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Title no. 102-M16

Effect of Coarse Aggregate Characteristics on Lateral

Pressure Exerted by Self-Consolidating Concrete
by Joseph Assaad and Kamal H. Khayat

An experimental program was carried out to determine the influence contributes to the resistance to shear stresses through aggre-
of concentration and nominal size of coarse aggregate on the develop- gate friction. Different series of concrete mixtures made with
ment of lateral and pore water pressures of self-consolidating concrete a water-cement ratio (w/c) of 0.5 and various aggregate
(SCC). Nine mixtures prepared with sand-total aggregate ratios contents and MSAs were evaluated. The mixtures had slump
(S/A) varying between 1.0 and 0.30 were evaluated. The mixture
made with an S/A value of 0.50 was repeated three times with different
values of 50 and 250 mm. The lateral pressure was deter-
coarse aggregate gradations of 10-5, 14-5, and 20-5 mm. An experi- mined using steel formwork measuring 1650 mm in height,
mental column measuring 2800 mm in height and 200 mm in 1350 mm in length, and 200 mm in width. Cement paste was
diameter was used to determine lateral pressure and pore water reported to develop full hydrostatic pressure initially. As the
pressure during the plastic stage of cement hydration. Rheological volume of coarse aggregate increases, however, hydrostatic
characteristics were assessed to determine the relationship between pressure was still obtained until the volumetric ratio of the
internal friction and lateral pressure development. paste-to-coarse aggregate approaches a value of one. Below
Test results show that lateral pressure is significantly influenced such value, the pressure diagram was reported to be bilinear
by the S/A value. Right after casting, mixtures with S/A values of in which the lateral pressure is hydrostatic from the free
1.0 and 0.75 developed initial lateral pressures of 99 and 96% of surface to a maximum value corresponding to 450 mm from
those corresponding to the hydrostatic pressure, respectively. With
the increase in coarse aggregate concentration (S/A of 0.50 to
the base of the formwork; thereafter, the pressure envelope
0.30), the initial relative lateral pressure decreased from 92 to deviates from hydrostatic.
77%, respectively, and the rate of drop in pressure was more Amziane and Baudeau2 reported that the use of discon-
pronounced. This can be related to the increased coarse aggregate tinuously graded aggregate with MSA of 30 mm can lead to
volume that reduces the mobility of the mixture and results in less higher lateral pressure compared with continuously graded
lateral pressure. Irrespective of the S/A value, the measured lateral aggregate with MSA of 7 mm. On the other hand, Gardner
pressure was found to correspond to the pore water pressure during and Ho3 found that the increase in MSA from 10 to 20 mm
the plastic stage.
had no significant influence on lateral pressure exerted by
The increase in nominal aggregate size from 10 to 14 mm
fresh concrete with a slump of 50 to 100 mm.
reduced the initial relative lateral pressure from 92 to 85% and
increased the rate of pressure drop with time. Further increase in Ritchie4 used the triaxial test approach to determine the
nominal aggregate size to 20 mm led to almost similar pressure as effect of coarse aggregate-to-cement mass ratio on the angle
that of the SCC with 14 mm nominal aggregate size. of internal friction of plastic concrete. Different mixtures
The lateral pressure developed by the plastic concrete is found having aggregate-cement ratios varying between 1:3 and 1:6
to be directly related to internal friction resulting from the coarse were evaluated. The corresponding w/c ranged between 0.45
aggregate concentration. The greater the degree of increase in and 0.81, and the consistency varied from low to high.
internal friction, which corresponds to mixtures made with relatively Undrained triaxial tests were performed on 100 x 200 mm
low S/A values, the lesser the magnitude of initial lateral pressure cylindrical samples. The angle of the tangent line determined
becomes and the faster the drop in pressure.
from Mohr circle diagrams was taken as the angle of internal
friction. For a given compacting factor, internal friction in
Keywords: aggregate; column; plastic; rheology.
plastic concrete was reported to increase with the aggregate-
cement ratio. Furthermore, a decrease in w/c was found to
INTRODUCTION reduce the level of lubrication of the paste layer among
The magnitude of lateral pressure developed on formwork coarse aggregate particles, hence increasing internal friction.
systems by plastic concrete has provoked considerable
interest and numerous theories. In 1958, ACI Committee 622 It should be noted that Ritchie4 assumed that the cement
analyzed existing literature and concluded that the significant paste of plastic concrete has a crystalline gel structure
parameters affecting lateral pressure mainly involve the rate without the need to determine pore water pressure. The
of placement, consistency of concrete, size and shape of the results are then considered in terms of total stress, and an
formwork, concrete temperature, placement and consolidation effective stress analysis cannot be carried out since pore
methods, type of cement, head of concrete, maximum-size water pressure is unknown. This assumption was contested
aggregate (MSA), and pore water pressure.1 by Alexandridis and Gardner5 who reported that the
undrained cohesion and coefficient of internal friction values
Several approaches have been adopted to assess the effect
of the granular phase on the development of lateral pressure.
Amziane and Baudeau2 considered that concrete is a two- ACI Materials Journal, V. 102, No. 3, May-June 2005.
MS No. 03-248 received July 1, 2003, and reviewed under Institute publication poli-
phase heterogeneous material composed of cement paste and cies. Copyright 2005, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the
coarse aggregate. The paste possesses a rheological behavior making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Perti-
nent discussion including authors closure, if any, will be published in the March-April
that is exclusively viscous, whereas the granular phase 2006 ACI Materials Journal if the discussion is received by December 1, 2005.

ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005 145

approaches that of Poissons ratio for cured concrete.
Joseph Assaad is R&D Manager, Holderchem Building Chemicals S.A.L., Beirut,
Lebanon. He received his PhD in civil engineering from the Universit de Sherbrooke, Alexandridis and Gardner5 stated that this result is in
Quebec, Canada. His research interests include rheology and formwork pressure of disagreement with conventional soil mechanics logic unless
self-consolidating concrete. the pore fluid has a density close to that of fresh concrete.
Kamal H. Khayat, FACI, is a professor of civil engineering at the Universit de Nonetheless, the density of the fluid phase corresponds to
Sherbrooke. He is a member of ACI Committees 234, Silica Fume in Concrete; 236, that of concrete during vibration, and eventually decreases to
Material Science of Concrete; 237, Self-Consolidating Concrete; and 552, Geotechnical
Cement Grouting. His research interests include self-consolidating concrete, rheology,
that of the density of water.7
and concrete repair. Assaad, Khayat, and Mesbah8 adopted a rheological
approach to evaluate the effect of thixotropy on variations of
lateral pressure developed by self-consolidating concrete
are rather pore water pressure-dependent. Given that the
(SCC). Thixotropy is defined as a decrease in viscosity with
pore pressure developed under field conditions can differ
time when a material is submitted to a constant shearing
significantly from that in the laboratory due to different
stress.9 Results show that the greater the degree of thixotropy,
drainage conditions, the authors concluded that it is difficult
the less initial lateral pressure can be measured, and the faster
to appreciate the applicability of Ritchies results. Alexandridis
the pressure can decrease.8 This was attributed to the reversible
and Gardner5 considered that fresh concrete is similar to soil
effect of thixotropy that enables the material to regain its shear
in that both are weakly bonded particulate systems submerged
strength, internal friction, and cohesion when left at rest
in a fluid medium. Therefore, soil mechanics principles can
without shearing. The increase in internal friction was found
be applied to the formwork pressure problem by considering
to directly influence the decrease in initial lateral pressure. The
the lateral pressure as the sum of the pore water pressure and
rate of drop in pressure can be controlled by the degree of
pressure exerted by the submerged solid skeleton, as follows
increase in cohesion resulting from cement hydration.
The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the influence
= + [U (A Ac)/A] (1)
of the relative concentration of coarse aggregate and the
aggregate nominal size on the development of lateral and
where is the total lateral pressure; is the effective pressure pore water pressures of SCC during the plastic stage. Nine
resulting from the solid particles; U is the pore water pressure; mixtures proportioned with different sand-total aggregate
and Ac and A denote the area of contact points on a given ratios (S/A) and various aggregate gradations were investi-
plane and the total area of the plane, respectively. gated. Rheological measurements were determined to assess
The aforementioned equation, developed initially by the degree of internal friction and its influence on lateral
Terzaghi,6 assumes that the value of Ac can be neglected pressure development.
compared with that of A, thus leading to = + U. Furthermore,
the lateral pressure exerted by a dry granular material on a fric-
tional surface is proportional to the vertical pressure, as follows
The granular phase constitutes more than 60% of the total
concrete volume. Appropriate assessment of its effect on lateral
Ph = K Pv (2)
pressure is therefore important to design safe and economic
formwork systems. This paper presents data concerning the
where Ph is the lateral pressure; K is the lateral earth pressure influence of coarse aggregate concentration and MSA on
coefficient that depends on the internal friction of the material lateral and pore water pressures exerted by SCC. Such data can
and on whether the lateral pressure is active Ka, passive Kb, be useful to contractors and engineers to use mixtures that
or at rest K0; and Pv = g h is the vertical pressure (, g, can exhibit more favorable lateral pressure envelopes,
and h being the unit weight, gravity, and head of granular enabling an increase in the rate of casting of vertical elements
material, respectively). or the design of more cost-effective formwork systems.
Alexandridis and Gardner5 evaluated the shear strength
characteristics, namely internal friction and cohesion, of
fresh concrete through the use of a triaxial compression
apparatus. The confining pressures varied between 0 and Materials
140 kPa, and the tests were carried out at two temperatures Commercially available ternary cement with 6% silica
(4 and 21 C) and at different periods after the initial contact fume and 22% fly ash replacements, by weight, was used. Its
between water and cement. It was concluded that shear chemical and physical characteristics are summarized in
strength properties of fresh concrete can be expressed in Table 1.
fundamental terms using soil mechanics principles; the Three grades of crushed limestone aggregate with size
results were found to be in agreement with both the Mohr- fractions of 10-5, 14-5, and 20-5 mm were employed. Their
Coulomb and Rowe theories.5 Immediately after mixing, the packing densities calculated according to ASTM C 29 were
magnitude of shear strength is mainly due to the develop- 56, 62, and 60%, respectively. Well-graded siliceous sand
ment of internal friction that remains constant with setting was used for all mixtures, with a fineness modulus of 2.5.
time and temperature change. For longer elapsed time, it is The particle-size distributions of the sand and coarse aggregate
the increase in cohesion as a result of hydration that allows were within CSA A23.1 recommendations (Fig. 1). Their
the plastic concrete to develop higher shear strength, and bulk specific gravities were 2.71 and 2.69, and their absorption
thereby reduces lateral pressure. At a very early age and low rates were 0.4 and 1.2%, respectively.
vertical stress, the authors5 reported that fresh concrete A polycarboxylate-based high-range water-reducing
behaves as a fluid with vertical stresses transformed into admixture (HRWRA) of 1.1 specific gravity and 27% solid
lateral stresses, and the at-rest K0 coefficient for the solid content was used. High molecular-weight, cellulosic-based
phase approaches unity. As fresh concrete starts to gain shear viscosity-modifying admixture (VMA) was used to enhance
strength, however, the K0 decreases rapidly with time and stability. The VMA had a specific gravity of 1.12 and 39%

