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A R&um6 of Present Information on the Significance of the Prop-
erties of Concrete and Concrete Aggregates and the Tests by Which
They are Studied and Determined.

Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

~ISTM Special Technical Publication No. z6 9

Price List To Members

Paper Cover $5.25 $4.00
Cloth Cover $6.00 $4.75

Published by the
Philadelphia, Pa.

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Copyright, 1956
by the

Printed in Baltimore, U.S.A.

December, 1955
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This publication represents the culmination of several years of concerted

effort on the part of a number of individuals and constitutes a worthy succes-
sor to the previous Report on Significance of Tests of Concrete and Concrete
Aggregates. As indicated in the Introduction, the coverage has been con-
siderably broadened and includes a discussion of the significance of the
properties as well as of the tests themselves. The approach has been to have
the separate chapters prepared by individuals, but the whole has been in-
tegrated by careful review under the supervision of a special committee
appointed for the purpose of organizing the compilation. Advantage was
taken of the Annual Meeting of the Society during the past few years to
have a number of the papers presented for purposes of discussion. Such dis-
cussion was helpful to the authors in the preparation of the final manuscript.
The publication is being issued under the sponsorship of Committee C-9
on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates; the special committee in charge
consists of: L. E. Gregg, Kentucky State Highway Dept., Lexington, Ky.,
Chairman; Bryant Mather, Waterways Experiment Station, Jackson, Miss.;
Walter Price, United States Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo.; L. W.
Teller, Bureau of Public R.oads, Washington, D. C.; and K. B. Woods,
Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.

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N o ~ . - - T h e Society is not responsible, as a body, for the statements
and opinions advanced in the publication.

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Introduction--L. E. Gregg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
PART I - - G ~ A L
Concrete a n d Concrete Aggregates
Techniques, Procedures and Practices of Sampling--C. E. Proudley . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Size and N u m b e r of Samples and Statistical Considerations in Sampling--W. A.
Cordon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Evaluation of Test Results--H. A. Pratt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Needed Research--A. T. Goldbeck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Freshly M i x e d Concrete
Uniformity, Segregation and Bleeding--I. L. Tyler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Denseness and Unit Weight--M~ A. Swayze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Workability and Plasticity--Fred Hubbard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Setting T i m e - - E . W. Scripture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Air C o n t e n t - - F . F. Barrel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Hardened Concrete
Petrographic Examination--K. Mather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Static and Fatigue Strength--C. E. Kesler and C. P. Seiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Elastic Properties--L. W. Teller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Dynamic T e s t s - - E . A. Whitehurst and W. E. Parker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Volume Changes and Creep--G. W. Washa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Thermal Properties--L. J. Mitchell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Pore Structure--G. J. Verbeck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Bond with Reinforcing Steel--H. J. Gilkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Abrasion Resistance--H. L. Kennedy and M. E. Prior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Resistance to Weathering--General Aspects--C. H. Scholer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Resistance to Weathering--Freezing and T h a w i n g - - T . C. Powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Resistance to Chemical Attack--L. H. Tuthill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Resistance to Fire and Radiatlon--P. H. Peterson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Air Content and Unit Weight--S. B. Helms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
Cement C o n t e n t - - H . F. Kriege . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Special Categories
Ready-Mixed Concrete--Stanton Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Lightweight Concrete and Aggregates--R. E. Davis and J. W. Kelly . . . . . . . . . . 238
Concrete Aggregates
Petrographic Examination--R. C. Mielenz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
Grading and Surface Area--W. H. Price . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Shape, Surface Texture, and Coatings--B. Mather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
Weight, Density, Absorption, and Surface Moisture--A. G. Timms . . . . . . . . . . . 297
Porosity and Absorption--D. W. Lewis and W. L. Dolch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Toughness, Hardness, Abrasion, Strength, and Elastic Properties--D. O. Woolf. 314
Thermal Properties--H. K. Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
Chemical Reactions--W. Lerch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Soundness and Deleterious Substances--D. L. Bloem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
Other Materials
Water for Mixing and Curing Concrete--W. J. McCoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Curing Materials--J. H. Swanberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Air-Entraining Admixtures--C. E. Wuerpel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 366
Mineral Admixtures--H. S. Meissner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956


The usefulness of a material in serving selves these do not vitiate the effort
a given purpose is dependent upon its or hinder evaluation of the materials;
properties, or conversely the properties the hindrance arises only when the
of a material determine the purposes it limitations as well as the applications of
can usefully serve. Although this is the results are not realized--when the
axiomatic and thus requires only passing significance of the test is not known.
attention by those dealing with ma- In a similar way tests for certain proper-
terials, the manner in which properties ties of a material may be established and
are determined and expressed warrants performed needlessly if the properties
the greatest of care and attention. that are evaluated have no significance
This is evident in the existence of the in the intended use of the material.
American Society for Testing Materials, In recognition of these circumstances,
which for a period of more than half a Committee C-9 on Concrete and Con-
century has been devoted to such pur- crete Aggregates first compiled a Report
poses. Through years of organized effort on Significance of Tests of Concrete and
and constantly expanding activity, the Concrete Aggregates in 1935. Because of
Society has provided all segments of changes and additions in ASTM test
business and industry with dependable methods, plus the increased understand-
standards for test methods, with defini- ing of some features of concrete and
tions by which characteristics of ma- concrete aggregates during the inter-
terials can be described and universally vening years, an enlarged and revised
understood, and with specifications stat- version of the report was compiled and
ing the level of accomplishment that issued in 1943. Still greater expansion
can be reasonably expected from ma- of ASTM activity and numerous innova-
terials in certain uses. tions in concrete technology during the
Inherent in the process of developing next ten years emphasized the need for
such services is the need for determining a new Significance Publication with
the significance of a test or a property appropriate revisions and having a much
for which a test method has been or broader scope. Hence, a committee for
might be devised. Often certain recog- that purpose was appointed in 1953.
nized properties of materials are not Through the work of that committee,
amenable to measurement and expression but more through the efforts of individual
in fundamental physical units, and in authors writing on the designated sub-
some cases direct measurement of a jects, this new report was carried to
property may not be practicable at all. completion.
As a result, many arbitrary and em- Subject matter has been divided into
pirical methods of test have become four principal groups, starting with those
standards upon which the merits of some of a general nature, continuing with
materials are judged. Within them- tests of concrete followed by tests of

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concrete aggregates, and closing with to ensure quality of the product, and
tests of other materials having a direct that reason plus the particular atten-
bearing on some uses of concrete. Al- tion given to sampling the material
though three of the section headings account for its being classed in a special
refer only to tests of the materials, the category.
significance of properties is given as Two timely subjects not represented
much emphasis as the significance of heretofore in such a compilation are con-
tests, and frequently the discussions tained in the section on Freshly Mixed
indicate areas in which the development Concrete. A discussion of setting time
of new methods suitable for expression brings out the viewpoints represented in
of the properties is desirable. various approaches to the measurement
Through four papers of a general na- of this property that have evolved from
ture, viewpoints basic to all evaluations research in the past few years. Similarly,
of concrete and concrete aggregates are extensive research on methods of meas-
given. Separate aspects of sampling are urement and realistic interpretations of
presented in two papers, one dealing air content of freshly mixed concrete
with the techniques and practices and are considered in another paper. Besides
the other summarizing considerations of these, a fresh look at several properties
size and number of samples that must long recognized through standard tests
be taken if the results of a testing pro- is presented in three papers covering the
gram are to be statistically significant. A general areas of uniformity, workability,
third paper brings out more fully the and yield.
role of statistical methods in the evalua- Much progress in methods of analysis
tion of results, and a fourth analyzes the and marked increases in the number of
present state of knowledge in order to features of hardened concrete requiring
focus attention on several phases of con- evaluation are evident in the papers
crete and concrete aggregates where dealing with this category of concrete.
research is needed. Almost haK the subjects are treated for
In the section on tests of concrete, a the first time in this publication. Among
logical subdivision of topics into freshly these are Petrographic Examination,
mixed, hardened, and special categories Thermal Properties, Bond with Rein-
of concrete is made. The last group, forcing Steel, Resistance to Chemical
considered separately in a Significance Attack, and Resistance to Fire and
Publication for the first time, includes Radiation. Added to these are several--
the subjects of ready-mixed concrete and such as Static and Fatigue Strength,
light-weight concrete and aggregates, 9Dynamic Tests, Pore Structure, Re-
the latter combination of materials being sistance to Weathering, and Air Content
made for convenience of discussion. and Unit Weight--representing much-
Viewed strictly from the standpoint of expanded or entirely new concepts of the
the concrete produced, its general uses, properties and their importance in the
and the tests applicable to the deter- utilization and performance of concrete.
mination of its properties, ready-mixed Even in the cases of subjects such as
concrete might not be regarded as a Elastic Properties, Volume Changes,
special class of concrete. However, many Abrasion Resistance, and Cement Con-
of the features involved in the mixing, tent, which in the past have often been
transportation, and discharge of ready- regarded as prosaic and subject to little
mixed concrete require special attention or no change, renewed emphasis on the

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effects and some new possibilities for shape and surface texture; elastic proper-
test procedures are brought out in the ties with toughness, hardness, abrasion,
discussions. and strength. Three outstanding ad-
Extensive research on the durability ditions not considered in significance
of concrete during the past few years, compilations heretofore are Petrographic
and particularly recent developments in Examination, Thermal Properties, and
the theories pertaining to the physical Chemical Reactions. It is interesting to
processes by which failures occur in note that in essence all three have
freezing and thawing, occasioned a two- gained recognition with respect to both
fold treatment of the subject of Re- aggregates and hardened concrete, al-
sistance to Weathering. With regard to though in many cases the points of
the general aspects of the subject, a interest are not identical.
broad picture of durability testing, Subject matter covered by the four
including new procedures for combined papers in the concluding section ranges
wetting and drying and heating and from Water for Mixing and Curing of
cooling, is given. This represents an en- Concrete to Mineral Admixtures. For con-
largement of the scope of a paper en- venience the group of papers is designated
titled "Durability of Concrete," which by section heading as "Other Materials,"
was prepared for the 1943 edition of the a title to merely separate these materials
Report on Significance of Tests of Con- from the other groups yet not to detract
crete and Concrete Aggregates. The from their significance in the preparation
second paper on Resistance to Weather- and use of large volumes of concrete
ing analyzes the mechanics of deteriora- each year. For example, the proper
tion of concrete subjected to freezing selection of water for mixing and curing
and thawing, evaluates prevailing test has been recognized since the first
methods in the light of precise measure- applications of scientific methods to
ments of temperature-moisture relations evaluate concrete, but pertinent data
within samples during controlled tests, and observation from research on the
rationalizes the processes, and presents subject have remained scattered. The
theories on which realistic approaches to paper on this subject serves an interest-
testing might be built. Recommendations ing and valuable purpose in bringing
for alternative procedures of test and the information together for the first
interpretation are included, and un- time in a brief form. Similarly, the sum-
doubtedly these will serve as guides to marizing of a large volume of informa-
further profitable research and possibly tion on curing materials, which repre-
to revisions in ASTM test methods as sents years of development, is a valuable
sufficient data are accumulated. contribution to the literature.
A broad picture of the significant The need at the present time for
properties of concrete aggregates is given appraising the significance of both air-
in the third section. Methods of test entraining and mineral admixtures is
having prestige through long standing obvious. Most of the admixtures and the
are reviewed in the light of the proper- recognition of their uses have originated
ties measured. As a result, features that within the past fifteen to twenty years.
were of little or no concern a few years Research has been wktespread and uses
ago enter into the discussions of veteran have mounted. Two papers on these
subjects--for example, surface area with subjects discuss the purposes which
particle size and grading; coatings with different classes of admixtures serve,

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their properties which can be measured particular point, provided the discus-
by tests on the materials themselves, sions were brief. Throughout the publica-
means for introduction and control, and tion, however, the main consideration
ways of evaluating the effectiveness of was to make each paper complete within
the admixtures in producing the desired itself, in order that the objective of
properties in the concrete. Interesting individual treatment of a property, test,
historical background is provided also. or group of related properties and tests
This method of assembling papers for could be maintained.
a comprehensive report on the signifi- While the statements that are made
cance of tests and properties has the represent the views of the individual
advantage of presenting interpretations authors, all the manuscripts were avail-
by outstanding authorities in the phases able for review by the entire membership
of concrete and concrete aggregates of Committee C-9, and by letter ballot
that are represented. In view of simi- the membership approved the material
larities in some subjects and the fact that as a Society publication under the spon-
the papers were prepared separately, a sorship of the Committee.
certain amount of overlapping was un-
avoidable. A portion of the overlapping Subcommittee in Charge,
material in original versions was elimi- L. E. GREGG, Chairman
nated through reviews and reconsidera- BRYANT MATtIER
tion by the authors. More often it was WALTER PRICE
considered an advantage to have the L. W. TELLER
views of more than one individual on a K. B. WOODS

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Concrete and Concrete Aggregates


BY C. E. P R O U D L E Y I

Because a sample must be representa- and importance of concrete as a con-

tive to be of any value, the method of struction material and the realization of
sampling is of major importance in the influence of characteristics of ag-
testing and inspection. Much time and gregates upon the quality of concrete
description is devoted to the details of have directed the light of investigation
test methods, but almost no exacting on the matter of sampling but have not
instructions have been prepared covering resulted in an adequate appreciation of
the correct procedure for securing the problem by all who should be con-
representative samples. The reason for cerned.
this deficiency is primarily that the There are methods for sampling
conditions and situations involved in concrete and concrete aggregates that
taking samples in the field are so varied have been accepted as adequate proce-
that complete and detailed instructions dures to be followed when taking samples
would necessarily be too voluminous to be used for referee purposes. These
and complex. In this paper some of the methods are given in the ASTM Meth-
conditions and situations are described ods of Sampling Stone, Slag, Gravel,
a n d some general precautions stated. Sand, and Stone Block for Use as High-
Equipment for sampling is discussed. way Materials (D 75) ~ and the ASTM
Sampling carries a burden of responsi- Method of Sampling Fresh Concrete
bility which is not generally realized (C 172)?
until, upon testing, it is found that the The standard method for sampling
samples d0 not meet the requirements of aggregates is valuable as a guide for
the specifications. Perhaps it is too late sampling at various locations such as
to secure another sample of the material quarries, pits, railroad cars, bins, and
in question, and it is not uncommon to stockpiles for either quality or gradation
circumvent the unfortunate situation or both. It is quite definite regarding
by assuming that the "sample was not the quantities to be used as samples for
representative." This predicament is various test purposes. Throughout the
encountered more frequently in the
methods for sampling, the sampler is
inspection of bulky, nonhomogeneous
cautioned or instructed to observe
materials such as portland-cement con-
conditions which may affect the uni-
crete and concrete aggregates than in
sampling more homogeneous materials formity of the product, such as apparent
such as liquids, gases, or manufactured variations in characteristics of strata in a
identical units. The growth in volume quarry, changing depths of overburden
in pits, or changes in color and particle
1Chief Materials and Test Engineer, North
Carolina State Highway and PuNic Works
Commission, Raleigh, N. C. 2 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.

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size; and he is required to take a suffi- the consistency, the air content, or other
cient number of samples to cover all features of the fresh mix. Here again it
variations in the material. After a becomes apparent that the job of sam-
thorough study of the methods for pling must not be delegated to the un-
sampling aggregates, the reader should trained or the careless.
be aware that, although not so stated,
the methods require the use of an
experienced, alert, and energetic person
as a sampler if the purposes of the meth- Whether the samples of aggregate are
ods are to be realized. for the preliminary design of concrete
Samples of fresh concrete are generally mixtures or for the control of uniformity
of greater importance than samples of of the materials being used for the pro-
aggregates because the product is of duction of concrete for a structure, it is
greater economic value and also because essential that they be representative.
the sample is of an end product. Samples For mix design purposes, the quality,
of concrete are taken more frequently cleanness, and particle shape is of special
than are samples of aggregate-that is, concern, since it is possible in the labora-
each sample usually represents a com- tory to correct the gradation to comply
paratively small quantity of concrete-- with specifications; in fact, it is custom-
except in jobs of great magnitude where ary to separate and recombine coarse
the quality and grading of aggregates aggregates when they are to be used in
are closely controlled and all ingredients laboratory-mixed concrete. For control
are proportioned to yield the utmost purposes during construction, the grada-
uniformity. Greater frequency of sam- tion is of primary concern, the quality
pling will give greater accuracy only if being checked by visual observations ex-
each sample is taken with the same cept for occasional samples sent to the
careful consideration for representa- laboratory for quality tests. Securing
tiveness. control samples that are representative
Time becomes an especially important of the gradation involves more planning
consideration when sampling fresh con- than is customary among the average
crete, since the properties of the concrete inspection agencies.
are constantly changing and the charac- Consider first the samples that are to
teristics which the sample will show when demonstrate whether a deposit will yield
subjected to tests may be affected cor- aggregates which, after processing, will
respondingly. When it is desired that have economic value for portland-cement
strength test specimens made from a concrete. If the deposit has not been de-
sample of fresh concrete have identically veloped, a survey must be made first to
the same physical properties as the struc- show the range in quality and, in the
ture which they represent, continued case of gravel deposits, the gradation
care and attention are required over the that will be encountered. A procedure
entire sampling period--from the time for the exploration of aggregate deposits
the fresh concrete from the mixer or is described in considerable detail in the
transporting vehicle is discharged to "Concrete Manual" of the U. S. Bureau
the time that the specimens are turned of Reclamation (1),~ by Rockwood (2),
over to the laboratory for testing. and in trade publications. Power equip-
The same general rules for sampling
3 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
fresh concrete apply when the samples to the list of references appended to this paper,
are taken for the purpose of determining see p. 13.

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ment for this purpose has been improved essing and the precautions regarding the
in recent years, simplifying the job of taking of them in each instance are men-
digging test pits. Subsurface exploration tioned in ASTM Methods D 75, the
by the electrical resistivity method (3) tools, except for the sand sampling tube,
and by the seismic method (4) expedites are not described. Some mention of suit-
securing valuable information on the able tools, containers, and equipment is
amount of overburden. made by the author in a paper on sam-
Whenever possible, Several truckloads pling mineral aggregates (5). The coal
or more of the aggregates representing industry has problems of sampling that
the minimum quality that will be pro- are analogous in many ways to those of
duced or permitted should be processed the aggregates industry, and a number of
by a full-scale crushing and screening studies (6) which have been made in plant
procedure. The plant to which they are sampling of coal could easily be applied
taken for preparation must be cleaned to concrete aggregate plants. A few gen-
out from crushers to loadout in order to eral directions, however, can be given
eliminate the possibility of contamina- here for the sampling of concrete aggre-
tion. Designing concrete mixes using the gates.
material thus processed will generally The most desirable point at which to
give a close approximation of the charac- take a sample at a plant is at the dis-
teristics of the concrete which may be charge end of a belt conveyor, with care
expected when production is established. being exercised to collect the entire dis-
There may be variations in quality over charge from the full width of the con-
the entire deposit, and the distribution veyor. The belt conveyor nearest in the
of these variations, as it may affect the line of handling the aggregate prior to
resultant concrete, will dictate the num- the point of proportioning into concrete
ber of samples to be sent to the labora- should give the most representative sam-
tory for preliminary study. ple. Each time aggregate is handled there
Established aggregate plants for which may be changes in gradation due to
there are no data on concrete mix design abrasion and segregation; this would sug-
and performance should be studied in gest that if unusual accuracy is required
much the same way as the undeveloped of a sample it should be taken from the
operation; some history on the variations gate at the bottom of the batching bin.
in quality and gradation of the material For some purposes this is feasible. Usu-
which has been produced is usually avail- ally, however, it will be necessary to take
able, however. If such data are not avail- the acceptance samples from a point
able, a schedule for sampling the output somewhat earlier in the sequence of han-
of the plant must be set up to establish dling.
the fluctuations in the product caused Stockpiles are the most difficult to
by periodic fluctuations in the over-all sample because segregation in all likeli-
plant operation. The design of such a hood has occurred. A dragline, power
schedule is included in a paper by Cordon shovel, or other means for digging
in this publication. 4 through to the center of the pile is an ab-
Although the points at which samples solute necessity, although ASTM Meth-
of aggregates can be taken after proc- ods D 75 indicate the taking of samples
from the outer surface only.
4 William Cordon, "Size and N u m b e r of Re- Although seldom recommended, it is
quirements for Statistical Considerations of
Sampling Concrete and Concrete Aggregates," p. advisable to take at least three samples
14, this publication. for sieve analyses, so spaced as to indi-

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cate the range of variation in gradation. as the uniformity of the methods of pro-
Such information will indicate the pos- duction.
sible need for remixing the delivered ag- An examination of the method for sam-
gregates before using them. pling concrete (ASTM Method C 172) 2
Shovels for taking samples should be reveals that the size of the sample and
scoop-shaped to minimize the amount of the point from which it is to be selected
material that will roll off when the shovel are included in the method, but the appa-
is lifted. For the same reason, containers ratus is generalized as a receptacle and a
used for catching samples by swinging shovel. As in the case of sampling con-
them through the discharge from a belt crete aggregates, these two items of
or chute must be deep enough to prevent equipment will have to be varied to meet
running over when the sample has been the specific conditions encountered.
secured. More coarse than fine aggregate Should fuller descriptions and dimensions
is lost when the scoop or container over- be given, it is quite certain that for the
flOWS. vast majority of conditions a durable
Typical designs of sampling equip- 12-qt galvanized-iron water bucket
ment for one-man handling might be of would be permitted and a large-size,
some value, but the exact dimensions rugged, flour or sugar scoop included, as
would have to be varied to suit the size well as the shovel required for remixing.
of aggregate and, probably, the size of Whether the shovel has a round or square
the man. point and a long or short handle will de-
pend upon individual preference; how-
SAMPLING FRESH CONCRETE ever, for remixing the concrete sample on
Design data and a file of test data for a flat surface, a square point is essential
a series of concrete mixtures are very for efficiency. Since the sampling method
handy for establishing a basis for com- calls for 1 c u f t of concrete when strength
parison for subsequent testing. There can tests are to be made, at least three 12-qt
be no assurance that the desired charac- buckets must be available.
teristics are being attained consistently, The recommended methods for sam-
however, except through tests of repre- pling from stationary mixers, paving
sentative samples taken at regular inter- mixers, revolving drum truck mixers,
vals from batches as they are produced. open-top truck mixers, agitators, and
If comparisons of the current test results dump trucks are taken separately but
with the earlier tests are to be of any may be summarized as follows: (a) the
value, the entire testing procedure must sample is taken from the discharge chute
be the same for all specimens; this in- of the mixer by passing a receptacle com-
cludes taking the samples of concrete, pletely through the discharge stream or
making the specimens, and the subse- diverting the entire stream into the re-
quent handling of them. Haphazard ceptacle, being sure that the sample is
methods will cause variations in quality taken at about the middle of the batch
which may not actually exist in the con- as it is discharged from the mixer; or (b)
crete. The confidence limits, or the spread if the chute is not readily accessible, as
in strength test results to be expected, are in paving mixers or open-top mixers, the
of considerable economic interest to the sample is taken by scooping up portions
producer of concrete selling on a guaran- from various spots in the batch which
teed strength basis. This range in test re- can be easily reached.
sults will depend on the uniformity of the In all cases the concrete is required to
test methods, including sampling, as well be remixed immediately before it is

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placed in the molds or apparatus. This is cement have been approved. It is then
to obtain uniformity in the sample and necessary for the inspector only to ill-
overcome any segregation that may have quire or determine for himself the propor-
been present or any initial stiffening of tions of materials, the moisture contained
the consistency that may occur between in the aggregates, and the amount of
sampling and molding. Except for the added water, thereby acquiring informa-
possibility of a false set of the cement, tion on the water-cement ratio, the yield
there should be no noticeable stiffening of concrete, and other factors which
during the 15 rain allowed by ASTM should be included in the report of com-
Methods C 172, and if the concrete has pression tests. On this job the concrete is
been satisfactorily designed, propor- being mixed in a stationary mixer and
tioned, and mixed, there should be no ob- transported in wheelbarrows or buggies.
servable segregation. Therefore, the mini- If there is time to do so, he will watch
mum mixing time to insure uniformity several batches proportioned, mixed, and
should be very brief to fulfill this require- discharged to obtain some idea of the
ment of the method. Unless there is a uniformity of the operations. If the next
field laboratory very close to the opera- batch looks the same as its predecessors
tions, this remixing could do more harm when the first buggy is filled from the
than good. The sampler should be cau- mixer, he will wait until the middle of the
tioned that if the sample is dumped on a batch is reached (knowing how many
fiat surface or in some mixing device such buggies will be filled in the process of dis-
equipment should be moistened, drafts charging). Then if the foreman is agree-
minimized, the concrete shaded and pro- able, the buggy will be rolled over to the
tected from temperature changes, and all place where the concrete specimens are
operations performed with the utmost to be made; otherwise, the inspector will
expedition. fill his buckets with concrete scooped out
Any change in the characteristics of of the buggy. Taking concrete from each
the concrete due to sampling and subse- of the three buckets will constitute a
quent handling works favorably or un- minimum of remixing as he prepares to
favorably for the producer of the con- make an air-content determination when
crete and the reverse for the user (7). the concrete contains air purposely en-
Therefore, the sampler should recognize trained. As soon as the air determination
the influence of every operation he per- is completed, he will begin filling his
forms and seek to avoid conditions that molds, taking concrete from each of the
may be unfair to one or the other. three buckets and distributing it among
As stated before, the possible combina- the molds which he is to fill, rodding and
tions of conditions that will affect the molding in the prescribed manner. If he
method to be used to sample concrete is a trained and conscientious inspector,
properly are almost limitless; however, he will have finished all of these opera-
the extremes are seldom encountered and tions within 15 rain after the concrete
the average prevails a high proportion of was discharged into the buggy. Since it
the time. A description of the procedure would be asking too much of one inspec-
that can usually be followed may be of tor to add a slump determination to the
benefit. foregoing tests within the prescribed
Assume that an inspector visits a job time, it should be permissible for him to
for the purpose of securing compression make the slump test on another batch
test specimens. In this instance let us also which appears to him to have the same
assume that the aggregates and portland consistency. Although specific instruc-

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tions are not included in the procedure sample after it has been dumped on the
for sampling fresh concrete (ASTM grade where it is easily accessible. The
Method C 172), the inspector cannot be procedure and responsibilities are the
said to have performed the operation same as before, but the inspector will ob-
satisfactorily until he has seen that the tain the sample by using his shovel or
specimens are protected from moisture hand scoop. In sampling the pile, points
loss and temperature changes beyond the that appear to have a concentration of
60 to 80 F range specified in the ASTM mortar or coarse aggregate must be
Method of Making and Curing Concrete avoided and average spots chosen for in-
Compression and Flexure Test Speci- serting the scoop or shovel. The remixing
mens in the Field (C 31) ~ and are other- will be done as b e f o r e - - b y taking con-
wise safeguarded from harm by vibration crete from each container and by pushing
or premature handling. the hand scoop all the way to the bottom
Ready-mixed concrete may be the of the bucket and lifting it out with a
source of supply for the structure, in mixing motion. Keeping the scoops, shov-
which case the inspector can follow the els, and containers clean and free from
same procedure described in the preced- accumulations of hardened concrete and
ing paragraph. His sample must repre- free from major leaks, dents, and distor-
sent the concrete as it is being placed in tion will make the inspector's job less
the forms; this means that it must be difficult.
taken after it is discharged from the There will be many variations of these
mixer and before it is placed in the forms. simple descriptions, but the competent
Only if the forms are of large dimensions inspector will be resourceful in arranging
and any steel present is so located as not to secure samples having the same pro-
to interfere with scooping up a sample portions of ingredients, the same consist-
should sampling from the forms be al- ency, the same air content, the same
lowed. Even then the possibility of water- amount of mixing, and the same tempera-
gain (bleeding) can readily make the ture conditions as the batch of concrete
sample nonrepresentative. The sample from which it was taken will have at the
can be taken from the discharge chute of time it is placed in the forms.
the mixer either by swinging the chute to
one side to fill the buckets--provided
the entire stream of concrete in the chute
flows into the sample b u c k e t - - o r by It will have been noted in this discus-
passing the bucket under the chute in sion, as ill some of the references on the
such a manner as to collect a cross-sec- subject, that there is a lack of detail in
tion of the concrete in the chute. Al- the requirements for sampling concrete
though it seems easier to scoop the con- and concrete aggregates. The Manual
crete from the chute by means of a for Concrete Testing, which is in prepara-
small hand scoop, this must never be tion by ASTM Committee C-9, may sup-
done, since a certain amount of segrega- ply this need, but it will not have the full
tion occurs in the chute and is ex- authority of a standard method.
tremely difficult to overcome except by In addition to the need for additional
allowing the full stream to reach the end definition in the matter of sampling,
of the chute and drop off into a container. there is still another aspect of the prob-
Next let us assume that the inspector lem which should be given thought: re-
visits a concrete paving job where a paver quirements for the sampler, even specifi-
is being used. His job is relatively simple cations or certification, would not be
in this case because he can secure his unreasonable, in spite of the general
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agreement that sampling is a very dif- plicit to good advantage. Before being
ficult undertaking even for the most ex- intrusted with the duties of securing
perienced materials engineer, there still samples, the person taking the samples
exists the weak policy of sending the should read all available literature per-
quickly trained and untried employee to taining to the methods for sampling the
bring in the samples. Automation m a y materials and should observe correct
eventually solve the problem of how to methods as performed by a competent
secure representative samples, but even sampler.
there the need for judgment by an under- Nonuniformity of the material, which
standing technician will exist. m a y be the result of segregation as well
Much of the inaccuracy, which is prac- as methods of production, should be rec-
tically unavoidable in the sampling proc- ognized, since this is the major factor
esses, can be offset b y statistical studies, entering into the difficulty of securing
and to the recommendations already representative samples.
given is added the advice that records of Efforts should be made to establish a
the samplers, as well as of the samples, plan or system of sampling based on
be made and analyzed. statistical methods which will yield in-
formation on the reliability of individual
SUMMARY samples as an indicator of the character-
Sampling is generally the most neg- istics of the product being sampled. 5
glected of the important testing opera-
tions. Sampling methods for aggregates Recommended Practice for Probability
Sampling of Materials (E 105), 1955 Book of
and concrete could be made more ex- ASTM Standards, Part 3.


(1) "Concrete Manual," U. S. Department of (5) C. E. Proudley, "Sampling of Mineral Ag-

the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Den- gregates," Symposium on Mineral Aggre-
ver, Colo., 5th Ed., revised reprint (1951). gates, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., p. 74 (1948).
(2) Nathan C. Rockwood, "Production and (Issued as separate publication A S T M STP
Manufacture of Fine and Coarse Aggre- Yo. 83.)
gates," Symposium on Mineral Aggregates, (6) R. L. Coryell, F. J. Schwerd, and E. J.
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., p. 88 (1948). (Is- Parente, "Tests of Accuracy of a Mechanical
sued as separate publication A S T M ST]=' Coal Sampler"; A. O. Blatter, "A Test on a
No. 83.) Slotted Revolving Cylinder Coal Sampler;"
(3) R. Woodward Moore, "Geophysical Meth- W. M. Bertholf and W. L. Webb, "Tests of
ods of Subsurface Exploration in Highway the Geary-Jennlngs Sampler at Cabin
Construction," Public Roads, Vol. 26, No. 3, Creek," Symposium on Coal Sampling, Am.
August, 1950, pp. 49-64; Bulletin No. 28, Soc. Testing Mats., pp. 72, 57, and 83,
Highway Research Board, November, 1950, respectively (1955). (Issued as separate
pp. 73-98. publication A S T M S T P No. 16Z.)
(4) E. R. Shephard, "The Seismic Method of (7) "Recommended Practices for Sampling and
Exploration Applied to Construction Proj- Testing Ready Mixed Concrete," Engineer-
ects," The Military Engineer, Vol. 31, No. ing Division, National Ready Mixed Con-
179, September-October, 1939. crete Assn., Washington, D. C.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Concrete and Concrete Aggregates



Samples of concrete and concrete ag- desired properties. Only sufficient tests
gregates should portray accurately the are required to provide a reliable esti-
characteristics of the material being mate of these properties. Even general
tested, but variations in these materials averages have little significance since the
make it difficult to obtain samples with average of a deposit may be acceptable
the assurance that they are completely while certain sections represented by in-
representative. Test results are more re- dividual samples may not.
liable as the number and size of samples Tests of concrete on the other hand will
increase, but additional samples or sam- generally fall into one of the three fol-
ples of greater size increase the cost of lowing classifications:
testing. 1. Acceptance and performance tests,
It is necessary, therefore, to establish 2. Construction control tests, and
the accuracy desired in each case, com- 3. Special investigations and research.
mensurate with funds and facilities The number of samples required and
available. statistical considerations are different in
The use of statistical methods makes each case and will be discussed sep-
it possible to obtain reliable estimates of arately.
the potential quality of concrete from a
minimum number of samples. ACCEPTANCE AND PERFORMANCE TESTS
Except for problems related to aggre- Concrete Aggregates:
gate processing such as size distribution, Acceptance tests for concrete aggre-
quantity of silt, and moisture control, the gates establish the suitability of a de-
properties of a given concrete aggregate
posit or source. During preliminary
are not subject to change. The charac-
reconnaissance of available deposits, ag-
teristics of concrete on the other hand are gregate quality may be based on test
subiect to numerous variables which can results of a composite sample. This is
be controlled to provide a desired balance possible since general characteristics of
between quality, workability, and cost. aggregate quality are usually compara-
Tests for concrete aggregates can be tively uniform throughout a deposit.
generally classified as acceptance and Mter preliminary analysis, the charac-
performance tests and have limited teristics of the most promising source
statistical significance since a given can be established with samples from
source either possesses or does not possess locations throughout the area and depth
of the deposit.
1 Research Engineer, Portland Cement Assn., As a general rule, aggregate samples
Chicago, IlL, formerly with the U. S. Bureau of
Reclamation. need only be large enough to be repre-
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sentative and to provide ample material their influence on durability and alkali
for all tests contemplated as specified by reactivity, only an occasional check of
standard test procedures3 The size and these properties is usually required. Ag-
number of samples will naturally vary gregate grading and the quantity of silt
with the size of the deposit and the maxi- and inferior material which can be con-
mum size of aggregate occurring in the trolled by processing will probably vary
deposit. For gradation analysis, for ex- as each different section of a deposit is
ample, samples should be large enough to excavated. Daily checks of these proper-
assure occurrence of particles of the ties may be desirable, and where the
largest dimension in sufficient number so variation in sand grading is excessive or
that the inclusion or exclusion of one of is controlled by classifiers, continual
these large particles will not affect the checks may be necessary. Each shipment
grading. of aggregate from a commercial source
Acceptance tests, which are gaining will require check tests unless its quality
favor in determining the suitability of and uniformity have been previously es-
concrete aggregates, are based on com- tablished.
parative performance of concrete ag- Free moisture in concrete aggregates,
gregates in standard concrete or mortar particularly the sand, is a major source
specimens. This type of test is particu- of variation in concrete strength. Unless
larly valuable in determining the influ- the amount of moisture in the aggregate
ence of aggregates on the resistance of is uniform, frequent tests for moisture
concrete to freezing-and-thawing action content are essential for uniform opera-
and the disruptive expansion caused by tion of a mixing plant. Success has been
the reaction between certain aggregates experienced with equipment that indi-
and the alkalies in cements. These tests cates instantaneously the moisture con-
require much larger samples, containing tent of sand. This equipment is valuable
as much as 600 lb of graded aggregates. in adjusting the water content of con-
It is not necessary to make such tests for crete mixes, although frequent calibra-
each sample obtained, however, and, as tion tests by standard methods may be
previously mentioned, generally one set required.
of tests is sufficient to indicate the gen-
eral character of each source of aggregate. Concrete:
Acceptance of an aggregate source does Acceptance and performance of con-
not automatically approve all aggregates crete are determined by tests of fresh
from that source, and check tests (per- concrete and the strength of hardened
formance tests) are required periodically concrete. Tests of fresh concrete provide
as the aggregates are received for com- a means of checking the proportions and
pliance with specification requirements. properties of the concrete mixture. The
The number of tests required to control slump test for consistency indicates the
properly the quality and uniformity of water content and water-cement ratio
concrete aggregates during construction of a given mixture and may be used to
will depend to a large extent on the varia- reject concretes having excessive water.
tions encountered. Since aggregates from The measurement of the quantity of en-
a given source are comparatively uniform trained air controls the use of air-en-
with respect to specific gravity, absorp- training agents. The density or unit
tion, soundness, abrasion resistance, and weight of the concrete is used to correct
2See paper by Proudley, p. 7, this publica- the proportions of ingredients of fresh
tion. concrete based on the volume of concrete

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produced (1).3 L i k e acceptance tests of basis for action, a n d it is i m p o r t a n t t h a t

concrete aggregates, the n u m b e r of tests statistical consideration of the accuracy
of fresh concrete required wilt depend of a n observed average be known. I t is
u p o n the u n i f o r m i t y of production, a n d n o t within the scope of this paper to
the concrete mix will generally be ac- present a discussion of the limits of un-
cepted or corrected on the basis of indi- certainty of observed averages, b u t the
vidual tests. As in the case of aggregate reliability of standard tests for concrete
acceptance tests, tests of fresh concrete will be mentioned.
have limited statistical considerations The m a x i m u m error, for a given prob-
since individual tests provide a basis ability level, b y which a n average of a
for action. given n u m b e r of tests m a y differ from
I n the final analysis, the performance the true, unbiased average based on un-
of concrete is generally measured b y the limited tests can be found as follows:
TABLE I.--VALUES OF "STUDENT'S" t F~ = - - (1)

Numberof ProbabilityLevel where:

Specimens E = m a x i m u m error of the average of
-- 1a
70 80 90 95 99 the sample, per cent,
1 . . . . . 1. 963 3. 078 6. 314 2.706 63. 657 t = " S t u d e n t ' s " t for n - 1 degrees of
2 . . . . 1.386 1. 886 2. 920 4.303 9. 925 freedom at a specific probability
3 . . . . 1.250 1. 638 2. 353 3.182 5. 841 level (Table I),
4 . . . . 1.190 1.533 2.132 2.77(~ 4. 604
5 . . . . 1.156 1.476 2.015 2.571 4.032 V = coefficient of variation, per cent
10 . . . . 1.093 1.372 1.812 2. 228 3.169 (Eq 5), and
15 . . . . 1. 074 1. 341 1.753 2.131 2. 947 n = n u m b e r of tests.
20 . . . . 1. 064 1. 325 1.725 2.08(] 2. 845
25. .. 1.058 1.31(] 1. 708 2.06C 2. 787 Since most specifications for concrete
30. .. 1. 055 1.31(] 1. 697 2. 042 2. 750 require three 6 b y 12-in. cylinders to be
1. 036 1.282 1. 645 1. 960 2. 576 broken in compression at 28 days, the
a Degrees of freedom. reliability of the average of such tests
Now~.--Values of t originally presented by will be computed. Assuming a probabil-
R. A. Fisher and F. Yates (8). ity level of 90 per cent a n d the coefficient
of variation between the three cylinders
strength of 6 b y 12-in. cylinders broken
as 5 per cent, and s u b s t i t u t i n g in E q 1 :
in compression after 28 days of moist
curing, although the flexural strength of 2.920 X 5
E %/~ 8.5 per cent
beams is also used extensively for pave-
I t is assumed the samples taken each I n other words, for tests of three spec-
day represent the concrete placed during imens alone, the error of the average will
t h a t day, and like other performance n o t exceed 8.5 per cent 90 per cent of the
tests the acceptance of concrete is based time. As the value of V becomes more
on these tests. Due to the m a n y factors reliable with an increased n u m b e r of
that influence the strength of concrete tests, the value of t is reduced, a n d if V
a n d the variations that m u s t be expected, can be established from a large n u m b e r
individual tests are n o t reliable as a of tests, the value of t equals 1.645 for 90
per cent probability, and:
The boldface numbers in parentheses refer 1.645 x 5
to the list of references appended to this paper, E - ~ 4.8 per cent
see p. 20.

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I t has been established by Committee In establishing an average strength of

214 of the American Concrete Inst. (2) concrete in a portion of a structure, three
that for good control the coefficient of cylinders taken at different times with
variation between companion specimens a coefficient of variation of 15 per cent
from the same batch should not exceed 5 would give an average whose error could
per cent. It can be assumed then that be expected to be less than:
where control is good, three cylinders
2.920 X 15
will indicate the average strength of a


E - 25 p e r c e n t 9 0 p e r c e n t of t h e t i m e ,
Or if V is established from a large num-
Number 5 1 Number 5 1 ber of tests:
of__T e2sat s per c e n t p e r cent ~ p e r cent per c e n t
1.645 X 15
E = %/~ = 14 per cent
1 0.997 1.OOG 24 0.388 0.496
2. 0.950 0.99G 25 0.381' 0.487
3 0.878 0.952 26 0.374~ 0.478 The question of how many concrete
4 .... 0.811 0.917 27 0.367 0.470 tests are required in general construction
5 .... 0.754 0.874 28 0.361f 0.463
to provide a reliable estimate of the av-
6 ...... 0.707 0.834 29 0.35,~ 0.456 erage can be estimated by using the es-
7 ..... 0.666 0.798 30 0.340 0.449 tablished values for good control, that is,
8 .... 0.632 0.765 35 0.32! 0.418
9 ..... 0.602 0.735 40 0.304 0.393 V equals 5 per cent for within-batch
10 ..... 0.576 0.708 45 0.288 0.372 variation and 15 per cent for over-all
11 ..... 0.553 0.684 50 0.273 0.354
variation. It can also be assumed that the
12 ..... 0.532 0.661 60 0.250 0.325 error of average should not exceed 5 per
13 ..... 0.514 0.641 70 0.232 0.302 cent 90 per cent of the time.
14 ..... 0.497 0.623 80 0.217 0.283
15 ..... 0.482 0.606 90 0.205 0.267
A reliable average for a batch of con-
crete will require:
16 . . . . . 0.468 0.59( 100 0.195 0.254
17 . . . . . 0.45r 0.57~ 125 0.174 0.228 /tV\ 2
18 . . . . . 0.444 0.56] 150 0.159 0.208
19. 0.433 0.54~ 200 0.138 0.181
20. 0.423 0.537 300 0.113 0.148
21. 0.413 0.52( 400 0.098 0.128
22. 0.404 0.51~ 500 0.088 0.115
23. 0.396 0.50~ 1,000 0.062 0.081
n = 2.7 o r 3 c y l i n d e r s f r o m o n e b a t c h ,
a D e g r e e s of f r e e d o m .
NoT~.--This table was taken from Snedeeor and a reliable average for concrete pro-
(6). P o r t i o n s w e r e o r i g i n a l l y f r o m F i s h e r (7).
duced from day to day will require:
batch of concrete with a maximum error
of 4.8 per cent 90 per cent of the time.
One batch of concrete does not neces-
n = 24.4 or 25 cylinders from different batches.
sarily represent all concrete for a struc-
ture or even the concrete produced in According to these data, three cylin-
any day. Variations between batches are ders are sufficient to provide a reliable
much greater than those within the estimate of a single batch of concrete,
batch, and for over-all variations, a co- but, because of the unreliability of one
efficient of variation of 15 per cent can batch, one cylinder from each of 25
be expected for good control (2, Table II). batches would be required to establish

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the over-all concrete strength. More than maintain uniform slump, air content,
one cylinder from each batch would not grading, and moisture content and as
significantly increase the accuracy of the such assist in the control of concrete but
average. This illustrates the necessity of are not a measure of over-all concrete
establishing the strength of concrete control. Since all variations of materials
from the pattern of repeated tests as dis- and proportions are reflected in the
cussed in the following section on Con- strength of concrete, concrete control
struction Control Tests. can be established on that basis.
These methods may also be applied in The usual objection to the use of 28-
establishing the properties of fresh con- day strength tests to control concrete
crete and concrete aggregates but have quality is the fact that a great deal of
limited significance except to determine poor concrete can be placed in a structure
the reliability of test methods. This can before test results are available. The re-
be accomplished by measuring the uni- liability of the 28-day strength tests does
formity of repeated tests of the same not come from tests made the day con-
material (3). crete is placed but is based on the reli-
Reliable average test values are com- ability of the project or mixing plant to
paratively unimportant for fresh con- produce good concrete, as established
crete and concrete aggregates since in- from previous tests. Once the reliability
dividual tests largely control acceptance of control is established, it is possible to
or rejection. obtain a reasonable estimate of potential
concrete quality. Variations from estab-
CONSTRUCTION CONTROL TESTS lished control can be detected as addi-
After the suitability of concrete and tional test results become available. In
concrete aggregates is established some instances, particularly when im-
through acceptance and performance portant structural concrete is involved,
tests, control tests made throughout it is desirable to include performance
construction will ensure production of tests taken at the structure in addition to
uniform concrete of desired strength and regular control tests. Until the reliability
quality. Control tests provide an ex- of control is established, or as changes
cellent opportunity for the application occur, control tests broken at 7 days or
of statistical methods since it is possible earlier are desirable in order to obtain
to consider the pattern of tests results early information on the potential
over a period of time rather than in- strength of the concrete.
dividual samples as in the case of accept- Variations in tests of concrete on con-
ance and performance tests. As the trolled projects can be assumed to fall
control standard for a project or mixing into some pattern of the normal fre-
plant is established, reliable estimates of quency distribution curve (4). Where
the potential strength and uniformity of there is good control, test values are
future production can be made. bunched close to the average, but if there
Concrete control is generally estab- are variations in test results, the values
lished by the strength of 6 by 12-in. spread.
cylinders broken in compression after The amount of dispersion of test re-
moist curing for 28 days. Tests of fresh sults is measured best by the standard
concrete and certain aggregate tests such deviation ~, which is the square root of
as moisture content and gradation may the mean of the squared deviations of the
be considered control tests, but these are individual tests from their average. The
essentially check tests performed to symbol ~ generally denotes the standard

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deviations computed from large samples formly and initial adjustments of the
(theoretically when the number of sam- mix have been made, samples of concrete
ples equals infinity) and s denotes the taken each day for each type of concrete
standard deviation of small samples (S), will provide a reliable pattern of uni-
although the difference is negligible when formity. For large jobs, samples taken
the number of tests is o v e r 30. The each shift witl be desirable. Although one
method of computing the standard de- test cylinder from each sample will pro-
viation is as follows: vide reliable information on the over-all
variations of concrete strength over a
/ (xl - 2)~ + (x~ - 2)~ + period of time, companion cylinders
r = ,/ - . . + (X~--2)~..(3) from each sample will provide additional
information on the "within-batch" varia-
/ ( x , - 2)~ + (x2 + 2)~ + ioo
S ./ 9 .. + (x,- j ? ) 2 . . (4) V1
.Xd2 "
. (6)
]/ (,- 1)
where: V, = within-batch coefficient of varia-
321, X2 ,. 9 9X~ = individual tests, tion,
X = average of all tests, = average range between companion
and specimens,
n = number of tests. X = average strength, and
The standard deviation expressed as a d2 = a constant depending on the num-
percentage of the average strength, X, is ber of companion specimens (4).
called the coefficient of variation, V: (For two companion cylinders
d2 = 1.128; for three companion
v ............... (5) cylinders d2 = 1.693.)
x Within-batch variations are useful
and: since it can be assumed that variations
100s between companion specimens from the
v .............. (Sa) same sample are caused by discrepancies
in handling and testing the test cylin-
The value of control tests (taken over ders (2).
a period of time) in evaluating concrete
quality compared to performance tests SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH
(one day) is the number of specimens Laboratory or field studies of concrete
involved. Tests each day provide suffi- and concrete materials involving groups
cient data in one month so that, when the of tests to establish the relationship be-
pattern of tests is analyzed and the av- tween variables do not involve a reliable
erage and coefficient of variation are estimate of the average as do acceptance
known, the data can be used as a reliable and performance tests nor do they in-
basis for refining mix proportions, speci- volve uniformity of repeated tests as do
fications, and design criteria (2). control tests. The number of tests re-
The size of the project, types and quired will depend upon how apparent
amount of concrete produced, and the and pronounced the relationship is be-
degree of control desired will dictate the tween the variables.
number of specimens required. M t e r For example, the relation between
concrete operations are progressing uni- concrete strength and cement content

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usually determined in trial mixes for mix apparent relationships between two vari-
proportioning can be estimated with rel- ables based on the number of tests in-
atively few tests, since the correlation volved. If the computed correlation co-
between these variables is very high. If efficient is greater than the corresponding
the correlation is not good, too few tests 1 per cent level of significance, the corre-
may not indicate the trend. lation is said to be highly significant, and
The relationship and correlation be- if the correlation coefficient is greater
tween variables can be established by than the 5 per cent level, the trend is
computing the linear regression which significant. A correlation coefficient be-
represents a "best fit" of a straight line low the 5 per cent level is not considered
to the data (6). If the relationship is obvi- significant. This does not mean there is
ously a curve, methods of computing proof of no correlation between variables,
curvilinear regressions can be found in but it does indicate insufficient data to
most textbooks on statistical methods. establish a trend. It is a warning that
Linear regression is the simplest rela- there is no reasonable assurance that the
tionship between two variables and will sample is not from noncorrelated data (6).
give a good approximation in most cases
for a limited section of a curve. The
straight-line equation is computed as Tests of concrete and concrete aggre-
follows: gates will generally fall into the following
general classifications: (a) acceptance
~(xr) - n~
Y=~+ (x-2). (7) and performance tests involving the re-
~X 2 n2~
- -

liability of individual tests and a reliable

The correlation coefficient r , which is a estimate of average; (b) construction
measure of the degree of correlation be- control tests based on the uniformity of
tween variables, is equal to: repeated tests; and (c) research con-
ducted to establish relationships between
z(xr) - n2F variables. The majority of aggregate
... (8)
r = %/(y.X 2_ nX2)(ZY 2 _ n Y ~) tests are acceptance and performance
tests. Concrete tests may be adapted to
where: performance, control, or research.
Y = values of the dependent variable, The size and number of samples will
plotted on the ordinate, vary with the size of the job, quantity of
X --- values of the independent variable, concrete, maximum size of aggregate,
plotted on the abscissa, funds and testing facilities available, and
X = mean of X values, and the accuracy desired. Large samples and
= mean of Y values. numerous tests will increase accuracy but
The independent variable is usually may not be practical.
selected--such as cement content, for Statistical methods provide valuable
example--and the dependent or un- assistance in evaluating the strengths
known variable is established by tests and uniformity of concrete but have
such as strength. limited significance in evaluating con-
Table I I indicates the significance of crete aggregates.

(1) "Concrete Manual," U. S. Bureau of (2) Report of ACI Committee 214, "Evalua-
Reclamation, 6th Ed. (1955). tion of Compression Test Results of Field

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Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., Nostrand Co., Inc., New York, N. Y. (1953).
November, 1955; Proceedings, Vol. 52, p. (6) George W. Snedecor, "Statistical Meth-
241. ods," Iowa State College Press (1940).
(3) R. W. Crum and H. W. Leavitt, "The (7) R. A. Fisher, "Statistical Methods for
Numbers of Specimens or Tests of Con- Research Workers," Oliver and Boyd,
crete and Concrete Aggregates Required
Edinburgh (1937).
for Reasonable Accuracy of the Average,"
Report on Significance of Tests of Con- (8) R. A. Fisher and F. Yates, "Statistical
crete and Concrete Aggregates, Am. Soc. Tables for Biological, Agricultural and
Testing Mats., p. 163 (1943). (Issued as Medical Research," Oliver and Boyd,
separate publication A S T M S T P No. Edinburgh (1938).
ZZ-A .) (9) Stanton Walker, "Control of Quality of
(4) ASTM Manual on Quality Control of Ma- Ready-Mixed Concrete," Publication 2?0.
terials, Am. Soc. Testing Mats. (1951). 44, Nat. Ready Mixed Concrete Assn.
(Issued as separate publication A S T M (1953).
S T P No. 15-C.) (10) Niels M. Plum, "Quality Control of Con-
(5) C. G. Paradine and B. H. P. Rivett, crete," Proceedings, Part 1, Vol. 2, Inst.
"Statistics for Technologists," D. Van Civil Engrs., p. 311 (1953).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Concrete and Concrete Aggregates



The testing of concrete and concrete measured for the portion from which the
aggregates that has been carried on for sample was drawn.
many years has resulted in the accumula-
tion of a great quantity of data. Workers Types of Data:
in the field of concrete have attempted to
There are two general types of data
develop from this information improved dealing with sets of n observations of a
methods of test and sounder specification single variable (1):3 the first deals with a
limits which would result in better con-
series of n observations representing
stituent materials and, in turn, better single measurements of the same quality
concrete. This paper will attempt to characteristic of n similar things; the
assist in the evaluation of such data by second deals with n observations repre-
pointing out some pertinent factors that senting n measurements of the same
should be kept in mind and by discussing quality characteristic of one thing. D a t a
briefly certain applicable procedures. of the second type are commonly
The ASTM has a large number of gathered to furnish information regard-
standards pertaining to concrete and ing the errors of measurement for a par-
concrete aggregates. Obviously, a de- ticular test method. Most of the data
tailed discussion of data relating to each obtained from tests of concrete and con-
of these tests cannot be made here. In- crete aggregates are data of the first type
stead, it is intended to make some gen- which provide information regarding the
eral comments that will apply to the distribution of the quality of the material
various test methods, then to show one itself.
or two applications to specific test re-
sults. Number of Tests:
A test or a series of tests is made on
samples of concrete or concrete aggre- If only one test measurement is made,
gates to obtain quantitative information there can be little idea of its accuracy,
on certain measurable characteristics of unless data previously obtained from
those samples--for example, the com- similar tests on similar materials are
pressive strength of concrete, the resist- available. If two measurements are made,
ance to abrasion of a coarse aggregate, although the two results will undoubt-
the air content of a mortar, or the sulfate edly differ, there is some indication of the
soundness of an aggregate. The data ob- variation to be expected. If several
tained are evaluated to determine how measurements are made, the average
nearly the test results represent the true provides a better estimate of the true
value of the quality characteristic being
2 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
1 Secretary and Engineer, Maine Technology to the list of references appended to this paper,
Experiment Station, Orono, Me. see p. 25.
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value of the characteristic being meas- concrete may be due to such things as:
ured, and the range in results gives a good (1) changes in water-cement ratio result-
idea of the variations to be expected. If ing from poor control of the water con-
still more measurements are made, still tent; (2) lack of uniformity of grading of
more information is obtainable by sta- the aggregates; (3) variations in the
tistical methods, and it is possible to characteristics of the aggregates or the
describe with greater accuracy than be- cement; or (4) variation in temperature
fore the reliability of the average meas- and curing during the mixing and harden-
urement and the probability that the ing period.
true value of the characteristic being Variations due to discrepancies in
measured will be included within ally testing methods may be caused by fac-
specified range above and below the tors such as: (1) inconsistent sampling
mean. procedures; (2) lack of uniformity in
It is evident, therefore, that the methods of making the test specimens;
greater the number of tests made, and (3) changes in curing conditions; (4)
the smaller the variation among results, poor capping and testing procedures; or
the greater will be the accuracy of the (5) faulty testing machines. Obviously,
averagea and the more reliable the con- causes of variation should be kept to a
clusions. minimum in order to produce the most
reliable results.
Variation: From a consideration of these possible
In any set of observations of a single sources of variation in the compressive
variable, there are certain to be differ- strengths of concrete cylinders, it be-
ences among the various measurements comes evident that it would be very un-
(1). This variation is inevitable and must likely that the average of a set of strength
be accepted. It should be kept in mind test results for a certain class of concrete
that all test results have value. If the would represent the true strength of that
differences are significantly large, they concrete. Rather, it is only an approxi-
should be examined critically to deter- mate value. How close it may be to the
mine the causes, which may then, per- true-value may be estimated by means
haps, be eliminated. of statistical procedures.
In addition to random variation, the
results of such tests are generally subject Presentation of Data:
to two main causes of variation (2): (1) The ASTM Manual on Quality Con-
variations in the properties of the ma- trol of Materials (1) describes very well
terial being tested, and (2) discrepancies the method for summarizing and pre-
in the testing methods. Consider, for senting test data to provide the essential
example, some of the possible causes of information. Since this paper will not
variation in the results of one particular attempt to reproduce the instructions
type of test, namely, the test for the com- found in that Manual, the reader is re-
pressive strength of portland-cement con- ferred to it for details of condensing the
crete. information contained in a set of ob-
Variations in the properties of the servations and presenting the essential
a The numbez of specimens or tests required
information in a concise form.
for reasonable accuracy of the average is dis- The Manual recommends that, given
cussed by Cordon, p. 14, this publication. Part a set of observations of a single variable
2 of the ASTM Manual on Quality Control of
Materials deals further with the uncertainty of obtained under essentially the same con-
an observed average. ditions, the average, the standard devia-

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tion (or the coefficient of variation), and deviation 258 psi, and the coefficient of
the number of observations should be variation, v, 11.0 per cent. According to
presented as a minimum. These pro- the theoretical distribution (1), 68.27 per
cedures would apply to the compressive cent of the test results should fall within
strength of concrete or the abrasion test a range of one standard deviation, ~,
of a coarse aggregate, to the air contents above and below the average, and 95.45
of concrete or the mortar-making proper- per cent should fall within a range of
ties of sand. No matter which test is 2e above and below the average. The
being evaluated, the same principles results shown in Fig. 1 conform quite
hold. The average measurement of the closely to these percentages.
series, the standard deviation, and the The coefficient of variation, v, ex-

95.45 per cent
15" I~t 2o" 2o" ~1
6 8 . 2 7 per cent I
"l I
I 9
"~ Io-

l o
o \i
oo / oo oO o o ek I
5" o o o o d\o I
/ p o o o o d N. I
/o p o o o o d o~o I
o o o o o o d o "b,.!o
o o o o o o q o o ~
i i i, I I ' i i
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 O D 0 0 0 0
~}" u3 ~o ~- 10o ~ 0
oJ oJ cd
Day Compressive Strength, psi
FIo. 1.--Frequency Diagram Showing Distribution of 7-Day Strength Data from 68 Tests Super-
imposed on the Normal Distribution Curve.

number of observations will enable a con- presses the standard deviation of a set of
cise summary of the data to be formed observations as a percentage of the aver-
and an estimate of the true value of the age of the series. By comparing, coeffi-
characteristic being measured to be cients of variation, it is possible to com-
made. pare variations in different series regard-
For all practical purposes, a set of ob- less of the units in which the test results
servations of a single variable pertaining are measured.
to concrete or concrete aggregates can be
Practical Uses:
assumed to fall into some pattern of the
normal frequency distribution curve (5) The evaluation of test results and the
as illustrated in Fig. 1. This diagram determination of the variations in a
shows the frequency distribution of 68 series can be useful in many ways. A
7-day strength tests. The average study of the variations provides a means
strength was 2350 psi, the standard of determining whether those variations

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are reasonable, in comparison with vari- The application of statistical methods

ations that occur under controlled condi- to the evaluation of data, particularly
tions. with reference to quality control in day-
Controlling the quality of a material to-day production, is becoming more and
under production conditions necessitates more widespread. For example, the U. S.
a comparison of the variations obtained Bureau of Reclamation has, for many
from day to day with the normal varia- years, applied these methods to the
tion established from previous tests. control of concrete used in its huge dams
This comparison provides a means for and has issued annual reports summariz-
determining extraneous results, or ing the data (5).
changes in level, which should be investi- This paper has been concerned with
gated. the evaluation of series of tests such as
In determining whether a material those that might be made in the normal,
conforms to specification requirements,
routine, day-to-day testing of materials
the variation in a series of test results
for a certain project. When laboratory
provides a means for deciding whether
the number of results greater than the tests are made to determine the effects
specified minimum is sufficient for the of several variables, the proper design
entire lot of material to be considered of the experiment can often produce a
acceptable, or whether enough of the test great deal of information with a mini-
values fall below the required minimum mum amount of testing. The subject of
for the material to be rejected. experiment design has many aspects. In
A knowledge of the variation to be order to take full advantage of the possi-
expected in concrete strengths is useful bilities, those who are not very familiar
in determining the level of design so that with the subject might well consider con-
a specified proportion of results will lie sultation with a competent statistician
above a certain minimum value. before starting on a large series of tests.
Before a new test method is adopted
as standard, it is important that ade- CONCLUSION
quate test data be acquired to determine
the reproducibility of results obtainable No matter what degree of control is
by the method. Only in this way can maintained in the production of con-
proper specification limits be established. crete and concrete aggregates, some vari-
As indicated before, any set of obser- ations in the qualities of the materials
vations, to be useful for measuring some will remain and must be accepted. By
quality characteristic, should be made means of an adequate testing program
under essentially the same test conditions and the proper evaluation of the test
on a material or product all of which has results, variations may be held to a mini-
been produced under essentially the same mum and the reliability of the results
conditions. adequately known.

