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CONCRETE

AMATERIALFOR
THENEWSTONEAGE

AMASTModule
MaterialsScienceandTechnology
1995

Acknowledgments:
Theauthorswouldliketothankthefollowingpeoplefortheiradviceandsupportinthe
developmentofthismodule:

Dr.JenniferLewis
DirectoroftheMaterialsScienceWorkshop
Dr.JamesAdams
AssistantDirector
Dr.FrancisYoung
DepartmentofMaterialsScienceandEngineering
UniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaign,Urbana,IL
Dr.DavidLange
DepartmentofCivilEngineering
UniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaign,Urbana,IL
Authors:
BethChamberlain
TuscolaHS.,Tuscola,IL
NewellChiesl
UniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaign,Urbana,IL
JeraldDay
TurkeyRunHS.,Marshall,IN
LesaDowd
BishopNoilInstitute,Hammond,IN
BettyOverocker
AntiochHS.,Antioch,IL
DenisePape
HarlemHS.,MachesneyPark,IL
MarciaPetrus
DanvilleHS.,Danville,IL

ii

MarySwanson
UniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaign,Urbana,IL
JohnToles
SycamoreHS.,Sycamore,IL

iii

Foreword
ThisisoneinaseriesofMASTmodulesdevelopedandrevisedduringtheMaterialsTechnology
WorkshopheldattheUniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaignduring199395.
A combination of university professors, high school science teachers, and undergraduate
students,cametogethertocreateandrevisethismoduleoverathreeyearperiod.
Thismoduleistobeusedasacurriculumaidebyhighschoolscienceteacherswhowouldliketo
introducetheirstudentstoconceptsofMaterialsScienceandTechnology.Teachersareurgedto
useone,some,oralloftheMASTmodules.Someteachersmaywishtoimplementthismodule
initsentiretyasasubjectunitinacourse.Othersmaywishtoutilizeonlypartofthemodule,
perhaps alaboratory experiment. We encourage teachers tousethese materials in their
classroomsandtocontacttheworkshopwithanyassessments,comments,orsuggestions
theymayhave.
FinancialsupportfortheMaterialsTechnologyWorkshopwasprovidedbytheNationalScience
Foundation(NSF)EducationandHumanResourceDirectorate(Grant#ESI9253386),theNSF
CenterforAdvancedCementBasedMaterials,theDowChemicalFoundation,theMaterials
ResearchSociety,theIronandSteelSociety,andthePeoriaChapteroftheAmericanSocietyfor
Metals.TheUniversityofIllinoisatUrbanaChampaignDepartmentofMaterialsScienceand
Engineering and the College of Engineering and the College of Engineering Office of
ExtramuralEducationprovidedorganizationalsupport.

iv

TableofContents
Acknowledgments....................................................................................
ii
Foreword...............................................................................................
iii
Introduction............................................................................................
1
AShortStory:AHardLessontoLearn...........................................................
2
WhatisConcrete?..................................................................................... 3
TheHistoryofConcrete:PictorialTimeline.......................................................
9
TheHistoryofConcrete:TextualTimeline........................................................
11
ScientificPrinciples................................................................................... 15
References.............................................................................................
25
Resources..............................................................................................
26
MasterMaterialsandEquipmentGrid..............................................................
27
Demonstrations
1:MakingaSiltTest......................................................................... 29
2:ConductinganOrganicMatterTest.....................................................
30
3:EffectofAggregateonWorkabilityofConcrete...................................... 31
4:It'sHeatingUp........................................................................... 32
5:pHofCement............................................................................. 33
LaboratoryActivities
TheBasicMix................................................................................ 34
Lab1:What'stheMatter?..................................................................
36
Lab2:HowDenseIsIt?....................................................................
40
Lab3:HotandColdpHun!................................................................
44
Lab4:TheFleetAfloat!....................................................................
49
Lab5:StressandStrain!................................................................... 55
Lab6:MakeandTake!..................................................................... 63
Assessments...........................................................................................
66
Glossary................................................................................................
74

Introduction
ModuleObjective:
Studentswilllearnaboutcementhydration,materialproperties,andmakingconcrete.
KeyConcepts:
Importanceandwidespreadusesofconcrete.
Componentmaterialsusedtomakeconcrete.
Macroscopicandmicroscopicstructureofconcrete.
Roleofwaterinthepreparationofaconcretemixture.
Roleofwaterinthehardeningofconcrete.
Effectiveratiosofcomponentmaterialsinvariousconcretestructures.
Effectofporosityandaggregatesonthestrengthofconcrete.
Buildingandtestingvariousconcretestructures.
Derivationofanoptimumratioofcomponentmaterialsfordifferentconcrete
applications.
Chemicalreactionswhichtakeplacewhenconcreteismixed.

Prerequisites:

It is assumed that students will have studied the following concepts priorto beginning this
module:
Calculationofratiosandusingfractions
Usingalaboratorybalancetomeasuremass
Usingagraduatedcylindertomeasurevolume
Makingandinterpretinggraphs
PlacementofModuleinCurrentCurriculum:
Thematerialcoveredintheconcrete module maybeadaptedforuseinclasses ofgeneral
science,chemistry,andphysics.Thebasicconceptswhichmaybetaughtorenhancedbyusing
thismoduleinclude:
Matterclassification
Density
Compressionandtension
Hydration
Heatsofreaction
pH
Thematerialsandactivitiesinthismoduleareintendedtointroducethestudenttothetopicof
concrete.Furtherlecture,audiovisual,reading,speakers,fieldtrips,worksheets,andevaluation
1

instrumentscouldbeusedtosupportandexpanduponthematerialsprovided. Anexcellent
activitywouldinvolveafieldtriptoalocalreadymixconcreteplantoracementmanufacturing
plant. Thiswouldgivestudentstheopportunitytonotonlyseehowconcreteisproducedbut
alsothemanyapplicationsofconcrete.Thereisalistofprofessionalconcreteorganizationsin
theResourcessectionwhichcanprovideyouwithfurtherinformation.

AHardLessontoLearn
AShortStory
ByBettyOverocker
"Heyyou!Let'sgoforawalk."saidagruffvoicebehindmeasIsatonaconcretepark
bench.Withoutquestion,Istoodupandwalkedalongtheconcretesidewalkinthedirectionthe
darksuitedmanpointedto. Theheatofthedaywasintenseasitradiatedofftheconcrete
buildingthatlinedtheconcretestreetwewerewalkingbeside. Ipausedmomentarilytolean
againstaconcretelamppostandconcentratemyslurryofthoughtsintoamorerigidmass.The
menindarksuitscontinuedtomovemealongthissetjourney.
Atalargeconcretearchway,thementoldmetoenter.Theentrancewasverysteep,and
containedtwoconcretestatuesofviciouslookingdogsguardingtheway.Thedooropenedinto
alargeroom.Thewallsweremadeofconcreteblocksarrangedinanoffsetpattern.Mymind
triedtotraceanescaperoutein the mortar trailsbetweenthebricks,butIkeptrunninginto
deadendsmuchlikethesituationIwasin,therewerenoconcreteanswers.
Theroomwasarrangedinacourthallformationconsistingofmassivepouredconcrete
chairsandbenches.Amanofquestionablecharactersatinthefrontoftheroom,inthelargest
oftheconcretethrones.Themenindarksuitsmotionedformetoapproachthefront.Being
tiredfromthelongwalk,IleanedagainsttheconcretepillarsthatoutlinedthepaththatIleast
wantedtotravel.
Iapproachedthedomineeringgodfather.Hetoldmetoplacemylegsintoacylindrical
containerthatcameuptomyknees.
Thetwogoonsthathadbeenwatchingmeheadedtoaconcreteboxnearby.Oneofthe
goonscarriedabagofpremixconcrete.Theother,acontainerofwater.Astheybegantomix
theseingredients,Ibegantorealizewhatwasabouttooccur.Ibrokethecodeofsilenceand
askedthegodfatherifIcouldhaveonelastrequest.Henodded.Isurveyedthescene.Knowing
thatthislonglookofthetallconcreteskyscrapersmaybeoneofmylast,Iaskedforalargesoda
andalargecottoncandy.Notbad,Ithoughtforadiabeticonhissupposedlastbinge.
Asmylastrequestsarrived,thegoon'stransferredthecontentsoftheconcretemixinto
thebucket.Icouldfeeltheweightofthewetmassenteringmyshoes.Isquirmedjustasthe
delivererwashandingmethefood. Intheshuffle,thelargesodaslippedoutofhishandand
spilledintothebucketinwhichIwasstanding.Thecottoncandyalsowaslosttothemesson
myfeet.Thedomthoughtnothingofthenewadditivesinthemixture.I,ontheotherhand,was
pleasedthatmyplanhadworked.
Whatfollowedwastheusualtakeandgetridoftheguyroutine. Thegoonswerenot
toobrightonthewaysofconcrete. Theyjustfolloweddirections. Asforme,thetrainingI
receivedinahighschoolmoduleonconcretehadtaughtmeallabouttheeffectsofadmixtures
onthecuringprocessesofconcrete. Thesugarinthecandyandthesodawouldpreventthe
concretefromsetting.Astheassistantscarriedmeandmy"hardened"bootstothewater'sedge,
Ihopedthatallthatmodularinformationwasaccuratebecausemylifenowdependedonit.The
bucketsandIweresetonadollyforeaseofmovement.Thedollywasrolledtotheedgeofthe
dropoffandIwasreleasedintothewater.

Duetotheretardationeffectofsugaronthesettingofconcrete,Imanagedtowigglemy
legsoutofthefreshconcreteanchorandrisetothesurface.NoonewasinsightandIdecidedto
learnmoreaboutotherindustrialmaterialssoIcouldsavemylifeagainsomeothertime.

WhatisConcrete?
BrainStormingActivity1:ConcreteSurvey
1.Whenwasconcretefirstmade?
9000BC500BC100AD17561824
2.Circlethepossiblecomponentsofconcrete.
watercementgravelsandairsteelrods
3.Whatisthepurposeofcementinconcrete?
4.Whatroledoeswaterplayinproducingconcrete?
5.Whydoesconcreteharden?
6.Whydoesconcreteset(harden)slowly?
7.Howcanyoumakeconcreteset:
faster?
slower?
8.Isconcretestrongerincompression,tension,orthesameineither?
9.Howstrongcanconcreteorcementbe(inpoundspersquareinch(psi))?
50,00020,00050002000
10.Howlongcanconcretelast(inyears)?
50,000500050050
scores:

810materialssciencemajor;57concretecontractor;24concretelaborer;
01homeowner

ConcreteSurvey(Key)
1.Whenwasconcretefirstmade?
9000BC500BC100AD17561824
2.Circlethepossiblecomponentsofconcrete.
watercementgravelsandair
3.Whatisthepurposeofcementinconcrete?
Itactsasaprimarybindertojointheaggregateintoasolidmass.
4.Whatroledoeswaterplayinproducingconcrete?
Waterisrequiredforthecementtohydrateandsolidify.
5.Whydoesconcreteharden?
Thechemicalprocesscalledcementhydrationproducescrystalsthat
interlockandbindtogether.
6.Whydoesconcreteset(harden)slowly?
Ittakestimeforthehydratedcementcrystalstoform
7.Howcanyoumakeconcreteset:
faster?addcalciumchlorideor"accelerator"
slower?addsugaror"setretarder"
8.Isconcretestrongerincompression,tension,orthesameineither?
Itisstrongerincompression.
9.Howstrongcanconcreteorcementbe(inpoundspersquareinch(psi))?
50,00020,00050002000
10.Howlongcanconcretelast(inyears)?
50,000500050050
scores:
(Note:

810materialssciencemajor;57concretecontractor;24concretelaborer;
01homeowner
Correctanswersaregiveninbold.)

Concrete
by

Anartificialstonelikematerialusedforvariousstructuralpurposes.Itismade
mixingcementandvariousaggregates,suchassand,pebbles,gravel,shale,etc.,
withwaterandallowingthemixturetohardenbyhydration.

Herearejustafewfactstohelpconvinceyouthatthetopicofconcretedeservestobecomea
partofyoursciencecurriculum:
Concreteiseverywhere!!Roads,sidewalks,houses,bridges,skyscrapers,pipes,dams,
canals,missilesilos,andnuclearwastecontainment.Thereareevenconcretecanoesand
Frisbeecompetitions.
It

Itisstrong,inexpensive,plentiful,andeasytomake.Butmoreimportantly,itsversatile.
canbemoldedtojustaboutanyshape.
Concreteisfriendlytotheenvironment.Itsvirtuallyallnatural.Itsrecyclable.
Itisthemostfrequentlyusedmaterialinconstruction.
Slightlymorethanatonofconcreteisproducedeveryyearforeachpersonontheplanet,
approximately6billiontonsperyear.

Byweight,onehalftotwothirdsofourinfrastructuresaremadeofconcretesuchas:
roads,
bridges,buildings,airports,sewers,canals,dams,andsubways.
Approximately60%ofourconcretehighwaysneedrepairand40%ofourconcrete
highway
bridgesarestructurallydeficientorfunctionallyobsolete.
Largecitiesloseupto30%oftheirdailywatersupplyduetoleaksinconcretewaterpipes.
Ithasbeenestimatedthatthenecessaryrepairsandimprovementstoourinfrastructureswill
cost$3.3trillionoveranineteenyearperiod.$1trillionofthatisneededforrepairing
thenationsconcrete.
Cementhasbeenaroundforatleast12millionyearsandhasplayedanimportantrolein
history.

BrainstormingActivity2:WhyisConcreteImportant?
Objective:

Studentswillcreatealistoftheimportanceofconcreteandexplainhowitaffects
theirlives.

Procedure: 1. "Whyconcreteisimportant?"Inalargegroupstudentswillcreatealistofthe
importanceofstudyingconcrete.

2. Uponcompletionoftheirlist,studentswilldevelopacronymsforconcrete
basedontheirlistofconcrete'simportance.(Seeexamplebelow.)

regulations)

3. Studentswilldiscusstheimplicationsthatwouldoccurifwecouldnolonger
makeconcrete.(i.e.increasinglevelsofCO2productionorfederal

S P
R T L
E R E

V E N I
S E V A N

CONCRETE
Y N T
C G I
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I
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N
C
E

S
A
T
I
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E

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W
H
E
R
E

U
R
A
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P
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I
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8

BrainstormingActivity3:ApplicationsofConcrete
Objective:

Studentswillcreatealistofthepast,present,andfutureapplicationsofconcrete
andhowtheseapplicationsaffecttheirlivesandlifestyles.

