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By: Munirah Hussein

Munirah Hussein
• Fresh concrete is that stage of concrete in which
concrete can be moulded and it is in plastic state.
• The characteristics of fresh concrete which affect
full compaction are its consistency mobility (wetness or fluidity),

& workability
(mix can flow into & completely fill the mould) (fully compacted, all trapped air being removed).

• Properties of fresh concrete can be divided into:

1. Setting
2. Workability
3. Bleeding and Segregation
4. Hydration
5. Air Entrainment
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1. Setting of Concrete
• The hardening of concrete before it gains strength. The
transition process of changing of concrete from plastic
state to hardened state.
• Factors affecting setting:
1. Water Cement ratio
2. Suitable Temperature
3. Cement content
4. Type of Cement
5. Fineness of Cement
6. Relative Humidity
7. Admixtures
8. Type and amount of Aggregate
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2. Workability
• Defined as the ease with which a concrete mix can
be handled from the mixture to its finally compacted
shape without excessive bleeding or segregation.
• 3 main characteristics of workability:
▫ Consistency – is a measure of wetness or fluidity
▫ Mobility – the ease with which a mix can flow into
& completely fill the formwork mould.
▫ Compactibility – the ease with which a given mix
can be fully compacted, all trapped air being
• Workability affects the quality of concrete and has
a direct bearing on cost; i.e., an unworkable concrete
mix requires more time and labour for full
Munirah Hussein
Factors affecting concrete workability:
1. Water-Cement ratio - high w/c ratio increase in workability;
increase void in concrete results in segregation and bleeding
and also shrinkage problem; cement slurry will escape through
joints of formwork. For proper hydration w/c should be about
0.35. Typical w/c ratio in practice 0.55-0.65. When water
increased without increase in cement, the void content
increases and the concrete strength drops. Low water to cement
ratio leads to high strength but low workability. High water to
cement ratio leads to low strength, but good workability.
2. Amount and type of Aggregate - More the amount of
aggregate less will be workability. Using smooth and round
aggregate increases the workability. Workability reduces if
angular and rough aggregate is used. Greater size of
aggregate - less water is required to lubricate it, the extra
water is available for workability.
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3. Amount and type of Cement - More ratio, less workability.
Since less cement mean less water, so the paste is stiff.
4. Weather conditions
▫ Temperature - If temperature is high, evaporation increases,
thus workability decreases.
▫ Wind - If wind is moving with greater velocity, the rate of
evaporation also increase reduces the amount of water and
ultimately reducing workability.
5. Chemical Admixtures - Use of air entraining agent produces
air bubbles which acts as a sort of ball bearing between
particles and increases mobility, workability and decreases
bleeding, segregation. The use of fine pozzolanic materials also
have better lubricating effect and more workability.
6. Sand to Aggregate ratio - If the amount of sand is more the
workability will reduce because sand has more surface area
and more contact area causing more resistance.
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Measurement Of Workability
3 test widely used are Slump Test, Compacting
Factor Test, and V-B Consistometer.

Slump Test
• Develop by Chapman in U.S. in 1913 and is very
• The test is suitable for detecting changes in
workability, e.g. increase in water content or
deficiency in the proportion of fine aggregate results
increase in slump.
• Test is not suitable for very dry or wet mixes. Very
dry mixes – zero or near zero slump and wet mixes –
completely collapse of the concrete produces
undesirable values of slump.
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• 3 types of slump usually observed;
• True slump
Usually observed with cohesive and
rich mixes for which slump is
generally sensitive to variation in
• Shear slump
Occurs after in leaser mixer and
indicates lack of cohesion and
generally associated with harsh mixes
(loud mortar content).
• Collapse slump
Usually associated with very wet
mixes, generally indicative of poor
quality concrete and frequently results
from segregation of its constituent
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Munirah Hussein
Compacting Factor Test

• Developed in UK by Glenville et. al (1947) measures

the degree of compaction for a standard amount of
• The test requires the weight of a partially and fully
compacted concrete & the ratio of partially
compacted of weight to the fully compacted weight
(always <1) and is known as compacting factor.
• Normal concrete compactor lies between 0.80 to
0.92. The test is useful for drier mixes for which the
slump test is not satisfactory.
• Not popular because some basic assumption is not
correct and the procedure is not practical to be
employed at site.
Munirah Hussein
Munirah Hussein
V-B Consistometer

• Test was developed in Sweden by Bahrner (1940).

