You are on page 1of 6


Paper ID: CBM-012

International Conference on Recent Innovation in Civil Engineering for Sustainable Development
Department of Civil Engineering
DUET - Gazipur, Bangladesh

Durability Performance of Locally Produced OPC and PCC Cement Concretes

R. Rumman1, M.R. Kamal2, T. Manzur3 and M.A. Noor4

Concrete is the most important building material used in Bangladesh. Since design life of concrete
structures is usually very long, compressive strength being the only criteria to determine concrete quality
may give rise to severe catastrophic incidents in future. Comparative study on strength and durability
characteristics of locally produced cements is very important since very few published research are found
in this area. Ordinary Portland Cement (CEM I) and Portland Composite Cement (CEM II) are the two
locally produced cement types in Bangladesh, former one being more popular. However, CEM II
concrete is expected to have better durability and it also contains less clinker resulting less CO2 emission
during production. In this study, Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT) was performed on concrete
made from both types of cements as a measure of durability. It was observed that both the cements
produced concrete of comparable strength. However, CEM II concrete exhibited better durability
performance at later ages and the trend shows its permeability becoming even less with time. According
to the results found, because CEM II performed better in the long run, if this cement is made popular
besides CEM I, it can give a more sustainable and cost effective solution.

Keywords: Concrete durability, ordinary portland cement, permeability, portland composite cement, rapid
chloride permeability test

1. Introduction

There have been a lot of development works in Bangladesh occurring in recent times and most of
them are reinforced concrete structures. Concrete, being an indispensable element of the country’s
major infrastructure, requires strict quality assurance; however, compressive strength test is still the
surrogate criterion used for determining concrete quality in the country. Concrete buildings usually
last even 100 years or longer. For this reason, long term performance of concrete is very important
and it is required to design durable concrete structures. Durability is the ability of concrete to resist
weathering action, chemical attack, and abrasion while maintaining its desired engineering properties.
Different concretes require different degrees of durability depending on their exposure to environment
and some desired properties. Since permeability is the most important indicator of concrete durability,
permeability of locally produced CEM I and CEM II concrete was evaluated in this study through
electric charge movement method to compare their durability characteristics. Cement is the most
important constituent of concrete. CEM I cement, which contains at least 95% clinker, is the most
popularly used cement for concreting works in the country. Although, CEM II cement is being
produced by some local cement companies nowadays, it has not yet gained popularity among mass
population despite potential of having good durability properties. However, durability characteristics
of PCC cement concrete largely depend on quantity and quality of supplementary cementing materials
used to produce this cement. In addition, CEM II cement contains less clinker hence reduces the
carbon footprint as observed by Imbabi [1]. CEM II is also cheaper than CEM I. It has been
demonstrated by Joshi et al. [2] and Fukudome et al. [3] that incorporating fly ash in cement results in
considerable pore refinement. Manmohan et al. [4] also found that transformation of large pores into

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology,


fine pores as a result of pozzolanic reaction between Portland Cement paste and fly ash substantially
reduces concrete permeability. In this study, Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT) setup was built
according to ASTM specifications [5] to measure the permeability of concrete by electric charge
movement method. Comparison was then observed between utilized CEM I and CEM II cement
concretes in terms of durability to investigate whether these cements showed similar trend as the
previous findings. It was observed that locally produced CEM II cement of Bangladesh showed
analogous behavior to that of other composite cements; hence it is suggested that this cement can be
used for concreting works where durability is required and a cost effective and sustainable solution is
needed to be achieved.

2. Experimental Setup

2.1. Materials and mix proportions

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Portland Composite Cement (PCC) were used as binder
material in this study. 20 mm downgrade and 10 mm downgrade stone chips in the ratio of 60:40 were
used as coarse aggregate (gradation curve shown in Fig.1) and Sylhet sand (FM 2.73) was used as fine
aggregate for preparing the test specimens. Although the gradation curve of combined aggregate is
non-uniform, this ratio of 20 mm and 10 mm downgrade coarse aggregates was used in order to
represent the usual concreting work of Bangladesh. Concrete mixes were produced for four different
target strength to cover the general concreting work of the country. Table 1 shows the mix designs
used for both the CEM I and CEM II cement concrete specimens.

