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his experiment have has conducted to measure Setting

Time (which is the term used to describe the stiffening of
the cement paste), we found just the Initial Setting Time
(The time at which the concrete can no longer be properly
mixed, finished or compacted), according to ASTM C191-82
Before that, we prepared the sample in Normal Consistency
(A standard measure of plasticity of a cement paste) procedure
according to ASTM C187-86, but the result of 10mm diameter
plunger gave 6mm penetration, which is out of the range of (10
1)mm specified by ASTM. However we continued using this sample,
and we found the Initial Setting Time to be: t= 154min, whereas
Group (1) sample gave t=177min.
We found finally that although this results are higher than the
minimum value specified by ASTM t=60min, We cant insure that this
values are true since Normal consistency condition didnt reached.

How do we know when cement holds its shape?
When the forms can be removed?
In order to regulate the answers ASTM specified Setting Time
experiment which is conducted on a sample with specified condition
of moisture and plasticity called Normal Consistency.
So in order to measure setting time we should know the amount
of water needed to prepare the sample of normal consistency, and
that is the procedure we are going to adopt in our experiment, First to
prepare the sample that is a normal consistency experiment, then a
Second one to answer those questions above by conducting Setting
time experiment and measuring initial &final setting times.



650g of Portland Cement

Figure (1.1):
Vicat by
the set
of standard
water 28%
weight of
as a trial
by American
society of testing
Conical ring to
mold cement
and materials (ASTM).

Figure (1.2):

Normal consistency: Mixer || Vicat apparatus with 10mm plunger
|| Conical ring || Glass graduates || Balance || Timer.
Setting time: Vicat apparatus with 1mm plunger || Conical ring ||

Figure (1.3): Vicat apparatus assembly diagram showing the parts of

it, and also the three different standard ASTM plungers


Normal Consistency:

Mixing of Cement Paste :

Place all the mixing water in the bowl.
Add the cement to the water and allow 30s for the
absorption of the water.
Mix at slow speed (140 5 r/min.) for 30s.


Stop the mixer and wait for 15s, during this time scrap
down into batch any paste that may have collected on
sides of the bowl.
Mix at high speed (285 10 r/min.) for 1minute.
Molding Test Specimen:
Mold cement paste into shape of a ball. With gloved
hands, toss ball six times through a free path of about six
inches from one hand to another.
Press ball into larger end of Vicat ring and completely fill
ring with paste.
Remove excessive paste without compressing samples
and locate ring under plunger of Vicat apparatus.
Consistency Determination:
Place plunger in contact with top of paste and lock, and
Set indicator on the scale to zero.
Release plunger and record settlement of plunger in mm
after 30s.
Repeat process with trial paste with varying percentages
of water until normal consistency is observed.

Setting Time:
Mix 650 g of cement with the percentage of water
required for normal consistency as described previous.
After molding cement paste into the test ring, place
specimen in moist room for 30 minutes.
Place specimen ring under Vicat apparatus and lock
needle on surface of paste. Set indicator scale to zero.
Release weighted needles and record the penetration
in mm after 30s.
Repeat process every fifteen minutes until initial set is
Repeat processes every hour until final set is achieved.

*Result and

Data analysis:

Raw Data: after conducting this experiment we obtained Data

listed in Table (A.1.1) & Table (A.1.2) {refer to
Final Results: We {Group (2)} drew Figure (1.4), from which we
obtained initial setting time to be:
Initial Setting Time=154 min = 2.5 hours.
Or by interpolation between (24,165) & (26,150) from
which: Initial Setting Time=157 min = 2.5 hours.
NOTE: Group(1)








Figure (1.4): Results of experiment for Group(2) shows the variation of

Penetration [mm] with Time [min], also shows the procedure for
obtaining Initial Setting Time correspond to penetration=25mm

* Di


We conducted
this experiment to measure
setting time of a sample of cement, Setting Time is the time it takes
to the transition of cement from the liquid, viscous, Moldable form, to

a solid form, that keeps its shape, this transition is forced by
hydration reactions of early reactive compounds in cement
Setting time is of two stages, First , Initial Setting Time which
is the time it takes the cement to become hardly to be remolded,
then, Final Setting Time which is the the gaining of some strength
to keep the shape and carry some load, this stages are shown in
Figure (1.5): the variation of the Rate of heat emission
[watt/gram] with Time during the hydration
process of cement, this Figure presents the


first lets take a single value to represent setting time, as we can see
setting time calculated through interpolation or through the equation
of best fit line is almost the same because they both numerically
based on 1st linear approximation, however lets take the value
t=154 min because the best fit line based on every point in the line
so it gives the minimum error for approximation, whereas the
interpolation is based just on the nearest two points .
Now lets discuss the accuracy of this value, comparing it to the
minimum value specified by ASTM of 60min, or BS of 45min, we
see that our obtained value is significantly higher, thats because our
sample was Too dry and it wasnt in Normal consistency, the 10mm
plunger penetrates our sample just 6mm, whereas for a Normal
Consistency the plunger must penetrates
(101) mm.
Also there is some factors contribute to this slow setting of our
1-Cold weather: hydration reactions and the formation of C-S-H gel

is a very temperature dependent processes, the rate (speed) of the
hydration decrease highly with the decrease in temperature {this is
shown in figure(1.6) the curve on the left most (zero% retarder)}.

Figure (1.6): the variation of Initial Setting Time in

[min] with Temperature in [Co] for
different retarder dosages [%percent of

2-Cement age and Ambient influence: fresh cement with high

reactivity compounds compositions (C3A, C3S, CH2: gypsum) when
subjected to the ambient, these compounds will start to lose their
reactivity under the effect of long term partial reactions with the
moisture carried by the ambient, so when we prepare our sample we
with this old lower reactive cement, more time is needed for initial
3-Humain errors: in balancing the cement & water, cement portion
increase or water portion decrease will slow setting process and vice
versa; also human error may be in recording time in both preparing

sample & in measuring time for each penetration; also in choosing
the point of ring for the next penetration, because overlap will be
happened between the area of influence of penetrated points,
because cement in a point of penetration is somewhat hardened and
its vicinity is somewhat compacted, so ASTM mentioned that no
penetration test shall be closer than 6.4mm from a previous
penetration, and no penetration test shall be closer than 9.5mm from
inside of the ring; some other errors such as shaking of the apparatus
&table is of lower importance because it can be prevented.
Finally, comparing this value with the value found by Group(1)
{we are Group(2)}, their value of Initial Setting Time 177min
{be best fit line equation shown in Figure(1.7)}, this value Is
somewhat different, this difference may be because the preceding
listed errors.

Figure (1.7): Results of experiment for Group(1) shows the
variation of Penetration [mm] with Time [min], also
shows the procedure for obtaining Initial Setting Time
correspond to penetration=25mm

After conducting this experiment we conclude that for the given
cement Initial Setting time is t=154min this value can be accepted,
but for better results a more qualified experiments, with repetition
and averaging will improve the accuracy and precision.



Normal Consistency
Sample & results

Table (A.1.2): Initial Setting Time results