Procedure:
Insmallgroups,thestudentswilllistapplicationsforconcrete:

1. Inthepast:
Studentswillcreatealistofpastapplicationsforconcretethathasinfluenced
theirlivesand/orlifestyles.

2. Currently:
Studentswilldescribecommonapplicationsofconcretethatthey
encounterdaily.Labeltheseaspresentapplicationsofconcrete.

3. Inthefuture:
Studentswillcreatealistoffutureapplicationsofconcretebypredicting
howconcretewillaffecttheirlivesinthefuture.

of

4. Studentswillpresenttheirliststotheclassintheformofacollageoramobile
displayingthecorrelationbetweentheirlivesandlifestyleswiththeapplications
concretethroughouttheirlives.

10

11

APPLICATIONSOFCONCRETE
Past,Present,andFuture
roads
bricks/blocks
beams
sewerpipes
canals
dams
caskets
tombs
swimmingpools
canoes
tunnels
holdingtanks
flowerpots&planters
ballast
bankvaults
telephonepoles
headstones
business/creditcards**
insulatingtiles/bricks
parkingstones
watertanks
structures
artificialrocks
railroadties
picnictables
wharves&piers
stadiumseats

sidewalks
bridges
foundations
watermains
missilesilos
churches
monuments
indoorfurniture
airportrunways
barges
parkinggarages
cementovershoes
chimneys
bathtubs
basements
electriclightpoles
steps
fertilizer
cornsilos
rooftiles
curb&gutters

houses
walls
floors
computerchipbacking**
containmentofnuclearwaste
automobilebrakelining**
solidificationofhazardouswastes
gardenornaments
sailingboats
subways
patiobricks
sculptures
mantels
gravevaults
lampposts
Frisbees
fenceposts
bonereplacement**
parkbenches
watertroughs
nuclearreactorcontainment

officebuildings
airports
swimmingpools
birdbaths
fountains

parkinglots
monorails
breakwaters
barbecuepits
lunarbases**

**Denotesfutureapplications.

12

3000 B.C.
Egyptians used mud mixed
with straw to bind bricks. They
used gypsum and lime mortars in the
pyramids.

b
Pant
Animal
admixtu

CONCRETE
HISTORICAL
TIMELINE

Joh
li
Ligh

1824
Joseph Aspdin of England
invented portland cement by burning
ground chalk with finely divided clay
in a lime kiln until carbon dioxide is
driven off. The product was then ground.

3000 B
PRES
1836
The first systematic test
of tensile and compressive
strength took place in Germany
13

1886
First rotary kiln was introduced
in England, which allowed for
continuous production of cement.

1889
First concrete reinforced
bridge was built.

1891
First concrete street in the
USA was placed in Bellefontaine,
Ohio by George Bartholomew
1936
First major concrete dams,
the Hoover Dam and Grand
Cooley Dam, were built.

1967
First concrete dome sport
structure constructed at the
University of Illinois, Assembly Hall.

1992
Tallest reinforced building
( 946 ft) constructed in
Chicago, IL

14

The History of Concrete:


A Timeline
Cementhasbeenaroundforatleast12millionyears. Whentheearthitselfwasundergoing
intensegeologicchangesnatural,cementwasbeingcreated. Itwasthisnaturalcementthat
humansfirstputtouse.Eventually,theydiscoveredhowtomakecementfromothermaterials.
12,000,000BC

Reactionsbetweenlimestoneandoilshaleduringspontaneous
combustionoccurredinIsraeltoformanaturaldepositofcement
compounds.ThedepositswerecharacterizedbyIsraeligeologistsinthe
1960sand70s.

3000BC
Egyptians

Usedmudmixedwithstrawtobinddriedbricks.Theyalsousedgypsum
mortarsandmortarsoflimeinthepyramids.

Chinese

Usedcementitiousmaterialstoholdbambootogetherintheirboatsandin
theGreatWall.

800BC
Greeks,Crete
&Cyprus

UsedlimemortarswhichweremuchharderthanlaterRomanmortars.

300BC
Babylonians
&AsSyrians

Usedbitumentobindstonesandbricks.

300BC476AD
the
Romans

UsedpozzolanacementfromPozzuoli,ItalynearMt.Vesuviustobuild

12001500
TheMiddleAges

Thequalityofcementingmaterialsdeteriorated.Theuseofburninglime
andpozzolan(admixture)waslost,butreintroducedinthe1300s.

1678

JosephMoxonwroteaboutahiddenfireinheatedlimethatappearsupon
theadditionofwater.

AppianWay,Romanbaths,theColiseumandPantheoninRome,and
thePontduGardaqueductinsouthFrance.Theyusedlimeasa
cementitiousmaterial.Plinyreportedamortarmixtureof1partlimeto4
partssand.Vitruviusreporteda2partspozzolanato1partlime.Animal
fat,milk,andbloodwereusedasadmixtures(substancesaddedtocement
toincreasetheproperties.)Thesestructuresstillexisttoday!

15

1779

BryHigginswasissuedapatentforhydrauliccement(stucco)forexterior
plasteringuse.

1780

BryHigginspublishedExperimentsandObservationsMadeWiththe
ViewofImprovingtheArtofComposingandApplyingCalcereous
CementsandofPreparingQuicklime.

16

1793

JohnSmeatonfoundthatthecalcinationoflimestonecontainingclaygave
alimewhichhardenedunderwater(hydrauliclime).Heusedhydraulic
limetorebuildEddystoneLighthouseinCornwall,Englandwhichhehad
beencommissionedtobuildin1756,buthadtofirstinventamaterialthat
wouldnotbeaffectedbywater.Hewroteabookabouthiswork.

1796

JamesParkerfromEnglandpatentedanaturalhydrauliccementby
calciningnodulesofimpurelimestonecontainingclay,calledParkers
CementorRomanCement.

1802

InFrance,asimilarRomanCementprocesswasused.

1810

EdgarDobbsreceivedapatentforhydraulicmortars,stucco,andplaster,
althoughtheywereofpoorqualityduetolackofkilnprecautions.

18121813

LouisVicatofFrancepreparedartificialhydrauliclimebycalcining
syntheticmixturesoflimestoneandclay.

1818

MauriceSt.Legerwasissuedpatentsforhydrauliccement.
NaturalCementwasproducedintheUSA.Naturalcementislimestone
thatnaturallyhastheappropriateamountsofclaytomakethesametype
concreteasJohnSmeatondiscovered.

of
18201821

JohnTickellandAbrahamChamberswereissuedmore
hydrauliccementpatents.

1822

JamesFrostofEnglandpreparedartificialhydrauliclimelikeVicatsand
calleditBritishCement.

1824

JosephAspdinofEnglandinventedportlandcementbyburningfinely
groundchalkwithfinelydividedclayinalimekilnuntilcarbondioxide
wasdrivenoff.Thesinteredproductwasthengroundandhecalledit
portlandcementnamedafterthehighqualitybuildingstonesquarriedat
Portland,England.

1828

I.K.Bruneliscreditedwiththefirstengineeringapplicationof
portlandcement,whichwasusedtofillabreachintheThamesTunnel.

1830

ThefirstproductionoflimeandhydrauliccementtookplaceinCanada.

1836

Thefirstsystematictestsoftensileandcompressivestrengthtookplacein
Germany.

17

1843

J.M.Mauder,Son&Co.werelicensedtoproducepatentedportland
cement.

1845

IsaacJohnsonclaimstohaveburnedtherawmaterialsofportlandcement
toclinkeringtemperatures.

1849

Pettenkofer&Fuchesperformedthefirstaccuratechemicalanalysisof
portlandcement.

1860

Thebeginningoftheeraofportlandcementsofmoderncomposition.

1862

BlakeStonebreakerofEnglandintroducedthejawbreakerstocrush
clinkers.

1867

JosephMonierofFrancereinforcedWilliamWands(USA)flowerpots
withwireusheringintheideaofironreinforcingbars(rebar).

1871
He

DavidSaylorwasissuedthefirstAmericanpatentforportlandcement.

1880

J.GrantofEnglandshowtheimportanceofusingthehardestanddensest
portionsoftheclinker.Keyingredientswerebeingchemicallyanalyzed.

1886

ThefirstrotarykilnwasintroducedinEnglandtoreplacetheverticalshaft
kilns.

1887

HenriLeChatelierofFranceestablishedoxideratiostopreparethe
properamountoflimetoproduceportlandcement.Henamedthe
components:Alite(tricalciumsilicate),Belite(dicalciumsilicate),and
Celite(tetracalciumaluminoferrite).Heproposedthathardeningiscaused
bytheformationofcrystallineproductsofthereactionbetweencement

and

showedtheimportanceoftrueclinkering.

water.

1889

Thefirstconcretereinforcedbridgeisbuilt.

1890

Theadditionofgypsumwhengrindingclinkertoactasaretardanttothe
settingofconcretewasintroducedintheUSA.Verticalshaftkilnswere
replacedwithrotarykilnsandballmillswereusedforgrindingcement.

1891

GeorgeBartholomewplacedthefirstconcretestreetintheUSAin
Bellefontaine,OH.Itstillexiststoday!

18

1893

WilliamMichaelisclaimedthathydratedmetasilicatesformagelatinous
mass(gel)thatdehydratesovertimetoharden.

1900

Basiccementtestswerestandardized.

1903

ThefirstconcretehighrisewasbuiltinCincinnati,OH.

1908

ThomasEdisonbuiltcheap,cozyconcretehousesinUnion,NJ.
Theystillexisttoday!

1909

ThomasEdisonwasissuedapatentforrotarykilns.

1929

Dr.LinusPaulingoftheUSAformulatedasetofprinciplesforthe
structuresofcomplexsilicates.

1930

Airentrainingagentswereintroducedtoimproveconcrete'sresistanceto
freeze/thawdamage.

1936

Thefirstmajorconcretedams,HooverDamandGrandCouleeDam,were
built.Theystillexisttoday!

1956

U.S.CongressannexedtheFederalInterstateHighwayAct.

1967

Firstconcretedomedsportstructure,theAssemblyHall,wasconstructed
atTheUniversityofIllinois,atUrbanaChampaign.

1970's
1975

Fiberreinforcementinconcretewasintroduced.
CNTowerinToronto,Canada,thetallestslipformbuilding,was
constructed.
WaterTowerPlaceinChicago,Illinois,thetallestbuildingwas

constructed.
1980's
Superplasticizerswereintroducedasadmixtures.
1985

Silicafumewasintroducedasapozzolanicadditive.
The"higheststrength"concretewasusedinbuildingtheUnion
PlazaconstructedinSeattle,Washington.

1992

Thetallestreinforcedconcretebuildingintheworldwasconstructedat
311S.WackerDr.,Chicago,Illinois.

19

ScientificPrinciples
WhatisinThisStuff?
Theimportanceofconcreteinmodernsocietycannotbeunderestimated.Lookaroundyouand
youwillfindconcretestructureseverywheresuchasbuildings,roads,bridges,anddams.There
isnoescapingtheimpactconcretemakesonyoureverydaylife.Sowhatisit?
Concreteisacompositematerialwhichismadeupofafillerandabinder.Thebinder(cement
paste)"glues"thefillertogethertoformasyntheticconglomerate.Theconstituentsusedforthe
binderarecementandwater,whilethefillercanbefineorcoarseaggregate.Theroleofthese
constituentswillbediscussedinthissection.
Cement,asitiscommonlyknown,isamixtureofcompoundsmadebyburninglimestoneand
claytogetheratveryhightemperaturesrangingfrom1400to1600C.
Althoughthereareothercementsforspecialpurposes,thismodulewillfocussolelyonportland
cement and its properties. The production of portland cement begins with the quarrying of
limestone,CaCO3. Hugecrushersbreaktheblastedlimestoneintosmallpieces.Thecrushed
limestoneisthenmixedwithclay(orshale),sand,andironoreandgroundtogethertoforma
homogeneous powder. However, this powder is microscopically heterogeneous. (See
flowchart.)

20

PRODUCTION OF PORTLAND CEMENT


Raw materials
1. LIMESTONE
2. CLAY/SHALE
QUA RRYING PROCESS
CRUSHING PROCESS
CRUSHED LIMESTONE + CLAY/SHALE
ARE MIXED AND GROUND TOGETHER

MIXTURE IS HEATED IN A KILN

CLINKER

GYPSUM IS ADDED AND THE MIXTURE IS


GROUND TO A POWDER RESULTING IN
PORTLAND CEMENT

Figure1:

AflowdiagramofPortlandCementproduction.

21

Themixtureisheatedinkilnsthatarelongrotatingsteelcylindersonanincline.Thekilnsmay
beupto6metersindiameterand180metersinlength.Themixtureofrawmaterialsentersat
thehighendofthecylinderandslowlymovesalongthelengthofthekilnduetotheconstant
rotationandinclination.Atthelowendofthekiln,afuelisinjectedandburned,thusproviding
theheatnecessarytomakethematerialsreact.Itcantakeupto2hoursforthemixturetopass
throughthekiln,dependinguponthelengthofthecylinder.
Raw
M aterials
free water
clay decomposes
limestone decomposes
formation of initial compounds
initial formation ofdicalcium silicate
formation of
tricalcium silicate
dehydration
zone
calcination zone

heat
clinkering
zone

gas temp.
C
450
Figure2:

cooling zone
800

1200

1350

1550

clinker

Schematicdiagramofrotarykiln.

Asthemixturemovesdownthecylinder,itprogressesthroughfourstagesoftransformation.
Initially,anyfreewaterinthepowderislostbyevaporation.Next,decompositionoccursfrom
thelossofboundwaterandcarbondioxide.Thisiscalledcalcination.Thethirdstageiscalled
clinkering. Duringthisstage,thecalciumsilicatesareformed. Thefinalstageisthecooling
stage.
Themarblesizedpiecesproducedbythekilnarereferredtoas clinker. Clinkerisactuallya
mixtureoffourcompoundswhichwillbediscussedlater. Theclinkeriscooled,ground,and
mixedwithasmallamountofgypsum(whichregulatessetting)toproducethegeneralpurpose
portlandcement.