Combined 20mm d/g
Percent Finer %

80 and 10mm d/g stone

chips in 60:40 ratio



0.1 1 10 100
Sieve Opening (mm)

Fig. 1. Grain size distribution of coarse aggregates (combined 60:40 stone chips)

Table-1. Mix designs used for preparing sample

Characteristic Coarse Fine W/C

Cement Water
Mix No Strength Aggregate Aggregate Ratio
(MPa) (kg) (kg) (kg) (kg)
1 20 1313 649 340 170 0.5
2 30 1242 613 400 188 0.47
3 40 1225 605 450 180 0.4
4 50 1289 637 450 157.5 0.35

2.2. Test specimens

The entire RCPT setup was installed according to the specifications of ASTM C1202 [5]. The RCPT
was conducted on the specimens at 3, 7, 28, 56 and 91 days of curing age. Cylinders having diameter
and height of 100 mm and 200 mm, respectively were cast. After curing for the specific time, a
cylinder was taken out of the curing pond and a 50 mm slice was cut out parallel to the top of the core
with a concrete cutter saw. This 50 mm thick specimen was then allowed to surface dry for an hour


and the side surface of the specimen was painted with rapid setting coating of paint. For compressive
strength test, 100 mm x 200 mm cylindrical specimens were made and test was conducted as per
ASTM C39 [6].

2.3. Test procedure

After the paint was dry and no longer sticky to touch, the specimen was put into the desiccator of a
vacuum saturation apparatus. Then the vacuum pump was started and pressure was decreased to 1 mm
Hg and this pressure was maintained for 3 hours. With the vacuum pump still running, sufficient de-
aerated water was drained into the container from the separatory funnel to completely cover the
specimen inside. Vacuum pump was then again run for 1 hour. Next the pump was turned off and the
specimen was soaked under water for 18 hours. It was then removed from water and after blotting off
excess water, the sample was inserted between the two halves of the RCPT test cell. The cell
containing the top surface of the specimen was filled with 3% NaCl while the other one was filled
with 0.3 N NaOH solution. A voltage source of 60 V was connected with lead wires whose positive
end was connected to the NaOH end. The current reading was recorded every 30 minutes for 6 hours
and the total charge passed was calculated in coulomb. During the test it was strictly maintained that
the temperature of the solutions was not allowed to exceed 90C. A thermometer was used to check
the temperature of the solution every 30 minutes in this regard. The total test setup is shown in Fig. 2.
Both the RCPT test cells and the voltage source can be seen in this figure.

Fig. 2. Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT) setup

3. Result and Discussion

In RCPT test, the total charge passed through concrete during the experiment is calculated. This total
charge in coulomb signifies permeability of the concrete specimen. The more charge passed through
the sample, the less durable it is. ASTM standard C1202 [5], which was followed in order to perform
the test, provides the RCPT ratings shown in Table 2. This table was used here to categorize concrete
according to its permeability. Charge passed versus curing age of both CEM I and CEM II concretes
have been plotted and shown in Fig.s 3 through 6 for mixes with characteristics strength of 20, 30, 40
and 50 MPa, respectively. The values in brackets represent the actual achieved strength with the mixes.
Cumulative current (in amperes) versus time (in seconds) curve was plotted and the integration of area
under the curve gave the total amount of charge passed in coulombs over the 6 hours of the
experiment. Comparison between durability characteristics of these two types of cement concretes can
be observed from these figures.

