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CHAPTER 16
Control Tests for Concrete

Satisfactory concrete construction and performance re- Tests of aggregates have two major purposes: (1) to
quires concrete with specific properties. To assure that determine the suitability of the material itself for use in
these properties are obtained, quality control and accept- concrete, including tests for abrasion, soundness against
ance testing are indispensable parts of the construction saturated freeze-thaw cycles, harmful materials by petro-
process. Test results provide important feedback used to graphic examination, and potential alkali-aggregate reac-
base decisions regarding mix adjustments. However, past tivity; and (2) to assure uniformity, such as tests for
experience and sound judgment must be relied on in eval- moisture control, relative density (specific gravity), and
uating tests and assessing their significance in controlling gradation of aggregates. Some tests are used for both
the design, batching and placement processes that influ- purposes. Testing aggregates to determine their potential
ence the ultimate performance of the concrete. alkali-aggregate reactivity is discussed in Chapter 5,
Specifiers are moving toward performance-based “Aggregates for Concrete.” Tests of concrete to evaluate
specifications (also called end-result or end-property spe- the performance of available materials, to establish
cifications) that require the final performance of concrete mixture proportions, and to control concrete quality
be achieved independent of the process used to achieve during construction include slump, air content, tempera-
the performance. Physical tests and concrete properties ture, density (unit weight), and strength. Slump, air
are used to measure acceptance. Such specifications may content, and strength tests are usually required in project
not have acceptance limits for process control tests such specifications for concrete quality control, whereas
as slump or limits on the quantities of concrete ingredi- density is more useful in mixture proportioning. Never-
ents as do prescriptive specifications. The end result of theless, ASTM C 94 (AASHTO M 157) specifies that
compressive strength, low permeability, documented
slump, air-content, density, and temperature tests should
durability, and a minimal number of cracks, for example,
be made when strength specimens are made.
would be the primary measure of acceptance. Of course,
Following is a discussion of frequency of testing and
even though process control tests may not be specified,
descriptions of the major control tests to ensure unifor-
the wise concrete producer would use them to guide the
mity of materials, desired properties of freshly mixed
product to a successful end result. However, most speci-
concrete, and required strength of hardened concrete.
fications today are still a combination of prescriptive and
Special tests are also described.
performance requirements (Parry 2000).
ASTM (2000) and Klieger and Lamond (1994)
provide extensive discussions of test methods for con-
CLASSES OF TESTS crete and concrete ingredients.
Computational Software. In order to make computation
Project specifications may affect (1) characteristics of the of test data easier, NRMCA (2001) provides a CD with
mixture, such as maximum size of aggregate, aggregate spread sheets for a variety of concrete and aggregate tests.
proportions, or minimum cement content; (2) characteris-
tics of the cement, water, aggregates, and admixtures; and
(3) characteristics of the freshly mixed and hardened FREQUENCY OF TESTING
concrete, such as temperature, slump, air content, and
compressive or flexural strengths. Frequency of testing is a significant factor in the effective-
Cementitious materials are tested for their compliance ness of quality control of concrete. Specified test frequen-
with ASTM or AASHTO standards to avoid any abnormal cies are intended for acceptance of the material or one of
performance such as early stiffening, delayed setting, or its components at a random location within the quantity
low strengths in concrete. More details regarding cementi- or time period represented by the test. Such frequencies
tious materials can be found in Chapters 2 and 3. may not occur often enough to control the material within
275

Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001

specified limits during production. Process control tests Specimens should be laboratory cured when tested for
are nonrandom tests performed more often than specified acceptance or ultimate performance of the concrete.
to document trends that allow adjustments to be made However, laboratory-cured specimens should not be used
before acceptance tests are performed. as an indication of in-place concrete strengths (ACI
The frequency of testing aggregates and concrete for Committee 318, 1999).
typical batch-plant procedures depends largely upon the In-place concrete strengths are typically documented
uniformity of materials, including the moisture content of by casting specimens that are field-cured (as nearly as
aggregates, and the production process. Initially it is ad- practical) in the same manner as concrete in the structure.
visable to make process control tests several times a day, Field-cured specimens are commonly used to decide
but as work progresses and the material becomes more when forms and shores might be removed under a struc-
predictable, the frequency often can be reduced. ASTM C tural slab or to determine when traffic will be allowed on
1451 provides a standard practice for determining the new pavement. ASTM C 31 (AASHTO T 23) contains
additional instructions regarding the handling of field-
uniformity of cementitious materials, aggregates, and
cured cylinders. Although field-cured specimens may be
chemical admixtures used in concrete.
tested at any age, 7-day tests are often made for compar-
Usually, aggregate moisture tests are made once or
ison with laboratory tests at the same age; these are useful
twice a day. The first batch of fine aggregate in the
to judge if curing and protection during cold weather
morning is often overly wet since moisture will migrate
concreting is adequate.
overnight to the bottom of the storage bin. As fine aggre-
gate is drawn from the bottom of the bin and additional
aggregate is added, the moisture content should stabilize TESTING AGGREGATES
at a lower level and the first moisture test can be made.
Obtaining moisture samples representative of the aggre- Sampling Aggregates Video
gates being batched is important; a one percent change in
moisture content of fine aggregate will change the amount Methods for obtaining representative samples of aggre-
of mix water needed by approximately eight kilograms gates are given in ASTM D 75 (AASHTO T 2). Accurate
per cubic meter (13 lb/yd3). sampling is important. The location in the production
Slump tests should be made for the first batch of process where samples will be obtained must be carefully
concrete each day, whenever consistency of concrete planned. Sampling from a conveyor belt, stockpile, or
appears to vary, and whenever strength-test cylinders are aggregate bin may require special sampling equipment.
made at the jobsite. Caution must be exercised to obtain a sample away from
Air-content tests should be made often enough at the stockpile segregation and the sample must be large
point of delivery to ensure proper air content, particularly enough to meet ASTM minimum sample size require-
if temperature and aggregate grading change. An air- ments. In addition, samples obtained for moisture content
content test should be performed for each sample of testing should be placed in a sealed container or plastic
concrete from which cylinders are made; a record of the bag as soon as possible to retain moisture until testing.
temperature of each sample of concrete should also be kept. Reducing large field samples to small quantities for
individual tests must be done with care so that the
The number of strength tests made will depend on the
final samples will be truly representative ASTM C 702
job specifications and the occurrence of variations. The
(AASHTO T 248). For coarse aggregate, this is done by the
ACI 318 building code and ASTM C 94 require that
quartering method: The sample, thoroughly mixed, is
strength tests of each class of concrete placed each day
spread on a piece of canvas in an even layer 75 or 100 mm
should be taken not less than once a day, nor less than
(3 or 4 in.) thick. It is divided into four equal parts. Two
once for each 115 cubic meters (150 cu yd) of concrete. In opposite parts are then discarded. This process is repeated
addition, ACI 318 recommends not less than once for each until the desired size of sample remains. A similar proce-
500 square meters (5000 sq ft) of surface area for slabs or dure is sometimes used for moist, fine aggregate. Sample
walls placed each day. The average strength of two 28-day splitters are desirable for dry aggregate (Fig. 16-1) but
cylinders is required for each test used for evaluating should not be used for samples that are more than satu-
concrete. A 7-day test cylinder, along with the two 28-day rated surface dry.
test cylinders, is often made and tested to provide an early
indication of strength development. As a rule of thumb,
the 7-day strength is about 60% to 75% of the 28-day
Organic Impurities Video
compressive strength, depending upon the type and Organic impurities in fine aggregate should be deter-
amount of cementitious materials, water-cement ratio, mined in accordance with ASTM C 40 (AASHTO T 21). A
curing temperature, and other variables. Additional spec- sample of fine aggregate is placed in a sodium hydroxide
imens may be required when high-strength concrete is solution and shaken. The following day the color of the
involved or where structural requirements are critical. sodium hydroxide solution is compared with a glass color

