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Shotcrete Corner

Shotcrete Testing around

the World
By Lars Balck

harles Hanskats article on Shotcrete but is seldom measured in the United States. In
TestingWho, Why, When, and How1 in addition, the QCS 2010 requires a test for dura-
the Summer 2011 issue of Shotcrete bility that is actually four separate tests: water
magazine provided us with an excellent overview penetration, water absorption, rapid chloride
of shotcrete testing in the United States. As penetration, and absorption.
Charles pointed out, the purpose of testing is Testing around the world is really no different
project quality assurance (QA), which should than testing in the United States. Project needs
verify the designers intent, and quality control and often governing codes are what determine
(QC), which should confirm the contractors which tests are needed or required on a project,
performance. This article is meant to give the reader whether the project is in Atlanta, GA, or
an introduction into the world of testing of concrete Shanghai, China. Engineers design structures to
used for shotcrete outside the United States. carry design loads and endure environmental
Fifty years ago, concrete was just tested for conditions. So project requirements dictate what
compressive strength. No thought was given to tests are required. Mining and tunneling shotcrete
durability other than the concept that the stronger projects, whether in Canada or Latin America,
the concrete, the longer it will last, and to a are concerned about rapid strength gain, so early-
degree, compressive strength of concrete is a good strength tests are conducted, and because most
rough indicator of durability. Today, however, we tunnel and mining shotcrete is fiber reinforced,
have a better understanding of concrete properties it is appropriate that tests for flexural toughness
affecting durability. To properly evaluate concretes are typically specified.
longevity, specific durability tests are needed to What makes testing around the world different
give us a better indication of a concrete structures is standards and which standard developing orga-
longevity for a particular service or environment nization (SDO) develops those standards. There
than just testing for compressive strength alone. are many different standards throughout the world
Durability requirements not only give us a to test for basically the same thing. Also, the test
better understanding of the service life of a structure results can vary significantly depending on what
but can vary depending on location. In Canada, standards are specified. For example, testing
durability requirements are different than in the results for water-soluble chloride using the ASTM
Middle East. Due to an extended exposure to standards can vary substantially from results using
freezing conditions, concrete durability in Canada British standards due to far different procedures
focuses on tests that measure concretes ability to used in the testing, even though both are supposed
resist freezing-and-thawing cycles and resistance to result in determining the percentage of chloride
to deicer salt scaling. In the Middle East, older in a material.
concrete structures are crumbling from within due Every country wants to control commerce
to corroding internal reinforcement. The corrosion within its borders, so every country specifies its
is caused by salts and sulfates included in the own standards. Fortunately, most countries
original concrete mixtures. Local cement, aggre- adopt common national standards developed by
gates, and even water contain chlorides. To prevent independent SDOs that are developed using a
internal corrosion, the Qatar Construction consensus process involving owners, suppliers,
Standard (QCS) 2010 specifies frequent testing engineers, and contractors. The most prominent
for chlorides per ASTM C1218, Standard Test international standards are:
Method for Water-Soluble Chloride in Mortar and American Society Testing Materials (ASTM);
Concrete. This is the same test that ACI 318 British Standards Institute (BSI);
specifies for measuring chlorides in concrete, Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN);