Table-2. RCPT Ratings (per ASTM C1202)


Passed Typical of
>4000 High High W/C ratio (>0.60) conventional PCC
2000-4000 Moderate Moderate W/C ratio (0.4-0.50) conventional PCC
1000-2000 Low Low W/C ratio (<0.40) conventional PCC
100-1000 Very Low Latex-modified concrete or internally-sealed concrete
<100 Negligible Polymer-impregnated concrete, Polymer concrete

Fig. 3. Variation of chloride permeability with age for concrete of characteristic strength 20 MPa

Fig. 3 shows the chloride permeability versus curing age relationship for the concretes with the lowest
characteristic strength which is 20 MPa. The upper straight line signifies 4000 coulomb above which
concretes are categorized as high permeability concrete. Concretes with permeability less than 2000
coulomb lie below the lower line which are called low permeable. The low strength concretes (both
for OPC and PCC cement) lie above the high permeable line as seen in the figure above. From Fig. 4
it is observed that the CEM II cement concrete having strength of 30 MPA lies in the moderate
permeability range while the CEM I concrete barely touches the high permeable line at the curing age
of 91 days. Fig. 5 shows permeability versus age graph of 40 MPa concretes as mentioned above.
Here CEM II concrete touches the low permeability line at 91 days of curing age. Both the concretes
are in the moderate permeability range. Fig. 6 shows the permeability characteristics of the highest
strength concretes among the mixes. Both the concretes are in the low permeability range at 91 days
and the trend shows it is still decreasing. All these graphs show lower permeability for the CEM II
cement concretes at later age. This signifies that CEM II cement concrete is more durable than that of
CEM I cement in the long run. This is due to the fact that fly ash in PCC cement reacts with calcium
hydroxide to form more C-S-H gel at later ages and eventually refines pore distribution. It is also
evident that locally produced PCC cements have comparable durability characteristics of conventional
composite cements. There exists a relationship between strength and durability of concretes as well.
Increase in strength results in less permeability. For all the concretes it is found that permeability is
higher at early age and it decreases considerably with time as expected.


Fig. 4. Variation of chloride permeability with age for concrete of characteristic strength 30 MPa

Fig. 5. Variation of chloride permeability with age for concrete of characteristic strength 40 MPa

Fig. 6. Variation of chloride permeability with age for concrete of characteristic strength 50 MPa

4. Conclusion

It is evident from the present study that CEM II concrete considered in the experiment showed better
performance in terms of durability compared to CEM I concrete. This finding agrees with the
observations of previous studies [7], [8] and signifies that the locally produced CEM II cements in
Bangladesh may produce concretes with better durability characteristics. However, the scope of this


investigation was limited to test the durability performance of only one local brand. Therefore, in
order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding on performance of locally produced CEM II
cement concrete, further investigation should be conducted on larger number of samples with different
CEM II brands available in the country. Nevertheless, it can be said that if CEM II cement can be
made popular in this country alongside the commonly used CEM I cement, reduction of carbon
footprint can be ensured since cement is produced in huge amount in this densely populated country.
Thus, CEM II cement can ensure a more sustainable solution in case of cement production because it
is both cheaper and environment friendly.

5. References

[1] Imbabi, M.S., Trends and developments in green cement and concrete technology, International
Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 1(2), 194-216, 2012.
[2] Joshi, R.C. and Lohtia, R.P.,Fly Ash in Concrete – Production, Properties and Uses, Advances
in Concrete Technology Volume 2, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 1997.
[3] Fukudome, Y., Takewaka, K., Yamaguchi, T., Miyaguchi, K. and Tabara, K., A study on
durability of concrete using CaO-2Al2O3 fine powder under marine environment, 3rd
International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, Queen’s University, Belfast,
[4] Manmohan, D. and Mehta, P.K., Influence of Pozzolanic, Slag, and Chemical Admixtures on
Pore Size Distribution and Permeability of Hardened Cement Pastes, ASTM International,
3(1), 63-67, 1981.
[5] ASTM Standard C1202, 2012, Standard Test Method for Electrical Indication of Concrete’s
Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA,
2012, DOI: 10.1520/C1202-12,
[6] ASTM Standard C39 / C39M - 15a, 2015, Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of
Cylindrical Concrete Specimens, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, DOI:
[7] Ekolu, S.O. and Murugan, S., Durability Index Performance of High Strength Concretes Made
Based on Different Standard Portland Cements, Advances in Materials Science and
Engineering, vol. 2012, Article ID 410909, 1-7, 2012. DOI: 10.1155/2012/410909
[8] McNally, C., Sheils, E., Probability-based assessment of the durability characteristics of
concretes manufactured using CEM II and GGBS binders, Elsevier, 30(May 2012), 22-29,