276

Materials containing too much or too little of any one size should be avoided. tional information on aggregate grading. The quantity that pass a 150 µm (No. In this in fine aggregate and to 1% or less in coarse aggregate. but washed in a 3% solution of sodium hydroxide tity or a deficiency of one or more sieve sizes—can result in and then thoroughly rinsed in water. A size. the total moisture content can be Video accordance with ASTM C 142 (AASHTO T 112). For this appreciably. most specifications permit up to 10% of this mate- important. and in. Durability can suffer too as a can cause popouts and staining of the concrete and can reduce durability when concrete is exposed to weathering. moisture in aggregate samples.0% of the total fine aggregate mass. ASTM C 33 (AASHTO M 6) states that fine rial in fine aggregate. when tested in accordance with ASTM C 87 well-graded an aggregate is. The more may be used if. Other specifications require an adjustment in mixture gate should not be used for important concrete work proportions if the amount retained on any two consecu- without further investigation. aggregate is acceptable if the amount of coal and lignite Well-graded aggregates contain particles on each sieve does not exceed 1. 3. (70012) shown in Chapter 5 and ASTM C 33 (AASHTO M 6/M 80). calculated as follows: 277 . The grading or particle size distribution of an aggregate is determined by a sieve analysis test in which the particles are divided into their various sizes by stan- dard sieves. the more it will pack together (AASHTO T 71). 200) sieve to 2% or 3% dance with ASTM C 566 (AASHTO T 255). the 7-day strengths of mortar cubes made efficiently. Fig. From the mass (AASHTO T 11). color solution or Organic Glass Plate No. and (3) to detect variations in grading that are sufficient to warrant blending selected sizes or an adjustment of concrete mix proportions. result of using more fine aggregate and water to produce a Local experience is often the best indication of the durabil. A small quantity of clean particles Video or lignite that give the liquid a dark color. Hence. thus reducing the volume between aggregate with the sand (ASTM C 109 or AASHTO T 106) are at least particles that must be filled by paste. If surface appearance of the concrete is not reason. increase water requirements. the fine aggre. method a measured sample of damp aggregate is dried Testing for material finer than the 75 µm (No. that appreciable quantities of coal or lignite in aggregates consolidation and finishing. Results of sieve analyses are used in three ways: (1) to determine whether or not the materials meet specifica- tions. 200) sieve is desirable for workability. If the color of the mixture proportions be adjusted if the average fineness solution containing the sample is darker than the standard modulus of fine aggregate changes by more than 0. microwave should be done in accordance with ASTM C 117 oven. pumping. workable mix. 16-1. Specifications usually limit the amount tent for fine or coarse aggregate can be tested in accor- of material passing the 75 µm (No. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Grading Gradation of aggregates significantly affects concrete mix- ture proportioning and workability. Testing for clay lumps should be in before and after drying. (2) to select the most suitable material if several aggregates are available. The analysis should be made in accordance with ASTM C 136 (AASHTO T 27). 200) sieve either in a ventilated conventional oven. It should be realized reduced workability during mixing.20. placing. tive sieves changes by more than 10% by mass of the total Some fine aggregates contain small quantities of coal fine-aggregate sample. Sample splitter commonly used to reduce coarse The grading requirements for concrete aggregate are aggregate samples. gradation tests are an important element in the assurance of concrete quality. Some specifications require that standard or standard color solution. 95% of the 7-day strengths of mortar made with the same gap-graded aggregates—those having either a large quan- sand. or over an electric or gas hotplate. 100) sieve but are retained on a 75 may be insufficient to reduce the strength of the concrete µm (No. Well-graded aggregates enhance numerous factors fine aggregate failing this ASTM C 33 (AASHTO M 6) limit that result in greater workability and durability. The total moisture con- crease shrinkage. On the other hand. Video Objectionable Fine Material Moisture Content of Aggregates Large amounts of clay and silt in aggregates can adversely Several methods are used for determining the amount of affect durability. See Chapter 5 and Galloway (1994) for addi- ity of concrete made with such aggregates.

4 0. The surface moisture content is equal to the total of the container. In this method: (1) a measured sample of sentative samples for comparison to electric moisture damp fine aggregate is placed in a shallow pan. surface-dry (SSD) condition is one with its permeable voids filled with water and with no surface moisture on it. but only at the level of the probes. within the range of dampness becomes part of the mixing water in concrete. both methods measure moisture contents accu- portion of the aggregate mass and the mix will not yield rately and rapidly. Table 16-1 illustrates a method of adjusting batch (4) the alcohol is then ignited and allowed to burn until weights for moisture in aggregates. surface moisture in (aggregates in dry kg/m3 (lb/yd3) kg/m3 (lb/yd3) aggregates.** (in moist condition).8 Coarse aggregate 0. (3) the mixture is stirred with a before trends in accuracy can be established. of the pit or quarry has not changed significantly. electrical resistance of damp aggregate decreases as mois- Only the surface moisture. rod and spread in a thin layer over the bottom of the pan.8 Aggregate mass Aggregate mass Mix water correction for Mix design mass (SSD condition). Historic water by a known mass of moist aggregate. is to evaporate the moisture by contents in aggregates cause difficulty in obtaining repre- burning alcohol. properly. Table 16-1. surface water will replace a However.* (Absorbed %) (Moisture %) (Moist%-Absorb%) batch weight. but some plants also use them to check for coarse aggregate and ASTM C 128 (AASHTO T 84) for coarse aggregates. (2) about meters. 278 . If adjustments because they are more accurate than the electric meters. and (6) the percentage of moisture is then calculated. Surface moisture percentages are used to calculate the amount of normally encountered. maintained properly. therefore. Moisture meters using the gates should be increased by the percentage of surface microwave-absorption method are gaining popularity moisture present in each type of aggregate. These meters require frequent calibration and must be Another method to determine moisture content. They operate on the principle that the fine aggregate. The variable nature of moisture which is not as accurate. BOD • BOD • BOD • ingredients kg/m3 (lb/yd3) 100 100 100 kg/m3 (lb/yd3) Cement 355 (598) 355 (598) Fine aggregate 695 (1171) 703 (1185) 735 (1239) 32 (54) 735 (1239) Coarse aggregate 1060 (1787) 1064 (1793) 1068 (1800) 4 (7) 1068 (1800) Water 200 (337) 164 (276) Total 2310 (3893) 36 (61) 2322 (3913)† * An aggregate in a bulk-oven dry (BOD) condition is one with its permeable voids completely dry so that it is fully absorbent. into the batch hopper or bin. P = moisture content of sample. Example of Adjustment in Batch Weights for Moisture in Aggregates Aggregate data Absorption. ture content increases. percent When drying equipment is not available a field or M = mass of original sample D = mass of dried sample plant determination of surface (free) moisture in fine aggregate can be made in accordance with ASTM C 70.2 5. How- Electric moisture meters are used in many concrete ever. % Moisture content. the batch weight of aggre. kg/m3 (lb/yd3) Adjusted Concrete BOD condition). The surface (free) moisture can be calculated if the The same procedure can be used for coarse aggregate with percentage of absorbed moisture in the aggregate is appropriate changes in the size of sample and dimensions known. % Fine aggregate 1. Concrete suppliers often request mix design proportions on a SSD basis because of batching software requirements. ** An aggregate in a saturated. This test depends on displacement of moisture content minus the absorbed moisture. the information for an aggregate source can be used to obtain relative density (specific gravity) of the aggregate must be absorbed moisture content data if the mineral composition known accurately. In addition. are not made during batching. Several oven-dried moisture content tests should 310 ml of alcohol for each kilogram (5 oz for each pound) be performed to verify the calibration of these meters is poured over the sample. they can be determined batching plants primarily to monitor the moisture content using methods outlined in ASTM C 127 (AASHTO T 85) of fine aggregates. the sample is cooled where for a few minutes and weighed. (5) after burning. † Total adjusted batch weight is higher than total mix design weight by the amount of water absorbed in the aggregate. The meters measure the electrical water in the aggregates to reduce the amount of mix water resistance of the aggregate between electrodes protruding used for batching.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 P = 100(M – D)/D the sample is dry. not the absorbed moisture. if recent data is not available.

measured to the near- accordance with ASTM C 172 (AASHTO T 141). Vebe consistometer for roller-compacted nonabsorbent rigid surface. should not be taken from the very slump with time. a ruler is used to measure from the top of routine slump and air-content tests performed for process the slump cone (mold) to the displaced original center of control.] diameter base and 100-mm [4-in. Following rodding. ASTM C 143 (AASHTO T 119). is the most of 175 mm (7 in. a depth of about 160 mm (6 in. Slump test for consistency of concrete. (69786. Figure A illustrates a lower slump. The amount of mortar flowing tency of concrete (Fig. new height. concrete around the tester. the last layer is struck Sampling Freshly Mixed Concrete off and the cone is slowly raised vertically 300 mm (12 in.) of concrete a 75-mm (3-in. ASTM C 172 (AASHTO T 141) requires that sample the subsided concrete (see Fig. as concrete loses of two or more portions. the cone C 360-92 now discontinued). If a falling away or shearing off occurs first or last portion of the batch discharge. British compacting factor test (BS 1881). Thaulow tester. Video A B Fig. and other sources on a different portion of the sample. size used for acceptance purposes be at least 28 liter (1 cu ft) A higher slump value is indicative of a more fluid and be obtained within 15 minutes between the first and concrete. Powers remolding test (Powers 1932). wind. 69787) 279 . of rapid evaporation during sampling and testing. 16-2). the inverted should be filled to a depth of about 70 mm (21⁄2 in.) The importance of obtaining truly representative samples in 5 ± 2 seconds. The slump is the be misleading.) in diameter and Saucier 1966). Figure B a higher slump. Additional consistency tests include: the FHWA with a 200-mm [8-in. Unless the sample is representative. Another test method for flow of fresh concrete involves the use of the K-Slump Tester (ASTM C 1362). Each layer is rodded 25 times. The composite sample. The sample from a portion of the concrete.) for the slump cone for fiber-reinforced concrete (ASTM C 995). 600 mm (24 in. This is a probe-type instrument that is thrust into the Consistency concrete in any location where there is a minimum depth The slump test. should be filled in three layers concrete (ASTM C 1170). German flow table The dampened slump cone. first layer. and overfilled for the third layer. Except for est 5 mm (1⁄4 in.] vibrating slope apparatus (Wong and others 2001 and diameter top) and a steel rod 16 mm (5⁄8 in. The entire test through removal of the cone final portions of the sample. As the concrete subsides or settles to a of freshly mixed concrete for control tests must be empha. a slump cone (a metal conical mold 300 mm [12 in. test (DIN 1048-1). The test equipment consists of into openings in the tester is reported as a measure of flow. test results will gently placed next to the settled concrete.) long with a hemispherically shaped tip. another test should be run should be protected from sunlight. 16-2. Therefore.] high. 16-2).) radius of generally accepted method used to measure the consis. made should be completed in 21⁄2 minutes. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Video TESTING FRESHLY MIXED CONCRETE layer.) for the second Powers and Wiler plastometer (Powers and Wiler 1941). Kelly ball penetration test (ASTM of approximately equal volume. placed upright on a flat. the empty slump cone is then inverted and sized.). Samples should be obtained and handled in vertical distance the concrete settles.

