensioning performed in such manner and sequence that
longitudinal movement is nnimized.
Detenslonlng of draped strands
For members having draped strands' it is particularly
important that no longitudinal movement be aUowed along
the beds until the hold-down devices are removed; any such
movement may cause serious cracking of concrete or destruction of the hold-down devices or both. It is therefore
advisab\e to re\ease ho\d-downs and remove bo\ts "prior to

160

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

releasing the stresses at the anchorages. However,


release of hold-downs witbout release of anchorage
stress may result in dangerous concentrated vertical
loads tbat can crack the top of tbe member.
Computation of the bold-down forces and comparison
with tbe weight o the member should always be made
if bold-downs are to be released prior to release of
anchorage stress. Specific directions for sequencing of
release of hold-down devices and ancborages should be
provided by the responsible engineer.
Multiple strand detensloning
In multiple strand detensioning, strands are
released sinlUltaneously by hydraulic jacking. The total
force is taken from the beader by tbe jack, tben graduaUy released.
With tbis metbod, some sliding of tbe members on
tbe beds is inevitable. The amount of sliding is
proportional to tbe exposed lengtbs of stressed strands
between members and between tbe last member and
tbe fixed end. Holding these lengths to the practical
mininlUm will mininlize sliding.
Single strand detenslonlng
In single strand detensioning, heat cutting using a
low-oxygen flame releases the strands.
Heating is
usualIy performed sinlUltaneously at botb ends of tbe
bed to minimize sliding of members. For tbe release of
stress to occur gradualIy, strands should not be cut
quickIy but should be heated until the metal gradualIy
loses its strength.
The sequence used for cutting strands should be
according to a pattern approved by tbe responsible
engineer and a schedule that keeps the stresses nearly
symmetrical about the axes of the members as
recommended above.
Post-tensioned tendons
In some instances alI or part of tbe prestressing
force in a precast, prestressed member is provided by
post-tensioned tendons. The requirements for these
tendons, including placing, tensioning, and grouting, are
essentialIy the same as for post-tensioned tendons in
cast-in-place concrete discussed later in tbis chapter.
Speclal safety requlrements In plants
With the large tensioning forces necessary to aU
prestressing operations, alI such construction should be
considered bazardous.
A carefulIy planned safety
program is required for each prestressing plant, and
everyone should comply witb the program in alI
respects.
The most inlportant consideration to be kept in
mind by alI levels of personnel in prestressed concrete
plants is that tendons under tension at approximately
200,000 psi represent energy which, upon sudden
release, can have serious results. This is a condition
peculiar to the manufacture of prestressed concrete and

INSPECTION

must be constantly recognized and planned for if a good


safety record is to be established.
Ru/es for tensioning - The tensioning operation has
more potential for serious accidents tban alI otber phases of
prestressed concrete production combined. The folIowing
basic TUlesfor tensioning should be included in the safety
requirements of alI plants:
1. Prior to tensioning any bed, give a visible and
audible signal for alI personnel not required to perform the
tensioning to leave the area adjacent to the bed
2. Prevent jacks from flying 10ngitudinalIy or lateralIy
in case of tendon failure.
3. Never alIow personnel to stand at eitber end of tbe
bed, directly in line witb tbe ten don being tensioned.
4. Do not stand over tendons being tensioned to make
elongation measurements. Make sucb measurements by jigs
or templates from the side or from bebind sbields.
5. Provide effective shields at botb ends of tbe bed to
stop fiying tendons.
6. Provide eye protection for personnel engaged in
wedging and anchoring operations as a protection from
flying pieces of steel.
7. Avoid welding in the vicinity of prestressing wires,
strands, or high-strength bars.
CAST-IN-PLACE PRESTRESSED CONCRETE
Operations related to cast-in-place, post-tensioned
prestressed concrete differ from those of cast-in-place
reinforced concrete in that:
1. Tendons to be post-tensioned or ten don ducts must
be accurately placed and securely tied.
2. Coverings around the tendons must not be damaged
during placement of concrete.
3. Tendons must be tensioned and ancho red after tbe
concrete bas reacbed its specified strengtb.
4. Bonded post-tensioning must be grouted soon after
tendons are stressed.
5. The specified concrete strengtb is usualIy bigber
tban for reinforced concrete members.
Concrete materlals
Requirements
for the concrete in cast-in-place
prestressed concrete members are similar to those of the
concrete covered elsewhere in this manual. High-strength
prestressing steels under tension are particularly sensitive to
corrosion, especialIy when exposed to chloride ions. Therefore, tbe use of any admixtures or materials containing
chloride ions must be avoided.
Post-tensloned tendons
Post-tensioning tendons are usualIy one of tbe folIowing:
Seven-wire, stress-relieved strands-ASTM
A 416
Stress- relieved wires--ASTM A 421
High strength, specialIy processed alIoy steel bars ASTM A 722.
Post-tensioning
systems should be instalIed in
accordance with manufacturers' directions and proven
procedures. Manufacturers' recommendations for end block

PRECAST/PRESTRESSED

details and special reinforcement in anchorage zones of


their particular systems should be observed.
Handling and storage requirements for posttcnsioning tendons to be grouted are the same as foI'
pretensioniog tendons discussed above. Unbonded (or
ungrouted) tendons are factory coated with a
lubricating corrosion inhibitor. A sheathing, typicaUy
plastic, is applied to protect tbis coating and to prevent
bond with the concrete to aUow post-tensioning of the
tendon. Small tears or holes in the shcathing may
occur during shipment or placing. Tears or holes must
be repaired before concrete is placed. Tendons should
be handled with slings or padded carriers to avoid
sheathing damage or tendon kinking. Store the tendons to prevent exposure to corrosion or damage.
Ducts for grouted post-tensioning tendons are
usuaUy rigid galvanized tubing through which steel
tendons are inserted and stressed after concrete has
hardened. Flexible ducts with preassembled prestressing steel may also be used. All joints in ducts must be
sealed to prevent intrusion of cement paste and premature bonding of untensioned tendons.
Tendons or tendon ducts must be placed to the
specified location and prof1le. Unintended curvature,
such as kinks or wobbles, must be avoided since deflection from the specified alignment will cause unintended
forces on the concrete, resulting in excessive frictional
losses in prestress force and possible spalling of concrete. Horizontal alignment should vary no more than
1/2 inch in. in 10 ft from that specified. Locations
requiring maximum effective depth should be within 118
in. of intended prof1le for members 8 in. tbick or less,
and within 114 in. per ft of depth for deeper members.
Tendon alignment must be maintained during the
placing of concrete by accessories such as tie bars,
chairs, and bolsters. AlI accessories must be securely
tied to the tendon to prevent displacement. Maximum
support spacing should not exceed:
4 ft for 05-in. strand tendons or multiple wire
tendons
4-1/2 ft for 0.6-in. strand tendons or flexible duct
grouted tendons
6 ft for semi-rigid ducts 2-1/2 in. or greater in
diameter
For grouting, the inside diameter of ducts should be at
least 1/4 in. larger than the nominal diameter of single
wire, bar, or strand tendons; for multiple wire or strand
tendons, the inside cross-sectional area of the duct
should be at least twice the net area of the prestressing
steel.
Anchorages
Anchorage devices for all post-tensioning systems
must be aligned with the axis of the ten don at the point
of attachment. Concrete surfaces that the anchorage
devices bear on must be at right angles to tbis line.
Accurate measurements of anchorage losses, due to
slippage or other causes, should be made and compared