146 ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005

solid content. A synthetic detergent-based air-entraining agent
(AEA) was used in all mixtures.

Mixture proportions
As summarized in Table 2, all mixtures were prepared
with 450 kg/m3 of cement and 180 kg/m3 of water, or a
water-cementitious material ratio (w/cm) of 0.40. The effect
of aggregate concentration on lateral pressure was evaluated
by proportioning seven mixtures with different S/A, by
weight. The S/A values varied between 0.30 to 1.0 for the
mixtures made with 10 mm MSA. Such values correspond to
typical SCC found in commercial applications with high to
low density of reinforcement, with the SCC made without
any coarse aggregate (S/A of 1.0) considered as the reference
mixture. To determine the influence of aggregate fraction or Fig. 1Particle size distribution of sand and coarse aggregate.
MSA on lateral pressure variations, the mixture made with
an S/A of 0.50 was prepared three times with coarse aggregate
gradations of 10-5, 14-5, and 20-5 mm.
The dosage of the liquid-based VMA was set at 260 mL/ Table 1Chemical and physical properties of
100 kg of cement for all mixtures. The HRWRA and AEA Type 10 cement, Class F fly ash, and silica fume
were adjusted to secure initial slump flow and fresh air Cement Type 10 Fly ash Silica fume
content of 650 15 mm and 6 2%, respectively. SiO2, % 21.0 50.0 93.6
Al2O3, % 4.2 29.4 0.3
Instrumented column Fe2O3, % 3.1 13.5 0.5
An experimental polyvinyl chloride (PVC) column
CaO, % 62.0 1.7 0.3
measuring 2800 mm in height and 200 mm in diameter was
MgO, % 2.9 0.7 0.5
used to determine the lateral and pore water pressures
Na2O eq., % 0.74 0.4 1.4
exerted by fresh concrete. The form had a smooth inner face
to minimize friction. The lateral pressure was measured C3S, % 59.6
using five pressure sensors of 100 kPa capacity each C2S, % 14.5
mounted at 50, 250, 450, 850, and 1550 mm from the base. C3A, % 6.4
The pore water pressure of the fluid phase was measured C4AF, % 7.9
using three pressure sensors also placed along the 2800 mm 2
Blaine specific surface, m /kg 325 410
high column. A special filtering water device made of
Surface area B. E. T., m2/kg 20,250
compacted fiber was used to separate the cement paste from
Mean apparent diameter, m 17 13 0.1
the measurement system. These sensors also had a 100 kPa
Specific gravity 3.14 2.53 2.22
capacity each and were placed at 250, 450, and 850 mm from
Percent passing 45 m 92 90 100
the base. The lateral and pore water pressure sensors were
3 3150 2160 280
aligned with the inner surface of the formwork and properly Bulk unit weight, kg/m
calibrated using a free head of water prior to use. Loss on ignition, % 2.5 2.2 2.8