The ASTM C 138 (AASHTO T 121).3% of the anticipated mass of the correction factors that compensate for air trapped in 280 . The size of the container used to determine digital readouts are also available. The pressure method (Fig.1 lb). Szitkar.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 Tattersall (1971) workability device. Hu. applied pressure compresses the air within the concrete ficiently accurate to determine the volumetric quantity sample. a 7-liter of concrete should surround the sensing portion of the (0. Fresh concrete is measured in a container of available (Figs. Glass or armored thermometers are Fig. Temperature Measurement Because of the important influence concrete temperature has on the properties of freshly mixed and hardened concrete. delivery chute torque Video meter (US patent 4. commonly used with aggregates up to 25 mm (1 in. delivery-chute vane (US patent 4.5°C (±1°F) and should remain in a repre- sentative sample of concrete for a minimum of 2 minutes or until the reading stabilizes. including the air in the pores of aggregates. and Joly 1993).158 [1982]). For this (yield) of concrete produced per batch (see Chapter 9). The results should be suf.). A thermometer is used to take the temperature of pressure method (C 231) (AASHTO T 152). Electronic temperature meters with precise g (0. density and yield varies with the size of aggregate. Air Content A number of methods for measuring air content of freshly mixed concrete can be used. 16-3. A minimum of 75 mm (3 in. (69885A) method (C 173) (AASHTO T 196).989 [1986]). ring penetration test (Teranishs and others 1994). tests by this method are not suitable for determin- test also can give indications of air content provided the ing the air content of concretes made with some lightweight relative densities of the ingredients are known. BTRHEOM rheometer for fluid concrete (de Larrard. Care is needed to consolidate the concrete adequately by either rodding or internal vibration. ASTM C 1040 (AASHTO T 271). and the gravimetric method (C 138) (AASHTO T 121).332. 16-3). 16-4) are determined in accordance with directly when a predetermined pressure is applied.) sample and container is required.5-ft3) container is used with aggregates up to 50 mm (2 in. Strike off the top surface using a flat plate so that the container is filled to a flat smooth finish. For example. if in urement (ASTM C 1064 or AASHTO T 309) should be good condition. and the Wigmore (1948) consistometer.). The container should be calibrated at least Video annually (ASTM C 1077).25-ft3) air meter container is completed within 5 minutes after obtaining the sample. 16-5) is based on Boyle’s Density and Yield law. 16-4. The density of unhardened as well as hardened concrete can also be determined by nuclear methods. The reason. The temperature meas. Many commercial The density (unit weight) and yield of freshly mixed air meters of this type are calibrated to read air content concrete (Fig. free- orifice rheometer (Bartos 1978). BML viscometer (Wallevik 1996). the volumetric fresh concrete. the 7-liter (0. a 14-liter (0. many specifications place limits on the tempera- ture of fresh concrete. The thermometer should be accurate known volume to determine density (unit weight). Angles flow box (Angles 1974). Colebrand test.578. which relates pressure to volume. A balance aggregates or other very porous materials. Aggregate or scale sensitive to 0.25-ft3) density container requires a scale sensitive to 50 thermometer. The Vebe test and the Thaulow test are especially applicable to stiff and extremely dry mixes while the flow table is especially applicable to flowing concrete (Scanlon 1994). ASTM standards include the Fig. The density is expressed in kilograms per cubic meter (pounds per cubic foot) and the yield in cubic meters (cubic feet). (69785) to plus or minus 0.

expressed as a percentage of the theoretical density. or bubbles is made (Gebler and Klieger 1983). otherwise ment should be calibrated for various elevations above sea results may be in error. this method is suit- level if it is to be used in localities having considerable able only where laboratory-type control is exercised. Following a waiting period of 45 lute volumes of the ingredients. This difference. Also. Significant changes in density can be a convenient way to sure of a known volume of air and are not affected by detect variability in air content. should be subtracted from the pressure meter air content. (69766) normal-weight aggregates are relatively constant and. of concrete have resulted in the development of the foam- cement-content concretes. Studies into the effect of fly ash on the air-void stability including those performed on high-air-content or high. A representative sample The volumetric method (Fig. The measured density of concrete is subtracted wide mouth jar along with the air-entraining admixture from the theoretical density as determined from the abso. and specific gravity of the concrete near the surface that may have suffered reduc- concrete ingredients need not be known. mortar. it also dispels the composite sample has been obtained. An aggregate correction factor is not bration chart. most of the foam and increases the precision of the test. index test. but it is not a substitute for conducted in less time than is required for other methods. air-content tests The addition of 500 mL (1 pt) of alcohol accelerates the should be started within 5 minutes after the final portion of removal of air. The test can be performed in a few minutes. The instru. Pressure-type meter for determining air content. Volumetric air meter. a test can be high levels of air in concrete. medium. necessary with this test. Pressure meters are widely used A pocket-size air indicator (AASHTO T 199) can be because the mix proportions and specific gravities of the used as a quick check for the presence of low. 16-5. The volumetric test is not affected It is especially useful in checking for the presence of air in by atmospheric pressure. entraining admixture requirements for concrete mixtures ment used for determining the density (unit weight) of containing fly ash. This method can be used for concrete con. differences in elevation. the other more accurate methods. assuming no air is present seconds. taken to agitate the sample sufficiently to remove all air. the ingredients must be accurately known. changes in elevation. 281 . including lightweight or comparing the drop in the level of the alcohol with a cali- porous materials. Consequently. 16-6. The test can be used to measure the relative air- The gravimetric method utilizes the same test equip. The fly ash to be tested is placed in a concrete. a visual determination of the stability of the foam (see ASTM C 138 or AASHTO T 121). Care must be tions in air because of faulty finishing procedures. and shaken vigorously. The indicated air content is determined by taining any type of aggregate. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Video Video Fig. Some meters utilize change in pres. thus shortening test times. 16-6) outlined in ASTM of mortar from the concrete is placed in the container. The C 173 (AASHTO T 196) requires removal of air from a container is then filled with alcohol and rolled with the known volume of concrete by agitating the concrete in an thumb over the open end to remove the air from the excess of water. is the though small. With any of the above methods. or concrete ingredients need not be known. (69886) Fig. Mixture proportions and specific gravities of gauge reading to obtain the correct air content.

beam. psi Beams for the flexural 120 strength test should be 150 x 150 15.) cylinder strengths (Burg and Ost 1994). plastic. the smaller cross- compressive strength of concrete.). parafined cardboard. Forstie and Schnormeier 1981. Consult job specifica- 100x200-mm cylinder strength.000 10. The 100 x 200-mm cylinder is easier to cast.) diameter by 200-mm (8-in. and the height should be twice the diameter.000 the depth of the beam plus 50 mm (2 in. or other types of disposable molds conforming to ASTM C 470 can be used. For larger aggregates. 0 40 80 120 160 Test cylinders to be rodded 150x300 mm cylinder strength.) in diameter by 300 mm (12 in.) high cylinder mold has been commonly used with high strength concrete containing up to 19 mm (3⁄4 in.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 Strength Specimens Specimens molded for strength tests should be made and cured in accordance with ASTM C 31 or AASHTO T 23 (field-molded specimens) or ASTM C 192 or AASHTO T 126 (laboratory-molded specimens). requires less sample.000 and Pistilli and Willems 1993).). While rigid metal molds are preferred. Molding of strength specimens should be started within 15 minutes after the composite sample is obtained.) for 0 0 a 6 x 6-in. In addition. MPa (slump of 25 mm [1 in.] or more) should be filled in three approx- Fig. 16-8. imately equal layers with each 282 .) and 150 x 300-mm (6 x 12-in. They should be placed on a smooth.) or smaller is a cylinder 150 mm (6 in. 16-7.000 20.) in cross section for aggregates up to 50 mm (2 in.) maximum-size aggregate (Burg and Ost 1994. cylinder strength. MPa 20.000 25. the diameter of the cylinder should be at least three times the maximum-size aggregate. 16-8. Preparing standard test specimens for moist-curing storage space. The difference in indicated strength between the two cylinder sizes is insignificant as illustrated in Fig. 4x8-in. it is therefore easier to handle and requires less Fig. and Date and Schnormeier 1984). 16-7).) high (Fig.000 15. cylinder strength.000 should be not less than three Moist cured Air cured times the maximum size of Best fit line aggregate. 160 The predominant size used in Canada is the 100-mm diameter cylinder. The length of beams 40 should be at least three times 5.) concrete cylinder. rigid surface and filled carefully to avoid distortion of their shape.000 tions for allowable cylinder sizes. The standard deviation and coefficient of variation of 100-mm cylinders is slightly higher or 6x12-in. the mini- 80 mum cross-sectional dimension 10. For larger aggregates. Comparison of 100 x 200-mm (4 x 8-in. (69790) sectional area allows higher compressive strengths to be reached by a testing machine that has a smaller load capac- ity. or a total length of not less than 500 mm (20 in. The standard test specimen for compressive strength of concrete with a maximum aggregate size of 50 mm (2 in.000 25. A 100-mm (4-in. level.000 mm (6 x 6 in. weighs con- Video siderably less than a 150 x 300-mm (6 x 12-in. psi similar to that for 150-mm cylinders (Burg and others 1999 0 5.