-----=--

CONCRETE

161

with the assumed losses shown in the post-tensioning


schedule and, when necessary, adjustments or corrections
made in the operation.
The minimum retained tendon elongation after anchor
set is specified by the contract documents. The elongations
attained in the field are affected by field procedures and
friction losses. If the specified and attained elongations
differ by more than 5 percent, the causes must be determined and conditions corrected so that specified elongations
are attained Measurements sbould be made consistently.
Tendons should be marked in a consistent manner in a
slack-free state. Tendoos to be stressed from two ends must
be marked at both ends before stressing. Stressiog may be
done simultaneously from two ends or sequentially, provided
tbe forces at eacb end are reasonably equal and that any
anchor-set caused by sequential stressing is properly
excluded from the total elongation measurement.
Grouting procedures
Proper grouting is essential. Any water tbat remains in
the duct around the tendon may freeze and split the
member. Improperly grouted tendons are. not adequately
bonded to the rest of the member, and therefore do not
make tbeir full contribution to the strength of tbe member.
Spaces not filled with grout may also permit
serious
corrosion of the teodon. Obtaining a properly grouted
ten don requires careful application of proper procedure and
techniques.
Tendons should be grouted as soon as practical after
stressing has be en accepted. Where tendons cannot be
grouted within 5 days of stressing, they must be protected
from corrosion until grouted. Water must not be allowed to
stand in ducts subject to freezing temperatures, and should
be removed from ducts immediately after curing in any case.
Grout may be a mixture of cement and water onIy, or it
may include fine sand, fly ash, pozzolans, or an intrusion aid.
Admixtures containing cblorides or nitrates must not be
used.
Trial mixes should be used to determine optimum
proportions for a particular job or planto Water content of
grout should be limited to the minimum volume that will
result in a pumpable mix. Water-cement ratio sbould not
exceed 0.45 (5 gal. per bag of cement).
Grout should always be pumped toward open vents to
force out all entrapped air.
Grout must be applied
continuously under modera te pressure at one point in the
duct until the open vent or vents discharge a steady stream
of grout. With the entire duct filled and with discharge
vents closed, the pressure should be raised to a mininlUm of
50 psi and held for a minimum of 1 min, after which the
injection point must be plugged to prevent any loss of grout.
Since grouting is so important and there are so many
chances of error, a qualified, experienced inspector should
be present during the entire grouting procedure.
Speclal safety requlrements during post-tensionlng
Injuries from tendon stressing accidents can be severe,
but they are relatively easy to avoid. The safety recom-

162

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

mendations previously discussed in this chapter generally apply to post-tensioning work.


If an anchor or ten don slips or fails, it wiII fly out
of the duct in a relatively straight line. Therefore,
never stand behind or in line with a ten don, nor above
or in front of the jade, during tensioning (Fig. 17.11).
Slip or failure of the anchor or ten don can cause
sudden movement of the jacking unit, which can be in
almost any direction depending upon the type of
failure. Failure of a hydraulic hose or connection can
cause sudden coUapse of the jack because it is under
pressure from the ten don. If the anchor is held by a
nut, the length of coUapse can be kept small by keeping
the nut turned down near the bearing plate as the
tcndon is elollgatcd.

Fig. 17.11- Using hydraulic jack to post-tension


of precast beam

tendons

INSPECTION

CONSTRUCTION

RELATED

CHAPTER 18-CONSTRUCTION

This chapter covers construction materials and


procedures which are not classified as concreting but
are closely related. The text covers the use of various
types of grout and mortar for structural applications
and the use of stucco for surface application. Numerous chemical materials are used as grouts. Of these,
epoxy resin grouts have particular application in conjunction with concrete.
Epoxy grouts for repair of concrete are explained
in Chapter 11 and will not be discussed here. Grouting
of post-tensioned tendons is covered in Chapter 17 and
will not be discussed here.
This chapter provides basic background information that will help explain specification requirements,
describes the important details of the operations, and
offers general criteria to guide the inspector. As with
all other chapters, information and criteria are presented for the assistance and education of the inspector; actual job criteria for construction operations and
acceptance must always be strictly in accordance with
the contract documents.
As with all other concrete
and related
construction, a prime consideration is durability under
the applied stresses, particulariy exceptional loads, and
under the environmental conditions, particularly
extremely adverse conditions, encountered during the
service life of the material. Some material s are suitable
for certain conditions and some for other conditions,
and often the materials cannot be interchanged. The
inspector must assure that materials and construction
procedures conform strictly with the contract documents. It is, of course, the responsibility of the
architect-engineer to assure that the contract documents require the use of materials suitable for the
environmental conditions to be encountered (such as
weather, chemical attack, extreme temperatures); that
the materials and procedures are suitable for the loads
to be carried; and that, where necessary, restrictions are
placed on too-eariy applications of such loads.
PRESSURE GROUTING

Pressure grouting may serve a wide variety of


purposes, including the consolidation grouting of large
dam foundations and other rock foundations; grouting
of contraction joints in concrete dams; contact grouting
behind tunnel liners and similar items; and repair of
cracking in pavements, bridges, and buildings. A
primary requirement for all these applications is grout
penetration into fissures or openings under the applied
pump pressure. Portland cement grout may be either a
neat cement grout or a cement-sand mixture; in
addition the grouts may contain an admixture or a
pozzolan. Several chemical grouts are used but will not

TO CONCRETING

163

RELATED TO CONCRETING

be discussed here. (Epoxy-resin grouting for concrete repair


is discussed in Chapter 11.)
Pressure grouting of dam foundations and other rock
foundations is done through drill holes under a wide range
of pressures depending on conditions. Often the grouting is
done in stages, using higher pressures at deep locatioos and
lower pressures at shallower elevations.
Neat-cemeot grout is generally used for foundations.
At times, when fissures are ultra fine, it may be necessary to
use a special air-separated cemento The grout should be
mixed by violent agitation and used preferably within 1 hr
after mixing.
Pressure grouting requirements for crack repair are
given in Chapter 11 of tbis manual, for preplaced aggregate
concrete in Chapter 15, and for grouting of post-teosioned
tendons in prestressed concrete in Chapter 17.
GROUTING UNDER BASE PLATES
AND MACHINE BASES

The requirements for grouting under base plates for


structural members and for support of machinery are
generally the same. The prinlary requirement is hardened
grout in permanent contact with the underside of the plate,
having sufficient strength to resist stresses applied by the
member or the machinery. Numerous so-called "nonshrink"
grouts are used for setting machinery and base plates.
Materials commonly used are:
Damp-pack mortar-portland cement mortar proportioned
and mixed to produce low shrinkage
Aluminum powder grouts(and other gas-fonning grouts-will
compensate for most of the settlement shrinkage but provide
expansion only while grout is plastic
Ferrous aggregate grouts (catalyzed metalJic grout)-provide
continuing expansion after hardening of the grout ir
moisture is present
Cementitious
systems
including
expansive
cement
grouts-provide expansion after hardening of the grout if
proper moist curing is applied, but are subject to drying
shrinkage later
Polymer grouts, 100 percent solids (most commonly epoxy
resins)-essentially nonshrink at all ages except as due to
temperature changes
The effectiveness of the grout depends on mixing and
placing procedures as well as on composition. To perform
effectively, there must be assurance that intimate contact
with the underside of the plate is established by the placing
procedure and is maintained while the grout is hardeniog.

