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2-ACI 211.

1-91 Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for Normal, Heavyweight, and Mass Concrete---Procedure for Mix Design.
S. Hassiotis (Last updated Fall, 2011) The ACI 211.1-91 (Reapproved 2009) describes methods to create mix designs for hydraulic cement concrete. In this summary, I will borrow heavily from the language, graphs, and tables of the manual to create a guideline for mix design of normal weight concrete that will be used for educational purposes at Stevens.

2.1 Some Basic Definitions


The ACI method is based on the Absolute Volume Method in selecting the proportions of the materials needed for normal weight concrete. The Absolute Volume is defined as the volume a material would occupy if it was solid and without voids Absolute Volume = Weight /{ S.G. x 62. 4 lb/ft where S.G. is the specific gravity of a material and 62.4 lb/ft
3 3

is the density of water.

For example, a bag of cement (94 lbs.) in a bulk state occupies approximately 1 cubic foot of volume. If the cement was consolidated and without voids it would approximately occupy only 0.48 cubic feet. Therefore, the volume the cement will actually occupy in a batch of concrete will be its absolute volume of 0.48 cubic feet. EXAMPLE: What is the absolute volume occupied by cement in a cubic yard of concrete which contains 588 lbs of cement? Absolute Volume = 588 lb /{ 3.15 x 62.4 lb/ft where the specific gravity of cement is given as 3.15.
3

}=2.99 ft3

EXAMPLE: What is the weight of cement that occupies an absolute volume of 1 cubic foot? Weight = Absolute Volume x S.G. x 62.4 lb/ft3 Weight= 1 x 3.15 x 62.4 = 196.56 lb/ft3

2.2 Helpful Conversion Factors


One cubic foot of water = 7.5 gallons = 62.4 lbs. One bag of cement = 94 lbs. (42.6 kg) Specic gravity of cement is 3.15 1.308 cubic yards = One cubic meter 1 gallon of water = 8.33 lbs. = 3.78 liters 1 gallon per yard = 5 liters per meter One cubic yard = 27 cubic feet One bag of cement = one cubic foot (loose volume) One bag of cement = 0.48 cubic feet (absolute volume)

2.3 Procedure for Mix Design


The steps for the mix design will be presented in parallel with the following example. EXAMPLE: Design a batch of 1.25 f3 of concrete for a footing. Design for a strength of 4000 psi. The available materials, along with the data that we will need to design the mix, are given in the table below. Type Absorption Moisture Content Specific Gravity Dry-Rodded Unit Weight Max Size Finess Modulus Coarse Aggregate Alluvial Rock 1% 1.95% 2.62 98.5 lb/f3 1 in Fine Aggregate sand 1.1% 6.3% 2.6 2.65 Cement Type I 3.15

STEP 1. Choice of Slump If slump is not specified, use Table 6.3.1 to use an appropriate value. In this example, for footings the slump should be between 1 and 3 inches. Use a slump of 3 for a mix that is more workable. STEP 2. Choice of maximum size aggregate. The nominal maximum size of aggregate should be the largest that is economically available and consistent with the dimensions of the structure. (See full report for more information). In this example, the maximum size is 1 inch. STEP 3. Estimation of mixing water and air content. The quantity of water per unit volume of concrete required to produce a given slump is dependent on: the nominal maximum size, particle shape, and grading of the aggregates; the concrete temperature; the amount of entrained air; and the use of chemical admixures. Table 6.3.3 provides estimates of required water. Depending on

