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Self-Compacting Concrete

Ekitui Cecil 2016/HD08/576U

MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING, DESIGN, ART & TECHNOLOGY

SELF-COMPACTING CONCRETE
[CIV 7115: ADVANCED CONCRETE MATERIALS]

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

STUDENT REG NO.:-


1. EKITUI CECIL ZEBEDDE 2016/HD08/576U

LECTURER
A. RUCUKYE

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Self-Compacting Concrete

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Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 3
1.1 Development of Self-compacting concrete .................................................................................. 3
1.1.2 Advantages of self-compacting concrete............................................................................... 4
2.0 Mechanism of achieving self-compactability.................................................................................... 6
2.1 Properties of fresh self-compacting concrete .............................................................................. 7
2.2 Properties of hardened Self-compacting concrete ....................................................................... 8
3.0 Choice of materials ......................................................................................................................... 10
3.1 Concrete mix design.................................................................................................................... 11
3.2 Test methods for measuring Self-compacting concrete characteristics..................................... 12
...................................................................................................................................................... 12
4.0 Case Study: National Museum of 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, Italy .................................. 13
5.0 References ...................................................................................................................................... 15

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1.0 Introduction
Self-consolidating concrete (SCC) is highly flowable, nonsegregating concrete that can spread
into place, fill the formwork, and encapsulate the reinforcement without any mechanical
consolidation. In general, SCC is concrete made with conventional concrete materials and, in
some cases, with a viscosity-modifying admixture. (American Concrete Institute 237R, 2007)

Self-compacting concrete (SCC) is a concrete that flows to a virtually uniform level under the
influence of gravity without segregation, during which it de-aerates and completely fills the
formwork and the spaces between the reinforcement. (Stefan & Wolfgang)

1.1 Development of Self-compacting concrete


Earliest research in design of self-compacting concrete mixes began in the mid-eighties in
the twentieth century in Japan. The main drive for this research were the endangered durability
of reinforced concrete structures, need for easier and high-quality fresh concrete placement and
lack of skilled labour force. In 1986, Okamura, Kochi University, Japan, was the first to
propose concrete that would be placed under the influence of self-weight only. The new
technology was possible owing to the development of concrete super plasticisers which had
been developed during the previous decades. (Ruza & Dejan, 2009)

Self-compacting concrete was first developed in 1988 to achieve durable concrete structures.
Since then investigations have been carried out and this type of concrete has been used in
practical structures in Japan, mainly by large construction companies. (Okamura & Ouchi,
2003)

For several years beginning in 1983, the problem of the durability of concrete was a major
topic of interest in Japan. The creation of durable concrete structures requires adequate
compaction by skilled workers. However, gradual reduction in the number of skilled workers
in Japans construction industry has led to a similar reduction in the quality of construction
work. One solution for the achievement of durable concrete structures independent of the
quality of construction work is the employment of self-compacting concrete which can be
compacted into every corner of formwork, purely be means of its own weight ( rephrase this
in your own words)

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1.1.2 Advantages of self-compacting concrete


There are several benefits derived from the use of self-compacting concrete. These include;

Placement of concrete is at a faster rate with no mechanical vibration and less screeding,
resulting in savings in placement costs

Shorter construction periods that could result in cost savings

Increased ease of filling restricted sections and hard-to-reach areas. This allows for creation of
structural and architectural shapes and surface finishes not achievable with conventional
concrete.

Improved consolidation and bond with reinforcement

Site safety is improved due to elimination of need for consolidation

Reduce labour and equipment.

No need for vibration to ensure proper consolidation. This also results in savings in
equipment purchasing and equipment maintenance and operation; and
Less need for screeding operations to ensure flat surfaces (self-levelling characteristic).

Enable the casting of concrete that develops the desired mechanical properties independent of
the skill of the vibrating crew

Accelerate construction through higher rate of casting or placing and shorter construction
duration

Facilitate and expedite the filling of highly reinforced sections and complex formwork while
ensuring good construction quality. This can ensure better productivity, reduce the labour
requirement and cost, or both;

Enable more flexibility in spreading placing points during casting. This can reduce the need
for frequent
movement of transit trucks and the need to move the pump lines to place concrete (possible
reduction in the number of pumps, pump operators, and so on). This greater flexibility in

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scheduling construction activities and procuring the required resources results in both time and
resource savings;

Reduce noise on the job site (especially critical in urban areas and for sections requiring heavy
vibration consolidation):

Decrease employee injuries by facilitating a safer working environment where strenuous and
labour-intensive operations can reduce tripping hazards through the removal of some electrical
cords or air lines (Walraven 2003)

Permit more flexibility for detailing reinforcing bars. Avoid the need to bundle reinforcement
to facilitate placement and consolidation, and in some cases, enable the use of small and closely
spaced reinforcing steel to control cracking

Create smooth surfaces free of honeycombing and signs of bleeding and discoloration, obtained
when using a well-proportioned SCC mixture, high-quality formwork with an adequate release
agent, and sound placement practices. Superior surface quality is critical in architectural
concrete and cast-in-place and precast concrete for residential construction (walls).

