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Performance Criteria for Tremie

Concrete
Presenter: Martin Larisch
20th August 2013, Brisbane

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Introduction

- Drilling is perceived to be the main scope of piling companies


(focus on big drilling rigs, state of the art drill tools, hard rock)
- Concrete placement is often perceived as the non critical activity
- In the past the slump was the almighty workability factor

- Did we (engineers) get involved into concrete mix design review?


- How did we determine if a mix is suitable or not?
- Did we review placement techniques CRITICALLY in the past

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Introduction - Definitions
Tremie pipe:
Steel pipe surmounted by a hopper or chute for concreting both under
dry or wet conditions. For application in wet conditions a tremie pipe may
comprise several joined lengths but must have watertight joints.

Schematics of a tremie pour:

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Why should we use a tremie pipe?

Wet tremie:
- Ensure concrete is not placed through water (segregation)
- Ensure we dont have inclusions
- Ensure concrete wont hit cage (risk of segregation)
Control concrete placement (embedment of tremie, suitable
separator, no vibrator for SCC, etc.)

WE SHOULD NEVER REPLACE A TREMIE PIPE WITH


A CONCRETE BOOM PUMP SECTION!

NEVER POUR A BORED PILE USING ADDITIONAL


PRESSURE

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Pouring dry holes

Dry pour (layflat tremie or direct discharge):


reduce fall height (segregation)
ensure concrete wont hit reinforcement cage
control concrete flow

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Why is pouring piles different to pouring structural concrete?

- Commonly up to 50 m deep
- Maybe deeper than 100m
- Subject to high pressure (at pile base)
- Concrete must displace fluid
- Concrete must be self-leveling
- Concrete must flow around cages
- Concrete must achieve bond with reo
Pouring piles & D-walls is a blind process

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Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of
unsuitable concrete

wet

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Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of
unsuitable concrete

wet

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Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of
unsuitable concrete

Bleeding channels

wet

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The Solution
Recommended Practice Tremie
Concrete for Deep Foundations
Kindly supported by:
Concrete Institute of Australia
PFSF
Bauer Foundations Australia
Piling Contractors
QLD Department of Main Roads
CSIRO
Hyder Consulting
University of Queensland
Holcim Australia

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The Solution
Recommended Practice Tremie Concrete for Deep
Foundations

Dr Karsten Beckhaus, Bauer Foundations Australia Pty Ltd


Martin Larisch, Piling Contractors Pty Ltd
Peter Ney, Holcim Pty Ltd
Dr Habib Alehossein, CSIRO

Sherard Northey, Concrete Institute of Australia


Professor Peter Dux, University of Queensland
Stephen Buttling, Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation*
Gary Lucas, Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia
Lex Vanderstaay, Queensland Dep. of Transport & Main Roads*
* contributing the investigation program with 20,000 AUD each
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Purpose of the Recommended Practice:
- Provide guidance for those involved in the preparation of specs for the use of
tremie concrete for bored piles and diaphragm walls
- Cover special requirements for the mix design or properties of tremie concrete
with respect to its specific field of application
- Special attention should be given to the fact that the workability required has to be
achieved and maintained under considerable hydraulic pressure and for the total
time span until the last working step
- Provide recommendations on properties, constituents and proportioning, as well
as on testing of concrete; based on international and Australian experience
- Give advice on the usual range of application and to show principal measures to
achieve proper workability does not offer full prescriptive information!

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Areas of applications of the Recommended Practice:
This Recommended Practice
- refers to TC for bored piles, diaphragm walls and cut-off walls, min d = 400 mm
- applies to concrete for casting under both dry and wet conditions
- includes descriptions of suitable workability test methods
- refers to the Recommended Practice for Super-Workable Concrete
- generally applies to low, normal and high strength concrete on site or ready-mixed
But this Recommended Practice
- does not refer to the intended service life / not to specific durability needs etc.
- may not cover requirements as stated within particular project specification
(which may require additional measures or deviations from this guide)
- does not cover health and safety requirements

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What makes a good mix - Risk of potential issues

1. Unsuitable Concrete at its plastic stage (prior to and during placement)

- e.g. insufficient flow-ability


insufficient workability
- Insufficient fill-ability

- Insufficient water retention


insufficient stability
- Insufficient retardation

2. Unsuitable placement techniques integrity issue of pile / D-wall

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Flowability
workability

The ease of flow of fresh concrete when unconfined by formwork or any other
obstacles such as reinforcement.