22

Wateristhekeyingredient,whichwhenmixedwithcement,formsapastethatbindsthe
aggregate together. The water causes the hardening of concrete through a process called
hydration. Hydrationisachemicalreactioninwhichthemajorcompoundsincementform
chemicalbondswithwatermoleculesandbecomehydratesorhydrationproducts.Detailsofthe
hydrationprocessareexploredinthenextsection. Thewaterneedstobepureinorderto
preventsidereactionsfromoccurringwhichmayweakentheconcreteorotherwiseinterferewith
thehydrationprocess.Theroleofwaterisimportantbecausethewatertocementratioisthe
mostcriticalfactorintheproductionof"perfect"concrete. Toomuchwaterreducesconcrete
strength,whiletoolittlewillmaketheconcreteunworkable.Concreteneedstobeworkableso
thatitmaybeconsolidatedandshapedintodifferentforms(i.e..walls,domes,etc.). Because
concretemustbebothstrongandworkable,acarefulbalanceofthecementtowaterratiois
requiredwhenmakingconcrete.
Aggregatesarechemicallyinert,solidbodiesheldtogetherbythecement.Aggregatescomein
variousshapes,sizes,andmaterialsrangingfromfineparticlesofsandtolarge,coarserocks.
Becausecementisthemostexpensiveingredientinmakingconcrete,itisdesirabletominimize
theamountofcementused.70to80%ofthevolumeofconcreteisaggregatekeepingthecost
of the concrete low. The selection of an aggregate is determined, in part, by the desired
characteristicsoftheconcrete.Forexample,thedensityofconcreteisdeterminedbythedensity
oftheaggregate.Soft,porousaggregatescanresultinweakconcretewithlowwearresistance,
whileusinghardaggregatescanmakestrongconcretewithahighresistancetoabrasion.
Aggregatesshouldbeclean,hard,andstrong.Theaggregateisusuallywashedtoremoveany
dust,silt,clay,organicmatter,orotherimpuritiesthatwouldinterferewiththebondingreaction
withthecementpaste.Itisthenseparatedintovarioussizesbypassingthematerialthrougha
seriesofscreenswithdifferentsizeopenings.
RefertoDemonstration1
Table1:

ClassesofAggregates

class

examplesofaggregatesused

uses

ultralightweight

vermiculite
ceramicspheres
perlite

lightweightconcretewhich
canbesawedornailed,also
foritsinsulatingproperties

lightweight

expandedclay
shaleorslate
crushedbrick

usedprimarilyformaking
lightweightconcretefor
structures,alsousedforits
insulatingproperties.

23

normalweight

crushedlimestone
sand
rivergravel
crushedrecycledconcrete

usedfornormalconcrete
projects

heavyweight

steelorironshot
steelorironpellets

usedformakinghighdensity
concreteforshieldingagainst
nuclearradiation

RefertoDemonstration2
Thechoiceofaggregateisdeterminedbytheproposeduseoftheconcrete. Normallysand,
gravel,andcrushedstoneareusedasaggregatestomakeconcrete. Theaggregateshouldbe
wellgradedtoimprovepackingefficiencyandminimizetheamountof cementpaste needed.
Also,thismakestheconcretemoreworkable.
RefertoDemonstration3
PropertiesofConcrete
Concrete has many properties that make it a popular construction material. The correct
proportionofingredients,placement,andcuringareneededinorderforthesepropertiestobe
optimal.
Goodqualityconcretehasmanyadvantagesthataddtoitspopularity. First,itiseconomical
wheningredients are readily available. Concrete's long life and relatively low maintenance
requirementsincreaseitseconomicbenefits.Concreteisnotaslikelytorot,corrode,ordecayas
otherbuildingmaterials.Concretehastheabilitytobemoldedorcastintoalmostanydesired
shape.Buildingofthemoldsandcastingcanoccurontheworksitewhichreducescosts.
Concrete is a noncombustible material which makes it firesafe and able withstand high
temperatures.Itisresistanttowind,water,rodents,andinsects.Hence,concreteisoftenused
forstormshelters.
Concretedoeshavesomelimitationsdespiteitsnumerousadvantages.Concretehasarelatively
lowtensilestrength(comparedtootherbuildingmaterials),lowductility,lowstrengthtoweight
ratio, and is susceptible to cracking. Concrete remains the material of choice for many
applicationsregardlessoftheselimitations.
HydrationofPortlandCement

24

Concreteispreparedbymixingcement,water,andaggregatetogethertomakeaworkablepaste.
Itismoldedorplacedasdesired,consolidated,andthenlefttoharden.Concretedoesnotneed
todryoutinordertohardenascommonlythought.
Theconcrete(orspecifically,thecementinit)needsmoisturetohydrateand cure (harden).
Whenconcretedries,itactuallystopsgettingstronger.Concretewithtoolittlewatermaybedry
butisnotfullyreacted. Thepropertiesofsuchaconcretewouldbelessthanthatofawet
concrete. The reaction of water with the cement in concrete is extremely important to its
propertiesandreactionsmaycontinueformanyyears. Thisveryimportantreactionwillbe
discussedindetailinthissection.
Portland cement consists of five major compounds and a few minor compounds. The
compositionofatypicalportlandcementislistedbyweightpercentageinTable2.
CementCompound

WeightPercentageChemicalFormula

Tricalciumsilicate

50%

Dicalciumsilicate

25%

Tricalciumaluminate

10%

Tetracalciumaluminoferrite

10%

Ca3SiO5or3CaO.SiO2
Ca2SiO4or2CaO.SiO2
Ca3Al2O6or3CaO.Al2O3
Ca4Al2Fe2O10or
4CaO.Al2O3.Fe2O3

Gypsum
Table2:

5%

CaSO4.2H2O

Compositionofportlandcementwithchemicalcompositionandweightpercent.

Whenwaterisaddedtocement,eachofthecompoundsundergoeshydrationandcontributesto
thefinalconcreteproduct.Onlythecalciumsilicatescontributetostrength.Tricalciumsilicate
isresponsibleformostoftheearlystrength(first7days).Dicalciumsilicate,whichreactsmore
slowly,contributesonlytothestrengthatlatertimes.Tricalciumsilicatewillbediscussedinthe
greatestdetail.
Theequationforthehydrationoftricalciumsilicateisgivenby:
Tricalciumsilicate+Water>Calciumsilicatehydrate+Calciumhydroxide+heat
2Ca3SiO5+7H2O>3CaO.2SiO2.4H2O+3Ca(OH)2+173.6kJ
Upontheadditionofwater,tricalciumsilicaterapidlyreactstoreleasecalciumions,hydroxide
ions,andalargeamountofheat. ThepHquicklyrisestoover12becauseofthereleaseof
alkalinehydroxide(OH)ions.Thisinitialhydrolysisslowsdownquicklyafteritstartsresulting
inadecreaseinheatevolved.

25

Thereactionslowlycontinuesproducingcalciumandhydroxideionsuntilthesystembecomes
saturated.Oncethisoccurs,thecalciumhydroxidestartstocrystallize.Simultaneously,calcium
silicate hydratebegins toform. Ions precipitate outofsolution accelerating thereaction of
tricalciumsilicatetocalciumandhydroxideions.(LeChatlier'sprinciple).Theevolutionof
heatisthendramaticallyincreased.
Theformationofthecalciumhydroxideandcalciumsilicatehydratecrystalsprovide"seeds"
uponwhichmorecalciumsilicatehydratecanform.Thecalciumsilicatehydratecrystalsgrow
thickermakingitmoredifficultforwatermoleculestoreachtheunhydratedtricalciumsilicate.
Thespeedofthereactionisnowcontrolledbytherateatwhichwatermoleculesdiffusethrough
thecalciumsilicatehydratecoating.Thiscoatingthickensovertimecausingtheproductionof
calciumsilicatehydratetobecomeslowerandslower.

Figure3:

a.

b.

c.

d.

Schematicillustrationoftheporesincalciumsilicatethroughdifferentstagesof
hydration.

Theabovediagramsrepresenttheformationofporesascalciumsilicatehydrateisformed.Note
indiagram(a)thathydrationhasnotyetoccurredandthepores(emptyspacesbetweengrains)
arefilledwithwater. Diagram(b)representsthebeginningofhydration. Indiagram(c),the
hydrationcontinues.Althoughemptyspacesstillexist,theyarefilledwithwaterandcalcium
hydroxide.Diagram(d)showsnearlyhardenedcementpaste.Notethatthemajorityofspaceis
filled with calcium silicate hydrate. That which is not filled with the hardened hydrate is
primarilycalciumhydroxidesolution. Thehydrationwillcontinueaslongaswaterispresent
andtherearestillunhydratedcompoundsinthecementpaste.
Dicalciumsilicatealsoaffectsthestrengthofconcretethroughitshydration.Dicalciumsilicate
reactswithwaterinasimilarmannercomparedtotricalciumsilicate,butmuchmoreslowly.
Theheatreleasedislessthanthatbythehydrationoftricalciumsilicatebecausethedicalcium
silicateismuchlessreactive.Theproductsfromthehydrationofdicalciumsilicatearethesame
asthosefortricalciumsilicate:

26

Dicalciumsilicate+Water>Calciumsilicatehydrate+Calciumhydroxide+heat
2Ca2SiO4+5H2O>3CaO.2SiO2.4H2O+Ca(OH)2+58.6kJ
The other major components of portland cement, tricalcium aluminate and tetracalcium
aluminoferritealsoreactwithwater. Theirhydrationchemistryismorecomplicatedasthey
involve reactions with the gypsum as well. Because these reactions do not contribute
significantlytostrength,theywillbeneglectedinthisdiscussion.Althoughwehavetreatedthe
hydrationofeachcementcompoundindependently,thisisnotcompletelyaccurate.Therateof
hydrationofacompoundmaybeaffectedbyvaryingtheconcentrationofanother.Ingeneral,
theratesofhydrationduringthefirstfewdaysrankedfromfastesttoslowestare:
tricalciumaluminate>tricalciumsilicate>tetracalciumaluminoferrite>dicalciumsilicate.
RefertoDemonstration4
Heatisevolvedwithcementhydration. Thisisduetothebreakingandmakingofchemical
bondsduringhydration.Theheatgeneratedisshownbelowasafunctionoftime.
R
A
T
E
O
F
H
E
A
T

E
V
O
L
U
T
I
O
N

HOURS
MINUTES
Figure4:
Rateofheatevolutionduringthehydrationofportlandcement

DAYS

ThestageIhydrolysisofthecementcompoundsoccursrapidlywithatemperatureincreaseof
several degrees. Stage II is known as the dormancy period. The evolution of heat slows
dramaticallyinthisstage.Thedormancyperiodcanlastfromonetothreehours.Duringthis
period,theconcreteisinaplasticstatewhichallowstheconcretetobetransportedandplaced
withoutanymajordifficulty.Thisisparticularlyimportantfortheconstructiontradewhomust
transportconcretetothejobsite.Itisattheendofthisstagethatinitialsettingbegins.Instages
IIIandIV,theconcretestartstohardenandtheheatevolutionincreasesdueprimarilytothe
hydrationoftricalcium silicate. StageVisreachedafter36hours. Theslowformationof
hydrateproductsoccursandcontinuesaslongaswaterandunhydratedsilicatesarepresent.
RefertoDemonstration5

27

StrengthofConcrete
Thestrengthofconcreteisverymuchdependentuponthehydrationreactionjustdiscussed.
Waterplaysacriticalrole,particularlytheamountused. Thestrengthofconcreteincreases
whenlesswaterisusedtomakeconcrete. Thehydrationreactionitselfconsumesaspecific
amountofwater.Concreteisactuallymixedwithmorewaterthanisneededforthehydration
reactions.Thisextrawaterisaddedtogiveconcretesufficientworkability.Flowingconcreteis
desiredtoachieveproperfillingandcompositionoftheforms.Thewaternotconsumedinthe
hydrationreactionwillremaininthemicrostructureporespace.Theseporesmaketheconcrete
weakerduetothelackofstrengthformingcalciumsilicatehydratebonds. Someporeswill
remainnomatterhowwelltheconcretehasbeencompacted.

Figure5:
ratio

Schematic drawings todemonstrate therelationship between the water/cement


andporosity.

Theemptyspace(porosity)isdeterminedbythewatertocementratio.Therelationshipbetween
thewatertocementratioandstrengthisshowninthegraphthatfollows.

28

8000

compacted concrete

6000
4000
2000

incomplete
compaction

0
0.20
Figure6:

0.30

0.40

0.50

0.60

0.70

water:cement ratio
Aplotofconcretestrengthasafunctionofthewatertocementratio.

Lowwatertocement ratioleadstohighstrengthbutlowworkability. Highwatertocement


ratioleadstolowstrength,butgoodworkability.
Thephysicalcharacteristicsofaggregatesareshape,texture,and size. Thesecanindirectly
affectstrengthbecausetheyaffecttheworkabilityoftheconcrete.Iftheaggregatemakesthe
concreteunworkable,thecontractorislikelytoaddmorewaterwhichwillweakentheconcrete
byincreasingthewatertocementmassratio.
Timeisalsoanimportantfactorindeterminingconcretestrength. Concretehardensastime
passes.Why?Rememberthehydrationreactionsgetslowerandslowerasthetricalciumsilicate
hydrateforms. Ittakesagreatdealoftime(evenyears!)forallofthebondstoformwhich
determine concrete's strength. It is common to use a 28day test to determine the relative
strengthofconcrete.
Concrete's strength may also be affected by the addition of admixtures. Admixtures are
substancesotherthanthekeyingredientsorreinforcementswhichareaddedduringthemixing
process. Someadmixturesaddfluiditytoconcretewhilerequiringlesswatertobeused.An
exampleofanadmixturewhichaffectsstrengthissuperplasticizer.Thismakesconcretemore
workable or fluid without adding excess water. A list of some other admixtures and their
functionsisgivenbelow.Notethatnotalladmixturesincreaseconcretestrength.Theselection
anduseofanadmixturearebasedontheneedoftheconcreteuser.

29

SOMEADMIXTURESANDFUNCTIONS
TYPE

AIRENTRAINING

SUPERPLASTICIZERS
needed

RETARDING

FUNCTION

improves durability, workability, reduces


bleeding,reducesfreezing/thawing
problems
(e.g.specialdetergents)
increase strength by decreasing water
forworkableconcrete
(e.g.specialpolymers)
delays setting time, more long term strength,
offsetsadversehightemp.weather
(e.g.sugar)

ACCELERATING

speeds setting time, more early strength,


offsetsadverselowtemp.weather
(e.g.calciumchloride)

MINERALADMIXTURES

improvesworkability,plasticity,strength
(e.g.flyash)

PIGMENT

addscolor
(e.g.metaloxides)

Table3:

Atableofadmixturesandtheirfunctions.