Eliminate the need for materials, such as underlayments, that are used to level and prepare
substrates for final flooring materials, such as carpeting and tile, whenever allowed by building
regulations.

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2.0 Mechanism of achieving self-compactability


Self compactability is achieved by the following factors:

Limited aggregate content


Low water-powder ratio
Use of super plasticizer

Fig.1 Adapted from


(Okamura & Ouchi, 2003)

Generally, as the relative distance between aggregate particles decreases, the frequency of
collision and contact of the aggregate particles increases. When concrete is deformed, internal
stresses within the concrete is increased as compared to non-deformed state.

Research has found that the energy required for flowing is consumed by the increased internal
stress, resulting in blockage of aggregate particles. Limiting the coarse aggregate content,
whose energy consumption is particularly intense, to a level lower than normal is effective in
avoiding this kind of blockage. Highly viscous paste is also required to avoid the blockage of
coarse aggregate when concrete flows through obstacles. When concrete is deformed paste
with a high viscosity also prevents localized increases in internal stress due to the approach of
coarse aggregate particles. High deformability can be achieved only by the employment of a
super plasticizer, keeping the water-powder ratio to a very low value. (Okamura & Ouchi,
2003)

Self-compacting concrete is built up in stages using suitability tests. The paste is optimized
first, then the mortar and finally the concrete. The requisite levels of water and super plasticizer
are established in the paste and mortar tests. The water content needed to wet the surfaces of

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the solid particles and fill the voids in the particulate powder material represents the minimum
quantity of mixing water that has to be provided. Above this water content the properties of the
suspension can be controlled by water and superplasticizer. The final optimization is then
carried out in concrete tests. (Stefan & Wolfgang)

The particular application of concrete determines the minimum cement content, paste volume
and necessary workability as well as aggregate grading.

The nature of the powder materials, namely cement and addition, and their volumetric ratio
influence the optimum water content of the SCC and the sensitivity of the fresh concrete
properties to fluctuations in water content. If the particulate powder material is not well
coordinated and contains too many voids then the SCC produced from it will be highly sensitive
to fluctuations in the water content below the optimum water content the workability will be
inadequate, while if the water content is slightly higher it cannot be bound by the powder and
settlement phenomena occurs. The chosen powder combination also determines the flow
behaviour of the concrete. It can range from sticky-viscous to watery.

The filling and levelling ability of a SCC is always also dependent on the particular formwork
geometry and the ratio of formwork surface area to volume to be filled. This is also the reason
for the differing behaviour of different SCCs with respect to formwork
pressure. Depending on the yield value and viscosity the formwork pressure may deviate from
the full hydrostatic pressure that normally has to be specified. (Stefan & Wolfgang)

2.1 Properties of fresh self-compacting concrete


SCC is characterized by a low yield stress to ensure high deformability and moderate plastic
viscosity to maintain homogenous suspension of solids, hence reducing interparticle collision,
segregation, and flow blockage.

According to (Bharali, 2015), super plasticiser influences the rheological behaviour of SCC.
SCC rheology describes the science of deformation, and flow of matter fundamental to
understanding flow of fresh SCC. (American Concrete Institute 237R, 2007).

There are several properties of SCC to be considered;

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Workability describes the ease with which concrete can be mixed, placed, consolidated, and
finished. Workability of SCC is described in terms of filling ability, passing ability, and
stability, and is characterized by specific testing methods

Passing ability: is a property of fresh concrete mix to find its way through congested
reinforcement assemblies or small openings between reinforcing bars. When defining
the necessary SCC passing ability, geometry, reinforcement quantity and arrangement,
maximum aggregate grain size and previously adopted slump-flow and viscosity are
taken into account. (Ruza & Dejan, 2009).
Several variables influencing passing ability include; reinforcement level and
narrowing of formwork.
Filling ability: It is the property that characterizes the ability of the SCC of flowing into
formwork and filling all space under its own weight, guaranteeing total covering of the
reinforcement. (Mallesh , Shwetha, Reena, & Madhukaran, 2015)
Several variables influencing filling ability include; reinforcement level, intricacy of
the element shape, wall thickness, placement technique, element length, fluidity
(slump) level and viscosity level.
Stability: it is the properly that characterizes the ability of the SCC to avoid the
segregation of its components, such as the coarse aggregates. Such a property provides
uniformity of the mixture during transport, placement and consolidation. (Mallesh ,
Shwetha, Reena, & Madhukaran, 2015).
Stability characteristics are of two types, dynamic stability and static stability. Several
variables influencing stability include; placement technique, reinforcement level,
element height, fluidity level and viscosity level.

