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Briefly explain the advantages of concrete as a building material.

1 Strength and Durability

Used in the majority of buildings, bridges, tunnels and dams for its strength Gains strength over time Not weakened by moisture, mould or pests Concrete structures can withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes Roman buildings over 1,500 years old such as the Coliseum are living examples of the strength and durability of concrete Concrete is used in buildings, bridges, dams, tunnels, sewerage systems pavements, runways and even roads Concrete, being inert, compact and non-porous, does not attract mould or lose its key properties over time Compared to other comparable building materials, concrete is less costly to produce and remains extremely affordable Being naturally fire-resistant concrete forms a highly effective barrier to fire spread Concrete walls and floors slow the passage of heat moving through, reducing temperature swings This reduces energy needs from heating or air-conditioning, offering year-round energy savings over the life-time of the building


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Low maintenance Affordability


Thermal mass

Locally produced The weight of the material limits concrete sales to within 300km and used of a plant site Very little cement and concrete is traded and transported internationally This saves significantly on transport emissions of CO2 that would otherwise occur

Albedo effect

The high "albedo" (reflective qualities) of concrete used in pavements and building walls means more light is reflected and less heat is absorbed, resulting in cooler temperatures This reduces the "urban heat island" effect prevalent in cities today, and hence reduces energy use for e.g. air-conditioning 80% of a buildings CO2 emissions are generated not by the production of the materials used in its construction, but in the electric utilities of the building over its life-cycle (e.g. lighting, heating, air-conditioning

Low life-cycle CO2emissions

Identify two (2) important properties of cement. The mentioned physical properties of cement are about; setting time, strength, soundness, fineness of grinding. For determining these properties, IS 268-1975 prescribes the requirement and the standard procedure. Properties of cement concrete are, concrete has high compressive strength but lower tensile strength and it is usually reinforced with materials that are strong in tension. At lower stress level, the elasticity of concrete is constant, but it starts decreasing at higher stress levels as matrix cracking develops. Every concrete structure will crack to some extent, because of its shrinkage and tension.

Select four (4) types of cement. Explain the uses of each type. 1 2 3 4 Types of Cement Rapid Hardening Cement Quick setting cement Low Heat Cement Sulphates resisting Cement Blast Furnace Slag Cement High Alumina Cement White Cement Coloured cement Pozzolanic Cement Air Entraining Cement Hydrographic cement Purpose Attains high strength in early days it is used in concrete where form works are removed at an early stage. Used in works is to be completed in very short period and concreting in static and running water It is used in massive concrete construction like gravity dams It is used in construction exposed to severe sulphate action by water and soil in places like canals linings, culverts, retaining walls, siphons etc., It can used for works economic considerations is predominant. It is used in works where concrete is subjected to high temperatures, frost, and acidic action. It is more costly and is used for architectural purposes such as pre-cast curtain wall and facing panels, terrazzo surface etc., They are widely used for decorative works in floors It is used in marine structures, sewage works, sewage works and for laying concrete under water such as bridges, piers, dams etc., This type of cement is specially suited to improve the workability with smaller water cement ratio and to improve frost resistance of concrete. This cement has high workability and strength

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List two (2) tests for fresh and hardened concrete. Fresh concrete Slump test is performed to check the workability and consistency of the fresh concrete. The results of mix design calculations are used to prepare the concrete to be tested. Yield is defined as the calculated unit weight of concrete per actual unit eight of concrete. The test is made using the amounts of cement, aggregate and water dictated by the mix design calculations and the actual volume and weight are determined.

Hardened concrete The most important property of concrete is the compressive strength which is determined by loading the properly moulded and cured specimens as dictated by the standards. Flexural strength of concrete may be determined by using simple beam with centre-point loading or third-point loading. In the centre-point loading the maximum tensile force is concentrated at a single point, whereas in third-point loading it is distributed to the length between the two loading points. The specimens and procedures of the two methods are very similar, therefore only the centre-point loading method will be discussed.