Table 2Mixture proportions of evaluated concretes

R (S/A, by weight) 0.30 0.36 0.40 0.46 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.75 1.00
Mixture codification 0.30-SCC 0.36-SCC 0.40-SCC 0.46-SCC 0.50-10-SCC 0.50-14-SCC 0.50-20-SCC 0.75-SCC 1.0-SCC
Ternary cement, kg/m3 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450
3 180 180 180 180 180 180 180 180 180
Water, kg/m (w/cm = 0.40)
Sand (5-0 mm), kg/m3 480 580 640 740 810 810 810 1200 1600
Coarse aggregate (10-5 mm), kg/m3 1130 1030 970 870 810 400 0
Coarse aggregate (14-5 mm), kg/m3 810
Coarse aggregate (20-5 mm), kg/m3 810
3 417 380 358 321 299 299 299 148 0
Coarse aggregate volume, L/m
Sand/paste, by volume 0.44 0.53 0.59 0.68 0.74 0.74 0.74 1.10 1.47
Paste/coarse aggregate, by volume 0.97 1.06 1.13 1.26 1.35 1.35 1.35 2.74 Infinite
High-range water-reducing admixture, L/m3 5.7 5.2 4.6 3.8 3.0 3.2 2.9 2.3 4.2
Viscosity-modifying admixture, 260 260 260 260 260 260 260 260 260
mL/100 kg of cement
Air-entraining agent, mL/100 kg of cement 170 150 130 120 100 100 100 70 50

ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005 147

Table 3Fresh properties of evaluated mixtures
Initial slump Slump flow h2 /h1 Surface Unit weight,
flow, mm JRing flow, mm JRing, mm (L-Box test) settlement, % Air content, % Temperature, C kg/m3
1.0-SCC 640 640 0 0.92 0.21 8.2 19.6 2055
0.75-SCC 640 635 5 0.90 0.19 7.6 20.5 2105
0.50-10-SCC 650 610 40 0.84 0.26 6.2 19.8 2195
0.50-14-SCC 645 565 80 0.79 0.23 6.0 21.6 2270
0.50-20-SCC 650 590 60 0.77 0.31 4.2 21.4 2245
0.46-SCC 665 600 65 0.81 0.34 4.3 21.7 2265
0.40-SCC 635 575 60 0.74 0.39 6.5 21.2 2230
0.36-SCC 635 540 95 0.70 0.43 5.6 22.3 2300
0.30-SCC 660 510 150 0.63 0.54 6.8 20.4 2330

Fabrication and testing program performed corresponding to elapsed time intervals of 60 to

For each test, two concrete batches were prepared separately 90 min and 120 to 150 min.
in an open-pan mixer of 100 L capacity. The mixing The general procedure of filling the experimental column
sequence consisted of blending the coarse aggregate and consisted of continuously discharging the concrete from the
sand for 1 min before introducing 1/3 of the mixing water top at a rate of rise of 10 m/h without any mechanical
along with the AEA. The cementitious materials were then vibration. The monitoring of lateral and pore water pressure
added and followed by the HRWRA and 1/3 of the water. distributions was stopped once the concrete had a slump
After 3 min of mixing, the VMA diluted with the remaining consistency of approximately 150 mm to enable emptying of
water was introduced, and the concrete was mixed for an the column prior to hardening. It is to be noted that the
additional 2 min. The temperature during mixing and testing kinetics of drop in lateral and pore water pressures of the
was maintained at 20 2 C. mixtures up to the hardening were evaluated using another
The slump flow, temperature, unit weight, air volume, JRing experimental column of 1000 mm in height. These results
and L-box flow characteristics, surface settlement, rheological will be presented in a follow-up publication.
properties, and formwork lateral stresses were determined. The
JRing test consists of a concentric ring placed at the base of the TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
slump cone having 12 mm reinforcing bars with 35 mm clear Fresh concrete properties
spacing.10 The mean diameter of the concrete flow is deter- The fresh properties of the tested mixtures are summarized
in Table 3. The JRing and L-box flow characteristics are
mined and compared with nonrestricted slump flow spread.
significantly influenced by the S/A. The greater the S/A value,
The L-box test consists of an L-shaped apparatus, with the
the higher the JRing spread value and the h2/h1 blocking ratio.
vertical part of the box being filled with 12.7 L of concrete.11
For example, the mean diameter measured with the JRing
The gate separating the vertical and horizontal compartments is
remained high at 640 mm in the case of the mortar mixture
then lifted, allowing the concrete to flow out through 12 mm
with an S/A value of 1.0 (designated as 1.0-SCC mixture).
diameter reinforcing bars at the bottom, separated by 35 mm
This value decreased to 510 mm for the 0.30-SCC mixture.
clear spacing. The ratio of the height of concrete remaining at Similarly, the h2/h1 ratio decreased from 0.92 to 0.63 for these
the leading edge in the horizontal section h2 and that in the mixtures, respectively. This is due to the increased friction and
vertical section h1 is determined to evaluate the self-levelling collision among solid particles leading to some limitation of
characteristic. The surface settlement was assessed by casting the ability of the concrete to flow through restricted bars
concrete in a PVC column measuring 200 mm in diameter and without any consolidation. From the foregoing results, it is
800 mm in height.12 The settlement was monitored using a important to note that as long as mixtures are prepared with S/
linear dial gauge fixed on top of a thin plate positioned and A values greater or equal to 0.40, the passing ability character-
anchored at the concrete surface. istics are suitable for construction of elements with high to
The effect of coarse aggregate concentration on the relatively limited density of reinforcing bars.14 S/A values of
magnitude of internal friction was evaluated for mixtures 0.36 and 0.30 can still be acceptable in terms of passing ability
with 10 mm MSA. The adopted approach was based on a for casting SCC in noncomplex or congested formworks in
study carried out to assess thixotropy of concrete using a commercial construction.
modified version of a Tattersall two-point rheometer.13 The The increase in MSA from 10 to 20 mm is shown to reduce
testing protocol consisted of maintaining the four-bladed the JRing and h2/h1 values for the SCC with a 0.50 S/A value.
impeller rotating in a concentric manner at a constant rota- For example, such reductions are 45 mm and 0.05 when the
tional speed and recording the torque measurements as a MSA increases from 10 to 14 mm, respectively. This can be
function of time. Four structural breakdown curves evalu- due to the greater degree of collision resulting from
ated at 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 rps were determined for each increased nominal aggregate size that can reduce the
mixture. The time required to perform each of the structural restricted deformability.
breakdown tests at a given rotational speed was 7.5 min: 5 min As shown in Table 3, the maximum surface settlement
when the concrete was at rest in the rheometer bowl, and values ranged between 0.19 and 0.54% and can be consid-
2.5 min required for the testing and rehomogenizing of the ered as low to moderate settlement values. The surface
concrete before subsequent measurements. In total, a 30-min settlement increased with the decrease in S/A (increase in
period was necessary to obtain the four structural breakdown coarse aggregate content) for mixtures of a given w/cm. As
curves. To determine the effect of age on the variations in indicated in Table 2, the increase in coarse aggregate volume
internal friction, two other series of measurements were led to higher HRWRA demand required to secure the

