Performance Criteria for Tremie

Concrete
Presenter: Martin Larisch
20th August 2013, Brisbane

1

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

2

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 don’t have inclusions
- Ensure concrete won’t 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 won’t hit reinforcement cage  control concrete flow 5 .

Why is pouring piles different to pouring structural concrete? .Maybe deeper than 100m .Commonly up to 50 m deep .Concrete must flow around cages .Concrete must achieve bond with reo Pouring piles & D-walls is a blind process 6 .Subject to high pressure (at pile base) .Concrete must be self-leveling .Concrete must displace fluid .

Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of unsuitable concrete wet 7 .

Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of unsuitable concrete wet 8 .

Potential damage on piles and diaphragm walls due to use of unsuitable concrete Bleeding channels wet 9 .

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 10 .

University of Queensland Stephen Buttling.The Solution… Recommended Practice “Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations” Dr Karsten Beckhaus. Concrete Institute of Australia Professor Peter Dux. Holcim Pty Ltd Dr Habib Alehossein. of Transport & Main Roads* * contributing the investigation program with 20. Piling and Foundation Specialists Federation* Gary Lucas. Queensland Dep. Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia Lex Vanderstaay. CSIRO Sherard Northey. Piling Contractors Pty Ltd Peter Ney. Bauer Foundations Australia Pty Ltd Martin Larisch.000 AUD each 11 .

as well as on testing of concrete.Purpose of the Recommended Practice: . based on international and Australian experience .Cover special requirements for the mix design or properties of tremie concrete with respect to its specific field of application .Give advice on the usual range of application and to show principal measures to achieve proper workability does not offer full prescriptive information! 12 .Provide recommendations on properties.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 . constituents and proportioning.Provide guidance for those involved in the preparation of specs for the use of tremie concrete for bored piles and diaphragm walls .

does not cover health and safety requirements … 13 . diaphragm walls and cut-off walls. . normal and high strength concrete on site or ready-mixed But this Recommended Practice .Areas of applications of the Recommended Practice: This Recommended Practice .may not cover requirements as stated within particular project specification (which may require additional measures or deviations from this guide) .applies to concrete for casting under both dry and wet conditions . min d = 400 mm .does not refer to the intended service life / not to specific durability needs etc.refers to TC for bored piles.generally applies to low.refers to the Recommended Practice for Super-Workable Concrete .includes descriptions of suitable workability test methods .

insufficient flow-ability insufficient workability .Insufficient water retention insufficient stability .g.What makes a good mix .Risk of potential issues 1.e.Insufficient fill-ability . Unsuitable placement techniques integrity issue of pile / D-wall 14 .Insufficient retardation 2. Unsuitable Concrete at its plastic stage (prior to and during placement) .

15 . 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. possibly controlled by appropriate admixtures. over a certain period of time. 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. measured by slump test. Slump retention ability (flow maintenance) The ability of fresh tremie concrete to maintain its flow characteristic. Flowability workability The ease of flow of fresh concrete when unconfined by formwork or any other obstacles such as reinforcement.

What about the shearing zone inside the pile? 16 .. may have insufficient rheological properties.Background: Velocity Profile inside a “pipe” or similar! Unsuitable Concrete at its plastic stage. here simplistically the flow resistance of fresh tremie concrete oncewet flow has started.. 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.

How concrete flows concrete during a wet tremie must flow and pass pour (theory): obstacles easily wet 17 .

How concrete flows during a wet tremie pour (theory): 18 .

19 . Slump retention ability (flow maintenance) The ability of fresh tremie concrete to maintain its flow characteristic. possibly controlled by appropriate admixtures. Flowability workability The ease of flow of fresh concrete when unconfined by formwork or any other obstacles such as reinforcement. measured by slump test. 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. over a certain period of time. 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.

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 20 .

Performance. Production EN 1536: Execution of Special Geotechnical Work — Bored Piles EN 1538: Execution of Special Geotechnical Work — Diaphragm Walls wet 21 . 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.Tremie concrete international standards and specifications: Review of international codes.

as for super-workable concrete) 22 .g. codes and specifications and of investigations in terms of addressing fresh concrete criteria on Tremie Concrete: . proportioning and testing .slump / slump tolerance .production and control wet .Only solitary specific recommendations for tremie concrete are given: .Summary of review: Summary of the detailed review of standards.materials. but can be well described by special tests (e.Modern concrete’s rheology can’t be described by slump only .

wet 23 . 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.

