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12+ Important Points to pour concrete in cold weather

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:01 PM PST

Harsh weathers for sure effects the working schedules in a civil engineering project. Whether it is too hot
or too cold outside the considerations in the mind of a construction manager is "How to fight with this new
hurdle". Concrete shrinks and expands due to temperature variations which is very critical as far as fresh
pouring is considered because if that is not controlled it may proved fatal for the pour.

Concrete pouring in Cold Weather

This next time whenever you are pouring a concrete you should consider the temperature and measure it
at site to avoid such troubles.

Keep water Cement ratio on lower side as much as workable.
Transport concrete mix by covered transit mixers.
Use hot water for mixing concrete at the batching plant.
Keep formwork insulated by wood liner.
Prior to pouring concrete was concrete surface and re-bars hot water.
Maximize resources to quickly complete concrete pouring exercise by using more transport
Cover the concrete immediately after pouring with proper insulating sheet.
Keep formwork for longer time. Assure that concrete develops sufficient strength for safe removal
of forms.
Strip the formwork during rising temperature.
Observe temperature of concrete at all steps.
Vertical day joint in concrete in cold weather.
The large quantity involving more than 200 m3 of concrete in each pilecap led the engineers to
plan workability of the site situation.
It should be kept in mind that.
The cold weather does not permit to work upto late hours in the evening. Hence, it was agreed
upon to provide day joint at suitable position and to complete the work thereafter.
Accordingly, It is proposed to provide slightly inclined stopper in form of wooden strips to be
accommodated between the rebars. This arrangement will allow planned quantity of work
during day time in full depth as it would mainly retain the heat of the concrete evolved during
the chemical reaction.
The workable position of day joint could be between 1/3 and span where there are no extra re-
Apply bonding agent in the joint
Before the next pour all loose material at joint shall be cleaned and green cut shall be made.

Steps to pour concrete in Pile Cap

Following are some of the steps that will guide you to a stable and harmless concrete.

1. Prepare stable working platform upto bottom level of pile cap.

2. Excavate and clean the area for pile cap.
3. Check ground level and place approved lean concrete for the pile cap.
4. Next day mark the layout of the pile cap and the re-bars
5. Place specified reinforcement bars in position as shown in the construction drawing and tie them firmly.
Provide spacers below the reinforcement bars to provide desired cover to the reinforcement.
6. Place shuttering plates all around in position. Provide firm supports to remain in position during
7. Wash all transit mixers with hot water immediately before loading.
8. Transport approved fresh concrete from batching plant to site.
9. Collect concrete samples for testing as specified.
10. Start pouring concrete by dropping through chute, till the concrete is place in full depth as shown in
the construction drawing and to the length as planned for the day.
11. While placing concrete, operate vibrators to compact concrete and trowel the top.
12. Make sure surfaces in contact with concrete are free of ice and snow.
13. Good quality thermometers shall be kept at site for checking air temperature.

Honeycombing in concrete, causes and remedies

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 09:44 PM PST
The finishing in concrete works is vital as for sure the final touches depend on it. The poor finish of concrete
is not only wrong from aesthetic point of view but also it shows the strength and integrity of the concrete
structure. Besides many defects in concrete one important is honeycombing.

Hollow spaces and cavities left in concrete mass on surface or inside the concrete mass where concrete
could not reach are honeycombs, looking like honey bees nest.

These honeycombs are visible to naked eyes and can be seen after the shuttering formwork is removed.
Honey combs which are inside mass of concrete can only be detected by advanced techniques like
ultrasonic testing etc.

Causes of Honeycombing Concrete

Honeycomb is due to non-reaching of concrete to all places due to which cavities and hallow pockets are

Honeycombing is used to describe areas of the surface that are coarse and stony. It may be caused due to
following :-

1. insufficient fine material in the mix,

2. incorrect aggregate grading
3. poor mixing or improper vibration
4. leakage of grout or mortar fraction from the concrete at construction or formwork joints

Remedial Measure for Honeycombing

This can be corrected by increasing the sand and cement content of the mix and by proper mixing, placing
and compaction. The obvious solution here is to ensure that joints are well sealed and leak-free.

Small, shallow areas of honeycombing are probably mainly cosmetic. However, deeper areas will lead to a
local reduction in the protection to the reinforcement from the concrete cover and hence possibly
durability problems in the future.

The honey combing developed in the concrete/ bottom of the diaphragms may be corrected as under :-
1. Remove the laitance and clean.
2. Wash the surface with clean water.
3. Remove free water.
4. Prepare approved bonding agent (Sika dur 32) as recommended by the manufacture / approved by the
5. Prepare the concrete mix confirming the approved design.
6. Fill the honey combing area
7. Trowel with force
8. Finish smoothly with float.
9. Next Morning cure with water and clean.
10. Continue curing as desired.
11. The site Engineer, Foreman and workers have been strictly instructed to follow the specification and
fully understand the scope of work.
12. Foreman must remain at site while the work goes on.