148 ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005

Fig. 3Variations of lateral pressure envelope with time for
0.50-10-SCC mixture.
Fig. 2Variations of lateral pressure envelope with time for
1.0-SCC mixture.

targeted deformability. For example, the HRWRA dosages

of the 0.50-10-SCC and 0-40-SCC mixtures were 3.0 and 4.6
L/m3, respectively, and their maximum settlement values
were 0.26 and 0.39%, respectively. The higher HRWRA
demand can result in longer dormant periods that can
increase the risk of consolidation and bleeding.

Lateral pressure development

The variations of lateral pressure with time for SCC made
with 10 mm MSA and S/A values of 1.0, 0.50, and 0.30 are
plotted in Fig. 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Values of slump flow
or slump determined at each time interval corresponding to Fig. 4Variations of lateral pressure envelope with time for
the measurement of lateral pressure are also indicated. The 0.30-SCC mixture.
lateral pressure of the 1.0-SCC mixture made without coarse
aggregate is quite close to that of hydrostatic pressure
initially and remains close to that up to 6.5 h of age. As
aggregate concentration increases, the initial lateral pressure
is shown to decrease, and its rate of drop with time becomes
more pronounced (Fig. 3 and 4). For the 0.30-SCC mixture,
the maximum lateral pressure was measured at 250 mm from
the base of the formwork. Below this level, lateral pressure
shifted from hydrostatic and remained nearly constant until
the bottom. A similar trend was obtained for the 0.36-SCC
mixture made with 10 mm MSA.
The decrease in the ratio of maximum measured pressure
to that of hydrostatic pressure (P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic))
is plotted in Fig. 5 for all SCC mixtures made with 10 mm MSA.
The hydrostatic pressure is calculated as Phyd = g h,
Fig. 5Variations of P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) with regard
where , g, and h refer to the concrete unit weight, gravity,
to elapsed time following casting for mixtures made with 10 mm
and height of the formwork, respectively. The values of
MSA (slump values at end of pressure monitoring are noted).
slump consistency measured at the end of lateral pressure
monitoring are noted. Mixtures prepared with low concen-
trations of coarse aggregate (higher S/A values) are shown to aggregate particles surrounded by the cement-mortar matrix
develop significantly higher initial relative pressure (99 and tend to consolidate and settle down, hence achieving greater
96% for the S/A values of 1.0 and 0.75, respectively). With granular packing. When the mixture has a relatively high S/A
the reduction of S/A values to 0.50 and 0.30, the initial relative value corresponding to a low aggregate concentration,
pressure decreases to 92 and 77%, respectively. Further- aggregate particles can have greater freedom to translate and
more, the rate of drop in pressure with time is influenced by rotate within the matrix. Consequently, the mobility of the
the S/A value. For example, for the 1.0-SCC and 0.75-SCC concrete increases, and vertical stress can be more easily
mixtures made without or with limited coarse aggregate transformed into lateral pressure. When the concrete has a
content, the time required to reduce lateral pressure by 10% low S/A value, the aggregate particles achieve a greater
of hydrostatic value was 410 and 230 min, respectively. For degree of interlock, and the interparticle bridging increases,
the 0.50-10-SCC and 0.30-SCC mixtures, this period causing the formation of an arching phenomenon.4 This can
decreased to 145 and 80 min, respectively. limit the mobility of the concrete and reduce the transfer of
The mobility of fresh concrete has a predominant influence pressure from the yielding mass into the vertical surface of
on the transfer of pressure to the formwork.4 After placement, the formwork.

ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005 149

Fig. 6Variations of P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) values for Fig. 9Variations of later pressure and pore water pressure
SCC mixtures made with 0.50 S/A values and different MSA with respect to time determined at 250 mm from base for
(slump values at end of pressure monitoring are noted). 0.50-10-SCC and 0.50-14-SCC mixtures.

packing density of 62%. Such a value decreased to 56 and 60%

in the case of the aggregates with 10 and 20 mm MSA,
respectively. Higher packing density can increase the amount
of aggregate-to-aggregate contact, thus reducing the mobility of
the concrete and resulting in lower lateral pressure.

Pore water pressure of evaluated mixtures

The lateral pressure of concrete represents the total
horizontal pressure exerted against the formwork. Assuming
that soil mechanics principles apply, can be considered as
the sum of the pressure obtained from pore water (pore water
pressure u) and that from solid particle interaction in the
concrete (effective pressure ). The effective stress cannot
be measured directly, but is rather calculated as the difference
Fig. 7Variations of lateral pressure and pore water pressure between the total and pore water stresses.
with respect to time determined at 250 mm from base for The variations of the pore water and lateral pressures
1.0-SCC and 0.36-SCC mixtures. determined at 250 mm from the base of the 2.8 m high
experimental column for the 1.0-SCC and 0.36-SCC
mixtures as well as those of the 0.75-SCC and 0.30-SCC
mixtures are plotted in Fig. 7 and 8, respectively. The same
pressure variations of the 0.50-SCC mixtures made with 10-5
and 14-5 mm aggregate gradations are plotted in Fig. 9.
Independent of the coarse aggregate concentration or grada-
tion, the pore water pressure is shown to follow exactly the
variations of lateral pressure throughout the testing period.
Such behavior is in complete agreement with the findings of
Amziane, Andriamanantsilavo, and Baudeau15 who evaluated
the kinetics of drop in lateral and pore water pressures
resulting from different types of cement paste with the w/c
varying between 0.30 and 0.45. The maximum lateral and
pore water pressures were reported to be equal to the theoretical
hydrostatic pressure exerted by the cement paste, and their
rate of decrease towards zero were perfectly identical. Both
Fig. 8Variations of lateral pressure and pore water pressure pressure types were strongly affected by the w/c and the level
with respect to time determined at 250 mm from base for of stress to which the paste is subjected.15 According to
0.75-SCC and 0.30-SCC mixtures. Clear and Bonner,16 when a stress is applied to a saturated
material from which there is no water drainage, the total
The variations of the P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) values stress becomes equal to u, with equal to zero. The
with time for mixtures with S/A of 0.50 and various MSA are applied lateral pressure is then totally due to the pore water
plotted in Fig. 6. The increase in MSA from 10 to 14 mm pressure. Harrison17 suggested that the pore water pressure
reduced the lateral pressure measured right after casting from corresponds to the total lateral pressure exerted by the plastic
92 to 85% of the hydrostatic and increased the rate of drop concrete on formwork.
with time. Further increase in the MSA from 14 to 20 mm was It is to be noted that the magnitude of pore water pressure
shown to exhibit similar relative initial pressure of 85% with, depends on the stress level to which the concrete is
however, a slight decrease in the rate of drop. As mentioned subjected (in this case, the overhead pressure). This is illus-
previously, coarse aggregate with 14 mm MSA had the highest trated in Fig. 10 where the pore water pressure variations of

150 ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005

Fig. 10Effect of concrete head on variations of pore water
pressure for 0.75-SCC mixture.
Fig. 12Breakdown area of 0.46-SCC mixture determined
during first time interval (0 to 30 min).