aggregate texture and shape, mixing water requirements may vary above or below those shown in the table. Before you can use Tabel 6.3.3 you must decide if you need air-entrained concrete. Usually, if the concrete is exposed to freeze-thaw, as is the case of concrete placed in foundations, you will need air-entrainment. For our example, for a slump of 3 inches and a maximum aggregate size of 1 inch, use the air-entrained part of the table to find that you will need 295 lbs of water per cubic yard of concrete. The fine print under the table specifies that the water should be reduced by 25 lbs if you are using well rounded aggregates. Therefore, in this example we will use 270 lbs of water. The same table also shows that the recommended percent of air content is 6% for severe exposure (concrete that is exposed to deicing chemicals, or may become highly saturated by continued contact with moisture or free water prior to freezing-- such as pavements, bridge decks, foundations, etc.) STEP 4. Selection of Water-Cement or Water-cementitious materials ratio. The water/cement (w/c) or water/(cement + pozzolans) [w/(c+p)]determines the strength and durability of the concrete. Since different aggregates, cements and cementitious materials (fly ash, slag,silica fume, etc) generally produce different strengths at the same w/c ratios, it is highly desirable to have or develop the relationship of strength to w/c ratio for the materials actually used. In absence of such data, Table 6.3.4(a) and (b) can be used. The strength shown in the tables is for test specimens cured for 28 days in laboratory conditions. In this example, for a 4000psi, air-entrained concrete you should pick w/c = 0.48
maximum permissible is 0.5 taken from Table 6.3.4(b)) (the

STEP 5. Calculation of cement content. Water/cement=0.48 Water weight = 295 lbs (step 3) Cement=270/0.48=560 lbs STEP 6. Estimation of coarse aggregate content. The volume of coarse aggregate for one cubic yard of concrete is given in Table 6.3.6. For an aggregate size of 1 inch and Fineness Modulus of Sand of 2.65 the volume of coarse aggregate per cubic yard of concrete is approximately 0.69

The dry weight of coarse aggregate then is its volume times its dry-rodded weight per cubic foot, ie, Weight of coarse aggregate=0.69*98.5 lbs/f3 * 27 f3/yard3=1,840 lbs/yard3 STEP 7. Estimation of fine aggregate content. At this point all the ingredients of the concrete have been estimated except the fine aggregates. The ACI committee report allows either the weight method (6.3.7.1) or the absolute volume method (6.3.7.2) to be used to find the amount of fine aggregates. The second method is the most accurate and will be summarized here. Calculate the absolute volumes of all materials using Absolute Volume=Weight/(S.G.)x 62.4 Water Entrapped Air Coarse Aggregate Cement Total Dry Weight (lbs) 270 6% 1840 560 S.G. 1 2.62 3.15 Absolute Volume (f3) 4.3 0.06 x 27 f3=1.6 11.3 2.8 20.0

Calculate the Weight of the Sand Absolute Volume(f3) Sand 27-20=7

S.G. 2.6

Dry Weight (lbs) 7*2.6*62.4=1135

STEP 8. Adjustments for aggregate moisture. In this example, the total moisture content (absorbed + free water) is 1.95% for the coarse aggregate and 6.3% for the sand. The absorbed water is 1% for the coarse aggregate and 1.1% for the sand. The weights that we calculate above are dry weights. For the batch we will add Coarse aggregate, Wet=1840*1.0195=1875 lbs Fine aggregate, Wet=1135*1.063=1206 lbs. Absorbed water does not become part of the mixing water. However, the free water will add to the water content so we must account for it. The surface water contributed by the coarse aggregate is 1.95-1=0.95% The surface water contributed by the fine aggregate is 6.3-1.1=5.2% The estimated requirement for added water, therefore, becomes 270 lbs 1840(0.0095) - 1135(0.052) = 193 lbs The batch mix then is

Water, to be added Cement Coarse Aggregate, Wet Fine Aggregate, Wet

193 lbs 560 lbs 1875 lbs 1206 lbs

Note, total wt/yd3=3830. See Table 6.3.7.1

2.4 Class Problem


Create the mix for one cubic yard of concrete for the following specifications. Type I cement Coarse aggregate bulk specific gravity=2.68 and an absorption of 0.5%. Dry unit wt of coarse aggr.=100 lbs/cubic foot. Maximum aggr. Size =1.5 in Fine aggregate bulk specific gravity=2.64, an absorption of 0.7% and a Fineness modulus of 2.8 Concrete is required for a portion of a structure that will be below ground level in a location where it will NOT be exposed to severe weathering or sulfate attack. Structural considerations require it to have an average 28-day compressive strength of 3500 psi. A slump of 3 to 4 inches is required.

ANSWER Water to be added Cement Coarse Aggr. Fine Aggr. 199 lbs 484 lbs 1955 lbs 1451 lbs