1000 psi Limewater must Penetration resistance. Controlled moist curing in the in the same man.) deep to be vibrated (slump of 75mm In-place concrete strength development can also be [3 in. beams 150 to evaluated by maturity testing (ACI Committee 306 and 200 mm (6 to 8 in. test results. particularly within the first 24 hours after casting. (69788) 283 . the tops of the speci. 7 1 cimens. intervals on mortar sieved from the concrete mixture (Fig. 16-9. or when the structure can be two insertions per layer for 150-mm (6-in. tined for controlled laboratory curing. Cylin. useful when the weather is unfavorable. MPa be saturated with hydrated lime.) deep should be filled in testing. the sides of the mold field-cured specimens are made in addition to those des- should be lightly tapped with a mallet or open hand. which was discussed in Chapter 14.) deep to be vibrated can be filled in one ASTM C 1074).) rod for each 1400 mm2 (2 in. test specimens should be cast in locations where sub- sequent movement is unnecessary and where protection is possible. (bottom) Plot of and temperature of 23±2°C (73±3°F) (ASTM C 511 or AASHTO M 201). Cylinders and test beams should be protected from rough handling at all ages. 16-10.) diameter cylinders and when forms can be removed. they give little indication of whether a two equal layers with each layer rodded once with a 16-mm deficiency is due to the quality of the concrete as delivered (5⁄8-in.) cylinders. in accor- dance with ASTM C 511 (AASHTO 14 2 M 201) to prevent leaching of lime from concrete spe. min. On some projects.) diameter cylinders. to determine sertion per layer for 100-mm (4-in. Internal vibrators should have a maximum width of no more than 1⁄3 the width of beams or 1⁄4 the diameter of Time of Setting cylinders. these are especially ders to be vibrated should be filled in two layers with one in. (8974) represent the ac. Immediately after casting. 0 0 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 390 420 laboratory for standard test specimens ner as the struc- Elapsed time.2) of the specimen’s top or to improper handling and curing. (top) Time of setting equipment.) deep and cylinders 300 to Hardened Concrete” in this chapter and ASTM (2000). changes in temperature. 16-9) or in the field. surface area. tual strength of concrete in the structure at the time of beam specimens up to 200 mm (8 in. put into use. For more information see “Strength Tests of Beams over 200 mm (8 in. either in the labora- tory (Fig. Initial setting Specimens cured in the field Fig. 450 mm (12 to 18 in. at a relative humidity of 95% to 100% ture more closely Fig. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete layer rodded 25 times for 150-mm (6-in. Thus. Remember to identify specimens on the exterior of the mold to prevent confusion and errors in reporting. however. Test method ASTM C 403 (AASHTO T 197) is used to mens should be (1) covered with an oiled glass or steel determine the time of setting of concrete by means of pene- plate. The strength of a test specimen can be greatly affected by jostling. 21 3 not agricultural lime. If the rodding leaves holes. Do not etch identification numbers into the surface of fresh concrete test specimens. (2) sealed with a plastic bag. Use tape or identification tags that do not damage the sample. layer. Controlled laboratory curing in a moist room Video or in a limewater storage tank gives 35 5 an accurate in- dication of the quality of the con- Final setting crete as delivered.] or less) should be filled in two layers. Standard testing procedures require that specimens be cured under controlled conditions. or (3) sealed with a tration resistance measurements made at regular time plastic cap. and exposure to drying. 28 4 Penetration resistance.

should be checked to make sure it is below the limit nec- essary to avoid corrosion of reinforcing steel. ranging between 5 and 49 hours. final set occurs between 4 and 12 hours. The rate of hard- These test results can assist in determining the strength ening of concrete greatly influences the rate of which con- and durability potential of concrete prior to setting and struction progresses. and Lees 1974 and PCA 1983). ASTM C 918 uses the maturity method of monitoring temperature of cylinders cured in accordance with stan. Temperature. and admixtures all affect setting time. ASTM test methods C 1078-87 and C 1079-87 (discontinued in 1998). Exper- imental methods using microwave absorption have been The need to assess the quality of concrete at early ages in developed to estimate water to cement ratio. Bleeding of Concrete mation of the water-soluble chloride content of freshly The bleeding properties of fresh concrete can be deter- mixed concrete. the presence of certain prediction equation is developed to project the strength at supplementary cementitious materials. cement ratio. respectively. However.08 284 . Fly ash particles appear as spheres of various colors. An approxi. the other method the total chloride content of freshly mixed concrete may be consolidates the specimen by vibration after which the made by summing up the chloride contents of all of the specimen is vibrated intermittently throughout the test. Typical values range from 0. Typically. separation by settling and decanting. initial set occurs between 2 and 6 hours after batching and Test methods are available for estimating the portland cement and water content of freshly mixed concrete. mortar over a 45 µm (No. and admixtures can be made mined by two methods described in ASTM C 232 using a method initiated by the National Ready Mixed (AASHTO T 158). Later-age strengths are estimated using run independently of each other to determine either previously established relationships between accelerated cement content or water content to calculate the water- strength and standard 28-day compressive strength tests. individual constituents of the mix. which may not be tion. depending on the curing see Lawrence (1994). Materials Content Cylinders are tested at early ages beyond 24 hours. can be used to determine to Project Later-Age Strength cement content and water content. Other tests for determining cement or water contents later-age strengths of concrete specimens based upon can be classified into four categories: chemical determina- early-age tests. Supplementary Cementitious dard methods outlined in ASTM C 31 (AASHTO T 23). Cylinder strength tests are cement gage have been used to measure cement contents accelerated using one of four curing procedures: warm (Forester. Black. respectively. equipment and special operator skills. The disad- comparison to traditional 28-day tests has received much vantage of these test methods is they require sophisticated attention due to the quickening pace of today’s construc.6 MPa (4000 psi). A combination of these tests can be procedure used.01 to 0. See Chapter 9 for chloride-ion concrete. Sieving the mortar through a 150 or 75 µm (No. test specimen. nuclear related. cement and water contents were obtained. the time when the penetration resistance equals 3. Accelerated strength tests are performed at ages overview of these and other tests from all four categories. For an 5°F). One method consolidates the specimen Concrete Association (NRMCA 1986). The Rapid Analysis Machine and nuclear dite quality control of concrete.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 16-10). The micro- water at 35°C ± 3°C (95°F ± 5°F). 100 The chloride content of concrete and its ingredients or 200) sieve is helpful in removing sand grains. 16-11). The NRMCA method The amount of bleed water at the surface is expressed as gives a quick approximation and should not be used to the volume of bleed water per unit area of exposed determine compliance. water-cementing mate- hardening and can indicate whether or not the desired rials ratio. later ages based on the maturity index and early-age can be determined by washing a sample of the concrete’s strength tests. The initial and final time of setting is determined as Portland Cement Content. A determination of by tamping without further disturbance.4 MPa Water Content. a freshly mixed concrete. boiling water. Accelerated Compression Tests based on the Kelly-Vail method. ASTM has developed two methods for estimating readily available. autogenous wave oven (AASHTO T 23) and neutron-scattering meth- (insulated). and Standard test methods are not available for determining the concrete temperature history is used to compute the the supplementary cementitious materials content of maturity index at the time of test. aggregates. and high temperature at 150°C ± 3°C (300°F ± ods have been used to measure water contents. See Carino (1994). or as a percentage of the net mixing water in the limitations for concrete. and Water-Cement Ratio (500 psi) and 27. Using historic data. such as fly ash. ASTM C 684 uses accelerated strength tests to expe- and electrical. tion. 325) sieve and viewing the residue retained with a stereo microscope (150 to 250X) Chloride Content (Fig.

pressive strength of concrete. Drilled cores should not be taken until the concrete can be sampled without disturbing the bond between the Fig. 16-12). The mold is filled in the normal course of concrete placement. or (3) specimens made from cast-in-place cylinder molds. 16-11. (69780) element. The container has an cores should be taken vertically and not near formed joints inside diameter of about 255 mm (10 in. ASTM C 873 (Fig. ASTM C 232 (AASHTO T 158) test for bleeding of mortar and the coarse aggregate. The specimen is then cured in place and in the same manner as the rest of the concrete section. it should be avoided if possible mL/cm2 or 0.) in depth. ASTM C 192 [AASHTO T 126]. post- tensioning work.) and height of or edges. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Strength Tests of Hardened Concrete Strength tests of hardened concrete can be performed on the following: (1) cured specimens molded in accordance with ASTM C 31 or C 192 (AASHTO T 23 and T 126) from samples of freshly mixed concrete. (58949) mine the in-place concrete strength. or samples of hardened concrete obtained from construction or labora- tory work (ASTM C 42 [AASHTO T 24]. For vertical or sloped faces. concrete. The container is filled to a height of taken perpendicular to the central portion of the concrete about 255 mm and covered to prevent evaporation of the bleed water.).5% of mix water. For all methods. Cast-in-place cylinders can be used in concrete that is 125 to 300 mm (5 to 12 in. Method A without vibration. Concrete cylinders cast in place in cylindrical performed because specimen preconditioning for certain molds provide a means for determining the in-place com- tests can make the specimen unusable for other tests. or any concrete work where a minimum in-place strength must be achieved before con- struction can continue. Correction factors are available in ASTM C 42 (AASHTO T 24) for samples with lengths of 1 to 2 times the diameter. 16-13. TESTING HARDENED CONCRETE Premolded specimens described in the previous section “Strength Specimens” (ASTM C 31 [AASHTO T 23]. Separate specimens should be obtained for each test Fig. as viewed through a microscope at 200X. or ASTM C 873). The bleeding test is rarely used in the field (Fig. Bleeding was also discussed in Chapter 1. (2) in-situ specimens cored or sawed from hardened concrete in accordance with ASTM C 42 (AASHTO T 24).1% to 2. 16-12. Although diamond-studded coring bits can cut through reinforcing steel. ASTM C 823. or ASTM C 873) can be used in tests on hardened concrete. The specimen is removed from the Fig. cylindrical samples should have a diameter at least three times the maximum size of coarse aggregate in the concrete and a length as close to twice the diameter as possible. Fly ash particles retained on a 45 µm sieve after concrete and mold immediately prior to testing to deter- washing. cores should be about 280 mm (11 in. For horizontal surfaces. Cores and cylinders with a height of less than 95% of the diameter before or after capping should not be tested. (69781) 285 .) is suggested where a length to diameter (L/D) ratio greater than one is possible. slabs. Use of a minimum core diameter of 95 mm (3. This method is par- ticularly applicable in cold-weather concreting.75 in. 16-13).