164

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

Damp-pack mortar
Packing with damp mortar is an efficient method
of setting heavy machillery on a concrete base and of
fastening anchor bolts in concrete. Damp-pack mortar
is usua11yone part of cement to three parts of weUgraded sand, by weight. Water content is adjusted so
that a mass of mortar tightly squeezed in the hand will
moisten but not significantly soil the hand and so the
mortar will retain its shape but will crumble easily with
slight disturbance. The cement and sand should be
thoroughly mixed dry, water added, and the whole
again thoroughly mixed.
Before tbe machine or base plate is set, the base
concrete should be roughened and chipped as necessary
to provide a strong, c1ean surface. All dust should be
removed, preferably by suction, and the base then
scrubbed with fiber brushes and water until the loose
material and coatings are removed. The base concrete
should be thoroughly saturated for 24 hr and then all
free water removed from the surface immediately prior
to placing damp-pack mortar. The damp-pack mortar
should be mixed ahead of time and allowed to age for
at least 30 min prior to use. This significantly reduces
the potential shrinkage of the mortar.
Packing under a machine or base plate is best
done by blocking one side of the open space and
placing aU the mortar from the other side. Packing
should be performed by ramm.ing small quantities at a
time with hard wood blocks of suitable size, shape, and
length. A hammer should be used with care to pound
the blocks to insure complete consolidation of the grout
without warping the base plate. Wben tbe space
between tbe plate and base has been filled, tbe backup
block sbould be removed, and tbe face of the mortar
ranmled from that side. Mortar around a bolt can be
packed effectively by hammering down on a section of
pipe that will fit tbe annular space between the bolt
and tbe walls of tbe hole.
Gas-formlng grouts
ALuminum powder grout (job miud)-Aluminum
powder added to concrete reacts cbellcally with the
soluble alkali constituel1ts of the cement and generates
hydrogen gas. The resultant expansion prior to setting
is intended to compensate for settlement shrinkage,
causing the grout to harden in contact with the plate it
is to support. Gas expansion from aluminum powder or
other source provides no compensation for bydration
shrinkage that oecurs as the grout gains strength after
initial set nor for later drying shrinkage.
The ground aluminum powder may be of any
variety that produces the desired expansion, but it
should contain no polishing agents such as stearates,
palmitates, and fatty acids. Tests should be performed
with the materials at job temperatures prior to using
them in the construction work to establish tbe required
amount and the effectiveness of the powder and
portland cement combination. Since it is the soluble

-----= -.------ .

INSPECTION

alkalies in tbe cement that react with tbe aluminum powder,


tbe alkali content of the cement bas a major effect on the
expansion obtained. A few extremely low alkali cements
produce so little reaction that tbey are not suitable for use
in tbis type of grout. Extremely small amounts of aluminum
powder are required. Laboratory tests have demonstrated
that a mortar suitable for use under machine bases may be
produced by adding to a 1:1.5 mortar mix having a watercement ratio of 0.50, a quantity of alum.inum powder equal
to 50 or 60 Illliontbs of the weight of cement used (about
a teaspoonful per bag of cement). With weU-graded sand,
such a m.ixwill have a slump of about 11 in.
The dosage for each batch must be carefuUy prepared
and weighed. The aluminum powder should first be blended
in tbe proportions of 1 part powder to 50 parts by weigbt of
cement or dry sand passing a No. 100 sieve. This blend is
tben added by sprink1.ingover tbe batch. The dosage of the
blended materials will be governed by the amount and
cbemical composition (alkali content) of tbe cement used,
tbe placing temperatures, and wbether tbe aluminum
adm.ixture is used in a neat-cement grout or a sand-cement
grout. The amount to be used should be adjusted as necessary to obtain effective expansion.
To assist in establisbing proper amounts of blended
material, Table 18.1 gives suggested dosages for preliminary
trial mixes.
Table 18-1-Dosage
of aluminum powder blend,
ounces per bag of cement, based on a 1:50 blend of
aluminum powder with either cement or dry sand
Placing temperature
Type of grout

70 F

Sand-cement grout
Neat-cement grout

5.5
4.5

40 F

to
to

8.5
7.0

It is advisable to mix the blend thoroughly witb the


cement and sand before water is added beca use aluminum
powder bas a tendency to float on water. After all ingredients are added, the batch should be mixed for 3 mino
Batches sbould be small enougb to allow immediate piacement of freshly prepared mortar since the action of the
aluminum becomes weak about 45 min after mixing. Forms
must be provided to confine the grout on a11 surfaces
(inciuding top), but tbey must allow for some slight expansion since completeiy confined grout can exert pressures
up to 100 psi. The expanding agent and tbe proportions used
sbould be selected to prevent an unnecessary amount of
expansion. If unconfined expansion is allowed to take place,
drastic reduction in strength oecurs.
References 5 and 64 give more detailed information on
grout witb aluminum powder.
Other gas-fonning grouts-Finely ground materials sucb
as activated carbon, fluid coke, and other materials react

CONSTRUCTION

RELATED

chemicaUy in the presence of water to produce such


gases as hydrogen or nitrogen, with essentiaUy the same
final result that aluminum powder produces. These
reactions take place only while the grout is plastic.
Premixed proprietary grout f1uidifiers that also
produce expansion by the production of gases are available from a number of manufacturers. Thesc usuaUy
produce more uniform and reliable results than jobmixed aluminum powder.
Catalyzedmetallic grouts
These are grouts containing iron aggregates and
an oxidation catalyst that causes the metallic particles
to enlarge, thus compensating for drying shrinkage and
settlement. This type of grout requires rigid
confinement during the first 7 to 14 days of hardening
for satisfactory service. Extended exposures of unconfined areas of hardened grout to wetting and drying in
air can lead to self-destructive expansion. Thus, because
unconfined shoulders will normaUy self-destruct from
overexpansion, these shoulders should be cut off f1ush
with the edges of the plate after initial set and the
exposed surfae dressed with a cement-sand mortar. or
beavily coated with curing compound in accordance
with the grout producer's instructions.
Thesc materials are for use in f1uid grouts and
should normaUy never be used as stiff mortars. The
grouts should aU be mixed, placed, finished, and cured
in accordance with their manufacturer's printed recommendation.
Cementitlous systems
A number of products in tbis group produce
expansion or shrinkage-compensating mechanisms triggered by an expansive cement, plaster of paris, or other
expanding components. UsuaUy tbese grouts contain
natural fine aggregates or a combination of natural aggregates and similarly graded iron, the latter to increase
fatigue resistance. Many of the nonmetallic cementbased grouts use a trisulfate hydrate which produces
the caIcium sulfoaluminate crystals responsible for
volume changes in the hardened phase. The grouts
should aU be mixed, placed, fmished, and cured in
accordance with their manufacturer's printed recommendation. These grouts should be low in chlorides and
sulfides to protect the stcel from stress corrosion.
Premixed blends including fine graded silica aggregate
are usable where grouting space permits or requires this
type of grout, such as for grouting anchor rods or separated wires.
In cementitious grout systems, expansive cements
as discusscd in Chapter 16 of this manual may be used
for job-mixed grouts. OptionalIy, the cement may be a
blend of portland and expansive cements. As with
shrinkage-compensating concretes, it is most important
that such grouts be adequately restrained. However, as
normaUy used, the restraint is nonresilient and tbus the
grout will be subject to shrinkage during drying. The

