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3 - CONCRETE

Concrete is a highly versatile construction material


Composition of Concrete
Concrete is composed mainly of three materials, namely, cement,
water and aggregate (“inert” mineral fillers), and an additional
material, known as an admixture, is sometimes added to modify
certain of its properties.
Concretes = Portland Cement + Sand +Aggregate

VOIDS 1 - 2 per cent


CEMENT PASTE (cement + water) 25 - 40 per cent
AGGREGATES (Course + Fine) 60 - 75 per cent.
Concrete Making Materials
Water
 Water fit for drinking is generally suitable for making concrete.
 Harmful substances if present in large amounts are: salt, oil,
industrial wastes, alkalis, sulphates, organic matter, silt, sewage
etc. Smell, sight or taste should reveal such impurities. Water of
doubtful quality should be submitted for laboratory analysis and
tests.
 Water used in concrete mixes has two functions,
a) the first is to react chemically with the cement, which will finally
set and harden, and
b) the second function is to lubricate all other materials and make
the concrete workable.
 The total amount of water required per unit volume of fresh
concrete depends on the following factors.
 The desired consistency of the concrete, which may be
expressed, as will be seen by the slump or ball penetration
test.
 The maximum size, particle shape and grading of the
aggregate.

 Water reducing or air entraining admixtures.

Water/Cement Ratio

 It is the relationship between the total free water and the cement.
For a given type of cement and aggregate, the strength and
porosity of the paste-structure are dependent almost entirely upon
the water-cement ratio.
Aggregate

 Though the term inert mineral fillers is often used to


describe aggregates, they are not truly inert. Their
physical, thermal and at times chemical properties
influence those of the concrete.
 In choosing aggregate for use in a particular concrete
attention should be given, among other things, to three
important requirements:

1. Workability when fresh for which the size and gradation


of the aggregate should be such that undue labor in mixing
and placing will not be required.
2 - Strength and durability when hardened - for which the
aggregate should:
a) Be stronger than the required concrete strength
b) Contain no impurities, which adversely affect strength
and durability.
c) Not undergo into undesirable reaction with the cement.

d) Be resistant to weathering action.


3 - Economy of the mixture - meaning to say that the aggregate
should be:
a) Available from local and easily accessible deposit or
quarry.
b) Well graded in order to minimize paste, hence cement
requirement.
Classification of Aggregates
Aggregates are generally classified based on their source, their
chemical composition, their weight, their size or the mode of
preparation
1- Size:
a) Fine aggregate: Aggregate smaller than (5 or 4.75
mm) in diameter is classified as fine aggregate or sand.
b) Coarse aggregate: Aggregate larger than (5 or
4.75mm) in diameter is classified as coarse aggregate.
2- Source:
a) Natural aggregate: The natural sands and gravels are the
product of weathering and the action of running water, while
the stone sands and crushed stones are reduced from natural
rock by crushing and screening of quarried material.
b) Artificial aggregate: are usually produced for some
special purposes, for example: burned expanded clay
aggregate for making lightweight concrete. Some artificial
aggregates are a by-product of industrial process such as blast
furnace slag.

3- Unit weight:
a) Normal weight aggregate:- It is usually the
natural aggregate for which the unit weight is between
(1500 to1800) kg/m3.
b) Lightweight aggregate:- It can be artificial or
natural. The artificial lightweight aggregates are produced
as both coarse and fine materials. They have a lower
density due to increase in porosity which results in an
overall lowering of the concrete strength ceiling.
 Lightweight aggregates are not as dense as normal weight
aggregates ( unit weight less than 1000 kg/m3) and because
their elastic modulus is lower, produce concrete with a lower
elastic modulus and a higher creep and
shrinkage. Lightweight aggregates can be of natural sources
such as Pumices ( a volcanic rock).

c) Heavyweight aggregate:- Where concrete of a high density is


required, in radiation shielding for example, heavyweight aggregates
can be used. The unit weight can be larger than 1800 kg/m3.
Concrete densities of 3500-4500 kg/rn3 are obtained by using
Barytes (a barium sulphate ore). Even greater concrete densities are
obtained using lead shot - around 7000 kg/m3.
4- Particle Shape:
 The particle shape is important in that it affects the workability
of the plastic concrete.
 The more rounded an aggregate the lower the inter particle
friction, the smaller the surface/unit volume and therefore less
water is required for a given workability. Therefore, a
potentially higher strength is possible.
Crushed aggregates can be used to produce higher
strength concrete
5- Surface Texture
 Smother particles tend to produce a more workable
concrete. The bond strength is, however likely to be
higher with rough textured materials. The particles can
be Glassy, smooth, granular, rough, crystalline or
honeycombed.

A) Main Properties required for compliance with


specifications:
a) Particle size distribution.
b) Resistance to degradation of coarse aggregate by
abrasion.
c) Presence of Materials finer than 75μm.
d) Presence of Clay lumps
e) Soundness.
f) Presence of sulfate or chloride ions in aggregates.
g) Flakiness or Elongation of the aggregate particles.
h) Presence of Organic Impurities in Fine Aggregates

B) Properties required for choosing mix proportions


1) Specific gravity and absorption.
2) Moisture content.
3) Loose or rodded unit weight of aggregates.
4) Nominal maximum size of aggregate and fineness modulus.