the load applied to the cylinder may be Fig. by up to 25%. the meter (electromagnetic device) or a surveyor’s magnetic specimen is then tested in accordance with ASTM C 39 locator can be used to locate reinforcing steel. from draining into the retainer and below the pad. test (ASTM C 78 or AASHTO T 97). In addition. when obtaining compression test specimens. Flexure test specimens that are saw-cut from in-place Short shear fractures can also be reduced by: dusting concrete are always immersed in lime-saturated water at the pad and end of cylinder with corn starch or talcum 23. ASTM C 1231. ASTM C accordance with (1) ASTM C 39 (AASHTO T 22) for 617 (AASHTO T 231) outlines methods for using sulfur compressive strength. might reduce test results. indentations. and (4) ASTM C 496 (AASHTO T 198) for splitting quick results are needed. Cores taken (AASHTO T 22) with the added step to stop the test at 10% from structures should be tested in a moisture condition of the anticipated load to check that the axis of the cylinder as near as that of the in-place concrete as possible. Sulfur mortar caps should be tensile strength. For both pavement thickness design and pavement ASTM C 1231 describes the use of unbonded neoprene mixture proportioning. inder. 16-14 shows the effects of core conditioning on concentrated on one side of the specimen.) deep and slightly smaller than the diameter of the are determined before construction starts. 16-15) should be done in can be used to cap compressive test specimens. or capped with a sulfur mortar compound in tioning prior to testing. the cylinder can be saw-cut. yielding results lower than for seven days prior to testing.) thick neoprene pad that is approximately rupture by center-point loading (ASTM C 293 or AASHTO the diameter of the specimen. 16-14. 286 . This method of capping uses a disk-shaped 13 ± 2. Effect of core conditioning on strength of drilled Fig. This type of fracture usually indicates significantly lower test results than air-drying specimens the cylinder failed prematurely. MPa Strength. 69684). Fig. For compression testing. If perpendicularity requirements are not met. pad.5°F ± 3. A cap is placed on one or both ends of the cylinder. depending upon the time and type of condi- ground. Burg and Gaynor 2000). psi 4400 30 3900 25 3400 2900 20 Soak Soak Air dry In bags In bags 48 hr 7 days 7 day 1 day 7 day Fig.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 5900 40 Video 5400 35 4900 Strength. modulus of mm (1⁄2 ± 1⁄16-in. (3) ASTM C 293 two hours before the specimens are tested. Various commercially available materials Testing of specimens (Fig. Caps must be allowed to harden at least flexural strength using third-point loading. (2) ASTM C 78 (AASHTO T 97) for mortar capping. 16-16 shows the correlation between made as thin as is practical to avoid a cap failure that compressive strength and flexural strength test results. is vertical within a tolerance of 0. This can cause a the strength of drilled core samples. Testing hardened concrete specimens: (left) cyl- cores (Fiorato. preventing excess water from cylinders or burlap diately prior to testing. If either the perpendic- Conditioning options for preparing specimens are ularity of the cylinder end. the modulus of rupture (flexural caps that are not adhered or bonded to the ends of the spec.5°. and Test results are greatly influenced by the condition of checking bearing surfaces of retainers for planeness and the ends of cylinders and cores.0°C (73. T 177) or cantilever loading can be used for job control if drical steel retainer with a cavity approximately 25 mm empirical relationships to third-point loading test results (1 in.5°F) for at least 40 hours imme- powder. Unbonded (AASHTO T 177) for flexural strength using center-point neoprene caps can be used to test molded cylinders if loading. strength) should be determined by the third-point loading imen. annually clean and lubricate the specimens should be ground or capped in accordance spherically seated block and adjacent socket on the with the requirements of ASTM C 617 (AASHTO T 231) or compression machine. However. 16-15.0°C ± 2. accordance with ASTM C 617 (AASHTO T 231). The pad is placed in a cylin. Forty-eight hour short shear fracture in which the failure plane intersects the water immersion of the specimens prior to testing yields end of the cylinder. loading are not met. (right) beam (44178. Measured strengths varied the actual strength of the concrete. or the vertical alignment during described in ASTM C 42 (AASHTO T 24) and ACI 318. A cover.

) nominal ders are damaged or do not meet the required compres- Ages from 1 day to 5 years 100 sive strength. strength of three cores is at least 85% of ˘. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Square root of compressive strength. taken in the portion of the structure where the laboratory- ural tests are especially vulnerable to moisture gradient cured cylinders did not meet acceptance criteria. a laboratory-determined empirical rela. MPa Protection and curing procedures should also be eval- uated to judge if they are adequate when field-cured cylin- Fig. condition similar to lab-cured cylinders. Hold cylinders are commonly used to Standard moist-cured cylinders. Using a polished section of a concrete compression tests of cylinders to monitor concrete quality sample. A saturated specimen will show lower compressive conditioning of cores prior to compression testing should strength and higher flexural strength than those for follow the guidelines in ASTM C 42 (AASHTO T 24) or companion specimens tested dry. Beams for flex. 16-16) must be developed between the com. If C 511 (AASHTO T 23 and M 201) to accurately represent the results of properly made core tests are so low as to the quality of the concrete. Long-term data show that compressive strength ders have a strength of less than 85% of that of companion is proportional to the square root of flexural strength (measured by third-point loading) over a wide range of laboratory-cured cylinders. performed on premolded specimens or samples removed most state departments of transportation are now utilizing from the structure. the concrete in the area repre- strength must be cured in accordance with ASTM C 31 and sented by the cores is considered structurally adequate. The 7-day cylinders monitor early 2 300 strength gain. The test is also used to determine the pressive and flexural strength of the concrete used effect different admixtures and methods of placement and (Kosmatka 1985a). MPa 5 Modulus of rupture. The test can be and the economics of testing cylinders instead of beams. however. 16-15). waived if the field-cured strength exceeds ˘ by more than 3. However. ened concrete can be determined by ASTM C 457. and the number of voids per 287 . If the average from the moist-curing room or water storage tank. load tests as outlined in workmanship. To avoid The air-content and air-void-system parameters of hard- the extreme care needed in field flexural-strength testing.5 MPa (500 psi) below the specified 800 strength. cylinders are handled in very different ways. Air Content The amount of variation in compressive-strength testing is far less than for flexural-strength testing. provide additional information in case the 28-day cylin- 200 1 150 x 300 mm (6 x 12 in. Refer to either a dry or moist condition. the in-place concrete strength should The moisture content of the specimen has considerable be determined by testing three cores for each strength test effect on the resulting strength (Fig. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Square root of compressive strength. psi 700 criteria. Moisture effects.5 MPa (500 psi). When necessary. variable environmental site conditions. If the results of the cylinder tests do not meet this Modulus of rupture. This is important to ACI 318. 16-16. the air-void system is documented by making for their pavement and bridge projects. Because of this empirical relationship consolidation have on the air-void system. For low 28-day test results. The ACI 318 obtained from this test includes the volume of entrained building code states that the compressive strength of and entrapped air. its specific surface (surface area of the concrete can be considered satisfactory if the following air voids). but rarely in a saturated Chapter 9 and NRMCA (1979). air-void system is adequate to resist damage from a freeze- tionship (Fig. The 85% requirement may be strength levels (Wood 1992). The information Evaluation of Compression Test Results. Nondestructive test methods are not a substitute for ice are compared with molded specimens tested as taken core tests (ASTM C 42 or AASHTO T 24). the spacing factor. The compressive-strength tests can be used to monitor concrete hardened air-content test is performed to assure that the quality. and variable conditioning after extraction. measurements using a microscope. psi conditions are met: the averages of all sets of three consecu- 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1000 tive strength tests equal or exceed the specified 28-day strength ˘ and no individual strength test (average of two 6 900 cylinders) is more than 3. ACI Committee 214 (1997). Because cores and and ACI Committee 318 (1999). Cores are tested in Chapter 20 of ACI 318 may be performed. and if no single Cylinders used for acceptance testing for a specified core is less than 75% of ˘. 4 In addition to the two 28-day cylinders. job specifica- 500 3 tions often require one or two 7-day cylinders and one or 400 more “hold” cylinders. consider when cores taken from hardened concrete in serv. the hold cylin- 0 0 ders are typically tested at 56 days in age. thaw environment. cores are subject to leave structural integrity in doubt. the strength of the in-place concrete should be eval- 600 uated by drilled cores. they cannot be expected to yield the same results.