- -==-- --'- -

TO CONCRETING

165

mix proportions for these job-mixed cementitious grout


systems differ little from those for other grouts, except that
sufficient water must be present to bring about the
formation of ettringite, which causes the expansive force (see
ACI 223). The use of expansive cement in damp-pack
mortar is not suitable. For details of the properties of
expansive cement grouts, see Reference 64.
The selection of a grout best suited for a particular
application is of utmost importance since eacb type of grout
has definiCe limicacions. Inicial accepcance cescing of any
cementitious grout syscem is advisable since grouts are
specified to perform at a certain range of consistencies and
temperatures. Compressive strength data should be accompanied by information on the age at test, f10w of the grout
as sampled, initial grout temperature, and curing conditions.
Depending on job requirements, stiff, plastic, and f10wable
consistencies can be readily altered by a change in water
contento Retempering of most grouts should not be aUowed.
In general, grouts will perform as proven by test at any consistency thicker (lower mixing water content) than that used
in the test. At tbinner consistencies (higher mixing water
content) bleeding is likely to occur or increase, while
expansion and strength decreasc.
Field grouting procedures for nonshrink grouts
Field placement of nonshrink grouts should foUow the
same rules of good practice necessary for conventional
grouting; namely, assure that surfaces in contact with the
grout are free of dirt, oil, laitance, and other foreign
substances, and that the grout receives proper curing to
prevent moisture loss during early stages of hydration.
Additional measures are required, however, to assure that
preblended nonshrink groups perform as advertised and
accomplish the desired results under aU conditions.
Grouting of foundations and large base plates requires
a grout of f1uid consistency with the ability to maintain
stable fIowability for extended periods. Stable grout f1uidity
is determined by conducting f10w tests with a f10w cone
(ASTM C 939) 30 min after mixing. To maintain plate
contact during the plastic stage, batter boards or side forms
extended above the bottom of the plate are usuaUy specified
in order to provide a slight head for uniform bond.
Strapping or vibration, though necessary to eliminate air
voids and pockets, should not be aUowed unless testing
(grouting and lifting a plate) has positively demonstrated
that vibration does not induce bleeding and settlement. The
use of chains, once a popular method, should also be
discouraged. The links could drag in air bubbles that rise to
the surface of the grout, and thus reduce the contact area.
Nonshrink grouts are not intended for use in selfstressing concrete, since they do not provide adequate expansion for stressing of reinforcement. AdditionaUy, too
much expansion, as with gas-producing grouts, may be undesirable for load-bearing applications, since strength usuaUy
deteriorates with excessive volume changes. An expansion
not to exceed 0.2 percent may safely compensate for settlement shrinkage. Shrinkage in either the plastic or hardened
stage is undesirable and is limited to zero in most

166

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

specifications.
Field testing of nonshrink grout
Proper
installation
practices
should
be
supplemented by adequate quality control testing of the
grout during placement to monitor performance and
provide test data in case of questionable service.
Minimum test requirements should include the determination of consistency at a specific water level,
expansion, bleeding, and compressive strength for the
as-mixed grout sampled at the mixer.
Standard tests such as ASTM C 109 strength test
(for job-mixed stiff mortars only) and ASTM C 939
flow test, will disc10se critical performance limits.
Plastic consistencies measured by the flow table from
110 to 125 percent at 5 drops are suitable for grouting
smalI plates. Flowable consistencies measured by the
flow table from 125 to 145 percent at 5 drops and fIuid
consistences of 25 to over 30 sec measured with the
flow cone (ASTM C 939) are commonly applied when
grouting medium to large size plates and bases, structural columns, and anchor OOlts.An arbitrary increase
of fluidity above the specified consistency at the job site
will probably cause bleeding, thus preventing contact
with the base plate and proper load distribution to the
grout.
A check of the contact between the grout and a
simulated or actual grouted plate (by sounding the
plate at various ages after the grout hardens) should be
made when using any type of grout to assure that:
The interface is not weakened by the coUection
of gas bubbles at the contact surface
AU bleeding has been absorbed or displaced so
that physical contact exists between grout and plate
over at least 90 percent of the area of the plate.

INSPECTION

(3) cementitious system, and (4) polymer system.


Special grouts are available also for post-tensioning
applications and rock or concrete anchorage systems. Such
grouts frequently contain fine graded silica aggregate low in
chlorides and sulfides, since the steel used for these installations must be protected against stress cOITosion.
MORTAR AND STUCCO

Mortar and stucco (cement plaster) are often used for


bedding concrete slabs or for plastering over other surfaces.
The stucco may be textured or colored for architectural
appearance.
If mortar proportions are not specified, it is recommended that the ratio of cementing material (cement or
cement and lime) to sand be about 1:3 to 1:5 by dry volume
with aUowance for bulking. Leaner mixes are more porous;
richer mixes require more mixing water and thus have higher
drying shrinkage and tend to crack. The sand should be
c1can and free from excessive fmes. The mortar should be
weU-mixed, preferably by machine. Mortar and stucco are
frequently pneumaticaUy applied.
Curing is especiaUy important for tbin applications such
as plaster coatings. If allowed to dry at an early age, they
tend to crack and loosen. SmalI areas may be kept damp by
being poulticed with damp burlap.
Plaster or stucco is a special form of mortar coating for
walls and soffits, usually built up in three coats. Normally
the tbird coat is a factory-prepared stucco consisting of
portland cement, color, and plasticizer. Generally the surface
coat is given a decorative texture, and often is colored (Fig.
18.1). Oetailed recommendations and specifications for
portland cement plaster are given in Reference 65.

Polymer system
In epoxy resin grouts, the cementing agent is a
resin and converter (polyamide curing agent) which
when mixed form a high-strength nonshrink thermosetting plastic, provided the epoxy resin is a 100 percent
solids system with no diluents. Epoxy resin grouts
should be mixed, placed, and cured in accordance with
the manufacturer's instructions.
Commercially preblended nonshrink grouts
SpeciaUy formulated grouts, preblended to compensate for shrinkage while providing the desired
control of volume change have the advantage of being
ready to use and will perform over a fairly wide range
of placing consistencies. These grouts are frequently
used in applications whose requirements cannot be met
by ordinary cement-sand grouts, for example, when high
fIuidity is required and bleeding is undesirable or when
nonshrink or expansive action is required. Preblended
grouts may be grouped according to their expansion
producing (shrinkage-compensating) characteristic as
foUows: (1) gas forming, (2) catalyzed metaUic grout,

- .~
-- ----~~----

Fig. 18.1-Spraying granular finish onto masonry wall

In addition to the usual features of concrete inspection,


the inspection of stucco work should include:
particular attention to preparation of the backing
the method of applying each coat, either when
troweled, darbied, or dashed on
the tbickness of various coats

CONSTRUCTION

tbe uniform proportioning and mixing of


colo red cements
tborougb curing of eacb coat
Preferably burlap sbould be hung in contact with tbe
surfaces alld kept wet by being sprayed for at least 3, 5,
~r 7 days (depending on tbe weatber), tben allowed to
dry slowly by keeping tbe cover in place until tbe cover
is dry.