Durability is a very important concern in using concrete for a given application. Concrete
providesgoodperformance throughtheservicelifeofthestructurewhenconcrete ismixed
properlyandcareistakenincuringit.Goodconcretecanhaveaninfinitelifespanunderthe
rightconditions.Water,althoughimportantforconcretehydrationandhardening,canalsoplay
aroleindecreaseddurabilityoncethestructureisbuilt. Thisisbecausewatercantransport
harmfulchemicalstotheinterioroftheconcreteleadingtovariousformsofdeterioration.Such
deteriorationultimatelyaddscostsduetomaintenanceandrepairoftheconcretestructure.The
contractorshouldbeabletoaccountforenvironmentalfactorsandproduceadurableconcrete
structureifthesefactorsareconsideredwhenbuildingconcretestructures.

30

ConcreteSummary
Concreteiseverywhere.Takeamomentandthinkaboutalltheconcreteencountersyouhave
hadinthelast24hours.Alloftheseconcretestructuresarecreatedfromamixtureofcement
andwaterwithaddedaggregate.Itisimportanttodistinguishbetweencementandconcreteas
theyarenotthesame.Cementisusedtomakeconcrete!
(cement+water)+aggregate=concrete
Cementismadebycombiningamixtureoflimestoneandclayinakilnat1450C.Theproduct
isanintimatemixtureofcompoundscollectivelycalledclinker.Thisclinkerisfinelyground
intothepowderform.Therawmaterialsusedtomakecementarecompoundscontainingsome
oftheearthsmostabundantelements,suchascalcium,silicon,aluminum,oxygen,andiron.
Water isakeyreactantincementhydration. Theincorporationofwaterintoasubstanceis
knownashydration. Waterandcementinitiallyformacementpastethatbeginstoreactand
harden(set).Thispastebindstheaggregateparticlesthroughthechemicalprocessofhydration.
Inthehydrationofcement,chemicalchangesoccurslowly,eventuallycreatingnewcrystalline
products,heatevolution,andothermeasurablesigns.
cement+water=hardenedcementpaste
The properties of this hardened cement paste, called binder, control the properties of the
concrete. Itistheinclusionofwater(hydration)intotheproductthatcausesconcretetoset,
stiffen,andbecomehard.Onceset,concretecontinuestoharden(cure)andbecomestrongerfor
alongperiodoftime,oftenuptoseveralyears.
The strength of the concrete is related to the water to cement mass ratio and the curing
conditions.Ahighwatertocementmassratioyieldsalowstrengthconcrete.Thisisduetothe
increaseinporosity(spacebetweenparticles)thatiscreatedwiththehydrationprocess.Most
concreteismadewithawatertocementmassratiorangingfrom0.35to0.6.
Aggregate is the solid particles that are bound together by the cement paste to create the
syntheticrockknownasconcrete. Aggregatescanbefine,suchassand,orcoarse,suchas
gravel.Therelativeamountsofeachtypeandthesizesofeachtypeofaggregatedeterminesthe
physicalpropertiesoftheconcrete.
sand+cementpaste=mortar
mortar+gravel=concrete

31

Sometimes other materials are incorporated into the batch of concrete to create specific
characteristics. These additives are called admixtures. Admixtures are used to: alter the
fluidity(plasticity)ofthecementpaste; increase(accelerate)ordecrease(retard)thesetting
time;increasestrength(bothbendingandcompression);ortoextendthelifeofastructure.The
makingofconcreteisaverycomplexprocessinvolvingbothchemicalandphysicalchanges.It
isamaterialofgreatimportanceinourlives.

32

References
Abercrombie,S.Ferrocement:BuildingwithCement,Sand,andWireMesh.SchockenBooks,
NY,1977.
Bye,G.C.PortlandCement:Composition,ProductionandProperties.PergamonPress,NY,
1983.
Hewlett,P.C.,andYoung,J.F.PhysicoChemicalInteractionsBetweenChemicalAdmixtures
andPortlandCement,JournalofMaterialsEducation.Vol.9,No.4,1987.
IntroductiontoConcreteMasonry.Instructor'sEdition,AssociatedGeneralContractorsof
America,WashingtonD.C.,OklahomaStateDepartmentofVocationaland
TechnicalEd.,Stillwater,1988.
Kosmatka,StevenH.,andPanarese,WilliamC.DesignandControlofConcreteMixtures,
Thirteenthedition,PortlandCementAssociation,1988.
MaterialsScienceofConcreteI,II,III.editedbyJanP.Skalny,AmericanCeramicSociety,Inc,
Westerville,OH,1989.
Mindess,S.,andYoung,J.F.Concrete.PrenticeHall,Inc.,EnglewoodCliffs,NJ,1981.
Mitchell,L.Ceramics:StoneAgetoSpaceAge.ScholasticBookServices,NY,1963.
Rixom,M.R.,andMailuaganam,N.P.ChemicalAdmixturesforConcrete.R.&F.N.Spon,
NY,1986.
Roy,D.InstructionalModulesinCementScience.PennsylvaniaStateUniversity,PA,1985.
Sedgwick,J.StrongButSensitiveTheAtlanticMonthlyVol.267,No.4,April1991,
pp7082.
Weisburd,S.HardScienceScienceNewsVol.134,No.2,July9,1988,pp2426.

33

Resources
PortlandCementAssociation
5420OldOrchardRd.
Skokie,IL60077
Tel.7089666200
Fax7089669781
NSFCenterforScienceandTechnologyofAdvancedCementBasedMaterials
NorthwesternUniversity
Evanston,IL602084400
Tel.7084918569
Fax7084671078
MaterialsResources:cement,sand,and,admixturescontactyourlocalconcretedealer.Check
theyellowpages.
Admixturesources:

AximConcreteTechnology
ESSROCCo.
7230NorthfieldRd.
WaltonHills,OH
Tel.2169660444
Fax2164396773
MasterBuilders
23700ChagrinBlvd.
Cleveland,OH44122
Tel.2168315500
W.R.Grace
62WhittmoreAve.
Cambridge,MA021401692
Tel.6178761400

Note: Thesecompaniessupplyadmixturestoyourlocalreadymixconcretecompanies.For
quantitiesneededforyourlabs,itisbesttocontactalocalconcretesupplier.
AberdeensConcreteConstructionisaperiodicalpublishedmonthly.Thiswouldbeagood
resourceforarticlesonapplicationsandimprovementsinconcrete.18003233550for
subscriptions($24forayear).Theiraddress:
426S.WestgateSt.
Addison,IL60101
Tel.7085430870
Fax7085433112

34

Youmaywanttocontactthemrequestingcomplimentarycopiesorsubscriptions.

35

MasterMaterialsandEquipmentGrids
Material
Demo1
Demo2
sand
HIS
HIS
kittylitter
DS
glasscontainerandlid(popbottle)
G
G
3%NaOHsolution
LE
cement
peagravel
thermometer
insulatedcontainerwithlid
drinkingstraws
plasticcup
glasspetridishes
pHhydrionpaperoruniversal
indicator
spatula
KEYFORTABLE:
H=HARDWARE
G=GROCERY
DS=DISCOUNTSTORE
HIS=HOMEIMPROVEMENTSTORE
LE=LABEQUIPMENT/SCIENTIFICCATALOG
O=OTHER
Material
bakingsoda
airfilledballoon
cornstarch
flour
sulfur
pepper
sugar
perlite(orStyrofoambeads)
clay
ironfilings
testtube
magnet
magnifyingglass
woodensplints
cement
sand

Lab1
G
DS
G
G
LE
G
G
H
DS
LE
LE
LE
LE
LE
HIS
HIS

Lab2

Lab3

Demo3
HIS

Demo4

Demo5

HIS
HIS

HIS

HIS

LE
DS
G
DS
LE
LE
LE

Lab4

Lab5

Lab6

HIS
HIS

HIS
HIS

HIS
HIS

HIS

HIS
HIS

36

gravel
bananasplitdishes
trustspacerstomakebeams
mixingcontainers(sm.buckets,
butterbowls,lg.plasticcups)
cylindermolds(paperorplastic
tubes,pipeinsulation)
disposablegloves
mixingutensils
100mlgraduatedcylinder
balance
dryingoven
refrigerator
Ziplocbags
pHpaperoruniversalindicator
sealablecontainerfor1cylinder
petridish
bargemold
spreadingutensil
cargo(washersorweights)
finishingtools
formforflowerpot
8'and2'2x4's
largegatehinge
sheetmetal
copperpipecaps
rubberstoppersorwashers
2Cclamps(6''orlarger)
PVCpipe
hydraulicjack
dowelrod
releasingagents
wiremesh

HIS

HIS

DS

HIS
O
DS

LE
LE

LE
LE
LE
LE
DS
LE
DS
LE

HIS

HIS

DS

HIS
DS

DS

G
DS

G
DS

LE

O
DS
H
DS
DS
HIS
H
H
H
H
H
HIS
seelab
DS
G
H

Demonstration1:
MakingaSiltTest
Objective:Thepurposeofthisdemonstrationistodeterminetheviabilityofanaggregatebased
onasilttest.
MaterialsandSupplies:

37

Sampleaggregate(sandandkittylitterworkwellforcomparison)
Glasscontainerwithlid
Water
Ruler

water

silt layer
aggregate

Procedure:
1. Place5cmofaggregateinthecontainer.
2. Fillthecontainerwithwatersothewaterlevelis2cmabovetheaggregate.
3. Shakevigorouslyfor1minute,makingthelastfewshakesinaswirling
motiontolevelofftheaggregate.
4. Itissuggestedthatthisdemonstrationbedonetwice,oncewithsandand
oncewithkittylittertoobtainvariousresults.
5. Allowthecontainertostandforanhour,oruntiltheliquidabovethe
aggregateisclear.
6. Thelayerthatappearsabovetheaggregateisreferredtoassilt.Measurethe
siltlayer.Ifthislayerismorethan3mmthick,theaggregateisnotsuitablefor
concreteworkunlessexcesssiltisremovedbywashing.
C.ExpectedResults:
Thesandleavesa3mmlayerandthereforeisaviableaggregate.Kittylitter,whichisclay,
leavesathickerlayerandisnotasuitableaggregate.

38

Demonstration2
ConductinganOrganicMatterTest
Objective:Thepurposeofthisdemonstrationistodeterminetheviabilityofanaggregatebased
ontheamountoforganicmatterpresent.
MaterialsNeeded:
Sand
A50:50mixtureofsandanddirt
Glasscontainer(10oz.juicejarorsimilarsize)withlid
A3%solutionofsodiumhydroxideNaOH(madebydissolving9gramsofsodium
hydroxide,householdlye,orcausticsoda,in300mLofwater,preferably
distilled).
Procedure:
1.Fillcontainerwithsandtothe150mLmark.
2.Add120mlof3%NaOHsolution.
3.Shakethoroughlyfor1or2minutesandallowtostandfor24hours.
4.Repeattheprocedureusingthesanddirtmixture.
5.Indicatethecoloroftheliquidremainingonthetopoftheaggregate.
Thecoloroftheliquidwillindicatewhetherornottheaggregatecontainstoomuchorganic
matter.Acolorlessliquidindicatesacleanaggregate,freefromorganicmatter.Astrawcolored
solution,notdarkerthanapplecidervinegar,indicatessomeorganicmatterburnotenoughtobe
seriouslyobjectionable.Darkercolorsmeanthatitcontainstoomuchorganicmatterandshould
notbeusedunlessitiswashedandtestedagain.

39

ExpectedResults:
Thesandleavesacolorlessliquid.Thesanddirtmixtureproducesayellowtoorangeliquid.

40

Demonstration3:
EffectofAggregateonWorkabilityofConcrete
Objective:Thepurposeofthisdemonstrationistodeterminetheeffectofdifferentaggregates
ontheworkabilityoftheresultingconcrete.
MaterialsandSupplies:
cement
water
smalllimestonechips(peagravel)
sand

twocontainerslabeled:
"limestonechipaggregate"

"sandaggregate"

Procedure:
1.Add1partofcementand1/2partwatertoeachcontainer.Suggested
amountsinclude50gramsofconcreteand25mlofwater.
2.Mixtomakethecementpaste.
3.Totheappropriatecontainer,add3parts(150g)oflimestonechipsandmix.
4.Tothesecondcontainer,add3parts(150g)ofsandandmix.
5.Usingglovedhands,kneadtheconcretetodetermineitsworkability.
6.Whichconcretemixtureismoreworkable?Why?
ExpectedResults:
Thesandaggregateismoreworkable,becausethesmallerparticlesfacilitateflow.Thelarger
particlesofthegravelhinderit.

41

Demonstration4
It'sHeatingUp!
Objective:Thepurposeofthisdemonstrationistotrackthetemperaturechangesthatoccur
duringthecuringprocessofconcrete.
MaterialsandSupplies:
freshcementuseatleast100gramsforbestresults
thermometer
insulatedcontainerwithacover
drinkingstraw
plasticcuptoholdcement
Suggestions:
1. Use150gramsofcementand75mLofwaterina6ounceyogurtcontaineror
otherplasticcontainer.

box

2. Useaninsulated1quartdrinkingmugorplacethesampleinaplasticbottlewhichis
setinsideachildsthermos.Thethermometerisinsertedintoaoneholedrubber
stopperwhichfitsthethermos.Alternatively,thesamplebottlecanbeplacedina
filledwithStyrofoam.Anotheroptionwouldbetouseacoffeecan.Thespaceinside
thecancouldbepackedwithinsulation,andtheoutsidecouldbewrappedinpipe
insulation.Aholecanbecutinthecoffeecanlidtoaccommodatethethermometer.

Procedure:
1. Fillthecontainerwithfreshconcrete,usingaggregateisnotnecessary.
straw.

2. Foldoveraninchofthedrinkingstrawandtapeclosed.Insertthermometerinto

3. Placethefilledcontainerintoaninsulatedcontainer.Insertthedrinkingstraw
housing
thethermometerintothecenteroftheconcrete.Placethelidsecurelyonthe
container.
occur

4. Recordthetemperatureevery5minutesfor20minutes.Mostofthechangewill
inthefirst15minutesbutwillcontinuethroughoutthewholecuringperiod.

