The process of
selecting suitable ingredients of concrete
and determining their relative amounts
with the objective of producing a concrete of the
required, strength, durability, and workability
as economically as possible
“is termed the concrete mix design.”

A nominal mix concrete is a prescribed concrete
It means the proportions of the ingredients are specified by the
engineer usually without testing the materials
A 1:2:4 mix concrete means a concrete consisting of 1 part
cement. 2 parts fine aggregate and 4 parts coarse aggregate by
The water cement ratio may or may not be specified
There is no guarantee that a nominal mix will give a desired

The nominal mixes of fixed cement-aggregate ratio (by volume)
vary widely in strength and may result in under- or over-rich mixes.
For this reason, the minimum compressive strength has been
included in many specifications. These mixes are termed standard
M10, M15, M20, M25, M30, M35 and M40. In this designation the
letter M refers to the mix and the number to the specified 28 day
cube strength of mix in N/mm2. The mixes of grades M10, M15,
M20 and M25 correspond approximately to the mix proportions
(1:3:6), (1:2:4), (1:1.5:3) and (1:1:2) respectively.

VARIABLES IN PROPORTIONING Water-Cement ratio Cement content or cement-aggregate Gradation of the aggregates consistency ratio .

. the results are found so follow a bell shaped curve known as "Normal Distribution Curve". The basis of acceptance of a sample is that a reasonable control of concrete work can be provided. by ensuring that the probability of test result falling below the design strength is not more than a specified tolerance level. If a number of cube test results are plotted on histogram.PROBABILISTIC CONCEPT IN MIX DESIGN APPROACH : It will be very costly to have very rigid criteria to reject the structure on the basis of a single or a few standard samples.

तस्ववीर Go back .


STEP 1: FIND THE TARGET MEAN STRENGTH FROM THE SPECIFIED CHARACTERISTIC STRENGTH =   + ks Where = the target mean strength And = the specified characteristic strength K= risk factor S = standard deviation k for 10% defectives = 1.5% defectives = 1.28 k for 5% defectives = 1.64 (recommended ) k for 2.96 k for 1% defectives = 2.33 Go back .

and hence formula becomes = + 1.64s figure1 relates to a concrete having a specified characteristic strength of 30 N /m m 2 and a standard deviation o f 6.EXAMPLE  For the 5 % defectives k = 1.64.1 N /m m 2.1) = 30 + 10 = 40 N /m m 2 as shown Go back .64 x 6. Hence: Target mean strength = 30 + (1.

STEP 2: CALCULATE THE WATER CEMENT RATIO Table 1 gives the approximate compressive strength of concretes made with a free w/c ratio of 0. table 1 Go back .50.

Using this curve we read the water cement ratio as against target mean strength.50. > Through this intersection point.A.CONTINUE… > Using this table1 find out the 28 days strength for the approximate type of cement and types of C.(course aggregate ) > Mark a point on the “Y” axis in figure 2 equal to the compressive strength read form table 1 which is at a water cement ratio of 0. draw a parallel dotted curve nearest to the intersection point. Go back .

FI G U R E 2 Go back .

EXAMPLE As an example.50 is marked. with a free W/C ratio of 0. This Water/Cement ratio must be compared to the maximum W/C requirement for durability (refer Table D1 or Table D2. approximate compressive strength. referring to Table 1 for sulphate resisting cement. A parallel dotted curve is drawn to the neighboring curve. Water/Cement ratio is read off on this new dotted curve for any target mean strength. In figure2 intersection point of 49 MPa and W/C ratio of 0. depending upon whether it is RCC or plain concrete).5 at 28 days is 49 MPa. And lower of the two is taken Go back . crushed aggregate.

STEP 3 Go back Next decide water content for the required workability expressed in slump or vebe time . taking into consideration the size of the aggregate and its type from table 3. .

The calculated cement content must be less than the specified maximum cement content Go back .STEP 4: FIND THE CEMENT CONTENT KNOWING THE WATER/CEMENT RATIO AND WATER CONTENT.   Cement content = The cement content so calculated should be compared with the minimum cement content specified from the durability consideration (Table D1 )and higher of the two should be adopted. Sometime maximum cement content is also specified.

gr. the value of 2.7 for crushed aggregate can be assumed. is unknown. This can be found out from Figure 3 for approximate water content and specific gravity of aggregate.6 for uncrushed aggregate and 2.STEP 5: NEXT FIND OUT THE TOTAL AGGREGATE CONTENT This requires an estimate of the wet density of the fully compacted concrete. If sp. The aggregate content is obtained by Total aggregate content = wet density of concrete – the cement content – the free water content Go back .

FIGURE 3 Go back .

fine aggregate content = total aggregate content * proportion of fines And coarse aggregate content = total aggregate content – fine aggregate content Go back . and the grading of the fine aggregate (defined by its percentage passing a 600 μm sieve. the water/cement ratio. 4 are maximum size of coarse aggregate. Now.STEP 6: THEN. PROPORTION OF FINE AGGREGATE IS DETERMINED IN THE TOTAL AGGREGATE USING FIGURE4 The parameters involved in Fig. the level of workability(slump. vebe time).

