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Publication #C00D061

Copyright 2000 Hanley-Wood, Inc.


All rights reserved

Concrete Perspectives

Testing fresh concrete:


At point of placement or
end of chute?

properties between discharge from


the truck and the point of placement,
allowing most of the testing to be
done at the point of discharge.
Generally, loss of slump is less
than 2 inches and can be corrected by
the use of admixtures or a small
addition of water. Control of air content is a somewhat different matter
because of the effect of air on durability. However that, too, can be handled with care on the part of the
pump operator and the placing crew.
When the pump boom is horizontal
or directed uphill, the loss of air will
normally be less than 0.75%. However, if the placement is near the
pump and the pipe has a steep vertical down section, or if the placement
is steeply downhill, significant
amounts of air (2% to 4%) can be
lost with some mixes, and that can
make the concrete less durable.
Concrete Construction: Why
should fresh concrete be tested at the
point of discharge from the mixer?
Moore: If the point of delivery is
the same as the point of placement
(when concrete is placed from the
truck directly into the forms), then
the concrete should be tested at the
point of discharge from the truck.
If the point of delivery is different than the point of placement, as
might occur with pumped concrete,
fresh concrete should be tested at the
point of placement. An exception to
this is when the contractor has
developed an acceptable correlation
between fresh-concrete properties at
the mixer and at the point of placement. Then the testing lab may test
fresh concrete at the mixer. The optional requirements to ACI

complex issue that often


Generally, the concrete
arises on a concrete construcshould be tested at discharge
tion project is where to test the
fresh concrete. Should it be at the from the truck, primarily
point of discharge or placement?
And who is responsible for ensur- because thats where the coning that the as-placed concrete
crete is most accessible.
meets specification requirements? Dick Gaynor
Section 4.3.2 of both ACI
Concrete
301-96 and 301-99, Standard
Specifications for Structural Concrete, Construction:
requires the concrete supplier to deliver Why should fresh
concrete be testconcrete that will possess the specified
fresh-concrete properties at the point of ed at the point of
placement?
placement. But sections 4.2.2.2 and
Moore:
4.2.2.4 of these documents require testTesting fresh
ing for slump and air content at the
concrete at the point of placement
point of delivery. ASTM C 94-98b,
ensures that the contract requireStandard Specification for Readyments are being met for the concrete
Mixed Concrete, indicates that the
as placed. As-placed concrete will difsupplier should deliver concrete in
compliance with the specification at the fer from as-delivered concrete if conveyed by means that might alter the
point of discharge from the mixer.
properties of fresh concrete.
ACI 301 is a standard concrete
Gaynor: Air content, slump, and
specification frequently referenced in
strength may change when a pump or
project documents. Its intended to
belt conveyor places the concrete.
cover only contract items between the
The specifier who wants to test at the
engineeras the owners representapoint of placement may have contiveand the general contractor, not
cerns, such as preventing a potential
the separate responsibilities and relationships among the general contractor, loss of durability caused by a low air
content in the structure or making
concrete contractor, and concrete supsure the pump operator doesnt add
plier. ASTM C 94 addresses readywater to the pump hopper to reduce
mixed concrete manufactured and depump pressures. However, an experilivered to a purchaser, usually the conenced construction team usually can
crete contractor.
avoid significant changes in concrete
We asked Dick Gaynor, a consultant and past technical director of
Testing fresh concrete at the point of
the National Ready Mixed Concrete
Association, and Timothy Moore, an
placement ensures that the contract
engineer with San Diego Gas & Elecrequirements are being met for the contric and past chair of ACI 301, to
comment on point of testing and the
crete as placed.Timothy Moore
responsibilities of the parties involved.