OptionalProcedure:

42

1. Repeatexperimentusinganadmixture,suchascalciumchloride,whichspeedsup
theprocess(Use2%ofCaCl2byweightofcement)
2. Attachtheapparatustoacomputerthermocouplethatwillrecordthetemperature
changesfortheclassoveraday.
ExpectedResults:
Youshouldseeanincreasefor4hours,mostofwhichisobservedwithinthefirst1520minutes.
Thelargerthemassofconcretethehigherthetemperaturerise.500gramsofconcreteshould
giveariseofabout10Cifwellinsulated.150gramsofcementgavea4Cchange.

43

Demonstration5
pHofCement
Objective:Thepurposeofthisdemonstrationistoshowthereactionofwaterwithcementand
theaccompanyingchangeinpH.
MaterialsandSupplies:
distilledwater
cement
petridish
overhead
universalindicatororpHhydrionpaper
spatula
Procedure:
1.FillaPetridishhalffullofdistilledwater.
2. Ifusinguniversalindicator,placeadropinthewaterandmix.Ifsolutionisnot
yellow,addadropofdiluteacidtomakeityellow.IfusingthepHpaper,lay2strips
onthebottomofthedishsothediameterofthedishiscovered.
3. Placethedishontheoverhead.
4. IntothesolutionorontopofthepHpaper,placeaspatulafullofcement.
5. Observethechange.
ExpectedResults:
Asthecementmixeswiththewater,hydroxideionsareformed,thuschangingtheindicator
solutiontoblue.Emphasisshouldbeplacedonthefactthatachemicalreactionisoccurringnot
adissolvingprocess.

44

TheBasicMix:
Ageneralteacher'sguideforconcretepreparation
The physical properties of density and strength of concrete are determined, in part, by the
proportionsofthethreekeyingredients,water,cement,andaggregate.Youhaveyourchoiceof
proportioningingredientsbyvolumeorbyweight. Proportioningbyvolumeislessaccurate,
howeverduetothetimeconstraintsofaclasstimeperiodthismaybethepreferredmethod.
Abasicmixtureofmortarcanbemadeusingthevolumeproportionsof1water:2cement:3
sand.Mostofthestudentactivitiescanbeconductedusingthisbasicmixture.Anotheroldrule
of thumb for mixing concrete is 1 cement : 2 sand : 3 gravel by volume. Mix the dry
ingredientsandslowlyaddwateruntiltheconcreteisworkable.Thismixturemayneedtobe
modifieddependingontheaggregateusedtoprovideaconcreteoftherightworkability.The
mixshouldnotbetoostiffortoosloppy.Itisdifficulttoformgoodtestspecimensifitistoo
stiff.Ifitistoosloppy,watermayseparate(bleed)fromthemixture.
Rememberthatwateristhekeyingredient.Toomuchwaterresultsinweakconcrete.Toolittle
waterresultsinaconcretethatisunworkable.
Suggestions:
1. Ifpredeterminedquantitiesareused,themethodusedtomakeconcreteistodry
blend
solidsandthenslowlyaddwater(withadmixtures,ifused).
2. Itisusualtodissolveadmixturesinthemixwaterbeforeaddingittotheconcrete.
Superplasticizerisanexception.

of
or

3. Formscanbemadefrommanymaterials.Cylindricalformscanbeplasticorpaper
tubes,pipeinsulation,cups,etc.Theconcreteneedstobeeasilyremovedfromthe
forms.Pipeinsulationfromahardwarestorewasusedforlabtrials.Thisfoamlike
materialwaseasytoworkwithandisreusablewiththeadditionoftape.Thebottom
theformscanbetaped,corked,setonglassplates,etc.Smallplasticweighingtrays
DairyQueenbananasplitdishescanbeusedasformsforboatsorcanoes.

be

4. Ifcompressiontestsaredone,itmaybeofinteresttospreaduniversalindicatorover
thebrokenfaceandnoteanycolorchangesfrominsidetooutside.Youmayseea
yellowishsurfaceduetocarbonationfromCO2 intheatmosphere.Theinsidemay
blueduetocalciumhydroxide.

45

5. Toanswertheproverbialquestion,Isthisright?aslumptestmaybeperformed.
Aslumptestinvolvesfillinganinverted,bottomlessconewiththeconcretemixture.
A
Styrofoamorpapercupwiththebottomremovedmakesagoodbottomlesscone.
Make sure to pack the concrete several times while filling the cone. Carefully
remove
theconebyliftingitstraightupward.Placetheconebesidethepileofconcrete.
The
pileshouldbeabout1/2to3/4 theheightoftheconeforaconcretemixturewith
good
workability.
(SEEDIAGRAM)

set).

6. Tostrengthensamplesandtopromotehydration,soakconcreteinwater(afteritis

7. Wetsandmaycarryconsiderablewater,sotheamountofmixwatershouldbe
reduced

tocompensate.
8. Airbubblesinthemoldswillbecomeweakpointsduringstrengthtests.Theycanbe
eliminatedby:
i. packingtheconcrete.
ii. Tappingthesidesofthemoldwhilefillingthemold.
iii. "rodding"theconcreteinsidethemoldwithathinspatula.
low

9. Specialchemicalscalledwaterreducingagentsareusedtoimproveworkabilityat
watertocementratiosandthusproducehigherstrengths.Mostreadymixcompanies
usethesechemicals,whichareknowncommerciallyassuperplasticizers.Theywill
probablybewillingtogiveyousomeatnocharge.

10.Youcanbuyabagofcementfromyourlocalhardwarestore.Abagcontains94lb.
(40kg)ofcement.Oncethebaghasbeenopened,placeitinsideagarbagebag(or
two)
thatiswellsealedfromair.Thiswillkeepthecementfreshduringthesemester.An
openbagwillpickupmoistureandtheresultingconcretemay beweaker. Once
cementdevelopslumps,itmustbediscarded.Thereadymixcompanyinyourarea
maygiveyoucementfreeofchargeinaplasticpail.

46

Experiment1
What'stheMatter
IntroductiontothePhysicalPropertiesofMatter
Objective:Theobjectiveofthislabistoidentifydifferentclassesofmatterbasedonphysical
properties. This lab introduces the key ingredients of concrete. It provides a deeper
understandingofthephysicalpropertiesofconcrete.
ScientificPrinciples:
Matterisdividedintothefourbasicstatesofsolid,liquid,gas,andplasma.Matterisclassified
based on composition. Homogeneous matter is matter that appears the same throughout a
mixture.Heterogeneousmatterismatterthathasdifferingappearancesthroughoutthemixture.
Theconceptmapbelowshowstherelationshipbetweensomeoftheprimaryclassesofmatter.
M ATTER

M IXTURE

M IXTURE
(heterogeneous)

SOLUTIONS
(homogeneous)

PURE SUBSTANCE
(homogeneous)

COM POUND

ELEM ENT

Matterisidentifiedbyitscharacteristicphysicalproperties. Physicalpropertiesarethosethat
can be determined without altering the composition of the substance, such as, color, odor,
density,strength,elasticity,magnetism,andsolubility.Chemicalpropertiesaredescriptionsof
the substance and its reactions with other substances to create new substances with new
properties.Thesechemicalpropertiesareidentifiedthroughchemicalreactions.Evidenceofa
chemicalreactionpossiblyoccurringcanbeseenthroughacolorchange,temperaturechange,
evolution ofagas,andtheformation ofanewsubstance. This labwill onlyfocus onthe
physicalpropertiesofmatter.
Time:4550minutes
MaterialsandSupplies:
testtubes
47

magnet
magnifyingglass
water
woodensplints
Differentsamplesofmatter(anyofthefollowing):
bakingsoda
balloonfilledwithair
ironfilings
flour
sulfur
cornstarch
sugar
vermiculiteorperlite
Styrofoambeads
salt
pepper
cement
aggregates
clay
GeneralSafetyGuidelines:

Wearsafetygoggles.
Someofthematerialsmaycauseskinirritation.Weargloves.

Procedure:
1. Examineeachsample.Recordcolor,odor,andrelativeparticlesizeinthedatatable.
Useamagnifyingglassifnecessary.
is

2. Withamagnet,testeachsampleformagneticproperties.Recordwhetherthesample
magneticornot.

3. Testthesolubilityinwaterofeachsamplebyadding5mLofwatertoasmalltest
tube.
Addsomeofthesampletothewater.Flickthetesttubewithyourfingertohelpmix
thesampleinthewater.(Note:Ifmixingdoesnotoccur,useawoodensplint.)
Recordobservations.
DataandCalculations:
Fillinthedatatablebasedonyourobservations.
Sample
Color
Odor
Particle Magnetic Solubilit
Size
y

Stateof
Matter

Classof
Matter

48

49

Questions:
1

a. Howdoyoudeterminewhichsampleisthemostsoluble?
b. Listthesamplesfromhighesttolowestsolubility.

2. Whichofthesampleswouldbeclassifiedasamixture?

3. Whatphysicalpropertiesofmatterweretestedinthislab?

4. Whatphysicalpropertiesofconcretewouldbeimportanttoconsiderwhenmakinga
structure?

Why?

50

NotesforTeacher:

Thisisaversionofacommonclassificationexperimentconductedinmanychemistry
andgeneralsciencecourses.Itisincludedinthismoduletoprovideameansforthe
introductionofconcreteanditskeyingredients.

Thetotalnumberofsamplesislefttotheteachersdiscretion.Sand,water,gravel,
cement,andconcreteshouldbesamplesofmattertobetested.Thiswillprovidefor
theintroductionofthetopicconcreteanditskeyingredients.

Besurethemagnetisprotectedfromdirectlypickingupanyofthemagnetic
fragments
inthesamples.Themagnetmaybecoveredwithtapeorstudentsmayplacea
pieceof
paperbetweenthemagnetandthesample.

Itisstronglyrecommendedthattheteacherdoatrialrunofthisexperimentbefore
usingitwiththestudents.

Thisexperimentcouldbeusedasaleadintodensitybyasking,Ofthematerialsthat
didntdissolveinwater,whichwasthemostdenseandleastdense?

Notethatwhencementisaddedtowatertodeterminesolubility,thestudentsmay
concludethatcementisinsolublebecauseitsrateofdissolutionisrelativelyslow.
However,aquickcheckofpHwilldemonstratethatsomethingishappening.

Note:Vermiculiteisacompound.

AnswerstoQuestions:
1

a.Thesamplethathasthehighestmassdissolvedpervolumeofwateristhemost
soluble.
b.Answerswillvary.

2. Thisisdependentuponthesamplesused.However,mixturesareusuallyobvious
fromappearanceexceptsolutions.
3. color,odor,size,magnetism,solubility
4. Sizeofparticlesandsolubilityofsubstancesusedtomakeit.Thephysicalproperties
helpdeterminethepurityofconcrete'singredientswhichgreatlyaffecttheproduced
concrete'scharacteristics.

51

Experiment2
HowDenseIsIt?
AnIntroductiontoConcreteDensityandAggregates
Objective:Theobjectiveofthisexperimentistodeterminethedensityofaconcretesampleand
tolearntheeffectofvarioustypesofaggregatesonconcrete'sdensity.
ScientificPrinciples:
Densityisthephysicalpropertyofmatterthatmeasuresthequantityofasubstanceperunitof
space.Densityisrecordedinunitsofgramspercubiccentimeter(g/cm 3)forsolids,gramsper
milliliter(g/mL)forliquids,andgramsperliter(g/L)forgases.Densityisawayofdetermining
howcompactonesubstanceiscomparedtoanother. Densityisalsothepropertythatenables
oneobjecttobebuoyantoranothertosink.Theobjectthatislessdensewillfloatinamore
densesubstance.Thedensityofatypicalconcreteis2.3g/cm3.
Time:4550minutes
MaterialsandSupplies:
cured1/2x2cylindersofconcretesamples(eachconsistingofadifferentaggregate)
sampleconcreterecipes

water
cement
aggregate

25mL
50g
150gsand

15mL
50g
35gpea
gravel

25mL
50g
4gdry
vermiculite

20mL
50g
none

100mlgraduatedcylinder
water
balance
GeneralSafetyGuidelines:

Toavoidcrackingthegraduatedcylinder,gentlyslidetheconcretecylinderdownthe
side.
Weargoggles.
Concretecanbecaustic.Washhandsafterdirectcontact.

Procedure:

52

1. Estimatewhichsamplewillhavethehighestandwhichwillhavethelowestdensity.
Recordyourideasonthedatachart.
2. Masseachcuredcylinderonthebalance.Recordindatatable.
3. Halffillagraduatedcylinderwithwater.Recordtheinitialvolumeofwater.
any

4. Gentlyslidetheconcretecylinderintothegraduatedcylindersoastonotsplashout
waterorbreaktheglassbottom.
5. Recordthefinalvolumeofwaterwiththeconcretecylinderinit.
Subtractthefinalvolumefromtheinitialvolumeofwatertoobtainthevolumeofthe
cylinder.
6. Removetheconcretecylinderfromthewater.
7. Repeatsteps16forallothercylinders.
8. Calculatethedensityofeachcylinderbydividingcylinder'smassbyitsvolume.

DataandAnalysis:
Estimates
highestdensitycylinder_________________
lowestdensitycylinder_________________
DataTable

53

Aggregate Type

Mass of Cylinder

Final Water Level

Initial Water Level

Total water displaced (mL)


(Volume of cylinder)

Density g/mL

54

Questions
1. a.Whattypeofcylinderwastheleastdense?
b.Whattypeofcylinderwasthemostdense?

2. Giveauseforthecylinderinquestion1a.

3. Giveauseforthecylinderinquestion1b.

4. Wereyourestimatescorrect?Didanyoftheresultssurpriseyou?Why?

5. Howdoyourvaluescomparetothetypicaldensityofconcrete(2.3g/cm3)?

55

NotesforTeacher:
Manyscience coursesalreadyhaveadensityexperimentaspartofthecourse. Theuseof
concrete cylinders will add a new touch to these experiments. It is assumed the concrete
cylinderswerepreviouslypreparedbytheteacher.
This experiment could be performed as an investigation in which students prepare concrete
mixturesofdifferentingredientproportionstostudytheireffectondensity.Thesecylindersof
varyingcompositioncouldlaterbeusedintheStressandStrainexperiment.Thiscouldalsobe
donewithdifferentkindsofaggregates.Aggregatedensitiescouldbedetermined,aswellasthe
density of hardened paste. Lightweight aggregates are usually available from a ready mix
company.Horticulturalvermiculiteorperlitecanbeused.Thedensityofaggregatescouldbe
measuredandcorrelatedwiththedensityofconcrete.(Agoodprojectforadvancedstudents.)
Whenmeasuringthedensityofaggregates,itisadvisabletomeasurethedensityofsaturated
aggregates(soakinwaterforatleastonehourorovernight). Otherwisetheaggregateswill
absorb water during the displacement measurement and give erroneous results. Remember,
aggregatesinconcretebecomefullysaturated.
Thiscouldbeturnedintoamaterialssciencecompetitioninwhichthestudentsmustmakea
cylinderwiththegreatestorleastdensity.
ExpectedResults:
Thefourcylindertypeslistedfrommostdensetoleastdense:
gravel,sand,paste,vermiculite
AnswerstoQuestions:
1. a.vermiculite
b.gravel
2. Anyobjectsthatfloat.Answerswillvary.
3. Answerswillvary.Roads,bridges,andunderwaterstructures.
4. Answerswillvary.
5. Sandorgravelshouldbeclosesttothisvalue.