(1) ASTM Manual on Quality Control of Ma- neerlng Data: Some Observations," 28th
terials, Am. Soc.Testing Mats. (1951). Edgar Marburg Lecture, Proceedings, Am.
(2) "Evaluation of Compression Tests of Field Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 54, p. 603 (1954).
Concrete," Report of ACI Committee 214, (5) "Concrete Manual," U. S. Bureau of Recla-
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., November, mation, 6th Ed. (1955).
1955; Proceedings, Vol. 52, p. 241.
(3) GeorgeW. Snedecor,"Statistical Methods," (6) Truman Lee Kelley, "The Kelley Statistical
Iowa State CollegePress (1940). Tables," The MacMillan Co., New York,
(4) Harold F. Dodge, "Interpretation of Engi- N. Y. (1938).
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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Concrete and Concrete Aggregates


For many years concrete and concrete ice when exposed to weathering similar
aggregates have been the subjects of to that to be encountered. ''3 Other state-
numerous researches covering a wide ments revealing uncertainties in specifi-
variety of topics--researches whose ob- cations are to be found, together with
jectives have been to provide the in- ambiguous language engendered by lack
formation needed to make concrete a of definite knowledge. Thus, it is stated
material of ever greater and ever more that coarse aggregate not having a
certain usefulness. It will be neither demonstrable service record and not
feasible nor desirable to attempt to con- meeting the sodium or magnesium sul-
sider all of the needed research in this fate test may be used if it gives "satis-
field since a mere listing (1, 2)2of the titles factory" results in freezing-and-thawing
of such projects being undertaken in the tests, etc. What is meant by satis-
various laboratories of this country and factory? And what kind of freezing-and-
abroad would cover many pages. How- thawing tests are intended?
ever, a useful purpose might be served Such specification items as these point
by mentioning some of the more im- to a few of the more obvious researches
portant problems, if only in sufficient which should be made, but there are
detail to indicate their nature and their many more, some of which will be cort-
application. sidered in this paper.
One need only read the usual specifi-
cations for aggregates to realize that un- NEEDED RESEARCH IN CONCRETE
certainty exists regarding some of the Durability:
requirements. The following phrases are Freezing-and-Thawing Tests:--Fore-
typical: "shall be reasonably free from most of the properties desired of concrete
flat and elongated pieces"; "Coarse exposed to the weather is high durability
aggregate failing to meet the require- or resistance to freezing and thawing.
ments of Paragraph (a) [referring to the In the laboratory an attempt is made to
sodium and magnesium sulfate sound- determine the durability of concrete by
ness tests] may be accepted, provided means of freezing-and-thawing tests, but
that concrete of comparable properties, different laboratories, because of the
made from similar aggregate from the nature of their equipment, perform the
same source, has given satisfactory serv- test in different ways. The ASTM has
1Engineering Director, National Crushed four tentative test methods for making
Stone Assn., Washington, D. C. this test: C 290, Rapid Freezing and
2 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
to the llst of references appended to this paper, Specifications for Concrete Aggregates (C
see p. 34. 33), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.
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Thawing in Water4; C 291, Rapid Freez- freezing in air by preventing evaporation,

ing in Air and Thawing in Water~; for it has become recognized that the
C 292, Slow Freezing and Thawing in degree of pore saturation (4) has a very
Water or BrineS; C 310, Slow Freezing significant influence on the results of a
in Air and Thawing in Water. 7 It is freezing-and-thawing test. 8
quite proper that these four different In some weather-exposed structures,
methods be used, but research is needed freezing may take place in a manner
to determine if they can be correlated differing from that produced by any of
and, if so, how they compare so that the four ASTM methods. For illustra-
proper limits may be used in specifica- tion, water may continue to be supplied
tions. by capillarity while the freezing action
Quick cycles of freezing and thawing, is taking place on the surface---so-called
such as freezing and thawing in water, directional freezing--and other varia-
are suspected of imposing harmful and tions in the freezing mechanism likewise
unrealistic thermal shock on the speci- exist. A freezing test is intended to be an
mens. This point should be resolved by accelerated test of the durability of con-
investigation. crete and of aggregates, and any one test
Certain difficulties attend the method may not simulate actual field conditions.
of freezing in water, such as the some- This probably is not important so long
times rapid destruction of the metal as the test simulates, reasonably well, the
container due to the expansion of the freezing effect of the weather. Much
freezing immersion water. Some labora- remains to be done to determine the
tories believe they have overcome this correlation between freezing tests and
difficulty, but others have not. Freezing weather resistance. Wherever possible
concrete in water likewise produces a such a comparison should be made with
rapid surface disintegration possibly due the various types of freezing tests now
to forces set up when the specimen being employed, some of which are not
freezes to the sides of the container. included in the ASTM methods--for
Objection has been raised to rapid instance, directional freezing and freez-
freezing in air on the ground that there ing in a weak alcohol solution2
is evaporation of water from the speci- Percentage of Saturation=--The per-
men which reduces the percentage of centage of saturation of aggregates or of
saturation and thus the effectiveness of concrete used for freezing tests is an im-
the method. If true, perhaps wrapping portant item controlling the effect of
the specimen in aluminum foil (3) will freezing. Obviously if the pores are
increase the disintegrating effect of entirely filled with water and freezing
Method of Test for Resistance of*Concrete takes place, a very great disrupting force
Specimens to Rapid Freezing and Thawing in can result. If the pores are only partially
Water (C 290), 1955 Book of ASTM Stand- filled, there is space for the ice to form or
ards, Part 3.
Method of Test for Resistance of Concrete for the internal water to move, and the
Specimens to Rapid Freezing in Air and Thaw- freezing effect under these conditions is
ingin Water (C 291), 1955 Book of ASTM less severe. Accordingly, the nature of
Standards, Part 3.
6 Method of Test for Resistance of Concrete the treatment of the concrete before
Specimens to Slow Freezing and Thawing i~1 freezing is most important.
Water or Brine (C 292), 1955 Book of A S T M
Standards, Part 3. s For a more detailed discussion refer to the
Method of Test for Resistance of Concrete paper by T. C. Powers, p. 182 of this publi-
Specimens to Slow Freezing in Air and Thaw- cation.
ing in Water (C310), 1955 Book of ASTM 9 Specifications of Iowa State Highway
Standards, Part 3. Dept.

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Effect of Air Entrainment:--Concrete been growing until now even certain

containing entrained air is known to be forms of quartz are suspected of causing
very much more resistant to freezing trouble. The list of aggregates usually
than nonair-entrained concrete. A hy- considered reactive (7) is as follows:
pothesis (see Powers (S) and p. 182 of opaline cherts, chalcedonic cherts, silice-
this Symposium) offers an explanation ous limestones, rhyotites and rhyolite
for this, but more remains to be done to tufts, dacites and dacite tufts, andesite
study the effects of percentage of air, and andesite tufts, phyllites.
size of air voids, their spacing, and their Cements having more than 0.6 per
relationship to one another, as these may cent of sodium and potassium oxide, ex-
influence the freezing resistance of the pressed as sodium oxide, are considered
concrete. Air entrainment may reduce to be particularly troublesome with re-
the strength as well as increase dura- active aggregates, but apparently some
bility, and a choice must be made as to expansion has been encountered in struc-
the optimum percentage of air. tures in which the cement has had a very
Effect of Air Entrainment on Concrete low percentage of sodium oxide. Tests by
Containing Unsound Aggrega~es.--Cer- Hester and Smith (8) and Conrow (9)
rain aggregates are known to produce seem to indicate that calcium hydroxide
unsound concrete when subjected to may play an important part in this
freezing conditions. However, there are phenomenon of chemical reactivity.
indications that air entrainment is Various laboratory tests have been
beneficial for certain aggregates although devised to determine whether an ag-
not for others. This is an important gregate is apt to cause excessive ex-
phenomenon, and definite information pansion in concrete due to chemical
is needed to determine the characteris- reactivity. There is a quick chemical
tics of those unsound aggregates which method for determining potential re-
may behave satisfactorily in concrete activity of aggregates, ASTM Method
containing entrained air and those which C 289, l~ and several different forms of
continue to produce unsound concrete physical tests, including the mortar
despite the presence of entrained air. bar test, n in which a mortar bar speci-
Some unsound sands produce durable men is subjected to 100 per cent humid-
concrete when air entrainment is used. ity continuously; expansion measure-
How universally applicable is this bene- ments are then taken and used as a
ficial effect of air entrainment? Are criterion of reactivity. Other tests in-
unsound aggregates safe when protected clude alternating temperatures under
by air entrainment? the action of a spray of water (10), and
Alkali-Aggregate Reaction~Much re- various.other exposures (9).
search has been carried out on the sub- These various tests do not necessarily
ject of the alkali-aggregate reaction give the same indications, and one can-
phenomenon which appears to have not help wondering what these indica-
been first pointed out by Stanton (6) in tions really mean. Probably they can be
1942. Expansion takes place in concrete used as danger signals more than as
as the result of a reaction between the
cement and certain types of aggregates. 10 M e t h o d of Test for Potential Reactivity
This expansion phenomenon has been of Aggregates (Chemical Method) (C 289), 1955
attributed to the reaction between the Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3.
n Method of Test for Potential Alkali Re-
alkalies in the cement and certain sili- activity of Cement-Aggregate Combinations
ceous aggregates, the list of which has (C 227), 1955 Book of A S T M Standards, Part 3.

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absolute proof that a particular ag- permitted only 8 per cent of tricalcium
gregate-cement combination will have aluminate, and these should prove satis-
excessive expansion of concrete in serv- factory. However, the work on this
ice. A great deal of work has been done particular problem should continue, in-
on the chemical reactivity problem, but cluding the use of pozzolanic materials,
surely more is necessary before any for many concrete structures must with-
particular test can be accepted with as- stand the action of sea water.
surance. Thermal Compatibility (14).---In recent
The use of additives in the concrete years much has been written on the
and possibly also in the cement gives question of thermal incompatibility, as it
promise of overcoming the expansion has sometimes been called. The idea has
difficulty due to alkali-aggregate reac- been expressed that, if the thermal
tivity. A number of laboratories are con- characteristics of the mortar differ to any
tinuing investigation of the alkali-ag- great extent from those of the coarse
gregate reaction problem, and certain aggregate, there will be differential
excessive expansion preventives seem to movement during times of change in
have been developed, notably pozzolanic temperature, with a tendency for a re-
(11) material as a replacement for a given lease of bond between the mortar and the
amount of portland cement. A great deal coarse aggregate and, therefore, with the
of progress has been made in the use of possibility of lack of durability. The
these pozzolanic materials, and in some subject has received considerable at-
cases the addition of relatively soft tention, but the test results and the con-
limestone (12) coarse aggregate to reac- clusions drawn therefrom have been
tive sand-gravel aggregates has appeared criticized on the ground that there are
to prevent undue expansion in the con- many individual deviations from the
crete. The explanation of why limestone alleged fact that the mortar and the
additions are beneficial has not as yet coarse aggregate must have approxi-
been forthcoming. By no means is the mately the same thermal properties.
entire problem of alkali-aggregate reac- Perhaps there are other forces acting,
tion solved, and research on this problem such as shrinkage of the mortar due to
gives promise of high reward. drying, which likewise bring about a
Sea Water Exposure.--Research on the differential movement between the mor-
durability of concrete exposed to sea tar and the coarse aggregate. In any
water has been in progress for many event, the need for more research is in-
years. There are definite indications dicated.
that sea water is particularly harmful
to concretes made with cement having a Strength Properties:
high percentage of tricalcium aluminate. What .Principle Governs the Strength of
Cook (13) has pointed out that in con- Air-Entrained Concrete?--The water-
crete specimens immersed in sea water cement ratio-compressive strength re-
at St. Augustine, Fla., most of the fail- lationship as applied to given concrete
ures took place where the cement con- materials has been fairly well estab-
tained more than 12 per cent of tri- lished (15), but now that air entrainment
calcium aluminate. Apparently one of is used, this relationship no longer holds,
the cures for excessive concrete expansion for another variable, percentage of air,
in sea water exposure is the use of ce- has been introduced.
ment having a low percentage of tri- The rule which governs the strength of
calcium aluminate. Type I I cements are concrete containing entrained air, al-

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though determined approximately, Plastic Flow and Stress Release Under

should be established with greater cer- Sustained Loads and Variable Con-
tainty. ditions of Moisture:
Eject of Size of Aggregate on the Com- Concrete is not a perfectly elastic
pressive Strength and Beam Strength.--No material. I t flows under sustained
doubt the majority of compressive load--to a very small degree under small
strength determinations of concrete are loads but to a much greater degree as
made with the usual 6 by 12-in. cylinder internal stress is increased. Much work
and, according to the standard method has been done on this phenomenon in
of making the compression test, the the past, generally, however, with the
6-in. cylinder mold is suitable for ag- concrete stored under a more or less con-
gregates having a nominal maximum stant condition of moisture. Flow of con-
size of 2 in. However, there are indica- crete has become increasingly important
tions that strength values which are too with the advent of prestressed or post-
low are obtained when 2-in. or even stressed concrete, because, as flow of the
189 maximum size aggregates are concrete takes place, there is a relaxa-
used in a 6-in. specimen (16). If this is tion of the tensile stress in the steel.
true, then the need is indicated either What is the effect of alternating loads,
for a larger specimen or for a reduction variations in temperature, and varia-
in strength requirements when large ag- tions in moisture on the plastic flow of
gregate concrete is tested in the form of concrete and on the relaxation of stress
6-in. cylinders. In any event, the size of in the reinforcing steel? What must be
specimens required to give a true indica- the strength of the concrete to prevent
tion of the strength of concrete with excessive stress relaxation in the course
different sizes of aggregates should be of time when the concrete is subjected
further investigated. to these variable conditions?
Modulus of Rupture:Modulus of Abrasion Resistance.--Concrete floors
rupture is a measure of beam strength. are subjected to the abrasive action of
In determining this property, reliance traffic. This may consist of a scuffing
should not be placed on the assumption action from pedestrian traffic, or the
that there is a relationship between com- action of steel-tired industrial trucks
pressive strength and modulus of rup- carrying heavy loads. A steel tire pre-
ture, since a constant relationship does not sents little contact area where it rests
exist between them (17). Some investiga- on the concrete surface and hence
tors have found that for a given cement there may be very high intensity of
factor, higher beam strengths are ob- pressure at such areas, crushing of the
tained with a small size coarse aggregate projecting points may take place, and,
than with a large size (18). But, just as indeed, in some cases crushing of the
in the case of compression tests, it may entire surfacing material has occurred.
well be that the restriction to the proper Tests are now under way to develop a
placement of the large aggregate con- satisfactory measure of abrasion re-
crete in the molds is the explanation for sistance, and no doubt these investiga-
this apparent anomaly. To those in- tions will result in the development of a
terested in the scientific aspects of this suitable test for this property of concrete.
matter, here is a very interesting investi- Slipperiness.--The problem of slippery
gation. concrete pavements is a very intriguing

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one. Traffic on our highways has been method is set up for determining average
moving with increased speed, and the thickness, however, so it is necessary for
rubber now used in tire treads is differ- inspectors to make an estimate as to
ent from that in use some years ago. what the average thickness of any
Stopping distance tests made with auto- particle is, and on such an estimate the
mobiles running at a given speed are product of a producer must stand or fall.
frequently made, and this probably is Clearly the subject needs serious in-
the most popular method of making vestigation including: (1) the setting up
slipperiness tests. In a modification of of a method for measuring conveniently
this test, the rate of deceleration is the shape of the particle; (2) the deter-
measured. One of the oldest forms of mination of the ratios of length to width
slipperiness tests is that employed by and width to thickness that constitute
Moyer in which a trailer is towed whose reasonable limitations for defining elon-
axis is inclined to direction of travel. gated and fiat pieces; (3) the determina-
The force required to keep the trailer tion of the tolerance of poorly shaped
at a given angle with the direction of material that is permissible in aggre-
travel is a measure of skid resistance. gates for use in concrete. For the meas-
These tests (19) have been fairly well urement of shape, ingenious calipers have
developed, and the main problem would been devised, TM one of them so arranged
seem to be that of so constructing the as to measure all three dimensions of
pavement that it will remain in a rela- the particle.
tively nonskid condition. It is im- Particle shape is thought to control
portant that this problem of excessive the workability, strength, and finishing
slipperiness be solved. Fortunately, most characteristics of concrete and, before
concrete pavements are not slippery. the days of air entrainment, the question
of durability was also involved.
Some thought should be given to the
As in the case of concrete, specifica- possible desirability of determining the
tions for aggregates are written in such shape of particles in a sample in terms
a way that they reveal the many un- of the average maximum length of all
certainties which exist in the minds of the pieces, the average maximum width,
specification writers. and the average maximum thickness.
These values may be obtained by ar-
Flat and Elongated Pieces: ranging the particles in a continuous
The problem of shape of particle has train, measuring the over-all length, and
been troubling engineers for many years. dividing by the number of pieces. Simi-
The ASTM now has defined an elongated larly, average maximum width and aver-
piece in terms of the ratio of its length age maximum thickness may be de-
to its width, and a fiat piece in terms of termined.
the ratio of its width to its thickness, Deleterious Materials:
but so far there is no standard way of
making these determinations, nor is There are a number of deleterious ma-
there a specification for flat and elon- terials in aggregates. Lists of such ma-
gated pieces as applied to aggregates for terials have been under compilation by
use in concrete. One very prominent a subcommittee of ASTM Committee
specification has defined fiat and elon- 12 M6todo de Determinacao da Yorma de
gated pieces in terms of the ratio of the Fragmentos de Pedra Britada, Departamento
de Estradas de Rodagem do Estado de Sao
length to the "average" thickness. No Paulo.

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C-9 on Concrete and Concrete Ag- effect of freezing and thawing. The per-
gregates, and no doubt will shortly centage of saturation may well be in-
appear in a forthcoming report. The fluenced by the pore size and also the
effects of many deleterious materials are structure of these pores. The shape and
known, as in the case of porous chert size of pores have much to do with the
having low gravity, but in many other difficulty of saturating a specimen and
cases their effects should be investi- also with the movement of water through
gated in the light of their use in air-en- the pores. The size of pores likewise in-
trained concrete, before reaching any fluences the degree of temperature nec-
conclusion as to what the specification essary to bring about freezing. These
limits should be. matters are not well understood, a n d
basic research is being conducted to
Soundness Tests: show how the pore characteristics of a
Sodium and magnesium sulfate sound- rock structure influence durability. In
ness tests on aggregates have been under this connection the strength of the rock
fire for many years. I t frequently hap- must not be overlooked because the
pens that different laboratories obtain strength of a rock has to do with the re-
widely different results using these tests, sistance offered by the rock against the
due in all probability to some variation destructive forces set up b y the freezing
in the method of conducting them in the cycle.
different laboratories. I t would seem I t frequently has been observed that
highly desirable that research be ac- certain aggregates when used immedi-
tively pursued along other lines, such as ately after production and containing
rapid freezing-and-thawing tests, to de- saturated pores are prone to be much
termine if some more certain method of less resistant to the weather than those
detecting unsound aggregates might be same aggregates after they have been
devised. With the new rapid freezers allowed to lose some of their contained
now in use in a number of laboratories, water, either by evaporation or by free
eight or ten freezing cycles per day may draining. In some structures the con-
be obtained. I t is claimed by one labora- crete never does become fully saturated,
tory that at least three weeks are re- while in others complete saturation is
quired to perform properly the five-cycle the normal condition. Such matters
sodium sulfate test; surely that takes should be considered in setting up freez-
this test out of the realm of rapid de- ing test specification limits.
terminations. In investigating the sound-
ness of aggregates for the purpose of de-
veloping a suitable test, investigations The plant production of aggregate to
should not be conducted on the aggre- a given gradation is largely a matter of
gates alone, but also on the concrete in economics. By separating the aggregate
which the aggregates will be used. into different sizes and recombining these
sizes, almost any desired gradation may
Relationship Between Durability and Pore be produced. But the cost of such meticu-
Size and Pore Volume, Absorption, Per- lous production may not be warranted,
centage of Saturation, and Strength and for most construction work a con-
Characteristics: tinuous, straight-line, gradation curve 1~, 14
I t has already been mentioned that laSimplified Practice Recommendation R
163 - 48, U. S. Dept. of Commerce.
the percentage of saturation of a ma- 14 Specifications for Concrete Aggregates
terial greatly influences the deleterious (C 33), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.

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with appropriate tolerances seems to structures in which saving in weight is

be suitable. For very large structures desired. The physical characteristics of
such as dams, the possibility of the slight these aggregates affect the strength of
saving in cement per cubic yard which, the concrete, its absorption properties,
over all, may mean a saving of a million and its shrinkage tendencies. Excessive
dollars or more in the cost of the struc- shrinkage of concrete has been reported,
ture, warrants a large amount of re- not only with lightweight aggregates but
search. with other concretes as well. Such shrink-
Similarly, by means of suitable pro- age produces excessive deflection in con-
duction methods, fine aggregates may be crete beams, with resultant cracking in
graded within limits, 14 but care must be walls and other parts of the structure
used to prevent the waste of aggregates supported by these excessively deflected
because, plentiful as aggregates seem to beams. This shrinkage may not be due
be, aggregate supplies are not inexhaust- entirely to the aggregates, but to the
ible. Gradation specification limits on cement as well, and it is a defect which
both fine and coarse aggregates are now might be overcome by research.
well established, and b y slight changes
in proportioning of the concrete, satis- OTHER IMPORTANT PROBLEMS
factory concrete is being obtained within
these limits of gradation. If it is impos- Undoubtedly there are hundreds of
sible to obtain aggregates graded accord- other research problems which are im-
ing to established limits, then certainly portant and which should be undertaken
investigation is indicated to determine by those interested in concrete; and ob-
whether satisfactory concrete may be viously, all cannot be discussed within
made using nonconforming aggregates. practical space limitations of this paper.
For particular purposes, as in pump- However, some of them of greater impor-
crete, for example, constancy of grada- tance are in the following list:
tion becomes highly important as do also
other aggregate characteristics such as L Effect of set-retarding admixtures.
shape of particle. Special studies might 2. Study of pozzolanic materials.
3. Innumerable problems in reinforced
be made for uses such as this. Likewise, and in prestressed concrete.
in the manufacture of certain products 4. Effect of ice-removing salts in the scal-
such as concrete pipes, etc., the study ing of concrete and means for overcoming
of aggregate gradation would seem to be this scaling difficulty.
well worth while. 5. Hardeners for concrete surfaces.
The question of fine material, such as 6. Antiskid materials for concrete sur-
dust, in the fine aggregate could profit faces.
from more research. Reports indicate 7. Fire resistance of concrete as it is af-
that dust, even in the form of dust coat- fected by aggregates, their size, and their
moisture condition.
ings, affects the concrete only to the
8. Measurement of form pressures due to
extent to which it affects the water-ce-
freshly deposited concrete.
ment ratio; but other effects--shrinkage 9. Studies of the possibility of using addi-
properties of the concrete for instance--- tives to render concrete (a) more plastic, and
should also be investigated. (b) more resistant to water penetration un-
der pressure.
Physical Characteristics: 10. Effect of steam curing on strength and
Lightweight aggregates are coming durability of concrete.
rapidly into production and are used for 11. Soniscope tests of structural concrete.

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12. Permeability and absorption re- In view of the research needed in the
searches. concrete field, one might get the impres-
13. Electrical curing of concrete. sion that concrete is a very imperfect
material requiring much research to
CONCLUSION make it entirely satisfactory, but such is
not the case. In general, concrete is
This discussion merely skims the sur-
givingexcellent service as a structural
face of needed research in concrete and
material, due to the careful and persis-
concrete aggregates. Perhaps some im-
tent research work performed in past
portant research projects have been
years. But concrete technicians have
omitted, but enough have been men- ever been on the alert to improve their
tioned to demonstrate the fact that the product, if only to the slightest extent.
field of concrete and aggregate research If definite answers can be obtained to
is an enormous one which offers great the many questions typified b y those
possibilities for accomplishment and which have been discussed here, contin-
which will require the services of com- ued improvement in the performance of
petent investigators for many years. concrete will be possible.

(1) Unpublished listing of research projects by (10) C. H. Scholer and G. M. Smith, "A Rapid
Committee ll5--Research, Am. Concrete Accelerated Test for Cement-Aggregate
Inst. (1955). Reaction," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing
(2) British Magazine of Concrete Research, Mats., Vol. 54, p. 1165 (1954).
(1955). (11) C. H. Scholer and G. M. Smith, "Use of
(3) J. M. Rice, discussion of paper by Lewis, Chicago Fly Ash in Reducing Cement-
Dolch, and Woods, Proceedings, Am. Soc. Aggregate Reaction," Journal, Am. Con-
Testing Mats., VoL 53, p. 959 (1953). crete Inst., February, 1952; Proceedings,
(4) H. S. Sweet and K. B. Woods, "A Study Vol. 48, p. 457.
of Chert as a Deleterious Constituent in (12) C. H. Scholer and W. E. Gibson, "Effect of
Aggregates," Research Series 86, Purdue Various Coarse Aggregates Upon the Ce-
University, Lafayette, Ind. (1942). ment-Aggregate Reaction," Journal, Am.
(5) T. C. Powers, "Void Spacing as a Basis Concrete Inst., June, 1948; Proceedings,
for Producing Mr-Entrained Concrete," VoI. 44, p. 1009.
Bulletin No. 49, Research Dept., Portland (13) Herbert K. Cook, "Experimental Expo-
Cement Assn. reprinted from Journal, Am. sure of Concrete to Natural Weathering in
Concrete Inst., May, 1954. Marine Locations," Proceedings, Am. Soc.
(6) Thomas E. Stanton, "Expansion of Con- Testing Mats., Vol. 52, p. 1169 (1952).
crete Through Reaction Between Cement
and Aggregate," Proceedings, Am. Soc. (14) Edwin J. Callan, "Thermal Expansion of
Civil Engrs., Vol. 66, p. 1781 (1940). Aggregates and Concrete Durability," Jour-
(7) R. C. Mielenz and L. P. Witte, "Tests nal, Am. Concrete Inst., February, 1952;
Used by the Bureau of Reclamation for Proceedings, Vol. 48, p. 485.
Identifying Reactive Concrete Aggre- (15) D. A. Abrams, "Design of Concrete,"
gates," Proceedings, Am. Soci Testing Bulletin No. 1, Lewis Inst., Chicago, Ill.
Mats., Vol. 48, p. 1071 (1948). (1918).
(8) J. A. Hester and O. F. Smith, "Alkali-Ag- (16) Unpublished tests by National Crushed
gregate Phase of Chemical Reactivity in Stone Assn.
Concrete," Proceedings, 32nd Annual (17) W. F. Kellerman, "Designing Concrete
Meeting of Highway Research Board, Mixtures for Pavements," Proceedings, Am.
Vol. 32, p. 306. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 40, p. 1055 (1940).
(9) A. D. Conrow, "Studies of Abnormal Ex- (18) W. F. Kellerman, "Effect of Size of Speci-
pansion of Portland Cement Concrete," men, Size of Aggregate, and Method of
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. Loading Upon the Uniformity of Flexural
52, p. 1218 (1952). Strength Tests," Public Roads, Vol. XlII,
15The references given here are typical ones. No. 11, January, 1933, p. 177.
Concrete research literature is so extensive that (19) "Roughness and Skid Resistance", BuUekin
a complete by bibliography
ASTM Int'l (all isrights reserved); Tue Apr 23 22:24:1137,
impracticable. EDT 2013 Research Board (1951).
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Tests and Properties of Concrete

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Freshly Mixed Concrete



UNIFORMITY OF CONCRETE that concrete is not always a uniform

Specifications for concrete structures
It is the properties of concrete in the
are intended to insure that properties of
finished structure that are of primary
the hardened concrete shall be suitable
importance. Consequently, tests of fresh
for the proposed service. It is not difficult
concrete are valuable only to the extent
to determine what is required in terms of
that they may be indicative of uniform-
strength, modulus of elasticity, permea- ity in the finished product or that they
bility, and durability of the finished may be useful for control of operations
structure. But it is difficult, if not impos-
during construction. Experience has
sible, to specify and maintain exactly
shown that properties of concrete in
the properties of fresh concrete such as
both its fresh and hardened stages vary
water-cement ratio, cement content,
with changes in proportions of the in-
type and grading of aggregates, and the
gredients used, in particular with the
construction procedures of mixing, han-
relative amounts of fine and coarse ag-
dling, placing, and curing that will result
gregate particles. Placeability, a property
in hardened concrete of the desired prop-
of immediate concern during construc-
erties. The problem is one of establishing
tion and often associated with the final
standards for materials and procedures
properties of concrete, is similarly af-
that will keep deviations in properties
fected by the relative amounts of fine
of the hardened concrete within pre-
and coarse aggregate. From the need for
dictable limits. The difficulty in estab-
information regarding the quantities of
lishing limits for these deviations is due
constituent materials in different parts
to the many variables that are involved
of a batch of concrete or the effects of
in the manufacture of concrete. The
different handling operations on dis-
materials, particularly the aggregates,
tribution of the materials in the structure
have wide ranges in physical and chemi-
itself have come the washdown tests
cal properties and grading. Equipment
proposed by Dunagan (1)~ and others
for mixing, transporting, and placing
(2, 3). They provide useful information
concrete is seldom alike on different proj-
regarding potentialities of the concrete
ects, and construction procedures for
at the time it is made.
carrying out the different operations have
The production of uniform concrete
not been standardized. Small wonder
requires materials of uniform character-
1 Manager, Field Research Section, Portland The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
Cement Assn., Research and Development Lab- to the list of references appended to this paper,
oratories, Skokie, Ill. see p. 41.
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istics, accurate batching, and thorough many things that can happen to concrete
mixing. The extent to which these factors to affect its final properties. The time of
deviate from perfection establishes a pat- form stripping and the temperature and
tern of nonuniformity of concrete as dis- humidity of the surrounding air, even
charged from the mixer. After mixing, the size and shape of the structure itself,
every operation involved in the transpor- affect the hydration of the cement and
tation of concrete to the forms affords hence the properties of the concrete.
further opportunity for segregation and Cracking of a structure may result from
loss of uniformity. Filling and emptying unfavorable temperature or moisture
of hoppers, discharging from chutes, belt changes within the concrete.
conveyers, or buckets, and placing of Thus the uniformity of concrete is in-
concrete in the forms by hand methods or fluenced by many factors: the variations
by vibration all tend to cause segrega- arising from nonuniformity of raw ma-
tion. Observance of well-established, terials and the variations brought about
good construction practices will mini- by conditions inherent in present-day
mize segregation but can hardly elimi- construction procedures. It is these
nate it. causes for nonuniformity with which
In general, concrete of intermediate this paper deals. What happens after
consistency, 2 to 4-in. slump, shows less concrete has started to harden, perhaps
segregation by common handling meth- of equal importance, is considered else-
ods than do stiffer or more fluid mixes. where in this publication. So far as the
Air entrainment usually reduces segrega- owner of a structure is concerned, the
tion because the cement paste in air- uniformity of the completed structure is
entrained concrete is stiffer and more of prime importance, and the builder
cohesive than in nonair-entrained con- must consider every step along the way
crete. in order that the completed product may
Segregation is not confined to the meet requirements.
solids in a concrete mix. Mixing water
also tends to segregate as the heavier
solid particles of aggregate and cement
settle through it. The tendency for settle- Segregation in concrete is commonly
ment is present from the time of mixing thought of as separations of some size
but is seldom noticeable until the con- groups of aggregates from the mortar in
crete reaches its final position in the isolated locations with corresponding
forms. There the settlement can proceed deficiencies of these materials in other
more or less undisturbed until the solid locations. When such concentrations
particles come into contact with each occur, it is obvious that a concrete mix
other or until stiffening of the cement proportioned on the basis of uniform
paste interrupts the process. Accumula- distribution of all particle sizes is no
tion of water at the surface (bleeding) is longer adequate, and redesign of the
the visible evidence of this phenomenon. mixture is necessary in order to provide
At different depths in a concrete lift, the for the least favored regions the desired
effects of bleeding are likely to be dif- properties of workability, strength, im-
ferent, but unless there is remixing, as permeability, etc. This redesign inevi-
with surface finishing or other manipula- tably requires an increase in the mortar
tion, the normal result is a lowering of (and the cement and water), an unfavor-
the initial water-cement ratio. able situation from many standpoints.
After initial hardening, there are still For this reason segregation due to poor

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mixing or improper handling is highly used or a nearly perfect sampling

undesirable and should be kept to a mini- method has been developed. As fineness
mum in all concreting operations. of the products of grinding may be
Most of the causes and many of the comparable to that of cement, the two
results of segregation in concrete are materials cannot be separated physically
dearly visible on the average construc- in the test.
tion project without the aid of elaborate It is generally agreed that one of the
tests. A large proportion of the problems most urgently needed tests for fresh con-
due to segregation could be eliminated crete is one for determining cement con-
by careful attention to details that should tent. In addition to its main purpose of
be obvious to the experienced producer determining cement content only, such a
and user of concrete. test would greatly extend the usefulness
The washdown tests give fairly re- of washdown tests as used for studies of
liable quantitative information on segre- mixer efficiency, grinding of aggregates
gation. Most of these tests are similar to during mixing, and segregation in han-
the test proposed by Dunagan (1), some dling and placing concrete.
being modified to permit more accurate Since the meaning of test results from
estimates of cement content. They re- fresh concrete are so dependent upon the
quire wet screening of aggregates through accuracy of sampling, it is suggested
sieves of selected sizes and removal of that investigators in this field give par-
materials of approximate cement fineness ticular attention to the papers in this
by careful washing through a No. 100 publication dealing with sampling before
sieve. Such tests are useful in studying they undertake any major program of
the performance of concrete mixers, tests for uniformity or grinding during
mainly because they show with consider- mixing. Since the tests are difficult to
able reliability the distribution of coarse make, requiring tedious and painstaking
aggregate in different portions of the procedures and, above all, almost perfect
mixer discharge. They are less useful in sampling, they are seldom justified,
showing variations in cement content and except in research projects or in large
water-cement ratio. If segregation data construction operations where the in-
and strength-test data are used together, formation gained from them can be used
useful and reliable information may be to advantage in improving the concrete
obtained. construction or in reducing costs.
Attempts to study grinding of aggre-
gates during the mixing operation by SIGNIFICANCE OF TESTS FOR BLEEDING
means of washdown tests have been suc- Bleeding is a kind of segregation--
cessful to some degree. However, sam- the mixing water moves upward due to
pling errors, troublesome enough when settlement of aggregate and cement par-
only the coarse aggregate-mortar rela- ticles. Whether or not bleeding is desir-
tion is under study, become of major able depends upon the type of construc-
importance when these tests are extended tion and the atmospheric conditions at
to studies of cement content and grinding the bleeding surface. Bleeding is con-
of aggregates during mixing. The quanti- trolled mostly by physical and chemical
ties sought are relatively small and must properties of the cement though physical
be determined by differences between properties of the aggregates may have
larger quantities. Sampling errors are appreciable effects, particularly the size
likely to be larger than the quantities fraction finer than No. I00 sieve. Tem-
sought unless very large samples are perature of the concrete affects chemical

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reactions in the cement and viscosity water--there should be no increase of

of the water and thus the bleeding. Air water-cement ratio by the bleeding
entrainment generally reduces bleed- process.
ing. Atmospheric conditions may have From this viewpoint alone, bleeding
marked effects, particularly if the rate would seem beneficial. In fact, bleeding
of evaporation from the bleeding surface in some amount is almost necessary for
exceeds the normal bleeding rate, re- the successful finishing of some types of
sulting in some cases in unsightly "plastic horizontal surfaces except under unusual
shrinkage cracking" on surfaces exposed atmospheric conditions. However, there
to these conditions. is often a remixing of the bleeding water
Two phases of the bleeding phenome- resulting in the weakened "fill planes"
non, not necessarily closely related, are so common to construction using over-
of interest to users of concrete: (1) the wet mixes or in poorly finished surfaces
bleeding rate and (2) the bleeding ca- of excessively high water-cement ratio.
pacity. The bleeding rate is measured by For concrete which must withstand
the initial rate at which water accumu- water pressure, another effect of bleeding
lates at the concrete surface (no evapo- should be considered--its effect on per-
ration) or by the initial rate of subsidence meability. It has been shown that the
of the concrete surface. Bleeding ca- bleeding process produces weakened
pacity is measured by the total amount areas on the underside of aggregate
of water appearing at the surface or by particles. For large particles, these
the total subsidence of the surface. Both weakened areas may become fine visible
are affected by temperature of the con- openings extending in a generally hori-
crete. zontal direction adjacent to the under
Were it not for stiffening of the surface of the particle. They are un-
cement paste, sedimentation (and bleed- doubtedly present to some degree under
ing) would continue until contact be- small aggregate particles as well, prob-
tween solid particles completed the proc- ably as thin regions of high water-
ess with slightly more intimate contact cement ratio paste. Oriented as they are
between particles at the bottom of a lift in a generally horizontal direction, the
than at the top and with an accumulation normal direction of flow of percolating
of water at the surface. This could ac- water in a hydraulic structure, these
tually be the case with thin layers of regions probably account, at least in
concrete such as pavements. In deeper part, for differences that have been
lifts of concrete, the sedimentation proc- found between the permeability of ce-
ess does not usually go to completion ment paste and that of concrete.
because stiffening of the paste interferes. Tests such as ASTM Tentative
Under these conditions, sedimentation Method of Test for Bleeding of Concrete
with resulting compaction and loss of (C 232) t are helpful in studying bleeding
water may be completed in the bottom of concrete. This method describes a
portion of a lift of concrete while at the means for measuring bleeding capacity.
top the aggregate and cement particles For the measurement of bleeding rate,
may still be separated by about the same a more elaborate method of test is re-
distances that prevailed before bleeding quired (4).
started. If bleeding is undisturbed--that
is, if there is no remixing of the surface 3 1955 Book of A S T M S t a nda rds , P a r t 3.

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(I) W. M. Dunagan, "A Study of the Analysis of Inst., September, 1942; Proceedings Vol. 39,
Fresh Concrete," _Proceedings, Am. Soc. p. 9.
Testing Mats., Vol. 31, Part 1, p. 362. (4) T. C. Powers, "The Bleeding of Portland
(2) O. G. Patch, "Mixer Efficiency or Mortar- Cement Paste, Mortar, and Concrete,"
Mix Tests," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1939;
Proceedings Vol. 35, p. 465.
January, 1939; Proceedings Vol. 35, p. 173. (5) W. G. Hime and R. A. Willis, "A Method for
(3) W. R. Waugh, "Effect of Grinding in the the Determination of the Cement Content
Large Mixers on Aggregate Grading at of Plastic Concrete," ASTM BULLETnq,No.
Hiwassee Dam," Journal, Am. Concrete 209, October, 1955, p. 37(TP191).

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STP 169-EB/Jan. 1956

Freshly Mixed Concrete



The terms "denseness" or degree of field measures, it is suggested that a

compaction and "unit weight" in this range of unit weights for water corrected
paper are confined to freshly mixed con- for temperature be employed. Table I
crete in which reaction of cement and gives these corrections.
water has not begun or is insignificant in To compensate for thermal expansion
amount. Denseness of concrete may be in the measure itself, water of tempera-
defined as the ratio of solid volume to ture close to that of the concrete should
total volume of a given mass, or the per- be used for calibrating. In the calibra-
centage of a certain volume of concrete tion, the use of a plane glass plate laid
that is solid material. Unit weight is the
rodded weight in pounds per cubic foot TABLE I.--EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE
of a representative concrete sample, un- WATER.
less otherwise specified.
Temperature, Water, lb Correction
Consideration of these definitions deg Fahr per c u f t Factor
makes it evident that the two terms in
some respects are concerned with com- 39.2 ............ 62.43 1.00000
50 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.41 0.99973
mon properties; in others variations in 60 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.37 0.99905
properties of the concrete components 62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.355 0.99886
may affect the values in opposite direc- 70 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.30 0.99800
80 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.21 0.99663
tions. For example, in a batch of concrete 90, 62.11 0.99499
in which the liquid and solid components 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61.99 0.99293
have been proportioned by weight, an
increase in air content will decrease both
on top of the measure is of material
denseness and unit weight. Both dense-
assistance in bringing the water level
ness and unit weight of concrete are in-
flush with the top of the measure, pro-
creased by increasing the degree of com-
vided the top edge is true.
paction, which decreases the trapped air No ASTM method exists for calcula-
voids. tion of denseness, Mthough recent devel-
Determination of unit weight is a rela-
opments in concrete technology would
tively simple matter, either in laboratory
seem to warrant consideration of such a
or field tests and is well covered in ASTM
step. The use of cements or concretes
Method of Test C 1387 Since water at
containing admixtures that increase the
62 F is rarely available in calibrating
air content of concrete makes a standard
method for calculation of density ad-
i Director of Research, Lone Star Cement
Corp., New York, N. Y.
2 M e t h o d of T e s t for W e i g h t p e r C u b i c F o o t , The effect of these admixtures is not
Yield, a n d A i r C o n t e n t ( G r a v i m e t r i e ) of C o n - constant but varies with changes in ce-
c r e t e (C 138), 1955 B o o k of A S T M S t a n d a r d s ,
P a r t 3.
ment content, water-cement ratio, and
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consistency of concrete. An example of considered as impermeable material and

these variations is given in Table II. the apparent volume calculated from its
The two cements used were identical ex- specific gravity as determined in ASTM
cept that one contained an air-entraining Method C 188. 3 The results so obtained
addition. Proportions of dry materials will be slightly high, due to the insolu-
were by weight and were constant for bility of unhydrated cement in kerosine
each mix. Water was varied to produce and its slight solubility in water. How-
the desired slump. The data are averages ever, in the face of other unavoidable
of three determinations in each case. variations, this error is negligible.
These data show that the air-entrain- The apparent absolute volume of
ing addition increases air content least cement at 39.2 F is:
in the richer and drier mixes. I t should W
rc =
also be noted that the air acts as a sub- Gr )< 62.43 >~ Ft


Mix, sacks per cu yd Water, c u f t per yd Air, cu ft per yd Denseness, per cent

Air- Air- Air- Normal Air-

Normal Entraining Normal Entraining Normal Entraining Entraining
Calculated Mix Cement Cement Cement Cement Cement Cement Cement Cement


3.5 ............... 3.46 3.32 4.49 3.62 1.00 2.72 79.6 76.5
4.25 .............. 4.24 4.10 4.30 3.51 0.84 2.48 81.0 77.8
5.0 ............... 5.02 4.81 4.06 3.62 0.84 2.24 81.9 78.3
6.0 ............... 6.01 5.76 4.06 3.82 0.62 1.78 82.6 79.3
7.5 ............... 7.54 7.11 4.25 4.14 0.49 1.38 82.5 79.6


3.5 ................ 3.42 3.23 4.87 3.74 0.92 3.21 78.5 74.3
4.25 ............... 4.21 3.90 4.65 3.65 0.78 3.10 79.9 75.0
5.0 ................ 4.94 4.65 4.51 3.70 0.76 2.86 80.5 75.7
6.0 ................ 5.94 5.54 4.29 3.86 0.62 2.56 81.8 76.2
7.5 ................ 7.40 6.95 4.56 4.35 0.54 2.16 81.1' 75.9

stitute for water, although somewhat where:

inefficiently, as density of the concrete is V~ = apparent absolute volume of ce-
decreased. ment in cubic feet,
W = weight of cement in pounds,
A P P A R E N T A B S O L U T E V O L U M E OF Gr -- specific gravity of cement (Method
CONCRETE MATERIALS of Test C 188), 3 and
Ft = water-temperature factor.
The term "apparent absolute volume" As pointed out in remarks covering cali-
may need definition, volume usually be- bration of field measures, the tempera-
ing considered without qualification. ture factor for unit weight of water
Apparent absolute volume of a permeable should be employed to relate concrete
material is the volume of the imperme- temperature to cement volume.
able portion, including impermeable
3 M e t h o d of T e s t for Specific G r a v i t y of H y -
pores or voids. For purposes of calcula-
d r a u l i c C e m e n t (C 188), 1955 B o o k of A S T M
tion, portland-cement grains may be S t a n d a r d s , P a r t 3.

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Determination of apparent absolute cluding the amount required to fill per-

volumes of aggregates requires some brief meable voids in the aggregate. The per-
consideration of subjects discussed by centage of water available in any
other authors in this publication. aggregate will be:
The moisture content of any aggregate
(c - A)
is a relative quantity, ranging from the M X 100
oven-dry state to one in which free
moisture is present. Intermediate stages, where:
such as the "room-dry" and "saturated M = percentage of water in aggregate,
surface-dry" conditions, are dependent C = weight of aggregate sample as
on temperature, relative humidity, or used, and
judgment of the tester. Since the oven- A = weight of oven-dried aggregate
dry state is the most uniform condition, sample.
its selection as the basis for calculations The volume occupied by water in a
seems preferable. The calculations for batch of concrete is then as follows:
aggregate volume which follow are ac-
cordingly on that basis. The use of W, X M ~ + WcA X Mca
"bulk" specific gravity involves deter- 100 100
Vw =
mination of moisture in the saturated 62.43 X Ft
surface-dry condition, which is fre- where:
quently difficult in field laboratory WM~r = weight of mixing water,
operations. W8 = weight of sand,
The apparent absolute volume of an Wc~ = weight of coarse aggregate,
aggregate may be determined by means M8 = percentage of water in sand,
of the following formula: and
C(100 -- ~o total water) Mea = percentage of water in coarse
V~= aggregate.
100 X G~ X 62.43 XF,
The weights of aggregates are in the as-
where: used condition.
Va -- apparent absolute volume of ag-
gregate in cubic feet, TOTAL VOLUME AND AIR CONTENT
C = weight of aggregate as used, and OF C O N C R E T E
Ga --- apparent specific gravity (ASTM A S T M Method C 1382 provides for
Methods C 1274 and C 1285). the determination of total volume of a
The total apparent volume of solids in concrete batch. This is obtained by di-
a mass of concrete then becomes: viding the total weight of the batch, with
Vtot~t = Vc + V~(sand)
aggregates in the as-used condition, by
the unit weight of the mixed concrete.
+ V~(coarseaggregate) In field work the compaction of the unit
weight sample should approximate that
of the concrete being placed. Therefore,
The volume of water in concrete con- instructions in both Methods C 138 and
sidered in these calculations is the total C 29 ~ for compaction should not be taken
quantity present from all sources, in: too literally. The tester should strive
4 Method of Test for Specific Gravity and instead to reach the same degree of com-
Absorption of Coarse Aggregate (C 127), 1955 paction as in the actual work by a corn-
Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.
5 Method of Test for Specific Gravity and 6 Method of Test for Unit Weight of Aggre-
Absorption of Fine Aggregate (C 128), 1955 gate (C 29), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards,
Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. Part 3.