kg (lb) lineal distance (Fig. ** To convert from m/s to Darcy. Permeability and Absorption of Concretes Moist Cured 7 Days and Tested After 90 Days. See Chapter 8 “Air-Entrained Concrete. kg (lb)  is the density of water. 1000 kg/m3 (62. (lb/yd3) w/cm MPa (psi) coulombs % Cl m/s** m/s** %† % % boiling.0 3. Adapted from Whiting (1988). † Measured with helium porosimetrie.5 6. oz/cwt) WR (Mix 3).90 (413) (4120) * Admixtures: 59.085 8.4 6 0.29* 852 0.013 — 2.50 4315 0.23 x 10 -12 1. especially strength tests.4 kg/m3 (100 lb/yd3) silica fume and 25.1 1 0. 13.37 5.7 12. Absorption. multiply by 1.4 fl.0 13.oz/cwt) HRWR (Mix 1).7 2 0. RCPT.2 4.45 x 10 -9 13. strength at 90 days Por.61 x 10 -13 1. The density can be obtained by multiplying the relative density (specific gravity) by the density of water (1000 kg/m3 or 62. M1 − M2 scope. absorption.4 lb/ft3) Density.32 x 10 -12 1. (67840) where DSSD is density in the SSD condition M1 is the SSD mass in air.0 5 0. surface-dry density (SSD) is often required for specimens to be used in other tests.45 x 10 -9 12. multiply by 1. from m/s to m2.5 5.4 ml/kg of cement (30 fl.81 x 10 -10 7.02 x 10 -7. Air.75 5915 0. mersion Mix kg/m3 90 days.2 ml/kg (3. It (ASTM C 1040 or AASHTO T 271).19 (642) (6690) 327 38. ponding.2 4 0. Permeability Absorption Compressive Vol.022 — 3.4 lb/ft3). of Absorption after im- Cement.3 5. 16-17).60 4526 0. 288 .0 ml/kg (20 fl.oz/cwt) HRWR (Mix 2). 16-17.49 (500) (5660) 245 28.5 12.3 12.2 2.8 8. permeable after im. Water. Table 16-2.1 3 0. and No.16 x 10 -9 11. % ASTM ASTM C 39 C 1202 (AASHTO (AASHTO AASHTO API API ASTM ASTM ASTM T 22) T 277) T 259 RP 27 RP 27 C 642 C 642 C 642 445 104. View of concrete air-void system under a micro. M2 is the apparent mass immersed in water.56 (750) (15100) 445 76.076 1.26* 65 0.13 3.45 5. the density can be determined by soaking the specimen in water for 48 hours and then determining its weight in air (when SSD) and immersed in water.077 2.7 5. Relative Density (Specific Gravity). freshly mixed density of concrete.19 x 10 -10 8.65 x 10 -9 12. voids.03 x 105.058 2. relative density (specific gravity).94 x 10 -12 1.27 (750) (11130) 381 46.43 2. In this case. Saturated.56 (550) (5540) 297 39. and Voids The SSD density provides a close indication of the The density.96 5.40* 3242 0. 2.81 5. osity. mersion. The SSD density is then calculated as follows: M1  DSSD = Fig.” for more information. The density of hard- and voids content of hardened concrete can be determined ened concrete can also be determined by nuclear methods in accordance with ASTM C 642 procedures (Table 16-2).Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 should be noted that the boiling procedure in ASTM C 642 can render the specimens useless for certain additional tests.

alkali-aggre- The presence of supplementary cementitious materials gate reactivity. These rapid meth- rosion. the cement concrete. would be reflected in the test results.1 is also a Soxhlet procedure that tests ods for detecting the presence of ASR gel are useful but chunks of concrete for water-extractable chloride. this test is con- dance with procedures outlined in ASTM C 1218. Using this method. however. and several other aspects. face is viewed under ultraviolet light. or deterioration. a standard petrographic analysis is sometimes accompanied by “wet” chemical analyses. it theoretically freeze-thaw action. Neither of the rapid meaning of results from the Soxhlet procedures is still procedures is a viable substitute for petrographic examina- being debated. water-cement ratio. the solution is rinsed off and the treated sur- Mivelaz. ble chloride-ion content of hardened reinforced concrete and other pozzolans. one minute. silica fume. John. The true their limitations must be understood. A sample of thermal analysis. bleeding characteristics. Aggregate formance and structural safety of concrete elements can be content can also be determined by these tests. damine B are used to condition the specimen and produce extractable chloride (Soxhlet method). such as fly ash. and Organic Admixture Content However. sidered ancillary to more definitive petrographic examin- ations and other tests. The presence and possibly the amount of applied to a broken or roughened concrete surface that has an organic admixture (such as a water reducer) can be been dampened with distilled or deionized water. ASTM C 856 includes a prescreening are given in ACI 318. solutions of sodium cobaltinitrite and rho- a standard for the analysis of aggregate for water. that several materials not related to ASR in concrete can Chloride Content fluoresce and interfere with an accurate indication of ASR Concern with chloride-induced corrosion of reinforcing gel. opal. Almost any kind of concrete failure can be ana- Supplementary Cementitious Material lyzed by petrography (St. mechanisms have caused the damage. and the causes of inferior per- content tests are valuable in determining the cause of lack formance. ASTM PS 118 (to be redesignated as ASTM C 1500) is tion. It is used when a dark pink stain that corresponds to calcium-rich ASR gel. effect of admixture. scanning electron cementitious materials. degree of hydration and carbonation. In addi. Although not frequently performed. a uranyl-acetate solution is material present. or mortars when tested by either dence of ASR gel without causing damage to concrete. popouts. Poole. However. facilitated. Instead. aggregate. scaling. can be determined microscopy with attendant elemental analysis. differential by petrographic techniques (ASTM C 856). chloride contents have been found to be significantly high It should be noted that these methods can produce evi- in aggregates. and reactions from fly ash. the toxicity and tion. for the effects of these materials. extract chloride-ions from the fine and coarse aggregates The Los Alamos method is a staining technique that that generally do not contribute to corrosion of reinforcing does not require ultraviolet light or uranyl-acetate solu- steel. distress. 289 . Some of the items that can be reviewed by a the user of these test methods should be aware of certain petrographic examination include paste. ACI 222. and Sims 1998). rock ingredients. Limits on the water-solu. Estimating future per- of strength gain or poor durability of concrete. fly admixtures and aggregate types that can alter test results. frost and sulfate attack. and air content. After determined by infrared spectrophotometry (Hime. However. concrete quality. Caution regarding potential eye damage Many of the above tests for chloride-ion content also from ultraviolet light also merits attention. The Annex to ASTM C 856 (AASHTO T 299) describes crete is usually necessary as a reference to determine the a technique for field and laboratory detection of alkali- type and amount of the supplementary cementitious silica gel. Materials that fluoresce like gel include: naturally flu- steel has led to the need to monitor and limit the chloride orescent minerals. ASR ASTM C 1152 or C 1218. X-ray diffractometry. The water-soluble chloride-ion procedure that gives a visual impression to compensate content of hardened concrete can be determined in accor. the supplementary cementitious material used in the con. ASTM C 1152 can be used to determine the radioactivity of uranyl acetate warrants special handling acid-soluble chloride content of concrete which in most and disposal procedures regarding the solution and cases is equivalent to total chloride. treated concrete. It must be recognized. carbonated paste. In addition. Areas of gel fluo- resce bright yellow-green. fire damage. and Connolly 1966). and other deterioration measures more closely the chloride-ions available for cor. concretes. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Portland Cement Content Petrographic Analysis The portland cement content of hardened concrete can be Petrographic analysis uses microscopic techniques determined by ASTM C 1084 (AASHTO T 178) standard described in ASTM C 856 to determine the constituents of methods. Because ASTM PS 118 does not gel can be present when other mechanisms such as pulverize the aggregates as other tests do. tion coupled with proper field inspection (Powers 1999). sulfate attack. ash. and other analytical tools. and some other content of reinforced concrete. infrared spec- The presence and amount of certain supplementary troscopy.