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Shotcrete Corner
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) nationally recognized standards such as ASTM,
Association Francaise de Normalisation BS, and ISO. Be careful when evaluating a test
(AFNOR); and that the proper conversions are done, and that the
Japanese Industrial Standard Committee (JIS). test results are in line with the specific standards
In addition, there is the International Organization requirements. For example, ACI 318 specifies a
for Standardization (ISO), which has adopted maximum of 0.06% water-soluble chloride ion
many of the above standards. content in a concrete mixture by weight of cement
China, as an example, has its own national for prestressed concrete and as measured by
standards, called GB, from Guo Biao, meaning ASTM C1218. One should not use BS 1881 to
National Standard.The GB 50086-2001 is meet ACI 318 requirements, for while it also
specifically design for shotcrete, called Standard measures chloride content, it does so in a substan-
for Rock Anchor Shotcrete Support. It was tially different way than ASTM and with differing
developed based on BS, EN (European Stan- results. Standards that seem similar can vary
dard),and ASTM test methods. Many countries significantly. Know the units and how the tests
like China and Qatar have standards that specify are conducted.
tests from multiple organizations such as BS, EN, In the Summer 2013 issue of Shotcrete
and ASTM. magazine, Charles Hanskat updated readers on
Many countries like Qatar hire design consultants U.S. shotcrete standards and tests.2 Below is a
from other countries who specify standards that condensed summary of his list.
they know. Thus, a project in Qatar or Singapore ACI (
may have common ASTM tests specified if the ACI 506.2-13, Specification for Shotcrete
designers are from the United States. recently released
When comparing test results from different ACI 506R-XX, Guide to Shotcretein
parts of the world, it is important to know how ballot, needs photos
tests are performed and the units used. Conversions ACI 506.1 R-08, Committee Report on Fiber-
may be needed, and not just from metric to English. Reinforced Shotcrete
For instance, the British Standards (BS) for concrete ACI 506.4R-94, Guide to Evaluation of
compressive strength are much different than the Shotcrete
ASTM concrete compressive strength standard. ACI 506.5R-09, Guide for Specifying Under-
BS concrete compression is done on a concrete ground Shotcrete
cube 6 x 6 x 6 in. (150 x 150 x 150 mm), not a ASTM International (
cylinder whose height is twice the diameter (2:1). ASTM C1140/C1140M-11, Practice for Pre-
To compare BS results to U.S. units results paring and Testing Specimens from Shotcrete
requires two conversions. First, a conversion is Test Panels
needed to compare testing a cube to testing a 2:1 ASTM C1141/C1141M-08, Specification for
cylinder. The second conversion is simply con- Admixtures for Shotcrete
verting from metric to English. As an example, ASTM C1385/C1385M-10, Practice for
QSC 2010 C40 concrete is 40 N/mm2 compression Sampling Materials for Shotcrete
on a 6 x 6 x 6 in. (150 x 150 x 150 mm) cube, ASTM C1436 -08, Specification for Materials
which is equivalent to 32 MPa 2:1 on a 6 in. wide for Shotcrete
x 12 in. tall (150 x 300 mm) cylinder, which in ASTM C1480/C1480M-07, Specification for
turn is equivalent to 4600 psi on a 6 x 12 in. cyl- Packaged, Pre-Blended, Dry, Combined
inder (40 N/mm2 [cube] = 32 MPa [cylinder] = Materials for Use in Wet or Dry Shotcrete
4600 psi [cylinder]). Application
ASTM C1604/C1604M-05, Standard Test
Summary Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled
Testing provides verification to designers and Cores of Shotcrete
confirmation to contractors. The driving forces ASTM C1550-12a, Test Method for Flexural
behind testing around the world are specific toughness of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
project needs, and the local codes and standards (Using Centrally Loaded Round Panel)
a project must meet will likely be specified by the ASTM C1609/C1609M-12, Standard Test
local government regulatory agency. Standards Method for Flexural Performance of Fiber-
chosen by different countries often dictate testing, Reinforced Concrete Using Beam with Third-
although more countries are choosing to use Point Loading

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Shotcrete Corner
In addition, the following tests are frequently STADIUM Ionic Migration test.
used on shotcrete projects: STADIUM Drying test: flexural toughness for
ASTM C138/C138M-13a, Standard Test fiber reinforced shotcrete
Method for Density (Unit Weight), Yield, and RILEM TC-162 TDF
Air Content (Gravimetric) of Concrete:
Plastic density. References
ASTM C143 / C143M-12, Standard Test 1. Hanskat, C., Shotcrete TestingWho, Why, When and
How, Shotcrete, V. 13, No. 3, Summer 2011, pp. 8-12.
Method for Slump of Hydraulic-Cement
2. Hanskat, C., US Shotcrete Standards Update,
Concrete: Wet-mix shotcrete only. Shotcrete, V. 15, No. 3, Summer 2013, pp. 44-46.
ASTM C231/C231M-10, Standard Test
Method for Air Content of Freshly Mixed
Concrete by the Pressure Method: At pump
and as shot.
ASTM C1604/C1604M-05(2012), Standard
Test Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled Lars Balck is a Senior Vice
Cores of Shotcrete: Compressive strength at President of The Crom Cor
7 and 28 Days. poration, a company that spe
Hardened Shotcrete Properties cializes in the design and
ASTM C642-13, Standard Test Method for construction of prestressed
Density, Absorption, and Voids in Hardened concrete tanks using shotcrete
Concrete: Boiled absorption and volume of for the wall construction. He
permeable voids at 28 days. has been involved in the design
ASTM C1202-12, Standard Test Method for and construction of over 550 tanks over the past
Electrical Indication of Concretes Ability to 40 years. He received his bachelors degree in
Resist Chloride Ion Penetration: Rapid civil engineering from the University of Florida
chloride penetrability testing. and served with U.S. Army as First Lieutenant in
ASTM C1556-11a, Standard Test Method for Vietnam as a Combat Engineer. Balck is a Past
Determining the Apparent Chloride Diffusion President of ASA. He is Chair of ACI Committee
Coefficient of Cementitious Mixtures by Bulk 506-C, Shotcreting-Guide; a past Chair and
Diffusion: Apparent chloride diffusion (chlo- current member of ACI Committee 506, Shot
ride ponding)testing. creting; and member of ACI Committees 376,
ASTM C1585-13, Standard Test Method for Concrete Structures for Refrigerated Liquefied
Measurement of Rate of Absorption of Water Gas Containment; 563, Specifications for Repair
by Hydraulic-Cement Concretes: Rate of of Structural Concrete in Buildings; and C660,
water absorption testing. Shotcrete Nozzleman Certification.

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