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bination of rodding, jigging, or even of concrete---denseness, strength, per-

vibration. meability, and resistance to frost action
The air content of concrete may be P h a s been so thoroughly studied as to
calculated according to Method C 138 need no comment here. Likewise it seems
or determined directly on representative unnecessary to point out that for a given
samples of concrete by either Method C cement content and concrete consistency
1737 or Method C 231. s The lattermethod the proportions of fine and coarse ag-
is preferred for normal aggregates but is gregates which yield the greatest degree
not applicable to concrete containing of compaction for the conditions of place-
lightweight aggregates, since much of the ment will generally yield the best results
air in the interior of these materials in the hardened product.
registers as entrained air in the paste. The effects of the entrained air content
Method C 173 is adequate for concrete in fresh concrete on the physical proper-
with porous aggregates except when ties of both the fresh and hardened con-
water-repellant organic materials are crete are very pronounced when they
present in the batch. The air cells result- are compared With the minute amounts
ing from these additions are very difficult of air-entraining agents required to pro-
to dislodge from the cement and aggre- duce them. The properties affected, in
gate grains. addition to the denseness and unit weight
of concrete, are plasticity, tendency to
DETEI~mNATION OF CONCl~E~E segregate, and bleeding of fresh concrete,
DENSENESS and, for hardened concrete, strength,
Denseness may be calculated either permeability, and resistance to scaling
from the sum of apparent absolute vol- from the action of frost or additions of
umes of the solid components or from salts for removal of ice.
the difference between total volume and Increased plasticity and decreased
the sum of air content and total water tendencies to segregate and to bleed can
volume. The formulas, respectively, are: be attained with considerably less en-
trained air in concrete than is required
Denseness, per cent
to protect against scaling. The quantity
100(V. + V~(sand) of air-entraining agent for such purposes
+ V~(coarse aggregate)) need be only one third to one fourth of
total volume of batch that required to control scaling.
The strengths of concretes with minor
or quantities of air are frequently equal to
Denseness, per cent or better than those in identical mixes to
which no air-entraining agent has been
100(V,ot~t- Vw- Vair) added. This is especially true of the
Wtotal leaner mixes, where air lowers the water-
cement ratio to a greater extent.
Where the full complement of en-
In the design of concrete mixes, the trained air is needed for scale protection,
effect of water content on the properties the result can be obtained either by use
7 Method of Test for Air Content (Volu- of air-entraining cement or additions of
metric) of Freshly Mixed Concrete (C 173), appropriate amounts of air-entraining
1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. admixtures to the mixer. For such con-
s Method of Test for Air Content of Freshly
Mixed Concrete by the Pressure Method crete, the proportions of fine to coarse
(C 231), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. aggregate normal for plain concrete

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should be lowered; otherwise oversanded crete for durability vary with maximum
mixes will be obtained. In general, the size and proportion of coarse aggregate.
increase in air content from plain to air- Therefore, specifications for air content
entrained concrete should be accom- of concrete based on percentages of the
panied by an equal decrease in absolute whole batch may provide inadequate
volume of sand. With such an adjust- amounts of air in cases of small maxi-
ment of mix proportions, losses in mum sizes and excessive amounts when
strength of concrete due to the presence larger size coarse aggregates are used.
of air are minimized. In the range of the If the limits for air content were set on
leaner mixes, strengths may even ex- the mortar portion of concretes, a more
ceed that of similar plain concrete, due to equable condition would be set up. In
lowering of the water requirement by the general, 9 to 11 per cent of air in the
decreased sand content and also to the mortar portion of any concrete will pro-
effect of entrained air. vide the optimum air content for frost or
The optimum quantities of air in con- scaling resistance.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Freshly Mixed Concrete



Probably no other characteristics of It goes without saying that proper

freshly mixed concrete are given as much workability and plasticity of freshly
consideration as workability and plas- mixed concrete are fundamental requi-
ticity. Concrete having poor workability sites for good quality.
is subject to criticism, not only by the
workmen who have to place and finish it, FACTORS AFFECTING WORKABILITY AND
but also by those who are responsible for PLASTICITY
the finished structure in which the con- Some of the factors that affect the
crete is being used. workability of concrete are quantity of
The terms "workability" and "plas- cement (or sand-cement ratio), charac-
ticity" are not truly synonomous. It is teristics of the cement, consistency (or
of course imperative that concrete have a degree of wetness of the concrete as af-
certain degree of plasticity in order to be fected by the amount of water used),
workable. Yet, under certain unusual grading of fine aggregate, shape of sand
conditions the concrete may be very grains, grading of coarse aggregate, shape
plastic, or jelly-like, and still not be of coarse aggregate pieces, mix composi-
workable or easily placed in forms or tion (or the proportion of fine to coarse
finished when placed in a floor slab or aggregate), the amount of air entrained
pavement surface. The terms "work- in the concrete, and the amount and
ability" and "plasticity" are closely re- characteristics of admixture used.
lated, however, and for the purpose of
this discussion, they will be used more or Quantity of Cement:
less synonomously. It is a well known and established fact
Workability is a term used every day, that, other things being equal, the ce-
yet one that is very difficult to define. ment content of concrete affects its work-
Powers (1)5 defines workability and plas- ability and plasticity, the richer mixes
ticity as follows: being the more workable. Very lean mixes
"Workability is that property of the plas- tend to produce harsh, poor-working
ic concrete mixture which determines the concrete, due undoubtedly to lack of
,ase with which it can be placed and the material of cement fineness. The work-
egree to which it resists segregation. ability of low-cement concrete mixtures
"Plasticity is that property of a material can be greatly improved by air entrain-
y virtue of which it may undergo the proc- ment or the use of finely divided mineral
~s of molding without losing its continu- admixtures, such as a very fine sand.
g--without rupture."
Characteristics of Cement:
1 Director of Research, National Slag Assn.,
mngstown, Ohio. The characteristics of the cement, such
2 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
the list of references appended to this paper,
as the fineness of grinding, the shape of
p.. 52. particles, and the kinds of materials of
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which it is composed, have an influence Grading of Fine Aggregate:

on the plasticity and workability of the
The characteristics of the sand affect
resulting concrete (2).
the workability of concrete to a much
greater degree than do those of coarse
Consistency: aggregate. Properly graded sand is of
The amount of water used, or degree great importance in producing a work-
of wetness of the concrete, affects its able mixture; the amount of material
plasticity and workability. This does not passing the Nos. 50 and 100 sieves hav-
necessarily mean that the wetter the mix ing a marked influence. The uniform
the more workable it is; in fact, just the grading of sand from fine to coarse is an
opposite may be the case. Too much important factor, since an excess of any
water in concrete causes segregation of one size fraction may destroy workabil-
the coarse aggregate and mortar and ity. The trend in sand specification writ-
makes concrete difficult to place in forms ing to provide reasonable limitations on
and to finish. In other words, it loses its the amount permitted between any two
workability. consecutive sieves is commendable. The
On the other hand, concrete can be necessity for a generous amount of fines
mixed so dry that it is very difficult to in the sand is not nearly so important if
place. Concrete having a medium con- air entrainment is used; in the latter case
sistency--say, from 2 to 4-in. slumFw-is the small spheres of air introduced tend
usually the most workable under average to promote workability.
placing conditions.
There is a difference between work- Shape of Fine AggregateGrains:
ability and consistency. Consistency, as It is a well established fact that the
applied to concrete, usually refers to the shape of sand grains has a marked effect
degree of wetness, whereas workability on the workability and plasticity of
refers to mobility, or the ease with which mortar and concrete. Natural sand made
the concrete can be moved and placed in up of rounded grains produces much
forms without segregation. A compara- more workable concrete than does
tively dry mix (less than 2-in. slump) crushed sand made up of sharply angular
might be sufficiently workable if placed and sometimes flat or elongated pieces.
in concrete pavement with a power One of the major problems in the produc-
finishing machine or in mass concrete for tion of crushed sand is to secure a ma-
large structures, but the same concrete terial that is well shaped and free from
might be termed unworkable if placed in fiat or elongated pieces. Sand with poorly
highly reinforced, thin sections. If the shaped grains usually has a high per-
mixture is fundamentally workable or centage of voids, and when used as con-
plastic, it can be made satisfactory for crete aggregate it not only results in
either condition by varying slightly the poor workability but also may cause ex-
amount of water used, thus affecting the cessive bleeding, or water gain, in the
consistency. This statement is, of course, concrete.
contingent upon the size of the aggregate
being suitable for placing in thin sec- Grading of Coarse Aggregate:
tions. If a concrete mixture is funda-
mentally workable and plastic, a com- The grading of coarse aggregate also
paratively dry mix can be satisfactorily has a definite effect on the workability of
placed under normal conditions (3). the resulting concrete. Here again, the

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grading should be uniform from fine to or angular. However, spherical shape of

coarse, free from an excessive amount of coarse aggregate pieces tends to promote
any one size fraction. Recommendation workability in concrete, although angu-
163 of the Division of Simplified Practice lar or crushed coarse aggregate, well
of the National Bt~reau of Standards graded and combined with the proper
proposes gradings for coarse aggregate amount of fine aggregate, produces con-
which have been found very satisfactory. ~ crete that is entirely satisfactory from
So-called "gap" gradings, or gradings in the standpoint of workability and plas-
which one or more of the intermediate ticity. Thin, flat, and elongated pieces in
size fractions is largely eliminated; have coarse aggregate are objectionable for
sometimes been recommended as desir- they interfere with the ready inter-
able, although their advantage has not mingling of the coarse aggregate pieces
been conclusively demonstrated. The with the mortar.
production of aggregate having a gap
grading is not usually practical in com- Size of Coarse Aggregate:
mercial processing plants, and the use of In order to produce concrete that is
such gradings is not common. placeable under the many varying condi-
I t may, however, be desirable to have tions in which it will be used, it is neces-
a slight gap in the grading between fine sary to select coarse aggregate of such
and coarse aggregate, since this may pro- maximum size as to be practical for the
mote workability in the concrete. As in specific placing conditions under con-
the case of the fine and coarse aggregates, sideration. For instance, a 3-in. maxi-
there should not be an excessive amount mum size coarse aggregate would not
of material between any two consecutive produce concrete that would be work-
sieves in the combined aggregates as used able or placeable in a satisfactory manner
in the concrete. An excessive amount in in an 8-in. reinforced concrete wall, yet
the ~ in. to No. 4 sieve size might result the same aggregate might be entirely
if the coarse aggregate contained up to satisfactory and produce workable plas-
the maximum amount permitted by tic concrete for placing in a heavy mass
specifications to pass the ~ in. sieve and foundation of considerable size. Thus, the
were combined with a sand having the maximum size of coarse aggregate af-
maximum permitted to be retained on fects the workability or placeability of
the No. 4 sieve. Such a condition as this concrete in relation to any specific con-
would tend to produce an excessive struction condition.
amount of ~ in. to No. 4 size in the mix-
ture, causing particle interference that Mix Proportions:
would result in poor workability. Probably the most usual cause of poor
workability in concrete is improper pro-
Shape of Coarse Aggregate Pieces: portioning. In any concrete mixture there
The shape of the pieces of coarse ag- should be adequate mortar consisting of
gregate has an effect like that of fine cement, fine aggregate, water, and air to
aggregate on the workability of the con- fill the voids in the coarse aggregate, plus
crete, although workability is affected a sufficient amount to allow the pieces of
much more by the condition of the mor- coarse aggregate to move in the mortar
tar than by the shape of the coarse ag- without undue resistance and permit the
gregate pieces, whether they are rounded mass to be placed readily in forms, around
8 Coarse Aggregates: Simplified Practice Rec- reinforcement, or in floor or pavement
ommendation R 163, U. S. Dept. of Commerce. slabs. Rounded aggregate of a given

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grading contains less void space than does use of admixtures should not be frowned
crushed aggregate of the same grading. upon nor scorned. On the contrary, their
Therefore, to promote workability, more development and study should be com-
mortar is required in crushed aggregate mended and fostered."
concrete than in concrete containing The following discussion deals primar-
rounded aggregate. ily with only those admixtures which
This requires the use of more sand per have a marked effect on the workability
unit volume of concrete with crushed and plasticity of resulting concrete.
aggregate mixtures than with rounded
material, the quantity of cement and Air Entrainment (6, 7):
coarse aggregate by dry compact volume Air entrainment was originally con-
remaining constant. The effect of mix sidered because of its beneficial effect on
proportions on workability is readily the durability of concrete, especially
indicated by observing the difference be- when exposed to severe weathering con-
tween the smoothness or ease of manipu- ditions. The effect of air entrainment on
lation of an oversanded mixture com- the workability of concrete is so pro-
pared with one that is undersanded. The nounced that it logically should be con-
correctly proportioned concrete mixture sidered in any discussion of workability
is one with the least amount of sand re- agents. Probably the greatest boon to
quired to produce a workable and readily satisfactory workability of concrete in
placeable concrete under the conditions recent years has been the advent of air
in which it is being used. Undersanding entrainment, whether obtained by the
results in harsh mixtures, causing segre- use of air-entraining cement or an air-
gation and honeycombing in the struc- entraining admixture.
ture, and is much more harmful to the Air entrainment alters the properties of
concrete than oversanding. Present-day both plastic and hardened concrete due
trends are to design concrete mix propor- to the incorporation of minute air bub-
tions on the basis of a given volume of bles in the cement paste. I t tends to pre-
dry, rodded, coarse aggregate (crushed vent segregation during the handling and
or uncrushed) per unit volume of con- placing of concrete and also to prevent
crete; this tends to produce properly pro- bleeding or water gain, thus promoting
portioned concrete having uniform ce- uniformity and durability.
ment content and workability as well as The benefits in workability derived
uniformity in other desirable characteris- from air entrainment are much more pro-
tics, such as strength and durability when nounced in the leaner mixes, or in mixes
exposed to weathering action. with a tendency to be harsh and unwork-
able. There has been in some localized
ADMIXTURES areas objection to the use of air-entrained
The use of admixtures in portland ce- concrete for floors that are to be finished
ment concrete to promote workability by means of steel trowels to a very dense,
and otherwise change some of the char- smooth surface. This objection has been
acteristics of the concrete was not looked directed to the actual troweling opera-
upon with favor in the past, especially tion and not to the workability of the
b y cement manufacturers. However, in concrete as the term is usually applied.
recent years the use of admixtures under
Cementitious Materials:
certain specific conditions has been quite
generally accepted (4). With reference to Natural cements, hydrated lime, and
admixtures P. H. Bates (5) states: "The slag cement (mixtures of blast furnace

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slag and lime) are included in the cate- Powers Remolding Test (1, 13):
gory of cementitious materials. The use This test method is designed to meas-
of these admixtures in concrete generally ure "the relative effort required to
improves the workability, decreases change a mass of concrete from one
bleeding and segregation, and lowers the definite shape to another by means of
heat of hydration. The improvement in jigging." This method has not found
workability is much more pronounced widespread use and has not been formal-
in the leaner concrete, as is the case with ized into a standard procedure.
other admixtures (8).
Flow Test:
Pozzolanic Materials:
The ASTM Method of Test of Flow of
A pozzolanic material is defined in Portland Cement Concrete by Use of the
ASTM Specification C 129 ~- as "A sili- Flow Table (C 124) 8 has been used quite
ceous or siliceous and aluminous material extensively, especially in the laboratory
which in itself possesses little or no ce- for the control of consistency (14).
mentitious value but will, in finely di-
vided form and in the presence of mois- Slump Test:
ture, chemically react with calcium
hydroxide at ordinary temperatures to The ASTM Method of Test for Slump
form compounds possessing cementitious of Portland Cement Concrete (C 143) 4
properties." In this category are included was the first method to meet with general
such materials as fly ash, volcanic ash, application as a means of measuring the
heat-treated diatomaceous earth, and consistency of concrete. This test un-
heat-treated or raw shales and clays. The doubtedly is used to a greater extent than
use of pozzolanic materials improves any other method in both laboratory and
workability, especially in concrete orig- field for determining the consistency or
inally deficient in fines. degree of wetness of freshly mixed con-
crete. The determination of slump is a
METHODS OF MEASURING simple operation, requiring only easily
WORKABILITY (O, 10, 11) handled equipment, and lends itself
Various methods for measuring the readily to field use. Although the flow
workability of concrete have been sug- and slump tests may, in a way, measure
gested, none of which have been found some differences in workability, two con-
entirely satisfactory (12). Powers and crete mixtures may have the same flow
Wiler state: "The term workability is or slump and yet be entirely different
qualitative only. I t represents a quality from the standpoint of workability. Nei-
that cannot be measured in the funda- ther method could be accepted as a suit-
mental units of mass, length, and time. able measure of the quality of workabil-
ity (14, 1S).
Therefore it has no universally recognized
meaning. It is intrinsically vague" (13).
Ball Penetration Test:
The following methods which have been
proposed--and some of them standard- The ASTlVl Method of Test for BaH
ized--for measuring characteristics of Penetration in Fresh Portland Cement
freshly mixed concrete relate, at least to Concrete (C 360) 4 determines the con-
a certain degree, to that elusive charac- sistency of freshly mixed concrete.
teristic, workability. This method measures some properties of
concrete similar to slump but is not a
4 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. true measure of workability. Roughly,

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twice the penetration is equal to the the handling devices, in the forms, as in
slump, although this relationship is not the case of structural concrete, or in a
constant under different conditions. p a v e m e n t slab. I n a s m u c h as it takes only
Some of the advantages of the Ball seconds to per/orm this test, it is reason-
p e n e t r a t i o n method are the short time able to expect t h a t more tests would be
required to m a k e the test and its a d a p t - m a d e t h a n with other devices, with more
a b i l i t y to use on undisturbed concrete in accurate field control resulting (16, 17, 18).


(1) T. C. Powers, "Studies of Workability of Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 35, p. 38
Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., (1935).
February, 1932; Proceedings, Vol. 28, p. (I0) R. F. Blanks, E. N. Vidal, W. H. Price,
419.. and F. M. Russell, "The Properties of
(2) P. H. Bates, "Variations in Standard Port- Concrete Mixes," Journal, Am. Concrete
land Cement," Report of Committee 202, Inst., April, 1940; Proceedings, Vol. 36,
Am. Concrete Inst., Journal, Am. Concrete p. 433.
Inst., November, 1929; Proceedings, Vol. (11) George A. Smith, "The Measurement of
26, p. 65. Workability of Concrete," Proceedings,
(3) Emory D. Roberts, "Determining Charac- Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 28, Part II,
teristics of Concrete in the Mixer Drum," p. 505 (1928).
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., September, (12) W. H. Herschel and E. A. Pisapia, "Fac-
1931; Proceedings, Vot. 28, p. 59, tors of Workability of Portland Cement
(4) Willis T. Moran, "Admixtures for Con- Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
crete," Report of Committee 212, Am. May-June, 1936; Proceedings, Vol. 32, p.
Concrete Inst., Journal, Am. Concrete 641.
Inst., October, 1954; Proceedings, VoL 51, (13) T. C. Powers and E. M. Witer, "A Device
p. 113. for Studying the Workability of Concrete,"
(5) P. H. Bates, "Portland Cement, Theories Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
(Proven and Otherwise) and Specifica- 41, p. 1003 (1941).
tions," Fifteenth Edgar Marburg Lecture, (14) Inge Lyse and W. R. Johnson, "A Study of
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. Slump and Flow of Concrete," Journal,
40, p. 469 (1940). Am. Concrete Inst., January, 1931; Pro-
(6) W. A. Cordon, "Entrained Air--A Factor ceedings, Vol. 27, p. 439.
in the Design of Concrete Mixes," Journal, (15) George A. Smith and Sanford W. Benham,
Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1946; Pro- "A Study of the Flow Table and the Slump
ceedings, Vol. 42, p. 605. Test," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., Janu-
(7) Ralph W. Kluge, Morris M. Sparks, and ary, 1931; Proceedings, Vol. 27, p. 420.
Edward C. Tuma, "Lightweight-Aggre- (16) J. W. Kelly and Norman E. Haavik, "A
gate Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Simple Field Test for Consistency of Con-
Inst., May, 1949; Proceedings, Vol. 45, crete," ASTM BULLETIN, No. 163, Janu-
p. 625. ary, 1950, p. 70 (TP20).
(8) J. C. Pierson and F. A. Hitchcock, "A (17) E. L. Howard and George Leavitt, "Kelly
Penetration Test for the Workability of Ball versus Slump Cone." Comparative
Concrete Mixtures with Particular Refer- Tests of Samples Taken at Travis Air Base,
ence to the Effect of Certain Powdered Ad- Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., December,
mixtures," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing 1951. Proceedings, Vol. 48, p. 353.
Mats., Vol. 23, Part II, p. 276 (1923). (18) J. W. Kelly and Milos Polivka, "Ball Test
(9) J. C. Pearson, "Workability of Concrete," for Field Control of Concrete Consis-
Report on Significance of Tests on Con- tency," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., May,
crete and Concrete Aggregates, Proceedings, 1955; Proceedings, Vol. 51, p. 881.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Freshly Mixed Concrete


BY E. W. SCRn~:ruRE, JR. I


This paper discusses suggestions for a definition of the setting time of con-
crete and attempts to arrive at a meaningful interpretation. Various suggested
methods of testing concrete to determine its setting time are described. Reasons
for eliminating certain of these methods from further consideration are given.
Where data obtained by the various methods are available, examples are given.
It is concluded that several test methods show promise but that the available
data do not permit a definite selection. It seems probable that one test method
will not satisfactorily determine the setting time of concrete for all types of
mixes and for all purposes.

I t might be assumed that the setting DEFINITION

time of cement would adequately define The first problem is to define what is
the setting time of concrete, but this is meant by the setting time of concrete.
not the case, especially where ingredients The established definition for the setting
other than cement, aggregate, and water time of cement is really not a definition
are introduced. A material which may be at all. I t is simply one or two points in
an accelerator in a neat cement paste time defined by results obtained by a
may be a retarder in a concrete mix. It piece of apparatus, either the Gillmore
has even been found that a change in needles or the Vicat needle. What the
aggregate, from quartz to basalt for ex- setting time of concrete means appears to
ample, radically affects the behavior of depend to a considerable extent on the
the concrete as determined by heat needs and interests of the particular in-
evolution measurements. Specifically for dividual. Such diverse definitions have
the evaluation of accelerators and re- been suggested as loss of workability be-
tarders, but also for other purposes such fore placing, impairment of bond of
as time for floor finishing, timing of suc- freshly placed concrete to concrete in
cessive lifts, and time for form stripping,
place, time of finishing for floors, ability
an attempt has been made to establish to strip forms, and early strength gain.
a method of test for the setting time of After considering the various suggested
definitions it appears that no one of these
criteria represents the setting time of
*Presented at the Fifty-seventh Annual concrete. As soon as concrete has any ap-
Meeting of the Society, June 13-18, 1954. preciable strength it is certainly set.
i Vice President in Charge of Research, The
Master Builders Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Conversely, as long as concrete maintains
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any significant degree of workability, it is time of concrete, has been fairly exten-
not set. It appears, therefore, that one or sive, using both direct and alternating
more points between these two extremes currents. Typical curves illustrating such
~epresent t h e setting time of concrete a method of measurement are given in
and, like the setting time of cement, will Fig. 1. For a concrete mix without any

necessarily have to be defined by a par- addition, the electrical resistance in-
ticular test method and apparatus. creases fairly steadily until it reaches a


O Ploin Mix
A 3 % Co CI2 Mix



o 5000
9~ 4 0 0 0



00 I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 q0
FIr 1.--Change in Resistance with Time (Embedded Electrodes).

METHODS OF TEST point at which the curve levels off. This

point in time corresponds with the an-
Among the methods of test that have ticipated setting time of the cement it-
been suggested are electrical measure- self. Unfortunately, however, when
ments, consistency measurements, veloc- calcium chloride is added to the mix, a
ity or frequency measurements, bleed- level curve at a very low resistance
ing, heat evolution, volume change, develops almost immediately. Obviously
strength, and deformation measure- the same thing would occur with any
ments. other electrolyte added to the mix. This
Electrical M easurements.--Work on defeats the main purpose envisioned in
electrical measurements as a means of developing a method of test for the set-
determining primarily the course of ting,time of concrete, namely, to es-
hardening and incidentally the setting tablish a method which will show the el-

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TABLE I.--SETTING TIME DETERM- needles, rod penetration, the Kelly ball,
PENETR&TION--GILLMORE AND VICAT NEEDLES and a 3-point Kelly ball3 It was found
generally that the penetration methods
Initial Final were unsatisfactory due to the inter-
ference of large pieces of aggregate. In
N e a t Cement P a t s one case it has been reported that field
tests comparing Kelly ball penetration
Gillmore... i i 4 hr 15 min 7 hr 20 min
Gillmore. 4 hr 15 rain 7 hr 20 min measurements with finishing time de-
terminations show some degree of corre-
M o r t a r P a t s (concrete sieved through No. 8 lation. If penetration tests are applied to
sieve) a mortar screened through a No. 8
sieve, more reproducible results than
those from neat cement are obtained,
Gillmore.. 5 hr 15 m m 9 hr 45 m i n
Gillmore.. 5 hr 15 min 9 hr 45 rain but it may be doubted that they really
represent the setting time of the con-
Concrete crete as a whole, especially in view of the
discrepancy between the setting times
Finishing time of neat cement pats and mortar pats.
(by trowel). 10 hr 25 rain Some typical results using these methods
are given in Table I. Where there is any
penetration with any of these pieces of
apparatus, the concrete obviously is not
Rod Penetration Finishing (by trowel)
set; it becomes necessary to determine
8hr36min 9hr 6rain the point at which penetration just
9 hr 12 mh l 9 hr 36 rain ceases to occur, and this is not a deter-
7 hr 30 rain 10 hr mination that can be readily reproduced.
9 hr 6 rain 9 hr 18 rain
Another method depending on the
consistency of the concrete is to deter-
mine the point at which it is just possible
I Depth of to finish the surface of the concrete by
Time [ Penetration, Diameter of steel trowelling. This method gives
m. Mark, in.
reasonably reproducible results, though
1 hr 30 mln . . . . . . . . . . somewhat subject to personal factors;
3 hr 30 rain . . . . . . . . . . ~ 1~ it may be questioned, however, whether
5 hr .................... 1
5 hr 30 min . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 it really measures the setting time of con-
7 hr 20 rain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 crete for those interested in anything
except floor finishing. Some data on this
a Same m i x on four separate days; three
different operators. method are included in Table I.
Velocity and Frequency Measurements.
--Among the methods depending on
fects of accelerators and retarders.
measurement of velocity or frequency
Electrical measurements can, therefore,
are the soniscope method and the use of
be dismissed as unsuitable for the pur-
pose. the usual sonic apparatus, employing a
mix confined within a metal tube. Two
Consistency Measurements.--Various objections to the soniscope method are
types of consistency measurements have
also been suggested, such as the Vebe 2 P r i v a t e communication, Glenway Maxon,
Consulting Engineer, Milwaukee, Wis., October
apparatus, modified Gillmore and Vicar 16, 1952.

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the high cost of the apparatus and the of determining the bleeding characteris-
rather delicate technique required. It tics of concrete. No data are available on
seems doubtful that this would be a this method with respect to setting times,
practical method for general use. Some but it seems doubtful that determination
success has been reported using the sonic of this property would be indicative of
2.0 ,.~
/ Initial Temperature 53 F
Type 1-r Cement
~ 1.6 / e 'l
,~~ 5.2 Socks Cement per cu yd

,, I I I

"4, " "--.


0 2 4
Age, days
FTO. 2.--Change in Rate of Heat Liberation with Time.
Courtesy of the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation


_ +20
E "" = . . , . - C o1n c r e t e C o n t a i n i n g A d m i x It u r e " V "'
~ +10

-= 0 ~.Ool
~ . ~ , - ~ " -_ FI - " F I- - II - - - i "' - -
.r - I0

~, - 2 0 Co,,,~ ! , , ~ I
-30 ~: 4drn/Xtur e " p ,,

-40 l I
-50 I
0 I 2 3 4 5 6 7
Time, d a y s
FIG. &--Change in Volume of Concrete with Time.

apparatus, but an attempt to reproduce setting time over a wide variety of mixes
this work in another laboratory resultedwhich would include mixes which either
in determining only the frequency char- do not bleed at all or bleed to a negligible
acteristics of the metal container and not
that of the concrete. Further work on Heat of Hydration.--One method which
this method might be productive. has been attempted is the determination
Bleeding Characteristics.--Another of the heat of hydration. A typical graph
method which has been suggested is that from this type of measurement is shown

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in Fig. 2. The curves do show sharp merit would be expected are secured.
changes where the setting time of the This method is open to the same objec-
cement would be expected. This method, tions as those stated in connection with
however, measures a chemical property heat of hydration determinations, and it
of the cement rather than setting of the probably depends on the same phenom-
concrete as a whole. It appears that the enon.

I I t I
6"X 12" Cylinders in
14 0 0 0 - - C o r d b o o r d Molds

13 0 0 0 -- c] Ploin Series "IT"

12000 -- 9 Series I

IIOOO _ 02percent CoCI 2

& Admixture "A"


9 ooo Dry Sund Mold

8 000

7 ooo I/iW i I
6 000, I|nmi
5 000

4 000

3 000 J
2 000

Empty Mold

I,I !
0 I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 I0 II
Time, hr
FIG. 4.--Change in Compressive Strength with Time.

shape of the curve can be completely Strength Determinations.--Another

changed by modifying the gypsum con- group of test methods employs strength
tent of the cement without actually determinations. One such method con-
changing the setting time of the cement sists in casting specimens in flexible
or concrete. containers and determining deflection.
A similar method is the measurement Some work has been done on both com-
of the volume change of the setting con- pressive (Fig. 4) and flexural (Fig. 5)
crete in a dilatometer. A typical graph determinations, but sufficient reliable
obtained by this means is given in Fig. 3. data have not yet been secured to show
Here, again, definite points correspond- that these methods are suitable. Some
ing to those at which setting of the ce- work has been done on a tension test

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method using rigid molds. The limited ciently rigid to resist deformation by the
results (Fig. 6) available at the present air pressure commonly used in this type
time indicate some promise, as a fairly of meter. Surprisingly enough, this point
sharp break in the curve appears to oc- in time corresponds very closely to the
cur at a definite time. Triaxial loading points determined by the two electrical
methods have also been suggested, but resistance methods. The addition of cal-
no work is known to have been done on cium chloride shows the expected ac-
these. If a simple test of this type could celerating setting of the concrete, and
be worked out, it would probably come the addition of the electrolyte does not

35 700

30 600
Zo. 500

a~ 20 ~, "~ 400


~, ~ 300
0 Cl
mr 200 vo
S I00!

5 10 15 20
Time A f t e r Plocing Until 8 r e o k
Factor, Net Water-
sacks CementRa-
Cement per rio, gal per
Aggregate Type yd sack
3/8"Gravel llI 6.9 6.25
o 3/8t'Gravel IlIA 6.8 5.9
A 3/8t~Gr~vel IlIA 6.8 6.25
FIG. 5.--Change in Flexural Strength with Time.
Courtesy of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co.

closer than any other method to measur- adversely affect the test as it does in the
ing a practiCal setting time of concrete, case of electrical methods of measure-
namely, the point at which concrete just ment.
ceases to be plastic and just begins to
acquire strength. CONCLIISION
Deformability Changes.--Another sug- Progress so far has not been such that
gested method is the determination of the definite conclusions can be drawn. From
change in deformability of the concrete the information gathered, however, it
by entrained-air tests in a Washington- does seem possible to get a picture of the
type air meter. These tests (Fig. 7) show problem and to discern the direction or
very definite points of inflection when, directions which further study of this
obviously, the concrete becomes suffi- subject should take.

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With respect to a definition of the set- plications; that is, more than one defini-
ting time of concrete, it is evident that tion of the setting time of concrete will
this term means something different to be needed. Second, any definition will

'~ 5
6.4 Sks Type TW Cement
W/C 6 . 0 gol per Sk "
/ 0
2 in Slump




X} ~
u,.,r ~ I ~

I 2 3 4. 5 6
Time After Mixing and Placing in Mold, hr
FIG. 6 . - - C h a n g e in Tensile Strength with Time,
C~urtesy of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co

31 ,--,. p/o,
a. 2 ~ v

0 I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 I0
Time, hr
Fie. 7 . - - C h a n g e in Re~lings of W a s h i n g t o n - T y p e Air M e t e r with Time.

each individual, depending on the specific probably be in terms of a maximum

application for which it is intended. This change in some physical rather than
leads to two tentative conclusions. First, chemical property of the concrete deter-
it probably will not be possible to define mined by a particular test method. Any
the setting time of concrete in terms that definition, therefore, awaits establish-
will be applicable to all mixes for all ap- ment of a suitable test method.

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Of the test methods which have been ful that it could be made applicable to
suggested and tentatively examined, general or routine testing. The conven-
some offer little promise for one reason tional sonic apparatus would be more
or another. Electrical methods seem use- practical, but development of its use for
less since the addition in any quantity of this purpose is in a preliminary stage.
an electrolyte to the mix completely Strength data are limited but show some
nullifies the value of the observations. promise. D a t a on deformation tests are
Consistency measurements, from the still very meager, but all of those so far
data so far secured, do not seem applica- secured offer at least some hope.
ble unless it can be shown that tests on While the outlook for a single test
mortar sieved from a concrete mix will method suitable for all applications and
correlate with the behavior of the con- all types of concrete mixes, and conse-
crete itself. I t is difficult to see how quently for a single definition of the
bleeding tests can be made applicable setting time of concrete, is rather dis-
over even a moderate range of mixes. couraging, the situation is not entirely
Volume change and heat evolution meas- hopeless. It would seem possible, without
urements, since they reflect the chemical too extended a study, to develop one or
changes of the cement, would not be ex- more test methods for specific purposes;
pected to reflect the behavior of the for example, by selecting one particular
concrete which depends on physical as concrete mix, as has been done in the
well as chemical phenomena. method of test for air-entraining admix-
This leaves the velocity or frequency tures, it should be possible to devise a
measurements, strength, and the de- method of test for evaluating accelera-
formation tests as offering some promise. tors and retarders with respect to their
The available velocity measurement data effects on the setting time of concrete.
are encouraging, but this type of test Subsequently other methods and defini-
suffers from two disadvantages, the ex- tions might be developed which would be
pensive apparatus required and the suitable criteria for otheI applications
delicacy of the techniques of measure- such as floor finishing, and slip-form
ment. The test m a y well be eminently work, where setting time is an important
suitable for research, but it seems doubt- factor.

(1) J. Calleja, "New Techniques in the Study Sonic Apparatus," Corps of Engineers, U.S.
of Setting and Hardening of Hydraulic Ma- Army (private communication).
terials," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., March, (5) H. A. Neville and H. C. Jones, "The Study
1952; Proceedings, Vol. 48, p. 525. of Hydration Changes by a Volume Change
(2) J. Calleja, "Effect of Current Frequency on Method," Lehigh University, Colloid Sym-
Measurement of Electrical Resistance of posium Monograph.
Cement Pastes," Journal, Am. Concrete (6) W. Lerch and C. L. Ford, "Long-Time
Inst., December, 1952; Proceedings, Vol. Study of Cement Performance in Concrete,
49, p. 329. Chapter 3--Chemical and Physical Tests of
(3) E. A. Whitehurst, "Use of the Soniscope for the Cements," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Measuring Setting Time of Concrete," April, 1948; Proceedings, Vol. 44, p. 745.
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testings Mats., Vol. (7) W. Lerch, "The Influence of Gypsum on the
51, p. 1166 (1951). Discussion p. 1176. Hydration and Properties of Portland Ce-
(4) Edwin J. Callan, "Determination of Wave ment Paste," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing
Velocity in Concrete Prisms Using Present Mats., Vol. 46, p. 1252 (1946).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Freshly Mixed Concrete



Tests for air content of fresh concrete Gravimetric Method: ~

are of relatively recent development, When the gravimetric procedure for
having first appeared in the publications determining air content of fresh concrete
of the ASTM in 1942. The first method, is used, the unit weight of concrete is de-
a volumetric procedure, followed closely termined and is compared with the the-
the discovery of possible beneficial effects oretical unit weight of air-free concrete.
of small amounts of air in concrete on the The theoretical unit weight is calculated
resistance of pavements to scaling when from the weight and bulk specific gravity
salt is used for ice removal. Since that of each ingredient in the concrete mix-
time purposeful entrainment of air in ture. Details of the calculations involved
concrete has gained such stature that it are outlined in ASTM Method C 1382
has been described as the greatest ad- Concrete containing aggregate graded up
vancement in concrete technology since to 2 in. may be tested in a 89 ft con-
the promulgation of the water-cement tainer; where larger aggregate is used,
ratio theory by Abrams (1)2 in 1918. Tests the 1-cu ft measure shall be employed.
for air content are now probably the The gravimetric method for determin-
third most commonly made tests of con- ing air content has serious limitations as
crete, ranking only behind slump and a field test. An accurate knowledge of
compressive strength tests. batch proportions, specific gravities, and
moisture contents of aggregates is essen-
tial. For example, an error of 2 per cent
Three tests for air content of fresh con- in the moisture content of sand in an
crete, using gravimetric, pressure, or average concrete mix, in which a con-
volumetric methods, currently are stand- stant amount of water is added at the
ards of the ASTM. Each of the proce- mixer, will result in an error of 1 per-
dures has its advantages and disadvan- centage point in computed air content.
tages, and it is expected that the method In the field where moisture contents of
most appropriate for the conditions and aggregates are seldom determined and
materials will be used. consistency is controlled by varying
water added at the mixer to maintain
1Civil Engineer, Tews Lime and Cement Co.,
Milwaukee, Wis. 3Method of Test for Weight per Cubic Foot,
The boldface numbers in parentheses refer Yield, and Air Content (Gravimetric) of Con-
to the list of references appended to this paper, crete (C 138), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards,
see p. 66. Part 3.
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slump, the gravimetric method should interstices of nonsaturated, porous ag-

probably not be relied upon for accurate gregates, and a higher than true air con-
results. Also, an error of 0.02 in the spe- tent of concrete may thus be indicated.
cific gravity of the aggregates will result This complication may be compensated
in an error of about one-half percentage for by determining a correction factor for
point in air content computed under this the air within the aggregate as outlined
method. Thus, where lightweight ag- in Method C 231. In the case of slag or
gregates are used and an accurate deter- other relatively porous lightweight ag-
mination of specific gravity is exceed- gregates, however, this aggregate cor-
ingly difficult, it is not recommended rection factor may be quite large and
that the gravimetfic procedure be used. difficult to determine accurately. The
In the laboratory, however, where spe- ASTM method provides for three sizes
cific gravities and moisture contents are of containers, 0.20, 0.40, and 2.50 c u f t ,
accurately known, reliable results can be for testing concrete having aggregate of
obtained for concrete containing natural 2-, 3-, and 6-in. maximum size, respec-
aggregates. Furthermore, the concrete tively.
used in the test need not be discarded, as The major advantage of the pressure
in other procedures; it can be used for method is that no knowledge of specific
other tests or in the manufacture of speci- gravities, moisture contents, or batch
mens. Valuable information on yield and quantities of the concrete mixture need
actual cement factor may also be ob- be known to determine its air content.
tained from the unit weight test made in Possible inaccuracies when porous or
the gravimetric procedure. nonsaturated aggregates are used have
been referred to previously. Samples of
Pressure Method# concrete tested in this apparatus must,
The pressure method for determining of course, be discarded and cannot be
air content of fresh concrete is based on used in specimens or for further testing
the fact that, in most concrete mixes, the because of the contact of concrete with
only compressible ingredient is the air water in the test.
entrained or entrapped in the mixture. A modification of the ASTM standard
Klein and Walker (2) applied Boyle's law, pressure apparatus, which was proposed
involving the relationship of pressure and by Klein and Walker (2) and refined by
volume of gases, to the determination of Menzel (3), has been developed by the
air content of fresh concrete. Washington State Highway Department
In ASTM Method C 231, 4 a predeter- (4). In this apparatus, a known volume
mined pressure is applied to a column of of air at an established pressure is re-
water above a sample of concrete in a leased to contact concrete in a sealed con-
container of known volume. When the tainer; the drop in pressure provides a
proper pressure is applied, the drop in measure of the amount of air within the
water level in the neck of the calibrated concrete. The apparatus, currently avail-
apparatus indicates the air content of the able from some commercial equipment
concrete directly. The instrument must manufacturers, has the advantage of not
be calibrated for use at various localities requiring the use of water in the test and
if differences in altitude are considerable. of not having test results influenced by
A complicating feature of the test is that changes in barometric pressure. Com-
the pressure may compress air within the pressibility of air within the aggregate
must be taken into account in test results
4 Method of Test for Air Content of Freshly as it must be with results from the Klein-
Mixed Concrete by the Pressure Method
(C 231), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. Walker apparatus. A disadvantage is
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that small errors in striking off the sam- routine work, the volume of concrete
ple of concrete to a known volume may tested is small but not inconsistent with
produce relatively large errors in meas- the findings of Pearson and Helms (5) on
ured air content. This disadvantage has the effect of sampling errors in air-con-
been eliminated by a more recently de- tent tests.
veloped apparatus which provides for Other volumetric procedures, such as
filling the space over the sample of con- the roiling method developed by Menzel
crete with water. (3), the hook-gage or "Indiana Method"
described by Miesenhelder (6), and the
Volumetric Method: "Ohio Method" (7) using a hook-gage,
Inaccuracies in determining air con- test larger samples of concrete. With
tent of fresh concrete containing porous Menzel's apparatus the quantity of wa-
aggregates by the gravimetric and pres- ter added to compensate for air removed
sure methods have been described. The from a known volume of concrete by
volumetric procedure, however, can be mixing with water (on a rolling appa-
used with such materials to obtain ac- ratus) provides a measure of the air con-
curate measurements of air content. Fur- tent. In the "Indiana Method," air is
ther, as with the pressure method, no removed from a known weight of con-
knowledge of specific gravities or mois- crete by stirring in water; the air content
ture contents of ingredients need be is computed from the unit weight of air-
known. free concrete determined in the test and
With the apparatus described in the unit weight measured prior to re-
ASTM Method C 173, 5 water is filled to moval of the air. Miesenhelder (6) re-
a certain mark over a sample of concrete ported the disadvantages of the latter
in a container of known volume The ap- method to be the difficulty in maintain-
paratus is sealed; then concrete and ing the necessary accuracy of scales under
water are intermingled and agitated field conditions and the possibility of in-
until the air in the concrete is removed. complete removal of air because of the
The drop in water level from its original physical exertion required in the stirring
mark provides a direct measure of the process.
air content of the concrete. In the test,
mixing of water and concrete is repeated
several times until no further drop in There have been many studies made to
water level indicates the removal of all correlate the results of air-content tests
air from the mixture. The method re- made by the different methods. In the
quires the use of a container for concrete ASTM Symposium on Measurement of
of not less than 0.2 c u f t when aggregates Entrained Air in Concrete (8), the results
up to 2 in. are used; however, for routine presented by the various authors are in
work, a bowl of not less than 0.075 cu ft substantial agreement. Results of gravi-
may be used. metric tests agreed with other procedures
The chief disadvantage of the volumet- as long as specific gravities and moisture
ric method is in the physical effort re- contents of ingredients were known; pres-
quired to agitate water and concrete suf- sure method test results were in accord
ficiently to remove the air. Accordingly, with other data when concrete was made
in the ASTM apparatus permitted for with dense aggregates; and volumetric
procedures gave substantially the same
5 Tentative Me~hod of T e s t for Air Content air contents as did the other methods as
of Freshly Mixed Concrete by the Volumetric
Method (C 173), 1955 Book of A S T M Stand- long as all of the air was removed from
ards, Part 3. the sample tested.
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Comparative results of air-content concrete mixtures to secure the full bene-

tests using the three current ASTM pro- fit of increased resistance to freezing and
cedures were obtained by Britton (9) and thawing. On the other hand, tests by the
are summarized in Table I. He reported Portland Cement Assn. (n) and the Na-
that on the basis of these results " . . . it tional Sand and Gravel Assn. (12) indi-
is apparent that any of the methods used cate that, for a given water-cement ratio,
in this series of tests will give relatively each per cent of entrained air reduces
accurate results when carefully con- compressive strength about 5 per cent.
ducted." I t was on the basis of these data This reduction in strength, however, can
that ASTM Committee C-9 on Concrete be counteracted by redesigning the mix
and Concrete Aggregates recommended by reducing water and sand contents to
adoption of the volumetric flask and pro- maintain the slump and volume of mor-
cedures outlined in Method C 173 - 55 T tar in the concrete. Thus, by redesign of
as an ASTM Method of Test. the mix, it is possible that the strength of


Tests by R. E. Britton (9).

Limestone Slag Gravel

ASTM Test Method
Test Test Test I Test Test ] Test
N~ N~ _' N~ L No. I No. 2

G r a v l m e t r i c (C 1 3 8 - 44) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.vl 4.4 6.o I 5.2 3.5 4.0

P r e s s u r e m e t e r (C 231 - 54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.7 3.8 5.5 I 5.1 3.3 3.1
V o l u m e t r i c flask (C 173 - 55 T) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 / 3.6 5.4 I 4.8 2.9 3.0

SIGNI]~ICANCE OF TEST IZESUI~S lean, air-entrained concrete mixtures

Tests for air content of fresh concrete (containing up to about 5 bags of cement
are most commonly made in the field on per cubic yard) may actually be greater
concrete that is assumed to contain en- than that of normal concrete. In the
trained air. Such air is obtained by using case of rich mixtures, the reduction in
an air-entraining cement or by adding an strength may be only 10 to 15 per cent
air-entraining admixture to concrete instead of the 20 to 25 per cent which
made with standard cement. Numerous could be expected were the mix not re-
tests have demonstrated that purpose- designed. I t is from this background of
fully entrained air increases the resist- information that most specifications re-
quire 3 to 6 per cent air in fresh air-en-
ance of concrete to destructive agencies
such as freezing and thawing, sea water, trained concrete.
There are exceptions, however, where
and salts used for removal of ice from
pavements. Along with these beneficial the 3 to 6 per cent limits on air content
should not be applied. In mass concrete,
effects, however, there is usually an un-
fortunate decrease in the strength of con- for example, in which cobbles of aggre-
crete. Thus, the problem in the case of gate 6 in. or more in diameter are used,
air-entrained concrete is to control the these limits may be applicable to that
air content to ensure the beneficial effects portion of the concrete which would pass
without unduly reducing its strength. a 2- or 3-in. sieve, but they would be too
Studies by Wuerpel (10), Gonnerman high for the concrete as a whole. As a
(11), and others show the need for a mini- matter of fact, the Corps of Engineers
mum of about 3 per cent entrained air in (13) wet-screens its concrete containing a
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nominal maximum size aggregate of 3 or 6 have shown air content to increase during
in. through a 189 or 3-in. sieve before test- about the first 12 mill of mixing and then
ing for air content. The Bureau of Recla- slowly to decrease (19). The grading of
mation generally requires removal of the aggregate, particularly that of the
larger sizes of coarse aggregate by hand- sand, also has its effect on air content;
picking before a test for air content is Walker and Bloem (17) found that the
made. In concrete mixtures used in Kan- air content of concrete increased as the
sas pavements in which the maximum quantity of sand in the No. 30 to No. 50
size of aggregate is about ~ in., the 3 to size increased.
6 per cent limits on air content should So far discussion has been confined to
probably be raised. air content of fresh concrete. However,
The above discussion of exceptions to handling and placing of concrete on the
the usual specification limitations on air job can affect the air content of concrete
content indicates that the air content of iv place. And, of course, it is the air in
the mortar or cement paste portion of the the hardened concrete which secures the
concrete should be of concern. Wuerpel beneficial effects attributed to air-
(14) has pointed out that the optimum entrained concrete. There are indications
air content for the mortar phase of con- that pumping concrete may remove some
crete should be 8.5 to 9.5 per cent. Powers air from certain mixtures. It would be
(lS) and Klieger (16) have suggested that expected that repeated handling and
the air content of fresh concrete should agitation of concrete prior to placing
be governed by the spacing and size of might well cause a loss of air content.
voids in the cement paste. It is felt that Vibration in consolidating concrete in
in concrete having a given air content the forms may also remove air from the
numerous small air bubbles closely mass (20). It should not be overlooked
spaced throughout the mass may be that the air in the lower portion of a deep
more effective in securing the beneficial section will be compressed by the weight
effects of air entrainment than a smaller of concrete above it; this will affect the
number of relatively large voids. volume of air but probably not the spac-
It should be pointed out that the air ing or number of air voids or the dura-
content of concrete containing a fixed bility of the concrete.
amount of air-entraining admixture Nevertheless, at this stage of develop-
added at the mixer, or addition inter- ment of the art, tests of fresh concrete for
ground with the cement, varies with air content by the ASTM Methods
many factors. It is important that the described here represent the best means
effects of these factors be understood so for controlling the end result in the field.
that test results obtained may be evalu- These test methods, coupled with in-
ated and adjustments made to secure telligently prepared specifications limits,
compliance with specifications. Less air should ensure the desirable properties of
will be entrained in rich mixtures than air-entrained concrete.
in lean ones. Wet concrete will ordinarily Air content determinations are some-
entrain more air than dry mixes. The times made to ensure that concrete is
temperature of the concrete is important "normal"--that it does not contain
in that more air is entrained at 70 F than more than about 1 to 1.5 per cent of air.
at 100 F and more at 40"F than at 70 F This is particularly necessary for mix-
(17, 18). The quantity of air will increase tures for heavy-duty floors or for very
with mixing up to a point and then will high-strength concrete which might be
gradually decrease; in transit-mixed used in prestressed designs or heavy-
ready-mixed concrete, for example, tests load carrying columns. Many manu-
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facturers of metallic aggregates for that for which the mix was designed
heavy-duty floors, for example, recom- may account for some discrepancies in
mend that their products not be used yield.
with air-entrained concrete. The dif-
ficulty of producing high compressive
strengths (5000 psi, for example) with Tests for air content of fresh con-
air-entrained concrete points to the crete, carefully made in accordance with
desirability of making an air-content the appropriate A S T M test method, will
test, at the time high-strength concrete yield a n accurate m e a s u r e m e n t of the
is placed, to ensure that air is not being a m o u n t of air in fresh concrete. Such
inadvertently entrained. tests should be coupled with intelligently
Air-content tests also provide rough prepared specification limits on air con-
checks on the yield of concrete. In the tent for the purpose for which the con-
case of pavements, where close checks crete is to be used. If this is done, the
are made on the quantity of concrete beneficial effects of using entrained air,
being used by contractors, a variation or ensuring its absence, can be depended
of several percentage points of air from u p o n in well-designed concrete mixtures.

(1) Duff A. Abrams, "Design of Concrete Mix- (9) R. E. Britton, "Report o~ Investigation of
tures," Bulletin 7Vo. 1, Structural Material Different Methods for Determining the
Research Laboratory, Lewis Institute Amount of Air Entrained in Fresh Con-
(1918). crete." Report prepared by Pennsylvania
(2) W. H. Klein and Stanton Walker, "A Slag Assn., April 11, 1949.
Method for Direct Measurement of En- (10) C. E. Wuerpel, "Laboratory Studies of
trained Air in Concrete," Jcn~rnal, Am. Concrete Containing Air-Entrainlng Ad-
Concrete Inst., June, 1946; Proceedings, mixtures," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Vol. 42, p. 657. February, 1946; Proceedings, Vol. 42, p.
(3) Carl A. Menzel, "Procedures for Deter- 305.
mining the Air Content of Freshly-Mixed (11) H. F. Gonnerman, "Tests of Concrete Con-
Concrete by the Rolling and Pressure taining Air-Entraining Portland Cements
Methods," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing or Air-Entraining Materials Added to
Mats., Vol. 47, p. 833 (1947). Batch at Mixer," Journal, Am. Concrete
(4) Bailey Tremper and W. L. Gooding, Inst., June, 1944; Proceedings, Vol. 40, p.
"Washington Method of Determining Air 477.
in Fresh Concrete," Proceedings, Highway (12) Stanton Walker and D. L. Bloem, "Con-
Research Board, Vol. 28, p. 210 (1948). trol of Quantity of Entrained Air in Con-
(5) j'. C. Pearson and S. B. Helms, "The Ef- crete," Nat. Ready Mixed Concrete Assn.
fect of Sampling Errors on Unit Weight (1950).
and Air Determinations in Concrete," (13) "Investigation of Field Methods for Deter-
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vo]. mining Air Content of Mass Concrete,"
47, p. 914 (1947). Technical Memorandum No. 6-352, Corps
(6) P. D. Miesenhelder, "Indiana Method for of Engineers, U. S. Army, Waterways Ex-
Measuring Entrained Air in Fresh Con- periment Station, November, 1952.
crete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., (14) C. E. Wuerpel, "Purposeful Entrainment of
Vol. 47, p. 865 (1947). Air in Concrete," Marquette Cement
(7) J. F. Barbee, "The Ohio Method of De- Manufacturing Co. (1953).
termining the Amount of Air Entrained in (15) T. C. Powers, "Void Spacing as a Basis for
Portland Cement Concrete," Proceedings, Producing Air-Entrained Concrete," Jour-
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 47, p. 901 nal, Am. Concrete Inst., May. 1954; Pro-
(1947). ceedings, Vol. 50, p. 741.
(8) Symposium o n Measurement of Entrained (16) Paul Kleiger, "Effect of Entrained Air on
Air in Concrete, Proceedings, Am. Soc. Concretes Made with So-Called 'Sand-
Testing Mats., Vol. 47, p. 832 (1947). Gravel' Aggregates," Journal, Am. Con-

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crete Inst., October, 1948; Proceedings, (19) R. P. Mumford, "Effect of Time of Mix-
Vol. 45, p. 149. ing," Technical Information Letter No. 28,
(17) Stanton Walker and D. L. Bloem, "Studies Nat. Ready Mixed Concrete Assn., ~ep-
of Concrete Containing Entrained Air," tember, 1946.
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1946;
Proceedings, Vol. 42, p. 629. (20) Walter O. Crawley, "Effect of Vibration on
(18) Symposium on Entrained Air in Concrete, Air Content of Mass Concrete," Journal,
Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 46 Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1953; Proceed-
pp. 601-699 (1946). ings, Vol. 49, p. 909.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


This discussion is intended to show relation between samples and materials

that petrographic examination of hard- in use and judging whether the two are
ened concrete is relevant to concrete comparable in fact.
testing, to note the problems inherent
in its use, to outline what it involves, to METHOD
describe the kind of information it can The techniques of petrographic exam-
produce, and to show how this informa- ination are not described here; a partial
tion may be applied. historical review and discussion may be
found in an earlier paper (1)3 A wide
Relevance to Concrete Testing: variety of techniques has been applied
The question that materials testing and produced useful results (2-1~).
tries to answer is "How will this material Petrographic examination does not
behave in use?" Practically, testing necessarily imply that a microscope is
construction materials amounts to ob- used; it does imply examination to
taining certain kinds of information discover what recognizable individual
about certain samples in specified con- constituents are present and how they
ditions, and extrapolating to the con- are arranged in space. Petrographic
ditions of the intended use insofar as examination of concrete is not a standard
they can be predicted. Petrographic method, but it is a trouble-shooting and
examination of concrete should be in- research procedure of considerable pres-
cluded among the subjects discussed in a ent and much greater potential value.
publication on significance of tests and The ASTM methods of test requiring
properties of concrete and concrete aggre- observations of "type of failure and
gates if it helps to improve the extra- appearance of the concrete" (C 116) 3 or
polation from test results to perform- "type of fracture if other than the usual
ance in the structure. The object of this cone" (C39) 3 already require partial
discussion is to demonstrate that petro- petrographic examination--the part
graphic examination of concrete does dealing with defects and departures
improve extrapolations by offering direct from the norm.
observational information on what is The Specifications for Concrete Sewer
being tested and what is in the structure, Pipe (C 14), ~ Reinforced-Concrete Sewer
which gives another way of appraising the Pipe (C 75), ~ Reinforced-Concrete Cul-
1 Geologist (Engineering Petrography) ; Chief, -~T h e boldface n u m b e r s in parentheses refer
P e t r o g r a p h y Section, Concrete Division, W a t e r - to t h e list of references appended to this paper,
ways Experiment Station, Corps of Engineers, see p. 79.
U. S. A r m y , Jackson, Miss. 31955 Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3.
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vert Pipe (C 76), 3 and Concrete Irriga- PURPOSE AND SCOPE

tion Pipe (C 118) ~ have most interesting Composition and Fabric:
requirements for visual examination.
Tables I and I I give outlines of such A petrographic examination attempts
procedures. to answer two objective questions:
what is the composition? and how is
Communication Problems: it put together? The first question refers
to the recognizable individual constitu-
A petrographic examination of con- ents that are present. The second question
crete ordinarily begins and ends with a refers to "structural fabric," that is
problem of communication between the the articulation or arrangement in space
person who requests the examination of the component elements that make
(usually an engineer) and the person up any sort of external form (17). Both
who makes it (usually a petrographer). questions may be answered on any scale
Unless the two succeed in producing that is useful by selecting techniques
a clear, mutually understood statement with the appropriate resolving power.
of the problem, they cannot expect a Fabric includes all of the structural
clear, useful answer economically ob- elements ranging in scale from gross to
tained. atomic; it includes both structure and
The engineer who asks for an exami- texture as those terms are used in rock
nation of a particular concrete suspects description. In concrete, the fabric may
that the concrete is unusual; the more be considered on the scale of the lift or
clearly he defines the peculiarity, the course or batch, or the scale of the
more he directs the petrographer toward coarse aggregate, or the scale of the sand
the important aspects. The engineer is grains and air voids in the mortar, or on
not familiar with petrographic techniques the scale of the residual unhydrated ce-
and approach; the petrographer does not ment or calcium hydroxide crystals, on
realize the engineer's responsibility for de- the scale of the fibrous hydrous calcium
cision and action, does not find out all the silicates (10) and 100-/~ spherical aggre-
engineer could tell him about the con- gates (10, 18) in the hydrated cement
crete, and may not realize which petro- paste, or on the scale of the atomic
graphic findings are useful and relevant. structure of any crystal forming a part
The petrographer should not expect pet- of any of the structural components
rographic results to be taken on faith un- mentioned. Rocks, fabricated metals,
less the rationality of the techniques pro- and yeast-raised bread are other ex-
ducing them is demonstrated. Both should amples of substances with fabric. 4 Com-
remember that the essentials of petro- position and fabric together define,
graphic examination of concrete are prac- characterize, and form the basis of the
ticed anytime anyone looks intelligently descriptive classification of solid multi-
at concrete either in a structure or as a component substances. The value of
specimen and tries to relate what he can investigating composition and fabric is
see to the past or future performance of that of particularized and unique defi-
the concrete. On this basis, it is clear that nition of the thing being tested--the
many most useful petrographic examina- 4The closest naturally occurring analogy
tions are made by inspectors, engineers, among rocks to the fabric of concrete is gray-
chemists, physicists--anyone concerned wacke conglomerate with abundant matrix. The
closest naturally occurring analogue to hardened
with the production or use of concrete. dement paste is silty clay.

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Coarse Aggregate q- Fine Aggregate -1- Matrix q- Air -{- Steel


llaximum dimension, in inches, in t h e Type: Color, by c o m p a r i s o n w i t h More than 3 per cent of total, Type
range >d >--__a 1. N a t u r a l sand N a t i o n a l R e s e a r c h Coun- predominantly in spherical
~"ype: 2. M a n u f a c t u r e d s a nd cil R o c k Color C h a r t voids
1. G r a v e l 3. M ix ed (1948) Less than 3 per cent of total,
2. Crushed stone 4. Other Color distribution: abundant nonspherical voids
3. Mi xed 1 a nd 2 5. Mixed 1 q-/ or 2 + / o r 1. M o t t l e d Color differences between voids
4. Other (name) 4 2. E v e n and mortar?
5. M ixe d 1 + / o r 2 + / o r 4 If 1, 2, or 4, homogeneous 3. Gradational changes
[f 1, 2, or 4, homogeneous or hetero- or heterogeneous

bithologictypes Voids e mpt y, filled, lined, or

~2oarse a gg re gat e more t h a n 20, 30, p a r t l y filled
40, 50 per cent of t o t a l


Shape Distribution Distribution S ha pe Voids below horizon-

Distribution P ar tic l e shape 1 as Distribution t a l or low-angle re-
Packing Grading kpercept- G r a d i n g (as perceptible) inforcement
G r a d i n g (even, uneven, excess, or de- Preferred [i bl e P a r a l l e l i s m of long axes of ir-
ficiency of size or sizes) orientation) re gul a r voids or sheets of
Parallelism of flat sides or long axes voids: w i t h each other; w i t h
of exposed sections, normal to flat sides or long axes of coarse
direction of p l a c e m e n t + / o r par- aggregate
allel to formed and finished sur-
faces b


D o e s it ring w h e n hit lightly with a h a m m e r or does it give a dull, flat sound? Cracks? H o w distributed? Crack fillings?W i t h cores R u s t y or clean? Put
or sawed specimens: did aggregate tear out in drilling or sawing? in rusty or cor-
roded later?