68 x 0. such as fly ash and slag. and ASTM C 1263 Frost Resistance. In mortar bar test (for moderate to highly reactive aggre- addition to tests for air content and chloride content gate). Concrete mixtures that (Touma. are is usually determined in accordance with ASTM C 666 often used to control alkali-silica reaction.10 1. materials can be evaluated by using a saturated mortar bar Corrosion Resistance. The freeze-thaw resistance of concrete concrete prism test. (underwater test). Concrete that will be exposed to used on the job. and aggregates to determine their effect on frost and ASTM C 586 rock cylinder. 290 . dry concrete prism test for sulfate attack can be used. or C 1293 to determine their or more cycles of freezing and thawing. Volume change is also of 3 concern when a new ingredient is added to concrete to make sure there are no significant adverse effects. The test can be modified to include place corrosion.00 concrete before hardening can be performed using ASTM Mass loss (kg/m2) C 827. The corrosion resistance of rein- test. as is done in Canada (Fig. supplementary cementitious mate. of aggregates can be evaluated by using ASTM C 295. Fowler.31 r 2 = – 0. and ASTM C 1138 new test). are used. and forces other than those inten. and ball bearing of the sulfate exposure (ASTM is currently developing a methods). aggregate). dynamic modulus.S. Materials. Aggregate can be tested for it is placed. ASTM C 1012. Bureau of Reclamation 1975) can be used to test soil mined by using ASTM C 418 (sandblasting).06 + 4. Correlation between mass loss and visual rating for each specimen tested according to ASTM C 672 (Pinto of concrete in compression can be determined by methods and Hover 2001). This test is valuable in assessing the sul. concrete structures can be evaluated for alkali-carbonate Sulfate Resistance. A rapid 13-week version of ASTM C 1293 according to ASTM C 672 for deicer-scaling resistance. ASTM C 666 using ASTM C 856. Existing con- perform well in ASTM C 666 (AASHTO T 161) do not crete structures can be evaluated for alkali-silica reaction always perform well in ASTM C 672. forced concrete is rarely tested unless unusual materials fate resistance of concrete that will be continuously wet. Alkali-silica reaction is best con- Durability refers to the ability of concrete to resist deterio. here one would use ASTM C 1260 (modi- deicers as well as saturated freezing should be tested fied) or C 1293. ASTM C 295 (petrographic analysis). and ASTM C 1105.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 5 Volume and Length Change y = –1. Folliard. mass. ASTM C 441. Samples are monitored for changes in evaluated by tests such as ASTM C 227. An alternate to testing aggregate separately (AASHTO T 231) and ASTM C 682 are also available to for potential reactivity is to test the concrete mixture to be evaluate frost resistance.01 0. outlined in ASTM C 469 and dynamic values of these parameters can be determined by using ASTM C 215. Bureau of Reclamation’s wet- ASTM C 876. concrete will be used in a very severe environ- but it does not evaluate the more aggressive wet-dry ment. ASTM C ure the durability of concrete: 1260 (AASHTO T 303) rapid mortar bar. trolled at the design stage when selecting materials for use ration from the environment or from the service in which in a specific concrete mixture. (AASHTO T 161) and ASTM C 672 are often used to eval.00 10. ASTM C 617 effectiveness. dressing wheel. The sulfate resistance of concrete reaction using ASTM C 856. Alkali-Carbonate Reactivity. Durability Alkali-Silica Reactivity. or new materials such as is more rare than alkali-silica reactivity. many practitioners also measure mass loss. ASTM C 289 chemical method (for highly reactive described previously. Creep can be determined in accordance with ASTM C 512. or there is a need to evaluate the potential for in- cycling environment. ASTM C 944 (rotating cutter). ASTM C 779 and water for sulfate ion content to determine the severity (revolving disk. 16-18. ASTM D 516 (AASHTO T 290) or the Bureau’s method Abrasion Resistance. and volume over a period of 300 modified C 1260 (PCA 1998). Determination of early volume change of 0. Existing deicer resistance. 16-18). Corrosion activity can be evaluated using wet-dry cycling or the U. they should be (AASHTO T 161). Alkali-carbonate reactivity uate innovative mix designs. Potential reactivity chemical admixtures.86 4 Volume or length change limits are sometimes specified Visual rating for certain concrete applications.S. The static modulus of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio Fig. Abrasion resistance can be deter- (U. Properly designed concrete should endure potential alkali-silica reactivity by using the ASTM C 227 without significant distress throughout its service life. ASTM C 2 157 (AASHTO T 160) (water and air storage methods) 1 determines length change in concrete due to drying shrink- age. chemical reactivity. and Nelson 2001). the following tests are used to meas. is being developed by the University of Texas at Austin Although ASTM C 672 requires that only surface scaling through the International Center for Aggregate Research be monitored. 0 tionally applied. rials.

The phenolphthalein indicator through two probes placed in contact with the concrete. The plastic sheet test is unre.5. in Hedenblad (1997). In addition. when observed against hardened paste changes color at a Electrical impedance uses an electronic signal that is influ. The difference between the two masses divided by the dry mass. The emission rate is expressed as kilograms (pounds) of moisture emitted from 93 m2 (1000 ft2) in 24 hours. testing the pH of concrete (carbonation reduces pH). The moisture vapor emission rate (ASTM F 1869) is the most commonly used test in the United States for measuring the readiness of concrete for application of floor coverings. Acceptable relative avoid spalling when exposed to temperatures above the humidity limits for the installation of floor coverings range boiling point of water. (Fig. spraying phenolphthalein solution on a freshly broken con- Relative humidity tests are used in several countries crete surface. Experience and skill are needed to judge the trustworthiness of the devices and the test results produced by them. is the moisture content in percent. Qualitative tests may thickness of structure. 16-19). The depth of carbonation is determined by PCA (2000) for more information. a 1-m2 (9-ft2) sheet of floor cov. the hydrogen atoms in water. and Farny (2001). The readings at 24 hours intervals are within the precision of moisture content of concrete should be low enough to the instrument (typically ± 3% RH). Hedenblad (1998). Nuclear moisture concrete without admixtures is usually greater than 12. The force needed to remove the fractured or freshly cut surface of concrete. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete Moisture Testing crete slabs. areas turn red or purple while carbonated areas remain Electrical resistance is measured using a moisture meter colorless. Steinour (1964). see “pH Testing Methods” below. The pH of good quality noncarbonated enced by the moisture in the concrete. water vapor emission rate. Upon ering is glued to the floor with the edges taped to the application of the phenolphthalein solution to a freshly concrete for 72 hours. and relative humidity probe tests. months of air-drying to achieve the desired relative tive. moisture vapor emission rate. The plastic sheet test (ASTM petrographic techniques (ASTM C 856) through the obser- D 4263) uses a square sheet of clear plastic film that is vation of calcium carbonate—the primary chemical prod- taped to the slab surface and left for 24 hours to see if uct of carbonation. pH of 9. mat Carbonation bond. place it in a moisture proof container. a phenolphthalein color moisture develops under it. The affect of these encoun. After obtaining the specimen’s initial mass. measure the amount of moisture. temperature and curing conditions can be found and the floor is not ready for floor-covering materials. sealed under an insulated. and Kosmatka (1991). impermeable box to trap mois- and relative humidity of hardened concrete are useful ture in an air pocket above the floor. Qualitative tests provide an indication of the pres. Two British standards. A method for estimating drying time to reach a ence or absence of moisture while quantitative tests specified relative humidity based on water-cement ratio. gauges contain high-speed neutrons that are slowed by For more information. It can require several into two general categories: either qualitative or quantita. Noncarbonated areas turn red or purple. number of exposed sides. bonated areas stay colorless. 16-19. (69804) 291 . and The depth or degree of carbonation can be determined by nuclear moisture gauge tests. In the mat bond test. dry the specimen in an oven at about 105°C (220°F) for 24 hours or until con- stant mass is achieved. ters is a measure of the moisture content of the concrete. and transport it to a laboratory for testing. The most direct method for deter- mining moisture content is to dry cut a specimen from the concrete element in question. Moisture related test methods fall from a maximum of 60% to 90%. Quantitative tests are performed to assure that the floor is dry enough for these materials. times 100. electrical resistance. car- outside the United States for measuring moisture in con. noncarbonated flooring is an indication of the slab moisture condition. Qualitative moisture tests include: plastic sheet. Sturm. their value is quite limited. BS 5325: 1996 and BS 8203: 1996 use a hygrometer or relative humidity probe The in-place moisture content. relative give a strong indication that excessive moisture is present humidity. and Campbell. See Kosmatka (1985).5. The probe is allowed indicators in determining if concrete is dry enough for to equilibrate for at least 72 hours or until two consecutive application of floor-covering materials and coatings. and see Verbeck (1958).0 to 9. test can be used to estimate the depth of carbonation by liable. and Fig. Although the last three tests each yield a numeric test result. Quantitative test methods include: gravimetric mois- ture content. electrical impedance. humidity.