Passing ability (blocking resistance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to flow through tight openings such as spaces
between steel reinforcing bars without segregation and blocking.

Water retention ability (filtration resistance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to retain its water despite being subject to
stability

pressure caused by supporting fluid or fresh concrete above.

Slump retention ability (flow maintenance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to maintain its flow characteristic, measured
by slump test, over a certain period of time, possibly controlled by appropriate
admixtures.

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Background: Velocity Profile
inside a pipe or similar!

Unsuitable Concrete at its plastic stage,


may have insufficient rheological properties, characterised by ...

Viscosity
In general viscosity describes a fluid's
internal resistance to flow and may be
thought of as a measure of fluid friction;
here simplistically the flow resistance of
fresh tremie concrete oncewet flow has started.

What about the shearing


zone inside the pile?

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How concrete flows concrete
during a wet tremie must flow
and pass
pour (theory): obstacles
easily

wet

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How concrete flows during a wet tremie pour (theory):

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Flowability
workability

The ease of flow of fresh concrete when unconfined by formwork or any other
obstacles such as reinforcement.

Passing ability (blocking resistance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to flow through tight openings such as spaces
between steel reinforcing bars without segregation and blocking.

Water retention ability (filtration resistance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to retain its water despite being subject to
stability

pressure caused by supporting fluid or fresh concrete above.

Slump retention ability (flow maintenance)


The ability of fresh tremie concrete to maintain its flow characteristic, measured
by slump test, over a certain period of time, possibly controlled by appropriate
admixtures.

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Tremie concrete in Australian standards and specifications:

Review of Australian codes, standards and specifications included but was


not limited to:

AS 3600: Concrete Structures


AS 1379: Specification and Supply of Concrete
AS 2159: Piling Design and Installation

MRTS 63: Cast-in-Place Piles


MRS11.70: Concrete
wet
RTA B58: Permanent Cased Piles
RTA B59: Cast in Place Piles
RTA B80: Concrete Work for Bridges

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Tremie concrete international standards and specifications:

Review of international codes, standards and specifications included but


was not limited to:

ACI 301: Specifications for Structural Concrete


ACI 336: Specification for the Construction of Drilled Piers
EN 206-1: Concrete Part 1: Specification, Performance, Production
EN 1536: Execution of Special Geotechnical Work Bored Piles
EN 1538: Execution of Special Geotechnical Work Diaphragm Walls

wet

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Summary of review:

Summary of the detailed review of standards, codes and specifications


and of investigations in terms of addressing fresh concrete criteria on Tremie
Concrete:

- Only solitary specific recommendations for tremie concrete are given:


- slump / slump tolerance
- materials, proportioning and testing
- production and control
wet
- Modern concretes rheology cant be described by slump only ,
but can be well described by special tests (e.g. as for super-workable
concrete)

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Characteristic performance of Tremie Concrete:
Normal Concrete compacting by vibrating after placing

Tremie Concrete (self) compacting, only by help of


hydraulic head

Super-Workable Concrete self-compacting

Independent of the required hardened concrete properties, by looking at


viscosity of concrete, and on viscosity of the paste, there are some
important differences in the mixture composition as well.
wet

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Characteristic performance of Tremie Concrete:

wet

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Characteristic performance of Tremie Concrete:

wet

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Why is the slump test alone not suitable to determine
workability?

Samples with similar slump values can have different flow behaviour

wet

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The slump alone is not good enough

sufficient slump ?!
wet
but

cant pass through 80-mm grid !!

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Backup by
investigations on more than 40 trial mixes

wet

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Laboratory testing (pre-production):
distinctive slump: for correlation on site (only!)

Required workability

to be confirmed by
L-Box and/or slump flow test


wet

film!