A s u b s t a n t i a l portion of t he coarse aggregate has m a x i m u m dimensions in t he ra nge shown as m e a s u r e d on sawed or broken surfaces.
b Sections sawed or drilled close to and parallel to formed surfaces appear to show loom t u r b u l e n c e as a result of s p a d i n g or rod d in g close to the form. Sec-
ti on s sawed in the plane of bedding (normM to the direction of placement) are l i k e l y to h a v e inconspicuous orientation. Sections b r o k e n n o r m a l to p l a c e m e n t
in conventionMly placed concrete w it h normal bond tend to have aggregate knobs a b u n d a n t on t h e b o t t o m of t he uppe r piece as cas t an d sockets a b u n d a n t
on the
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T A B L E I I . - - O U T L I N E F O R E X A M I N A T I O N OF C O N C R E T E W I T H A S T E R E O M I C I % O S C O P E .

Coarse Aggregate Fine Aggregate Matrix Voids

i tho lo gic t y p e s and m i n e r a l o g y as per- Lithologic types and miner- Color Grading
ceptible alogy as perceptible F r a c t u r e around or t h r o u g h a ggre ga t e P r o p o r t i o n of spherical to nonspherical
Surface t e x t u r e Shape C o n t a c t of m a t r i x w i t h a ggre ga t e : Nonspherical, ellipsoidal, irregular, disk-
7ithin the piece: Surface t e x t u r e close, no opening visible on sawed shaped
g r a i n shape Grading or b r o k e n surface; a g g r e g a t e not Color change from in ter io r surface to
g r a i n s i z e - - e x t r e m e range observed, Distribution dislodged w i t h fingers or probe; matrix
mm b o u n d a r y openings frequent, com- I n t e r i o r surface luster like rest of m a t r i x
m e d i a n w i t h i n r an ge to mm mon, ra re dull, shining
te xtu r eles s (%00 fine to resolve) width Li ni ngs ill voids absent, rare, common,
u ni fo rm or v a r i a b l e w i t h i n th e piece empty i n most, complete, p ar tial, color-
rom piece to piece: filled less, colored, s ilk y tufts, hexagonal
i n t e r g r a n u l a r bond C ra c ks present, absent, re sul t of speci- t a b l e t s , gel, other
p o r o s i t y and a b s o r p t i o n a me n preparation, preeedng speci- U nde rsi de voids or sheets of voids un-
concrete b r e a k s t h r o u g h aggregate, me n p r e p a r a t i o n common, small, common, a b u n d a n t
t h r o u g h how m u c h of w h a t kind? Fly ash b
b o u n d a r y voids, along w h a t ki nd of
aggregate? All? All of one kind?
More t h a n 50 per cent of one kind?
Several kinds?

a Pore visible to t h e n a k e d eye, or at X , or sucks in w a t e r t h a t is dropped on it.

b D a r k solid spheres or hollow-centered spheres of glass + / o r m a g n e t i t e recognizable a t X 9 on sawed or broken surfaces. Other m i n e r a l a d m i x t u r e s
w i t h cha ra cter is ti c p a r t i c l e s visible a t low magnification should be recognizable.

Condition: W h e n it is e xa mi ne d a t X 6 to X 10 under good light, t h e freshly broken surface of a concrete in good p h y s i c a l condition t h a t s till r e t a i n s mo s t
of its n a t u r a l m o i s t u r e content has a luster t h a t in mineralogical t e r m s is s u b t r a n s l u c e n t gl i mme ri ng v i t r e o u s ) T h i n edges of splinters of th e p a s t e t r a n s m i t
l i g h t ; reflections a p p e a r to come from m a n y mi nut e points on t he surface, and the q u a l i t y of l ust e r is like t h a t from b r o k e n glass but less intense. Concrete
i n less good p h y s i c a l condition is more opaque on a freshly broken surface, a nd t he l us t e r is dull, v i t r e o u s going t o w a r d chalky. A properly cured l a b o r a t o r y
s p ecim e n from a concrete m i x t u r e of norma l proportions cured 28 d a y s t h a t ha s shown norma l compressive or flexural s t r e n g t h and t h a t is broken w i t h a
h a m m e r a nd ex am i ne d on a ne w b re ak wi thi n a week of the t i m e t h a t it finished curing should provide an example of concrete in good p h y s i c a l condition,
Under t he same conditions of examination, when there is reasonable assurance t h a t t h e concrete does not c ont a i n w hi t e por tlan d cement or slag cement,
t h e color of t h e m a t r i x of concrete in good physical condition is definitely g r a y or definitely tan, except a d j o i n i n g old c ra c ks or original surfaces.
1 E. S. Dana, " T e x t b o o k of M i n e r a l o g y , " John W i l e y & Sons, N e w York, N. Y., 4t h Ed., pp. 273-274 (1932). Re vi se d by W. E. Ford.

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value of knowing what you are talking tions, materials, age, and curing history
about. The standard tests do not always offer the logical basis for comparison and
supply information that permits dis- extrapolation; laboratory specimens
crimination between one piece of con- made to be examined or salvaged just
crete and another, but direct obser- after compression tests provide a good
vation on the relevant scale does supply source of such comparative material.
it. There are n possible concretes all Specimens exposed to laboratory air out-
having 2-in. slumps determined ac- side the moist room or curing tank for
cording to ASTM Method C 143, * with more than a few hours are not suitable,
air contents of 5 per cent determined because specimens that are cracked or
according to ASTM Method C 231, a with that have slender cross-sections some-
4500-psi compressive strength at 28 times carbonate very rapidly. Specimens
days determined according to ASTM exposed to simulated weathering tests,
Method C 39, 3 but the No. 2 cylinder in or wetting-and-drying cycles, or pro-
the set of 3 broken on day A in labora- longed drying, even at room temperature,
tory B is unique, perceptibly and logi- should not be considered as representa-
cally, from Nos. 1 and 3, and from tive of standard curing or natural
all the members of the other possible weathering.
sets, and the top is different from the
bottom as cast. The salient lesson from INTERPRETATIONOF OBSERVATIONS
the study of composition and fabric of
Normal Concrete:
concrete is the individuality and unique-
ness of each structure or part of a struc- The most valuable information that
ture, of each specimen, of each thin can be obtained by petrographic exam-
section; this individual combination of ination of concrete comes from the
fabric and composition reflects the his- examination of normal concrete; only b y
tory and uniquely conditions the future comparison with the range of constitu-
of the concrete. I t should be clear that ents and fabrics in normal concrete can
what is investigated at any time is that which differs from the normal be
particular concrete, not concrete in gen- recognized and specified. Unless it can
eral. Each structure and each part of a be demonstrated that the constituents,
Structure is unique in terms of contents, or the proportions of constituents, or the
fabric, history, and exposure. fabric, depart from those found in
serviceable concrete of the age and class
Comparisons: in the region, there is no logical basis
To say that each structure and speci- for assuming any connection between
men is unique does not mean that com- constituents, or proportions, or fabric,
parisons are useless or impossible; they and service behavior. Even when it can
are essential, and concretes can be be shown that a concrete has a peculiar
rationally grouped and usefully com- service record and some unique feature
pared within classes and between classes, or features not shared by a dozen others
if the basis for the grouping is obiective. of comparable class, age, and prove-
Each comparison is an abstraction that nance, it remains to be seen whether the
leaves out of account some character- unique feature and the peculiar service
istics of the things compared, so that it is record are causally connected, or whether
necessary to bear in mind that the both are related to some third or nth
accidentally or deliberately omitted fac- factor that is the effective cause of the
tors may prove to be important. Paste, behavior.
mortar, or concrete of known propor- For this discussion, "normal" con-
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stituents and fabrics are defined as age is known or unless one has younger
those present in serviceable concrete of and older concretes of otherwise com-
the class and age in the region. "Ser- parable characteristics, so that the age
viceable" is used instead of "unde- of the unknown may be estimated in
teriorated" because it {s possible to tell relation to the knowns, it may be im-
whether concrete in a structure is serv- possible to judge the significance of
ing as it was intended to, but the criteria observations. As an example, in one case
that distinguish inevitable chemical and calcium sulfoaluminate was found in
physical changes from deterioration in many voids as far as 5 in. from the outer
concrete 20 or 50 years old have not surfaces of a concrete pavement of high
been established. flexural and compressive strength and of
unknown age. In other field concrete
Class of Concrete: from the region, calcium sulfoaluminate
The restriction to concrete of one is commonly present in concrete over
class is necessary because changes in five years old made with type I or type
cement content, water-cement ratio, and I I I cement, but it is not abundant and
maximum size of aggregate large enough is confined to voids near outer surfaces.
to change the class entail such large If the concrete of unknown age is in
changes in properties that no close com- fact five or seven years old, it differs
parison will be significant. If, for ex- conspicuously from others of compa-
ample, the criteria for paving concrete rable age and class in the region and the
are applied to mass concrete, it would difference probably justifies some con-
appear that all mass concrete is very cern about its future; if it is 15 years old,
inferior, which it is not for the purpose it is peculiar but the peculiarity is
it is intended to serve. Class of con- probably of less practical importance.
crete is important in the definition as it
implies relative homogeneity in mixture Provenance of Concrete:
proportions, particularly in water-ce- Restriction to one region promotes
ment ratio, cement factor, and maxi- rational comparison from several points
mum size of aggregate. I t is possible by of view. The aggregates economically
microscopic methods to sort mass con- available in an area are determined by
cretes that are fairly homogeneous in the regional geology and consequently
cement content and water-cement ratio show some homogeneity of composition
into order of increasing age, or it is resulting from similarity of origin and
possible to sort mass concretes fairly history. In a particular region, cements
homogeneous in age in order of increas- and aggregates economically available
ing cement content. In terms of the are made into concrete and exposed to
ability to sort mass concrete micro- the climate characteristic of the region--
scopically, fairly homogeneous in cement the prevailing temperature range and
content and water-cement ratio means a temperature frequency distribution and
maximum difference in cement content the characteristic amount and sequence
of about 0.5 bags per cu yd, and 0.1 by of precipitation. The extent of a region
weight or 1.13 gal per bag in water- of comparable concrete m a y vary from
cement ratio. a few square miles to many thousands,
Age of Concrete: depending on variation in: (1) regional
geology as it determines quantity and
Some restriction on the ages of con- uniformity of aggregate supply; (2)
cretes compared is necessary unless age topography---a region of low relief and
is the variable being studied. Unless the generally uniform slope such as the
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Great Plains, or the Atlantic or Gulf A. What process or processes could

Coastal Plain, has widespread, essentially produce the described results?
comparable range and distribution of B. What observable traces could the
temperature and precipitation, but in a process or processes leave in the con-
region of high relief and broken slopes, crete?
temperature varies considerably with C. Would such traces be unique and
altitude, and precipitation with orienta- specific evidence of what is supposed to
tion to prevailing winds, making im- have happened?
portant differences in exposure over Let us consider, for example, two 6 by
short distances~ and (3) patterns of dis- 12-in. cylinders made at a field project
tribution of aggregates and cement from during the winter; the 28-day strengths
competitive sources. were 885 and 1025 psi, less than 25 per
An additional influence that may ap- cent of the strengths obtained from
pear is a prevailing engineering opinion, earlier and later cylinders made, cured,
in an organization placing concrete in a and tested under presumably similar
large area, on what is desirable in mix- conditions; the resident engineer sus-
ture proportions or methods of placing pects an overdose of air-entraining
or consolidation. In building gravity agent.
dams the Corps of Engineers restricts
the height of a single lift to 5 to 789ft (19), A. Processes That Could Produce Results:
while the Hydroelectric Power Com- (1) Excessive air-content does lower
mission of Ontario has placed gravity compressive strength; this reduction is so
dams up to 70 ft high in one continuous drastic as to require an excess of great
operation (2o). The intention in the magnitude as a sufficient cause. Mis-
first case is to minimize generation of takes in batching, such as (2) too little
heat and in the second to eliminate cement, (3) too much water, and (4)
horizontal construction joints. Such early freezing are other obvious possibil-
differences in emphasis entail differences ities.
in mixture proportions, plant, and con-
struction practice that are bound to B. Traces That These Processes Could
affect the fabric and character of the Leave:
concrete. The existence of satisfactory (1) Excessive air content can be
structures built in many different ways recognized at low magnification, and
underlines the need to define "normal" verified and quantified by comparison
concrete in objective and restricted with concrete of known air content and
terms. by count. (2) Too little cement can be
demonstrated by comparing thin or
E~MPLE polished sections from cylinders of nor-
Although the author considers that real strength and the same mixture and
the most important kind of petro- age, with sections from these cylinders,
graphic examination of concrete is the and finding substantially less cement in
examination of normal concrete, usually the low-strength cylinders. (3) Too much
the concrete that a petrographer is water should produce sedimentation,
asked to examine has behaved in an un- even in air-entrained concrete, and can
expected way. Before and during the be demonstrated by comparing thin
early stages of the examination, it is sections cut parallel with the placing
useful to sum up the information on direction from cylinders of normal
the history and behavior and ask: strength, of the same mixture and age,

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FIG. 1.--Void Size and Distribution in the Cement Paste Just Inside the Surface Skin, Bottom o!
Low-Strength Cylinder ( X 6).
This is the surface as received, with most of the surface skin rubbed off in handling. The void
wails can be broken with a fingernail. The sides of the cylinder show the same condition with filler
bubbles in some areas.

Fla. 2.--This Diamond-Sawed and Ground Slice of Air-Entrained Concrete ( X 6) Provides a

Comparison with Fig. 1.
The air content of the plastic concrete determined by pressure meter was 5.3 per cent; the air con-
tent of this hardened beam by micrometric count was 5.7 per cent. This surface is smoother than
the surfaces in the other photograph, but this concrete obviously has less than a third of the air
content of the other.
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with sections cut in the same orientation goes about asking relevant questions
from these cylinders, and finding prob- that can be answered by petrographic
ably a little less unhydrated cement, evidence. The general question in ex-
with a large development of calcium hy- amination of hardened concrete with
droxide rims along the undersides of peculiar behavior is: does this concrete
aggregate in the low strength cylinders. differ significantly from comparable nor-
(4) Freezing before final set may leave mal concrete, with respect to one or
imprints of ice crystals recognizable at more properties that may be shown to
low magnification. be causally connected with its behavior?
The generalized form of the null hy-
C. Unique and Specific Evidence: pothesis is that the concrete falls within
Lacking the necessary comparative the normal range in respect to a certain
material--cylinders of normal strength property or properties.
and similar age and history from the Of the four mechanisms considered,
same mixture--it is impossible to prove three should produce recognizable traces
petrographically that a large part of the in amounts that can at least be approxi-
cement was left out or that a large ex- mated. The freezing-before-final-set hy-
cess of water was put in. By making three pothesis was poorly defined in effects
sets of specimens from one mixture, one and their magnitude. The ability to be
set with normal proportions, one with quantitative and the ability to obtain
reduced cement, one with added water, confirmation by nonmicroscopic means
curing all three in standard conditions, differed in the three hypotheses. Air
breaking part in compression, and sec- content is specified in a numerical range,
tioning companion specimens, a strong in this case, 4 to 7 per cent measured at
presumption might be established that the mixer. Brown and Pierson (4) have
one of the two working hypotheses was shown and others confirmed that meas-
correct; it would not be conclusive urements of the air content of plastic
proof. Demonstration that the concrete concrete and micrometric determinations
froze before final set would depend on of the air content of the same concrete
finding the imprint of the ice crystals. allowed to set undisturbed agree very
Excessive air content, on the other hand, closely. If concrete with 7 per cent air
can be qualitatively and quantitatively was produced and if a generous allowance
demonstrated without ambiguity. for field and laboratory error is made, it
It is to be hoped that the resident would still be most surprising to find
engineer in our example is right, for the more than 10 per cent air in a supposedly
other possibilities that suggest them- normal cylinder from this project. The
selves would be harder to establish. low strengths were in the range of
In fact, examination of broken surfaces, strengths of moist-cured foamed neat
outer surfaces, and sawed slices showed cement (21). With this background we
that the air content of the concrete was conclude that unless the low strength
phenomenally high, around 25 per cent cylinders have an air content above 20
(Fig. 1) by comparison with concrete of per cent, the excessive air hypothesis
known air content (Fig. 2). The air con- could not be accepted as an adequate
tent was so high and the thin walls of explanation of the strengths. The hy-
paste between the air voids so fragile pothesis can be quantitatively expressed,
that the low strengths were explained and the quantities can be measured in
adequately by this evidence alone. more than one independent way; the
This example illustrates how one magnitudes involved can be distin-

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guished by anyone who can see through a information, and a decrease in the con-
stereoscopic microscope and ask "What fidence that may be placed in the answer.
relation does the air content of A bear to I t does not belittle the petrographer to
the air content of C?" admit that he cannot make bricks with-
The quantitative aspects of both forms out straw; neither can the chemist or
of the batching-mistakes hypothesis be- the physicist or the engineer; sometimes
long to a realm that is not so well ex- he can recover evidence not accessible
plored and in which data are less easily by the other approaches. Several rea-
verified by independent means. The sons appear to make reconstructions of
volume of cement in the original mixture the history of deteriorated field con-
and the volume of calcium hydroxide at crete a difficult problem; in any particu-
a given stage in hydration can be calcu- lar instance it may be important, and
lated by making certain assumptions impossible in the present state of our
which in this example could not be knowledge, to decide what weight be-
confirmed. However, given comparable longs to each.
cylinders of normal strength, the First, deteriorated field concrete that
omitted-cement hypothesis could be is referred to a laboratory or to a petrog-
checked by comparing sections from the rapher is not concrete that has failed
normal concrete with sections from the for one single obvious cause; such
low-strength concrete to see whether failures can be and are explained on the
there was a difference between the spot to the satisfaction of the field forces.
amount of unhydrated cement per unit The field concrete that is examined by a
area. If the difference were to provide a petrographer is concrete that has wor-
satisfactory explanation, it would be ried some responsible person enough to
fairly large and should be perceptible to make the effort and expense of sampling
an observer able to recognize unhydrated and testing appear justified. There is a
cement in thin or polished sections. built-in bias in the sampling process.
Some petrographers might choose to Normally, the concrete that a petrog-
count a group of 300 to 500 points on a rapher sees as part of his assigned duties
section of each kind, to obtain a result is controversial concrete sent in by or-
that can be expressed as a number, with ganizations with alert conscientious con-
the understanding that the sample was crete technologists. In practice, this
not adequate; others would prefer to generally means that he sees only the
look at several areas and express the re- poor concrete produced with better than
sults as"more t h a n . . . , " "less t h a n . . . , " average control. The worst concrete is
or "no difference recognized." The pro-
rarely sampled and sent to a petrog-
cedure in checking the extra-water hy-
rapher; good concrete is rarely contro-
pothesis is similar, but would concern
the development of calcium hydroxide
Second, the older the concrete, the
rims along undersides of fine aggregate.
less information is likely to exist about
RECONSTRUCTION OF HISTORY OF FIELD materials, proportions, conditions of
CONCRETE placing, and the characteristics that un-
The transition from examinations like deteriorated comparable concrete would
the example of the two cylinders to have. Although one can deduce from
examinations of concrete that has de- the concrete that water-cement ratio
teriorated in service involves an increase was high or low, and usually that ce-
of complexity, a decrease in available ment factor was high or low or medium,

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and the general quality of the workman- stored in room conditions in one labora-
ship, one cannot reconstruct the alkali tory.
content of the cement. Aggregate sources, 2. Accelerated freezing and thawing
particularly of natural sand and gravel, in water in equipment hke that re-
can be located from their composi- quired by ASTM Method C 2903 pro-
t i o n - t h e constituents present and their duces a characteristic loss of surface skin
size distribution are diagnostic of the and loss of mortar, which is not like the
region and sometimes of the particular condition of specimens exposed on the
source. mean-tide rack at Eastport, Maine (22).
Third, deteriorated field concrete usu- Some field concrete deteriorated by
ally shows superimposed traces of natural freezing and thawing develops
several processes, with at least one in an sets of subparallel cracks normal to the
advanced stage. The most advanced placing direction of the concrete; this
process may conceal the evidence of phenomenon is not reproduced in ac-
others that were more important in celerated freezing and thawing in water.
effect. Frequently the most conspicuous 3. In our experience, concrete sent in
process is carbonation of outer surfaces for examination because it is suspected
and along the borders of old cracks. of cement-aggregate reaction usually
Fourth, laboratory test exposures are has much more advanced conspicuous
simplified compared to natural expo- internal symptoms of reaction than are
sures by the exclusion of some factors found inside mortar bars of expansive
and the regulation of those retained, and combinations examined after test ac-
often are "accelerated" by altering some cording to ASTM Method C 227. On the
factor so as to remove it from the range other hand, there has been concrete
possible in nature. Consequently, a from several field instances of unex-
laboratory procedure may result in plained deterioration recognized when
symptoms different from the symptoms the concrete was over 20 years old, where
encountered in a field example of the slight and inconspicuous signs of ce-
process the test is intended to simulate. ment-aggregate reaction appeared on
As examples: careful examination, and concrete re-
1. In field concrete examined at the garded as undeteriorated in which simi-
Waterways Experiment Station, the lar inconspicuous evidence of cement-
secondary calcium carbonate near outer aggregate reaction could be found.
surfaces and old cracks has usually been Fifth, we do not yet know enough
calcite without external crystal form, but about the compounds that hold concrete
Vaterite A (spherulitic form-birefringent together. The knowledge resulting from
calcite with interstitial water) is common progress in studies of the physical prop-
on mortar bars examined after test ac- erties of cement paste (23, 24, 25) can be
cording to ASTM Method C 227, 8
integrated with the knowledge developing
and has been found on freezing-and-
from the synthesis and diagnostic charac-
thawing test beams examined after test.
ters of hydrous calcium silicates that
At present we do not know whether the
absence of Vaterite A in field concrete form below 100 C (n, 12, 13, 15, 1~, 17).
means that it is knocked off in sampling, The use of X-ray and electron diffrac-
does not form in the field, or does form tion, the electron microscope, and dif-
and gradually changes to calcite. The ferential thermal analysis in connection
spherulitic form persists at least for with the direct techniques offers the
several months in laboratory specimens chance of determining whether there are

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qualitative differences in hydration prod- present, or differences in submicroscopic

ucts present, or q u a n t i t a t i v e differences fabric, t h a t are related to serviceable
in proportions of h y d r a t i o n products a n d deteriorated concrete.

(1) K. Mather, "Applications of Light Micros- ment and Concrete Assn., London, pp. 216-
copy in Concrete Research," Symposium 236 (1954); discussion by P. M. de Wolff,
on Light Microscopy, Am. Soc. Testing L. Heller, W. H. Taylor, H. D. Megaw,
Mats., p. 51 (1953). (Issued as separate E. Thilo, A. Grudemo; A. E. Moore, R. H.
publication ASTM STP No. 143.) Bogue, F. M. Lea, and author, pp. 237-260.
(2) L. S. Brown, "Some Observations on the (11) H. F. W. Taylor, "Hydrated Calcium Sili-
Mechanics of Alkali-Aggregate Reaction," cates. Part I. Compound Formation at
ASTM BULLETIN, No. 205, April, 1955, p. Ordinary Temperatures," Journal, Chem-
40 (TP66). ical Soc. (London), December, 1950, pp.
(3) - - , and R. W. Carlson, "Petrographic 3682-3690.
Studies of Hydrated Cements," Proceed- , "Hydrated Calcium Silicates. Part V.
ings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 36, The Water Content of Calcium Silicate
Part II, p. 332 (1936). Hydrate (I)," January, 1953, pp. 163-174.
(4) - - , and C. U. Pierson, "Linear Traverse (12) L. Holler and H. F. W. Taylor, "Hydrated
Technique for Measurement of Air in Calcium Silicates. Part II. Hydrothermal
Hardened Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Reactions: Lime:Silica Ratio 1:1," Jour-
Concrete Inst., Vol. 47, pp. 117-123 (1951). nal, Chemical Soc. (London), September,
T. F. Willis, K. Mather, L. S. Brown, and 1951, pp. 2397-2401.
C. U. Pierson, discussion of paper by Brown , "Hydrated Calcium Silicates. Part
and Pierson (4), ibid., pp. 124-1-124-7. III. Hydrothermal Reactions of Mixtures
T. F. Willis, "Measuring Air in Hardened of Lime:Silica Molar Ratio 3:2," March,
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Concrete 1952, pp. 1018-1020.
Inst., Vol. 48, pp. 901-903 (1952). , "Hydrated Calcium Silicates. Part
K. Mather, "Measuring Air in Hardened IV. Hydrothermal Reactions: Lime: Silica
Concrete," Proceedings,Am. Concrete Inst., Ratios 2:1 and 3 :i," July, 1952, pp. 2535-
Vol. 49, pp. 61-64 (1953). 2541.
(5) L. T. Brownmilier, "The Microscope (13) ~[. W. Jeffery, "Apparatus and Methods
Structure of Hydrated Portland Cement," Employed in the X-ray Examination of
Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 39, Cement Compounds at Birkbeck College
pp. 193-210 (1943). Research Laboratories," Magazine of Con-
(6) B. Mather, "Cracking of Concrete in the crete Research, No. 2, June, 1949, pp. 99-
Tuscaloosa Lock," Proceedings, Highway
Research Board, Vol. 31, pp. 218-233 (14) J. D. Bernal, J. W. Jeffery, and H. F. W.
(1952). Taylor, "Crystallographic Research on the
Hydration of Portland Cement, a First
(7) D. McConnell, R. C. Mielenz, W. Y. Hol- Report," Magazine of Concrete Research,
land, and K. T. Greene, "Cement-Aggre- No. 11, October, 1952, pp. 49-54.
gate Reaction in Concrete," Proceedings, (15) G. L. Kalousek, "Application of Differen-
Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 44, pp. 93-128 tial Thermal Analysis in a Study of the
(1948). System Lime-Silica-Water," Proceedings of
(8) R. D. Terzaghi, "Concrete Deterioration in the Third International Symposium on the
a Shipway," Proceedings, Am. Concrete Chemistry o/Cement, London, 1952, Cement
Inst., Vol. 44, pp. 977-1005 (1948). and Concrete Assn., London, pp. 296-311
(9) R. H. Bogue, "The Chemistry of Portland (1954).
Cement," Reinhold Publishing Co., New (16) R. W. Nurse and H. F. W. Taylor, discus-
York, N. Y., 2nd Ed. (1955). (Unpublished sion, ibid., pp. 311-318.
work by G. W. Ward, pp. 607-615.) (17) E. B. Knopf, "Structural Petrology," Mem-
(10) J. D. Bernal, "The Structures of Cement oir 6, Geological Society of America,"
Hydration Compounds," Proceedings of the New York, N. Y., p. 12 (1938). (Trans-
Third International Symposium on the lated from Bruno Sander, "Gefugekunde
Chemistry of Cement, London, (1952), Co- der Gesteine.")

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(18) T. C. Powers, discussion, Proceedingsof the Treat Island, Maine," Proceedings, Am.
Third International Symposium on the Concrete Inst., Vol. 50, pp. 141-172 (1953).
Chemistry of Cement, London, 1952, Cement (23) T. C. Powers and T. L. Brownyard,
and Concrete Assn., London, pp. 426427 "Studies of the Physical Properties of
(1954). Hardened Portland Cement Paste," Pro-
(19) Corps of Engineers, Office, Chief of En- ceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 43, pp.
gineers, "Standard Practice for Concrete" 101-132, 249-336, 469-504, 549-602, 669-
(Preliminary), Chapter 5, p. 86 (1953). 712, 845-880, 933-992 (1947).
(20) R. B. Young, "Frost-Resistant Concrete," (24) T. C. Powers, "The Air-Requirement of
Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 36, Frost-Resistant Concrete," Proceedings,
pp. 477-490 (1940). Highway Research Board, %7ol.29, pp. 184-
(21) R. C. Valore, Jr., "Cellular Concretes 202 (1949).
Part 2," Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., (25) T. C. Powers and R. A. Helmuth, "Theory
Vol. 50, p. 820 (1954). of Volume Changes in Hardened Portland
(22) T. B. Kennedy, and K. Mather, "Correla- Cement Paste During Freezing," Proceed-
tion Between Laboratory Accelerated ings, Highway Research Board, Vol. 32,
Freezing and Thawing and Weathering at p. 285 (1953).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete



Tests to determine strength are un- or durability. And finally, the concrete-
doubtedly the most common type made making properties of the various in-
to evaluate the properties of hardened gredients of the mix are usually measured
concrete. There are three reasons for this: in terms of the compressive strength.
(a) The strength of concrete, in com-
pression, tension, shear, or a combination Test Specimens:
of these, has in most cases a direct in- Test specimens to determine the com-
fluence on the load-carrying capacity of pressive strength of concrete are gener-
both plain and reinforced structures. ally obtained from four different sources:
(b) Of all the properties of hardened con- (a) cylinders made in the laboratory, (b)
crete, those concerning strength can cylinders made in the field, (c) cores of
usually be determined most easily. (c) hardened concrete cut from structures,
By means of correlations with other more and (d) portions of beams broken in
complicated tests, the results of strength flexure (modified cubes). Each type of
tests can be used as a qualitative indica- test specimen has a specific purpose or
tion of other important properties of purposes.
hardened concrete. Cylinders made in the laboratory
constitute a large portion of the com-
COgPI~ESSlVE STRENGa'E pression test specimens. Their purpose
Significance of Compressive Strength: is twofold: first, in research, to determine
the effect of variations in materials or
The compressive strength of concrete conditions of manufacture, storage, or
is one of its most important and useful testing on the strength and other prop-
properties and one of the most easily erties of concrete; and, second, as con-
determined. In most structural applica- trol tests in conjunction with (a) tests
tions, concrete is employed primarily to on plain or reinforced concrete members
resist compressive stresses. In those or structures, or (b) tests to determine
cases where strength i n tension or in other properties of hardened concrete.
shear is of primary importance, the com- The ASTM Method of Making and
pressive strength is frequently used as Curing Concrete Compression and
a measure of these properties. Similarly, Flexure Test Specimens in the Labora-
the compressive strength is used as a tory (C 192) 2 describes in detail methods
measure of the over-all quality of the for preparation and examination of the
concrete and thus as an indication of constituent material; proportioning and
other properties relating to deformations mixing of concrete; determining the con-
sistency of the mix; and molding, curing,
1Associate Professor of Theoretical and Ap- and capping of the specimens. The
plied Mechanics, and Research Professor of
Civil Engineering, respectively, University of
Illinois, Urbana, Ill. 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.
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standard test specimen is a cylinder to determine the modulus of rupture,

having a height twice its diameter. as in highway construction, since the
The procedure for making standard broken portions of these beams may be
cylinders in the field is described in the used to determine the compressive
ASTM Standard Method of Making strength. The ASTM Standard Method
and Curing Concrete Compression and of Test for Compressive Strength of
Flexure Test Specimens in the Field Concrete Using Portions of Beams
(C 31). 2 The purpose of cylinders made Broken in Flexure (C 116) 2. describes
in the field may be to check the adequacy the procedure and apparatus necessary
of the laboratory mix design, to de- to determine compressive strength by
termine when a structure may be put in what is called the modified cube method.
service, or to measure and control the The projection of the beam beyond the
quality of the concrete. The curing used loading plates in the modified cube test
will depend on the purpose of the test. may affect the strength, yielding a lower
Cores are often drilled from hardened value if the projection is less than 2 in.;
concrete when the results of the standard if the projection is greater than 2 in.,
test cylinders are unsatisfactory or when there will probably be no significant
investigations are made of old structures. effect. It would be desirable to have a
The ASTM Standard Method of Secur- correction factor which could be applied
ing, Preparing, and Testing Specimens to the modified cube strength to give
from Hardened Concrete for Compres- the cylinder strength. Although results
sive and Flexural Strengths (C 42) 2 of investigations in general do not agree
covers the procedure for securing and on any one correction factor (4), it should
testing the cylindrical cores which are be possible, for a specific set of circum-
most commonly used for determining stances, to obtain and use a specific cor-
compressive strength. The core should be rection factor.
cut in such a manner that when the test
Making Test Specimens:
load is applied it wiU act in the same
direction as the service load. The ratio The compressive strength is affected
of height to diameter of cores may vary, by many variables encountered in the
and only seldom will it be possible to making of test specimens. These include
obtain a height to diameter ratio of two. size of aggregate, size and shape of test
ASTM Method C 42 gives correction specimen, compaction of concrete, type
factors for converting the strength of of mold, capping procedure and material,
a test core to that of a standard cylinder curing, temperature, and moisture con-
with a height to diameter ratio of two. tent at the time of test.
It should be realized that the magnitude It is generally accepted that the di-
of this correction may depend on the age, ameter of the test specimen should be
strength, mL,:, and moisture content of at least three times the nominal size of
the core at the time of test (1, 2, 3).3 the coarse aggregate. A 6 by 12-in. cyl-
The modified cube test is the most inder is the standard for aggregate
recent of the various test methods for smaller than 2 in. If the aggregate is too
determining the compressive strength of large for the size of mold available, the
concrete. It is particularly useful in oversize aggregate may be removed by
cases where beam specimens are made wet screening (5, 6). If a mold having
a diameter less than three times the
8 The boldface numbers in parentheses refer maximum size of the aggregate is used,
to the list of references appended to this paper,
see p. 91. the compressive strength will be lowered.

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However, a larger mold may be used; required for each mix, depending mainly
in some cases molds as large as 36 in. on its workability.
in diameter have been used for con- Capping is one of the most important
cretes containing very large aggregates, steps in the preparation of test speci-
such as those used in dam construction. mens. The capping material may be neat
Attention must be called to the fact portland-cement paste, high-strength
that the size of the cylinder itself affects gypsum plaster, or sulfur compounds
the observed compressive strength; for (51); in some cases the ends of the speci-
example, the strength of a cylinder 36 mens may be ground to a smooth surface.
in. in diameter by 72 in. high may be The cap should be as thin as possible
only about 82 per cent of that of a stand- and must be at least as strong as the
ard 6 by 12-in. cylinder. A reduction in concrete. After capping, the ends of the
the size of the specimen below that of the specimen should be parallel, perpendic-
standard 6 by 12-in. cylinder will yield ular to the axis of the specimen, and
a somewhat greater compressive strength plane. If the ends are more than 3 deg
(1, ~). out of parallel, the strength may be
Cylinder molds should be of non- adversely affected, and only a slight
absorbent material and are generally of amount of convexity or concavity of the
steel; however, cardboard molds are ends is sufficient to cause a decrease in
quite often used in the field. Although strength of the test specimen (9, lO).
the cardboard is heavily paraffined, in Modified cube specimens are tested with
most cases it absorbs part of the water the load applied vertically to the speci-
in the concrete mixture. The use of men in the as-cast position; for this
cardboard molds may lower the com- reason the specimen should be capped
pressive strength on the average about on both top and bottom.
3 per cent, and reductions as great as Concrete can gain in strength only as
9 per cent have been noted (7, 8). The long as moisture is available and used
exact reason for this is not known, al- for hydration (11). The standard curing
though it may be due partly to expansion conditions require that the specimen be
of the mold during the setting period of held at a temperature of 65 to 75 F and
the concrete as the result of absorption in the "moist condition" until the time
by the cardboard of water from the mix. of the test. "Moist condition" is defined
Other things being equal, a test cyl- as that in which free water is maintained
inder of poorly compacted concrete will on the surfaces of the specimen. Any
have a lower strength than one that is variation from this procedure may pro-
properly compacted. Thus, it is neces- duce a specimen having a different
sary for the standard methods to specify strength from that which would be pro-
procedures for rodding or compacting duced under standard conditions.
the concrete in the test mold. The Cylinders to be used for quality con-
methods specify that the concrete should trol should be cured according to the
be placed in the mold in three layers, standard conditions; however, cylinders
each layer being rodded with 25 strokes made in the field and tested to measure
of a }-in. diameter rod. This procedure the strength of the concrete in the struc-
is not expected to produce optimum ture may be cured in the same manner
compaction but is used in order to permit as the structure. Concrete cores are
reproducibility of results by different generally taken from partially dry con-
technicians. To obtain optimum com- crete, but the moisture content may vary
paction, a different procedure would be considerably. To obtain a degree of uni-

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formity in the test specimen at the time is required on one end, and the specimen
of test, Method C 422 requires that cores should be carefully centered on this bear-
be soaked in water at room temperature ing block. Any eccentricity will tend to
for 40 to 48 hr immediately prior to being decrease the strength of the test speci-
tested and that they be tested wet. The men, the amount of decrease being
standard test for cylinders, C 39~, re- greater for low-strength than for high-
quires that they be tested wet also. If strength concretes (9).
other conditions are equal, the compres- The temperature at the time of test
sive strength of concrete cylinders or infuences the compressive strength. As
cores tested dry will be greater than that the temperature is increased, the strength
of comparable specimens tested wet (12), obtained in the test is decreased (18).
Curing temperature affects the rate For the range of temperature normally
of hydration of concrete; therefore, the encountered indoors, however, this effect
temperature of curing under standard is probably negligible.
conditions is specified as mentioned
previously. Generally speaking, low Significance of Results:
temperatures tend to give low strengths The compressive strength of concrete
whereas high temperatures give higher as determined from a standard cylinder
strengths, provided the specimens are which may be cured in the same manner
cast at the curing temperature. If the as the concrete in the structure will give
concrete is cast at a temperature lower an indication of the quality of the con-
than the curing temperature, the result- crete in the structure but not necessarily
ing strength will be higher than that the strength. The strength of concrete
obtained if both temperatures are the in a structure may be different from
same, and vice v e r s a (13, 14). that of the same concrete in a test cyl-
inder because of differences in size,
Test Procedure: shape, position of casting, degree of
Once the test specimen is made, the compaction, and conditions of restraint.
method by which it is tested may further Lack of knowledge regarding the re-
affect the strength obtained. Some of the lationship between the strengths of con-
more important influences are the rate crete in a cylinder and in a structure
of loading, the eccentricity of loading, requires the use of a larger factor of
and the temperature at the time of test. safety than would otherwise be necessary.
The strength of concrete increases as The compressive strength of concrete
the rate of loading is increased (15, 16, under long-sustained load is less than
17). For this reason the ASTM Standard that determined by the standard test
Method of Test for Compressive Strength method (19). Tests indicate also that
of Molded Concrete Cylinders (C 39), 2 a sustained stress less than about 70
which applies also to tests of cores, per cent of the short-time strength will
specifies that the rate of loading /or have little effect on the compressive
screw-powered machines shall be 0.05 strength developed in a subsequent
in. per rain and for hydraulic machines short-time static test (20).
20 to 50 psi per sec. However, the first Compressive strength may be used
half of the load may be applied at a faster also as a qualitative measure of other
rate. properties of hardened concrete. No
To insure that a central and uniformly exact quantitative relationships between
distributed load is applied to the speci- compressive strength and flexural
men, a spherically seated bearing block strength, tensile strength, modulus of

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elasticity, wear resistance, fire resistance, dimensions might be desirable in some

or permeability have been established, cases. Because of the large size of speci-
nor are they likely to be. However, ap- men used, the large testing machines re-
proximate or statistical relationships quired are usually capable of applying
(21) in some cases have been established, load at a rate ranging from only a few
and these give much useful information cycles a day to 500 cpm. Thus it takes
to the engineer. It should be emphasized a minimum of two weeks to several
that the compressive strength gives only months to apply as many as 10 million
an approximation to the values of these cycles of load. Because of the time in-
properties and that other tests specifi- volved, the specimens are generally aged
cally designed to determine these prop- and air-dried before being tested in
erties should be used if more precise order to prevent gain of strength during
results are required. the test.
Compressive tests aid in the selection
of ingredients that may be used in mak-
ing concrete. Compressive strength is Significance of Tensile and Flexural
a measure of the effect of admixtures Strength:
which may be beneficial for one purpose, Flexural tension is most commonly
such as waterproofing, but may be detri- developed in beams and slabs as the
mental to strength and perhaps to result of loads, temperature changes,
durability. In evaluating the efficiency shrinkage, and in some cases moisture
of concrete mixers, the compressive changes. The case of simple uniaxial
strength test is frequently the principal tension is rarely encountered in struc-
criterion used, and sometimes the only tures or members, and can be obtained
one. in laboratory tests only with difficulty.
Fatigue Strength: However, significant principal tension
stresses may be associated with multi-
Concrete will, when subjected to re- axial states of stress in walls, shells, or
peated load, fail at a load smaller than deep beams.
its static strength. The fatigue strength Concrete is weak in tension, the tensile
of air-dry concrete in compression, at strength usually being between one-
about 1 to 2 million cycles of load, is eighth and one-twelfth the compressive
between 50 and 55 per cent of the static strength. Cracks occurring in concrete
strength (22, 23). There is evidence from are caused by tensile failures, and this
tests on mortars that if the concrete alone makes the tensile strength of con-
were saturated with water the fatigue crete quite important. Failures in non-
strength would be lower than for air-dry reinforced concrete beams are necessarily
concrete (24). The above value is for tensile failures.
a range of stress from zero to a maximum;
decreasing the range will increase the Test Specimens:
fatigue strength (25). No standard test has been developed
Tests for fatigue of concrete should for axial tension tests of concrete. How-
be made on specimens as large as pos- ever, for research purposes, concrete
sible in order to decrease the influence has been tested for tension in many ways:
of lack of homogeneity. The ClOSS- in the form of large briquets (26, 27),
section of the specimen should be at with clamps on the ends of cylindrical
least three times the maximum nominal specimens (28) or on specimens with
size of the aggregate, and even larger enlarged ends (zg, 30), and with the load

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applied to the concrete through em- dimension at least three times the
bedded bars (31). Doubt about the uni- maximum nominal size of the coarse
formity of stress distribution in many aggregate. The span of the specimen
of these tests causes the results to be re- should be at least three times the maxi-
garded with suspicion. Tension tests mum dimension of the cross-section. A
made by the methods indicated are dif- commonly used specimen is 6 by 6 in.
ficult to perform, and the individual in cross-section, 21 in. long, and is tested
results may vary considerably. The beam under third-point loading on a span of
test for flexural tension is probably the 18 in. As the depth of the beam is in-
simplest procedure for obtaining an creased, there will be a decrease in the
indication of the tensile strength. modulus of rupture (32, 33, 34).
Flexural tension tests may be made in The method by which the concrete
several ways, the most common being is compacted may affect its strength
the ASTM Standard Method of Test for (3S); consequently the ASTM standard
Flexural Strength of Concrete (Using methods specify the manner in which
Simple Beam with Third-Point Loading) the concrete should be placed in the
(C 78), 2 and the ASTM Tentative molds. Nevertheless, test specimens in-
Method of Test for Flexural Strength tended to represent the concrete in the
of Concrete (Using Simple Beam with structure have sometimes been com-
Center-Point Loading) (C 293). 2 The pacted by vibration when this method of
second method is for small specimens placement was used in the actual con-
and is not an alternate to the first which struction.
is normally for beams 6 by 6 in. or larger Curing affects the tensile strength in
in cross-section. The results of the flex- much the same manner as it affects the
ural tests are expressed by the formula: compressive strength (28). A beam which
has been allowed to dry during the curing
MG or storage period will have tensile
I stresses in the outer fibers as a result of
where: differential volume changes due to non-
uniform drying (36). For this reason,
R =the modulus of rupture, beams tested "dry" usually yield lower
M =the maximum bending moment, flexural strengths than those tested in
c =one half the depth of the beam, and the saturated condition. Consequently,
I ---
the moment of inertia of the cross- in tests to determine or control the
section. quality of concrete, uniformity of results
This expression is based on the assump- will be assured only if the beams are
tion that the stress varies linearly across cured in the standard manner and tested
the cross-section. Such is not the case, wet. Beams tested to determine when
however, and the modulus of rupture a structure should be put into service
computed from the formula is always should be cured as nearly as practicable
greater than the actual stress. in the same manner as the structure.

Making Test Specimens: Test Procedure:

ASTM Methods C 1922 and C 312 The arrangement of the loading device
prescribe the procedures for making and beam supports in the flexure test
flexural test specimens in the laboratory must be such that only transverse loads
and in the field. The specimens should are applied (37).
have a cross-section with a minimum Beams may be tested under either

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center-point or third-point loading. they should be turned on their sides

Third-point loading invariably gives before testing and will usually require
lower strengths than center-point load- capping because of the irregularity of
ing. Tests indicate the following order the sawn surfaces. In special cases where
of decreasing magnitude of the strengths sawn beams are tested to provide specific
obtained: (1) center loading, with mo- information regarding the strength or
ment computed at center; (2) center behavior of members from which they
loading, with moment computed at are obtained, it may be desirable to test
point of fracture; and (3) third-point them in the as-cast or inverted position
loading (33, 38, 39). Third-point loading rather than on their side as required by
probably gives lower strengths because Method C 78. However, there is no as-
the maximum moment is distributed over surance that the results of such tests
a greater length of the beam; since the can be correlated with data obtained
concrete is not homogeneous, this load- from beams tested in accordance with
ing method seeks the weakest section. C 78.
The rate of load application, unless
standardized, may cause considerable Significance of Results:
variation in the results of flexure tests,
Flexural test results appear to be most
the variation being as much as 15 per
useful in pavement construction. In
cent for the range of rates that may be
such cases, the flexure test rather than
obtained in the average laboratory.
the standard compression test is fre-
The higher rates of loading give higher
quently used to determine the quality
strengths (33, 40).
of the mix. Many agencies do not even
The moisture content of the specimen
make compression tests in connection
at the time of test affects the strength
with their pavement projects. The
determined, as discussed in the preceding
strength obtained from flexure tests is
section. If the specimen is to be used as
not necessarily a precise measure of the
a measure or control of the quality of
strength of the concrete in the structure,
the concrete, it should be tested wet;
even when the curing conditions are
if the specimen is to represent the con-
duplicated. Such tests are quite useful,
crete in the structure, however, it may
however, as an indication of when the
be tested at approximately the same
concrete has gained sufficient strength
moisture content as that in the structure.
that load may be applied or the forms
The temperature of a beam specimen
at the time of test will affect the results.
As the temperature increases, the
Fatigue Strength:
strength decreases (41).
ASTM Method C 783 specifies that the Failure under repeated loads is es-
specimen shall be turned on its side pecially important in pavement design
before being tested. If the molded sides The fatigue strength in flexure of plain
are plane and parallel, the specimen concrete at several million cycles is in
then does not need to be capped; how- the neighborhood of 55 per cent of its
ever, if the molds are not satisfactory, static strength, for a range of load from
the specimen must be capped. zero to a maximum (25, 45). Tests up to
ASTM Method C 78 is also prescribed 10 million cycles indicate that concrete
for tests of beams sawn from hardened may not have an endurance limit in the
concrete. When such beams are used same sense that metals do (43). If the
primarily as a control of concrete quality, repeated load is less than 55 per cent of

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the static strength, the static strength SHEARING AND TORSIONAL STRENGTIt
as determined from a subsequent test
will probably not be impaired. Significance of Shearing Strength:
The speed of testing in the range from The importance of shearing strength
70 to 440 rpm has been found to have no as a property of concrete is evident from
effect on the fatigue strength, nor is the the fact that the standard test cylinder,
strength apparently affected by periods tested in axial compression, nearly
of rest during the test. However, the always fails by shearing along an in-
age of the test specimen, conditions of clined plane. This type of failure, how-
curing, moisture content, and range of ever, occurs as a result of combined
stress may affect the results obtained. normal and shearing stresses on the
The value of 55 per cent for the ratio plane and is discussed further in the
of fatigue to static strength in typical section on Combined Stresses. The case
tests is that for specimens moist-cured for of pure shear acting on a plane is seldom
seven days and then stored in the labora- if ever encountered in actual structures.
tory air for at least three months before Nevertheless, it is discussed briefly here
testing. Specimens that have been cured in order to provide a better understand-
more thoroughly will yield higher fatigue ing of the problems encountered in
strengths than this value, and specimens attempts to determine shearing strength.
which are kept wet during the test period
will have much lower strengths, as low Pure Shear:
as 40 per cent of the static strength (22). The resistance of concrete to pure
Specimens tested at early ages have shearing stress has never been directly
somewhat lower strengths than those determined. Whenever a state of pure
tested at ages of six months or more (44). shearing stress is produced in a test
It is possible that some of the reduction specimen, it follows from the laws of
in fatigue strength may be due to the mechanics that principal tensile stresses,
higher moisture content of the specimens equal in magnitude to the shearing
tested at early ages. stresses, must also exist on another plane.
The range of stress has a definite effect Since the strength of concrete in tension
on fatigue strength. Most tests have is less than its strength in shear, failure
been made with the stress varying from inevitably occurs as a result of tensile
zero to maximum. If the range of stress stresses before the strength in shear is
is reduced, the fatigue strength at any reached. This type of test is consequently
given life will be raised significantly. of no value for determining shearing
However, a complete reversal of stress strength.
apparently does not yield results sig- Tests intended to provide data on
nificantly different from those obtained strength in pure shear have been made
in tests with the stress varying from on beams or slabs of very short spans
zero to a maximum. with the load applied very close to the
In general, the information on fatigue supports (4S). In some of these tests,
of concrete is meager and the effects the shearing strength has been found to
of various factors on fatigue strength be only slightly greater than the tensile
have not been reliably established to the strength,' probably because tensile
extent that they can be accepted without stresses were present on the plane of
question and without further investiga- failure as the result of bending, or be-
tion in any application for which fatigue cause of local crushing due to high bear-
is a significant factor. ing stresses. In other tests of this type,

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the shearing strength was found to be be greater than the tensile strength ob-
quite large, as much as 50 to 90 per cent tained from axial tension tests since the
or more of the compressive strength. In actual stress distribution is nonlinear.
these cases, it seems likely that com-
pressive stresses were present on the COMBINED STRESSES
plane of failure.
A reliable indication of the strength Significance of Combined Stresses:
of concrete in pure shear can be obtained Concrete in structures is almost never
only from tests under combined stresses, subjected to a single type of stress. Just
as discussed in the section on Combined as nearly all structural members are
Stresses. acted upon by various combinations of
moment, shear, and axial load, the con-
crete in them is usually subjected to some
The application of torsion alone to a combination of compressive, tensile,
concrete specimen produces pure shear- and shearing stresses.


FIG. 1.--Typical Molar Rupture Diagram for Concrete.

ing stresses on certain planes. However, Tesls:

as has been discussed previously, failure
There is no standard test for de-
under these conditions will occur in
termining the strength and mode of
tension rather than in shear. The strength
failure of concrete subjected to com-
of concrete subjected to torsion is re-
bined stresses. For purposes of research,
lated, therefore, to its tensile strength
relatively extensive tests have been made
rather than to its shearing strength. If
on cylindrical concrete specimens under
the test specimen is a hollow cylinder,
triaxial compression (46, 47, 48). Tests
for which the tensile stresses are dis-
have also been made with combinations
tributed nearly uniformly over the cross-
of axial tension and lateral compression
section, the tensile strength determined
(31), and torsion and axial compres-
from a torsion test will usually agree
quite closely with that obtained from sion (49).
direct tension tests. However, if the test
Results of Tests:
specimen is a solid cylinder, the tensile
stress at failure, computed by means of A convenient method of interpreting
the conventional torsion formula as- the results of tests under combined
suming a linear stress distribution, will stresses is by the Mohr rupture diagrams

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(Fig. 1). 4 The results of any given test stood only for conditions corresponding
under combined stresses can be repre- to that portion of the rupture diagram
sented on this diagram by the conven- to the right of the vertical axis.
tional "Mohr's circle," corresponding to The rupture line defines the limiting
the state of stress in the concrete at state of stress which can exist in the
failure. For example, circle a represents material before failure. If the combina-
the result of an unconfined compression tion and magnitudes of the stresses are
test such as the standard test cylinder; such that the Mohr's circle touches the
circle b is for an axial tension test; circle rupture line, failure will occur. For ex-
c is for the case of pure torsion; and ample, the standard cylinder tested in
circle d is representative of those ob- uniaxial compression will fail when the
tained in tests under triaxial compres- axial stress has been increased to such
sion. The results of tests under com- a value that circle a touches the rupture
bined torsion and axial compression line for the particular concrete being
would be represented by circles inter- tested. The cylinder fails on a plane on
mediate between circles c and a. which the normal and shearing stresses
Since all of the circles shown are repre- have the values given by the coordinates
sentative of the conditions at failure, the to the point at which the circle touches
envelope curve shown on Fig. 1 is the the rupture line. In the axial tension
rupture line. This line can be determined test, circle b, only tensile stresses are
for a particular concrete only by making present on the plane of failure. Similarly,
a series of tests with different combina- in the torsion test, represented by circle
tions of stress, yielding a set of circles c, failure presumably occurs on a plane
to which the rupture line must be for which the conditions are simliar to
tangent. The rupture line has been de- those in the tension test, since circles b
termined in this fashion in only rela- and c both touch the rupture line at the
tively few cases. In the most extensive same point.
investigations, only tests under triaxial The strength of concrete in pure shear
compression have been made. These that is, when no normal stresses a r e
tests yield results which are sufficient to present on the plane of failure--is the
define the rupture line only in the region stress ro in Fig. 1, measured to the inter-
to the right of the vertical axis. How- section of the rupture line with the verti-
ever, the rupture line has been extended cal axis On the basis of the available
to the vertical axis and beyond by test data, the value of the strength of
statistical procedures (4s) and by making concrete in pure shear is approximately
use of the circle for the axial tension 20 pe~ cent of the compressive strength
test (circle b) (So). The portion of the (48, 49, 50). The shearing strength when
rupture line in the neighborhood of the normal stresses also occur on the p l a n e
vertical axis may also be determined of failure may be greater or less than
from the results of tests under combined To, depending on whether the stresses
torsion and compression. At the present are compression or tension.
time, however, the strength characteris- The results represented b y a circle
tics of concrete under combined stresses such as d indicate that the axial com-
are reasonably well known and under- pressive strength of concrete is ap-
preciably increased by the existence of
l a t e r a l confining pressures such as those
4 For a discussion of Mohr's circle and
Mohr's rupture diagram, see paper by Richart, exerted by the spiral reinforcement in
Brandizaeg, and Brown (46), p. 11. a column. The increase in axial strength

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over the u n c o n f i n e d compressive s t r e n g t h fining pressures (46, 48) to a b o u t 2.5

ranges from as m u c h as 4 or 5 times the or 3 times t h a t stress for large confining
v a l u e of the lateral stress for small con- pressures (48).