Due to the high content of powder, SCC may show more plastic shrinkage or creep than
ordinary concrete mixes. These aspects should therefore be considered during designing and
specifying SCC. (EFNARC, 2002)

2.2 Properties of hardened Self-compacting concrete


While some of the fresh properties of SCC differ significantly from those of conventional
concrete, hardened concrete properties of SCC may be engineered through the mixture
proportion to be similar to, or better than, those of a conventional concrete mixture. (American
Concrete Institute 237R, 2007)

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Depending on the particular application, there may be key properties of SCC in the hardened
state. These should be considered during development of the SCC mixtures.

Compressive strength; SCC requires the use of lower water to cementitious material
ratio that is typically lower than that used for comparable conventional concrete. This
leads higher compressive strengths. Additionally, even at the same water to
cementitious material ratio, SCC can have higher compressive strength due to reduction
in bleeding and segregation. Also, lack of mechanical vibration can further promote a
more uniform microstructure and thus less porous interface zone between cement paste
and aggregate and embedded reinforcement.
Flexural Strength; this is highly dependent on water to cementitious material ratio,
coarse aggregate volume and quality of the interface between the aggregate and cement
paste. SCC flexural strength will be higher than conventional concrete for similar mix
proportions.
Drying shrinkage; this is usually similar or lower than that of conventional concrete of
similar compressive strength. This may be due to higher paste volumes and lower
amount of aggregate content of SCC.
Plastic shrinkage; SCC is more likely to have plastic shrinkage cracking because SCC
mixtures usually possess little or no surface bleeding. Increased moisture loss
protection should be provided for SCC.
Creep; for similar mix proportions, creep is expected to be of similar values for both
SCC and conventional concrete.
Bond to reinforcing steel and prestressed strand; well-designed SCC possesses bonding
characteristics equal to or better than conventional concrete. SCC flows easily around
the reinforcement and bonds well. Values of up to 40% increase in bonding
characteristics by SCC have been observed.
Paste microstructure; when properly designed, SCC can develop microstructure with
fine capillary porosity that reduces transport properties. Compared with conventional
concrete that is vibrated into place, SCC exhibited significantly lower values of the
coefficient of air permeability and water absorption. (American Concrete Institute
237R, 2007)

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3.0 Choice of materials


There are several key considerations to make during selection of key material elements for use
in SCC. These include;

Defining the type of aggregate, maximum grain size and grading curve; Maximum aggregate
grain size is limited to 8 20 mm. Decreasing maximum grain size results in lower local
stresses in cement paste, influences improvement of concrete workability without vibration and
prevents segregation of coarse grains. In normal strengths, natural, river aggregate is used.
With its smooth surfaces it contributes to better flow ability and workability. Only in cases
where high classes of hardened concrete are required, crushed aggregate can also be applied.
Aggregate grading curve is usually continuous, with maximum quantity of
fine aggregate.

Adopting mineral additions; Mineral additions used in SCC should have a high level of
fineness, a high pozzolanic activity and compatibility with other ingredients of the mix.
Moistened fine particles of mineral additions lubricate cement grains as well thus reducing
friction in fresh concrete mix thus increasing the workability, cohesion and impermeability
thereby water bleeding from fresh concrete mix reduced.

Adopting water/powder ratio, with simultaneous application of chemical admixtures; Self-


compacting concrete is much more sensitive to water content than ordinary concretes. The
specified water quantity must be sufficient for chemical reaction with all hydraulic binders.
Larger quantity of cement requires a larger quantity of water in a fresh mix.
Specific admixtures have been developed for self-compacting concrete. These include;

High range water reducers (HRWR) these provide fluidity of fresh concrete and
reduces the required water quality.
Viscosity modifying admixtures (VMA) increase the cohesion of fresh concrete and
can replace a part of mineral additions. They have the effect of cement paste densifying
and keeping fine particles within the matrix.
Special admixtures for SCC-(combined HRWRA&VMA); Application of these special
admixtures rules out possible incompatibility in application of separate admixtures and
allows desired viscosity to be obtained.