Figure 4 Go back .

Figure 4 continued Go back .

Figure 4 continued Go back .

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EXAMPLE Example—DOE Method Design a concrete mix for a reinforced concrete work which will be exposed to the moderate condition. The concrete is to be designed for a mean compressive strength of 30MPa at the age of 28 days. Maximum size of aggregate is 20 mm uncrushed aggregate will be used.65(by DOE or British method) Go back . A requirement off 25 mm cover is prescribed. The bulk specific gravity of aggregate is found to be 2. Sieve analysis shows that 50% passes through 600 μ Sieve.

64s (Where s =5 N/mm² is standard deviation for good quality control and k = 1.Example 1 STEP 1 : TARGET STRENGTH  = + 1.64 ) छलफल Here = 30 Mpa (mean compressive strength ) Go back .

for W/C ratio of 0. The maximum W/C ratio permitted is 0.Example 1 STEP 2 WATER CONTENT Referring to Table1.) Adopt the lower of the two (adopt 0.5.  In Fig.5) Go back . From this curve read off the W/C ratio for a target mean strength of 30MPa. 28 days compressive strength is 42MPa. uncrushed aggregate. Draw a dotted line curve parallel to the neighboring curve.50.5 W/C ratio. for OPC. 2 find an intersection point for 42MPa and 0.62 (Check this W/C ratio from durability consideration from Table D1. The Water/cement ratio is = 0.

The water content is 195 kg/m3 Go back .Example 1 STEP 3 Decide the water content for slump of 75 mm (assumed) 20 mm uncrushed aggregate from Table 3.

Example 1 STEP4 With W/C of 0. the cement content is = 390 kg/m3 (Check this cement content with that of durability requirements given in TableD1) Minimum cement content from durability point of view is 350 kg/m3. Adopt greater of the two Therefore adopt cement content = 390 kg/m3 Go back .5 and water content of 195 kg/m3.

3. 2. for water content of 195 kg/m3 20 mm uncrushed aggregate ofsp.65 The wet density = 2400 kg/m3 Go back .Example 1 STEP5 Find out the density of fresh concrete from Fig.gr.

(195 +390) = 1815 kg/m3 Next.4. for 50% fines passing through 600 μ sieve. W/C ratio of 0. find the percentage of fine aggregate from Fig.Example 1 STEP6 find the weight of total aggregate 2400 .50. Slump of 75 mm. = 40 percent Go back . the percentage of FA. For 20 mm aggregate size.

= 1815-726 = 1089 kg/m3 Estimated quantities in kg/m3 : Cement = 390 FA. = 726 C.Example 1 CONT… Weight of F A.•. = 1815 x40/100 = 726 kg/m3 . Go back .A. = 1089 Water = 195 Wet density = 2400 The above quantities are required to be adjusted for the field moisture content and absorption characteristics of aggregates Lastly trial mixes are made to arrive at the correct quality of concrete. Weight of C.A.

IS METHOD OF MIX DESIGN : IS 456:2000 AND IS 10262:2009 * DATA FOR MIX PROPORTIONING The following data are required for mix proportioning of a particular grade of concrete: Grade designation. Maximum nominal size of aggregate. . Method of transporting and placing.5. Early age strength requirements. Maximum water-cement ratio. Type of aggregate. Go back Maximum cement content.2. Exposure conditions as per Table 4 and Table5 of IS 456. Type of cement. if required.3. Minimum cement content. Maximum temperature of concrete at the time of placing. and Whether an admixture shall or shall not be used and the type of admixture and the condition of use. Workability.

standard deviation should be worked out and the mix design is modified accordingly.Design steps STEP1: TARGET MEAN STRENGTH   + 1·65 s = Where = characteristic compressive strength at 28 days. As soon as enough test results become available. S = standard deviation The value of the standard deviation has to be worked out from the trials conducted. Go back . Where sufficient test results for a particular grade of concrete is not available the value of standard deviation can be adopted from Table 1 to facilitate initial mix design.


one such graph is shown The water cement ratio selected by whatever method should be checked against the limiting water Gocement backratio for durability as per table D1.STEP2 : SELECTION OF WATER CEMENT RATIO Water cement ratio may be fixed by experience or that of used in the neighboring project. We can use the generalized relationship established and given in text books. .

 For the desired workability (other than 25 to 50 mm slump range). Water reducing admixtures or superplasticizing admixtures usually decrease water content by 5 to 10 percent and 20 percent and above Go back respectively at appropriate dosages .STEP 3 : WATER CONTENT  The water content in Table 2 is for angular coarse aggregate and for 25 to 50 mm slump range. The water estimate in Table 2 can be reduced by approximately 10 kg for sub-angular aggregates. the required water content may be established by trial or an increase by about 3 percent for every additional 25 mm slump or alternatively by use of chemical admixtures conforming to IS 9103. 20 kg for gravel with some crushed particles and 25 kg for rounded gravel to produce same workability.