(1) I'i. F. Gonnerman, "Effect of Size and Concrete," t~ngineering News-Record,
Shape of Test Specimen on Compressive October 14, 1937, p. 630.
Strength of Concrete," Proceedings, Am. (13) A. G. Timms and N. H. Withey, "Tempera-
Soc. Testing Mats, Vol. 25, Part II, p. 237 ture Effects on Compressive Strength of
(1925). Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Concrete
(2) James W. Johnson, "Effect of Height of Inst., Vol. 30, p. 159 (1934).
Test Specimens on Compressive Strength (14) A. G. Timms and N. H. Withey, "Further
of Concrete," ASTM BULLX~IN, No. 120, Studies of Temperature Effects on Com-
January, 1943, p. 19. pressive Strength of Concrete," Pro-
(3) John Tucker, Jr., "Effect of Length on the ceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 31, p.
Strength of Compression Test Specimens," 165 (1935).
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., (15) D. A. Abrams, "Effect of Rate of Applica-
Vol. 45, p. 976 (1945). tion of Load on the Compressive Strength
(4) Bryant Mather, "Effect of Type of Test of Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc.
Specimen on Apparent Compressive Testing Mats., Vol. XVII, Part II, p. 364
Strength of Concrete," Proceedings, Am. (1917).
Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 45, p. 802 (1945). (16) P. G. Jones and F. E. Richart, "The Effect
(5) F. R. McMilllan, "Suggested Procedure for of Testing Speed on the Strength and
Testing Concrete in Which the Aggregate Elastic Properties of Concrete," Pro-
is More Than One-Fourth the Diameter of ceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 36,
the Cylinders," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Part II, p. 360 (1936).
Testing Mats., Vol. 30, Part I, p. 521 (17) D. Watstein, "Effect of Straining Rate on
(1930). the Compressive Strength and Elastic
(6) "Effect of Wet-Screening to Remove Large Properties of Concrete," Proceedings Am.
Size Aggregate Particles on the Strength of Concrete Inst., Vol. 49, p. 729 (1953).
the Concrete," Corps of Engineers, Ohio (18) "Current Researches on Plain and Re-
River Division Laboratories, Mariemont, inforced Concrete and Related Materials,"
Ohio, January, 1953. Report of Committee 101, Survey of
(7) W. H. Price, "Factors Influencing Concrete Research, H. F. Gonnerman, Chairman,
Strength," Proceedings, Am. Concrete Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 27,
Inst., Vol. 47, p. 417 (1951). p. 498 (1931).
(8) R. A. Burmeister, "Tests of Paper Molds (19) J. R. Shank, "Plastic Flow of Concrete at
for Concrete Cylinders," Proceedings, Am. High Overload," Proceedings, Am. Concrete
Concrete Inst., Vol. 47, p. 17 (1951). Inst., Vol. 45, p. 493 (1949).
(9) tI. F. Gonnerman, "Effect of End Con- (20) R. E. Davis and H. E. Davis, "Flow of
dition of Cylinder in Compression Tests of Concrete Under the Action of Sustained
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Loads," Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Mats., Vol. 24, Part II, p. 1036 (1924). Vol. 27, p. 837 (1931).
(10) G. E. Troxelt, "The Effect of Capping (21) C. E. Kesler, '~Statistical Relation Be-
Methods and End Conditions Before tween Cylinder, Modified Cube, and Beam
Capping Upon the Compressive Strength Strength of Plain Concrete," Proceedings,
of Concrete Test Cylinders," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 54, p. 1178
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 41, p. 1038 (1954).
(1941). (22) W. K. Hart, "Researches in Concrete,"
(11) H. F. Gonnerman, "Some Tests on the Bulletin No. 24, Engineering Experiment
Effect of Age and Condition of Storage on Station, Purdue University (1925).
the Compressive Strength of Concrete," (23) J. L. Van Ornum, "Fatigue of Concrete,"
Proceedi,gs, Am. Concrete Inst., Vol. 14, Transactions, Am. Soe. Civil Engrs., Vol.
p. 101, (1918). 58, p. 294 (1907).
(12) H. J. Gilkey, "The Moist Curing of (24) M. O. Withey and G. W. Washa, "Ms-

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terials of Construction," John Wiley and (36) W. F. Keilerman, "The Effect of Curing
Sons, Inc., New York, N. Y. p. XV-24 Conditions on the Strength of Concrete
(1954). Test Specimens Containing Burnt Clay
(25) O. Graf and E. Brenner, "Versuche zur Aggregates," Public Roads, Vol. 18, No. 3,
Ermittlung der Widerslandsfahigkeit yon May, 1937, p. 53.
Beton gegen offmals wiederholte Druckbe- (37) A. T. Goldbeck, "Apparatus for Flexural
lastung; 2 Teil. Deutscher Ausschuss fur Tests of Concrete Beams," Report of
Eisenbeton," Heft 83 (1936). Committee C-9 on Concrete and Concrete
(26) J. P. Nash, "Tests of Concrete Road Aggregates, Appendix VIII, Proceedings,
Aggregates," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 30, Part I,
Mats., Vol. EVIl, Part II, p. 394 (1917). p. 591 (1930).
(27) J. W. Johnson, "Relationship Between (38) Report of Director of Research, Portland
Strength and Elasticity of Concrete in Cement Assn. (1928).
Tension and Compression," Bulletin 2Vo. (39) W. F. Kellermann, "Effect of Size of
90, Iowa State College (1928). Specimen, Size of Aggregate, and Method
(28) It. F. Gonnerman and E. C. Schuman, of Loading Upon the Uniformity of Flexural
"Tests of Plain Concrete," Proceedings, Strength Tests," Public Roads, Vol. x n I ,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 28, Part II, No. 11, January, 1933, p. 177.
p. 527 (1928). (40) L. W. Teller, discussion of Symposium on
(29) A. T. Goldbeck, "An Investigation of the Field Control of the Quality of Concrete,
Distribution of Stress in Reinforced Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
Concrete Beams, Including a Comparative 27, Part n, p. 418 (1927).
Study of Plain Concrete in Tension and
(41) G. A. Parkinson, S. P. Finch, and J. E.
Compression," Proceedings, Am. Soc.
Hoff, "Preliminary Report on Relation
Testing Mats., Vol. X, p. 376 (1910).
(30) A. N. Johnson, "Concrete in Tension," Between Strength of Portland Cement
Mortar and Its Temperature at Time of
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
26, Part II, p. 441 (1926). Test," Bulletin No. 2825, Engineering
Research Series No. 26, University of
(31) "Direct Compression on Shear in Concrete
Culverts," a supplementary report of Texas, July 1, 1928.
"Tensile and Flexural Strength of Con- (42) H. F. Clemmer, "Fatigue of Concrete,"
crete:" Corps of Engineers, Ohio River Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
Division Laboratories, Mariemont, Ohio, 22, Part n, p. 408 (1922).
May, 1954. (43) c. E. Kesler, "Effect of Speed of Testing
(32) John Tucker, Jr., "Statistical Theory of on Flexural Fatigue Strength of Plain
the Effect of Dimensions and of Method Concrete," Proceedings, Thirty-Second
of Loading Upon the Modulus of Rupture Annum Meeting, Highway Research
of Beams," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Board, Vol. 32, p. 251 (1953).
Mats., Vol. 41, p. 1072 (1941). (44) R. B. Crepps, "Fatigue of Mortar,"
(33) P. J. F. Wright and F. Garwood, "The Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
Effect of the Method of Test on the 23, Part n, p. 329 (1923).
Flexural Strength of Concrete," Magazine (45) A. N. Talbot, "Tests of Concrete: I.
o/ Concrete Research, No. 11, October, Shear; II. Bond," Bulletin No. g, Engi-
1952, p. 67. neering Experiment Station, University of
(34) K. E. C. Nielsen, "Effect of Various Illinois, Urbana, Ill. (1906).
Factors on the Flexural Strength of (46) F. E. Richart, Anton Brandizaeg, and
Concrete Test Beams," Magazine of R. L. Brown, "A Study of the Failure of
Concrete Research, No. 15, March, 1954, Concrete Under Combined Compressive
p. 105. Stresses," Bulletin No. 185, Engineering
(35) L. W. Teller, "Study of the Effect of the Experiment Station, University of Illinois,
Method of Fabrication on the Strength and Urbana, IlL (1928).
Uniformity of Flexure Test Specimens of (47) F. C. Smith and R. Q. Brown, "The
Concrete," Report of Committee C-9 on Shearing Strength of Cement Mortar,"
Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, Ap- Bulletin No. 106, Engineering Experiment
pendix I, Proceedings, Am. Soe. Testing Station, University of Washington, Seattle,
Mats., Vol. 29, Part I, p. 315 (1929). Wash. (1941).

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(48) G. Bakner, "Shearing Strength of Concrete A nnales de l'Institute Technique du Batiment

Under High Triaxial Stress--Computations et des Travaux Publics, Paris, No. 173,
of Mohr's Envelope as a Curve," Structural Manual du Bet6n Arm~, No. 20, February,
Research Laboratory Report No. SP-23, 1951.
U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (1949). (51) T. B. Kennedy, "A Limited Investigation
(49) B. Bresler and K. S. Pister, "Failure of of Capping Materials for Concrete Test
Plain Concrete Under Combined Stresses," Specimens," Proceedings, Am. Concrete
Separate publication No. 674, Proceed- Inst., Vol. 41, p. 117 (1944).
ings, Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., April, 1955. (s2) Douglas McHenry and J. J. Shideler,
(50) R. Chambaud, "R~sistance du Bet6n aux "Effect of Speed in Mechanical Testing of
Contraintes Triaxiales. Noureaux essais Concrete," to be published by ASTM, see
am~ricains. Discussion et interpretation," index of 1955 Proceedings.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


Elasticity is that property of a ma- constituent materials, by the moisture

terial which enables it to deform under and temperature conditions which exist
the action of an external force and to within the concrete mass, and by other
return to its original size and shape upon factors. Furthermore its response to the
removal of the force. Like most other action of external forces varies with the
structural materials, concrete possesses time duration and other characteristics
to a certain degree this property of elas- of those forces and, under the action of
ticity. Although possibly never perfectly a simple sustained external force, it ex-
elastic, it is sufficiently so that within hibits an inelastic deformation that has
limits of stress and of time its behavior been variously termed "creep," "de-
can be predicted quite accurately by the ferred strain," "plastic flow," "time
theory of elasticity. yield," "plastic strain," etc. These char-
The property of elasticity of concrete acteristics of the material may have im-
is usually studied by means of certain portant influences on its elastic behavior
elastic constants which are determined and should receive careful consideration
experimentally. Those most likely to be in connection with tests made to deter-
utilized by the engineer or designer are mine elastic properties.
the moduli of elasticity in simple com- Since the elastic behavior of concrete
pression, in simple tension, or in shear, is affected by conditions that in practice
and Poisson's ratio. Each of these will cannot readily be controlled, the designer
be discussed later. Certain other elastic concerned with its behavior is forced to
relations such as the modulus of resilience assume rather general and conservative
(or potential energy of deformation) and values for purposes of design instead of
the modulus of volume expansion have determining more exact values by test
been omitted purposely since it is not and requiring by specification that ma-
likely that they will be encountered in terial having such properties be fur-
the usual testing of concrete. nished. For this reason, one finds that
Concrete, when considered as a struc- tests for elastic properties of concrete
tural material, is assumed to be elasti- are not in the category of acceptance
cally homogeneous and isotropic. Actu- tests but rather are made for informa-
ally this is only approximately true in tional or investigative purposes. This
large masses of the material and may be possibly explains the general lack of
far from true in small masses. Also the ASTM methods of test for elastic proper-
elastic behavior of concrete is influenced ties of concrete.
by the proportions and nature of the The researches of recent years have
provided more definite information re-
garding the elastic behavior of concrete
I Chief, Structural Research Section, U. S.
Bureau of Public Roads, Washington, D. C. than was formerly available, and as this
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work continues it is to be anticipated pressive stresses of 400, 600, and 800

that the structural designer will make use psi, and the corresponding total strains
of the information in refinements of de- measured immediately and after time
sign technique that hitherto have not periods up to 3 months. These data are
been practicable. The advent of pre- typical and well illustrate this charac-
stressed concrete in the structural field teristic of concrete.
in this country has stimulated new inter- The phenomenon of creep becomes
est in the elastic properties of concrete apparent after very short time periods,
as a structural material, and it is reason- particularly at the higher stress intensi-
able to expect that, in time, standardized ties, and develops progressively, although
procedures for making tests to determine at a gradually diminishing rate, over a
the elastic properties of this material will period of several years.
be adopted. The importance of the time element in
In the paragraphs which follow, the
methods that are being used to determine
elastic properties will be described and ?Load~ha Curve
the significance of the data obtained will /~ 14-dafl
~ ~l-month
be discussed. //
As mentioned earlier, concrete under
the action of a sustained external force
may be expected to deform elastically by
a certain definite amount as soon as the

2J" / / / X f ~-3-r~onths

Normal Portland Cement Concrete

force is applied and, in addition, to de- 1:2:4 mix (by Weight) 2in. Slump
Age when Loaded-28 days
form inelastically by an amount which Specimen I0 in. Long, 3 in. In
increases with time. This yielding of the 0 Diarne,ter , I
material with time under the action of a 0 0.0002 0 . 0 0 0 4 0 . 0 0 0 6 0.0008 0.0010
Total Unit Strain - Elastic and Creep, in.
sustained force, termed creep or plastic
flow, is treated in detail in another paper FIG. 1.--Creep of a N o r m a l Portland-Cement
Concrete (Data from GlanviUe (1)).
in this publication. 2 The property is dis-
cussed here only because of its influence the stress-strain relationship has been
on the elastic stress-strain relation, the recognized by many investigators. Mur-
two properties being so intimately asso-
phy (2) has suggested that the charac-
ciated that it is difficult to determine teristics of the material could best be
where the one stops and the other begins, shown in a three-dimensional diagram as
if indeed there is a distinction. The im-
a stress-straln-time surface. The effect
portance of the property will be appreci-
of the time duration of a stress on the
ated when it is realized that the final
resulting strain will be referred to again
deformation under a sustained load may
be as much as three times the immediate
With plain concrete the simplest way
deformation. Figure 1 shows data ob-
in which allowance for creep can be made
tained in tests by Glanville (1)3 in which
is by an assumed modulus of elasticity
specimens were subjected to axial cam-
value that has been deliberately lowered
2 See paper by Washa, p. 115. to take into account the anticipated
a The boldface n u m b e r s in parentheses refer
to the list of references appended to this paper, inelastic deformation. This is sometimes
see p. 102. referred to as the "effective (or sus-

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tained) modulus of elasticity." That this nally placed in the steel and for this reason
method may lead to a false impression of must be carefully considered in estab-
the conditions of stress and strain within lishing the initial conditions of prestress.
a structure has been pointed out by In view of the increasing use of pre-
McHenry (3) who has proposed a more stressed concrete, it seems likely that
scientific approach to the problem. research on creep will be stimulated and
Others who have suggested means for that refinements in design techniques will
estimating the magnitude of the creep become possible.
3200 i
2800 /



~1600 /


800 /


0.0004 0.0008 0.00012

Unit Strain,in.
FIG. 2.--Stress-Strain Data Obtained in Axial Compression Tests of Two 6 by 12-in. Con-
crete Cylinders.

to be expected under various conditions MODULUS OF ELASTICITY (6)

are Lorman (4) and Ross (S). If a solid body such as concrete is
In reinforced-concrete structures, the subjected to the action of an external
property of creep leads to a redistribu- force, the material will be deformed.
tion of stresses in the concrete and in the The relation between an increment of
steel with time. Frequently this may be stress and the corresponding increment
beneficial through the relief of high local of strain may be expressed as follows:
stress conditions caused by distortion.
Under other conditions it may be harm- {Tx

ful. In prestressed concrete structures E

where relatively high sustained stresses where:
are developed both in the steel and in the e, -- unit strain,
concrete, the creep characteristics of the ~, = unit stress, and
concrete tend to relax the tension origi- E = modulus of elasticity.

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This relation was first established experi- The data are included to illustrate the
mentally b y Robert Hooke and published variable nature of the stress-strain rela-
by him in 1678. tion of concrete. With specimen No. A-4
I t is apparent that the amount of the relation was rectilinear up to the
strain that results from a given stress is point where the strain gages were re-
measured b y the modulus, E, and t h a t moved, whereas for specimen No. 5 the
for a perfectly elastic material this term relation was curvilinear from the start
would have a constant value. Since con- of the test. The fact that concrete fre-
crete is imperfectly elastic, it is perhaps quently shows some curvature in the
better to define the modulus of elasticity stress-strain relation has led to several
proposals for a method by which an
empirical constant is obtained that is
assumed to represent by a straight line
the equivalent of a more or less curvilin-
ear relation. These proposals are shown
in Fig. 3 and are defined as follows:
Initial Tangent Modulus.--The slope of the
stress-strain curve at the origin.
Tangent Modulus.--The slope of the stress-

cco strain curve at any specified point (B).

Secant Modulus.--The slope of the secant
drawn from the origin to any specified
point on the curve (C).
~ Secant Chord Modulus.--The slope of the chord
drawn between any two specified points
on the curve (A to D) (7).

I t is evident that these are practical

expedients and that the magnitude of
the error introduced b y their use will
depend upon the degree of curvature of
the stress-strain relation in the range
Unit Stroin
over which they are applied.
FIG. 3.--Illustrating Various Methods for Ob-
taining the Constant E from Stress-Strain Data. The stress-strain relation may be de-
termined for concrete in compression, in
as the rate of change of stress with re- tension, or in shear applied directly, or
spect to strain. I t will be noted that this it may be determined indirectly from a
is also the definition for the slope of the flexure test. Whatever the method of
stress-strain curve at any point. The test, it is desirable to avoid conditions
steeper the slope the greater will be the that produce combined stresses in that
value of the modulus and the more re- part of the specimen where strains are
sistant to deformation will be the ma- being measured.
In Fig. 2 are shown stress-strain data
Modulus of Elasticity in Compression:
obtained by the author in axial com- The compression test is probably the
pression tests on two 6 by 12-in. cylinders one most commonly employed for the
of concrete that were identical except determination of the modulus of elastic-
for the character of the coarse aggregate. ity where the modulus is to be used for

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structural design or similar purposes, be- loading. It is important also that the
cause for such purposes it is the relatively temperature and moisture states of the
high compressive strength of the material specimen remain unchanged during the
that is utilized. test.
In making the test a standard 6 by Not less than three specimens, and
12-in. compression specimen is frequently preferably more, should be used for a
employed, although a larger or smaller test. Walker (7) has recommended that
cylinder, a drilled core, or a prism can at least ten specimens be used to obtain
be used. Care should be taken to obtain a representative value.
as uniform distribution of the com- The value of the modulus of elasticity
pressive forces over the ends of the speci- for concrete is affected by a number of
men as is possible. Strain gages are usu- conditions, the characteristics of the
ally applied to opposite or to otherwise coarse aggregate being perhaps the most
symmetrically spaced axial elements of important. Considering only such con-
the specimen. The gage length preferably cretes as are being used for important
should not exceed one half the length of structural work at the present time, the
the specimen. It is desirable also that it value will generally be within the range
be not too short because of the possible 3,000,000 to 6,000,000 psi when tested in
effects of pieces of coarse aggregate in compression.
localizing strains. For most concretes a
gage length of 3 to 6 in. will be found Modulus of Elasticity in Tension:
most satisfactory. Strain gage equipment
Tests to determine the stress-strain
should be selected for maximum sensi-
relations for concrete when subjected to
tivity. Apparatus of the Martens' type
direct tension have been reported by A.
(s) has proved to be well suited to the
N. Johnson (12), J. W. Johnson (13),
requirements of the test. Electrical re- Davis, Davis, and Brown (10), and others.
sistance strain gages of the types that
In general, the methods of test have
have become commercially available dur- differed from those used in compression
ing recent years may be applied along testing for elastic properties principally
axial elements of the specimen or, when in the matter of gripping the specimens
encased in a waterproof sheath, may be for a tension test. Because of the very
embedded along the axis of specimens
limited stress range of concrete under
prepared especially for the test. Measure- direct tension, careful consideration must
ments with resistance gages of other be given to the instrumentation and test-
types embedded in the specimens have
ing technique when making this test.
been reported by other investigators
(9, 10). Various types of compressometers Modulus of Elaslicity in Flexure:
with micrometer dial indicators have also
been used for measuring strains in con- The stress-strain relation for concrete
crete specimens for the modulus of elas- in flexure may be determined by tests in
ticity determination (7, 11). which the compressive and tensile strains
When determining the stress-strain are measured on a plain concrete prism
relation in the manner just described, it or beam subjected to flexure. Preferably
is important that the time interval dur- the specimen should be simply supported
ing which increments of stress and strain and so loaded as to produce uniform
are developed be kept uniform and as bending moment in the region where the
short as possible because of the tendency strains are measured. In making this
of concrete to creep under sustained test, it is desirable to employ at least

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four gages, one for tensile strain and one

I t will be noted that as the value of h-
for compressive strain on each lateral l
face of the test specimen. The gages increases the effect of shear increases.
should be symmetrically arranged in a For plain concrete specimens of usual di-
common cross-section of the prism. mensions the effect of shear on deflec-
The modulus of elasticity of concrete tion may be appreciable.
may also be determined in a flexure test Because of the possible effects of creep,
by making use of the deflection charac- a test for modulus of elasticity by de-
teristics of the specimen. If a concrete flection measurement should be made in
prism or beam is simply supported and the shortest time practicable.
loaded at mid-span and if only the de-
flection caused by the bending moment M o d u l u s of Elasticity in Shear:
is considered, the maximum ordinate to
the elastic curve is related to the modulus Torsion creates a condition of pure
of elasticity of the concrete in the follow- shear, making possible a method for de-
ing expression: termining the modulus of elasticity in
shear or the modulus of rigidity, as it is
pl ~
3= sometimes called.
48EI In making this test a known torque
where: is applied to the specimen, usually cylin-
= maximum deflection, drical in form, and the angle of twist
P = applied central loach, developed over a certain gage length is
l = distance between supports, measured. The torque-twist relation, or
E = modulus of elasticity of the con- modulus of elasticity in shear, for a cy-
crete, and lindrical specimen is given by the equa-
I = moment of inertia of the section tion:
with respect to the centroidal axis.
From this it would appear that it is Mtl
G = - -

necessary only to measure the central

deflection in order to determine the
modulus of elasticity. The equation, where:
however, neglects the deflection caused G = modulus of elasticity in shear,
by the dead weight of the specimen, Mt = torque moment,
which usually is negligible, and also the l = length over which angle of twist is
deflection caused by shear, which m a y be developed,
appreciable under some conditions. 4,z = angle of twist (in radians) in
The combined deflection resulting from length l, and
both the bending moment and shear is Ip = polar moment of inertia of the
(,4): cross-section.
I t is apparent that it is necessary only
to determine by test the relation be-
= 48EI 1 + (2.4+ 1.5;~)
tween increments of torque and incre-
ments of torsional deformation or angle
of twist. The slope of the curve developed
in this manner when multiplied by
in which the terms are the same as in
the preceding expression and ~ = Pois- gives the modulus of elasticity in shear
son's ratio and h = depth of the beam. at the point at which the slope was de-

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l . applied at various time rates (16, 17, 18,

termined. The term ~ is constant for a
19). These studies have consistently
given test. shown that both the strength and elastic
The value of the torque moment and properties of concrete are affected by this
of the angle of twist may be determined time factor. Watstein's tests (19) indicate
by any one of several means. Andersen that the modulus of elasticity values ob-
(lS) reports the use of a level bar with tained from the natural frequency of
micrometer adjustment for measuring vibration of the unloaded specimen were
differences in angular change of two usually greater than the modulus values
radial arms placed a fixed distance apart for specimens under stress, even when the
on a horizontally positioned specimen. time of load duration on the stressed
This type of measuring device is quite specimen was only a fraction of a second.
simple and can be both sensitive and ac- Values for the modulus of elasticity ob-
curate. tained in his "static" tests where the
As in the determination of the modulus loading was applied slowly over a period
of elasticity by other means, the possible of about 30 rain were always smaller than
influence of creep on the measured def- those from his dynamic tests.
ormations should be given consideration. SIGNIFICANCE OF TESTS FOR MODULUS
Dynamic Modulus of Elasticity: OS ELASTICITY
In another paper in this publication, 4 In the previous discussion it has been
certain relatively new methods for de- brought out (1) that the modulus of
termining the elastic properties of con- elasticity shows the relation between an
crete are described in detail. These are increment of stress and the corresponding
the so-called dynamic methods in which increment of strain and thus is a measure
the response of the material to small of the resistance of the material to def-
dynamic forces is determined by meas- ormation; (2) that, for concrete, the
urements of the natural frequency of stress-strain relation may be practically
vibration of a specimen of known dimen- rectilinear over a considerable part of
sions or by measurements of the velocity the usable stress range or it may have
with which sound waves travel through a more or less pronounced curvature; and
the concrete. By means of established (3) that the character of the relation for
physical relations, the measured quan- a given concrete may be affected to an
tities m a y be converted into values of important degree by the stress intensity,
the modulus of elasticity or of Poisson's time duration of stress, the moisture and
ratio. In these methods of test the forces temperature states of the concrete, the
applied to the concrete are very small age of the concrete, and other factors.
and are applied for very short time Generally speaking, the same factors
periods. Consequently, the values of the that cause strength variations in con-
elastic constants determined by the tests, crete also cause variations of the same
as usually performed, are those of con- sense in its elastic resistance, although
crete in an unstressed state, and the in- there appears to be no direct or generally
fluence of creep is not a factor. applicable relationship between the two,
There have been a few investigations as sometimes has been assumed (20, 21).
in which concrete has been subjected to In spite of the variable nature of the
loads of appreciable magnitude that were stress-strain relation, concrete m a y be
considered, within limits, to be definitely
4 E. A. Whitehurst and W. E. Parker, p. 104. elastic, and consideration of its elastic

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modulus is involved in nearly all calcula- of the modulus of elasticity obtained by

tions of structural deformation. For ex- these methods is widely used as an index
ample, use is made of the modulus of elas- of concrete quality.
ticity in compression in the designing of Although not yet standardized, testing
reinforced structures, to determine stress procedures are available which will give
distribution in concrete and steel in much valuable information regarding the
simple flexural or compression members, elastic behavior of a given concrete. In
to determine resisting moments, stresses, making tests to develop data for a specific
and deflections in more complicated purpose, the procedure should be so
structures, and to determine the effects of arranged as to stress the material under
shrinkage, foundation settlements, or conditions that duplicate as nearly as
other distortion. Since in prestressed con- possible those which will obtain when the
crete units or structures it is obviously material is placed in service.
necessary to know how much the con- Probably the most perplexing problem
crete will deform under the stresses that connected with the elastic behavior of
are applied, a knowledge of the elastic concrete is what to do about its recog-
behavior of the material is important in nized tendency to creep under load.
this field of design. Obviously it is impracticable to test
In calculations of the stresses caused particular concretes for this characteris-
by restraint to volume changes, such as tic before they are used. During the past
those which tend to occur when there are few years, there have been some efforts
changes in the temperature or moisture to generalize the creep relation under
conditions within the material, it is nec- sustained stress, but there is need for
essary to know the value of the modulus more study of this subject which has
of elasticity. assumed increased importance with the
Concrete in pavements is subject to spread of interest in prestressed concrete
compressive stress, to bending stress from structures.
both loads and restrained warping, and
to direct tensile stress. Hence it is im- POISSON'S RATIO (22)
portant to know how concrete deforms If a member composed of an isotropic
under each type of stress in calculations material is subjected to simple axial
relating to pavement slab design. stress within its elastic range, the axial
The modulus of elasticity in shear must strain that results will be accompanied
be considered in the design of structural by a proportionate lateral strain. The
members subject to torsion and in calcu- relation between the lateral strain and
lations relating to certain statically in- the axial strain is called Poisson's ratio,
determinate structures. after the French physicist who deduced
The modulus of elasticity of concrete analytically that its value should be
as determined from data obtained in the 0.25. Actually the value as found experi-
so-called dynamic methods of test re- mentally for most solid materials is not
flects the elastic character of the material exactly 0.25 and may vary somewhat for
in what is essentially an unstressed state, a given material. For concrete, values
thus corresponding to the slope of the determined experimentally seem gener-
stress-strain curve at the origin. The ally to be appreciably less than this
value tends to be higher than that ob- theoretical value.
tained for the same material under stress
(19). Although not ordinarily employed Tests to Determine Poisson's Ratio:
for structural design purposes, the value While there are several methods by

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which values for Poisson's ratio for con- tained. Tests of this type are reported by
crete m a y be determined, most of the GiLkey (25).
published data were obtained in tests in Most investigators have reported
which a cylindrical specimen was sub- values of Poisson's ratio for concrete
jected to axial stress and the resulting within the range 0.10 to 0.20, with the
axial and lateral strains were measured. majority of the values in the upper half
Since the lateral strains are but a fraction of this range. The average value of
of the axial strains in magnitude, it is Poisson's ratio reported by McCoy and
evident that apparatus for the measure- Mather (25) from dynamic tests on a
ment of the strains must be extremely large number of unstressed concrete
sensitive and that the tests must be made specimens is 0.24. The tests b y Davis and
with great care. Apparatus employing Troxell (2o) indicate that the value varies
optical lever systems has been used suc- with stress, particularly at early ages,
cessfully b y Johnson (23), Davis and and also that it tends to increase slightly
Troxell (20), and others. The newer types with age during the first two years.
of electrical resistance strain gages should Probst (18) has published data which
be particularly well suited to this type of indicate that there is a systematic in-
test. crease in the value of Poisson's ratio
Jones (24) reports values obtained by a with stress repetition.
radically different means--determination
Significance o] Poisson' s Ratio:
of longitudinal wave velocity in concrete
prisms. Other tests in which values of Values for Poisson's ratio are needed
Poisson's ratio for concretes were calcu- for the structural analysis and design of
lated from resonant frequencies, accord- m a n y types of concrete structures of
ing to ASTM Method C 215, 5 are re- which arches, tunnels, tanks, and fiat
ported b y McCoy and Mather (2S). slabs are typical examples. Also it is nec-
Poisson's ratio appears in the following essary to know the value of Poisson's
expression: ratio when interpreting strain data ob-
tained in tests of pavements and other
E = 2(# + 1)G structures.
where: Although there is fairly good agree-
E = modulus of elasticity in com- ment among the values obtained experi-
pression or tension, mentally by various investigators and
G -- modulus of elasticity in shear, and although the results from assuming
# = Poisson's ratio. values that are either somewhat too large
If tests are made in which the modulus or too small would not be serious, there
of elasticity in compression (or tension) is need for further research to determine
and in shear are determined, it is ap- the influence of such variables as rate of
parent that by relating the two values a stress application, frequency of stress
value for Poisson's ratio may be ob- application, and intensity of stress on
the value of the ratio. A better knowledge
s Method of Test for Fundamental Trans- of these matters will make possible de-
verse and Torsional Frequencies of Concrete sirable refinements in certain types of
Specimens (C 215), 1955 Book of ASTM Stand-
ards, Part 3. structural analysis.

(1) W. H. Glanville, "The Creep or Flow of (2) Glenn Murphy, "Stress-Strain-Time Char-
Concrete Under Load," Technical Paper acteristics of Materials," ASTM BULLE-
No. 12, Department of Scientific and Indus- TIn, No. 101, December, 1939, p. 19.
trial Research, Great Britain (1930). (3) Douglas McHenry, "A New Aspect of
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Creep in Concrete and Its Application to (1S) P. Andersen, "Experiments with Concrete
Design," _Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing in Torsion," Transactions, Am. Soc. Civil
Mats., Vol. 43, p. 1069 (1943). Engrs., Vol. 100, p. 949 (1935).
(4) William R. Lorman, "The Theory of Con- (16) D. A. Abrams, "Effect of Rate of Applica-
crete Creep," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Test- tion of Load on the Compressive Strength
ing Mats., Vol. 40, p. 1082 (1940). of Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc, Test-
(5) Allan Dawson Ross, "Creep and Shrinkage ing Mats., Vol. XVlI, Part II, p. 364
in Plain, Reinforced and Prestressed Con- (1917).
crete--A General Method of Calculation," (17) Paul G. Jones and F. E. Richart, "The
Journal, Inst. Civil Engrs., No. 1, Novem- Effect of Testing Speed on Strength and
ber, 1943. Elastic Properties of Concrete," Proceed-
(6) For a rCsum6 of the early literature on this ings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 36,
subject see: Part II, p. 380 (1936).
L. W. Teller, "Digest of Tests in the United (18) E. Probst, "The Influence of Rapidly
States for the Determination of the Modu- Alternating Loading on Concrete and Rein-
lus of Elasticity of Portland Cement Mor- forced Concrete," The Structural Engineer
tar and Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. (British), Vol. IX, No. 12, December,
Testing Mats., Vol. 30, Part I, p. 635 1931.
(1930). (19) D. Watstein, "Effect of Straining Rate on
"Bibliographies on Modulus of Elasticity, the Compressive Strength and Elastic
Poisson's Ratio, and Volume Changes of Properties of Concrete," Journal, Am.
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Concrete Inst., Vol. 24, No. 8, April, 1953.
Mats., Vol. 28, Part I, p. 377 (1928). (20) Raymond E. Davis and G. E. Troxell,
(7) Stanton Walker, "Modulus of Elasticity "Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson's
of Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Test- Ratio for Concrete and the Influence of
ing Mats., Vol. XIX, Part II, p. 510 (1919). Age and Other Factors on These Values,"
(8) Adolf Martens, "Handbook of Testing Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
Materials," John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 29, Part II, p. 678 (1929).
New York, N. Y., Ist Ed. (1899). (Trans- (21) H. A. LaRue, "Modulus of Elasticity of
lated by Gus C. Henning.) Aggregates and Its Effect on Concrete,"
(9) L. W. Teller and E. C. Sutherland, "The Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats.,
Structural Design of Concrete Pavements-- Vol. 46, p. 1298 (1946).
Part I," Public Roads, Vol. 16, No. 8, (22) For a rCsum6 of the literature on the sub-
October, 1935, p. 137. ject see:
A. L. Gemeny and C. B. McCullough, F. E. Richart and N. H. Roy, "Digest of
"Application of the Freyssinet Method of Test Data on Poisson's Ratio for C o n -
Concrete Arch Construction," Oregon crete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing
State Highway Commission, April, 1933. Mats., Vol. 30, Part I, p. 661 (1930).
(10) R.E. Davis, H. E. Davis, and E. H. Brown, (23) A. N. Johnson, "Direct Measurement of
"Plastic Flow and Volume Changes in Poisson'~ Ratio for Concrete," Proceed-
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing ings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 24,
Mats., Vol. 37, Part II, p. 317 (1937). Part II, p. 1024 (1924).
(11) Method of Test for Modulus of Elasticity (24) R. Jones, "Testing of Concrete by Ultra-
of Concrete--CRD-C 19-52, "Handbook sonic-Pulse Technique," Proceedings, High-
for Concrete and Cement," Corps of En- way Research Board, Vol. 32, p. 258
gineers. (1933).
(12) A. N. Johnson, "Tests of Concrete in Ten- (25) Ernest E. McCoy and Bryant Mather,
sion," Public Roads, Vol. 7, No. 4, June,
"Dynamic Testing of Materials," dis-
(13) J. W. Johnson, "Relationship Between cussion of paper by L. J. Mitchell, Pro-
Strength and Elasticity of Concrete in ceedings, Thirty-third Annual Meeting,
Tension and in Compression," Bulletin Highway Research Board, Vol. 33, p. 256
No. 90, Engineering Experiment Station, (1954).
Ames, Iowa (t928). (26) H. J. Gitkey, "Experiments with Concrete
(14) F. Seewald, "Abhandlungen," Aerodynami- in Torsion--A Discussion," Transactions,
schen Inst. an der Technischen Hochschule, Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., Vol. 100, p. 970
Aachen, Vol. 7, p. 3 (1927). (1935).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete



For many years one of the goals of 1. Those identified as sonic tests, gen-
those engaged in the control of concrete erally involving determination of the reso-
quality and in the service behavior of nant frequency of a specimen.
concrete has been tile development of 2. Those identified as pulse velocity tests,
generally involving measurement of the
suitable nondestructive tests to supply velocity of a compressional pulse travelling
the information desired. To be of greatest through the concrete.
usefulness, such tests should be appli- 3. Those involving the measurement of
cable to concrete in the structure or at rebound distance of a hammer after striking
least to the control specimens purported a blow of controlled intensity, or the diam-
to represent the structure. I t will be seen eter of indentation caused by such a blow.
that the dynamic tests included in the
following discussion, despite present SoNIc TESTS
limitations in application and in interpre- The expression "sonic testing" is
tation, are bringing the desired goal generally considered to include all test-
within reach in many respects. ing of concrete which involves the genera-
For the purpose of this discussion, tion of a sustained vibration in the con-
dynamic testing will be defined as that crete. By far the majority of such tests
in which the load is applied and removed involves the determination of the funda-
in a manner such that the effects of creep mental resonant frequency of a specimen.
are negligible, and which does not usu- Equipment used to perform tests of
ally result in destruction or damage to this nature varies from the hammer and
the concrete. In general, it is found that home-made sonometer reported by Pow-
values of Young's modulus of elasticity ers (1)8 to electronic signal generators for
computed from dynamic tests are some- driving the specimen and highly complex
what higher than those determined for electronic counters for measuring the
slower applications of load in which both actual number of vibrations per unit of
elastic and plastic deformations may time. The hammer-sonometer methodhas
occur. been largely superseded by other
Tests complying with this definition, methods, primarily because of the dif-
and in sufficiently wide use to warrant ficulty encountered by many operators
consideration, may be subdivided into in matching the tone emitted b y the
three groups: concrete specimen to the tone of the
1 Director, Tennessee Highway Research sonometer and because, in some cases,
Program, University of Tennessee, Knoxville,
~Technieal Assistant, Structural Research 3The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
Dept., Hydro-Electric Power Commission of to the list of references appended to this paper
Ontario, Toronto, Ont., Can. see p. 114.

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the striking of the specimen resulted in a torsional vibration for testing concrete
change in its characteristics (2). The use specimens. In this technique, generally
of the complex counter is restricted to applied to prisms, the driving unit is
a few research laboratories. The large placed against one corner of the specimen
bulk of the apparatus falls between these and the pickup against a diagonally
extremes. opposite corner. The specimen is thus
The components required for perform- vibrated with a twisting motion, the
ing a test of this nature are an audio node occurring at the center of the beam.
signal generator, an amplifier, a driving Further investigations have included the
unit, a pickup unit, another amplifier, use of longitudinal vibrations, in which
and a metering device. These are avail- the driving unit is placed against one
able individually from a number of end of the specimen and the pickup unit
sources and are also available in a com- against the other. In this case, also, the
bined form suitable for direct use in test- nodal point occurs at the center of the
ing of this nature. The driving unit is specimen.
frequently a permanent-magnet speaker ASTM Method C 2154 makes pro-
with a rod attached to the speaker coil. visions for testing concrete specimens
The pickup is usually a piezoelectric for fundamental transverse, longitudinal,
crystal, often a phonograph pickup and torsional frequencies, and provides
cartridge. a schematic diagram illustrating use of
In earlier tests, the specimen was sup- the components enumerated above. The
ported on knife-edges located at the nodal relationships between the several funda-
points for flexural vibration (a distance of mental frequencies and the other prop-
0.224 of the specimen length from each erties of the concrete are given as follows:
end). The driver was placed in the Dynamic E = C W n 2 . . . . . . . . . (1)
center of the specimen and the pickup Dynamic E = D W ( n ' ) ~ . . . . . . . (2)
a t one end. Sufficient power was applied Dynamic G = B W ( n " ) 2 . . . . . . (3)
to the driver to cause mild vibration of where:
the specimen. The frequency of the Dynamic E = dynamic Young's modu-
oscillator was then varied. When the lus of elasticity, psi,
frequency approached that of resonance Dynamic G = dynamic modulus of ri-
for the specimen, the amplitude of speci- gidity, psi,
men vibration increased considerably. W = weight of specimen, lb,
The oscillator was tuned until a maxi- n = fundamental transverse
mum indication was observed on the frequency, cps,
metering device. The frequency at which # = fundamental longitudi-
this occurred was recorded as the funda- nal frequency, cps, and
mental transverse frequency of the n " = fundamental torsional
specimen. frequency, cps.
Subsequent investigations indicated The constants C, D, and B are fac-
that if the specimen were allowed to rest tors depending for their value upon the
uniformly on a sheet of soft sponge shape of the specimen tested. For a
rubber the restraint on the specimen cylinder:
would be sufficiently low to remove the 0.00416L3T
C d4 sec ~ per in3 . . . . . (4)
necessity for mounting it at its nodal
points. This has now become a generally 4 Method of Test for Fundamental Trans-
accepted practice. Considerable atten- verse, Longitudinal, and Torsional Frequencies
of Concrete Specimens (C 215), 1955 Book of
tion has also been directed to the use of ASTM Standards, Part 3.

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and: calculated from the relationship:

0.01318L E
D - - sec* per in3 . . . . . . (5) = ~ - 1 ............ (9)

where: Several investigators (a, 4) have shown

L = length of specimen, in., that a somewhat different characteristic
d = diameter of cylinder, in., and of concrete, its damping capacity, m a y
T = a correction factor that depends on be determined from studying the be-
the ratio of the radius of gyration havior of a specimen vibrating at or near
to the length of the specimen and on resonance. Two measures of this charac-
Poisson's ratio. Values of T for teristic are suggested, the damping con-
Poisson's ratio of ~ m a y be ob- stant and the logarithmic decrement of
tained from Table I of A S T M a free vibration.
M e t h o d C 215. The damping constant is given b y :
For a prism: f0
Q (10)
0.00245LaT fl - f2
C sec = p e r in. =. . . . . (6)
bt a
f0 = resonant frequency of vibration,
cps, and
0.01035L f,,f2 = frequencies on either side of
D - - - sec~per in. 2. . . . . . (7)
bt resonance at which the amplitude
is l / x / 2 times the amplitude at
where: resonance.
t, b = dimensions of cross-section, in., t These values m a y easily be determined
being in the direction in which the if a meter is used as the indicating device
specimen is driven. for determining resonance, provided that
For any specimen: a sufficiently precise method of determin-
ing vibration frequency is available.
B = - - 7 sec2 per in. =. . . . . . . . (8) This becomes extremely important since
the frequency range between fl and f2 is
where: very small indeed. A frequency counter
R = a shape factor, has been found to be satisfactory for
= 1 for a circular cylinder, this type of work.
= 1.183 for a square-cross-section The logarithmic decrement is given b y :
prism, A1
a/b + b/a 8 = log~ A= .(11)
4 a/b -- 2.52 (a/b) = + 0.21 (a/b) G
for a rectangular prism whose where:
cross-sectional dimensions are a 8 = logarithmic decrement, and
and b, in., with a less than b, A1, A 2 = amplitudes of two successive
g gravitational acceleration, vibrations after the driving
386.4 in. per sec=, and force has been removed from
A = cross-sectional area of test speci- the specimen.
men, sq in. To determine A1 and A=, a cathode-
Where E and G are determined as ray oscillograph m a y be used as the
outlined above, Poisson's ratio m a y be indicator. After resonance has been lo-

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cated, the driving oscillator is turned off used, although Pickett (6) has sug-
and the decay of the specimen vibration gested that tests of a similar nature might
recorded on a moving film strip. When be useful in testing concrete pavements.
the film has been developed, the ampli- The greatest use of sonic techniques
tude of successive cycles may be ac- has been made in evaluating the per-
curately measured. formance of concrete specimens subjected
The damping constant and logarith- to natural or artificial weathering. They
mic decrement are related by: have also been used to study the effect of
moisture content and to compare differ-
(2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (52) ent mixes (3), to investigate the effi-
ciency of various curing compounds (5),
Both of the above methods have a and for other purposes (7). It has been
disadvantage in that the damping effects suggested that they may be used to
of the specimen supports must be ex- study the setting characteristics of
tremely low. In an effort to minimize concrete, but such usage has generally
these effects, Obert and Duvall (3) have proved unsuccessful. With the exception
supported their specimens on piano wires of the work of Kesler and Higuchi (4),
accurately located at the nodal points. most efforts to relate the elastic proper-
For some reason, perhaps this difficulty ties of concrete to its strength have been
in obtaining supports that exercise largely unsuccessful. Somewhat better
sufficiently low restraint o n a specimen, results have been obtained in efforts to
these methods of t e s t have not been correlate changes in dynamic modulus of
widely used. Kesler and Higuchi (4), elasticity to changes in strength, and in
however, have recently reported tests weathering studies it is fairly common to
in which the logarithmic decrement, in equate a 30 per cent decrease in dynamic
combination with the dynamic modulus modulus to a 50 per cent decrease in
of elasticity determined from the trans- flexural strength.
verse resonant frequency of a specimen, Unfortunately all of the techniques
was used in predicting the compressive discussed above, with the possible ex-
strength of concrete. They report an ception of the last, are subject to two
accuracy of prediction generally within major limitations. The methods are
5 per cent for the limited tests made. basically applicable to specimens of
Mention should also be made of the relatively small size and are of little
possibility of using sustained vibrations value in studying the behavior of con-
for testing concrete in place. Long and crete in place. Further, because of the
Kurtz (8) have reported such tests in complexity of the calculations involved
which a large auditorium-type loud- in computing the constants C, D, and B,
speaker was rigidly attached to a con- specimens must be either cylinders or
crete wall and driven at a fairly high prisms of uniform cross-section (square
power level. A pickup was then moved or rectangular). It is perhaps due largely
about on the surface of the wall to de- to these restrictions that recent attention
termine points of maximum vibration. has been directed toward the develop-
The quantity measured was the velocity ment of devices for determining pulse
of the standing wave, since the frequency velocity in concrete.
of vibration was known and the wave-
length of the vibration within the con- :PuLsE TRANSMISSION TESTS
crete could be determined. This and The application of pulse transmission
similar techniques have not been widely techniques to the testing of concrete is

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believed to have had its origin with directly in units of time, thus eliminating
Long and Kurtz (5, p. 1067). They the necessity for computations involving
reported performing a few experiments the magnitude of the current flowing
with a Shepard seismograph in which through the galvanometer. This device
the longitudinal velocity of the pulsation was found to be more reliable than the
created by a single impact was measured ballistic galvanometer for field use.
between arbitrarily placed geophones. An instrument very similar to that sug-
They stated that only very limited gested is now commercially available in
experiments of this nature had been con- the United States under the name of the
ducted but that the method appeared to Electronic Interval Timer.
hold great promise providing the ap- Subsequent investigations in this coun-
paratus could be adapted to the meas- try and abroad have resulted in the de-
urement of much shorter time intervals velopment of a number of other devices
than those of which the seismograph was quite similar in most respects to the
capable. Electronic Interval Timer. These include
Long, Kurtz, and Sandenaw (s) under- the Micro-timer developed by the U. S.
took further investigations along these Bureau of Reclamation, the Condenser
lines and in 1945 reported on the instru- Chronograph developed by the Danish
ment and technique that resulted from National Institute of Building Research,
their work. The apparatus consisted of and devices developed at the National
two vibration pickups (in the form of Physical Laboratory, South African
phonograph cartridges), two amplifiers, Council for Scientific and Industrial Re-
two thyratron tube circuits, and a ballis- search, and the Laboratoires du Bati-
tic galvanometer circuit. The impact of merit et des Travaux Publics, France. All
a hammer blow was impressed upon the make use of either hammer blows or
concrete in a horizontal direction, ap- small explosive charges to generate the
proximately in line with the two pickups. impulse.
The energy impulse thus generated actu- In 1946 the Hydro-Electric Power
ated the first pickup, the voltage from Commission of Ontario, Canada, in an
which energized the first thyratron and effort to develop a technique for exam-
started a flow of current through the ining cracks in monolithic concrete struc-
galvanometer. When the energy impulse tures, began a series of studies which
reached the second pickup, the voltage resulted in the construction of an instru-
from its amplifier ionized the second ment known as the Soniscope. The
thyratron and cut off the flow of current. device consists basically of a pulse gener-
The deflection of the galvanometer was ator using piezoelectric crystals, a
directly proportional to the time required similar pulse receiver, and electronic
for the wave to travel the distance be- circuits which actuate the pulse gener-
tween the two pickups. ator, provide visual presentation of
In a discussion of this paper, the sub- transmitted and received signals on a
stitution of an electronic interval timer cathode-ray tube, and accurately meas-
for the ballistic galvanometer was sug- ure the time interval between the two.
gested. This device consists of a capacitor Development of this instrument was
which begins to charge when the first first reported to Committee 115, Re-
thyratron is ionized and stops charging search, of the American Concrete Inst.
when the second is ionized and a vac- in 1948. A more complete report was
uum-tube voltmeter which measures the published by Leslie and Cheesman (9) in
charge. The meter may be calibrated 1949.

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The physical and electrical features of Transmitted and received signals are
the Soniscope have passed through sev- displayed on a long persistence cathode-
eral stages of improvement since 1947, ray oscilloscope containing a calibrated
and a number of these instruments have time base for determining the transit
been built by various laboratories in the time between signals. Development of
United States and Canada. In its latest one such device has been reported in the
form the Soniscope is patented and com- United States and another in France.
mercially available through a Canadian The devices mentioned above and the
concern. Considerable use of the instru- uses to which they have been put have
ment has been reported in Canada (10) been described in detail by Whitehurst
and the United States (11). (14) and in several recent publications of
During approximately the same time the R6union des Laboratoires d'Essais
that the Soniscope was being developed et de Recherches sur les Mat6riaux et les
in Canada and the United States, work Constructions (15).
of a similar nature was being conducted Whereas the use of the sonic tests has
in England. These investigations resulted been restricted primarily to the evalua-
in the development of an instrument tion of specimens undergoing natural or
known as the Ultrasonic Concrete Tester. artificial weathering, and the techniques
This instrument, and the uses to which for such use have been largely standard-
it has been put, have been described at ized, pulse transmission techniques have
length by Jones (12, 13). The Ultrasonic been applied to concrete for many pur-
Concrete Tester differs from the Soni- poses and, in most areas of investigation,
scope primarily in the much higher fre- no general agreement has been reached
quency used within the transmitted concerning the significance of test results.
pulse and the repetition rate which is The quantity actually measured by all
about three times as great as that of the of these instruments is the transmission
Soniscope. These changes improve the time of an impulse passing through the
accuracy of measurement on very small concrete under test. If the path length
specimens but limit the usefulness of the between generator and receiver is known
instrument for field testing, since the or can be determined, the velocity of the
high frequencies suffer much greater pulse may easily be computed. It is in
attenuation in passing through concrete the interpretation of the meaning of this
than do the lower ones. The maximum velocity, and in its use for determining
range of the Ultrasonic Concrete Tester various properties of concrete, that agree-
is believed to be about 7 ft, whereas that ment has not yet been reached. The
of the Soniscope in testing reasonably technique is as applicable to concrete in
good concrete is 50 ft or more. place as to laboratory-type specimens,
Recently several devices have been and results appear to be unaffected by
reported which incorporate some of the the size and shape of tile concrete tested,
features of the Soniscope and some of the within the limits of transmission of the
Electronic Interval Timer. In these instrument employed. This, of course, is
instruments the impulse is generated by a highly desirable attribute and, in many
a mechanical blow, frequently that of a respects, makes the pulse transmission
spring-loaded hammer operated by a techniques more useful than those in-
motor-driven cam at the rate of about volved in sonic testing.
5 blows per second. The receiver may be Because of the flmdamental theoretical
any one of a number of types of pickup. relationship between pulse techniques

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and resonant frequency techniques, there The factor 0.849 represents the cor-
is a strong inclination for users of the rection for Poisson's ratio, taken in this
pulse technique to endeavor to compute case to be 0.24.
the dynamic modulus of elasticity from Fundamentally all of the pulse velocity
the results of the tests. Theoretically techniques and equipment developed for
such values of moduli should be the same use on concrete result in the measure-
as the moduli determined by resonant ment of the compressional, or longitudi-
frequency tests upon the same specimens. nal, pulse velocity. 111 rare cases, with
The experience of several investigators the Soniscope-type instrument, it is
(16, 17), however, has shown that on possible to measure the transverse pulse
some occasions this is true and on others velocity and the Rayleigh pulse velocity
it is not. Because of these presently un- as well, when the test is being made
explainable differences, most of those across a corner of a structure and the
experienced in the use of pulse velocity path length involved is fairly long (in
techniques are inclined to leave their re- the order of 15 to 20 ft). Under these
sults in the form of velocities without circumstances it is theoretically possible
attempting to calculate moduli there- to calculate Poisson's ratio directly from
from. any two of the measured velocities. The
If the modulus of elasticity is to be occurrence is sufficiently rare with pres-
computed from the pulse velocity, the ent equipment, however, to merit no
relationship generally recommended is: more than mention at this time.
(1 + #)(1 -- 2~) The use of pulse velocity techniques
E = V2p ..... (13) for testing concrete has been suggested
(1 -- ~)
for evaluating the strength of concrete,
where: its uniformity, its setting characteristics,
E = dynamic modulus of elasticity, its modulus of elasticity, and the pres-
V = longitudinal pulse velocity, ence or absence of cracks within the con-
p = mass density, and crete. There appears to be little question
= Poisson's ratio. of the suitability of such techniques to
This equation relates modulus to determine the presence, and to some ex-
pulse velocity and density in an infinite tent the magnitude, of cracks in concrete,
medium and presumably should apply although it has been suggested that if
only to mass concrete. The experience of the cracks are fully water-filled their
most investigators, however, has been locations may be more difficult to ascer-
that even for very small laboratory tain. In all of the other fields of investiga-
specimens this relationship gives better tion, independent investigators have re-
results than do those applying to either ported widely different degrees of success
slabs or long slender members. Leslie through the use of these techniques (I4).
and Cheesman (9) have suggested that I t is generally agreed that very high
best results are obtained if, for con- velocities are indicative of very good
cretes having unit weights in excess of concrete and that very low velocities
approximately 140 lb per cu ft, the value are indicative of poor concrete. It is
of Poisson's ratio is assumed to be 0.24. further agreed that periodic, systematic
If this is done, Eq 13 is reduced to: changes in velocity are indicative of
E = 0.000216V~d(0.849) . . . . . . (14) similar changes in the quality of the con-
where d = weight of concrete, lb per cu crete. Beyond these areas of agreement,
ft. however, it appears that the investigator

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must have a rather intimate knowledge "Concrete Manual" of the U. S. Bureau

of the concrete involved before attempt- of Reclamation (20). I t was felt that
ing to interpret velocities as measures of strengths in the 500 to 2000 psi range
strength or other properties of the con- could be estimated with sufficient ac-
crete. curacy to provide a check on the time at
which tunnel forms might be removed
SUR:FAC~: I2r MEASUREMENTS safely. I t was indicated, however, that
the test was not so reliable for strengths
Within recent years some measure of
at later ages or higher levels.
success has been achieved in making
More recently the results of similar
quantitative measurements that are
indentation tests in Germany have been
indicative chiefly of the resistance of
reported by Gaede (21). The instruments
concrete to the rapidly applied blow of a
steel hammer or ball. Hence, these meas- used were a pendulum hammer, which
was restricted to vertical surfaces, and
urements may provide another means of
the Frank spring hammer, generally simi-
surveying concrete in structures to de-
termine its uniformity as affected by lar in its operation to the model I I
Schmidt hammer. ]~oth hammers may
composition, placing, curing, or expo-
be caused to deliver either half or full
sure. Although there is a pronounced
tendency on the part of users of these blows. In addition, it is indicated that
a half-size indenter should be used
devices to express the observations in
when the regular one makes insufficient
terms of estimated strengths, it may be
impression in high-grade concrete.
found that the results are expesssed more
significantly as differences either with Several additional impact tests have
been discussed by Voellmy (22). These
respect to various locations in a structure
or a series of production units or in desig- are not sufficiently well known on this
nating changes resulting from hydration continent, however, to permit their
or exposure. Such measurements may be evaluation at this time.
considered conveniently under the head- In view of the important influence of
ings of rebound and indentation tests. surface and near-surface conditions on
For several years use has been made of impact tests, the instructions supplied
spring-actuated hammers whose re- with these devices deal in some detail
bound movement after striking the sur- with the preparation of surfaces for
face of concrete can be recorded (18, 19). testing, the minimum number of blows
These Schmidt test hammers are of two per test, and the recommended procedure
types. Model I has external springs, for analyzing the results. Most investi-
whereas in model I I the spring mech- gators have found that small test speci-
mens have insufficient mass to provide
anism is enclosed within the barrel of
an adequate reaction. Accordingly, they
the instrument. In model I the hammer
have reported clamping specimens in a
is cocked agains t the spring and released testing machine under a load of a few
by a trigger. In model I I the hammer is thousand pounds in order to provide
pushed against the surface of the con- satisfactory restraint. Others have
crete to compress the spring by a pre- reached the conclusion that finished,
determined amount. At this point the horizontal surfaces do not represent the
spring is released automatically, thereby underlying concrete as closely as do
driving a ram against the hammer. formed, vertical surfaces. The impor-
Among the earlier uses of impact inden- tance of this difference will depend, of
tation tests was one described in the course, upon whether one is interested

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chiefly in the condition of the surface orfluence the results in varying degrees.
that of the concrete as a whole. It is ob-Recognizing these influences and making
viously necessary to keep these and other proper allowances for them are basic
details of procedure constantly in mind requirements in evaluating such test
in order to secure consistent and usable data.
results. Usually the most pronounced influence
Originators of the spring-driven re- on results is the type of aggregate used
bound and indentation hammers have in the concrete because of the wide
established general curves based on fairlyranges possible in elasticity and density.
extensive tests and a wide range of con- Frequently the maximum size of coarse
cretes. These calibration curves provide aggregate must be considered in com-
some guidance for users of the hammers, paring different series of tests. Other
but it has been found that a correlation factors influencing results include mois-
curve for the specific concrete is much ture content, temperature, density, re-
more useful and trustworthy for control inforcement, type of cement, aggregate-
cement and water-cement ratios, and
of a given job. This is obviously the case,
since it evaluates the influence of ag- admixtures. The most exhaustive in-
gregate type and size distribution. vestigation of these factors reported to
Numerous investigators have devel- date is that of Jones (13).
oped strength correlation data showing a I t appears that the sustained fre-
considerable range in coefficients of vari-quency tests have their main application
ation depending largely upon their in tracing the course of deterioration in
control of variables in the concrete and specimens subjected to weathering or
on the details of their testing techniques.exposure tests. In general, application
Experiences, reported largely through of these techniques to structures, in-
personal correspondence, of those cal- cluding pavements, is hampered by
ibrating and using various rebound and boundary effects, power requirements,
indentation hammers indicate that, with and difficulties in the interpretation of
careful calibration and test control, measurements on any but the most
values of compressive strength predicted elementary forms.
from weighted mean rebound numbers or The major applications of pulse ve-
indentation diameters will generally locity tests on concrete are to establish
agree with measured compressive the degree of uniformity, or lack thereof,
strengths within 15 per cent, with the throughout a structure, to follow pro-
majority agreeing within 10 per cent. gressive changes in the quality of con-
Some investigators have claimed ac- crete in either specimens or structures,
curacy of prediction within considerably and to determine the presence or absence
narrower limits. It has been reported of cracking in monolithic concrete.
that the degree of correlation decreases
Velocity tests on concrete are not
as strength or age of the concrete in-
hampered significantly by size and shape
creases, and it has been further suggested
effects. The level of effective pulse trans-
that variations in moisture content of the
concrete may have a significant effect mission is the limiting condition that
upon rebound or indentation test results. will govern the operating range, de-
pending on the characteristics of instru-
S~MARY mentation and on the inherent property
It has been the experience of users of of concrete to attenuate the impulse.
dynamic testing that many factors in- This maximum range may vary from

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perhaps a few inches in unset concrete are not dependent upon size and shape
to 50 to 60 ft in sound concrete of high of the concrete tested, direct comparisons
quality. The attenuation of the impulse may be made between tests made on dif-
may lead to important errors, particu- ferent concretes or different sections of
larly in the case of those devices which the same concrete. Batchelder and
do not provide for visual examination Lewis (17) have shown that the velocity
of transmitted and received signals. itself correlates better with the results
With respect to the prediction of of resonant frequency tests on laboratory
values for other properties of concrete specimens than does the modulus of elas-
on the basis of the results of dynamic ticity computed from velocity tests. No
tests, it is both desirable and proper to evidence has yet been presented to sug-
compute the dynamic modulus of elas- gest that any better relationship exists
ticity or rigidity from the appropriate between pulse velocities and other prop-
resonant frequency. Such computation erties of the concrete than between
is necessary if results of tests on speci- resonant frequencies and these prop-
mens of different sizes and shapes are to erties.
be compared. Since both the resonant It is believed that hammer impact tests
frequency and the weight of the speci- which can be applied directly to concrete
men can be measured directly and in place and which have the desirable
Poisson's ratio does not enter heavily attributes of ease of application and
into the computations, it is believed that low equipment cost can provide a useful
there is little danger of the introduction means of quality control and inspection
of significant error in making these com- in many instances. It must be borne in
putations. The use of resonant frequency mind that the measurements reflect con-
techniques for predicting other properties ditions at or near the surface of a struc-
of concrete does not appear to be well ture or member and hence may or may
supported by data presently available, not be indicative of the underlying con-
although the recent work of Kesler and crete.
Higuchi (4) indicates that two dynamic With the present state of knowledge
parameters may define the strength of of the variations inherent in these testing
concrete. techniques and the recognition of other
With respect to pulse velocity tech- factors influencing the results, it appears
niques, there seems to be very little essential in attempting to estimate the
reason for computing anything other absolute level of strength of a particular
than pulse velocity from the results of concrete to have calibration data for that
such tests. The computation of dynamic type of concrete. However, in spite of
modulus of elasticity from pulse velocity these limitations, with careful adherence
requires a knowledge of both the unit to recommended test procedures and
weight of the concrete and Poisson's with discreet and judicious interpreta-
ratio, both of which values, at least in tion of test data, the impact tests are
the case of tests on structures, must be potentially capable of providing much
estimated. Since results of these tests useful guidance for the users.

