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EXPERIMENT NO.

1
Determination of standard or normal consistency of hydraulic cement
1.1 Purpose

The objective of this experiment is to determine the required amount of water to be


added to a certain amount of cement to achieve a cement paste of normal or standard
consistency, which refers to the amount of water for obtaining plastic cement paste.
Cement paste of standard consistency is to be used for the determination of cement
initial and final setting times; soundness; and tensile and compressive tests.

1.2 Reference
The reference standards for this test are

B.S 12
ASTM C-187-04

1.3 Apparatus

Vicat apparatus having moveable plunger of 10mm diameter


Spatula
Steel plate
Scraper
Glass graduated cylinder
Trowel
Stopwatch
Thermometer

1.4 Materials

Amount of cement = 500 g (BS 12)


Clean water

1.5 Test Specifications

The cement paste must be properly mixed and placed in the test specimen within a
maximum time of 41/4 min from the instant when cement and water were initially
brought in contact.
The temperature of the air in the vicinity should be between 20-27.5 C. The
temperature of the mixing water should be 232 C. The relative humidity of the
laboratory should not be less than 50%.

1.6 Related Theory


1.6.1 Cement
In BS 12-1996, cement is defined as cement is a hydraulic binder, i.e. it is a finely ground
inorganic material which, when mixed with water, forms a paste which sets and hardens by
means of hydration reactions and processes and which after hardening, retains its strength and
stability even under water.

Cement conforming to this standard shall, when appropriately mixed with aggregate and water,
be capable of producing mortar or concrete which retains workability for a sufficient time and
shall after defined periods attain specified strength levels and also possess long-term volume
stability.

1.6.2 Normal/Standard Consistency of Cement


It is defined as the percentage of water by weight of cement, required to produce cement paste
showing the penetration of plunger with dia 10mm by a value of 10mm 1mm below the
original surface in 30 seconds after being released.

1.6.3 Vicat Apparatus


It consists of the following: -

1. Ruler starting from 0 to 40mm which is the height of the mould


2. Mould
3. Non-porous plate
4. Plunger
Inside dia of the ring at bottom = 70mm 3mm
Inside dia of the ring at top = 60mm 3mm
Height of the ring = 40mm 1mm

Fig 1.1 Vicat Apparatus


1.7 Procedure

Mix 500g of cement with a measured quantity of water and make a cement paste as
per the standard procedure.
Put the cement paste in the ring of the Vicat apparatus and remove the excess paste
with the help of a trowel.
Center the paste confined in the ring, resting on the plate, under the rod B, Fig. 1, the
plunger end C of which shall be brought in contact with the surface of the paste, and
tighten the set-screw E.
Then set the movable indicator F to the upper zero mark of the scale, or take an initial
reading, and release the rod immediately. This must not exceed 30 s after completion
of mixing.
The apparatus shall be free of all vibrations during the test.
The paste shall be of normal consistency when the rod settles to a point 10mm 1
mm below the original surface in 30 s after being released.
Make trial pastes with varying percentages of water until the normal consistency is
obtained. Make each trial with fresh cement.
Experiments have found that the %age of water added to obtain normal consistency is
about 22% to 30% of the amount of cement

1.8 Observations & Calculations


Type of cement: Ordinary Portland Cement
Manufacturer: Maple leaf
Room temperature = 20C
Water temperature = 23C
Relative Humidity = 52.54%

Weight of Weight/ %age of


Penetration
Sr. Cement Volume of water=
of plunger
No. W1 water W2 (W2/W1)*100
g 1g = 1mL % mm
1 500 120 24 9
2 500 130 26 11
3 500 135 27 12
1.8.1 Interpolation for 10mm Penetration

14

12

10
Penetration (mm)

0
23.5 24 24.5 25 25.5 26 26.5 27 27.5
%age of water

Fig 1.2

From the interpolation of the data we get the standard consistency of cement against 10mm
penetration of plunger as 25%

1.9 Precautions

The cement paste must be properly mixed and placed in the test specimen within a
maximum time of 41/4 min from the instant when cement and water were initially
brought in contact.
The temperature of the air in the vicinity should be between 20-27.5 C. The
temperature of the mixing water should be 232 C. The relative humidity of the
laboratory should not be less than 50%.
There should be no vibration on the working table.
The plunger should be cleaned during every repetition

1.10 Comments

The test conditions i.e. temperature and relative humidity were close to the standard
conditions.
The obtained normal consistency of cement is 25% which is in the range 22 to 30%