Fig. 11Variations of shear stress with respect to time for Fig. 13Variations of breakdown area for mixtures made with
0.46-SCC mixture determined during first time interval (0 to various coarse aggregate concentrations (MSA = 10 mm).
30 min).

time towards an equilibrium value e that is independent of

the 0.75-SCC mixture determined at different heights of the shear history. Table 4 summarizes the i and e values of the
column are plotted as a function of time. structural breakdown curves for the SCC mixtures made with
10 mm MSA during the first 30-min time interval. Irrespective
Effect of internal friction on lateral pressure of the rotational speed, the incorporation of a greater coarse
development aggregate content is shown to increase both the i and e
As mentioned previously, the rheological protocol adopted values. For example, at a rotational speed of 0.3 rps, the i
to evaluate internal friction in plastic concrete is similar to values increased from 152 to 412 Pa, and then to 741 Pa for
that used to assess thixotropy. The increase in shear stress mixtures made with S/A values of 1.0, 0.46, and 0.30, respec-
values can be considered to be mainly due to variations in tively. For the e values, such an increase corresponded to 35,
internal friction resulting from aggregate concentration. 70, and 180 Pa, respectively. This is due to increased
The magnitude of thixotropy is affected by the degree of aggregate-to-aggregate contact and collision that induce a
flocculation and interparticle links developed between greater degree of internal friction within the mixture, increasing
cementitious materials after a given resting period.13 It can the shear stresses necessary to break down the material.
also be influenced by hydrogen and ionic bonds between The breakdown area Ab considered between the initial
adjacent molecules, leading to variations in cohesiveness. In flow curve (i versus N) and that of the equilibrium flow
this study, the cement content as well as VMA concentration curve (e versus N) is shown in Fig. 12 for the 0.46-SCC
were fixed, hence leading to the same rate of restructuring mixture. The structural breakdown area Ab then provides a
after a given period of rest. The effect of HRWRA dosage and measure of the work done per unit time and unit volume of
the limited spread in air content of the various mixtures on concrete necessary to break the initial linkages and internal
internal friction can be considered as secondary compared friction prior to passing to an equilibrium structure.13 The
with that resulting from aggregate volume. magnitude of the Ab values corresponds to the area determined
Effect of aggregate concentration on internal frictionA between the initial shear stress i and shear stress value at
typical example of structural breakdown curves obtained equilibrium e that are established at different rotational
during the first 30-min time interval for the 0.46-SCC speeds of the concrete rheometer. In this case, the i and e
mixture is plotted in Fig. 11. Each curve determined at a values are determined at rotational speeds corresponding to
given rotational speed shows a peak yield stress i that corre- 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 rps. (The results determined during the
sponds to the initial structural condition after a given rest three series of measurements are given in Table 5 and plotted
period of 5 min. The shear stress is shown then to decay with in Fig. 13. The Ab values are shown to increase with the

ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005 151

Table 4Shear stress values determined during first time interval (T1 = 0 to 30 min)
1.0-SCC 0.75-SCC 0.50-10-SCC 0.46-SCC 0.40-SCC 0.36-SCC 0.30-SCC
, Pa i e i e i e i e i e i e i e
N = 0.3, rps 152 35 243 50 346 72 412 70 485 107 581 142 741 180
N = 0.5, rps 243 64 368 94 530 104 620 131 741 162 852 208 1056 258
N = 0.7, rps 351 97 471 116 663 139 804 164 914 190 1095 241 1325 311
N = 0.9, rps 428 110 595 132 821 172 986 201 1143 245 1304 295 1660 369
* = initial; e = equilibrium.