) long mark after • Determination of in-place concrete strength which 2 to 3 drops of distilled water are placed on the • Monitoring rate of concrete strength gain mark. such as voids or honey- standard color chart to judge the pH of the concrete. also called the Coulomb or electrical resistance test. A second method uses a pH “pencil. adequate Permeability and reliable correlation data with standard 28-day com- pressive strength data is usually necessary to evaluate the Both direct and indirect methods of determining perme. the color is compared to a • Location of nonhomogeneity. Malhotra 1984. penetration. Nondestructive Test Methods Nondestructive tests (NDT) can be used to evaluate the relative strength and other properties of hardened con- crete. Care should be taken to consider chloride content of the concrete at particular depths the influence that varying sizes and locations of structural (AASHTO T 259). • Determination of relative strength of comparable cator on a freshly fractured surface of the concrete or a core members obtained from the concrete. in-place compressive strengths using drilled cores from abilities. simple means of checking concrete ability data can be obtained by using the Army Corp of uniformity. Table 16-2 shows typical concrete perme. gamma radi- ography. In addition. these can then be used to survey larger on a concrete surface and. The first uses litmus paper sion test. are used. It measures the rebound of a spring-loaded Engineers CRC C 163-92 test method for water perme- ability of concrete using a triaxial cell. correlation to ability are used. See PCA (2000) for more information. the third method uses a wide-range liquid pH indi. accuracy of the NDT method. (RCPT) (ASTM C 1202 and AASHTO T 277). • Member dimensions Irrespective of the type of NDT test used. 16-20. Other techniques for testing the strength and other prop- erties of hardened concrete include X-rays. ASTM is in the process of developing a standard method for hydraulic permeability of concrete. microwave absorption. and acoustic emissions. see American Petroleum Institute (1956). After waiting 20 seconds. drops of distilled water on the concrete. Various absorption methods. compare purposes regarding the strength or condition of hardened it to the standard pH color scale supplied with the indi. onds and immerse an indicator strip (litmus paper) in the An NDT program may be undertaken for a variety of water for 2 to 3 seconds. Whiting (1981). and Whiting (1988). NRMCA 1979. Direct water perme. 16-20) is essentially a surface-hardness tester that including ASTM C 642. can be determined by ponding chloride solution NDT test results. is often specified Rebound Hammer Tests. for one or two locations can provide guidance in interpreting example. The Schmidt rebound hammer for concrete bridge decks.” The pencil is used to make a 25 mm (1 in. The rebound hammer gives an indication of the compressive strength of concrete. the • Evaluation of concrete cracking and delaminations resulting color is compared to a color chart to determine • Evaluation of damage from mechanical or chemical the pH of the concrete. After several minutes. All the above test methods have limitations. 292 . pullout. for example. Fig. A test method rec- ommended by the American Petroleum Institute for determining the permeability of rock is also available. provides a quick. Malhotra and Carino 1991). determining the portions of the structure. (69782) electricity. For more information. wait 60 ± 5 sec. Pfeifer and Scali (1981). concrete. neutron moisture gages. The most widely used are the rebound hammer. combing in concrete Finally. empirical correlations must be designed for the alkaline range of pH readings. Resistance to chloride-ion penetration. and corrosion activity concrete surface. (Fig. magnetic cover meters. including: cator strips. Place a few developed prior to use (Malhotra 1976. size. Clifton 1985. This method is also effective for forces measuring the depth of carbonation present on the • Steel reinforcement location. and dynamic or vibration tests. After removing the strip. The rapid chloride permeability test elements can have on the NDT test being used. Tyler and Erlin (1961). at a later age.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 pH Testing Methods Each method has limitations and caution should be exer- cised against acceptance of nondestructive test results as There are three practical methods for measuring the pH of having a constant correlation to the traditional compres- hardened concrete in the field.

16-23). The estimated strength depends on Both the rebound hammer and the probe damage the properly determining the strength-maturity function for a concrete surface to some extent. The equipment consists of a is measured and relative com- pressive strength of the powder-actuated gun that drives a hardened alloy probe concrete then determined from into the concrete (Fig. Concrete: saturated surface dry 5000 Pullout Tests. The tempera- ture in relation to time data is correlated to compression tests performed on cylindrical specimens to generate a temperature-time versus strength curve that is used to 40 Horizontal position estimate in-place concrete strength. The results of a Schmidt rebound hammer test (ASTM C 805) are affected by surface smoothness. shape. Therefore. MPa Limestone aggregate 30 casting the enlarged end of a steel rod in the concrete to be Compressive strength. usually from cores generates a maturity index that is based on temperature or cast specimens. Similar to pullout tests. drives hardened alloy probe like the rebound hammer. psi 4000 tested and then measuring the force required to pull it out (Fig. ASTM C 1074 concrete to be tested should be made. The rebound hammer particular concrete mixture. The device uses thermocou- leaves a small indentation on the surface. a calibration table or curve for the particular gain is a function of time and temperature. Two dif- ferent concrete mixtures having the same strength but different stiffnesses will yield different readings. to improve Maturity Tests. A break-off number is generated and assessed in relation to Fig. 16-21. This in turn is correlated with the compres- sive strength. age and moisture condition of the concrete. The results of the Windsor-probe test will be influ- enced by surface smoothness of the concrete and the type and hardness of aggregate used. then this instrument can technique for determining the be useful for determining the relative compressive relative compressive strength strength and uniformity of concrete in the structure. The Windsor-probe ison with cores or cast specimens. In view of this. and rigidity of the specimen. the probe leaves ples or thermistors placed in the concrete and connected a small hole and may cause minor cracking and small to strip-chart recorders or digital data-loggers that record craters similar to popouts. (top) Powder-actuated gun Penetration Tests. 16-22). thus a measurement of the in-place 2000 compressive strength is made. The maturity principle is that strength accuracy. of concrete. The rebound number reading gives an indication of the com- pressive strength and stiffness of the concrete. The Windsor probe (ASTM C 803). and time factors. size. and degree of carbona- tion of the concrete surface. 10 1000 Break-Off Tests. (69783) that provides a quick means of determining the relative (left) Exposed length of probe strength of the concrete. Example of a calibration chart for an impact the strength of the concrete. Chapter 16 ◆ Control Tests for Concrete plunger after it has struck a smooth concrete surface. is basically a hardness tester into concrete. type of coarse aggregate. the (rebound) test hammer. A pullout test (ASTM C 900) involves Compressive strength. The test measures the direct shear strength of 20 3000 the concrete. relationship between break-off test numbers and compres- 293 . and the hammer is calibrated for the partic- ular materials used in the concrete (Fig. 16-21) by compar- Fig. 16-22. (69784) probe is measured and related by a calibration table to the compressive strength of the concrete. The exposed length of the a calibration table. an understanding of the factors influencing the accuracy of the test is required. The break-off test (ASTM C 1150) deter- mines the in-place strength of the concrete by breaking off 0 0 an in situ cylindrical concrete specimen at a failure plane 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Rebound reading parallel to the finished surface of the concrete element. When these limitations are recognized. concrete temperature as a function of time.

A dynamic or vibration Carino (1991). sonic-echo and spectral analysis of surface waves. speeds and the thickness of concrete elements such as Note that corrosion of reinforcing bars in the area of slabs. horizontal surfaces that have a relatively rough texture. and record discontinuities within solids. like the pachometer or covermeter. either a ringing or hollow sound. These areas are identified by striking the locate. measuring the thickness of concrete members. and perhaps honeycombing in structural concrete units. Other Table 16-3 lists several nondestructive test methods stress-wave methods not yet mentioned include: ultra. sion tests must also be developed prior to obtaining final Infrared thermographic techniques are used to detect test results. pavements. also used to identify delaminated concrete (ASTM D mental transverse. Hammer soundings can be used on either vertical or hor- Resonant frequency methods employ low-frequency izontal surfaces. but also boundary identified as delaminated. along with main applications. Dragging either a single ticity. poisson ratio. ASTM 294 . and torsional frequencies 4580). The advantage delaminated concrete will probably extend beyond the of the test is that its not only nondestructive. acoustic impact methods also employ simple (2) recording the travel time of short pulses of vibrations hammer and chain drag soundings that are low-cost accu- through a sample. The use of X-rays for testing concrete prop- erties is limited due to the costly and dangerous high- voltage equipment required as well as radiation hazards. Electrical-resistivity equipment is being developed to estimate the thickness of concrete pavement slabs. In addition. Approximately one meter (3 ft) of chain is in contact of concrete specimens can also be determined by ASTM C with the concrete during chain drag soundings. highway pavements. Resonant surface of the concrete with a hammer while listening for frequency is a function of the dynamic modulus of elas. Gamma-radiography equipment can be used in the field to determine the location of reinforcement. or Finally. 16-23. concrete and low velocities are indicative of poor concrete. are available to measure the depth of reinforcement in concrete and to detect the position of rebars. density. Chain drag soundings are usually limited to AASHTO T 161). in small areas. Stress wave propagation methods using impact-echo Smooth concrete may not bounce the chain links enough tests are employed in ASTM C 1383 to measure P-wave to generate adequate sound to detect delaminated areas. both large and small. (44217) and other types of defects in overlaid reinforced concrete decks. ACI Committee 228 (1998) presents addi- (ultrasonic pulse velocity) test (ASTM C 597) is based on the tional information on these and other nondestructive principle that velocity of sound in a solid can be measured test methods. Acoustic-emission techniques show promise for studying load levels in structures and for locating the origin of cracking. longitudinal. or for larger areas. see ACI Committee 228 (1995). The 215.Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures ◆ EB001 C 1040 (AASHTO T 271) procedures use gamma radiation to determine the density of unhardened and hardened concrete in place. Ground-penetrating (short-pulse) radar is a rapid Fig. For more information. garage in-place concrete strengths. internal voids. Pullout test equipment being used to measure technique for nondestructive detection of delaminations the in-place strength of concrete. decks. bridge decks and walls. and show. a T-bar with or element. High velocities are indicative of good rate tests used to identify delaminated areas of concrete. buildings and other structural elements exposed to direct sunlight. and locating reinforcement. funda. access is only required to one side of the structure. The presence and orientation of surface and without wheels having four or more chains attached are internal cracking can be determined. density. and geometry of the structural chain. It also shows potential for monitoring strength development in concrete. delaminations. a method frequently used in laboratory durability sound emitted indicates whether the concrete is delami- tests such as freezing and thawing (ASTM C 666 or nated or not. but are usually limited to small areas of vibration to impart mechanical energy used to detect. by (1) determining the resonant frequency of a specimen. Battery-operated magnetic detection devices. see Malhotra and Dynamic or Vibration Tests. delamina- For more information on test methods used to estimate tions and cracks in bridges. Other Tests. A microwave-absorption method has been developed to determine the moisture content of porous building materials such as concrete.

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