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(1) T. C. Powers, "Measuring Young's Modu- (12) R. Jones, "The Non-Destructive Testing
lus of Elasticity by Means of Sonic Vibra- of Concrete," Magazine of Concrete Re-
tions," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing search, No. 2, June, 1949.
Mats., Vol. 38, Part II, p. 460 (1938). (13) R. Jones, "The Testing of Concrete by an
(2) W. T. Thomson, "Measuring Changes in Ultrasonic Pulse Technique," Proceedings,
Physical Properties of Concrete by the Highway Research Board, Vol. 32, p. 258
Dynamic Method," Proceedings, Am. Soc. (1953).
Testing Mats., VoL 40, p. 1113 (1940). (14) E. A. Whitehurst, "A Review of Pulse
(3) L. Obert and W. I. Duvall, "Discussion of Velocity Techniques and Equipment for
Dynamic Methods of Testing Concrete Testing Concrete," Proceedings, Highway
with Suggestions for Standardization," Research Board, Vol. 33, p. 226 (1954).
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. (15) R6union des Laboratories d'Essais et de
41, p. 1053 (1941). Recherches sur les Mat6riaux et les Con-
(4) C. E. Kesler and Y. Higuchi, "Determina- structions (Union of Testing and Re-
tion of Compressive Strength of Concrete search Laboratories for Materials and
by Using Its Sonic Properties," Proceedings, Structures), Bulletins Nos. 13-18, March,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 53, p. 1044 1953-June, 1954.
(1953). (16) W. J. Cheesman, "Dynamic Testing of
(5) B. G. Long and H. J. Kurtz, "Effect of Concrete with the Soniscope Apparatus,"
Curing Methods upon the Durability of Proceedings, Highway Research Board,
Concrete as Measured by Changes in the Vol. 29, p. 176 (1949).
Dynamic Modulus of Elasticity," Proceed- (17) G. M. Batchelder and D. W. Lewis, "Com-
ings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 43, p. parison of Dynamic Methods of Testing
1051 (1943). Concrete Subjected to Freezing and Thaw-
(6) G. Pickett, "Dynamic Testing of Pave- ing," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats.,
ments," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., April, Vol. 53, p. 1053 (1953).
1945; Proceedings, Vol. 41, p. 20. (18) E. Schmidt and E. Herzig, "Versuche mit
(7) T. E. Stanton, "Tests Comparing the
Modulus of Elasticity of Portland Cement dem neuen Beton-Prufhammer zur Quali-
Concrete as Determined by the Dynamic tatsbestimmung des Betons (Tests with
the New Concrete Test Hammer to Deter-
(Sonic) and Compression (Secant at 1000
mine the Quality of Concrete)," Schweizer
psi) Methods," ASTM BVLImTIN,No. 131,
ArcMv far angewandte Wissenschaft und
December, 1944, p. 17.
(8) B. G. Long, H. J. Kurtz, and T. A. San-
Technik (I951).
denaw, "An Instrument and a Technique (19) G. W. Greene, "Test Hammer Provides
for Field Determination of the Modulus of New Method of Evaluating Hardened Con-
Elasticity of Concrete (Pavements)," Jour- crete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., No-
nal, Am. Concrete Inst., January, 1945; vember, 1954; Proceedings,Vo]. 51, p. 249.
Proceedings, Vol. 4t, p. 11. (20) "Concrete Manual," U. S. Bureau of
(9) J. R. Leslie and W. J. Cheesman, "An Ul- Reclamation, 3rd Ed., pp. 316-317 (1941).
trasonic Method of Studying Deterioration. (21) K. Gaede, "Non-Destructive Testing of
and Cracking in Concrete Structures," Concrete by the Steel Ball Impact Meth-
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., September, od," Library Abstract No. 3, Cement and
1949; Proceedings, Vol. 46, p. 17. Concrete Assn., London. (Abridged trans-
(10) W. E. Parker, "Pulse Velocity Testing of lation.)
Concrete," Pro6eedings, Am. Soc. Testing (22) A. Voellmy, "Examination of Concrete by
Mats., Vol. 53, p. 1043 (1953). Measurements of Superficial Hardness,"
(11) E. A. Whitehurst, "Soniscope Tests Con- Bulletin No. 18, R6union des Laboratoires
crete Structures," Journal, Am. Concrete d'Essais et de Recherches sur les Mat6-
Inst., February, 1951; Proceedings, Vol. riaux et les Constructions, June, 1954,
47, p. 433. Second Part, Summary No. 41.

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete



Concrete is an important and widely they are relatively crack free and that
used constructional material because of they satisfactorily resist the action of
its excellent combination of desirable destructive agents.
properties, but it is subject to appreciable In this as in most papers dealing with
volume changes which may, under cer- dimension changes of concrete, the term
tain circumstances, cause rupture or m a y "volume change" is used even though
aid the action of destructive agents "length changes" are usually determined
through the development and growth of and reported because they can be easily
cracks. Volume changes in concrete due measured and because engineers are
to variations of temperature, humidity, primarily interested in length changes.
and stress are partly or entirely re-
versible, but volume changes due to TEST METHODS FOR DETERMINING
destructive chemical and mechanical VOLUME CHANGES
action are not reversible and are cumula- It is impossible to standardize all
tive as long as the action continues. volume change tests made on concrete
Unrestrained volume changes in con- because of the wide variety of conditions
crete due to variations in temperature, encountered in research. Simple routine
moisture, and stress are generally of tests, such as those for the determination
small concern. When volume changes are of unsoundness caused by the hydration
restrained by foundations, connecting of uncombined lime and magnesia and
members, or reinforcement, stresses are those for the determination of the pos-
produced in the concrete which m a y sible reaction between aggregates and
cause distress and even failure. Since cements having a high alkali content,
concrete is weaker in tension than in will be considered later. In addition,
compression, restrained contractions are ASTM Method C 1572 provides a method
usually more important. for routine determination of the volume
While in a general way the causes of change of unstressed cement mortar and
volume changes and the reactions of concrete specimens at room temperature.
concrete to these causes are known, it is The test consists of casting mortar
still not possible to build structures such prisms, 1 in. square and 11 in. long, or
as bridges, buildings, and dams with concrete prisms, 4 in. square and l l in.
assurance that they will not crack. How- long, containing aggregate up to 189 in.,
ever, if proper attention is given to all in a horizontal position. "The specimens
of the many variables that influence the contain a stainless steel gage plug at the
behavior of concrete, it is possible to center of each end which projects } in
build these concrete structures so that
2Method of Test for Volume Change of
George W. Washa, Professor of Me- Cement Mortar and Concrete, (C 157), 1955
chanics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.
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beyond the end. The distance between settle while the clear water rises to the
the innermost ends of the gage plugs, the top. This action starts very shortly after
gage length, is 10 4- 0.10 in. Specimens the concrete has been placed and con-
are kept in the molds for 20 to 24 hr, or tinues until maximum compaction of
longer if necessary, to prevent damage, the solids, particle interference, or setting
removed from the molds, and moist brings it to a close. Profuse bleeding, to-
cured for 28 days. After curing, they are gether with rapid evaporation or leaky
placed in the storage room, usually at a or absorbent forms, will result in ex-
temperature of 73.4 4- 2 F and a relative cessive setting shrinkage which, in ex-
humidity of 50 4- 2 per cent. Length treme cases, may be as high as 1 per
changes are then obtained with a dial cent by volume. In comparison, volume
micrometer. changes resulting from hydration and
Unless information on the volume adsorption effects appears to be only
change of concrete during the setting about 0A per cent for ordinary cements.
period is wanted, the first length reading Setting shrinkage may be minimized
is usually taken after 24 hr, and readings by the use of saturated aggregates, low
are taken at additional ages until the cement content mixes, moist and cool
desired information has been obtained. casting conditions, tight and nonabsorb-
Length readings are usually taken over ent forms, and shallow lifts in placing.
gage lengths varying between 1 and 20 The effect of setting shrinkage on subse-
in. with dial comparators, mechanical quent properties such as strength, creep
strain gages, optical comparators, and and durability has not received the con-
electric resistance gages. Length read- sideration it should.
ings may be taken over a wide range of
temperature and under variable storage
conditions such as moist, sealed, dry with
different relative humidities, and various Undesirable Chemical and Mechanical
cycles of dry and moist. A track:
In determining creep of concrete speci- Concrete is subjected to many types of
mens in tension or compression, the sus- chemical and mechanical attack that act
tained loads needed are usually obtained to shorten its useful life. While the mech-
by spring-frame assemblies, while beams anism of destruction varies and may be
and slabs are simply dead loaded. Bi- quite complicated, signs of its action
axial and triaxial loadings are main- are generally first evident as expansions,
tained hydraulically. and as the action continues the expan-
sions increase until disintegration occurs.
VOLUME CHANGES IN FRESH CONCRETE Some of the more common destructive
agents or actions to which concrete is
Volume changes in freshly mixed con- subjected include sewage of high acid or
crete are due to water absorption, sulfide content, sulfate waters, electroly-
sedimentation (bleeding), cement hydra- sis, sea water, fire, freezing and thawing,
tion, and thermal change, and are in- expansion due to hydration of uncom-
fluenced by the temperature and hu- bined lime and magnesia, and expansion
midity of the surrounding atmosphere. due to a reaction between cements having
Absorption of water by the aggregates a high alkali content and certain siliceous
and reaction between the water and the aggregates.
cement both act to decrease the volume. A complete discussion of each of these
In bleeding, the solid portions of the mix actions is outside of the scope of this

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paper, but additional consideration gregate with a sodium hydroxide solu-

should be given to the expansions due to tion under controlled test conditions.
alkali-aggregate reaction and to the hy- Excessive expansion of concrete due
dration of uncombined lime and mag- to the hydration of the uncombined lime
nesia. Reactions between certain rela- and magnesia present in cement is called
tively unstable, highly siliceous unsoundness. Two types of tests are
constituents of aggregates and cements given in ASTM methods to detect at an
having high alkali contents result in early age the possibility of hydration
strength loss, excessive expansion and taking place at a later age in the con-
cracking, and disintegration. Such ex- crete. The pat test, ASTM Method
cessive expansions due to cement- C 189, 8 consists of subjecting pats of
aggregate reactivity have, in some neat cement to the action of saturated
instances, been materially decreased by steam at atmospheric pressure for 5
additions of various pozzolanic materials. hr and then noting visually any signs of
One method of determining the potential volume change such as distortion, check-
alkali reactivity of cement-aggregate ing, cracking, and disintegration. Since
combinations is given in ASTM Method the pat test is qualitative in nature, and
C 227. 3 The method consists of making since it usually detects unsoundness due
1 by 1-in. prisms, with an effective gage to free CaO but not that due to crystal-
length of 10 in., of 1 part of the cement line MgO, it has been replaced in many
to be used to 2.25 parts of graded ag- cases by the autoclave test.
gregate, by weight, with enough water While the autoclave test is most fre-
to produce a flow of 105 to 120 (as quently used to detect unsoundness, it
determined in accordance with ASTM is also used to determine the expansions
Method C 109).4 The prisms are stored that may be obtained during the process
for 24 hr in a moist room at 73.4 4- 3 F, of almost complete hydration. It has been
measured for length in a comparator, shown that in general the characteristics
of cement that cause expansion in the
placed on end, over but not in contact
autoclave usually also cause expansion
with water in metal containers main-
of pastes, mortars, and concrete during a
tained at 100 3 F, and again measured
period of continuous exposure to mois-
for length when at a temperature of ture.
73.4 q- 3 F. The expansion for any pe- The autoclave test provides quantita-
riod of time may thus be determined. A tive information on the expansion due
chemical method for determining the to the hydration of free CaO and MgO.
potential reactivity of aggregates when The test as given in ASTM Method.
used with high alkali cements is given in C 15U consists in subjecting 1 by 1 by
ASTM Method C 289, 5 which is based ll~-in, neat cement bars of normal con-
on the amount of reaction of the ag- sistency, moist cured for 24 hr, to the
action of steam under a pressure of 295
3 Method of Test for Potential Alkali Re-
activity of C e m e n t - A g g r e g a t e Combinations
q- 10 psi (215.7 q- 1.7 C) for a period of
(C 227), 1955 Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3 hr. The steam pressure must be raised
3. to the required value in 1 to 188 hr, and
4 Method of T e s t for Compressive Strength
of Hydraulic C e m e n t Mortars, (C 109), 1956 0 Method of Test for Soundness of Hydraulic
C e m e n t Over Boiling W a t e r (Pat Test) (C 189),
Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3.
1955 Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3.
5 M e t h o d of T e s t for Potential Reactivity of M e t h o d of T e s t for Autoclave Expansion of
Aggregates (Chemical Method) (C 289), 1955 Portland C e m e n t (C 151), 1955 Book of A S T M
Book of A S T M Standards, P a r t 3. Standards, P a r t 3.

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after the 3-hr steaming period the pres- unhydrated cement. In most instances
sure should be released to a value less the initial expansions obtained during
than 10 psi within 1 hr. Linear expansions the first few months do not exceed 0.003
are measured by a dial gage or a microm- per cent, while the ultimate contractions
eter comparator over an effective gage obtained after several years usually do
length of 10 in. A maximum expansion of not exceed 0.010 per cent. These volume
0.50 per cent is allowed in present ASTM changes are especially important in the
standards for cement types I, II, III, interior of mass concrete where little or
IV, V, IA, IIA, and IliA, and a maxi- no change of the total moisture content
mum value of 0.20 per cent expansion or is possible.
contraction is allowed for types IS and Results of tests indicate that autoge-
ISA. The autoclave expansion for nat- nous volume changes are influenced by
ural cement types N and NA is obtained the composition and fineness of the
by determining the autoclave expansion cement, the amount of mixing water,
of a blend of 25 per cent natural cement mix proportions, curing conditions, and
and 75 per cent portland cement and time. It appears that the magnitude of
subtracting the autoclave expansion of the autogenous volume change increases
the portland cement used. The maximum as the fineness of the cement and the
value is 0.50 per cent. Because of large amount of cement for a given consis-
expansions obtained in many structures tency are increased. Ultimate contrac-
made with masonry cements containing tions appear to be greater for portland-
high percentages of unhydrated MgO, pozzolan cement than for low-heat
i t has been recommended that the auto- portland cement which in turn contracts
clave test be used for masonry cement more than modified portland cement.
and that the maximum allowable expan-
sion be 1.0 per cent. Thermal Changes:
Combination of liberated calcium hy- Unrestrained concrete expands as the
droxide in the paste with carbon dioxide temperature rises and contracts as it
in the air releases water which becomes falls. An average value of the coefficient
available for evaporation and results in of thermal expansion normally used is
appreciable shrinkage. While this action 5.5 millionths per deg Fahr, which for-
is confined to concrete at and near the tunately is close to the value for steel.
surface, it has been observed to depths as Consequently reinforced-concrete struc-
great as 1 in. tures function satisfactorily even over
fairly large temperature variations.
A utogenous Action: While the coefficient of thermal expan-
sion frequently is close to the average
Autogenous volume changes of con- value, it may vary between 2.5 and 8.0
crete are the result of cement hydration millionths per deg Fahr, depending to
and do not include changes due to varia- some extent on the richness of the mix,
tions in moisture, temperature, and load. the type of aggregate, and the moisture
Autogenous volume changes may cause content of the concrete, but primarily on
expansions or contractions, depending on the thermal coefficient of the aggregate
the relative importance of two opposing used.
factors: (1) expansion of new gel due to The coefficient of thermal expansion of
the absorption of free pore water, and neat cement varies between 5.0 and 12.5
(2) shrinkage of the gel due to extraction millionths per deg Fahr and increases
of water by reaction with remaining about 25 per cent as the fineness is in-

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creased from 1200 to 2700 sq cm per g. surface. The maximum concrete tempera-
Oven-dried and vacuum-saturated speci- ture is dependent on the initial concrete
mens have similar coefficients, but the temperature, the heat of hydration of the
value for specimens with an intermediate cement, the outside temperature, the
moisture content may be almost twice as rate of construction, and the specific
large. heat and thermal conductivity of the
Thermal expansion of concrete is concrete. Thermal changes in mass
greatly influenced by the type of aggre- concrete are kept as low as possible by
gate used because of the large differences the use of low-heat portland cements and
in the thermal properties of the various also by artificial refrigeration.
types of aggregates and even for aggre-
gates of a given type but from different Continuous Moist Storage:
sources. Siliceous aggregates, such as
Moist-cured concrete begins to ex-
chert, quartzite, sandstone, and some
pand after the setting shrinkage has
highly impure limestones, have thermal
taken place because of progressive hy-
coefficients of expansion between 4.5
dration of the cement and the gel forma-
and 6.5 millionths per deg Fahr, while
tion between cement particles. The ex-
the coefficient for purer limestones,
pansion of concrete due to continuous
basalt, granite, and gneiss have values
moist storage is relatively low for the
between 1.2 to 4.5 millionths per deg
various types of cement, although it is
Fahr. Single crystals of minerals such as
slightly higher for type I than for types
quartz, feldspar, and calcite, or rocks
II, III, IV, and V. Mortars and con-
composed of such minerals with the
cretes containing pozzolanic material as
crystals in parallel orientation have co-
cement replacements expand slightly
efficients along the various axes that may
more under continuous moist storage
be quite different. Feldspar, for example,
than do comparable mortars and con-
has values of 9.7, 0.5, and 1.1 millionths
cretes made without pozzolonic replace-
per deg Fahr along three different axes.
ments. Additions of gypsum also increase
A fair value of the coefficient of thermal
expansions under moist storage. The
expansion for a concrete made with spe-
amount of cement in a given mix is of
cific materials may be computed by using
much greater importance than the type
weighted averages of the coefficients of
of cement, since the expansion of a neat
the aggregate and the neat cement.
paste is about twice that of an average
The differences in the thermal coeffi-
mortar and the expansion of the mortar
cients of the constituent materials in
is about twice that of an average con-
concrete cause a thermal incompat-
ibility between the coarse aggregate and
The rate of expansion decreases with
the cement mortar. It is generally agreed
the period of moist storage and becomes
that this thermal incompatability has
very small after several years. The ulti-
some effect on durability, but its rela-
tive importance in comparison with those mate amount of expansion is usually less
caused by other factors is in some doubt. than 0.025 per cent. For comparative
Thermal changes are important in purposes it may be noted that the ex-
mass concrete where cracking is generally pansions accompanying immersion over
due to cooling of the concrete from the a period of several years are about one
maximum temperature reached to the third of the contractions of the same con-
stable temperature. Drying shrinkage in crete air dried for the same period.
mass concrete is important only at the The volume change of concrete pro-

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tected against loss or gain of water is The effect of admixtures on drying

small and is usually less than 0.005 per shrinkage appears to vary for the dif-
cent expansion or contraction, depend- ferent types of admixtures. Nominal
ing on the type of cement, temperature, amounts of admixtures consisting of
and other conditions. dispersing and wetting agents have little
effect on shrinkage of concrete. Ad-
Drying Shrinkage: mixtures that increase the water require-
Drying shrinkage of concrete is ment of concrete increase the shrinkage.
caused principally by the contraction of In general, mortars and concretes that
the calcium silicate gel in the hardened have some of the cement replaced by
cement-water paste when the moisture pozzolanic material shrink more under
content of the gel is decreased. Among continuously dry conditions than mor-
the more important factors that in- tars and concretes without pozzolan
fluence drying shrinkage are the water- substitutions. Replacement of 20 per
cement ratio of the paste, the composi- cent of the cement with fly ash having a
tion of the cement, the amount of paste low carbon content has very little effect
in the concrete, the characteristics and on the shrinkage, but similar replace-
amounts of admixtures used, the mix ments of cement with pozzolanic material
proportions, the mineral composition of of greater specific surface and greater
the aggregate, the maximum size of the effect on water demand may produce
aggregate, the size and shape of the con- long-time mortar shrinkages, as much as
crete mass, the amount and distribution 50 per cent greater than those for the
of reinforcing steel, the curing conditions, corresponding mortar without the poz-
the length of the drying period, and the zolan substitution. Additions of calcium
humidity of the surrounding air. chloride up to 2 per cent by weight of
The importance of the quality and the the cement increase drying shrinkage by
quantity of cement paste in the drying 10 to 50 per cent.
shrinkage of concrete is evident from the The most important single factor
fact that cement paste in concrete, if not affecting shrinkage is the amount of
restrained by aggregate, shrinks from water per unit volume of concrete. Con-
five to fifteen times as much as the con- sequently, concrete with a wetter con-
crete. The quality of the paste is pri- sistency will shrink more than one with
marily a function of the water-cement a dry or stiff consistency because the
ratio and the composition and fineness of wetter consistency is obtained by the
the cement. A paste with a water-cement use of a higher water-cement ratio, by a
ratio of 0.56, by weight, shrinks about greater quantity of paste, or a combina-
50 per cent more than one with a water- tion of the two. The quantity of cement
cement ratio of 0.40. The effect of the per unit volume of concrete appears to
fineness of the cement on drying shrink- have an erratic effect on shrinkage, since
age does not appear to be as clearly indi- the effect of the larger quantity of paste
cated, but in general finer cements ex- in a rich mix is offset by the higher water-
hibit slightly greater shrinkage values. cement ratio of the paste in a lean mix.
In considering composition effects it An increase in the cement content from
appears that a given amount of trical- 5 to 8 sacks per cu yd may increase the
cium aluminate contributes most and drying shrinkage by about 25 per cent.
tricalcium silicate least to shrinkage and The grading, composition, and the
that dicalcium silicate has an inter- physical and mechanical properties of
mediate effect. the aggregate have an important effect

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on concrete shrinkage. Well-graded ag- the values for small size concrete speci-
gregates with a large maximum size have mens, although the action continues
a low void space and consequently re- over a longer period for t h e large mass.
quire a relatively small amount of paste. Under given drying conditions a 6-in.
Larger maximum sizes of aggregates are thick concrete member might reach
effective in reducing shrinkage because equilibrium in 1 yr, while a 12-in. thick
they allow lower water contents and be- member might require at least 4 yr; the
cause they encourage cracking between ultimate shrinkage of the larger member,
particles. Increasing the maximum ag- however, might not exceed two thirds
gregate size from ~ to ~ in. decreases of that obtained for the smaller one.
the shrinkage by about one third in An increase in the length of the pre-
concrete having a fixed water-cement liminary curing period usually acts to
ratio and a fixed consistency. The effect decrease the drying shrinkage of neat
of aggregate size may also be noted from cement but has little effect on concrete
the average 1-yr drying shrinkage values except to increase its resistance to
for neat cement, mortar, and concrete of cracking by increasing its tensile strength.
0.25 to 0.30, 0.06 to 0.12, and 0.03 to High-pressure steam curing at about
0.08 per cent, respectively. Aside from 350 F is effectively used in block and
the question of size, aggregates having a precast products plants to reduce greatly
high modulus of elasticity and those subsequent drying shrinkage. The age
having rough surfaces offer greater re- at which the concrete is steamed does
straint to shrinkage. Mineral composi- not appear to be an important factor.
tion is important because, under com- The length of the drying period and
parable conditions, concrete made with the humidity of the surrounding air
sandstone, slate, hornblende, and py- have an important effect on drying
roxene may shrink up to two times as shrinkage. Small specimens of neat-
much as concretes made with granite, cement paste have shrinkages that in-
quartz, feldspar, dolomite, and lime- crease for at least 20 yr and are propor-
stone. tional to the logarithm of the age. The
The size and shape of the concrete shrinkage of mortars and concretes is
mass have a considerable effect on the usually small after 3 yr of drying. The
rate and total amount of shrinkage. In rate and magnitude of drying shrinkage
large concrete members, differential increase as the relative humidity of the
volume changes occur with the largest surrounding air decreases. Further,
shrinkages found at and near the sur- pastes, mortars, and concretes that have
face. Because of the large moisture varia- reached equilibrium under a given drying
tions from center to surface, tensile condition will shrink more if the relative
stresses are set up at and near the humidity is then decreased, or will ex-
surface, while compressive stresses are pand if it is increased.
developed in the interior. Hence, if the The relatively high shrinkage of light-
tensile stress near the surface is very weight aggregate concrete is one of its
high, surface cracks may appear. How- most unfavorable properties. Drying
ever, the action of creep may prevent shrinkage values may normally vary
cracking and may cause permanent between 0.04 and 0.30 per cent and are
elongation of the fibers in tension and likely to be more pronounced with con-
shortening of the fibers in compression. cretes containing aggregates that have
The rate and ultimate shrinkage of a high rates of absorption and that require
large mass of concrete are smaller than high cement contents for strength.

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Moist-cured cellular products made with followed by 48-hr immersion in water at

neat cement weighing between 10 and 20 70 F and then by 15 hr of air storage at
lb per cu ft may have drying shrinkage 70 F caused expansions of 0.10 to 0.25
values between 0.30 and 0.60 per cent. per cent for concrete mixes made with
Autoclaved cellular products that con- different cements, water-cement ratios,
tain fine siliceous material may weigh and methods of placement.
around 40 lb per cu ft and have drying
shrinkages in the range 0.02 to 0.10 per CREEP OF PLAIN CONCRETE
cent. Fundamental Nature of Creep:
Shrinkage of reinforced unrestrained
Under the action of sustained forces
structures produces tension in the con-
concrete will undergo volumetric changes
crete and compression in the steel. In-
that are in a large part irreversible.
creasing the amount of the reinforcement
These changes are believed to be due to
materially reduces the contraction but
closure of internal voids, viscous flow of
increases the tensile stress in the con-
the cement-water paste, crystalline flow
crete. Concrete slabs reinforced in ten-
in aggregates, and the flow of water from
sion tend to warp, since the concrete near
the cement gel through the network of
the top compressive surface shrinks more
capillary channels to the surface. The
because of the accumulation of water
magnitude and rate of flow are intimately
near that surface during placement, and
related to the drying rate. Under usual
also because the steel on the tensile side
conditions th~s means that, since the dry-
acts to resist shrinkage there.
ing rate is greatest during the early life
The ability of concrete to resist crack-
of concrete, the major amount of creep
ing is dependent on the degree of re-
also occurs during that period.
straint, the magnitude of the drying and
While shrinkage of concrete is gener-
thermal contraction, the stress produced ally undesirable, creep may be desirable
in the concrete, the amount of stress
or undesirable. It is desirable in that
relief due to creep, and the tensile
it tends to promote a better distribution
strength of the concrete. Concretes that
of stresses in many reinforced-concrete
have low drying shrinkage, a low ther-
structures and undesirable in that ex-
mal coefficient, a low sustained modulus
cessive deformations and deflections due
of elasticity, and a high tensile strength
to it may be unsightly and may neces-
have good resistance to cracking. sitate repairs.
Alternate Wetting and Drying: Effect of Constituents:
The effect of the first few cycles of Both the composition and the fineness
alternate wetting and drying at room of the portland cement influence creep
temperature on the volume changes of characteristics. Concrete made with low
concrete is dependent on the details of heat cement creeps more than concrete
the test cycle, but after a few cycles the made with normal cement at all ages.
shrinkage becomes completely reversible. In one series of tests, concrete made
Wetting and drying cycles, combined with with normal and with high-early-
alternations of high and low tempera- strength cements reached maximum
tures, cause residual expansions that in- creep in about 2 yr, while concrete made
crease as the number of cycles is in- with a low-heat cement reached the
creased. One hundred and twenty cycles same condition in 5 yr. Data on the ef-
consisting of 9 hr of oven drying at 180 F fect of fineness of cement on the creep

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properties of concrete are scarce, but Effect of Proportions:

it appears that fineness is probably
In considering the effects of mix pro-
not so important as composition. Tests
portions on creep, the interrelationships
show that for low heat cement, creep is
between water content, slump, water-
greater the coarser the cement, but that
cement ratio, and proportions of con-
the reverse is true for normal portland
stituents must be kept in mind. Tests by
various investigators have shown that
No great amount of work has been
creep of concrete decreases as the water-
carried out to determine the effects of
cement ratio and the volume of cement
admixtures on the creep properties of
paste decrease. In addition it has been
portland-cement concrete. The evidence shown that when a constant water-
now available indicates that the use of cement ratio is maintained, creep in-
approved air-entraining agents has no creases as the slump and cement content
appreciable effect. Concretes made with increase, or essentially as the amount of
pozzolanic material generally exhibit cement paste is increased.
greater creep in tension and compression
than concretes made without pozzolan Effect of Curing:
additions. Other things being equal, it
appears that the creep increases as the The temperature and humidity during
percentage of replacement increases. the curing period prior to loading have
Where creep is an important factor, important effects on the creep of con-
proprietary compounds should not be crete. It is known that a high humidity
used unless their effects have been pre- and temperatures between 70 and 120 F
viously determined. are necessary for proper hydration and
The maximum size, grading, and strength gain in order to sustain required
mineral character of the aggregate all working loads at a given age. Humidity
have an appreciable effect on creep of and temperature conditions during the
portland-cement concrete. Under com- curing period may cause shrinkage or
parable conditions it appears that swelling, which when related to the stor-
shrinkage and creep decrease as the age conditions have a strong influence on
maximum size of coarse aggregate in- creep. Generally hydration tends to pro-
creases and also that both shrinkage and duce less creep in water-cured than in
creep decrease when well-graded ag- air-cured concrete, while preshrinkage or
gregates with low void contents are used. preswelling tends to produce more creep
The mineral character of the aggregate in water-cured than in air-cured con-
has an important influence on the creep crete. Size effects are important in this
properties of concrete. Aggregates that connection, since under given storage
are hard, dense, and have tow absorption conditions small specimens suffer much
and a high modulus of elasticity are more preshrinkage or preswelling than
desirable when concrete with low creep large masses of concrete.
is wanted. Under comparable conditions
it appears that increasing amounts of Effect of Storage:
creep may be expected depending upon Rate of drying during the storage
the aggregates used, in the following period subsequent to curing has a major
order: limestone, quartz, granite, basalt, effect on creep. Rate of drying is de-
and sandstone. termined by the humidity and tempera-

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ture of the air, the size of the member, the creep of mass concrete may be of the
characteristics of the concrete, the mag- order of one fourth that obtained with
nitude of the applied load, and the mois- small specimens stored in moist air.
ture content of the concrete. Tests by
many investigators have shown that the Effect of Age at Loading:
rate and ultimate magnitude of creep With a given concrete and a given sus-
increase as the humidity of the storage tained load, the rate and the magnitude
air decreases. Creep in compression in of creep are decreased with age. It is
air at 50 per cent relative humidity is apparent that the ability of concrete to
usually more than twice as great as that carry sustained loads without excessive
obtained under moist-storage conditions. creep is a function of cement hydration,
Temperature during the loading period is and that, under given conditions, as
important because of its effects on the cement hydration progresses the magni-
physical properties of the gel and the tude of creep decreases.
water. The rate of moisture loss for a
given relative humidity increases with Effect of Time of Loading:
increasing air temperature.
Many investigators have shown that
The relation between relative humidity
concrete creep strains increase rapidly
and creep for a given concrete and given
during the early portion of the sustained
compressive load is not linear. Concrete
loading period and that the creep
under load in an atmosphere of 100 per
strains continue to increase but at a de-
cent humidity will ultimately reach a
creasing rate for at least 5 yr. In some
creep strain approximately equal to the
instances, increases in creep strains have
instantaneous strain obtained when the
been reported up to 10 yr. Approxi-
load is first applied. When the humidity
mately one fourth of the ultimate creep
is reduced to 70 per cent, the ultimate
takes place in the first month of sustained
creep strain is about twice as great, and
loading, and about one half of the ulti-
at a humidity of 50 per cent the ultimate
mate creep occurs during the first one
creep strain is about three times as great.
half year of sustained loading. Creep
This behavior may be explained by
occurs in concrete in relatively short
noting that the compressive stresses due
periods of time, and it has been shown
to shrinkage are superimposed upon those
that under short-time loading much more
due to the sustained load and that rapid
creep occurs in the first 0.01 sec than in
and nonuniform drying (and shrinkage)
the period from 0.01 sec to 1.0 rain.
cause a redistribution of stress due to
load from the gross cross-sectional area Effect of Stress Magnitude:
to a much smaller area near the center
of the member. Creep strain is approximately pro-
portional to sustained stress within the
Effect of Size: range of usual working stresses. The
Size of a concrete member is of great tendency to depart from exact propor-
importance since with larger members tionality increases as the values of the
the increased frictional resistance t o sustained stress increase. The age at
flow along the capillary channels results which the concrete is first subjected to
in a reduction of seepage. This in turn sustained loading is also important since
means that the rate and the ultimate concrete subjected to a given sustained
magnitude of creep are less for larger stress at 7 days will have a higher ratio of
members. It has been estimated that creep strain to sustained stress than a

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similar concrete first subjected to the fluence the properties of concrete. The
same load at an age of 3 months. Sus- modulus of elasticity of concrete cylin-
tained stresses above the normal working ders under sustained load for 10 yr is
stresses produce creep strains that in- about 25 per cent greater than the modu-
crease at a progressively faster rate as lus of elasticity of companion specimens
the magnitude of the sustained stress not loaded during the same period. The
is increased. Cyclic repetition of the effect on ultimate strength is not so
sustained stress produces a residual definite, but it appears that long periods
deformation that increases with the of sustained loading increase the strength
number of cycles but is essentially inde- by 5 per cent over that obtained for un-
pendent of the period of the cycles. loaded specimens tested at the same age.
Type of Creep Tests:
Since concrete is usually used in com-
pression, most information on creep has General Behavior of Simply Supported
been obtained for concrete subjected to Beams and Slabs:
sustained compressive loading. In ad-
In most instances, simply supported
dition, creep tests have been performed
beams and slabs are reinforced only in
under sustained tension, crossbending,
tension and have a nonsymmetrical sec-
bond, torsion, and triaxial stress con-
tion. Further, lack of symmetry is due to
ditions. The same general behavior pat-
the fact that the concrete at and near
tern is, however, evidenced in nearly all
the top of the beam is not so strong and
contains more water than the concrete
Tests on concrete subjected to sus-
in the lower portion due to water rise
tained axial tension and axial compres-
during placement. Consequently, beams
sion show that the rate of tensile creep
and slabs that are not loaded will gradu-
is much greater than the rate of com-
ally warp because shrinkage is resisted
pressive creep at early ages when both
by the steel at the bottom and because
are reduced to a stress of 1 psi but, after
the top concrete shrinks more than the
several weeks of sustained stress, the rate
bottom concrete. Beams and slabs that
of compressive creep exceeds that of the
are subjected to sustained loading con-
tensile creep. The ultimate values of the
sequently will be deflected and strained
creep in tension and compression are
by warping as well as by loading.
about equal. A comparison of the creep
Simply supported beams and slabs sub-
strains in tension and compression of
jected to sustained safe design loads have
beams subjected to constant sustained
deflection-time and compression strain-
bending moment shows that the early
time curves that are similar to the creep
creep of the fibers on the tension side is
strain-time curves for cylinders under
greater than the corresponding creep of
compressive loading. The curves rise
fibers on the compression side. Tests on
steeply during the early portion of the
concrete under sustained combined
loading period and then continue to rise
stresses show that lateral pressure act-
slowly for a relatively long period. About
ing on cylinders under a given axial load
75 per cent of the ultimate values are
causes a marked reduction in longitudi-
obtained by the end of the first half year
nal creep strain.
of loading. The rate and ultimate values
Effect of Sustained Load on Profierlies of are influenced by the various factors
Concrete: previously discussed for plain concrete
Long periods of sustained loading in- and, in addition, by such factors as

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position and amount of reinforcing steel age and creep be at a minimum in order
and ratio of span length to depth of sec- to avoid large reductions in the amount
tion. of prestress. Consequently, special care
The compressive creep strains increase should be taken in the choice of the ma-
rapidly while the strain at the tensile terials used, the design and placement of
steel level shows only a small change the concrete, the conditions and the
during the loading period. The probable length of the curing period, and the age
reason for the different behaviors of the at and the conditions of loading. Under
top and bottom portions of the slab dur- very poor conditions the loss in prestress
ing the test is that the effects of shrink- of the steel due to shrinkage and creep
age and creep are in the same direction may be around 50,000 psi. in our present
in the top, but are opposite to each other stage of development it is generally con-
in the bottom of the slab. sidered necessary to prestress the steel
The ratio of span length to total depth up to 120,000 to 150,000 psi, and it is
of beam has an important effect on creep. further felt that prestressing up to only
Investigations have shown that an in- 50,000 psi is of little value because of the
crease in the ratio from 20 to 70 increases possible effects of shrinkage and creep.
the creep deflection of simply supported
beams about four to six times. General Behavior of Continuous Beams
and Slabs:
Effect of Compressive Reinforcement: Tests on reinforced-concrete two-span
The inclusion of arbitrary amounts of beams resting on three supports at the
compressive steel at the section of maxi- same elevation provide information on
mum moment in simply supported rein- the behavior of continuous beams under
forced-concrete beams is effective in re- constant sustained stress. These tests
ducing creep deflection and compressive show that at the sections of maximum
creep strains. Tests have shown that the positive moment the deflections, com-
inclusion of compressive steel, not re- pressive creep strains, and tensile creep
quired for design strength and equal in strains behaved in a manner similar to
amount to the tensile steel, reduced the that obtained in simply supported beams.
creep deflection by about one half. In- However, comparison of the values for
clusion of half as much compressive steel the simply supported and the continuous
caused a reduction of approximately one beams of similar section and span length
third. Compressive creep strain was re- shows that, after 1 yr of sustained load-
duced about 60 per cent by the inclusion ing, the creep deflection of the continu-
of compressive steel equal to the tensile ous beams was between one third and
steel and about 40 per cent by the in- one half of the values for the simply
clusion of half as much compressive supported beams and that the com-
steel. From these significant effects it pressive creep strains of the continuous
was concluded that compressive rein- beams were between 60 and 80 per cent
forcement should be used where a com- of the values for simply supported beams.
bination of high L/D ratio and sustained The tensile creep strain for both types of
load is necessary. beams did not change much with time.
The beneficial effects produced by the
Creep of _Prestressed Reinforced-Concrete addition of compressive reinforcement at
Beams: the sections of maximum positive mo-
In this type of construction it is par- ment were quite pronounced since in-
ticularly important that drying shrink- clusion of compressive steel equal in

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a m o u n t to t h e tensile steel reduced the for 589 y r in an Atmosphere of 50 per cent

creep deflections b y a b o u t one third. relative h u m i d i t y , the steel stress in-
creased from a b o u t 8000 to 42,000 psi,
General Behavior of Columns: while the concrete stress decreased from
Tests b y m a n y investigators show that, 1000 to 300 psi. I n the same period of
when reinforced-concrete columns are time, b u t for columns stored under water,
subjected to sustained load, additional the steel stress increased from a b o u t 7000
stress is g r a d u a l l y transferred to the to 12,000 psi a n d the concrete stress de-
steel with a consequent decrease in the creased from 900 to 800 psi. T h e increase
concrete stress. I n one series of tests on in the steel stress generalIy varies in-
reinforced columns, containing 1.9 per versely with the percentage of steel a n d
cent steel and kept under sustained load with the h u m i d i t y of the air.

I t is not possible to provide an extensive listing because of the limitation of space. However, the
following will provide a good starting list, and additions may be made from the more complete
bibliographies available in some of the given publications.
(1) Raymond E. Davis, "A Summary of In- (8) T. F. Willis and M. E. De Reus, "Thermal
vestigations of Volume Changes in Ce- Volume Change and Elasticity of Aggre-
ments, Mortars, and Concretes Produced gates and Their Effect on Concrete," Pro-
by Causes Other than Stress," Proceedings, ceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 39,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 30, Part I, p. 919 (1939).
p. 668 (1930). (9) Roy W. Carlson, "Attempts to Measure
(2) W. H. Glanvilie, "Studies in Reinforced the Cracking Tendency of Concrete,"
Concrete: Part 1.--Bond Resistance; Part Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1940;
2.--Shrinkage Stresses; Part 3.--The Creep Proceedings, Vol. 36, pp. 533-537.
or Flow of Concrete Under Load; Part 4.-- (10) Harmer E. Davis, "Autogenous Volume
Further Investigations on the Creep or Flow Changes of Concrete," Proceedings, Am.
of Concrete Under Load," Technical Papers Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 40, p. 1103 (1940).
Nos. 10, 11, 12, and 21, Department of (11) William R. Lorman, "The Theory of Con-
Scientific and Industrial Research, London crete Creep," .Proceedings,Am. Soc. Testing
(i930, 1930, 1930, and 1939). Mats., Vol. 40, p. 1082 (1940).
(3) Raymond E. Davis, "Methods of Test for (12) G.W. Washa, "Comparison of the Physical
Determining Volume Changes in Con- and Mechanical Properties of Hand Rodded
crete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., and Vibrated Concrete Made with Differ-
Vol. 35, Part I, p. 298 (1935). ent Cements," Journal, Am. Concrete
(4) J. R. Shank, "The Mechanics of Plastic Inst., June, 1940; Proceedings, Vol. 36, pp.
Flow of Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete 617-645.
Inst., November-December, 1935; Pro- (13) Gerald Pickett, "The Effect of Change in
ceedings, Vol. 32. pp. 149-182. Moisture Content on the Creep of Con-
(5) Raymond E. Davis, Harmer E. Davis, and crete Under a Sustained Load," Journal,
Elwood H. Brown, "Plastic Flow and Vol- Am. Concrete Inst., February, 1942; Pro-
rune Changes of Concrete," Proceedings, ceedings, Vol. 38, pp. 333-355.
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 37, Part II, (14) R. E. Davis and J. W. Kelly, "Volume
p. 317 (1937). Changes and Plastic Flow of Concrete,"
(6) Roy W. Carlson, "Drying Shrinkage of Report on Significance of Tests of Concrete
Concrete as Affected by Many Factors," and Concrete Aggregates, Am. Soc. Testing
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. Mats., p. 54 (1943). (Issued as separate
38, Part II, p. 419 (1938). publication ASTM STP No. 22-A.)
(7) Russell S. Jensen and Frank E. Richard, (15) C. M. Duke and H. E. Davis, "Some
"Short-Time Creep Tests of Concrete in Properties of Concrete Under Sustained
Compression," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Test- Combined Stresses," Proceedings, Am.
ing Mats., Vol. 38, Part II, p. 410 (1938). Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 44, p. 888 (1944).

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(16) "Symposium on Methods and Procedures (20) H. F. Gonnerman, William Lerch, and
Used in Identifying Reactive Materials in Thomas M. Whiteside, "Investigations of
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing the Hydration Expansion Characteristics
Mats., Vol. 48, p. 1057 (1948). of Portland Cements," Research Bulletin
(17) H. F. Gonnerman and William Lerch, No. 45, Portland Cement Association,
"Changes in Characteristics of Portland June, 1953.
Cement as Exhibited by Laboratory Tests (21) R. E. Davis and G. E. Troxell, "Properties
over the Period 1904 to 1950," Am. Soc. of Concrete and Their Influence on Pre-
Testing Mats. (1952). (Issued as separate stress Design," Journal, Am. Concrete
publication ASTM STP No. 127.) Inst., January 1954; Proceedings, VoI. 50,
(18) G. W. Washa and P. G. Fluck, "The Effect p. 381.
of Compressive Reinforcement on the (22) Douglas McHenry, "A New Aspect of
Plastic Flow of Reinforced Concrete Creep in Concrete and Its Application to
Beams," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., Design," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing
October, 1952; Proceedings, Vol. 49, p. 89. Mats., Vol. 43, p. 1069 (1943).
(19) Leonard J. Mitchell, "Thermal Expansion (23) Arthur E. Theuer, "Effect of Temperature
Tests on Aggregates, Neat Cements, and on the Stress-Deformation of Concrete,"
Concretes," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Journal of Research, Nat. Bureau Stand-
Mats., Vol. 53, p. 963 (1953). ards, Vol. 18, p. 195 (1937). (RP970.)