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Laboratory testing (pre-production):

Required stability

to be confirmed by

Visual Stability Index (VSI) test


in one procedure with slump flow test

VSI Class 0:
- no indication of segregation or separation
- very good aggregate distribution
wet
- no bleeding

(Class 1: starting to exhibit a mortar halo)

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Laboratory testing (pre-production):
Filtration loss (l/m)
Proof of sufficient stability Filter cake thickness (mm)
(high hydraulic head pressure) ++ < 15 l/m water loss
+ < 30 l/m water loss
(plus requirements to filter cake)

permeable soil non-permeable soil

wet

5 bar

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Testing on site:

proof of characteristic slump and spread

should confirm laboratory results


good flowability & passing ability
of concrete with same composition!

wet

No EXTRA EFFORT on site

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Workability trials
cement 312 l 390 kg very
323 l 390 kg 335 l 390 kg 335 l 420 kg
water 168 l 179 l 191 l 181 l stable
w/c 0.43 0.46 0.49 0.43 mix!

slump 230 mm 220 mm 240 mm 230 270 mm

visually excellent good excellent good / excellent

Slump dia 380 mm 350 mm 500 mm 450 570 mm

L-Box Dh (170 mm)* (220 mm)* 60 mm 40 20 mm

*) did not reach the end of L-Box

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Recommended concrete testing for future projects

Pre-production tests (spend $1-2k in advance to get a suitable mix)


- L-Box (time and ratio)
- Slump flow (time and diameter)
- Slump (height)
- VSI (visual)
- Filtration press (bleed water & filter cake thickness)

Site tests (correlate to pre-production test)


- Slump flow (time, diameter and VSI)
- Slump (height)
NO EXTRA EFFORT ON SITE!

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Suggested value for structural element of length l
and for optional pouring conditions
Test Method Dry Wet, flow distance
and properties assessed
- < 1.2 m 1.2 m
Slump
h (mm) 140* 180 220
Slump flow
Dfinal (mm) - 400 - 600 450 - 650
Tfinal (sec) - 5 3
L-Box
Travel distance from bars (mm) > 200 (full) (full)
Filling Ratio
Tend (sec) - 0.2 0.4
L-Box Passability (mm) wet - 12 8
40 40 20

Bauer filtration
Filtration loss (l/m) 30 30 @ l 15 m / 15 @ l > 15 m
Filter cake thickness (mm) 150 150 @ l 15 m / 100 @ l > 15 m

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Potential Issues

Bleeding channels
- Free water cant be retained by fines in the concrete mix and escapes

How to avoid it:


- Limit free water to max 180l/m3
- Carry out pre-production tests (filtration test)
- Use experienced concrete supplier who can respond quickly

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Potential Issues

Insufficient concrete cover


- Mostly insufficient workability or placement technique

How to avoid it:


- Ensure concrete spacers are in place
- Ensure sufficient concrete flowability (spread, slump, L-Box)
- Review & discuss methodology prior to implementing new procedures

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Potential Issues

Inclusions
- Insufficient flowability, placement techniques or cleaning of pile base

How to avoid it:


- Ensure pile base is free of drill sludge
- Ensure sufficient concrete flowability (L-box & slump flow)
- Ensure tremie pipe remains 3m inside the concrete throughout pour

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Potential Issues

Others:
- Anchor ducts
- Concrete supply by others (specification)
- Tremie pipe lifted out of concrete during pour
- Pouring under pressure (concrete pump)
- Leaving too much tremie inside concrete
- Understand behaviour of drilling fluid
- Insufficient separator
- Fully cased piles (bleeding)
- Inexperienced concrete supplier
- Lack of resources / commitment of supplier

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Concrete for CFA piles
Similar requirements as for tremie concrete, in addition consider:
- Carry out pre-production tests whenever possible
- Use max aggregate of 10mm to ensure sound cage installation
- Focus on stability of the mix (filtration press)
Focus on L-Box and slump flow (low viscosity)
Increase workability to 4 hours (project specific)
- Avoid cage vibrator whenever possible, rather use excavator and
push cage into concrete carefully under steady pressure
- Ideally, cages should be plunged into concrete under gravity
- Use experienced and capable concrete supplier (value for $)

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The Way Forward

YOUR ACTIVE INPUT


& INVOLVEMENT IS
CRITICAL
TO ACHIEVE
EXCELLENT
ENDPRODUCTS AND
TO INCREASE
INDUSTRY
STANDARDS

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THANK YOU
FOR YOUR
ATTENTION

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