RELATED

TO CONCRETING

167

168

MANUAL

CHAPTER 19-TESTING

OF CONCRETE

INSPECTION

OF CONCRETE AND AGGREGATES

Concrete test methods are comprehensively detailed


in national standards published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Bureau of RecIamation. The most commonly used test methods for the
largest variety of construction projects were developed
by ASTM. This chapter describes in a general manner
the ASTM methods of testing concrete which are required in the field or field laboratory. See Reference
66, the Annual Book o[ASTM Standards, Volume 04.02
for details. Remember that tbis chapter presents only
general descriptions of test methods.
To assure striet compliance, precise procedures of
the test methods required by the contract documents
should be followed. If the contract documents do not
describe or specify the test methods to be used, then
the appropriate ASTM or other test methods should be
applied.
For general guidance and assistance in concrete
testing, the "Manual of Aggregate and Concrete Testing" prepared by ASTM Committee C-9 is also in the
ASTM Book o[ Standards, Volume 04.02. While the
manual is not an ASTM standard, it provides useful
commentary and interpretation of the various test
methods.
ASTM C 1077 and E 329 define duties and responsibilities and establish the minimum requirements for
personnel and equipment for reliable testing and inspection.
SAMPLlNG

One of the most significant aspects of testing is the


means of securing a representative sample for the
measurement of a specific property. ASTM C 172
contains methods of sampling from various concrete
production units. The contract documents may define
where samples are to be obtained and would govern
options given in ASTM C 172. Samples should be taken
at random. Avoid selective sampling which may not
represent the variety of parameters used and specified
for the construction.
Sampling for purposes of control of the quality of
the concrete as produced should be perfornled as the
concrete is delivered from the final mixer. Sampling
may be from a stationary mixer at a mixing plant or
from a truck mixer as it prepares to deliver concrete at
the job. However, specifications may require, or the
architecl-engineer may designate for a spccial purpose,
regular or occasional sampling elsewhere, such as from
the concrete as it is placed in the forms but before it is
vibrated. Usually errors of sampling and test cylinder
fabrication are least al the point where the concrete is
delivered from the mixer. When concrete handling and
placing is as it should be, such sampling and testing has

been found to satisfactorily measure the character of the


concrete as placed.
When concrete is placed by methods such as pumping
that may significaotly affect the coocrete characteristics,
sampliog at both the mixer discharge and poiot of final
placemeot should be employed occasionally to determine if
any chaoge in slump, air content, temperature, or other significant mix characteristic occurs.
ASTM C 172 describes sampling methods for the following concrete equipment:
Revolving-drum truck mixers, or agitators- Two or more
portions should be taken throughout the discharge of the
middle part of the batch and composited for compliance
testing of the concrete provided. The discharge gate must be
open and the samples obtained either by passing a receptacIe through the discharge stream or by diverting the stream
into the sample container. When the stream is too fast to
sample, discharge the entire load and sample in accordance
with the applicable method.
Stationary mixers-Pass a receptacIe through the discharge stream at two or more regularly spaced intervals
during discharge of the middle portion of the batch.
Paving mixers-After the mixer has discharged, collect
portions from at least five points to make a represent-ative
sample. Avoid contamination with subgrade material.
Open-top truck mixers or agitators, receiving hoppers, buckets, etc.-Use any of the foregoing methods as applicable.
End of pump line-Pass a receptacIe through the discharge stream or divert the stream into the container at two
or more regularly spaced iotervals during discharge.
General requirements for the samples are that the
amouot of concrete sampled should be greater than required
for the specimens or tests and not less than 1 cu ft for
acceptance tests. The composite samples should be mixed
(only until uniform) with a shovel and used within 15 min
after start of sampling. The tests for air content and slump
should then be started within 5 min after compositing, and
strength test specimens should be molded within 15 min
after compositing.
TESTS OF FRESHL

MIXED CONCRETE

Conslstency
The coosistency of concrete is a measure of its
workability, which may be defined by its slump characteristics, settlement of a Kelly ball, or other slump indicators.
The two ASTM standard methods, the slump test and the
ball penetration test, are summarized below.

Slump test-ASTM

e 143

1. Place a damp, cIean cone on a damp, nonabsorbing,


flat surface.
2. Fill the cone with fresh concrete in three layers of
equal volume, with the top layer heaped above the cone.
Rod each layer 25 times. Hold the cone firmly in place
duriog filling and rodding.

TESTING

169

OF CONCRETEJAGGREGATES

3. After tbe last layer bas been rodded, strike off


tbe concrete level witb tbe top of tbe cone.
4. Lift tbe cone in a smootb vertical motion and
measure slump to original center to nearest V4 in.
BaIl penetration test-ASTM e 360
This test uses a standard weigbt ball (Kelly ball)
wbicb is allowed to penetrate a mass of concrete and
contains a scale for incbes of penetration. This method
sbould be correlated witb tbe slump test wben used for
acceptance testing.
Alr content
ASlM provides tbree metbods for tbe determination of air content of fresbly mixed concrete. These are
tbe pressure metbod, volumetric metbod, and tbe gravimetric metbod .
Pressure method-ASTM
231
There are two types of meters - A and B - used
to determine air content by the pressure metbod. The
Type A meter (Fig. 19.1) is based on tbe correlation of
reduction of water level with the reduction in volume
of air in the concrete sample by a predetermined air
pressure. The Type B meter (Fig. 19.2) operates on tbe
principie of equalizing a known volume of air at a
known pressure in a sealed cbamber to obtain tbe value
of tbe unknown volume of air in the concrete sample.
The general requirements of air content testing
using tbe air pressure method are:
1. Calibrate tbe air meter in accordance witb manufacturer's instructions.
2. Fill tbe bowl witb fresh concrete in tbree equal
layers, rodding eacb layer 25 times, and tap tbe bowl
with a mallet 10 to 15 times after eacb layer bas been
rodded.
3. Remove excess concrete witb a sawing motion of
the strike-off bar and assemble tbe meter.
4. Add tbe necessary water and pressurize.
5. Read the result from a gage or standpipe and use
the aggregate correction factor to obtain tbe true air
reading. ASlM C 231 gives a procedure for determining tbe aggregate correction factor.

Volumetric method (roIl-a-meter) -ASTM e 173


1. Calibrate tbe meter in accordance witb the manufacturer's directions and follow general procedures as
above for filling the bowl witb fresh concrete, rodding
and tapping each layer, and striking off leve!. Assemble
tbe meter and fill with water to the zero mark.
2. Invert and agitate tbe meter until tbe concrete is
free from tbe base, continue to roll and rock tbe meter
witb tbe neck elevated to remove air from tbe concrete.
3. Place the apparatus uprigbt, jar it, and allow all
air to rise to topo
4. Repeat agitation until tbe water level is stabilized; tben use alcohol in measured increments to dispel foam.
5. Read air directly as water level plus alcobol
increments tbat are added.

Fig. 19.1- Type A meter for test of air content of fresh


concrete - ASTM
231

Gravimetric method - ASTM


138
The ASlM C 138 gravimetric metbod of determioing air
content is based on the difference between the yield (volume
calculated fram measured unit weigbt) and the calculated
absolute volume of solid and Iiquid constituents. It is not
commonly used because accuracy depends on exact batch
quantities and exact specific gravities .