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


The thermal properties of hardened THERMAL PROPERTIES AND

concrete that are of engineering signifi- THEIR RANGES
cance are thermal conductivity, specific
heat, thermal diffusivity, and coefficient Thermal Conductivity:
of thermal expansion. Thermal conductiv- The ability of hardened concrete to
ity is the rate of heat flow; specific heat conduct or pass heat through itself is
is the heat capacity; thermal diffusivity usually measured in terms of Btu per
determines the facility with which the foot per hour per deg Fahr. This repre-
temperature can change; and coefficient sents the uniform flow of heat in British
of thermal expansion is the change in vol- thermal units per hour through a body
ume, or as usually measured, change in of material 1 sq ft in area with a tem-
length with change in temperature. perature difference of 1 F per ft of thick-
Adiabatic temperature rise, or the ness. The range of this property is large,
heat of hydration of the cement, may being from 0.8 to 2.1 for normal sat-
well be considered as another thermal urated concrete between 50 and 150 F,
property. This property and proper con- and is principally dependent upon the
trol of it is of vital consideration in the composition of the concrete (3). Although
design of modern, massive, concrete conductivity of lightweight concrete
structures (1, 2).2 varies with its density, conductivity of
Knowledge of these properties is used normal concrete seems to be nearly inde-
in designing and in predicting the be- pendent of density. For instance, con-
havior of all types of structures, from crete made with barite aggregate has a
the building of lightweight concrete in conductivity of 0.8 with a density of 227
which insulation is a major factor to large lb per c u f t , Bull Run Dam concrete
massive structures in which artificial (gravel largely igneous) 0.83 at 159 lb,
cooling may be employed. Stabilizing the and Norris Dam concrete (crushed dol-
structure thermally and volumetrically omite sand and gravel) 2.13 at 160 lb.
is of prime importance. An accurate Conductivity of lightweight concrete
knowledge of these properties or the abil- varies from 0.08 to 0.35 for densities
ity to predict them with reasonable ac- from 30 to 110 lb per cu ft oven-dried.
curacy can do much to bring about The effect of temperature upon con-
better design and more efficient con- ductivity is usually relatively insignifi-
struction of all concrete structures. cant, and the change for an increase in
1 Materials Engineer, Bureau of Recla- temperature range is likely to be positive
mation, Denver, Colo. for low-conductivity concrete and nega-
The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
to the list of references appended to this paper, tive for high-conductivity concrete.
see p. 134. Prediction of thermal conductivity of
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concrete from the composition is likely to Hydrated cement paste has a low specific
be uncertain as well as a major problem heat and a very definite curve of varia-
due to the many factors invoiced. Each tion with temperature. Since water has a
mineral present in the aggregate must be specific heat of 1.0, the water content is
identified and assigned its share of effect. effective in raising the specific heat of
Both air content, or void content, and concrete.
water contained or included tend to re-
duce the thermal conductivity. Although Thermal Diffusivity:
drying reduces the amount of a low-con- The so-called thermal diffusivity "con-
ductivity ingredient in the concrete, it stant" is a measure of the rate at which
further lowers conductivity because this temperature changes will take place
loss increases air voids of still lower con- within the mass of hardened concrete.
ductivity. The air content of concrete, Its variability over a range of from 0.020
whether original or as air voids due to to 0.063 It 2 per hr (3) is controlled largely
drying, has a pronounced effect in re- by the composition of the mass and is
ducing the conductivity of the mass. The very similar in characteristics to the
conductivity of hydrated portland-ce- thermal conductivity. This property is
ment paste (0.8), although high com- directly proportional to the thermal con-
pared to that of water (0.35), is still ductivity and inversely proportional to
relatively low and tends to be one of the the specific heat multiplied by the
factors reducing the thermal conductiv- density. It may be determined from the
ity. Basalt and trachyte are among types formula:
of rock used as aggregates having low
conductivity and tending to reduce the k
o~ ~ D

conductivity of the mass (3). Quartz, on Cp

the other hand, is an extremely high-con-

ductivity constituent, and various in- where:
vestigators have indicated its k value as = thermal diffusivity (diffusion con-
being above 7.0 parallel to the axis of the stant),
crystals and above 4.0 at right angles to k = thermal conductivity,
this direction. Dolomite and limestone c = specific heat, and
have conductivities near the usual upper 0 = density in pounds per cubic foot.
limit of hardened concrete. Lightweight
aggregates have lower conductivities, Coe~cient of Thermal Expansion:
usually in the same order as their densi- All materials exhibit a change in vol-
ties. ume upon temperature change. In engi-
neering materials, this property is usually
Specific Heat: positive--that is, producing increased
The amount of heat necessary to volume at increased temperatures--and is
change the temperature of 1 lb of ma- frequently considered to be a constant.
terial 1 F is defined as specific heat, It is expressed in terms of inches per inch
which for hardened concrete varies from per deg Fahr (millionths per deg Fahr)
0.20 to 0.28 Btu per lb per deg Fahr. The and, for hardened concrete, is usually
effect of mineral composition upon spe- between 389 and 689 millionths per deg
cific heat is relatively insignificant, except Fahr. When a precise value is not re-
for the water content and the entrained quired, the average value of 5 millionths
air. In general, the specific heat varies per deg Fahr is frequently used. The
with variation in the temperature 0). composition of concrete completely con-

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trols the coefficient of thermal expansion Adiabatic Temperature Rise:

of the hardened mass, provided that the The property of adiabatic temperature
variability of coefficients, with moisture rise is a function of the proportion and
changes in neat cement, is taken into ac- specific heat of the various mix constitu-
count. ents and the heat of hydration of the
Recent work by the author (4) and by cement used. Unlike the usually con-
Meyers (5) shows that the coefficient of sidered thermal properties which are
expansion of neat cement may vary by relatively fixed by the aggregate avail-
as much as 100 per cent due to moisture able, this property m a y be controlled
content, being minimum in either oven- over an appreciable range. Mix propor-
dry or saturated conditions and maxi- tions, type of cement, and pozzolanic ma-
mum somewhere in the region of 70 per terials are effective means through which
cent saturation. The coefficient for neat adiabatic temperature-rise may be con-
cement also depends upon the particular trolled.
cement (4) and may possibly vary from Laboratory tests (8) show mass concrete
less than 5 to more than 12 millionths mixes containing 4 sacks of cement per
per deg Fahr, depending upon differences cubic yard to vary in temperature rise
in cement and the moisture content. from about 47 F for low-heat cement to
Meyers (5) found that either autoclaving 68 F for modified cement and 75 F for
or aging for several years reduced the standard type I cement. Leaner mixes
coefficient of neat cement at intermediate produce less temperature rise in propor-
moisture contents. Thus, extremely old tion to the cement used. Tests indicate
concrete should be expected to have that cements manufactured since World
nearly the same coefficient of thermal War I I appear to have 10 per cent greater
expansion under all moisture conditions. heat of hydration generated than did
Since the expansion of hardened con- others of the same type previously.
crete will be equal to the composite or Pozzolanic materials usually produce
weighted average expansion of its con- much less temperature rise than the
stituents (4, 6), the coefficient of various cement which they replace. Some are
mortar mixes should vary from about 5 used for economy and to inhibit alkali-
millionths to about 8 millionths per deg aggregate reaction as well as to control
Fahr. The thermal expansions of various temperature rise.
American rocks that may be used as ag- In current investigations, retarding ad-
gregate vary from less than 2 to more mixtures have shown promise of helping
than 7 millionths per deg Fahr (4, 7). temperature control and economy in
Some of the extremely high coefficient mass concrete by making leaner mixes
materials such as feldspar and quartz or possible. Lean mixes of modified cement
bedded materials such as limestone and with pozzolanic material and retarders
sandstone show anisotropic characteris- have produced concrete of acceptable
tics. strength having adiabatic temperature
Investigations indicate the coefficient rise as low as 40 F.
of expansion to be essentially constant
over the range from 15 to 70 F in dry
concrete. Moist concrete, especially that Stresses and Cracking:
which is nearly saturated, frequently I t is obvious that a large massive con-
shows a significant increase in thermal crete structure such as a gravity dam
coefficients with increasing temperature. presents a problem involving stresses due

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to shrinkage and thermal action. Such when grouting is necessary to secure

structures should upon finM completion monolithic action, steps must be taken to
be monolithic in intimate contact with provide that a large massive concrete
the foundation and abutment in order structure comes to its final temperature
that stress distribution and limiting and stable dimensions during or at the
stresses be as designed. Zienkiewicz (o) end of the construction period in order
emphasized the need for knowledge and that grouting may make a final approach
consideration of thermal properties in to a monolithic structure.
controlling stresses in massive concrete When no artificial cooling methods are
structures. Blanks, Meissner, and Raw- provided, thermal properties of concrete
houser (1) analyzed crack surveys and are important because construction
design features of several large dams and schedules and formed blocks must be so
concluded that thermal stresses are the arranged that heat dissipation will take
principal cause of cracking in massive place advantageously. These properties
structures. must be known to the designer for ar-
Rawhouser (2) explains modern design ranging block sizes and specifying the
methods which elinfinate cracking and rate of concrete placement. Correct speci-
control joint openings by controlling fications for precooling procedures, plac-
temperature in mass concrete. His work ing temperatures, and rates depend
shows that thermal shrinkage which strongly upon the use of heat of hydra-
causes cracks can largely be controlled by tion, specific heat, thermal conductivity,
limiting the temperature rise above the and thermal diffusivity values. Large
final stable temperature. temperature changes after completion
A complete knowledge of the thermal cannot be tolerated because large tensile
properties is necessary in designing the stresses and cracks will result (I,2).
mix and block size and in outlining the Where artificialcooling means are to
cooling and construction procedures. be provided, thermal diffusivity is the
Proper design can limit temperatures controlling factor in the spacing of cool-
and resultant stresses to safe values. ing pipes within the mass. Data on
thermal conductivity and specific heat
Cooling and Grouting of Dams: along with diffusivityare used to deter-
The heat of hydration of cement com- mine the size of cooling pipes and rates
pounds during setting produces a very of cooling-fluid circulation, thus deter-
appreciable temperature rise in large mining the size of the refrigerationplant
massive structures from which heat can- or the amount of water to be circulated.
not readily escape. The temperature The structure must be so designed that
difference above the mean annual tem- thermM shrinkage will open contraction
perature must be relieved in order for the joints by an amount that m a y be readily
mass to be stable and capable of bearing and surely grouted.
the water load. Usually positive meas-
ures are in order, both for controlling the SIGNIFICANCE IN OTI-IER LARGE
amount and rate of heat generation and CONSTRUCTION
for dissipation of heat (2). Frequently, as Arches and Large Struclures:
in the case of the Hoover Dam, artificial
cooling installations are provided. Con- Usually the design and construction of
trol is also accomplished in some cases by arches and other continuous concrete
the use of special cement and admixtures structures, when concrete thickness is
and precooling of materials. In any case, only a few feet, do not require con-

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sideration of thermal properties other pure the insulation thickness necessary

than the coefficient of thermal expansion. to protect winter concrete from freezing,
Coefficient of expansion must be consid- especially at outside corners.
ered in all such structures if they are to
resist cracking and function as continu- SIGNIFICANCE TO BUILDING
ous structures. Where expansion joints CONSTRUCTION
cannot be provided at suitable intervals, Thermal Conductivity:
thermal expansion must be converted to
Few buildings, residential or indus-
equivalent stress and adequate provisions
trial, are now designed without consid-
made for this additional load. Usually
eration for thermal insulation. Normally,
conductivity, specific heat, and diffusiv-
concrete would not be considered to be
ity are important to such structures only
an insulating material, but in recent
as these properties affect durability by
years special concretes have been enter-
their tendency to accentuate local strain
ing the field of building construction
within the mass caused by daily tem-
where insulation is required. Many light-
perature cycles. Weiner (lO) considered
weight aggregates are now available
durability of exposed concrete to be a
which produce concrete providing some
function of diffusivity and thermal ex-
degree of insulation in addition to having
low unit weight, hence being more desir-
Highways: able from the standpoint of dead load in
structural uses. Several concretes have
The principal thermal property to be
been tested as insulation materials for
considered in highway design is coeffi-
housing purposes (13, 14). Conductivity
cient of thermal expansion. The location
of lightweight concrete may vary from
of expansion joints is determined by the
0.08 to 0.35 Btu per ft per hr per deg
amount of thermal expansion and by the
Fahr when dry.
strength and cross-section of the highway
slab. Other thermal properties are con- Thermal Expansion:
sidered in highway work as they affect
durability of concrete either through Thermal properties of concrete other
than conductivity are not usually con-
thermal strain or incompatibility (11, 12)
sidered in building construction, except
or to a lesser degree as they may affect
as the coefficients of expansion affect
the tendency of a highway slab to curl
slightly from day to night and be broken stresses and expansion joints. Fre-
at the corners by heavy loads. This lat- quently, a structure is too small for this
ter situation, however, is usually consid- consideration to be a major item, al-
ered from the structural standpoint only though the modern tendency toward
continuous structures requires a knowl-
and not from the standpoint of the
thermal properties that produce it. edge of the coefficient of thermal expan-
sion in their design.
Winter Concreting:
A knowledge of the thermal properties
of concrete has made possible the designs Conductivity:
now used in many cases for winter con- Concrete for massive structures is
crete work, where insulated forms pro- naturally tested in the wet or moist-cured
vide the necessary protection from freez- condition as it will be used. Some lab-
ing. Thermal diffusivity, conductivity, oratories prefer to determine conductiv-
and heat of hydration were used to corn- ity as a direct test. Reference (3) describes

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the method used in the Bureau of Rec- CRD-C36-48) prefer to make direct tests
lamation laboratories. Other laboratories for diffusivity and then compute con-
have determined this property by com- ductivity. When diffusivity is measured
putation from the specific heat, density, directly, the test consists essentially of a
and diffusivity which they determine by rate-of-cooling determination with meas-
direct tests. urements being taken at the center of a
Dry concrete for building construc- mass of concrete which has been previ-
tion, especially insulating concretes, ously tempered to a high constant tem-
must be tested by a method similar to perature and then cooled in a constant
that used for other insulating materials. water bath.
The generally accepted method of test
for this case is ASTM Method C 1773 Coefficient of Thermal Expansion:
Methods of measuring the coefficient
Specific Heat: of thermal expansion are almost as nu-
Specific heat of concrete is frequently merous at the number of laboratories
determined by oa simple "method of mix- making such measurements. They vary
tures" process. The principal piece of from tests on small specimens held in ex-
equipment usually consists of a high- tensometer frames (4) or small specimens
insulation-type calorimeter large enough with attached strain gages for which the
to accommodate the size sample deemed temperature is controlled in an oven, to
necessary for representative results. The large bars tested in horizontal cornpari-
"Procedures Manual" of the Bureau of tors (IS). Larger laboratory specimens or
Reclamation (IS) describes this test for field structures may be tested with
approximately 70-1b samples. The Corps Whittemore-type strain gages or em-
of Engineers' "Handbook for Concrete bedded Carlson strain gages in some
and Cement" (16), under Designation instances.
CRD-C-124-51, describes a test for sam-
ples up to 2 lb in size. Temperature Rise and Heat of Hydration:
Both temperature rise and heat of
Diff usivit y : hydration may be determined by adi-
Diffusivity may be computed from the abatic calorimeter methods (15). The
other thermal properties, provided they heat of hydration of portland cement
are determined. Some laboratories prefer may also be determined by heat of solu-
to make direct tests of thermal con- tion methods such as ASTM Method
ductivity, specific heat, and density and C 1864 or Federal Specifications SS-C-
compute the thermal diffusivity, whereas 158c3
other laboratories ((16), Designation 4 Method of Test for Heat of Hydration of
Portland Cement (Short Method)(C 186), 1955
a Method of Test for Thermal Conductivity Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3.
of Materials by Means of the Guarded Hot Cements, Hydraulic. Methods for Sampling,
Plate (C 177), 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Inspection and Testing (SS-C-158e), U. S. Gov-
Part 3. ernment Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.


(I) Robert F. Blanks, H. S. Meissner, and C. perature Control of Mass Concrete,"

Rawhouser, "Cracking in Mass Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., February,
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., May, 1938; 1945; Proceedings, Vol. 41, p. 305.
Proceedings, Vol. 34, p. 477. (3) "Thermal Properties of Concrete," Boulder
(2) C. Rawhouser, "Cracking and Tern- Canyon Project Final Report, Bulletin

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IYo. 1, Part VII, Bureau of Reclamation (London), Vol. 4, No. 1, January, 1955, p.
(1940). 88.
(4) Leonard J. Mitchell, "Thermal Expansion (10) Albert Weiner, "A Study of the Influence
Tests on Aggregates, Neat Cements, and of Thermal Properties on the Durability of
Concretes," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Mats., Vol. 53, p. 963 (1953). May, 1947; Proceedings, Vol. 43, p. 997.
(5) S. L. Meyers, "How Temperature and (11) J. C. Pearson, "A Concrete Failure At-
Moisture Changes May Affect Durability tributed to Aggregate of Low Thermal Co-
of Concrete," Rock Products, Vol. 54, No. efficient," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
8, August, 1951, p. 153. September, 1941; Proceedings, Vol. 38, p.
(6) S. Walker, D. L. Bloem, and W. G. Mul- 29.
len, "Effects of Temperature Changes on (12) E. J. Callan, "Thermal Expansion of Ag-
Concrete as Influenced by Aggregates," gregates and Concrete Durability," Jour-
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., April, 1952; nal, Am. Concrete Inst., February, 1952;
Proceedings, Vol. 48, p. 661. Proceedings, Vol. 48, p. 485.
(7) John H. Griffith, "Thermal Expansion of (13) Walter H. Price, and William A. Cordon,
Typical American Rocks," Bulletin No. "Tests of Lightweight Aggregate Concrete
128, Iowa Engineering Experiment Sta- Designed for Monolithic Construction,"
tion, Iowa State College, October, 1936. Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., April, 1949;
(8) J. L. Savage, "Special Cements for Mass Proceedings, Vol. 45, p. 581.
Concrete," Bureau of Reclamation, pub- (14) Ross W. Kluge, Morris M. Sparks, and
lication prepared for consideration of Edward C. Tuma, "Lightweight Aggregate
Second Congress of the International Com- Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
mission on Large Dams, World Power Con- May, 1949; Proceedings, Vol. 45, p. 625.
ference (1936). (15) "Materials Laboratory Procedures Man-
(9) O. C. Zienkiewicz, "Computation of Shrink- ual," Bureau of Reclamation (1951).
age and Thermal Stresses in Massive Struc- (16) "Handbook for Concrete and Cement,"
tures," Proceedings, Inst. Civil Engrs. Corps of Engineers (1949).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


Many of the important and commonly der-aggregate" fissures, and, on occasion,

observed properties of hardened concrete "honeycomb" pockets. "Honeycomb"
are related to the quantity and charac- can be considered to be an abnormal and
teristics of the various types of pores in undesirable condition that can be avoided
the paste and aggregates within the con- by proper mixture proportions and plac-
crete. The engineering properties of con- ing practice and therefore needs no dis-
crete, such as strength, durability, cussion for the present purpose.
shrinkage, and permeability, are influ- Fissures or zones of weakness may at
enced or controlled by the pores in the times develop under aggregates during
concrete and the relative amounts of the the period of bleeding. Little is known
different types of pores. It is therefore concerning the frequency with which
not surprising that tests of various prop- they occur, except in extreme cases. Pre-
erties depending on porosity, such as sumably their occurrence is a function of
permeability and absorption, are fre- the water content of the concrete, the
quently applied to concrete. bleeding properties of the cement, and
In order to trace the significance and the aggregate grading (fine material and
influence of the various pore types and bridging). They may be difficult to de-
their characteristic effects and interrela- tect, since the phenomena may produce
tionships in connection with some of these only a weakened zone of high water-ce-
engineering properties, it is important to ment ratio (having almost normal ap-
consider the manner in which these pores pearance) immediately under pieces of
originate, the factors that affect them, aggregate.
and the limits within which their quanti-
ties may vary. Capillary and Gel Pores in Cement-Water
POROSITY OF CONCRETE The water-filled space in a freshly
The pores formed in the original plas- mixed neat cement paste represents space
tic concrete are, of necessity, either that is available for the formation of ce-
water- or gas-filled. After the concrete ment hydration products. As hydration
has hardened, the water pores may tend proceeds, thevolume of this space, which
to dry and the air pores tend to become initially was determined by the water-
water saturated, depending upon the cement ratio of the paste, is continually
history of the concrete. Concrete is made reduced by the precipitation of the
up primarily of paste and aggregate com- hydrated gel which has a bulk volume
ponents; in addition it contains a void larger than the original unhydrated ce-
component composed of air voids, "un- ment itself. At any time, that part of the
1Managor, Applied Research Section, Port- original water space which has not be-
land Cement Assn. Laboratories, Chicago, Ill. come filled with hydration products con-
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stitutes the capillary system of the paste. 100 to 200/k in diameter). These small
It can thus be seen that hydration re- particles are bonded together by chemical
duces the size and volume of the capillary and physical means to produce the char-
pores in the paste. If the original capil- acteristic strength. Perhaps analogous to
lary space is low (water-cement ratio grains in a sand pile, these small gel
about 0.4 by weight), the bulk volume of particles will leave small voids between
the gel will be sufficient to eventually fill them even in their densest normal pack-
this space and produce a paste free from ing. These small gel pores are naturally
capillary pores. At higher water-cement very numerous; in a dense, fully hy-
ratios, the gel volume is not sufficient to drated paste, they constitute about 25
fill completely all the original water space per cent of the bulk volume of the hydra-
in the paste, even after complete cement tion product, which corresponds approxi-
hydration, and pastes of relatively large mately to the pore volume or porosity of
capillary pore volume may be produced. closely packed spheres. Therefore the
These capillary pores can be visualized volume of the gel pores increases with
as a submicroscopic system of voids or continued hydration of the cement,
zones of low density randomly dis- whereas the volume of capillary pores
tributed throughout the paste. Perme- decreases with hydration.
ability studies indicate that they are As noted above, water held in either
interconnected. These submicroscopic the gel or capillary pores does not behave
capillary pores must of necessity include as normal free water. The gel pores re-
a wide variety of "sizes" and shapes but tain significant quantities of water (ad-
perhaps vary from 0.0005 to 0.00005 in. sorption) even at relatively low humidi-
in "diameter." ties. Because of the larger size of the
Considering the cement paste com- capillary pores, proportionately less of
ponent (not including air voids), even a the capillary water is strongly adsorbed
dense, well-cured paste is capable of on the pore walls, and it is therefore rel-
holding relatively large quantities of atively more volatile than is gel water;
evaporable water although no capillary the water in the capillary pores is almost
pores are present. The hydration product completely evaporable at humidities be-
or gel with which the capillary spaces low about 40 per cent.
within the paste are filled is itself porous, It is the capillary pores with which the
containing pores that are exceedingly permeability of paste and concrete is
small, much smaller than the capillary most closely associated, for the water in
pores. Water in these very small pores these pores can move more freely under
(they are about one ten-millionth of an hydrostatic pressure than can the ad-
inch in mean diameter) will have charac- sorbed gel water.
teristics, such as vapor pressure and
mobility, notably different from those of Aggregate Pores:
free water in bulk. This is also true, but Concrete contains about 75 per cent
to a lesser degree, for water in the (larger) aggregate by volume, and the aggregate
capillary pores. can contribute significantly to the char-
Research indicates that each gross unit acteristics of the concrete. The porosities
of hydration products normally contains among common aggregates range from
a characteristic quantity of these gel nearly 0 to as much as 20 per cent by
pores. Hydration produces a "gel" that solid volume. These pores have a wide
is composed of very fine particles of mat- size range and are larger than the gel
ter, perhaps essentially spherical (only pores in paste, frequently at least the size

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of the largest paste capillary pores. In from 0 to perhaps 40 per cent in well-
some instances microscopic determina- cured pastes of the normal range of
tions of the size of many of these aggre- water-cement ratio. For cement pastes
gate pores can be made. not completely hydrated, the gel pore
volume would be less and the capillary
Air Pores (Air Voids): pore volume greater than the amounts
Concrete normally contains air voids, Although these various pores and
which are accidentally or purposely en- voids in concrete influence the physical
trained, dispersed through the paste properties of water contained therein, the
component. Many of these voids can be properties of the separate types of pores
seen with the unaided eye; those that are not sufficiently different to permit
have a significant effect on the volume of their complete identification in concrete.
air in concrete can be seen using a micro- The combined porosity of concrete (in-
scope and a magnification of the order of cluding the air voids) can be represented
40 diameters. They range in size from by the total capacity for evaporable wa-
10 ~ or less to 2 mm or more. The air ter between the stages of complete sat-
voids may constitute from less than 1 to uration and dryness--dry except for the
more than 10 per cent of the concrete combined or nonevaporable water con-
volume, the volume and size depending tent of the cement hydrate.
upon several factors including the
amount of air-entraining agent used, size PERMEABILITY O F CONCRETE
distribution and maximum size of aggre- Interest in the permeability of con-
gate, concrete consistency, duration of crete arises usually in connection with
mixing, etc. some specific application of the concrete
and therefore may produce emphasis on
Pores and Voids in Concrete:
particular manifestations of concrete
Concrete may thus be visualized as permeability.
consisting of a heterogeneous mixture of Movement of air or water through con-
components, each component having its crete can be produced by various com-
own characteristic pores. In terms of the binations of air or water pressure dif-
other pores in the concrete, the air voids, ferentials, humidity differentials, and
normally the coarsest of all, may consti- solutions of different concentrations (os-
tute from less than 1 to more than 10 per motic effects). Although it is known that
cent of the total volume of the concrete. the observed rate of movement is depend-
Approximately 75 per cent of the con- ent upon the characteristics of the mem-
crete is aggregate, frequently heterogene- brane and the permeating material, much
ous, with an internal pore volume vary- more needs to be learned regarding these
ing from almost 0 to 20 per cent (most relationships. Tests have been devised to
commonly about 1 to 5 per cent), the determine the "permeability" of various
pores ranging from relatively fine to materials, and although these procedures
coarse. The cement paste component may reveal the relative characteristics of
usually contains both extremely fine gel the concretes involved, it is not at all
pores and the coarser but submicroscopic certain that the results obtained can be
capillary pores. The gel pores constitute considered "true permeabilities" (if such
about 20 to 30 per cent of the paste vol- exist) without much fuller knowledge of
ume, the capillary pore volume varying experimental conditions.

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For example, considering the relatively weight. This large reduction in perme-
simple case of a hydrostatic water pres- ability is due to the drastic reductions in
sure differential across a membrane, it capillary pore size and volume that ac-
has been observed that many factors may company the decrease in water-cement
influence the rate of flow of water through ratio. All of the capillary pore volume in
the membrane. The prior curing history fresh paste is capable of rapid transmis-
of concrete, the direction of permeation sion of water (bleeding); this permeabil-
in relation to casting position (under-ag- ity rapidly decreases with hydration.
gregate fissures), the treatment of the The permeability of a paste of 0.8 water-
surfaces (as-cast, sawed, or sand-blasted), cement ratio may decrease a thousand-
the downstream conditions (whether air fold between the curing ages of 7 days
or water), the measurement of inlet or and 1 year. Thus there is a millionfold
outlet flow or both, the nature and difference between the permeability of
amount of solutes in the water, and the high-water-ratio paste at early age and
electrical conductivity between the mem- well-cured low-water-ratio paste. Fre-
brane faces are factors that must be con- quently one observes construction prac-
sidered. Perhaps in the present state of tices that do not take practical advan-
knowledge, an understanding of the true tage of the low inherent permeability that
permeability of concrete is never at- can be obtained by the use of good qual-
tained, and for many purposes it is not ity paste and concrete.
required. The test procedures commonly The permeabilities of some dense, im-
used for determination of the water per- pervious aggregates have been found to
meability of concrete are probably suffi- be as low as those of dense neat cement
cient in most cases to reveal relative paste. Obviously, if the aggregate is more
differences in the permeabilities of con- or less permeable than the paste matrix,
cretes made with different water con- the permeability of concrete will be
tents, admixtures, etc. changed accordingly, but probably not
At the present time the qualitative by orders of magnitude.
effects of many factors on the water Significant quantities of air voids in
permeability of concrete are known. The the concrete, because they are larger than
permeability of concrete to water under the capillary and gel pores, should in-
hydrostatic pressure will depend signifi- crease the permeability of the concrete
cantly upon the permeability of the ce- roughly in proportion to their quantity,
ment paste component of the concrete, provided other factors remain constant.
providing the concrete is intact--not However, other factors seldom do remain
previously damaged by frost or rapid dry- constant--it is commonly observed that
ing and not containing excessive under- air entrainment in most practical con-
aggregate fissures or honeycomb. All of cretes will reduce segregation and bleed-
the permeating water must pass through ing and permit reductions in the water-
the paste, and if the paste is of low per- cement ratio--with the result that the
meability, the concrete will show sim- concrete may actually be more imperme-
ilar characteristics. able despite the presence of the air voids.
The hydrostatic water permeability Capillarity can also produce liquid
(expressible in terms of Darcy's law) of a movement through concrete. The pres-
well-cured paste is reduced approxi- ence of water at one face of the concrete
mately a thousandfold by reduction in and unsaturated air at the other may
water-cement ratios from 0.8 to 0.4 by give rise at the air interface to large nega-

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tive pressures or capillary tensions "absorption" (primarily surface adsorp-

(meniscus effects) which tend to draw the tion) being slow because of their low
water through the concrete. Movement water permeability (low surface diffu-
is produced by any moisture difference sion). The coarse pores in aggregate can
across the membrane. Air with different become nearly filled with water only after
moisture content at the two surfaces will a relatively high degree of saturation
produce vapor diffusion through the (water vapor pressure) is established in
pores in the concrete and along the gel the paste surrounding the aggregate.
surfaces. Osmotic pressure differentials Because of its usually much finer pore
can also produce movement comparable structure, the paste, if it is much below
to hydrostatic differentials. Temperature saturation, can easily remove most of the
and electrical forces may also be in- aggregate water. Upon very long-con-
volved. tinued exposure to water, the air voids,
The numerous pores in concrete are particularly the smaller voids, may be-
normally lined with water--relatively come filled with water. Such a process
immobile water--adsorbed on the pore requires that the air in the void com-
walls. Presumably the pore area avail- pressed by the absorption process must
able for the relatively free flow of fluid is dissolve in the capillary water and
greatly reduced by this immobile lining, slowly diffuse out of the specimen to per-
particularly in the small pores where it mit filling of the void with liquid.
may constitute most or all of the pore The results of the absorption tests de-
area. However, when concrete is air- pend upon the procedures used. The ab-
dried, the coarser capillary pores are com- sorption observed will depend obviously
pletely emptied of water, and the finer upon the initial state and uniformity of
capillaries and gel pores partially emptied dryness of the concrete. Absorption oc-
clue to decreased w a t e r adsorption on the curs very quickly just after immersion of
pore walls. This results in a drastically the concrete but decreases rapidly with
increased transmission area available for time. Considerable time is required to
the movement of air or other gas. Pastes reach apparent saturation equilibrium,
and concretes that have been dried are the identification of equilibrium being
very permeable to air, thousands of times clouded by the normal water gain of
more permeable than they are to water. concrete accompanying continued hy-
dration, osmotic effects, and leaching.
ABSORPTIVITY OF CONCRETE Factors significantly influencing absorp-
The term "absorption" is usually ap- tion are the curing history, water-cement
plied to concrete in regard to the weight ratio, aggregate characteristics, air con-
gain of partially dried specimens upon tent, cement type and fineness (particu-
contact with or immersion in water. In larly at early ages), specimen size and
practice, owing to the long periods of shape, method of surface preparation
time required to establish equilibrium (cast, broken, etc.), surface carbona-
moisture conditions, measurement of tion, etc.
weight gain is made from some semidry, The absorption test is of value primar-
nonuniform moisture condition to a con- ily as a basis of comparison of different
dition approaching saturation. concretes, the absorption in a gross
During absorption it may be consid- manner being a function of the perme-
ered that the larger paste capillary pores ability and porosity of the specimen
are the first to be wetted, with the finer although influenced by many factors of
gel pores perhaps next, their rate of test procedure. With an appreciation of

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the many factors influencing absorption produce permanent damage--frost de-

tests, both the rate and amount of ab- terioration. These hydraulic stresses as
sorption, it is not surprising that only well as additional later stage strains due
rough correlations are generally ob- to accretion or osmotic pressures are
served between the results and such fac- often observed in the detailed study of
tors as water-cement ratio, strength, the mechanism of frost action. They can
durability (freezable water content), and most effectively be eliminated by the
attack by aggressive solutions. presence of air voids of proper number
and size.
PORE-WATER PRESSURES It is well known that under certain cir-
There are several mechanisms by cumstances concrete prepared with ce-
which pressures can be developed in the ment of high-alkali content and reactive
pores of concrete. These pressures can be siliceous aggregates of particular quan-
either positive (liquid in compression) or tity and size distributions can produce an
negative (liquid in tension). The positive alkali-silicate type of reaction product
pressures are of greatest importance since within the concrete that may cause ex-
they are usually associated with undesir- pansion of the concrete. Pore pressure
able effects in the concrete~freez- can be conceived as the cause of the dele-
ing stresses, alkali-aggregate reaction, terious specimen expansion, whether the
strength reductions, or uplift in dams. alkali-silicate product is gel-like (semi-
Tests of pore-water pressure per se per- rigid, swelling pressures) or fluid-like
haps have not been developed suffi- (osmotic pressures). The fluid-like prod-
ciently to be of general immediate con- uct to which the paste membrane in the
cern, although the gross effects of these concrete is relatively impermeable tends
pressures influence results obtained from to imbibe water and dilate, applying
other tests of the performance of con- destructive pressure to the walls of the
crete. A brief description of these pres- pores in which it is confined.
sures may suffice for the present purpose. The magnitude of pore pressure, due to
When concrete is frozen, most of the freezing or deleterious reaction, that is
water in the paste capillaries and the ag- required before destructive forces develop
gregate will freeze at temperatures some- in the concrete is related to the effective
what below the normal freezing point. area of the concrete over which they
This freezing is accompanied by an ex- produce stress. Small and isolated pock-
pansion of the water-ice system, and if ets of high pressure might be accommo-
the concrete is saturated, this excess vol- dated by the concrete, whereas lower
ume will tend to be expelled from the pore pressures operating over large areas
capillary spaces into the air voids in the of the concrete could produce forces
concrete. The pore pressures that are de- above the inherent strength of the con-
veloped during this process will depend crete and could therefore cause damage.
upon the amount of freezable water, the This problem of the effective pore area in
rate of freezing, and the permeability of concrete is of direct concern to the de-
the surrounding material and the dis- signers of gravity dams and has resulted
tance it must go to obtain relief. These in considerable controversy for some
pressures produce triaxial dilation of the time. Various mechanica! and analytical
concrete, and if these hydraulic stresses problems confront investigators in this
remain below the strength of the con- field, and unanimous agreement has not
crete, they will rapidly be dissipated, but been reached concerning the effective
if they rise above the strength, they will pore area to water in mortar or concrete,

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reported values ranging from a b o u t 40 the effective pore area is high is not sur-
per cent to almost 100 per cent, depend- prising when the high p o r o s i t y and fine
ing u p o n the grade of materials studied texture of the pores in concrete are con-
a n d the m e t h o d of analysis applied. T h a t sidered.


Capillary and GeL Pores in Cement-Water Pastes of a Rosiwal Traverse of Aerated Concretei"
T. C. Powers and T. L. Brownyard, "Studies ASTM BULLETIN,No. 177, October, 1951
of the Physical Properties of Hardened p. 56 (TP220).
Portland Cement Pastes," Journal, Am. Permeability, A bsorption, and Pore Water Pressure
Concrete Inst., April, 1947; Proceedings, T. C. Powers, L. E. Copeland, J. C. Hayes, and
Vol. 43, p. 933. H. M. Mann, "Permeability of Portland
Aggregate Pores Cement Paste," Journal, Am. Concrete
D. W. Lewis, W. L. Dolch, and K. ]3. Woods, Inst., November, 1954; Proceedings, Vol. 51,
"Porosity Determinations and the Signifi- p. 285 (1955).
cance of Pore Characteristics of Aggre- H. K. Cook, "Permeability Tests of Lean Mass
gates," Proceedings, Am. S0c. Testing Mats., Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing
Vol. 53, p. 949 (1953). Mats., Vol. 51, p. 1156 (1951).
Air Pores R. W. Carlson, "Permeability, Pore Pressure,
G. W. Lord and T. F. Willis, "Calculation of and Uplift in Gravity Dams," Proceedings,
Air Bubble Size Distribution from Results Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., Vol. 81, p. 700 (1955).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete



The use of reinforcement in concrete in comparison with the recognized

began about 1850, 25 years after Joseph (ASTM Specifications A 305) bars of
Aspdin's patent on portland cement. One today, but as the 1913 work of Abrams
of the earliest applications was in the (8) brought out, many of the patterns
construction of a small concrete boat by were relatively ineffective. Typical are
a Frenchman, Lambot, who took out an the several bar types of Fig. 1 and their
English patent in 1855, about the same performance as graphed in Figs. 2 and 3.
time as Coignet (also French) took out During the empirical period prior to
English patents on applications of re- 1900, reinforced concrete found many
inforced concrete to structural units uses, and some promoters and writers
(2, 45, 74) displayed an intuitive grasp of basic
The effective interaction between steel factors and relationships. The backlog
and concrete that makes reinforced con- of authentic data on the essential physi-
crete possible can exist only because of cal properties of concrete and steel and
bond, here defined as anything tending on the mechanics of their interaction,
to prevent relative motion between the however, was inadequate to elevate re-
steel and the concrete surrounding it. inforced concrete to the status of a
The anchoring effect may be the result material amenable to the type of analysis
of adhesion, friction, lug action, or of prerequisite to engineering design.
end anchorage by hooks or by bearing It was recognition of the need for a
plates and bolts--an all-embracing defi- definitive understanding of materials
nition. that brought the ASTM into being, and
That the necessity for bond was recog- it was the same need, the recognition of
nized is evidenced by a London-published which enabled reinforced concrete to
treatise (1877) (1) by an American advance from the status of an art, a
(Thaddeus tlyatt) described as '% law- clever innovation, to that of a design
yer by education but an inventor by science---something predictable, avail-
nature." Attempts to increase bond able, and widely applicable. It is not
resistance artificially came actively into strange, therefore, that modern reinforced
the picture with the 1884 Ransome concrete should be so definitely a con-
patent of a square-twisted bar (74). temporary of the ASTM and of related
Many and varied types of deformed bar technical groups having kindred or over-
followed, some of them not too inferior lapping fields of interest.
1Professor and Former Head, Department of Although much further information
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Iowa State has subsequently been added to the
College, Ames, Iowa. knowledge of the role of bond in re-
The boldface numbers in parentheses refer
to the list of references appended to this paper, inforced concrete design, there remain
see p. 156. serious gaps and we are still forced to
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lean heavily upon that engineering T I ~ LITERATURE O~ BOND

crutch, "the factor of safety." The literature of bond, like that of
Prerequisite to an understanding of concrete in general, is extensive. The
the "Significance of Tests for Bond" chronological list of numbered citations

FIC. 1.--Deformed Bars Used in Abrams' Pull-out Tests. (Figure 21 of Abrams' paper (8).)

is the recognition of what is and is not under Selected References is intended to

known about bond, as of now. This supply a reasonable coverage of the more
treatment will, therefore, be a series of significant contributions of record. Where
attempted answers to, or discussions of, a few words of explanation or amplifica-
questions bearing upon the general prob- tion might contribute to the clarity in
lem. regard to the scope or nature of coverage,

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Thre, tied ~ ~,h/ J

I000 450. ..? ?~z X:,~:,~y..~ I I , i/.a



"~ 7 0 0

~ 600




2OO 250


0 2OO
0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.10 0 0.004 0.008 0.012 0.016 0.020
Slip of Bor~in. Slip of Bor ein.
Fzo. 2.--Load-Sllp Curves from Pull-out Tests with Deformed FIG. 3.--Load-Slip Curves from Pull-out Tests with Deformed
Bars. (Figure 23 of Abrams' paper (8).) Bars (Enlargement of a Portion of Fig. 2). (Figure 24 of Abrams'
paper (8).) 4~

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they have been appended. In some cases these a non-ASTM designation, the ACI
mention has been made of closely related Proposed Test Procedure to Determine
references, of more complete summaries, Relative Bond Value of Reinforcing
or of dual publication with a view toward Bars (1945) (49).
adding to the availability of a given li- From the foregoing it is apparent that
brary item. Discussion has generally five of the eight ASTM designations re-
been mentioned, and discussors named, late to the quality of material and work-
since authoritative, discerning comment manship required for the several types
frequently adds appreciably to the value of reinforcement. ASTM designations
of a contribution. A 305 and C 234 and the ACI Proposed
The textual number designation of a Test Procedure are the exceptions.
reference marks it as a source for veri- The scope of ASTM Method of Test
fication or extension of the aspect of bond C 234 indicates that it is to provide one
under discussion. In general the space workable procedure for the conduct of
limitation precludes a specific quotation pull-out bond tests to be available to
or follow-up. Some of the references, of anyone desiring to conduct such tests
which Nos. (2, s, 26, 31, 33, 40, 54, 69, 70, for any purpose whatsoever. Either in
and 71) are representative, relate to its present form or with modifications,
multiple aspects of bond phenomena and Method of Test C 234 could be made the
are necessarily repeated with monoto- basis for informational or research test-
nous regularity. ing, the objective in its formulation hav-
ing been to offer a procedure that under
ASTM DESIGNATIONS usual conditions m a y be expected to
In the following list of ASTM desig- function satisfactorily. Tests for bond
nations that may be construed as re- require a proper balancing of the various
lating directly or indirectly to bond, the factors, such as length of embedment
year in parentheses is that of first and bar diameter, to insure that the re-
promulgation or adoption. suits do not show some other property
such as the yield point, instead of pro-
A15 a Specifications for Billet-Steel Bars for viding the desired information or com-
Concrete Reinforcement (1911)
A 163 Fpecificationsfor Rail-Steel Bars for Con- parison on resistance to slippage in
crete Reinforcement (1913) regard to both the stress developed and
A 828 Specifications for Cold-Drawn Steel Wire the amount of slip.
for Concrete Reinforcement (1921) The ACI Proposed Test Procedure
A 160a SpecificationsforAxle-SteelBars forCon-
was evolved by Committee 208 on Bond
crete Reinforcement (1936)
A 1843 Specificationsfor Fabricated Steel Bar or Stress ill answer to a request from the
Rod Mats for Concrete Reinforcement (1937) steel industry that methods of test be
A 1853 SpecificationsforWelded SteelWire Fab- devised for checking upon the relative
ric for Concrete Reinforcement (1936) effectiveness of different bar patterns
A305a Specifications for Minimum Require-
ments for the Deformations of Deformed Steel with a view toward replacing the twenty
Bars for Concrete Reinforcement (1949) odd patterns then current with a few of
C 2344 Method of Test for Comparing Concretes the best, or with new ones. I t was on the
on the Basis of the Bond Developed with Re- basis of the ACI Proposed Test Pro-
inforcing Steel (1949) cedure that data were secured for de-
There needs also to be included with fining an acceptable reinforcing bar and
specifying the minimum geometric and
a 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 1.
* 1955 Book of ASTM Standards, Part 3. weight requirements given in Table I of

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ASTM Specifications A 305. It seems Length of Embedment:

possible that the ACI Proposed Test For a pull applied at one end of a plain
Procedure might appropriately be taken embedded bar, only the portion of the
over by the ASTM. If it is considered bar near the loaded end is initially sub-
primarily as a test to measure the per- jected to stress. After the stress builds
formance of a fabricated member, per- to a peak value, the bar slips slightly,
haps it should remain under ACI aus- and the point of maximum intensity
pices. If thought of as a test for a basic moves progressively along the bar. After
property of the reinforcing bar, then it initial slippage has traversed the entire
would seem to fall naturally into the embedded length, the contact area of
ASTM category. Regardless of the juris- bar offers a more or less uniform fric-
dictional aspect, the two designations tional resistance, or residual drag, equal
(ASTM Specification A 305 and the ACI in intensity to perhaps 50 per cent of the
Proposed Test Procedure) are coordinate. successive peak values attained as the
BOND VERSUS STRENGTH OF initial slippage progressed along the bar.
CONCRETE Obviously then, the maximum average
bond resistance prior to general slippage
For the weaker concretes, such as
is greater the shorter the embedded
those prevalent 30 or 40 years ago, bond
length, and doubling the length of em-
increases about as does the compressive
bedment as a means of "special anchor-
strength of the concrete. As the con-
age" does not (as regularly assumed in
crete exceeds about 3000 psi, the increase
design specifications) actually double the
in bond resistance becomes less, and
amount of tension that can be developed
within the strong-concrete range, no
in the bar by bond. On the other hand,
added bond allowance should be per-
each added inch of embedment does
mitted for added strength of concrete.
add to the sum total of bond resistance
Building codes normally make a fixed
(usefully so only if the total accumulated
ceiling on permissible bond stress for
slip at a critical cross-section lies within
concretes over about 4000 psi. Below the amount that can be tolerated with-
some such limiting strength, the bond out serious damage to the member).
resistance may without too much error
(See discussion of deformed bars) (18,
be assumed to vary about as does the 27, 29, 32, 33, 39, 40, 43, 53, 57, 68).
compressive strength (20, 26, 28, 29, 31,
32, 33, 39, 40, 70, 71). Nature of Contact Surface:
PLAIN BARS Since plain-bar bond is largely, if not
entirely, frictional, the nature of the sur-
Bar Diameter: face is reflected in the bond developed.
For plain bars of identical surface Hot-rolled steel with its normal coating
textures, a higher intensity of stress can of iron oxide offers nominal bond re-
be developed in the steel per inch of sistance. Drawn wire and cold-rolled
embedded length for a small diameter steel are much smoother and develop
bar than for a large one because of the lower bond. (In the case of drawn wire,
greater specific surface of the small the higher specific surface of a small-
diameter bar. Four 89 bars provide diameter bar tends to offset the added
the same cross-section as does one 1-in. smoothness from drawing.) A knurled
bar, but they provide twice the surface surface, while impracticable from some
contact area per unit of length (26, 33, 40). angles, should constitute an ideal rough-

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uess for bond development. The threaded it will be well to remember the
or knurled bar can be thought of as a advantages of a closely spaced, fine
transition phase between a bar that is textured roughness as an ideal medium
plain and one with rolled-in lugs. As for stress transfer with a maximum of
might be expected and as the tests of effectiveness and a minimum of localized
both Abrams (8) and Posey (22) demon- stress concentrations. The relative shal-
strated, the threading or knurling lowness of such roughening treatments is,
produces nonwedging closely-spaced de- however, at a disadvantage in the settle-
formations ideal for stress transfer be- ment of concrete beneath horizontal
tween concrete and steel. Unfortunately, steel, in comparison with the deep-cut

FIC. 4.--Two Views each of the Six Bar Patterns Which Currently Qualify as Deformed Re-
inforcement Under ASTM SpecificationsA 305. Bars Pictured are No. 6 having a nominal diameter
of 0.75 in.
the knurled or threaded surface would corrugations required in the present
be costly to produce, and the threaded ASTM Specifications A 305.
bar would be replete with stress raisers,
Rusted Bars:
making it impractical and undesirable
except with respect to the stress transfer, Firm pitting from rust constitutes one
that is, bond. Among the best of the form of added surface roughness that
several patterns of deformed bars con- can materially improve the bond. Plain
forming to ASTM Spedfications A 305 rusted bars, brushed or vigorously wiped
requirements are patterns suggestive of for removal of loose fragments, develop
coarse, rather massive, threads. As higher intensities of bond stress than do
further improvement is sought--es- plain unrusted bars, but the use of rusted
pecially as regards splitting of the con- bars if permitted at all should be only
crete from the wedge action of the lugs-- under strict supervision and assurance

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that the effective cross-section has not Relative Merit:

been measurably reduced. It is true that Apparently, until the classic tests of
one fairly heavy layer of rust actually Abrams (8), a deformed bar was a "de-
makes only a limited inroad on the cross- formed bar" with little thought on the
section of a bar, but continued rusting part of the designer as to relative effec-
and adhering loose surface deposits are tiveness. The Ransome square-twisted
not to be ignored. The usual provision and t h e Thatcher and Havemeyer
against the use of bars that are ap- longitudinal lugs represented ingenious
preciably rusted is considered to be attempts to secure lug action without
sound conservatism (lO, 24, 26, 33, 36, 40, extra steel tonnage. The square twist
41). was obviously of uniform cross-section,
and the lugs on the other two were
DEFORMED BARS (PRIOR TO ASTM varied and staggered longitudinally to
SPECIFICATIONS A 305) give a varying shape of cross-section at
Patterns and Types: constant area. Abrams' researches (see
Figs. 1 to 3) demonstrated that the
Since the advent of the deformed bar gradual transition from one configura-
about 1884, there have been numerous tion to another permitted more slippage
types and patterns (Fig. 1 for example), prior to building up effective lug re-
many of them patented. A few of the sistance than a flexural member could
best, such as variations of the Corr bar, take without severe cracking or collapse.
are reflected in some of the six current Wedging action (splitting of the sur-
patterns (Fig. 4) that qualify under rounding concrete) was also aggravated
Specifications A 305. Only bars with by the taper of the gradually changing
rolled-in deformations or lugs can meet lugs. Thus the cross-lug and diagonal
current requirements of these specifica- configurations persisted, whereas the
tions since no lugless bars were in the longitudinal lugs and the twisted square
elimination tests from which they were became obsolete. The Isteg, partially
evolved. During the 65-year interim be- because of patent royalties but more
especially because of analogy to the dis-
tween 1884 and 1949, however, there
credited square-twisted Ransome bars,
were several lugless deformed bars,
was not adopted to any great extent in
notably the square-twisted Ransome the United States in spite of fairly ag-
bar and the much later twin-twisted and gressive promotion.
stretched bar of European origin, the
Isteg. The deformed bars of the lug type Disappointing Aspects:
have fallen into three general classes:
(1) those with cross lugs such as the Except for threaded bars which behave
ideally (as discussed previously), the
early Corr bar and the current Inland
lugs of the deformed bars of whatever
or Hi-Bond, (2) those with diagonal pat-
type do not become effective until they
terns, notably the long-used "diamond have slipped about as much as a plain
bar" similar to the Specifications A 305 bar slips at its maximum resistance
version now rolled by U. S. Steel Co. (about 0.01 in. at the unloaded end of a
and others, (3) the longitudinal lug of the normal pull-out specimen). This slip-
old Thatcher and Havemeyer types of page is incidental to closing up the
which there are no counterparts in the shrinkage gaps and establishing a firm,
present specifications. load-resisting bearing between the lug

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and the concrete that lies in its im- then current, or to evolve new patterns
mediate path. Since the slip of 0.01 in. superior to any of them.
corresponds to about the limit of per- Cooperation between the steel com-
missible slip (a slippage that results in panies and ACI Committee 208 on Bond
severe damage to a flexural member), the Stress resulted in the ACI Proposed
additional lug anchorage for even the Test Procedure to Determine Relative
best of the 1913 deformed bars (Ab- Bond Value of Reinforcing Bars (49, 50) in
rams' tests (8)) was more useful as in- accordance with which Arthur P. Clark
surance against sudden collapse than as conducted the extensive tests (52, 59, 64)
increased effectiveness against load. The that led to the evolution of ASTM
25 per cent increase in design stress long Specifications A 305.
permitted for all deformed bars was Soon after the ASTM A 305 bars came
essentially in recognition of greater in- into production, the ACI Building Code
herent toughness and a slower or less ruled that all bars not conforming geo-
complete collapse than might be expected metrically to Specifications A 305 were
when plain bars were used. for design purposes to be treated as
Another disappointing aspect of de- plain bars. This rather drastic action
formed bars is the splitting of the sur- soon gave the A 305 bars dominance in
rounding concrete at loads well below all up-to-date concrete construction.
any actual plowing of the lugs through
the concrete. In pull-out tests, the meas- CURRENT STATUS OF DEFORMED
ure of lug effectiveness has always been BARS
secured from specially reinforced pull- There are now six deformed bars ac-
out specimens--an artificial condition ceptable under ASTM Specifications A
since the stirrups and depth of concrete 305 which are rolled by about 30 differ-
cover in a beam never offer restraint ent steel companies (see Fig. 4). Some
against splitting comparable to that companies roll A 305 bars from both
supplied by the spirals (8, 26, 75, 76). billet and rail steel, others from billet or
rail. Initially there was objection, on the
D E V E L O P M E N T OF THE D E F O R M E D part of those dealing with the harder
BA~S oF ASTM SPECIFICATIONS rail steel, to the depth of corrugation re-
A 305 quired. This objection was not only over-
For 25 years after Abrams' tests made come but proved to be a benign factor of
certain types of deformed bars obsolete great commercial importance to the rail
and brought out the shortcomings of the steel industry, since the relatively high
others, steel companies resisted pressure bond stress permitted for the A 305 bars
to attempt to meet the recognized need largely removes the need for hooks or
for better deformed reinforcement. Leth- extra length of anchorage. The bending
argy gave way about 1940, however, of rail steel bars had always been one of
when the researches of Menzel (42) and the industry's most serious problems be-
the skill of an ingenious workman dem- cause of breakage in bending or, sub-
onstrated that a greatly improved de- sequently, in handling.
formed bar was economically and com- The six current patterns may well be
mercially feasible. The resulting I-If- augmented by others, and, if some quite
Bond bar supplied the competitive urge different type of reinforcing bar were to
that culminated in extensive researches qualify under the ACI Proposed Test
designed to select the five or six best Procedure, it is to be expected that the
patterns from among the twenty or so present geometric requirements would be

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modified or rewritten to include the new taken cognizance of this fact by treat-
entry along with its predecessors. ing a properly designed long-radius hook
While all of the A 305 bars give a as identical for bond with the same length
greatly improved performance over the of straight embedded bar.
old-style deformed bars, the deep cor-
rugations still introduce pronounced Bearing Plates--Prestress and Poststress:
splitting tendencies, and it is possible
that the ultimate in deformed bar de- Assuming neither prestresssing nor
velopment may yet be a closer approach poststressing, the restraint offered by a
to the threaded or knurled surface ideal. plate bearing is comparable to the added
As previously mentioned, consideration resistance to sliding that could be se-
of a change from lugs to some form of cured by embedding an additional length
"fine-textured roughness" would necessi- of bar--straight or with a large-radius
tate a refocusing of attention on the hook. If the construction is bonded pre-
settlement of concrete and water gain stress, then the bearing plate or clamp
(10, 13, 33, 34, 38, 44, 63, 69, 70, 71) be- aids the bond in maintaining stress in
neath bars in horizontally-cast members. the bar.
If the construction is unbonded pre-
ANCHORAGE stress, the bearing plate enables the bar
to function as does the tension chord in
Hooks and Extensions: a bridge, and the truss analogy becomes
Special anchorage by extension of more or less valid. Tensioning the steel
straight lengths of bar, or by the use of through end anchorage rather than bond
hooks, is almost obsolete for the de- produces a more statically determinate
formed bars of Specifications A 305 be- but a tess rigid member than does bonded
cause of the decreased embedded lengths construction. Inch-by-inch stress trans-
required. For plain bars such special fer between the steel and the concrete
anchorage with or without hooks is generally results in the best and stiffest
frequently needed (8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, member, except for planned post-
54, 60, 69, 70, 71). stressing (46, 70, 71, 73).
Although a hook, properly embedded,
always adds an element of toughness to WIRE AND WIRE M E S H
a member, the hook is not so much of a In the discussion of plain bars, it was
bond cure-all as it has often been thought stated that there was a decrease in bond
to be. A short-radius hook, such as one available for drawn wire because of sur-
often sees at the end of beam-bars fram- face smoothness but that this was offset
ing into a girder or slab bars framing into in part by the greater specific surface of
a spandrel beam, offers little added bond
wire over that of larger diameter bars.
resistance, since the tension in the bar
For wire mesh, especially when welded,
does not follow around the abrupt right
angle but rather results in a slight yield- the intersections provide some lug ac-
ing of the concrete under the highly tion. The spacing of the intersections is
localized compression at the bend. On usually so great that the added widely-
the other hand, a large-radius hook adds spaced lugs cannot contribute greatly to
nothing by virtue of the curvature since the bond developed until after appreciable
the bar tends to "snake out" or be slippage has occurred. Actually, however,
pulled just as would an equal straight bond is relatively unimportant in the
length of bar. Specifications have long thin slabs in which mesh is generally

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used, since the shears (and therefore bond ment and increases required width of
stress) are invariably low (33, 35, 40, 67). beam or beam stem or it may necessitate
multiple layers of steel or both. As is
PLACING CONDITIONS AND PRACTICAL true with so many of the factors that
ASPECTS relate to bond, what would be best from
During the plastic phase of freshly one standpoint is not the most desirable
placed concrete, sedimentation (bleed- from another.
ing or water gain) (13, 38) results in the
formation of a water (or water and en- AIR ENTRAINMENT
trapped air) gap beneath the surfaces of From the tests of Hognestad and Seiss
solids, including the undersides of rein- (or Russell and Hognestad) (63) and of
forcing bars. If for a given concrete Menzel and Woods (70, 71), it appears
mixture the reinforcing bars are rigidly that air entrainment, for nominal
positioned, the relative settlement will amounts of air a 4 or 5 per cent upper
be about proportional to the depth of limit, exercises no major effect on bond
plastic material beneath the bars. Ob- as distinguished from that for nonair-
viously the gap breaks the direct bond entrained concrete. With higher per-
on the undersides of the bars, and the centages of air, the bond strength drops
deeper the gap the greater is the de- off rapidly, a reasonable explanation (63)
crease in the effectiveness of deformed- being that escaping free air tends to
bar lug action. This is shown by the collect beneath the bars in exactly the
work of Menzel (34, 42, 69, 70, 71) and same manner as does excess water (13,
Clark (Sz, 55). For the sake of simplicity, 38, 70), etc.
however, the ACI Building Code arbi-
trarily defines as "top bars" only those VIBRATION
having as much as 12 in. of concrete
beneath them, and for such bars the Experimentation with vibration in
allowable bond stress is below that per- its possible effect on bond has included
mitted for all others which, for design both internal and external vibration as
purposes, are bottom bars. an aid to initial placement, revibration
For vertical casting, as for conven- at from 1 to 9 hr after placement, and
tional pull-out specimens, the amount of vibration in the immediate vicinity of
the early slippage depends upon whether bars projecting from hardened concrete,
the concrete settles toward or away from simulating possible disturbance from the
the direction of pull on the lugs. Where resumption of pouring or casting opera-
settlement is against the lug, there is tions (21, 28, 31, 33, 34, 69, 71).
less slack to be taken up before the lug It is a safe generalization that for
comes firmly into bearing (34, 42, 71). suitable mixtures (2-in. slump or less)
Interaction between concrete and steel vibration of the plastic mass in the op-
is obviously much better for small bars timum amount, either externally or in-
than for large ones--the discontinuity in ternally, constitutes an unsurpassed
rate of stress transfer through the mem- technique for placement. Menzel (60)
ber is much less for the smaller bars. On bears this out. Any overvibration is
the other hand, most construction of highly objectionable, however, since it
primary members demands the use of the aggravates the water gain. Nor should
largest permissible size of bar. The sub- a high-slump fluid mixture be vibrated--
stitution of four 89 rods for a single it should be puddled or stirred. Proper
1-in. bar multiplies the work of place- vibration is superior to the use of alu-

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minum powder as an antidote for top- out strength, the stresses on a load-slip
bar water gain effects (sol curve had been reduced about 50 per
Attempts at revibration after from 1 cent for given slippages. For repeated
to 9 hr, with a view to reconsolidation, loads below about 40 per cent of the
have resulted in conflicting reports (31, static pull-out strength, the terminal
69), reasons for which are not clear. static bond strength was 80 to 85 per
Seemingly revibration after 6 to 9 hr cent of the initial.
produces good results (31), whereas a It thus appears that for conditions
similar disturbance from 1 to 3 hr paralleling these tests there is little
after placement is objectionable (31, 69). basis for concern over repeated loading
The Davis, Brown, and Kelly reports that does not produce stress in excess of
(31) of strikingly favorable results from about 40 per cent of the initial bond re-
the 6 to 9-hr revibration applied directly sistance of the concrete.
to the bars of vertical pull-out speci-
mens bear further study. Results from DISCUSSION
vibration in the vicinity of, or even Following are four important ques-
against, bars projecting from hardened tions relating to the problem of rein-
concrete (28, 31) seem to dispel concern forced concrete with partial answers for
regarding this aspect. each given in later paragraphs:
(1) What constitutes minimum and
SUSTAINED LOADING optimum spacing for parallel bars: (a)
Sustained load, applied to beams ade- in the tensile side of a beam? (b) in
quately reinforced against diagonal lapped splices where tension is to be
tension failure (19) or to pull-out speci- transferred through concrete from one
mens (26), produces a continuing or tension rod to another?
creeping slippage of embedded plain (2) How effective is the concrete be-
bars. In certain situations (37) the bond neath the bar for developing bond?
slippage under sustained stress is benign (3) To what extent do stirrups and re-
in contributing to the release of tensile straint at the supports decrease the
stresses in the concrete and compressive tendency to split the concrete cover
stresses in the steel incidental to drying from the wedging action of the lugs as
shrinkage in the concrete. the bar is stressed?
Deformed beam or pull-out bars do (4) Concrete under tension cracks at a
not show the same yielding or continu- strain corresponding to about 4000 psi
ing slippage once there has been sufficient in the steel. When steel is stressed to
relative movement to bring the lugs about five times this amount, how can
firmly into bearing. This constitutes an there be satisfactory interaction?
advantage or added factor of safety of (1) In reinforced concrete theory, the
deformed bars over plain bars when used bond stress in a beam (using the standard
as flexural reinforcement. notation) is computed by the straight-
forward, easily derived formula U --
Muhlenbruch (47), in a reconnaissance (~0) (jd)" By exactly the same elemen-
using old-style deformed bars, diamond tary mechanics, the shearing unit stress,
pattern, embedded in spirally reinforced v, or the diagonal tension (numerically
pull-out cylinders, found that, following V
about 5,000,000 repetitions at roughly equal to the shear) is v = b~" Reasoning
50 per cent of the initial ultimate pull- along these lines, it is possible to corn-

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pure the minimum widths of stem and advantage for bond in contrast to its
spacings of bars required to transmit distinct advantage against splitting. Re-
the shears down through the con- gardless of the relative ineffectiveness of
crete and to carry the horizontal the concrete beneath the bar (due to
component of the shear into the rein- water gain and some settlement), such
forcement by bond. The bond formula concrete does at least hold the bar in
assumes the embedding concrete to be position to maintain a close contact
effective around the periphery of the bar; with the effective concrete adjacent to
this implies effective stress resistance of the top of the bar. Without concrete on
the concrete between the bars and just the underside, the bar would break con-
under them as well as of that located tact with the concrete above it.
above the plane of reinforcement. (3) At present, there is no dependable
Results from tests indicate that the evidence regarding the extent of the
action is actually less simple, and up to contributions of such factors as stirrups
now no one has been able to rationalize and restraint at supports in adding to
satisfactorily the true mechanics of the the splitting resistance against the wedge
stress travel from the load by way of the action of the lugs.
concrete into the steel of a flexural mem- (4) It is clear that the stress situation
ber (48, S4). Tests by Walker (66), Kluge along an embedded bar under tensile
and Tuma (Sl), and Chamberlin (72) in- stress, brought to it by the surrounding
dicate that bars can be spaced much concrete, must be very complicated.
closer than analyses would indicate, Nevertheless, with both the steel and the
even to the point of actual contact, with concrete in tension the total width of con-
little observable effect on the resistance crete cracks adjacent to the bars in a
that must be developed by bond. Ob- given length, must, at a steel stress of
viously then, this aspect of the mechan- 20,000 psi, total about 80 per cent of the
ics of reinforced concrete must for the elastic elongation of the steel, say 0.0005
present be left in abeyance as one of the in. per in. The better the interaction, the
unanswered questions. The problem is more closely spaced, and, therefore, the
vital because of its bearing on what con- narrower, are the cracks. Normal rein-
stitute minimum permissible stem widths forced concrete cracking becomes struc-
for beams and joists (61, 62, 75, 76). turally objectionable only as the individ-
(2) The detailed stress situation at the ual cracks become wide enough to be
junction of the steel and the concrete visible or to admit of leakage or provide
is highly indeterminate, involving as it access of corrosive liquids or gases to the
does not only the stress distribution cir- steel. Fine cracks are not of consequence.
cumferentially, but also that along the Recent tests (77) comparing A 305 bars
bar at cracks and between them. Em- of various diameters, demonstrate the im-
pirically, Menzel's work (34, 42, 71) and proved interaction (better bond perform-
Clark's tests (52, 55) show that even for ance) for the smaller-diameter bars (total
the deep-cut patterns of ASTM Specifi- cross-sectional area of reinforcement un-
cations A 305 bond is reduced appreci- changed).
ably by settlement of concrete and water
gain beneath a horizontal bar that can-
not follow down. As stated earlier, this
fact seems to place a nonsplitting sur- Bond stress develops only in a region
face--a fine-textured roughness such as where external shear exists and both
threaded or knurled--at a relative dis- bond and diagonal tension are functions

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of the shear. A failure by diagonal ten- than is the concrete in which it is em-
sion, usually if not always, is secondary bedded. An unbroken bar embedded in
to an initial failure in bond. A slight rel- concrete will never be cracked so long
ative slippage--a failure in bond--per- as the concrete surrounding it remains
mits the sudden diagonal tension-type intact. Moreover, it is inconceivable that
of failure to occur. Many and possibly a hard steel bar, incipiently cracked,
all so-called diagonal tension failures are could be handled and gotten into a con-
primary failures in bond. crete member without severance oc-
curring in the process. The harder grades
FALLACIES REGARDING BOND of steel do require bending precautions
Relation to Compressive Strength: (when bending is required) and extra
care in handling over what can safely be
As noted previously, Abrams' indica-
accorded a mild steel (structural or in-
tion that bond strength varies directly
termediate grade) bar, but if there is
as the compressive strength is true only
breakage it is virtually certain to be in
for the lower-strength concretes.
evidence before embedment is accom-
Tension and Compression Anchorage: plished.
Whether the concrete in which a bar TESTS FOR ]~OND
is embedded happens to be in tension,
as in a beam, or in compression, as in a Pull-out Tests:
pull-out specimen, seems to have no
Pull-out tests of the type detailed in
measurable effect on the bond developed.
ASTM Method of Test C 234 constitute
One still sees occasionally in the litera-
the most generally satisfactory and
ture the stipulation "anchored in a re- widely used test for bond. Horizontally-
gion of compression" (29, 33, 4o). cast pull-out specimens can be em-
F#st Slip: ployed where the investigation of such
problems as those of settlement beneath
The term "first slip" is widely used to the bar seem to justify. The limited data
indicate the first detected slippage at the that can be validly compared indicate
unloaded end of a bar in a pull-out speci- that the results from pull-out tests agree
men or the corresponding slippage of well with those obtained by means of
the end of a bar in a beam. McMillan actual or simulated beam tests. One
(33, p. 18) has pointed out that the basic difference is that in the pull-out
actual "first slip" occurs at,small load test as normally conducted the concrete
at the loaded end--that the so-called is in compression whereas in the beam
"first slip" is really the "last slip," the it is in tension. As already pointed out,
last point along the bar to show relative this difference seems to be irrelevant.
motion. There is a general impression that the
Ductile versus Hard Steel: "Poisson ratio" effect of compression
tends to make the concrete grip the bar
Not directly a function of the bond is more firmly. The reverse is true; com-
a concern that under shock or impact pression enlarges the diameter of the
loading hard steel might crack within a hole occupied by the bar. Actually, the
concrete member. This is a baseless fear intensity of compressive stress is so low
since no matter how hard and cor- in a pull-out specimen as to have a
respondingly brittle a steel may be it is negligible effect in any case. The slight
still much more deformable, elastically, reduction in bar diameter (Poisson ratio

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effect) from tension in the steel does tend viously, the author believes that nor-
to decrease the bond, both in a pull-out- mally the pull-out test supplies the
specimen and in the tensile side of a essential information more simply and
beam. This is opposite to the slight lat- more economically. Nevertheless, for
eral enlargement of bar mentioned under basic findings and eliminations involving
Push-out Tests. not only types of bars but settlement
beneath the bars, etc., the elaborate
Push-out Tests: beam test procedure (49, 50) evolved by
Committee 208 of the ACI and used by
Sometimes push-out tests are con-
Clark (52, sS) is fully justified. Where
ducted on bars that project slightly from
beam tests seem to be warranted, whether
a short block. Here the intensity of stress
for actual or psychological reasons, it is
in the steel may be sufficient to increase
recommended that supplementary pull-
the bond from the Poisson ratio effect
out tests be included in the program
of the bar expanding against the con-
As previously stated, the ACI beam-type
crete. Push-out tests have not been
test, regardless of where administered, is
widely used.
coordinate with ASTM Specifications
Beam and Beam-Type Tests: A 305 and needs to be retained both as a
checking-up procedure and as the stand-
Many persons believe that beam and ing hurdle to be surmounted by any
beam-type tests constitute the only form of bar purporting to qualify as one
sound source for information on bond of the acceptable types of deformed bar
behavior in a beam. As implied pre- reinforcement.