1- Particle size distribution:


 The actual size of the aggregate particles influence the concrete
mix. In practice it is desirable to have particles of different sizes.
 The aggregate is usually split into at least two different
portions for ease of batching:
 The common dividing point is (4.75mm). Material larger is
termed coarse aggregate or gravel and the material smaller is
termed fine aggregate, fines or sand.
Grading of Aggregate

 The grading of an aggregate defines the proportions of particles


of different size in the aggregate. The size normally used in
concrete varies from 37.5 to 0.15 mm

 Grading is the most important factor in concrete mix design


having considerable effect on the workability and stability of the
mix

 Grading is determined by a sieve analysis. A sample of aggregate


for sieve analysis is first surface dried and then sieved through the
series, starting with the largest.
 The distribution of the different sizes of particles in the
coarse or fine aggregates is termed Grading.
 The particle size distribution is extremely important in
the design of any concrete mix.
 For most practical concretes it is desirable to have the
particle sizes evenly distributed from the maximum size
of coarse aggregate down to the smallest sand particles.
 This will enable the aggregate to compact in the
densest form leaving the minimum number of voids to
be filled by the more expensive cement paste.
 It will also minimize the risk of segregation of the
plastic concrete during handling & placing.
 The test method covers the determination of the
particle size distribution of fine and coarse aggregates
by sieving, is Sieve Analysis of Fine and Coarse
Aggregates
 Hardness is the resistance of an aggregate to wear and is
normally determined by an abrasion test, while the toughness
of an aggregate is defined as its resistance to failure by impact.

 Hardness and toughness are particularly important when


aggregates are to be used in a concrete road pavement or heavy
duty wearing surfaces.

 Clay may be present in aggregate in the form of surface


coatings which interfere with the bond between the aggregate
and the cement paste.
 In addition, silt and crusher dust may be present either as
surface coatings or as loose material.

 The soundness of an aggregate is a measure of its durability.


Grading of Aggregate

 The grading of an aggregate defines the proportions of


particles of different size in the aggregate. The size
normally used in concrete varies from 37.5 to 0.15
mm.
 Grading is the most important factor in concrete mix
design having considerable effect on the workability
and stability of the mix.
 Grading is determined by a sieve analysis. A sample of
aggregate for sieve analysis is first surface dried and
then sieved through the series, starting with the largest.
Cont’d…

 Any sieve down the list has half the clear opening of
the one above. The weight retained on each sieve is
recorded and the percentage computed.
 The summation of the cumulative percentage of the
material retained on the sieves (not including the
intermediate sieves) divided by 100 is called the
fineness modulus.
 It is used as an index to the fineness or coarseness and
uniformity of aggregate supplied, but it is not an
indication of grading since there could be an infinite
number of grading which will produce a given fineness
modulus.
Gradation chart
 The results obtained as percent passing or percent
coarser can be shown graphically in aggregate grading
charts. On the horizontal axis the sieve openings are
read with arithmetic or logarithmic scale.
 They are arranged with increasing sieve-opening sizes
from left to right. On the vertical scale on the left side
of the chart the total percentage coarser are indicated
as 0 to 100, from bottom to top.
 The corresponding values for the percentage passing
are read on the right side of the chart.
Cont’d….
 A grading chart is especially useful in checking
whether the results obtained from the sieve analysis
of a given sample fall within the limits specified by
standards. If they fall within the limits then they are
said to satisfy the standard.
B- Properties required for choosing mix proportions
Absorption and Specific gravity.
The following definitions can be useful:
 Absorption—the increase in the weight of aggregate due to
water in the pores of the material, but not including water
adhering to the outside surface of the particles, expressed as a
percentage of the dry weight. The aggregate is considered
“dry” when it has been maintained at a temperature of 110 +
5°C for sufficient time to remove all uncombined water

 Specific Gravity—the ratio of the mass (or weight in air) of a


unit volume of a material to the mass of the same volume of
water at stated temperatures. Values are dimensionless.
 Apparent Specific Gravity—the ratio of the weight in air of a unit
volume of the impermeable portion of aggregate at a stated
temperature to the weight in air of an equal volume of gas-free
distilled water at a stated temperature.

 Bulk Specific Gravity—the ratio of the weight in air of a unit


volume of aggregate (including the permeable and impermeable
voids in the particles, but not including the voids between
particles) at a stated temperature to the weight in air of an equal
volume of gas-free distilled water at a stated temperature.
 Bulk Specific Gravity (SSD)—the ratio of the weight
in air of a unit volume of aggregate, including the
weight of water within the voids filled to the extent
achieved by submerging in water for approximately
24 h (but not including the voids between particles) at
a stated temperature, compared to the weight in air of
an equal volume of gas-free distilled water at a stated
temperature.
 Moisture content - One of the properties of the
aggregates which should be known to design a
concrete mix is its moisture content. It is necessary
in order to determine the net water -cement ratio in
a batch of concrete and to adjust batch quantities of
ingredients for concrete.
A properly proportioned concrete mix will provide:
 Workability of freshly mixed concrete.
 Durability, strength, and uniform appearance of hardened
concrete.
 Economy
Workability
 Workability is the property that determines the ease with which
freshly mixed concrete can be placed and finished without
segregation.
Durability
 If acceptable materials are used, the properties of concrete, such
as durability, freeze/thaw resistance, wear resistance, and
strength depend on the cement mixture.
Economy
 Proportioning should minimize the amount of cement required
without sacrificing quality.
 Quality depends on the amount of cement and the water-cement
ratio.