Unlt weight of freshly mixed concrete-ASTM


138
The unit weigbt test of fresbly mixed concrete is also
used to determine cement factors and air content. ASlM C
138 is based on weigbing tbe concrete in a unit measure of
known volume.
1. FiU tbe measure in tbree equal layers, rodding eacb
layer 25 times for a l!2-cu-ft size or less and 50 times for a
1-cu-ft measure.
2. Tap tbe measure 10 or more times after each rodding
and then strike off top and finisb smootb witb a flat cover
plate whicb is larger tban tbe diameter of tbe measure.
3. C1ean tbe exterior and weigh.
4. The unit weight is tbe net weight (total weigbt less
weigbt of measure) times tbe calibration factor of the
measure. The calibration factor of a measure can be calcu-

170

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

lated by detem1ning the net weight of water that it can


hold, as described in AS1M C 29.
5. The container of concrete for the above aircontent tests, properly full and cleaned, can serve
acceptably for the unit weight test.

Fig. 19.2 -ASTM C 231 contaurs detailed instructions for


strike-off after consolidating sample for pressure method
determination of air contento This is a Type B meter

Temperature
Concrete temperature is taken when freshly mixed,
and also in place for monitoring of temperature rise.
The initial temperature is usually taken with an irnmersion thermometer that reads from about 32 F to about
150 F. The temperature rise of concrete is determined
best by the use of embedded electrical thermocouples.
STRENGTH TESTS
The standard method for detern1nation of concrete
strength during construction consists of making and
curing structural concrete compressive and flexural
strength specimens in the field. The number of
specimens and the evaluation and acceptance of the
concrete strength are discussed in Chapter 2. All
specimens should be made at or near the place of
initial curing to avoid the possible detrimental effects of
moving freshly made test specimens.
Compressive strength-ASTM C 31 and C 39
AS1M C 31 covers the requirements for molds and
making and curing the specimens.
Mo/dsMolds may be reusable or single-use, made of steel,
cast iron, plastic, coated cardboard, or other material s
that are nonabsorbent and nonreactive with cemeDt.
They must meet specified absorption, elongation, and
dimensional tolerances (AS1M C 470).
Making specimensTo make 6 x 12-in. cylindrical specimens according
to ASTM C 31 (field) and AS1M C 192 (laboratory),
the concrete must be sampled as described in AS1M C
172 and in the "sampling" SectiOD of tbis chapter.
Molding of the specimens must cornmence within 15
min after the sample is composited, as follows:
1. FiIJ the mold uniform1y in three approximately

equal layers with a scoop or trowel (two layers if vibrated).


2. Rod each layer 25 times (slumps of 1 in. or less should
be vibrated). Tap sides after each rodding to close voids left
by rod and strike off the top with a rod, trowel, or float.
3. Cover the molds with glass, metal plate, poly mm, or
wet burlap to avoid rapid evaporation. Avoid contact of
coated cardboard cylinder molds with the wet burlap.
Curing compression specimens1. The cylinders are cured in the field for the rust 20
4 hr at 60 to 80 F to aUow them to develop adequate
strength for transportation.
2. Cylinders used for checking the adequacy of concrete
strength or as a basis for acceptance (the most common
usages), are removed from the molds after 20 4 hr and
are then sto red moist at 73.4 3 F until the moment of
testing. They may be irnmersed in saturated lime water,
placed in curing cabinets, or in curing rooms (ASTM C 511).
3. Cylinders which are to be used for detern1nation of
form removal, for deternning when the structure can be put
into service, or to check adequacy of curing are stored in or
on the structure as near the point of use as possible. They
receive, insofar as practical, the same protection and curing
as the structure. Specimens for detern1ning when a structure
may be put into service are removed from the molds at the
time of form removaJ.
Capping cylindrical concrete specimens for compressive strength
tests (ASTM C 617)1. Freshly molded concrete cylinders may be capped with
neat cement, but tbis usuaUy is not expedient. Hardened
concrete may be capped with high-strength gypsum or sulfur
mortar (5000 psi or more). The sulfur mortar method (Fig.
19.3) is most expedient at present.
2. The cap must be flat to a tolerance of 0.002 in.,
perpendicular to the cylinder axis, and sound without hollow
spots. NOTE: Unbonded cap systems are aUowed by
AASHTO but not AS1M at presento The system, if used,
must be validated against normally capped cylinders.
Testing concrete cylinders (ASTM C 39)Compression tests of concrete cylinders must be
performed on a power-operated, calibrated testing machine
that provides a uniform loading rate of 20 to 50 psi per sec
and meets AS1M E 4 requirements for testing machines.
The bearing surfaces must be flat and clean and the cylinder
centered in the test heads (Fig. 19.4). NOTE: Testing
concretes with compressive strengths over 6000 psi requires
special attention to strength of the capping materials used
and to the rigidity of the testing machine.

Flexural strength of concrete-ASTM


31, 78, 293
The flexural strength of concrete is most cornmonly
detern1ned by use of rectangular beams 6 x 6 x 20 in., for
concrete with coarse aggregate up to 2 in. The following
requirements apply to the standard size specimens.
Molding flexural specimens1. Molds must be nonabsorbent, nonreactive, smooth,
free of blen1shes, and watertight.
2. FiIJ the mold in two equal layers if rodded, one layer
if vibrated.

--------TESTING

Fig. 19.3 - Capping compression


compound

OF CONCRETElAGGREGATES

171

test cyLinders with sulfur

3. Rod each layer uniformly--once per 2 sq in.-- and


tap sides of mold to fill rodding voids. When rodding
the upper layer, penetrate the lower layer. Vibrate if
slump is 1 in. or less.
4. Strike off surface with a wood or magnesium
float.
Curing flexural specimens

(acceptance testing)-

1. After initial curing in the molds (similar to


cylinders), remove the beams from molds 20 to 48 hr
after molding, making sure that the beams do not dry.
Cure at 73.4 3 F in moist condition (similar to
cylinders).
2. It is most important to irnmerse the beams a
minimum of 20 hr in saturated lime water prior to
testing.
Testing beams for flexural strength-

The flexural strength may be determined using


simple beam with center-point loading (AS1M C 293)
or simple beam with third-point loading (AS1M C 78).
The center-point loading usually gives higher indicated
strengths.
l. The testing machines should be motorized (although positive-displacement hand pumps are permitted) and capable of applying the load uniformly.
2. Follow the selected beam testing procedure
according to the appropriate AS1M standards.
3. Turn the wet test specimen on its side with
respect to its position as molded and center on the
bearing blocks.
4. Apply the load at uniform rate not to exceed an
increase in fiber stress of 150 psi per min until rupture
occurs.
5. Mcasure average width and depth and caIculate
modulus of rupture.