56

Experiment3
HotandColdpHun!
CementHydrationandpHEvolutionduringCuring
Objective: Students will calculate the amount of water that reacts during hydration when
cementbecomesconcreteunderdifferingcuringtemperaturesandobservethepHchangethat
occursinthecuringprocess.
ScientificPrinciples:
Wateristhereactantthatmakesconcretehard.Thedegreeofhydration,ormaturity,ofthe
concretedeterminestheporosityoftheconcrete.Porosityistheamountofemptyspaceinthe
concrete.Lowporosityconcretehashighstrengthandlastsforalongtime.
Duringthehydrationofthecement,thecompoundcalciumhydroxide,Ca(OH) 2,isproduced.
Calciumhydroxideisabasiccompound(alkaline). Basesarecaustic(eatsskintissue),feel
slipperyonyourskin(likesoap),andhaveabittertaste(donttasteit!).Calciumhydroxideisa
mildbase,butcanirritatesensitiveskin,sobecareful!
Basesalsoaffectindicators(chemicalsthatchangecolor).Therearemanydifferentindicators.
Universalindicatorisamixtureofdifferentindicatorssothatcolorscanbeachievedallalong
thepHscale.ThepHscaleisanumericalrangeusedtodeterminetheacidityoralkalinityofa
substance.Thescalerangesfrom1to14.pHsfrom1to6areacidic.ApHof7isneutral.
Valuesrangingfrom8to14arebasic.
Theenvironmentalconditions,suchastemperatureandhumidity,underwhichtheconcreteis
curedcanalsoaffecttheconcretesprocessingandproperties.Coolersurroundingsresultsin
concretehydratingataslowerrate.
Time:100120minutes(21/2classperiods)
MaterialsandSuppliesforGroupsof23:
Freshcement
mixingcontainer
stirstick
balance
oven
refrigerator
labels
pHpaper

57

3glassorplasticpetridishes(seeTeacher'sNotes)
plasticwraporZiplocbags
gloves
graduatedcylinder
releasingagent(PAMcookingspray,cookingoil,aluminumfoil,plasticwrap)

58

GeneralSafetyGuidelines:

Prolongedexposuremaycauseseverechemicalburns.
Washexposedskinaftercontact.
Glovesshouldbeworntoprotecttheskin,especiallyifyourskinissensitive.
Allheatingmustbedoneinaovenonly.

Procedure:
Day1:
1. Prepareabatchoffreshpasteusing100gofcementand40mLofwater.
2
cooking

a. Placeareleasingagent(PAMcookingspray,aluminumfoil,plasticwrap,
oil)inallthreepetridishes.Besuretocovertheentireinsideofthedish.
b. Massthethreepetridishesandrecordinthedatatable.

3. a. Filleachpetridish1/4fullwiththepasteandlevelitoff.
b. Masseachdishseparatelyandrecordinthedatatable.
c. WraptwodishesinplasticwraporplaceinZiplocbags.Setoneasideatroom
temperature.Setthesecondinarefrigerator.
d. Putthethirddishintoasellablecontainerwithwater.Besurethewaterlevel
iswellbelowtheedgeofthedish.Tightlysealthecontainerandplaceitin
anovensetat40C.
4. UsingpHpaper,testthepHoftapwaterandanyleftoverfreshconcretepaste.
Record
yourvaluesonthedatapage.
5. Allowformstocure24hours.
Day2:
1. Removetheconcretesamplesfromtheircontrolledenvironments.
2. Masseachdishseparatelyandrecordinthedatatable.
3. Determinethemassoforiginalwaterbyusingtheequationfoundinthedataand
calculationssection.
and

4. Determinethemassoftheoriginalcementbyusingtheequationfoundinthedata
calculationssection.

59

5. Placeeachsampleinanovensetat100110C.Allowthesamplestoremaininthe
ovenfor24hours.
Day3:
1. Removethesamplesfromtheovenandallowtocool.
2. Weigheachpetridishandthendeterminethemassofonlythecementpaste.
3. Determinethemassofwaterdrivenoffintheovenbyusingtheequationsinthedata
andcalculationssection.
data

4. Calculatethemassofwatercombinedduringhydrationusingtheequationsinthe
andcalculationssection.
5. Calculatethepercentofwaterreactedusingtheequationsinthedataandcalculations
section.

DataandAnalysis:
CalculationHints:
(1) M ass of original water= 0.4
[day 2 sample mass]
1.4
(2) M ass of original cement=1.0
[day 2 sample mass]
1.4
(3) M ass of water driven off in the oven = [day 2 sample mass] - [day 3 sample mass]
(4) M ass of water combined during hydration = original water - water driven off
to (3)
(5) Answer
x 100 = Percent of water reacted.
Answer to (1)
Data:
pHofmixedcement_________________
pHoftapwater____________________

Day1
massofpetridish
massofconcreteand
dish
Day2
massofconcreteand
dish

ROOM

REFRIGERATOR

OVEN

60

massofsample
massoforiginalwater
massoforiginalcement
Day3
massofdishanddry
sample
massofdrysample
massofwaterdriven
off
massofwater
combinedinreaction
%ofwaterreacted
(hydration)

61

Questions:
1. Whichcuringenvironmentyieldedthegreatestpercentofwaterreacted?

2. a.Whatistherelationshipbetweencuringenvironmentandamountofhydration?

b.Doyourresultssupportyouranswer?

3. Whichconcretesamplewouldyouhypothesizetohavethegreateststrength?
Explainyourreasoning.

4. Whatproofdoyouhavethathydrationisachemicalchange?

5. Supposeyoucameacrossacontainerfilledwithasubstancethatlookedlikeconcrete.
WhenyoutesteditwithpHpaper,thepaperturnedred.Wasthesubstanceconcrete?
Explainyourreasoning.

62

NotesforTeacher:

Studentsmayuseanuniversalbatchormaketheirownmixturestostudywaterto
cementratioeffectonpHandhydration.

Ifplasticpetridishesareused,placeafewsheetsofpaperontheovenrackbefore
settingthedishesintheoven.Thentheyshouldn'tmelt.Ifplasticdishesareused,a
releasingagentisunnecessarysincethedishisdisposable.

Studentsmayinvestigatetheeffectofadmixtures.Calciumchloridecanbeusedto
accelerate setting(2%CaCl22H2Obyweightofcement). Sugarcanbeusedto
retard setting(0.1%byweightofcement).Commercialacceleratorsandretarderscan
be obtainedfromyourlocalreadymixcompany.

Analternativeexperimentistovarytheamountsofwateravailableforhydrationand
determinetheresults.Samplesareallkeptatroomtemperature.Oneiscoveredwith
wetpapertowelsandplasticsheeting,onewithplasticsheetingonly,andoneis
coveredwithonlyawetpapertowel.Thetestspecimenswouldthenbetreatedas
describedinDay2.

Studentscouldperformthesameprocedureoncylindersofdifferentagestoprove
that hydrationcontinuesoveralongperiodoftime.
ExpectedResults:
Hydrationofthesampleintheovenisacceleratedbyawarmenvironment.Therefore,the
sampleintheovenwillusemorewaterinitshydrationproducts.Soitwillhavethehighest
waterreactedandthecoolerenvironmentintherefrigeratorwillhavetheleast.
AnswerstoQuestions:
1. Oven
2. a.Colderenvironmentresultsinlesshydrationoccurring,morefreewateris
available.
b.Answerswillvary
3. Ovensample,becausemorehydrationcouldhaveoccurred.
4. ThepHpaperchangedcolorandnewproductswereformed,becausewaterwas
retained,notevaporated.

63

5. No.pHpaperchangestoblue,indicatingabaseisproducedduringtheformationof
concrete.Achangetoredindicatesanacidicchange,notbasic.

64

Experiment4
TheFleetAfloat!
ADesignProject
Objective:Studentswilldesignaconcretebargewhichwillfloatandcarryamaximumcargo.
Inthisexperimentthestudentswillbelearningtoworkwiththecomponentmaterialsusedto
makeconcreteandbuildingandtestingaconcretestructureforphysicalproperties.
ScientificPrinciples:
Densityisameasureofthecompactnessofamaterial.Itisameasureofhowmuchmatteris
squeezedintoagivenspace.Densityistheamountofmatterperunitofvolume.
mass
Density = volume
Whetheranobjectwillsinkorfloatinwaterdependsonitsdensity.Anobjectwillfloatifitis
lessdensethanwater.Anobjectwillsinkifitismoredensethanwater.Ifanobjecthasa
densityequaltothatofwater,itwillneithersinknorfloat.Thedensityofwateris1.00g/cm3.
Theapparentdensityofanobjectcanbechangedbyeitherchangingthemassoftheobject,the
shapeoftheobject,orboth.Foragivenmassofconcrete,theapparentdensitycanbealtered
bychangingthevolumeitoccupies(i.e.volumedisplacedwhenplacedinwater).Concretecan
bemadetofloatifitisshapedlikeaboat.Aboatshapedorhollowobjectwilldisplacea
volumeofwatergreaterthantheactualvolumeofsolidmaterialintheobject.Theobjectissaid
tobe"buoyant"whenitfloatsduetolowdensity.Byspreadingouttheconcreteusedtomake
theboatoveralargervolume,theapparentdensityoftheboatbecomeslessthanthatofwater.
Hencetheboatfloats!
Time:90min.(1classperiodformakingthebargesand1classperiodfortesting)
MaterialsandSupplies:
Thefollowingmaterialsareneededforeachgroupof23students:
moldtomakebarge
cement
water
variousaggregates
sand
peagravel
vermiculite
smallStyrofoamballs
perlite
65

crushedcorncobs
23pairsofglovesforconcretehandling
newspapers
spreadingutensilforspreadingconcreteinbarges
boatortraytodemonstratebuoyancywithcargo
12poundsofwashers,weightsorleadshot

66

GeneralSafetyGuidelines:

Itiseasiesttoformthecanoebyhand,butcementiscaustic.Wearplasticgloves.
Washyourhandswellafteruse.

DesignCompetitionParameters:

to

1. Thebargeorcanoemustbeconstructedfrommaterials(cementandvarious
aggregates)providedbytheinstructor.Theformusedtocreatethebargeorcanoeis
beprovidedbythestudents.
2. Theproportionsoftheingredientsusedinthecementmixturearetobechosenby
thestudentsusingthefollowingasaguide,notarecipe:
3partsaggregate:2partscement:1partwater
100gramsofcementissufficientforoneDairyQueenboat.
3. Onceconstructed,thebargeorcanoeshouldbecuredforatleast24hours.

DesignTestingProcedures:
1. Themassofeachemptybargeorcanoewillbemeasured.Thelightertheshipthe
morepointsitreceives.Anyvessellessthan150gramsearnsthemaximumpoints
value.
2. Eachbargeorcanoewillbeplacedinthewater.Theemptybargeorcanoemustfloat
foroneminutebeforethecargowillbeadded.Acargowillbeaddedinincrements
untilthepointwhentheshipbeginstotakeonwater.Eachshipmustfloatfor1
minutepriortotheadditionofeachadditionalcargoincrement.Forthecanoe,
whetherthecanoeleansorfloatslevelwillbenoted.
3. Themassofthecargowillbemeasured.Forevery50gramstheshipholds,itwill
receiveonepoint.
4. Aratioof massofcargowillbecalculatedtodetermineeachbargesclassrank.
massofship
5. Bargeswhichfailtofloatwithoutanycargowillbeassignedapredeterminedpoint
value.
6. Pointswillbeawardedtoeachbargebasedonitsclassrank.
7. Thecostofconstructionwillbecalculatedforeachboatwhichsuccessfullyfloats
for12minutestodetermineitsclassrank.(optional)

67

8. Theamountofleakagewillbedeterminedandpointvalueswillbegivenforthe
differentlevelsofleakage.

68

OtherProcedures:
1. Supposeyouandafriendareinacanoewithaloadofrocks.Ifyouthrowhalfof
therocksoverboard,willthewaterlevelofthepondgoup,down,orstaythe
same?Makenoteofyourprediction.
2. Inacontainerofwater,floataboatloadedwithacargoofwashersorotheruniform
weight.Makesurethewater'sheightisgreaterthanthecombinedheightofthe
washersandtheboat.
3. Markthewaterlevelonthecontainerandonthesideoftheboat.
4. Putthecargoofwashersinthewater.Markthenewwaterlevelsonthecontainer
andthesideoftheboat.

69

Questions
1. Whathappenstothewaterlevelonthesideoftheboatwhenthecargoismoved
from
theboattothewater?

2. Ifyouseeaboatridinghighinthewater,whichisitmorelikelytobecarrying:lead
bricks,glassmarbles,orStyrofoamcups?

3. Whathappenstothewaterlevelonthesideofthecontainerwhenthecargois
moved
fromtheboattothewater?Wasyourpredictioncorrect?

4. Describetheshape,dimensions,andcompositionofyourbarge.Drawanillustration.

5. Whatwasthelimitingfactorinyourbargedesign?

of cargo
6. a. Calculate your ratio of mass
mass of barge

b.Howwouldyouchangeyourbargesdesigntoimprovethisratio?

7. Howcouldyouchangethedensityofyourbarge/canoewithoutchangingitsmass?

70

NotesforTeacher:

Severalcriteriaarelistedsothattheteachermaychoosetheguidelinesupon
whichtorankthebarges/canoes.