Characteristic performance of Tremie Concrete: wet 24 .

Characteristic performance of Tremie Concrete: wet 25 .

Why is the slump test alone not suitable to determine workability? Samples with similar slump values can have different flow behaviour wet 26 .

The slump alone is not good enough…  sufficient slump ?! wet but  can’t pass through 80-mm grid !! 27 .

Backup by investigations on more than 40 trial mixes wet 28 .

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! 29 .

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”: .very good aggregate distribution wet .no indication of segregation or separation .no bleeding (Class 1: starting to exhibit a mortar halo) 30 .

Laboratory testing (pre-production): Filtration loss (l/m³) Proof of sufficient stability Filter cake thickness (mm) (high hydraulic head pressure) ++ < 15 l/m³ water loss + < 30 l/m³ water loss (plus requirements to filter cake) permeable soil non-permeable soil wet 5 bar 31 .

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 32 .

43 0.46 0.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 0.49 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 33 .

Recommended concrete testing for future projects Pre-production tests (spend $1-2k in advance to get a suitable mix) .Slump flow (time.Filtration press (bleed water & filter cake thickness) Site tests (correlate to pre-production test) .L-Box (time and ratio) .Slump (height) NO EXTRA EFFORT ON SITE! 34 . diameter and VSI) .VSI (visual) .Slump flow (time and diameter) .Slump (height) .

Suggested value for structural element of length l and for optional pouring conditions Test Method Dry Wet. 400 . < 1.2 m ≥ 1.2 ≥ 0.600 450 .4 L-Box Passability (mm) wet .2 m Slump h (mm) ≥ 140* ≥ 180 ≥ 220 Slump flow Dfinal (mm) . ≥ 0. flow distance and properties assessed .650 Tfinal (sec) . ≤ 12 ≤8 ≤ 40 ≤ 40 ≤ 20 Bauer filtration Filtration loss (l/m³) ≤ 30 ≤ 30 @ l ≤ 15 m / ≤ 15 @ l > 15 m Filter cake thickness (mm) ≤ 150 ≤ 150 @ l ≤ 15 m / ≤ 100 @ l > 15 m 35 . ≤5 ≤3 L-Box Travel distance from bars (mm) > 200 (full) (full) Filling Ratio Tend (sec) .

Free water can’t be retained by fines in the concrete mix and escapes How to avoid it: .Use experienced concrete supplier who can respond quickly 36 .Limit free water to max 180l/m3 .Potential Issues Bleeding channels .Carry out pre-production tests (filtration test) .

Ensure concrete spacers are in place .Review & discuss methodology prior to implementing new procedures 37 .Mostly insufficient workability or placement technique How to avoid it: .Potential Issues Insufficient concrete cover .Ensure sufficient concrete flowability (spread. slump. L-Box) .

placement techniques or cleaning of pile base How to avoid it: .Ensure sufficient concrete flowability (L-box & slump flow) .Potential Issues Inclusions .Insufficient flowability.Ensure tremie pipe remains 3m inside the concrete throughout pour 38 .Ensure pile base is free of drill sludge .

Anchor ducts .Lack of resources / commitment of supplier 39 .Insufficient separator .Fully cased piles (bleeding) .Understand behaviour of drilling fluid .Concrete supply by others (specification) .Pouring under pressure (concrete pump) .Inexperienced concrete supplier .Leaving too much tremie inside concrete .Potential Issues Others: .Tremie pipe lifted out of concrete during pour .

rather use excavator and push cage into concrete carefully under steady pressure . cages should be plunged into concrete under gravity .Use max aggregate of 10mm to ensure sound cage installation .Concrete for CFA piles Similar requirements as for tremie concrete.Use experienced and capable concrete supplier (value for $) 40 .Ideally.Carry out pre-production tests whenever possible .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. in addition consider: .

The Way Forward… YOUR ACTIVE INPUT & INVOLVEMENT IS CRITICAL TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENT ENDPRODUCTS AND TO INCREASE INDUSTRY STANDARDS 41 .

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION 42 .