TABLE 2 Go back .

Go back .STEP 4 : CALCULATION OF CEMENTITIOUS MATERIAL CONTENT It can be determined from the free water cement ratio and quantity of water per unit volume of concrete The cementitious material so calculated should be checked for durability requirements (table D1 )greater of the two value is adopted.

5.05 the coarse aggregate volume may be increased by 1.05 the coarseGo aggregate volume may be back .STEP 5 : Approximate values for this aggregate volume are given in Table 3 for a water-cement ratio of 0. For every decrease of w\c ratio by 0. which may be suitably adjusted for other watercement ratios.0 percent to reduce the sand content and for every increase of w\c ratio by 0.

find out the absolute volume of all the so far known ingredients. all the ingredients have been estimated except the coarse and fine aggregate content.STEP 6 With the completion of step 5. Deduct the sum of all the known absolute volume from unit volume (1m3). We know the volume of coarse aggregate and hence volume of fine aggregate can be calculated. As a next step. Go back . the result will be the absolute volume of coarse and fine aggregates put together.

0 percent 0 Workability: 125 mm (slump) g) Exposure condition: Severe (for reinforced concrete) h) Method of concrete placing: Pumping j) Degree of supervision : Good k) Type of aggregate :Crushed angular aggregate o) Free (surface) moisture:  Coarse aggregate  Fine aggregate p) Grading of course aggregate conforming to table 2 of IS 383 q) Grading of fine aggregate GoIIback conforming to grading zone .2.80 2) Fine aggregate:2. 1) Coarse aggregate:2.5 percent e) Maximum water-cement ratio:0.45 2) Fine aggregate:1.70 n) Water absorption: d) Minimum cement content: 320 kg/m3 1) Coarse aggregate:0.ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLE ON CONCRETE MIX PROPORTIONING Design a concrete mix for M45 grade of concrete with following data a) Grade designation:M 45 b) Type of cement : OPC 43 grade conforming to IS 8112 c) Maximum nominal size of aggregate: 20 mm l) Superplasticizer will be used m) Specific gravity of.

Therefore. target strength = 45 + 1. standard deviation. s= 5 N/mm2. Go back .65S From Table 1. TARGET STRENGTH FOR MIX PROPORTIONING Example 2  = + 1.25 N/mm2.1.65 x 5 = 53.

Based on experience. 0. hence O.42.K. Go back .45.45. adopt water-cement ratio as 0.402< 0.Example 2 2. SELECTION OF WATERCEMENT RATIO From Table D1 of IS 456. maximum water-cement ratio = 0.

= 186+186*3%+186*3%+186*3%=203 liter) Superplasticizer is assumed to reduce water content of 25 percent .e. maximum water content =186 liter (for 25 to 50 mm slump range) for 20 mm aggregate Estimated water content for 120 mm slump = 186 + x 186* =203 liter (or simply increase 3% for every 25 mm slump over above 50mm slump .3. the arrived water content = 203*75% = 152 liter Go back . SELECTION OF WATER CONTENT Example 2   From Table 2. Hence.i.

K.STEP 4 : CALCULATION OF CEMENT CONTENT Example 2  Water-cement ratio = 0. O. hence.42 Water used = 152 liter Cement content = = 362 kg/m3 From Table D1 ( check for durability) minimum cement content for ‘severe’ exposure condition = 320 kg/m3 350 kg/m3 > 320 kg/m3. Go back .

the proportion of volume of coarse aggregate is increased by 0. volume of coarse aggregate = 0.9 = 0.0.62 In the present case water-cement ratio is 0.636 Since it is angular aggregate and the concrete is Pumpable . Therefore.57 = 0.572 say 0.08.Example 2 STEP 5 : CALCULATION OF COARSE AND FINE AGGREGATE CONTENT From Table 3.016= Go back .016 (at the rate of 0.01 for every decrease in water cement ratio of 0. As the water-cement ratio is lower by 0.636 x 0. corrected proportion of volume of coarse aggregate = 0. Therefore. Volume of fine aggregate content = 1 .50 = 0. these values should be reduced by 10 percent.05: increase in proportion =). volume of coarse aggregate corresponding to 20 mm size   aggregate and fine aggregate (Zone II) for water-cement ratio of 0.

STEP 6 : CALCULATION OF MIX PROPORTIONS Example 2   The mix calculations per unit volume of concrete shall be as follows: Volume of concrete = 1 Absolute volume of cement   Specific gravity = Density of cement = ? (mass of cement)/(specific gravity of cement)*1/1000 Volume of cement = 0.115 Volume of water = 152 liter = 0.1)*1/1000 =0.152 Volume of chemical admixture =(1.004 Go back .2*362)/(100*1.

Go back .Example 2 FINALLY  Mix proportions are: Cement 362 kg / Water 152 kg/ FA 846 kg/ CA 1163 kg/ Chemical admixture 4 kg/ Water/cement ratio 0.42 Site correction is also required.