Thisexperimentemphasizesthephysicalgeometryofthebargeandthereforemaybe
most suitable for a physics course when discussing principles of density and

buoyancy.
mass.

their

Thecargocouldbeleadshot,washers,weights,oranyothermaterialofuniform
Theoneminutewaitingperiodpriortotheadditionofmorecargomayneedtobe
shorteneddependingonclassperiodlengthandthenumberofbargesbeingtested.
However,awaitingperiodisnecessarytoprovidetimeforwatertoenterthebarge.

Theformmaterialscouldbeprovidedorthestudentscouldbedirectedtobringin
ownforms,allowingtheirimaginationstowander.Limitsmightneedtobesetin
termsofdimension,weight,oramountofconcrete/cementavailable.Possibilitiesfor
thebargeformsaretravelsoapdishoratraveltoothbrushholderorevenanoldtennis
shoe.DairyQueenbananasplitboats,foaminsulation,plasticweighingdishes,old
butter/margarinecontainersaresuitableforthecanoe.

Foammeattraysorplywoodboardsmakegoodbasesforthebarges/canoestobeset
onandareveryhelpfulwhenmovingthemfromthebuildingsitetothecuringsite(if
different).Theshipsshouldbecoveredwithwetragsorplasticwhilecuringtohelp
retardevaporationandimprovehydration.

Awashtub,5gallonbucket,orasmallchildsswimmingpoolcouldbeusedforthe
testingwaters.Donotusepondsorswimmingpools.Cementiscaustictoliving
things.Avideorecordingofthetestingcouldalsobemade.Thevideocouldbeset
outinthehallwayandreplayedduringparentconferencesfortheparentstoview
waitingtospeakwithyougreatpublicrelations.

ThisactivitycouldbetiedintoaholidaysuchasLaborDay,ColumbusDayor
WashingtonsBirthdayobservance.Decorationscouldbeaddedtothebargesand
competitionheldtodeterminethemostaestheticallypleasingbarge.Theartclasses
mightbeaskedtojudgethebarges.

Note: Preassigndollaramountstoquantitiesofmaterialsinordertocalculatethe
oftheboat.(optional)Thisoptionallowsdiscussionofeconomyandefficiency.

while

cost

71

AnswerstoQuestions:
1. Willgodown.i.e.,boatrideshighinthewater
2. Styrofoamcups
3. Thelevelgoesdown!
Removingthecargolowersthewaterlevelbyavolume,V1,equaltothecargo's
mass
overtheapparentdensityoftheboatandcargo.Thewatervolume,V2,raisesfrom
the
cargoputintothewaterbyitsmassoveritsdensity.
Cargo M ass
V1 =
1 g/cm 3
Cargo M ass
V2 =
2.3 g/cm 3
Simplemathyields:V2V1=0.57*CargoMass
Notethatthenegativesignmeansdown.
4. Answersvarybasedonstudentsdesign.
5. Possibleanswers:heavymass;lowsurfacearea;poorconstruction;settingtime
inadequate.
6. a. Answersvary.
b. Possibleanswers:changeaggregates;changeconcretecomponentproportions;
differentshapedform.
7. Bychangingitsvolume.

72

Experiment5
StressandStrain
AnIntroductiontoStressandStrain
Objective:Studentswilldesignandmakeaconcretecylinderandbeamthatcanwithstandthe
greatestappliedload.
ScientificPrinciples:
Solidshaverigiditybecausethebondingforcesbetweentheatomsresistchanges. Whenan
external force is applied toasolid,the interatomic forcesallow for deformations tooccur.
Whenthedistortingexternalforceisremoved,theforcesbetweentheatomsbringthembackto
theiroriginalpositionsandthesolid,asawhole,backtoitsoriginalshape. Thispropertyis
calledelasticity. Allsolidmaterialsareelastictosomeextent,evenconcrete.Theamountof
elasticdeformationthatcanoccurinamaterialisdependentonthetypeofstressapplied.
Twocommontypesofstressarecompressiveandtensile.Compressiveforcesexistwhenyou
pushtogetheramaterial.Walkingonconcreteisonesuchexample.Tensilestressesdescribea
materialwhenitispulledupon.Thecablethatsupportstheloadofacraneisagoodexampleof
tensilestresses.
Whileinelasticregions,compressiveandtensilestressesdonodamagetothematerial. A
materialwillreturntoitsoriginaldimensionsoncethestresshasbeenremovedifitiswithinthis
region.Ifthestressbecomestoogreatinconcrete,microscopiccracksbegintoforminsidethe
concrete. Once cracks begin to form, the concrete will not return exactly to its original
dimensions and thus behaves inelastically. These changes are very small and not easy to
measurewithoutexpensiveequipment.Astheloadincreases,thesemicroscopiccrackscome
togethersoastoformonelargemacroscopiccrack,andtheconcretefracturesorfails.Concrete
hasverygoodcompressivepropertiesbutverypoortensilepropertiesunlesssteelreinforcements
areadded.

73

74

Time: 90min.(1classperiodformakingthebeams&cylindersand1periodfortesting)
MaterialsandSupplies:
Thefollowingmaterialsareneededforeachgroupof23students:
cement
variouskindsofaggregate
mixingcontainers
stirringutensils
formsformakingbeamsandcylinders(enoughforeachstudenttoworkindividually)
LOWTECHCOMPRESSIONTESTER
two8'long2x4's
one2'long2x4
largegatehinge
sheetmetalcutintotwo4"squares
2copperpipecapstofitoverconcretecylinders
2rubberstoppersorwasherstofitinsidepipecaps
MEDIUMTECHCOMPRESSIONTESTER
2Cclamps6"spanorlarger
2copperpipecapstofitoverconcretecylinders
PVCpipeslightlylongerthanconcretecylindersandslightlylargerindiameter
2rubberstoppersorwasherstofitinsidepipecaps
HIGHTECHCOMPRESSIONTESTER
hydraulicjackwithpressuregauge
2copperpipecapstofitoverconcretecylinders
2rubberstoppersorwasherstofitinsidecoppercaps
DesignCompetitionParameters:
1. Allcylindersandbeamswillbemadeusinguniformmoldswhichwillbeprovided.
2. Theconcreteusedtomakeeachcylinderandbeammustbemadeusingtheraw
materialsprovided.
3. Suggestedrecipeforconcreteis3partsaggregate,2partscement,and1partwater.
Anycombinationofaggregateornoneatallmaybeused.Theexactamountsofeach
componenttobeusedisuptoyou!
4. Thebeamsmustspanatleast30centimetersbutmaybelonger.
BeamTestingProcedure:
75

1. Supportthebeambetweentwotablesofthesameheight.
2. Twisttheendsofawiretogethersothatitformsacirclearoundabuckethandle.Put
thislooparoundthemiddleofthebeam.
3. Addweighttothebucketinuniformincrements.Wait30secondsbetween
eachadditionofweight.
4. Continuetoaddweightuntilthebeambreaks.
CylinderTestingProcedure:
1. Placethecylinderinthetestingapparatus.
2. Applyforceuntiltheconcreteissmashed.

76

QuestionsandAnalysis:
1. Ifahorizontalconcretebeamissupportedatoneendandadownwardsforceis
applied
totheotherend,wherewouldthemicroscopiccrackstendtobeformed?Thetop
layer,thebottomlayer,orthemiddlelayer?

2. Ifaconcretebeamissupportedbutnotheldatbothendsandaloadisappliedinthe
middle,whichlayerwouldbeundercompression?Thetoplayer,thebottomlayer,or
themiddlelayer?

3. Intheconstructionofabridge,wouldconcretebebettersuitedforthecolumns
supportingthebridgeorforthebridgedecking?Explainyouranswer.

4. Writetheformulaneededtocalculatethe
a.tensilestrengthofabeam
b.compressionstrengthofacylinder

5. Calculatethestrengtheachofyourstructuresexhibitedinthecompetitions.

a.Writetheequationtocalculatetheforceexertedonacylinder.
b.Calculatetheforcethatwasexertedonyourcylinder.

7. Whatchangeswouldyoumaketoimproveyourbeamdesign?

77

8. Whatchangeswouldyoumaketoimproveyourcylinderdesign?

78

NotesforTeacher:
Weuseda24trussspacerasourbeamforms.Thesecanbefoundatahardwarestore.Our
trussspacerscost69centseachandarereusable.Atoothpasteboxreinforcedwithtapecanbe
usedasaform. Theplasticcasesthattoothbrushescomeincouldalsobeused. However,
obtainingaclassroomsetofthesemightprovetobeachallenge.Thebeamtestingcouldalsobe
setupasacantileverstylewithonlyoneendofthebeamfixedandtheloadappliedtothefree
end.
Freeweightscanbeaddedtothebucketuntilbreakageoccurs.Iffreeweightsarenotavailable,
watercanbeused.Becarefulofwaterspillage.
Cylindricalformscanbeplasticorpapertubes,pipeinsulation,oranyothersmalldiameter
tubing. Theconcreteneedstobeeasilyremovablefromtheforms. Pipeinsulationfroma
hardwarestoreworkswell.Thisfoammaterialiseasytoworkwith,reusable,andinexpensive.
Thebottomoftheformscanbetaped,corked,orsetonglassplates. Thegoalistoachieve
smoothtopandbottomsurfaceswhicharenecessarywhenperformingthecompressiontest.If
thesurfaceisnotsmooth,theforcewillbeappliedunequally.Werecommendthecylindersbe
nomorethan1/2indiameter.Cylinderswithalargerdiameterwillrequireagreaterforceto
fail.Agoodruleofthumbistheheightofthecylindershouldbeatleasttwicethediameterof
thecylinder.However,ifthecylinderistootallitwilltendtobuckle.
Theaggregateselectioncouldbelimitedtojustsandorcouldincludegravel.Thestrengthofthe
specimen canbeadjusted bychangingthewatertocement ratio oftheconcrete tosuitthe
capacityofyourtestsetup.Thelengthofcuringcanalsobevaried.
Theamountofforceneededtoproducefailureinabeamdependsonthebeamsdimensions.
Thetheoreticalmaximumtensilestrengthofabeamcanbecalculatedby:

Equation 1

strength =

(total load)(span length)


(beam width)(beam thickness)2

Theamountofforceneededtoproducefailureinacylinderdependsonthecylinderscross
sectionalarea.Thetheoreticalmaximumcompressivestrengthofacylindercanbecalculated
by:

Equation 2

total load
strength= cylinder
base area

Somecommonvaluesneededforfailureare:Beam20MN/m2(3000psi)
Cylinder35MN/m2(5000psi)
Theexperimentcouldbeusedtoshowthedevelopmentofstrengthovertime. Thestudents
couldmakeseveralcylindersandbeamsfromeachoftheirconcretebatchesandthecompression
strengthcouldbetestedoveralongperiodoftimesuchas1day,3days,7days,and28days.
79

Theprincipleofreinforcedconcretecouldbedemonstratedbyplacingastripofhardwarecloth
(galvanizedsteelscreen)orchickenwireintothebeaminthetensionzone.
Acostfactorcouldbeincorporatedintothislabtomakeitatrueengineeringproject. The
competitioncouldinvolveassigningpointsbasedonmoststrengthforlowestcost.
Weofferthreetestingapparatusdesignsformeasuringthecompressionstrengthofthecylinders.
Eachofthesedesignsispicturedanddescribedonthefollowingpages.
LowTechCompressionTestingApparatusTheCementCracker
Two8feetlong2x4swerehingedtogetherusingalargegatehinge. Thehingeplateswill
needtobebentsoastofittothe2x4resultinginadevicesimilartoanutcracker.Aseparate
2x4whichisabouttwofeetlongshouldbenailedtothebottomsideofoneofthe8long
boardstoprovidestability.Otherwise,theunittendstorolltotheside.Toprovideadditional
strengthtothe8longboards,weattachedtwosmallpiecesofsheetmetalatthelocationwhere
thecylinderswouldbeseatedfortesting,about2or3inchesfromthehinge.Toinsureuniform
pressureactingonthecylinders,copperpipecapswereplacedovertheendsoftheconcrete
cylinders.Beforeplacingthecoppercapsonthecylinders,rubberinsertswereplacedinsidethe
copper pipe caps to cushion the ends of the cylinders. Place the copper capped concrete
cylinders onthesheet metal padsandapplyaforceonthe endofthe8longboards. By
calculating the mechanical advantage of the lever and knowing the applied force, the force
exertedonthecylinderscanbedetermined.
Samplecalculation: Assumingthecylinderisplaced3fromthehingeonan8(96)long
board,themechanicaladvantageoftheleveris32

Equation 3

mechanical advantage (M A) =

effort arm
= 96" = 32
resistance arm
3"

Equation 4

max weight = force


Ifa100poundstudentstandsattheendofthe8longboard,theforceexertedonthecylinderis
3200pounds.Ifthisisattempted,ensurethesafetyofthestudent.

80

LARGE GATE HINGE BENT


TO HOLD THE 2" X 4"X 8'
BOARDS

Sheet
metal

MediumTechTestingApparatusTheCClamp
Rubberinsertsarefirstplacedinsidecopperpipecapstoprovideacushionfortheconcrete
cylinders. Thecopperpipecappedcylinderisplacedinsideapieceof1diameterPVCpipe
(clearorwhite)whichhasbeencutlongenoughtocompletelycovertheconcretecylinder.The
PVCpipeisusedasasafetymeanstopreventpiecesofconcretefromflyingoutwardswhenthe
cylinderbreaks.Italsoprovidesstabilitytothetestcylinder.Anyotherpieceofpipethathas
aninsidediametergreaterthanthatofthecopperpipecapscouldbeused.ThePVCcovered
cylinderisplacedinthethroatofalarge(6orgreater)Cclamp. Tightenthethreadedshaft
ontothecoppercapsonthecylinder.Thisentiresetupisthenclampedtoatabletopusinga
secondCclamp.AsocketwhichfitsatorquewrenchisfittedoverthehandleoftheCclamp.
ThissocketwillneedtohaveslotscutintoitsothatitsnuglyfitsthehandleoftheCclamp.The
handleoftheCclampcanbetightenedfurtherdownontotheconcretecylinder. Thetorque
valuecanberecordedfromthetorquewrench.Becausethecylindersbreakratherquickly,we
suggestthatavideocameraisusedtorecordthereadingsonthetorquewrenchandplayedback
toobtainmoreaccurate readings. Bycalculating themechanical advantage ofthe Cclamp
screwandknowingthetorqueapplied,theforceexertedonthecylindercanbedetermined.
SampleCalculation:Themechanicaladvantageofascrewcanbecalculatedby:

Equation 5

MA =

circumference of screw
= 50 mm
distance between 2 neighboring threads
0.2 mm

= 250

Themechanicaladvantageofthescrewmultipliedbythetorquereadingequalsthemaximum
forceappliedtothecylinder,neglectingfriction.