Table 5Magnitude of breakdown area 250 min for the later mixture that had a higher degree of
determined during three time intervals internal friction. Therefore, lateral pressure exerted by fresh
Breakdown area Ab, J/m3s concrete is directly affected by the magnitude of internal
friction. Such friction reduces the mobility of concrete and
T1 = 0 to 30 min. T2 = 60 to 90 min T3 = 120 to 150 min
increases the rate of shear strength development, hence reducing
1.0-SCC 132 168 201 the transformation of vertical stresses into lateral pressure.
0.75-SCC 193 232 255
0.50-10-SCC 281 324 363 CONCLUSIONS
0.46-SCC 339 377 412 The results presented in this paper are part of a compre-
0.40-SCC 386 432 480 hensive study undertaken to evaluate key factors affecting
0.36-SCC 442 485 524 the variations of lateral pressure of SCC. Based on the results
0.30-SCC 549 590 636 of the experimental program, the following conclusions can
be drawn:
1. Lateral pressure of SCC having a 650 15 mm slump
flow is significantly influenced by the coarse aggregate
concentration. The greater the aggregate volume, the lesser
the initial maximum pressure and the faster it can decrease
with time after casting. The maximum initial lateral pressure
is shown to decrease from 99 to 77% of hydrostatic pressure
when the S/A decreases from 1.0 to 0.30, respectively;
2. The time required for reducing lateral pressure by 10%
of the hydrostatic is found to decrease approximately five-
fold with the reduction in the S/A value from 1.0 to 0.30
(410 to 80 min);
3. The MSA affects the development of formwork pressure.
For example, the initial lateral pressure decreases from 92 to
85% of hydrostatic pressure, and the rate of pressure drop
becomes more pronounced with the use of 14 mm MSA
having a higher packing density as compared with those
Fig. 14Relationship between breakdown area and relative resulting from SCC made with 10 mm MSA. Further
lateral pressure measured at three time intervals. increase of MSA to 20 mm has a limited effect on pressure
drop compared with the SCC with 14 mm MSA;
increase in aggregate concentration due to a greater degree of 4. The pore water pressure is shown to affect the development
internal friction. For example, such an increase was from of lateral pressure of SCC. Regardless of the relative coarse
132 to 339 J/m3s and then to 549 J/m3s during the first aggregate concentration or MSA, the lateral pressure is
series of measurements when the S/A value decreased from entirely due to the pore water pressure during the period
1.0 to 0.46 and then to 0.30, respectively. where the concrete is still in the plastic stage; and
Relationship between breakdown area and lateral pressure 5. The lateral pressure of SCC is directly affected by the
The relationship between Ab evaluated during the first 30-min degree of internal friction that reduces the mobility of the
interval of rheological measurements and the corresponding concrete. The greater the degree of increase in internal friction
residual pressure P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) determined that corresponds to mixtures made with relatively lower S/A
right after filling the formwork is illustrated in Fig. 14. This values, the lesser the magnitude of initial lateral pressure
figure also illustrates the relationship between the Ab values becomes and the faster the drop in pressure.
evaluated during the 60 to 90-min and 120 to 150-min time
intervals and the P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) calculated at
100 and 250 min after casting, respectively. For the three 1. ACI Committee 622, Pressures on Formwork, ACI JOURNAL,
correlations, the P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) ratio decreases Proceedings V. 55, No. 2, Aug. 1958, pp. 173-190.
for the mixtures having greater Ab values. Such a decrease 2. Amziane, S., and Baudeau, P., Effects of Aggregate Concentration
becomes more accentuated with time as indicated by the and Size in Fresh Concrete Pressure on Formwork Walls, Materials and
sharper slope obtained at 100 and 250 min after casting. For Structure, V. 33, 2000, pp. 50-58. (in French)
3. Gardner, N. J., and Ho, P. T.-J., Lateral Pressure of Fresh Concrete,
example, for the 1.0-SCC and 0.30-SCC mixtures with ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 76, No. 7, July 1979, pp. 809-820.
initial Ab values of 132 and 549 J/m3s, respectively, the 4. Ritchie, A. G. B., The Triaxial Testing of Fresh Concrete, Magazine
P(maximum)/P(hydrostatic) value decreased threefold after of Concrete Research, V. 14, No. 40, 1962, pp. 37-42.

152 ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005

5. Alexandridis, A., and Gardner, N. J., Mechanical Behavior of Fresh Admixtures on the Workability, Stability, and Performance of Self-
Concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, V. 11, 1981, pp. 323-339. Compacting Concrete, masters thesis, Universit de Sherbrooke, Canada,
6. Terzaghi, K., Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, Chapman and 1995, 182 pp.
Hall, London, 1948, 120 pp. 13. Assaad, J.; Khayat, K. H.; and Mesbah, H., Assessment of Thixotropy
7. Gardner, N.J., Pressure of Concrete on FormworkA Review, ACI of Flowable and Self-Consolidating Concrete, ACI Materials Journal,
JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 82, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1985, pp. 744-753. V. 100, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2003, pp. 99-107.
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Pressure with Thixotropy of Self-Consolidating Concrete, ACI Materials Oriented Test Methods to Assess Dynamic Stability of Self-Consolidating
Journal, V. 100, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 2003, pp. 29-37. Concrete, ACI Materials Journal, V. 101, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2004, pp. 168-176.
9. Barnes, H. A., ThixotropyA Review, Journal of Non-Newtonian 15. Amziane, S.; Andriamanantsilavo, N.; and Baudeau, P., An
Fluid Mechanics, No. 70, 1997, pp. 1-33. Experimental Study on the Pressure of Cement Based Materials Against
10. Bartos, P. J. M., An Appraisal of the Orimet Test as a Method for Formwork, 15th ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference, June 2-5,
On-Site Assessment of Fresh SCC Concrete, International Workshop on 2002, New York, 8 pp.
Self-Compacting Concrete, Japan, 1998, pp. 121-135. 16. Clear, C. A., and Bonner, D. G., Settlement of Fresh ConcreteAn
11. Petersson, .; Billberg, P.; and Van, B. K., A Model for Self- Effective Stress Model, Magazine of Concrete Research, V. 40, No. 142,
Compacting Concrete, Proceedings, International RILEM Conference on 1988, pp. 3-12.
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eds., Chapman & Hall, Paisley, 1996, pp. 483-490. Placed in Wide Sections, Research Report 22, Cement and Concrete
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ACI Materials Journal/May-June 2005 153

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