• In this test, the time taken to transform by means of
vibration, a standard cone of concrete to a compacted flat
cylindrical mass is recorded and is known as V-B time (sec)
nearest to 0.5 sec.
• This test is sensitive to change in consistency, mobility and
compactibility and can correlate the results with site
assessment of workability.
• Suitable for wide range of mixes and more sensitive to
variation of aggregate shape and surface texture.
• Concrete that requires very little vibration for compaction,
the V-B time is 3 sec and for very dry mixes the V-B
requires longer unpredictable time.
• The V-B apparatus is more expensive and required
experience in handling and is more suitable for precast
concrete or ready-mixed plants than site uses.
Munirah Hussein
Munirah Hussein
• Bleeding in concrete is sometimes referred as water
• Due to bleeding, water comes up and accumulates at
the surface. Sometimes, along with this water, certain
quantity of cement also comes to the surface.
• This formation of cement paste at the surface is known
as “Laitance”. In such a case, the top surface of slabs
and pavements will not have good wearing quality.
This laitance formed on roads produces dust in summer
and mud in rainy season.

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Prevention of Bleeding in concrete:
1. Bleeding can be reduced by proper proportioning
and uniform and complete mixing.
2. Use of finely divided pozzolanic materials reduces
bleeding by creating a longer path for the water
to traverse.
3. Air-entraining agent is very effective in reducing
the bleeding.
4. Bleeding can be reduced by the use of finer
cement or cement with low alkali content. Rich
mixes are less susceptible to bleeding than lean
Munirah Hussein
• Segregation can be defined as the separation of the
constituent materials of concrete.
• A good concrete is one in which all the ingredients are
properly distributed to make a homogeneous mixture.
• Segregation may be of three types:
1. Coarse aggregate separating out or settling
down from the rest of the matrix.
2. Paste separating away from coarse aggregate.
3. Water separating out from the rest of the material
being a material of lowest specific gravity.
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The conditions favourable for
segregation are:
1.Badly proportioned mix where sufficient matrix is not
there to bind and contain the aggregates.
2.Insufficiently mixed concrete with excess water content.
3.Dropping of concrete from heights as in the case of
placing concrete in column concreting.
4.When concrete is discharged from a badly designed
mixer, or from a mixer with worn out blades.
5.Conveyance of concrete by conveyor belts, wheel
barrow, long distance haul by dumper, long lift by skip
and hoist are the other situations promoting segregation
of concrete.
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Reduction of Segregation
1. Fresh concrete must be drop vertically not at
an angle position.
2. Avoid over vibration.
3. Avoid transporting concrete over a long
4. Use tube if placing concrete from higher

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Munirah Hussein

falls to
Concrete mixer truck

Concrete mixer machine

Wheel barrow
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Munirah Hussein
Concrete conveyance belt
• Concrete derives its strength by the hydration of cement
• In the field and in actual work, even a higher water/cement
ratio is used, since the concrete is open to atmosphere, the water
used in the concrete evaporates and the water available in the
concrete will not be sufficient for effective hydration to take
place particularly in the top layer.
• If the hydration is to continue, extra water must be added to
refill the loss of water on account of absorption and
• Heat of hydration of concrete may also shrinkage in concrete,
thus producing cracks. If the heat generated is removed by some
means, the adverse effect due to the generation of heat can be
reduced. This can be done by a thorough water curing.
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• Air entrainment reduces the density of concrete and
consequently reduces the strength. Air entrainment is used to
produce a number of effects in both the plastic and the
hardened concrete. These include:
1. Resistance to freeze–thaw action in the hardened concrete.
2. Increased cohesion (solidity/consistency), reducing the
tendency to bleed and segregation in the plastic concrete.
3. Compaction of low workability mixes including semi-dry
4. Stability of extruded concrete.
5. Cohesion and handling properties in
bedding mortars.

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