Fig. 19.4 - Conducting

compression

test of concrete cylinder

Splittlng tensile strength of cylindrical concrete


specimens-ASTM e 496
Specifications may require the use of standard concrete
cylinders for the determination of splitting tensile strengths.
This property is believed to indica te accurately the actual
tensile strength of concrete and is used in the evaluation of
structural lightweight concrete.
1. Make and cure the test specimens the same as the 6
x l2-in. cylinders in the previous section. However, when
used for evaluation of lightweight concrete in accordance
with ACI 318, specimens are moist cured for 7 days and
then cured 21 days at 73 3 F and 50 5 percent relative
humidity.
2. Mark the cylinders with diametral lines on each end
using a suitable device that will insure the lines are in the
same axial plane, and take an average of three diameter
measurements.
3. Center the specimen in the testing machine with a 118
x 1 x l2-in. plywood strip on the top and bottom.
4. Apply the load continuously without shock at a
consistent rate of 100 to 200 psi splitting tensile stress per
min until faiJure. For a 6 x l2-in. cylinder, 100 psi per Olin

172

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

corresponds to applying load that continuously mcreases at arate of 11,300 lb per mino
5. Ca1culate splitting tensile strengths.
ACCELERATED

CURING OF TEST SPECIMENS

The contract documents for some projects may


require or permit accelerated strength testing of
standard concrete cylinders. ASTM C 684 is an
accelerated test method that defmes a standard method
of accelerated curing to provide early strength data
rather than the conventional 7-day and 28-day compressive strengths.
A correlation program should be developed for
each concrete mix, using the same materials, to properly evaluate the relationship between the accelerated
cured cylinders and standard cured cylinders. ACI SP5667 gives the procedure for development and use of
this data in quality control of concrete.
ASTM C 684 presents three methods that may be
used to accelerate the curing of cylinders for testing:
Procedure A- Warm water method
Procedure B - Boiling water method
Procedure C-Autogenous
method
Spccial equipment is required to obtain and control the
temperature of the concrete cylinders during the
accelerated curing cyc1e. AlI curing takes place while
the cylinders are in their molds. Tests are performed
shortly after the cylinders are removed from their
molds.
Procedure A provides the earliest test. Curing
begins immediately after casting. The cylinders are
cured in a warm water bath at 95 5 F for 231/2hr
30 min and are then demolded. The cylinders are tested
at the age of 24 hr 15 mino
Procedure B adds a short accelerated curing period
to a longer conventional curing periodo The cylinders
are initially cured for 23 hr 15 min at 70 10 F,
followed by immersion in boiling water for 31/2hr 5
mino The cylinders are then demolded and cooled for
at least 1 hr at room temperature. They are tested at
age 28% hr 15 mino
Procedure
uses heat generated by hydration of
the cement to accelerate the strength development.
After casting, the cylinders are sto red in a thermally
insulated container. At age 48 hr 15 min, the cylinders are removed from the container, demolded, and
allowed to stand for 30 min at room temperature. They
are tested at age 49 hr 15 mino
The sampling, molding, and testing of the concrete
cylinders should be in accordance with ASTM procedures as described earlier in this chapter except that
cardboard molds cannot be used.

COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF LlGHTWEIGHT


INSULATING CONCRETE

ASTM C 495 covers the method of preparation and


compressive strength testing of lightweight insulating

INSPECTION

concrete having an oven-dry weight not exceeding 50 pcf


This method is restricted to the use of 3x6-in. cylinders.
1. Sampling is performed in accordance with the
standard procedures described in tbis chapter. However,
when sampling from pump equipment, pass a bucket through
the discharge stream of the concrete pump hose at the point
of placement.
2. The cylinders are molded by placing the concrete in
two equallayers. Tap the sides of the mold lightly after each
layer is placed until the surface has subsided. Do not rod the
concrete.

3. Testing of the cylinders and determination of compressive strength are essentially the same as for standard
cylinders of normal weight concrete.
UNIFORMITV

TESTS OF MIXERS

Truck mlxers
ASTM C 94 stipulates that concrete mixed completely in
a truck mixer, 70 to 100 revolutions at manufacturer's
specified mixing speed, must meet the uniformity requirements indicated in Table 19.1. A uniformity test compares
two samples of freshly mixed concrete, one from near the
front of the mixer drum and one from near the back. Concrete uniformity is satisfactory when at least five of the six
tests shown in Table 19.1 are within the specified limits.
Slump tests of individual samples taken after discharge of
approximately 15 percent and 85 percent of the load may be
made for a quick check of the probable degree of uniformity. These two samples should be obtained within an
elapsed tinle of not more than 15 mino If the slumps differ
more than that specified in Table 19-1, the mixer should not
be used unless the condition is corrected or the operation
changed to a longer mixing time, a smaller load, or more
efficient charging sequence that will permit the requirements
of Table 19.1 to be met.
Statlonary mlxers
ASTM C 94 specifies a mixing time based on mixer
capacity, requiring 1 min for the first cu yd plus 15 sec for
each cu yd, or fraction thereof, of additional capacity. These
minimum time requirements will produce uniformity, but
they are unnecessarily time-consuming for many large capacity mixers. Therefore, ASTM C 94 permits reduction in tbis
mixing time, provided that tests are conducted to show that
uniformity can be achieved in less time.
Tests can be made at any predetermined shorter time of
mixing. Samples can be taken from a discharging mixer after
15 percent and 85 percent of the batch have been discharged. Or the mixer can be stopped after the designated
mixing time without discharging, and samples can be removed from locations near the front and back of the drum.
If the mixer drum must be entered for this sampling, first
disconnect the electric power fuses and lag out the equipment in accordance with safety regulations. When the mixer
is found to meet specified uniformity requirements, the
mixing time can be reduced to the new shorter mixing time
that has proved satisfactory.

172

MANUAL

OF CONCRETE

corresponds to applying load that continuously increases at arate of 11,300 lb per mino
5. Ca1culate splitting tensile strengths.
ACCELERATED

CURING OF TEST SPECIMENS

The contract documents for some projects may


require or permit accelerated strength testing of
standard concrete cylinders. ASTM C 684 is an
accelcrated test method that defrnes a standard method
of accelerated curing to provide early strength data
rather than the conventional 7-day and 28-day compressive strengths.
A correlation program should be developed for
each concrete mix, using the same materials, to properly evaluate the relationship between tbe accelerated
cured cylinders and standard cured cylinders. ACI SP5667 gives the procedure for development and use of
this data in quality control of concrete.
ASTM C 684 presents three methods that may be
used to accelerate the curing of cylinders for testing:
Procedure A- Warm water method
Procedure B - Boiling water method
Procedure C-Autogenous method
Special equipment is required to obtain and control the
temperature of tbe concrete cylinders during the
accelerated curing cycle. AlI curing takes place while
the cylinders are in their molds. Tests are performed
sbortly after tbe cylinders are removed from tbeir
molds.
Procedure A provides tbe earliest test. Curing
begins immediately after casting. The cylinders are
cured in a warm water bath at 95 5 F for 23% br
30 min and are tben demolded. The cylinders are tested
at tbe age of 24 hr 15 mino
Procedure B adds a sbort accelerated curing period
to a longer conventional curing periodo The cylinders
are initially cured for 23 br 15 min at 70 10 F,
followed by immersion in boiling water for 3Y2 br 5
mino The cylinders are then demolded and coolOOfor
at least 1 br at room temperature. They are tested at
age 28Y2 br 15 mino
Procedure
uses heat generated by bydration of
the cement to accelerate tbe strengtb development.
After casting, the cylinders are sto red in a tbermally
insulated container. At age 48 hr 15 min, tbe cylinders are removed from tbe container, demolded, and
allowed to stand for 30 min at room temperature. They
are tested at age 49 hr 15 mino
The sampling, molding, and testing of tbe concrete
cylinders should be in accordance with ASTM procedures as described earlier in this chapter except that
cardboard molds cannot be used.

COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF LlGHTWEIGHT


INSULATING CONCRETE

ASTM C 495 covers tbe metbod of preparation and


compressive strength testing of lightweight insulating

INSPECTION

concrete baving an oven-dry weigbt not exceeding 50 pcf


This metbod is restricted to tbe use of 3x6-in. cylinders.
1. Sampling is performed in accordance witb tbe
standard procedures described in tbis chapter. However,
when sampling from pump equipment, pass a bucket through
tbe discbarge stream of the concrete pump hose at the point
of placement.
2. The cylinders are molded by placing tbe concrete in
two equallayers. Tap the sides of tbe mold ligbtly after eacb
layer is placed until tbe surface has subsided. Do not rod the
concrete.

3. Testing of the cylinders and determination of compressive strength are essentiaUy the same as for standard
cylinders of normal weight concrete.
UNIFORMITV

TESTS OF MIXER S

Truck mlxers
ASTM C 94 stipulates tbat concrete mixed completely in
a truck mixer, 70 to 100 revolutions at manufacturer's
specified mixing speed, must meet the uniformity requirements indicated in Table 19.1. A uniformity test compares
two samples of freshly mixed concrete, one from near the
front of the mixer drum and one from near the back. Concrete uniformity is satisfactory wben at least five of tbe six
tests shown in Table 19.1 are witbin the specified limits.
Slump tests of individual samples taken after discharge of
approximately 15 percent and 85 percent of tbe load may be
made for a quick check of the probable degree of uniformity. These two samples should be obtained within an
elapsed time of not more than 15 min. If tbe slumps differ
more than tbat specified in Table 19-1, tbe mixer sbould not
be used unless the condition is corrected or the operation
changed to a longer mixing time, a smaller load, or more
efficient charging sequence that will permit the requirements
of Table 19.1 to be meto
Statlonary mlxers
ASTM C 94 specifies a mixing time based on mixer
capacity, requiring 1 min for the first cu yd plus 15 sec for
eacb cu yd, or fraction thereof, of additional capacity. These
minimum time requirements will produce uniformity, but
they are unnecessarily time-consuming for many large capacity mixers. Therefore, ASTM C 94 permits reduction in tbis
mixing time, provided that tests are conducted to sbow that
uniformity can be achieved in less time.
Tests can be Olade at any predetermined shorter time of
mixing. Samples can be taken from a discharging mixer after
15 percent and 85 percent of the batch have been discharged. Or the mixer can be stopped after the designated
mixing time without discharging, and samples can be removed from locations near the front and back of the drum.
If tbe mixer drum must be entered for this sampling, first
disconl1ect the electric power fuses al1d lag out the equipment in accordance with safety regulatiol1s. When tbe mixer
is found to meet specified ul1iformity requirements, tbe
mixing tinte can be reduced to the new shorter mixing time
that has proved satisfactory.

TESTING

Table 19.1-Requirements
concrete

173

OF CONCRETE/AGGREGATES

for unlformity of

subtracting
the volume
volume of air.

of tbe coarse

aggregate

and tbe

4. Tbe air-free unit weigbt of mortar M, in pcf,


weigbt divided by its volume, calculated as follows:

Tesl

Maximum pennissible
difference in samples
laten from two localioDS
in concrele baIch

Unil weighl of fresh concrele


calculaled lo an ar-free bass

1.0 pcf

Air conlen!, volume percenl of


concrele

1.0 percenl numerical difference

M =

b_-_c

V -(A

+ G XC62.3)

wbere
b

Slump:

is its

= weigbt of concrete sample in air meter, lb


= SSD weight of aggregate retained on No. 4 sieve,
lb

If average slump s 4 in. or less

1.0 in.

If average slump s 4 lO 6 in.

1.5 in.

Coarse aggregale conlenl, portion


by weighl of each sample relained
on No. 4 sieve

6.0 percenl numerlcal difference

V = volume of sample, cu

A =
G
62.3

Unil weighl of ar-free martar


Average compressive slrength al 7
days for each sample

1.6 percenl'
percenl
7.5

} percenlage
difference
sieve

=
=

et

volume of air computed by multiplying the volume


V by percent of air divided by 100, cu ft
SSD bulk specific gravity of tbe coarse aggregate
unit weigbt of water at test temperature,
pcf

Table 19.2 - Test for unlformity of concrete

Varia

airfree
mortar
00 No.
4
Test
'Tenlalive approval rctaincd
of Ihe
mixer
may
be granled pending results of Ihe 7-day
compressive slrenglh leslS. Coa.-aggrcgate

132.2
2..5
6.0permissible
S2..5
Fran!
SS
1..5
ditreren""
Badt
rion
bctwceu
130.2
pcrccn.
pcrccnl
pcf
pcrceot
pcf
pcrccnl
1.6
maximum
OOD.enl.portion
cadt
sample of94
men
e>pressed
as
sampl

ASTM
Unil weigb' of

Specificarion require-

Washout test for coarse-aggregate content


One measure of uniformity of a concrete batcb is
tbe percentage of coarse aggregate in two different
portions of tbe batcb (see Tables 19.1 and 19.2). Tbe
procedure for tbis determination
is:
1. Weigb a sample of plastic concrete, In order to
partially combine tbis determination
witb tbat for tbe
air-free unit weigbt of mortar, tbe base of an air meter
is used as tbe volume measure for unit-weigbt determination. Tbe sample is tben tested for air content.
2. After the air test, sieve and wash tbe concrete
over a No. 4 screen.
3. Weigb tbe aggregate wbile irnmersed in water .
4. Compute tbe saturated surface-dry weigbt, using
the known bulk saturated surface-dry specific gravity G
of tbe aggregate, by use of tbe formula for bulk specific
127.
gravity (SSD) given in ASlM
5. In lieu of tbe immersed-weight
metbod, the
wasbed coarse aggregate
may be towel-dried
and
weigbed. However, the immersed-weigbt
method is
recommended.

Air-free unit weight of mortar test


Tbe metbod for air-free unit weigbt of mortar is
described in the U. S. Bureau of Rec1amation Concrete

'perccnt variarioo iD unit weigbt of moDar may be boscd ODaverage of compararive


- 0.1'1
pcrocnt) calculatcd as foUows:
samples (wherc uniformity limit booomes 1.612

.4_

lUt

-4:'"

Y..narIon lAalt ~",

of

aIr-jrH__

"'" "'8<

130.22 132.2
131.2
poI

131.2
- 130.2~ 100
131.2

0.76 pamII <

0.. ~

De

Tbe following example illustrates the metbod of determining unit weight of air-free mortar and coarse-aggregate
content.
Given: Concrete
sample containing
11f2-in. maximum
nominal size aggregate, witb an air content of 5.0 percent.
G = 2.65
b = 35 lb
V = V4 cu et
S = 12.0 lb (submerged weight oe aggregate
tained on No. 4 sieve)
Calculation:

Manual5 under "Variability of Constituents


in Concrete," Designation 26. Tbe procedure is summarized as
follows:

SxG
c=-G -

1. Perform tbe weight tests as described in the


immersed-weigbt metbod of the washout test for coarse
aggregate contento
2. Determine
the weigbt of the mortar in tbe
sample by subtracting tbe SSD weigbt of tbe coarse
aggregate from the weight of tbe concrete sample.
3. Obtain the volume of the air-free mortar by

12 x 2.65 = 19.27 lb
2.65 - 1
W = coarse aggregate content,percent
19.27
x 100 = 55.0percent
W = -35

= 0.25

cuft

100

x 5.0 = 0.0125

cuft

by weight

re-

174

MANUAL OF CONCRETE INSPECTION

This gives all of the values necessary to ca1culate M, the


unit weight of air-free mortar, using the expression
give