81

HighTechTestingApparatusHydraulicJack
Ahydraulicjackwithapressuregaugeprovidestheeasiestmethodfordeterminingtheforce
exertedontheconcretecylinders.BrodheadGarrettCo.(223S.IllinoisAve.,Mansfield,OH
44901)sellsahydraulicjackwithapressuregaugeandplatformforabout$100.(DanPhillip1
8009498324)
Placerubberinsertsinsidecopperpipecapstoprovideacushionfortheconcretecylinders.Cap
theconcrete cylinder andplaceintheplatform ofthejack. Beginapplyingpressurewhile
observingthepressuregauge.Allowtimebetweenpumpsforthecylinderstofailaminuteor
two. Safetyglassesareamustaspiecesofthecylinderflyoutward!! Asafetyshield
aroundthesamplewouldalsobeagoodidea.Avideocameramaybeusedtorecordreadings
onthepressuregaugeandreplayedtoobtainmoreaccuratereadings.
Tocalculatethecompressivestrengththatisappliedtothecylinder,usethefollowingequation.
total load
strength =cylinder base area

82

ExpectedResults:
For1/2"cylinders,thecementpastebrokeat2000+psi,gravelat2000psi,andvermiculiteat
400psi.Thebeams'maximumloadwillvarydependingontheformused.Loadsasheavyas
100kilogramshavebeenobserved!
AnswerstoQuestions:
1. Toplayer,becauseitisintensionandconcreteisweekintension.
2. Thetoplayerwillbeincompression.Thebottomwillbeintension.
3. Thecolumnsofbridgesareconcretewhilethedeckingisusuallysteel.
Thecolumnsareonlyundercompressionwhilethedeckingisundertension.
4. a.Seeequation#1
b.Seeequation#2
5. Answerswillvary,unitswilleitherbepsiorN/meter2
6. a.Seeequations#3and#4forlowtechapparatusandequation#5formediumand
hightechapparatus.
b.Answerswillvary,unitsshouldbenewtonsorpounds
7.and8.answersmightinclude:usedifferentaggregate,varytheamountsofcomponents
usedinthecement,useadifferentformandchangethedimensions.

83

Experiment6
MakeandTake
ATakehomeProject
Objective: Studentswilldevelopanunderstandingofconcreteasaconstructionmaterial. A
concreteproductwillbedesignedandconstructed.
ScientificPrinciples:
Concreteiseverywhere.Takeamomentandthinkaboutalltheconcreteencountersyouhave
hadinthelast24hours.Alloftheseapplicationsofconcretearecreatedfromamaterialthatisa
mixture formed from the chemical reaction of cement and water (hydration) with added
aggregate.Itimportanttodistinguishbetweencementandconcreteastheyarenotthesame.
Cementisusedtomakeconcrete.
Waterisakeyreactant. Waterandcementinitiallyformacementpastethatbeginstoreact
throughthechemicalprocessofhydration.Inthehydrationofcement,chemicalchangesoccur
slowly,eventuallycreatingnewcrystallineproducts,heatevolution,andothermeasurablesigns.
Thehydrationprocesshardens(sets)thepastewhichbindstheaggregateparticlestogether.
Theaggregateisthesolidparticlesthatareboundtogetherbythecementpastetocreatethe
syntheticrockknownasconcrete.Aggregatescanbebothfine,suchassand,and/orcoarse,such
asgravel.Therelativeamountsofeachtypeandthesizesofeachtypeofaggregatedetermines
thephysicalpropertiesoftheconcrete.
Time:1Classperiodforeachobjectmade.(45min.)
MaterialsandSuppliesforgroupsof23:
cement
peagravel
water
2flowerpotsorsuitableplasticcontainers
wiremesh
mixingbowlorwheelbarrow
finishingtools
dampsand
1"greaseddowelrod

84

Procedure:
1. Prepareenoughconcretetofillthespacebetweenyourtwocontainerswhentheyare
stackedwitha1"separation.
plastic

pot.

and

2. Coattheinsideofthebottomcontainerandtheoutsideofthetopcontainerwith
wrap.
3. Placea1"lubricateddowel(futuredrainhole)thatis1"long,inthebottomcenterof
thefirstmoldforaroundbasedflowerpotorfourdowelsifyouaremakinga
rectangularflowerpot.Thiswillserveasaspacernowandadraininthehardened
4. Surroundthedowelswithconcretemix,placethetopmoldonthemixbeingsureto
allowforabout1"wallthickness.Addconcretemixbetweentheformsuntilthe
bottomformisfilled.Tampconcretetoremoveairpockets.Allowtohardenfor15
20minutes.Ifdecorationsaredesiredontheoutsideofthepot,removeoutermold
addglassbeads,coloredstones,etc.Allowtoharden24hours.
5. Removemoldsandplaceinwaterforthreedaystoharden.Becautiousofthisstepif
yourpotisdecorated.

85

NotesforTeacher:
Uselargersizedaggregatestocreateaniceappearance.
Useasamoneymakingproject.
Manydifferentshapescanbemadeandmaybeagreatwaytoinspiresome
creativity.

86

CONCRETE
QUIZ1

NAME________________________

1. Distinguishbetweencementandconcrete.

2. Nameatleastthreeitemsyouhaveencounteredtodaywhichareconcrete.

3. Whatarethemajoringredientsforconcrete,andwhatroledotheyplay?

4. Whatismeantby"workable?"Whyisitimportantforconcretetobeworkable?

5. Giveanexampleofanaggregate. Whatisthepracticaluseforthisaggregateinmaking
concrete?

87

CONCRETE
QUIZ2

NAME_____________________________

1. Whatcanbeusedtoslowthehardeningofconcrete(giveexample?)Whywouldslowing
this processbedesirable?

2. Whatcanbeusedtospeedthehardeningofconcrete(giveexample?)Whywouldspeeding
up thisprocessbedesirable?

3. Supposeyouwereinchargeofbuildingaskyscraper. Whatwouldbeyourchoicefor
aggregateandwhy?

88

CONCRETE
QUIZ3

NAME______________________________

1. Whatwillhappentoconcreteifitdriesouttooquickly?

2. Supposeyouweretobethechiefdesignerinchargeofbuildingaconcreteshiptocarry
peopleoverseas.Whataggregatemightyouchoosetoputinyourconcreteandwhy?

3. Explainwhatthedormancyperiodoffreshconcreteis.Howdocontractorsmakeuseofthe
dormancyperiod?

4. Explainhowcanyoumeasuretheconsistencyoffreshlymixedconcrete?

89

CONCRETE
QUIZ4

NAME________________________

1. Brieflydiscusstheimportanceofaproperwatertocementratio.

2. Explainthepurposeofasuperplasticizerinmakingconcrete.

3. Whyshouldglovesbewornwhenmixingconcrete?Bespecific.

4. Waterisimportantinmakingconcrete,however,itcanalsobeharmfultoconcrete.Explain
thisstatement.

90

CONCRETE
QUIZ1

NAMEKEY

1. Distinguishbetweencementandconcrete.
Cementisacomponentofconcrete. Cementandwatermakethe"glue"whichholds
concretetogether.

2. Nameatleastthreeitemsyouhaveencounteredtodaywhichareconcrete.
Answerswillvary.

3. Whatarethemajoringredientsforconcrete,andwhatroledotheyplay?
cementreactswithwatertoform"glue"
waterreactswithcement,theamountalsodeterminesstrength
aggregatemakesconcretestronger,moredurable,andlesscostly

4. Whatismeantby"workable?"Whyisitimportantforconcretetobe

test

workable?

Cementwhichisworkableisabletobepouredintoformswithoutdifficulty.Aslump
isusedtomeasureworkability.

5. Giveanexampleofanaggregate.Whatisthepracticaluseforthisaggregate
makingconcrete?

in

gravel,sand,vermiculite,perlite,
Aggregatemakestheconcretestrongerandcheaper.

91

CONCRETE
QUIZ2

NAME__KEY________________________

1. Whatcanbeusedtoslowthehardeningofconcrete(giveexample?)Why
slowingthisprocessbedesirable?

would

Sugarcanbeaddedtotheconcretetoretardhardening. Forexample,iftheconcrete
needs
tobetransportedalongdistance,thenaretardingadmixturewouldbedesired.

2. Whatcanbeusedtospeedthehardeningofconcrete(giveexample?)Why
speedingupthisprocessbedesirable?

in

would

Calciumchloridesolutioncanbeaddedtospeedthehardeningofconcrete.Forexample,
coldweatheritisdesirabletospeedupthehardeningprocessandproducedhigherheatof
hydration.

3. Supposeyouwereinchargeofbuildingaskyscraper.Whatwouldbeyour
foraggregateandwhy?

choice

Theaggregatewoulddependuponhowtheconcreteistobeusedinthebuilding.
Lightweightaggregateslikeshaleareusedforinsulatingproperties.However,normal
weightaggregatewouldberequiredforstrength.Availabilityandeconomyofaggregate
areimportant,too.

92

CONCRETE
QUIZ3

NAME__KEY________________________

1. Whatwillhappentoconcreteifitdriesouttooquickly?
Concretewillmostlikelycrackduetodryingshrinkage.Thehydrationreactionwhich
strengthensconcretewillbehaltedfromlackofwaterresultinginweakerconcrete.

2. Supposeyouweretobethechiefdesignerinchargeofbuildingaconcrete
shipto
carrypeopleoverseas.Whataggregatemightyouchoosetoputin your concrete and
why?
A lightweight aggregate would be desirable for building a ship needing to float.
However,
the boat would be dangerous because of poor tensile properties of
concrete.Itwouldhave
tobereinforcedtobesafe.

3. Explainwhatthedormancyperiodoffreshconcreteis.Howdocontractors
useofthedormancyperiod?

make

Thedormancyperiodoffreshconcreteistheperiodduringwhichtheconcreteisina
plasticstateandthereactionisvery,veryslow.Thisstatelastsfrom1to3hoursand
allowscontractorstotransportconcretetothejobsiteandconsolidateitbeforeithardens.
Afterthedormancyperiod,thehydrationreactionaccelerates,andtheconcretesetsand
becomeshard.

4. Explainhowcanyoumeasuretheconsistencyoffreshlymixedconcrete?
Aslumptestcanbeperformedonfreshlymixedconcretetodetermineitsconsistency.
Thisisdonebypouringitintoaninvertedcupwiththebottomcutout.Oncethecupis
removed,theconcreteisobserved.Itisdesirablethattheconcretestay5075%ofits
originalheightforgoodworkability.

93

CONCRETE
QUIZ4

NAME__KEY__________________

1. Brieflydiscusstheimportanceofaproperwatertocementratio.
to

Thewatertocementratiodeterminesthestrengthofconcrete.Thelesswaterthatisused
obtainaworkableconcrete,themorestrengththeresultinghardenedconcretewillhave.
However,rememberthatworkabilityislostifwatertocementratioistoolow.

2. Explainthepurposeofasuperplasticizerinmakingconcrete.

the

Asuperplasticizerisanadmixturewhichisusedtomakeconcretemoreworkablewith
useoflesswater.Usingasuperplasticizerwillresultinastrongerconcretebecauseless
waterisused.

3. Whyshouldglovesbewornwhenmixingconcrete?Bespecific.
Gloves should be worn while mixing concrete because one of the products of the
hydration
reactioniscalciumhydroxide,abase.Infact,uponmixingconcrete,the
pHrisesto12
whichmeansthesolutionisstronglybasic.Thiscanburn,irritate,anddry
outtheskin.

4. Waterisimportantinmakingconcrete,however,itcanalsobeharmfulto
concrete.Explainthisstatement.
Water transports harmful substances that lead to concrete degradation. Water is the
central
issueinfreezethawdamageofconcrete.
94

95

Glossary
Accelerators:Admixturesthatdecreasethesettingtimebyincreasingtherateofhydration.
Admixture:Amaterialotherthanwater,aggregates,orcementthatisusedasaningredientof
concreteormortartocontrolsettingandearlyhardening,workability,ortoprovide
additionalcementingproperties.
Aggregate:Inertsolidbodiessuchascrushedrock,sand,gravel.
Binder:Hardenedcementpaste.
Bleed:Tohavewaterseeptothesurfaceofthecementpasteduetosettling.
Calcination:Decompositionduetothelossofboundwaterandcarbondioxide.
Cement:Finelypowderedmixturesofinorganiccompoundswhichwhencombinedwithwater
hardenswithhydration.
Cementpaste:Cementpluswater.Whenthemasshasreactedwithwateranddeveloped
strengthitiscalledhardenedcementpaste.
Clay:Typeofsoilconsistingofveryfineparticles.
Clinker:Thematerialthatemergesfromthecementkilnafterburning.Itisintheformofdark,
porousnoduleswhicharegroundwithasmallamountofgypsumtogivecement.
Compression:Forcesactinginwardlyonabody.
Concrete:Ahardcompactbuildingmaterialformedwhenamixtureofcement,sand,gravel,
and waterundergoeshydration.
Cure:Tokeepconcretemoistduringinitialhardening.
Deformation:Theprocessofchangingthedimensionsofastructurebyapplyingaforce.
Dormancyperiod:Timeperiodthatconcreteretainsitworkability.
Elasticity:Theabilityofamaterialtoreturntoitsoriginalshapeafterbeingstretched.
Forms:Holdersinwhichconcreteisplacedtoharden.
Gypsum:Calciumsulfatedihydrate,CaSO4.2H2Oaddedtocementtoregulatesetting.
Hydration:Thereactionofcementwithwatertoformachemicalcompound.

96

Kiln:Hightemperatureoven.
Limestone:Mineralrockofcalciumcarbonate.
Mortar:Cementpastemixedwithsand.
Pozzolancement:Volcanicrockpowderedandusedinmakinghydrauliccement.
Porosity:Theamountofemptyspaceinconcrete.
Portlandcement:Acementconsistingpredominantlyofcalciumsilicateswhichreactswith
watertoformahardmass.
Retardants:Admixturesthatincreasethesettingtimebyslowingdownhydration.
Set:Transformationofcementpasteorconcretefromafluidlikeconsistencytoastiffmass.
Slumptest:Testusedtodetermineworkability.
Tension:Thestressresultingfromelongation.
Workability:Howeasilyfreshconcretecanbeplacedandconsolidatedinforms.

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