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CE 306: Civil Engineering Materials Lab

Lab Report: Part 1 (A)

Date of Experiment: 6th January 2017

Determination of Consistency of Standard Cement


Group 6
Garima Chaudhary
Test Standards:
Indian Standard code IS: 4031 (Part 4) -1988 - Methods of physical tests for hydraulic
cement: Determination of consistency of standard cement paste

The code states the technique for determining the quantity of water required to produce a
cement paste of standard consistency.

Apparatus Required:
Vicat apparatus (IS: 5513-1976), load bearing plunger, portland pozzolana cement (PPC),
measuring cylinder, enamelled tray, trowel, water, digital balance.

1) Take 400 g of PPC in an enamelled try.
2) Measure 29% of water by weight (400g *0.29 = 116g)
and mix it with the cement taken in enamelled try.
3) Note the time from the start of the mixing process. The
paste should be made within 4-5 mins.
4) Take the vicat mould and the metal plate and apply
grease/oil on its surface.
5) Place the vicat mould on the metal plate and fill it with
the cement paste.
6) After filling the mould completely, smoothen the
upper surface.
7) Fix the load bearing plunger in the vicat setup.
8) Place the vicat mould along with the plate in the vicat
9) Lower the plunger gently to touch the surface of the
sample. Quickly release the plunger and allow it to sink
into the sample.
10) Measure the depth of penetration and record it.
11) The desired depth of penetration for the consistency
check is 33-35 mm from the top. Repeat the
experiment with other water content to get the Figure 1: Vicat Apparatus with sample
desired depth.
Source: Ajay Singh-Group member

The readings are tabulated below. The depth of penetration refers to the depth measured
from above.

Water Content (in %) Depth of Penetration (in mm)

29 20
31 30
32 34
Consistency is the ability of a freshly mixed cement paste to flow. For the PPC sample given
to us, the standard consistency was found to be 32%.

Special Precautions:
- The temperature of moulding room, dry materials and water should be well maintained at
27+-2 degree C (as per test requirements).
- All apparatus used should be clean.
- The experiment should be performed away from vibrations and other disturbances.

Summary and Conclusion:

This test help us to determine the water content for standard consistency (say w%) which is
further used in tests like initial and final setting time test (water content = 0.85*w%)and Le-
chateliers soundness test (water content = 0.78*w%).

- IS: 4031 (Part 4) -1988