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3.1 Concrete mix design


There are several variables that are involved in establishing the required fresh SCC properties.
These are illustrated in the figure below

Fig.2 Adapted from (American Concrete Institute 237R, 2007)

Other considerations to be made during concrete mix design for SCC include some of the
following;

The paste carries the aggregate grains. Therefore the paste volume has to be greater than the
volume of voids between the aggregate grains. Each individual aggregate grain has to be fully
coated and lubricated by a layer of paste. Thus the fluidity is increased and the friction between
aggregate grains is reduced. (Ruza & Dejan, 2009)

Fluidity and viscosity of the paste have to be controlled and balanced by the choice and
ratio of cement and admixtures. Limitation of water/powder ratio and application of chemical
admixtures gives best results in obtaining required properties of concrete in fresh state.

In order to control concrete shrinkage and temperature during the hydration process significant
quantities of mineral additions and fillers are applied. At the same time, mineral additions
increase the final strength of concrete.

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The coarse aggregate grains must be fully surrounded by mortar. This reduces coarse aggregate
interlock when the concrete passes through narrow openings in forms or gaps between
reinforcement. The quantity of coarse aggregate in SCC is always reduced. (Ruza & Dejan,
2009)

3.2 Test methods for measuring Self-compacting concrete characteristics

Fig.3 Test methods for measuring SCC characteristics; Adapted from (American Concrete Institute
237R, 2007).

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4.0 Case Study: National Museum of 21st Century Arts (MAXXI)


in Rome, Italy

MAXXI was designed by Zaha Hadid. In 1998 she won the international competition out of
273 candidates. The museum building covers a surface of 30,000 m2 in Flaminio District on a
site originally occupied by a car factory and army barracks built in the 19th century.

The building is a composition of bending oblong tubes, overlapping, intersecting and piling
over each other, resembling a piece of massive transport infrastructure. Designed by Zaha
Hadid it was built in Rome in 2009 using 50,000 m3 of an innovative self-compacting, self-
compressing and self-curing concrete, the 3SC, developed by Calcestruzzi.

The structure of the new building of the museum is composed of curved side walls made in
self-consolidating concrete, the horizontal structures are mostly made of black-painted steel
profiles, sometimes clad with fiber-reinforced concrete panels, as for the roof trusses

There were three challenges met by the project: the need to have impressive curved
architectural structures without any defects, the need to eliminate the joints typical of concrete
blocks, explicitly requested by Zaha Hadid, and the need to solve the problems relating to
concrete curing, once the formwork had been removed, highlighted by the building company.
The solution that satisfied everyone was the development at ENCO laboratories, under the
supervision of prof. Mario Collepardi, and at the Research and Innovation Center of Italcementi
Group, of a new product within the Italian building scene, a cement containing three additives
that would guarantee, simultaneously, Self-compacting, Self-compressing and adequate Self-
curing. The mix flowability favored the compaction process without requiring vibration.

The building is characteristic for its winding exhibition space formed of reinforced concrete
walls with glass roof. These structures look more like bridges since they only have walls at the
sides and a floor structure while the roof is of glass on steel girders.

On its winding path the structure comes across large spans, irregular supports and long
overhangs. In some places the walls are 14m high. Reinforced concrete wall surfaces are visible
and they required a perfect surface finish.

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5.0 References
1. American Concrete Institute 237R. (2007). ACI 237R-07. Farmington Hills: American Concrete
Institute.

2. Bharali, B. (2015, September). Experimental Study On Self Compacting Concrete (SCC) Using
GGBS and Fly Ash. International Journal of Core Engineering & Management, 2(6), 1-11.

3. Concrete, S. C. (2005). The European Guidelines for Self-Compacting Concrete.

4. EFNARC. (2002). Specification and Guidelines for Self-Compacting Concrete. Surrey: EFNARC.

5. Mallesh , M., Shwetha, G. C., Reena, K., & Madhukaran. (2015, September). Experimental
Studies on M30 Grade Self Compacting Concrete. International Journal of Science, Engineering
and Technology Research, 4(9), 37-41.

6. Okamura, H., & Ouchi, M. (2003). Self-Compacting Concrete, 5-15.

7. Ruza, O.-B., & Dejan, V. (2009). SELF COMPACTING CONCRETE AND ITS APPLICATION IN
CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURAL PRACTISE. SPATIUM international Review, 28-34.

8. Stefan, K., & Wolfgang, B. (n.d.). Assessment of the fresh concrete properties of self
compacting concrete. Duuseldorf.

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