(1) Thaddeus Hyatt, "An Account of Some forced Concrete. Series of 1906," Bulletin
Experiments with Portland Cement Con- No. 175, University of Wisconsin Engineer-
crete Combined with Iron, as a Building ing Series 4, 1 (1907).
Material with Reference to Economy of Basic research on bond phenomena.
Metal in Construction and for Security (5) M. O. Withey, "Tests on Bond Between
Against Fire in the Making of Roofs, Concrete and Steel in Reinforced Concrete
Floors, and Walking Surfaces," Chiswick Beams," Bulletin No. 321, University of
Press, London (1877). Wisconsin Engineering Series 5, 5 (1909).
Earliest recorded experimental work on Continuation of flexural studies.
bond. (6) Carl yon Bach and Otto Graf, "Versuche
(2) Emil MSrsch, "Concrete-Steel Construc- mit Eisenbetonbalken, namentlich zur
tion (Der Eisenbetonbau, seine Theorie und Bestimmung des Gleitwiderstandes," Mit-
Anwendung)," authorized translation from teilungen tiber Forschungsarbeiten auf dem
the 3rd (1908) German edition, The En- Gebiete des Ingenieurwesens, Nos. 72-74,
gineering News Publishing Co., New York, Verdn deutscher Ingenieure, Berlin (1909).
N. Y. (1909). German publication of first Basic European researches. Summarized
edition (1902). by Slater (11).
Reviews early European concrete prac- (7) "Versuche mit Eisenbeton-Balken zur
tice from 1855. Bestimmung des Einflusses der Hakenform
(3) A. N. Talbot, "Tests of Concrete: L Shear; der Eiseneinlagen," Deutscher A~schu, s
II. Bond," Bulletin No. 8, University of far Eisenbeton, Heft 9 (1911); "Versuche
Illinois Engineering Experiment Station mit Eisenbeton-Balken zur Ermittlung der
(1906). Widerstandsf~higkeit verschiedener Be-
First significant U. S. attempt to relate wehrung gegen Schubkr~tfte," Heft 10
bond to the flexurai theory of reinforced (1911).
concrete. European researches on use of hooked
(4) M. O. Withey, "Tests of Plain and Rein- bars in beams.

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(8) D. A. Abrams, "Tests of Bond Between (13) H. J. Gilkey, "Water Gain and Allied
Concrete and Steel," Bulletin No. 71, Uni- Phenomena in Concrete Work," Engineer-
versity of Illinois Engineering Experiment ing News-Record, Vol. 98, February 10,
Station (1913). 1927, pp. 242-244.
Reports on a wealth of controlled exhaus- Importance of water gain or bleeding as
tive bond studies; the outstanding U. S. a weakening factor in concrete. This in-
publication on bond and a classic of en- cludes the thin film of water or air that
gineering research. See p. 92 of reference rises and is trapped beneath bars as well
(26) for mor,e detail on some aspects. as aggregate particles. See also references
(9) Rudolf Saliger, "Schubwiderstand und Ver- (38, 44, 69).
bund in Eisenbetonbalken auf Grund yon (14) F. E. Richart, "An Investigation of
Versuch und Erfahrung," Julius Springer, Stresses in Reinforced Concrete Beams,"
Berlin (1913). Bulletin No. 166, University of Illinois
Includes tests of circular hooks. Work re- Engineering Experiment Station (1927).
viewed by Mylrea (16, pp. 242-243). Anchorages of beam and stirrup bars or
(10) W. A. Slater, F. E. Richart, and G. G. hooks; references on pp. 102-103.
Scofield, "Tests of Bond Resistance Be- (15) F. E. Richart and L. J. Larson, "An In-
tween Concrete and Steel," Technologic vestigation of Web Stresses in Reinforced
Paper No. 173, Nat. Bureau Standards Concrete Beams, Part II: Restrained
(1920). Beams," Bulletin No. 175, University of
Pull-out tests of preservative coatings in- Illinois Engineering Experiment Station
cluding galvanizing; beam tests; crack (1928).
studies; laps; and stirrup anchorages. Hooks and anchorage; crushing under
Honeycombing and pocketing beneath hooks; bond ~ersus diagonal tension.
bars (Fig. 51). Other aspects of the same (16) T. D. Mylrea, "The Carrying Capacity of
tests are included in another paper by Semi-Circular Hooks," Proceedings, Am.
Slater (Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., Concrete Inst., Vol. 24, pp. 240-263 (1928).
Vol. 15, pp. 24-59 (1919). Also discussion by L. J. Larson, pp. 264-
(11) W. A. Slater, "Tests of Bond Resistance in 270.
Reinforced Concrete Beams," Engineering Summarizes earlier work: references (1,
News-Record, Vol. 94, June 25, 1925, pp. 2, 6, 8, 9) including a paper of his own
1050-1053. (Journal, Western Soe. of Engineers,
Summarizes work of von Bach (6) and January, 1926). Hooks of various radii
discusses beam versus pull-out tests, favor- (some enclosed in spirals); movements of bar
ing the beam type of specimen. were measured.
(12) D. A. Abrams, "Studies of Bond Between (17) L. N. Edwards and H. L. Greenleaf, "Ex-
Concrete and Steel," Proceedings, Am. Soe. perimental Tests of Concrete-Steel Bond,"
Testing Mats., Vol. 25, Part II, p. 256 Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol.
(1925). Also discussions by E. B. Smith, 28, Part II, p. 584 (1928). Discussions by
R. W. Crum, and Bert Myers, and W. A. E. F. Kelly, W. A. Slater, D. A. Abrams,
Slater and G. W. Hutchinson, p. 273. Re- F. E. Richaxt, and C. P. Derleth, p. 599.
published without the discussions as Bulle- Reconnaissance tests of horizontally and
tin No. 17, Structural Materials Research vertically cast pull-out specimens for vari-
Laboratory, Lewis Institute, Chicago, ous sands and mixtures at test ages of 28
October, 1925. days and 1 year. For partial summary see
Parallel compression and pull-out bond p. 95 of reference (26). Slater and Abrams
tests (735 of each) investigating effects of also discuss beams versus pull-outs.
water-cement ratio, richness of mixture, (18) W. H. Glanville, "Studies in Reinforced
admixtures of crude oil and hydrated lime, Concrete. Vol. 1, Bond Resistance," Tech-
and other factors on relative compressive nical Paper No. 10, Building Research
and bond strengths. On pp. 18-20 of the Board, Dept. of Scientific and Industrial
Lewis Institute Bulletin was added a Research, Great Britain (1930).
bibliography of 34 titles, with several ex- Basic reconnaissance comparisons of
tremely brief summaries. A few of the more pull-out versus push-out specimens of
significant of the studies or reconnaissances portland and aluminous cements. Steel
are included in this list. These references, strains measured on inside surface of the
both European and U. S., dating from hollow tubes that were substituted for
1895, indicated an early and growing recog- solid bars.
nition of the important role played by bond. (19) R. L. Brown and E. C. Clark, "Effect of

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Time Loading upon the Bond Stress Be- similar to the specimens devised inde-
tween Concrete and Steel," Proceedings, pendently and employed by Mylrea (16),
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 31, Part II, Posey (22), and Gilkey, Chamberlin, and
p. 690 (1931). Beal (29).
Spring-applied loads for 18 to 20 weeks (24) J. R. Shank, "Effect of Bar Surface Condi-
to 52 beams, some cast inverted. Bars plain tions in Reinforced Concrete," Engineering
and deformed--a reconnaissance. Experiment Station News, Ohio State Uni-
(20) F. E. Richart and V. P. Jensen, "Tests of versity, Vol. 6, No. 3, June, 1934, pp. 9-12.
Plain and Reinforced Concrete Made with Reconnaissance on 40 5 by 20.5 by 40-in.
Haydite Aggregates," Bulletin No. 237, beams using 1-in. square plain bars that
University of Illinois Engineering Experi- had been: sand blasted, rusted in earth,
ment Station (1931). rusted from weather, covered with cement
Includes (pp. 41-49) 28-day comparative grout, covered with hydrated lime grout,
beam and pull-out tests for gravel concrete, cleaned and uncoated, covered with paraffin
sand with Haydite coarse aggregate, and oil, coated with day mud, coated with lin-
all-Haydite aggregate. Bars l~-in, square seed oil, or painted with red lead. Greater
deformed. Clear indications that bond does bond developed by sand-blasted and rusted
not increase directly with compressive surfaces and by bars coated with portland
strength. cement grout than by the clean uncoated
(21) L. W. Teller and G. W. Davis, "Effect of bars.
Materials and Methods of Placing on the (25) Fritz yon Emperger, "The Application of
Strength and Other Properties of Concrete High-Grade Steel in Reinforced Con-
Bridge Floor Slabs," Public Roads, Vol. crete," The Structural Engineer, Vol. 12,
12, December, 1931, pp. 237-266. (Results March, 1934, pp. 160-178. An English
of bond tests on pp. 251-2560 version of "Die Rissfrage bei hohen Stahl-
Cooperative tests of Port of New York spannungen und die zullissige Blosslegung
Authority and U. S. Bureau of Public des Stahles," Mitteilungen ~iber Versuche,
Roads. Bars 1 in. and 89in. plain and de- Heft 16; Osterrdchisher Ingenieur- und
formed, embedded 689in. in 11 types of slab Architekten-Verdn, Vienna (1935). Author
concrete, of Haydite, limestone, and gravel also published a condensation, "Die
aggregates. Placement by "Vibrolithic" Wirkung der Endhaken in Eisenbeton,"
process, air hammer, electric tamper, and Beton und Eisen, Vol. 34, June 20, 1935,
hand tamping. Vertical and horizontal pp. 197-200.
casting. Paper is promotional, extolling the al-
(22) C. J. Posey, "Tests of Anchorages for Rein- leged virtues of the patented reinforcement
forcing Bars," Bulletin No. 3, University of known as "Isteg."
Iowa Studies in Engineering (1933). Re- (26) H. J. Gilkey and G. C. Ernst, "Pull-out
viewed by A. R. Lord, Journal, Am. Con- Tests for Bond Resistance of High-Elastic-
crete Inst., Vol. S, September-October, Limit Steel Bars," Proceedings, Highway
1933; Proceedings, Vol. 30, pp. 513-515 Research Board, Vol. 16, pp. 82-95 (1936).
(1934). Partial summary by author, "New See also reference (40).
Type of Reinforcing Bar Develops High Reconnaissance pull-out tests of small,
Bond Stress," Engineering News-Record, vertically-cast specimens for a variety of
Vol. 110, April 13, 1933, p. 461. mixture, length of embedment, surface
Compares relative effectiveness of condition, age, curing, and condition at
notched, threaded, and commercial de- test. Comparative discussions of previously
formed bars with hooks of 10 to 28 diame- published results from other investigators.
ters. Equipment and techniques similar to (27) W. M. Dunagan and G. C. Ernst, "An Ex-
those of reference (16) in the tests in perimental Study of Bond Stress, '~ Pro-
which Posey had participated. ceedings, Highway Research Board, Vol. 16,
(23) Otto Graf, "Versuche tiber die Wider- pp. 96-99 (1936).
standsf~thigkeit yon Eisenbetonplatten Exploratory tests on the multiple use of
unter konzentrierter Last nahe einem Aufla- Martens mirror extensometers for measur-
ger, und Versuche tiber die Widerstands- ing the surface concrete strains induced by
fithigkeit des Betons an den Abbiegestellen the elongations of the stressed embedded
der schief abgebogenen Eisen in Eisenbe- rods.
tonbalken," DeutscherAusschuss fu'r Eisen- (28) M. O. Withey, "Bond of Vibrated Con-
beton, Heft 73, p. 17 (1933). crete," Proceedings, Highway Research
Tests of hooks in beam-type specimens Board, Vol. 16, pp. 193-206 (1936).

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Beam and pull-out tests: plain bar bond Results of Pull-out Bond Tests," Journal,
in relation to water-cement ratio and con- Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1939; discussions
sistency, effect of vibration of fresh concrete by A. E. Lindau, F. R. McMillan, F. E.
near bars projecting from 16-hr old con- Richart, M. A. Swayze, D. A. Abrams,
crete, ratio of bond to compressive strength. and C. J. Posey, September, 1939; Pro-
(29) H. J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamberlin, and R. W. ceedings, Vol. 35, pp. 517-544 and 544-1 to
Beal, "Bond Resistance of High-Elastic- 544-8 (1939). This paper, without the dis-
Limit Steel Bars; Series of 1937," Proceed- cussions, is reproduced in the compilation
ings, Highway Research Board, Vol. 17, of reference (71).
pp. 150-186 (1937). See also reference (40). A major contribution dealing with effects
Beam-type and pull-out tests on two of bar surfaces, lengths of embedment,
strengths of concrete, three diameters of position and nature of lugs, vibration, rich-
bars, two simulated beam loadings, and ness of mixture, settlement beneath the bar,
several lengths of pull-out embedment. leakage from the mold, orientation of bar at
Martens mirror technique for measure- casting, direction of pull.
ments of concrete surface strain distribution (35) Warren Raeder, "Test Reports on Welded
induced by the stresses in the plain and de- Wire Mesh." Discussion of reference (33)
formed bars. (1939).
(30) G. R. Wernisch, "Bond Studies of Different Supplies pertinent unpublished data on
Types of Reinforcing Bars," Journal, Am. bond of welded wire mesh-cross-bar lug
Concrete Inst., Vol. 9, November-Decem- effects.
ber, 1937; discussions by Menzel, by Gilkey, (36) H. J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamber]in, and R. W.
Chamberlin, and Beal, and by Steinman, Beal, "Bond Tests on Rusted Bars," Pro-
March-April, 1938; Proceedings, Vol. 34, ceedings, Highway Research Board, Vol.
pp. 145-164 and 164-1 to 164-15. 149-163 pp. 19, (1939). See also reference
Pull-out and beam tests conducted at (40).
Lehigh University on two strengths of con- (37) J. R. Shank, "Bond Creep and Shrinkage
crete and several types of deformed and Effects in Reinforced Concrete," Journal,
plain bars including controversial discussion Am. Concrete Inst., November, 1938; Pro-
on the patented "Isteg" bar. ceedings, Vol. 35, pp. 81-90 (1939).
(31) R. E. Davis, E. H. Brown, and J. W. Kelly, Frictional drag or creep of plain bars un-
"Some Factors Influencing the Bond Be- der sustained loading.
tween Concrete and Steel," Proceedings, (38) T. C. Powers, "The Bleeding of Portland
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 38, Part II, Cement Paste, Mortar, and Concrete,"
p. 394 (1938). Also discussions, p. 407. Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1939;
Highly condensed reconnaissance cover- Proceedings, Vol. 35, pp. 465-479 (1939).
ing type of cement, richness of mixture, Discussions by W. H. Herschel, M. O.
orientation at casting, shape of plain bar Withey, and J.W. Kennedy, pp. 480-1 to
(round or square), vibration during place- 480-8. Extended and reprinted without dis-
ment, delayed vibration, freezing and thaw- cussions as Bulletin No. 2, P.C.A. Research
ing, wetting and drying, T.D.A. as an addi- Laboratory, July, 1939.
tion, and pozzolan as an admixture. Water gain or sedimentation effects. See
(32) H. J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamberlin, and R. W. also references (13, 34, 44, 69).
Beal, "The Distribution of Strain in the (39) H. J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamber]in, and R. W.
Concrete of Pull-out Specimens," Proceed- Beal, "Distribution of Bond in Long Pull-
ings, Highway Research Board, VoI. 18, out Specimens," Proceedings, Highway Re-
pp. 114-129 (1938). See also reference (40). search Board, Vol. 20, pp. 499-510 (1940).
Extension of reference (29). See also reference (40).
(33) H. J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamberlin, and R. W. High - strength (175,000 - psi yield
Beat, "The Bond Between Concrete and strength) alloy plain steel bars tested in
Steel," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., Sep- pull-out specimens for embedments from 3
tember, 1938; discussion by Warren to 24 in. for z-in.
1 diameter bars, and 3 to 48
Raeder and G. R. Wernisch, February, in. for 89 diameter bars (6 to 96 diame-
1939; Proceedings, Vol. 35, pp. 1-20 and ters of bar). Maximum stress developed
20-1 to 20-11 (1939). was less than one half the yield strength
Survey of answered and unanswered of the steel. Strain distributions were
questions of bond with references to, and recorded.
brief discussions of, previous work. (40) H J. Gilkey, S. J. Chamber]in, and R. W
(34) C. A. Menzel, "Some Factors Influencing Beai, "Bond Between Concrete and Steel,"

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Bulletin No. 147, Iowa State College Engi- Contains 14 references, mainly on fatigue
neering Experiment Station (1940). of concrete.
Summarizes in one publication results (48) S. U. Benscoter and S. T. Logan, "Shear
reported as references (26, 29, 32, 33, 36, and Bond Stresses in Reinforced Concrete
39). On pp. 111-118, supplies synopses with Discussions by F R. Shanley, B. J.
(more complete than these) of all the Aleck, Dean Peabody, Jr., W. E. Wilbur,
references listed therein. Bulletin No. 147 L. E. Grinter, Anders Bull, Victor R. Berg-
is now out of print, but library and personal man, and P. M. Ferguson," Paper No. 2245,
copies should be generally available. Am. Soc. Civil Engrs.; Transactions, Vo].
(41) B. G. Johnston and K. C. Cox, "The 110, pp. 599-632 (1945).
Strength of Rusted Deformed Bars," Emphasis on difficulty in attempting to
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., September, compute bond stresses with dependable
1940; Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp. 57-72 precision.
(1941). (49) H. J. Gilkey, "Proposed Test Procedure to
(42) C. A. Menzel, "A Proposed Standard De- Determine Relative Bond Value of Rein-
formed Bar for Reinforcing Concrete," forcing Bars," Report of ACI Committee
Proceedings, 17th Semi-Annual Meeting, 208, Bond Stress, Journal, Am. Concrete
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Inst. (1941). Inst., February, 1945; Proceedings, Vol.
This paper laid the groundwork for the 41, pp. 273-292 (1945). Discussion by
development of the "A 305" bars. It is Abrams, pp. 292-1 to 292-8.
reproduced in the compilation of reference Presents and explains basis for the pro-
(71). posed test procedure. See reference (50).
(43) David Watstein, "Bond Stress in Concrete (50) D. A. Abrams and H. J. Gilkey, discussion
Pull-out Specimens," Journal, Am. Con- and closure of reference (49), Journal,
crete Inst., September, 1941; Proceedings, Am. Concrete Inst., November, 1945; Pro-
Vol. 38, pp. 37-50 (1942). ceedings, Vol. 41, pp. 292-1 to 292-8 (1945).
Distribution of pull-out bond stresses Abrams attacks proposed procedure;
along four types of deformed bars and plain Gilkey defends it.
hot-rolled and cold-drawn bars. Tuckerman (51) R. W. Kluge and E. C._Tuma, "Lapped
gages with long legs were mounted directly Bar Splices in Concrete Beams," Journal,
on bar surfaces through holes in the con- Am. Concrete Inst., September, 1945;
crete. See also reference (53). Proceedings, Vol. 42, pp. 13-33 (1946).
(44) C. A. Menzel, "Some Factors Influencing (52) Arthur P. Clark, "Comparative Bond
the Strength of Concrete Containing Ad- Efficiency of Deformed Concrete Reinforc-
mixtures of Powdered Aluminum," Journal, ing Bars," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Am. Concrete Inst., January, 1943; Pro- June, 1947; Proceedings, Vol. 43, pp. 381-
ceedings, Vol. 39, pp. 165-184 (1943). 400 (1947). Discussions by R. R. Zipprodt,
This paper is reproduced in the compila- C. J. Posey, P. W. Abeles, and H. J. Gilkey,
tion of reference (71). Swelling of mixture pp. 400-i to 400-9. This paper (without the
to offset settlement and water gain. See discussion) also appears in Journal of Re-
references (13 and 38). search, Nat. Bureau Standards, Vol. 37,
(45) J. O. Draffin, "A Brief History of Lime, December, 1946, p. 399. (RP 1755.)
Cement Concrete, and Reinforced Con- Preliminary comparisons in launching
crete," Journal, Western Soc. of Engineers, the search for a better bar.
Vol. 48, No. 1, March, 1943, pp. 14-47. (53) David Watstein, "Distribution of Bond
Documented with 114 footnote references. Stress in Concrete Pull-out Specimens,"
Also Reprint Series No. 27, University of Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., May, 1947;
Illinois Engineering Experiment Station, Proceedings, Vol. 43, pp. 1041-1052 (1947).
June, 1943. Extension of work reported in reference
(46) Herman Shorer, "Prestressed Concrete, (43). Five types of bar and two lengths of
Design Principles and Reinforcing Units," embedment.
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1943; (54) T. D. Mylrea, "Bond and Anchorage,"
Proceedings, Vol. 39, pp. 493-528 (1943). Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., March, 1948;
Discussion, pp. 528-1 to 528-7. Proceedings, Vol. 44, pp. 521-552 (1948).
Discussion of bond is on p. 500. Discussions by U]f Bjuggren, S. D. Lash,
(47) C. W. Muhlenbruch, "The Effect of Re- H. Van Uchelen, and P. M. Ferguson, pp
peated Loading on the Bond Strength of 552-1 to 552-10.
Concrete," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing An analytical review of the bond problem
Mats., Vol. 45, p. 824 (1945). as applied to beams.

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(55) Arthur P. Clark, "Highlights of the De- (63) Eivind Hognestad and C. P. Siess, "Effect
velopment of Reinforced Concrete and the of Entrained Air on Bond Between Con-
Study of Bond," Journal, Am. Concrete crete and Reinforcing Steel," Journal, Am.
Inst., February, 1948; Proceedings, Vo]. 44, Concrete Inst., April, 1950; Proceedings,
pp. 437-440 (1948). Discussion by C. M. VoI. 46, pp. 649-667 (1950).
Spofford, pp. 440-1 to 440-4. Includes several references. Essentially
A brlef historical rfisumC. a reproduction of a paper by H. W. Russell
(56) F. E. Richart, "Advances in Reinforced and Eivind Hognestad, Proceedings, High-
Concrete During the Past Quarter of a way Research Board, Vol. 28, pp. 195-210
Century," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., (1948).
April, 1948; Proceedings, Vol. 44, pp. 720- (64) Arthur P. Clark, "Bond of Concrete Rein-
731 (1948). forcing Bars," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst.,
Recent history; brief review of bond on November, 1949; Proceedings, Vol. 46,
pp. 721-722. pp. 161-184 (1950).
(57) Douglas McHenry and W. T. Walker, Compares beam and pull-out specimens
"Laboratory Measurements of Stress Dis- on different types of bar. Concludes that
tribution in Reinforcing Steel," Journal, pull-out does give concordant indications.
Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1948; Proceed- (65) R. C. Reese, "New-Style Deformed Rein-
ings, Vol. 44, pp. 1041-1054 (1948). Dis- forcing Bars," Journal, Am. Concrete
cussion by P. M. Ferguson, pp. 1056-1 to Inst., May, 1950; Proceedings, Vol. 46, pp.
1056-4. 681-688 (1950). Discussion by Erling
Includes six references and an appendix Reinius, pp. 688-1 to 688-4.
on SR-4 gage protection for use with RCsum6 of bond progress.
concrete. (66) W. T. Walker, "Laboratory Tests of
(58) U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (W. T. Walker Spaced and Tied Reinforcing Bars,"
and D. Mcttenry), "Spaced and Tied Rein- Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., January,
forcing Bar Splices," LaboratoryReport No. 1951; Proceedings, Vol. 47, pp. 365-372
SP-20, Research and Geology Division, (1951).
Branch of Design and Construction, Den- Four references listed.
ver, Colo., April 3, 1949. A mimeographed (67) A. R. Anderson, "Bond Properties of
report (in greater detail) of the paper by Welded Wire Fabric," Journal, Am. Con-
W. T. Walker listed here as reference (66). crete Inst., February, 1952; Proceedings,
(59) Arthur P. Clark, "Bond of Concrete Rein- Vol. 48, pp. 681-692 (1952).
forcing Bars," Journal of Research, Nat. (68) R. M. Mains, "Measurement of the Distri-
Bureau Standards, Vol. 43, December, bution of Tensile and Bond Stresses Along
1949, p. 565. (RP 2050.) Reinforcing Bars," Journal, Am. Concrete
(60) F. E. Richart, "Reinforced Concrete Wall Inst., November, 1951; Proceedings, Vol.
and Column Footings, Part 2," Journal, 48, pp. 225-252 (1952). Discussions by
Am. Concrete Inst., November, 1948; A. D. Hogg and L. Schenker, A. L. Mirsky
Proceedings, Vol. 45, pp. 237-260 (1949). and L. K. Moulton, and R. C. Reese, pp.
Reports on bond behavior of plain and 252-1 to 252-4 (1952).
four patterns of deformed bars in footings. For pull-out and beam specimens,
(61) F. M. Menefee and H. L. Kinnier, "Spacing ASTM Specifications A 305 deformed bars
of Moment Bars in Precast Joists," were split and grooved for internal place-
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., April, 1950; ment of SR-4 gages and leads. Bars re-
Proceedings, Vol. 46, pp. 629-636 (1950). joined and spot welded at intervals.
Tests of precast joists having bar spacing Internal axial strains on the steel were thus
less than that required by ACI Code. observed.
Distinctive aspects of bar spacings in joists. (69) C. A. Menzel, "Effect of Settlement of
(62) Arsham Amirikian, "Proposed Specifica- Concrete on Results of Pull-out Bond
tions for Minimum Bar Spacing and Pro- Tests," Bulletin No. 41, Research Dept.,
tective Cover in Precast Concrete Framing Research and Development Labs., Port-
Members," Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., land Cement Assn., November, 1952. See
April, 1950; Proceedings, Vol. 46, pp. 637- also references (13, 38).
640 (1950). Discussions by S. J. Chamberlin Aluminum powder, internal vibration,
and L. J. Mensch, pp. 640-1 to 640-2. revibration, width of mold, type of cement.
Contends that existing minimum bar This paper is reproduced in the compilation
spacing for precast joists are unduly re- of reference (71).
strictive. (70) C. A. Menzel and W. M. Woods, "An

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Investigation of Bond, Anchorage, and (74) B. A. Wasil, "Reinforced Concrete," Mid-

Related Factors in Reinforced Concrete west Engineer, Vol. 7, No. 6, November,
Beams," Bulletin No. 42, Research Dept., 1954, pp. 3-4, 13-15.
Research and Development Labs., Port- An historical summary.
land Cement Assn., November, 1952. (75) P. M. Ferguson, R. D. Turpin, and J.
Web reinforcement, aluminum powder, Neils Thompson, "Minimum Bar Spacing
entrained air, hooks, bar surfaces, prestress, as a Function of Bond and Shear Strength,"
freezing-thawing. This paper is reproduced ~rournal, Am. Concrete Inst., June, 1954;
in the compilation of reference (71). 2roeeedings, Vol. 50, pp. 869-887 (1954).
(71) "A Compilation of Five Papers on Studies Discussions by K. Hajnal-k6nyi and C. A.
of Bond Between Concrete and Steel and Willson, pp. 888-1 to 888-8.
Related Factors," Research and Develop- Authors question validity of present code
ment Labs., Portland Cement Assn., No- stresses in bond. Refocus attention on the
vember, 1952. This compilation consists of well-known splitting tendencies in the use
references (34, 42, 44, 69, 70). of deformed bars without restraining spirals.
(72) S. J. Chamberlin, "Spacing of Spliced Bars (76) R. D. Turpin, M. Hudson, P. M. Ferguson,
in Tension Pull-out Specimens," Journal, J. Neils Thompson, and James Chinn,
Am. Concrete Inst., December, 1952; "Minimum Spacing of Bars in Precast
Proceedings, Vol. 49, pp. 261-274 (1953). Elements," Civil Engineering Research
Tests involve transfer of load between Laboratory, University of Texas. Three
the parallel deformed bars. mimeographed reports on Navy Dept.
(73) J. R. Janney, "Nature of Bond in Pre- sponsored tests. Part I, July, 1952; Part II,
tensioned, Prestressed Concrete," Journal, August, 1953; Part III, March~ 1954.
Am. Concrete Inst., May, 1954; Proceed- Indications and questions raised are
ings, Vol. 50, pp. 717-736 (1954). Discus- similar to those of reference (75).
sions by P. W. Abeles, K. Hajnal-k6nyi,
(77) Arthur P. Clark "Investigation of Crack-
and N. W. Hanson.
Prism and beam tests with variable wire ing in Reinforced Concrete Flexural Mem-
diameter, surface, and strength of concrete. bers" Journal Am. Concrete Inst. (in
Because of high bond stress concentration press Sept. 1955) Proceedings Vol. 52
at cracks, prestressed concrete would seem (1956). Summarized in Technical News
to have an advantage due to the reduction Bulletin, National Bureau of Standards
in crack width and number. Vol. 39:9 (Sept. 1955).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


Seldom is there any agreement as to until the surface is penetrated. When this
what wear actually is or how to measure surface is penetrated, the resistance to
it. Some feel that the old paint slogan, abrasion so measured is ridiculously
"Save the surface and you save all," is slight by comparison. In other words, the
applicable to concrete. Certainly, when actuM strength of the concrete is then
the surface is disrupted and the aggre- the controlling factor.
gate exposed, it is difficult to measure the The first work which seems to have
abrasion resistance of the resulting con- been reported on wear tests of paving
crete surface. This is particularly true materials was by Johann Bauschinger
when means are adopted--and some with (1)3 of Munich in 1844. He used a ma-
merit--to increase the life of the wearing chine, first exhibited at the World's Fair
surface through the use of various con- in Paris in 1878, similar to the D o t t y
crete surface hardeners. machine, in which cores are subjected to
I t has been demonstrated that cement abrasion by silica sand carried on a re-
factor, air content, and curing are all volving cast steel plate. This work, and
important factors. But all three factors much of the early work in this country
generally follow the compressive strength as reported by Page (2) and Goldbeck
of concrete, so that it m a y be reasonably and Jackson (3), was conducted on rock
hypothesized that strength m a y be ac- and stone then used for paving.
cepted as a criterion of wear resistance. In more recent years, adaptations of
I t would appear that a reasonable solu- these and other methods for determining
tion to the problem is possible and an the abrasion resistance of stone have been
acceptable method of test may be de- used with varying degrees of success on
vised, if only concrete and the factors concrete. The investigations of Roman
that go into making and curing that con- (4), Abrams (5), Jackson and Pauls (6),
crete are considered. I t appears equally Scofield (7), and Scholer and Allen (8)
obvious that concretes treated for im- were with the rattler-type equipment,
proving their resistance to wear involve such as the Deval test and the Los An-
a different procedure from that used geles and Talbot-Jones rattlers. About
when the concrete only is the prime fac- the same time, Guttman (9) reported on
tor. a disk type of test. A drill press adapta-
As an example, a very inferior con- tion was also reported by Harris (10) in
crete may be painted with a rubber-base connection with the testing of the hard-
paint and the resistance to the action of ness of various materials. Tuthill and
the shot-blast machine is extremely high Blanks (11) classified concrete wear into
* Presented a~ ~he Fifty-slxth Annual Meet- two general types, mechanical and hy-
ing of the Society, June 28-July 3, 1953. draulic. They state that no one test has
I Manager, Construction Specialties Division,
and Head, Construction Specialties Research 2 Tile boldface numbers in parentheses refer
Laboratory, respectively, Dewey & Ahny Chem- to the list of references appended to this paper,
ical Co., Cambridge, Mass. see p. 173.
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been devised that adequately measures surface would, of course, wear down read-
the wear resistance of concrete under all ily.
conditions. The second type of wear is caused by
There are a number of various types of a rubbing action similar to that found in
abrasion or wear to which concrete may the first type, plus an impact-cutting
be subjected. Webster's dictionary de- type of wear. This latter type is brought
fines "wear" in this w a y ~ " T o impair, about by the use of chains on automobile
waste or diminish by continual attrition, and truck tires or metal vehicle wheels.
scraping, percussion or the like." The As the wheel revolves, it brings the metal
problem seems to be to discover or to into contact with the concrete surface
select from existing equipment one kind with considerable impact, a process
that could be generally accepted for de- which tends to cut the surface of the con-
termining the abrasion resistance of all crete. The presence of wind- or water-
concrete. borne sand or other abrasive material is
a common cause of surface wear on con-
TYPES OF ABRASION crete pavements where traffic is heavy.
Wear of concrete surface by abrasion Here again, mix design, finishing, and
will be classified as follows for the pur- curing are important factors in determin-
pose of this paper: ing the ability of the concrete to resist
this action.
1. Wear on concrete floors, due to foot The third type of wear is primarily a
traffic, light trucking, and the skidding cutting action. The action of the abrasive
or sliding of objects on the surface (attri- particles carried by the flowing water is,
tion). of course, controlled largely by the ve-
2. Wear on concrete road surfaces due locity of the water, the angle of contact,
to heavy trucking and automobiles, with the abrasive material, and the general
and without chains (attrition plus scrap- surrounding conditions.
ing plus percussion). The fourth type of wear is completely
3. Wear on underwater construction, an impact abrasion. It is caused by the
due to the action of abrasive materials abrupt change in direction and velocity
carried by flowing or turbulent waters of a liquid to such a degree that the
(attrition plus scraping). pressure at some point is reduced to the
4. Wear on concrete dams, power vapor pressure of the liquid. The vapor
plants, and water-carrying systems where pockets so created upon entering areas
a high hydraulic gradient is present. This of higher pressure collapse with a great
is generally known as cavitation erosion impact, which eventually causes pits or
as distinguished from the abrasive ero- holes in the concrete surface. Also, the
sion in type 3 (percussion). particles torn loose by this action con-
tinue to add to the abrasion problem b y
The first type of wear listed is essen- causing further wear as designated by the
tially a rubbing action and is usually third type previously mentioned. Wallace
caused by the introduction of foreign and Price (12, 13) have reported on the
particles, such as sand, metal scraps, or Bureau of Reclamation's extensive stud-
similar materials. Normal wear without ies of this problem in connection with
the benefit of such abrasive materials various dams.
would be negligible on a good concrete It has been indicated that damage re-
surface for an indefinite period of time. suiting from cavitation is not common in
A poorly designed or inadequately cured open conduits at water velocities below

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40 ft per sec. However, concrete in spillway tunnels. There are many cases
closed conduits has been pitted by cavita- where the concrete of dams and tunnel
tion at velocities as low as 25 ft per sec linings has been damaged by erosion dur-
where the air pressure was reduced by ing the construction period, and this
the sweep of the flowing water. At higher possibility should not be overlooked
velocities, the forces of cavitation are among the design considerations.
sufficient to erode away large quantities Apparently the rate of erosion is de-
of high-quality concrete in a compara- pendent on the quantity, size, shape, and
tively short time. hardness of the particles being trans-
The erosion of concrete by silt, sand, ported, the velocity of the water, and the
gravel, and other solids can be equally quality of the concrete. Concrete-lined
as severe as that caused by cavitation. irrigation canals ~vhich usually carry very
Stilling pools which are not self-cleaning, few solids show no appreciable erosion
in which rocks and sand collect, are after years of service for velocities as high
eroded by the movement of the solids by as 6 ft per sec.
eddy currents in the pool, and concrete Where it is expected that the conduit
over which large quantities of sand and will carry solids or that abrasion will re-
gravel are transported by floods may be sult from solids and eddy currents, the
seriously eroded. concrete should be of the highest quality
The concrete in the invert of the 20-ft because the abrasion resistance increases
diameter, 1300-ft-long tunnel at Ander- as the strength of the concrete is in-
son Ranch Dam was worn away to a creased. It is not necessary to be so
depth of about 3 in. while it was used for particular about alignment and surface
diverting the flow of the river for a period smoothness where only abrasion is ex-
of 43 months during construction of the pected and where the velocity of the
dam. The water carried high percentages water will not exceed 40 ft per sec.
of silt, sand, and gravel during the spring It will be realized, from the foregoing,
run-off, and when the tunnel was un- that probably no one single type of abra-
watered the invert was covered to a sion test can be considered adequate. The
depth of several feet with rocks, gravel, rubbing type may be satisfactory for
and sand. The wear was fairly uniform floor surfaces, but in no way does it
on all types of aggregate, and the ex- simulate the cutting action of sand car-
posed surfaces of the larger aggregate ried by fast-moving water. The dressing-
were smooth and flat. Some of the 1:2 wheel type does approach the cutting
dry-packed mortar patches in this tunnel action produced by chains, but its action
were completely eroded away, and in is somewhat, dependent upon the hard-
general the mortar patches were eroded ness of the coarse aggregate used in the
more than the surrounding concrete. The mix. This is, of course, also true in the
maximum velocity of the water in the case of the rubbing type. The sand-blast
tunnel was about 30 ft per sec. New con- type cuts into the softer materials, leav-
crete which has been installed in this
ing the harder materials exposed or loos-
tunnel has been subjected to high
velocities of relatively clear water since ened so that they are free to become
it was converted to an outlet tunnel. This dislodged from the mass. This type of
new low-slump concrete shows only slight action is, however, more severe than that
wear. Similar erosion was experienced in commonly found in floors; it cuts through
the diversion tunnels of Hoover Dam the surface finish and exposes the basic
prior to their conversion to outlet and concrete which, under normal conditions

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of wear, might not be exposed during the by Schuman and Tucker (19). Variations
life of the building. of this apparatus have been constructed
by laboratories interested in studying the
wear resistance of floors, and reasonable
Floor Surfaces: results have been obtained.
A considerable amount of work has There is always the question of the
been done by many investigators in con- effect of the aggregate particles, particu-
nection with the study of the wearing larly where the surface had no special
qualities of concrete floors. Kessler (14), treatment such as the use of integral or
Ahlers et al. (15), Shank (16), Emley and surface hardeners. Under these condi-
Hofer (17), Wasflund and Eriksson (18), tions, the surface finish wears off quickly
and Schuman and Tucker (19) have re- and the abrasive disk will then proceed
ported on the developments of test meth- to ride on the hardest piece of aggregate.
ods and results of investigations. This In actual practice, however, the traffic
work has involved various finishing tech- will wear around the harder particles,
niques, types of curing, time of curing, leaving them protruding and susceptible
degree of curing, integral floor hardeners, to impact.
surface hardeners, and air entrainment. In general, where the conditions of test
Also included in these studies were the are such that only a surface hardness is
effects of paints, acids, and alkalies on to be examined, the rubbing action will
the resultant surfaces in respect to the produce satisfactory results. This in-
ability of the surface so treated to resist cludes toppings containing an integral
abrasion. hardener, surface hardeners, various
Most of these studies have been carried types of finishing, and the application of
out by rubbing types of apparatus, since film-forming materials such as paints.
this was considered to be the method The dressing-wheel type of test, Fig. 3,
best suited to reproduce the actual action has also been found to be suitable for
on the floor surface. The other two types, this sort of test. It is, in general, much
dressing-wheel and sand-blast, have also more rapid in action than the rubbing
been used, but to a limited extent. type and is a fairly simple piece of equip-
The two common methods of achieving ment. It can be set up in a drill press and
this rubbing action are a reciprocating does not require an abrasive or water.
disk and a revolving disk with some sort General practice is to clean the surface
of abrasive material--usually carborun- occasionally during the test by blowing
dum, silica sand, or slag, used under damp the dust off the specimen under test.
or wet conditions. The length of time When the wear caused by the wheel
required to obtain significant results has progressed through the surface of the
depends mainly on the abrasive material concrete, there is again the tendency for
used, the pressure applied, and the speed the hardest aggregate particle or particles
of operation, provided the surface char- to carry the burden. However, this condi-
acteristics of the specimens under test are tion is not so pronounced with the wheel
comparable. This time may vary from 2 as with the rubbing test, because some of
to 20 hr. the teeth will be making contact at other
Figures 1 and 2 illustrate two of the points. There will be a tendency for the
reciprocating types of machines currently wheel to bounce because of high and low
being used in wear test studies. spots, thus causing gouging. The extent
The revolving disk-type machine com- of this bouncing will be controlled to a
monly used is essentially that developed great degree by the loading pressure ap-

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FIG. 1.--Reciprocating Shoe Abrasion Device Developed by Research Laboratories, Lehigh

Portland Cement Co.

FIG. 2.--Reciprocating Abrasive Machine Developed by Research Laboratories, Public Service

Gas and Electric Co.

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plied to the wheel and the speed of opera- hand, the length of test or the flow of
tion. The use of an abrasive and lower shot can be increased to provide a more
loading pressures tends to overcome this severe test that will cut around the ag-
undesirable action. gregate and loosen it, regardless of its
The shot-blast test, Fig. 4, may be relative hardness.

FIG. 3.--Typical Drill Press Set-Up for Dressing Wheel Type of Testing Used by Northeastern

successfully used for surface testing, pro- The use of paints, particularly the rub-
vided due care is exercised to control the ber-base type, changes the effectiveness
rate of abrasion. I t is possible to adjust of the various tests. In the case of the
the rate of flow of shot so that within a shot blast, there is a tendency for the
reasonable period of time it will affect shot to bounce off the surface without
only the surface; thus the surface treat- cutting because of the resiliency of the
ment can be evaluated. On the other film, Thus, this test becomes of no value.

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The shot blast, of course, will cut through measure of the effectiveness of the paint
a water-base paint or similar film without as a protective coating.
difficulty. However, both the rubbing Floor hardeners of the surface-applied

FIG. 4.--Typical Shot-Blast Test Cabinet.

action and the dressing wheel will wear type also pose a problem because they do
through the paint film to the surface of not generally provide a very thick sur-
the concrete, and it is possible to get a face-hardened condition. The more mild

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form of ~brasion obtained by the rubbing breaking point in the curve may come
action is more sensitive to slight differ- anywhere between 4000 and 6000 psi.
ences in surface hardness than the other Collins and Waters' data indicate that
types of test methods. However, it is the initial rate of wear of 2000-psi con-
doubtful if these slight differences are of crete is about five times that of 4000-psi
actual value for practical purposes. concrete. They further conclude that the
Floors that are subjected to acid con- type of aggregate used has an important
ditions, such as in milk plants and citrus effect on the later stages of wear of
fruit packing plants, very often become medium- and low-strength concrete.
damaged by the acid action to such an Above 6000 psi the type of aggregate has
extent that the abrasion resistance is con- tittle effect on the wear resistance. Pog-
siderably lowered. This reduction in re- any (26) concludes that the abrasion re-
sistance can be measured by all three sistance of concrete with hard dense ag-
methods under discussion. However, in gregate bears no relation to abrasion
cases of this type, it is the mortar that resistance of the aggregate alone.
is weakened and, therefore, the shot blast The ability of the road surface to resist
is by far the most effective method. The abrasion depends primarily upon the mix,
dressing wheel would rank second and the placing, the finishing, and the curing
the rubbing action third. The trouble of the concrete. Probably curing is the
with the rubbing action is that it will, most important factor of those noted.
as previously stated, tend to ride on the Improper curing can be very detrimental
aggregate, thus greatly masking the true to the best designed and placed concrete
condition of the concrete. as far as abrasion resistance is concerned.
Tests by several investigators have
Roads: shown the great differences in abrasion
The investigation of the abrasion re- resistance caused by various types of
sistance of roads dates back to the earli- curing and times of curing involved. It
est tests that were actually applied to is a well established fact that the longer
paving stone. Since the introduction of concrete is kept moist after the set has
concrete, there have been a few pub- taken place, the more complete the hy-
lished reports concerning the abrasion dration and the better the strength.
resistance of concrete roads. Jackson and Hence, it can be said that, in general, the
Pauls (6), Collins and Waters (20), Wast- abrasion resistance of ordinary concrete
lund and Eriksson (21), and Teller and will be nearly proportional to its com-
Davis (22) have published reports on abra- pressive strength, a fact that has been
sion tests Of highway concrete. This work borne out by several investigations.
is in a somewhat different category from Since the introduction of the mem-
floors, because hardeners, paints, and the brane type of curing compound, atten-
like are not used. However, investiga- tion has been directed to the effect of
tions have shown that compressive such materials on the surface of the con-
strength is a very important factor. Data crete. It has been found that some types
obtained indicate that abrasion resist- of membrane material may react with the
ance increases rapidly with a strength surface of the concrete in such a way as
increase up to a certain point, depending to inhibit or prevent proper hydration.
upon aggregate, mix conditions, and type This action, of course, weakens the sur-
of test (20, 24, 2S), but beyond this point face and consequently reduces its wear
increases in strength have very little ef- resistance. Under these conditions, it is
fect on the abrasion resistance. This possible to use any of the three methods

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of test suggested to determine the re- ducted on specimens that were treated
sistance to abrasion. However, the dress- with membrane curing compounds at
ing-wheel and shot-blast types are to be various periods during the bleeding cycle
preferred over the rubbing type because have indicated that if they are applied
the nature of the road surface is generally before the concrete has stopped bleed-
such that large aggregate is at or near ing, the resultant surface has a relatively
the surface. Hence, by cutting the mor- low abrasion resistance. In other words,
tar, there will be a tendency to loosen the the abrasion resistance of the concrete
aggregate, thus simulating the action of surface increases as the time of applying
chains or metal wheels on the road. the curing compound to the concrete ap-
Another consideration in connection proaches the end of the bleeding period.

FIG. 5.--Two Specimens Made from the Same Concrete Mix Showing the Effects of Curing on
Abrasion Resistance of Concrete.

with membrane curing compounds and There is little difference in the abrasion
their effect on abrasion is the time of resistance if the curing material is applied
application. In this phase, the bleeding of between the end of the bleeding and the
the concrete is an important factor since beginning of the drying of the concrete.
it, too, has an effect on the surface and However, once the concrete has started
its resistance to abrasion. to lose water by drying after the bleeding
There is a definite bleeding cycle de- has ceased, the abrasion resistance starts
pendent upon such things as water-ce- to decrease. This, of course, is due to
ment ratio, aggregate grading, cement, lack of curing and is somewhat propor-
temperature of the air, humidity, and tional to the degree of curing. The ex-
wind velocity. Also, the use of purpose- treme is the difference in resistance of
fully entrained air will bring about cured v e r s u s uncured concrete, as shown
changes in bleeding. These factors all in Fig. 5. Burnett and Spindler (23) have
have a direct bearing on the ability of also shown that the time of set, which
the concrete to resist abrasion. Tests con- generally coincides with the cessation of

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bleeding, is a critical point as far as the water are developed by the movement of
relationship of application of curing com- the water carrying foreign particles.
pound to abrasion resistance is con- These particles are generally sand and
cerned. Investigations of the abrasion often may actually be softer than the
resistance of concrete with regard to cur- concrete, but the force exerted by rapidly
ing further illustrate the relationship of moving water carrying the sand is such
strength to abrasion. A poorly cured con- that a cutting action is produced.
crete will have low strength and low The most satisfactory method of dupli-
resistance to abrasion compared to con- cating this type of abrasion is obviously
crete from the same batch that has been the shot blast. However, it is possible to
properly cured. evaluate the concrete to some degree by
Entrained air influences the resistance means of the dressing wheel because of
of the concrete to abrasion in about the the cutting action.
same degree that it affects the strength Concrete for this purpose is usable,
of the concrete. Generally speaking, con- even after the skin or surface has been
cretes containing not over 6 per cent worn off, except where appearance is an
entrained air will not show reduced re- important factor. Therefore, in testing
sistance to abrasion as compared to non- this type of concrete, consideration of its
air entrained concrete, provided the mix ability to resist abrasion is not only given
has been properly redesigned and all to the surface but also to the basic con-
other conditions are equivalent (24). It crete. After the surface has been cut
has also been noted that concretes of the away, the abrasive forces tend to cut the
same compressive strength, although weaker portion of the concrete, which
having a difference of as much as 10 per usually is the mortar, and destroy the
cent in air content, show approximately bond of the aggregate, thus releasing it
the same resistance to abrasion (25). from the mass. The shot blast duplicates
Other factors that tend to affect the this action and therefore provides an
abrasion resistance of concrete surfaces accelerated method of test which cannot
of roads are important but do not usually be duplicated satisfactorily by other
cause variations in the same project. Var- methods. Kennedy (24) and Witte and
iations in the mix brought about by Backstrom (25) have reported results by
water-cement ratio, cement content, and this method.
aggregate grading all are reflected in the
resistance to abrasion. Generally speak-
ing, these variations follow the change in Many other methods of test than the
strength due to the above factors. The three mentioned up to this point have
condition of the base on which the con- been used by investigators with varying
crete is placed has an effect on the abra- results.
sion resistance insofar as the base in- One such test involved a modification
fluences bleeding. The finishing operation of the Los Angeles rattler (7, 8). Con-
and the resulting fines brought to the crete cylinders or cubes were placed in
surface by this operation will also have the machine and tumbled for various
a marked effect on the resistance of the periods of time. The abrasion resistance
surface to abrasion by traffic. was then determined by visual observa-
tion and determination of weight loss.
Piles, Foolings, Piers, elc.: This is a rather severe test, involving a
As previously stated, the abrasive pounding action not commonly associ-
forces that tend to erode concrete in ated with abrasion. A hard, brittle con-

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crete might break up in this test, and a media under pressure over the surface
softer material might stand up. In actual of the concrete. Provision is made to
field practice, however, the harder con- avoid tracking of the balls. The surface
crete would resist abrasive forces much of the concrete is subjected to flowing
better than the relatively softer material. water to wash the abraded material off
Hence, it is not believed that this method as it is produced. This apparatus is rather
is well suited for the determination of buiky and costly, factors which are a
abrasion resistance under such conditions disadvantage to the method. Also, tests
as set forth in this paper. to date have not indicated that the re-
Another method of determining abra- sults obtained are appreciably more con-
sion resistance is by means of an abrasive sistent or representative than those with
wheel. A carborundum or similar wheel, other less expensive pieces of equipment
while moving, is brought into contact (22).
with the concrete surface. A constant
pressure is applied and a constant time SIGNIFICANCE OF ABRASION TESTS
of application is used. The specimen may In order for an abrasion test to be sig-
be either wet or dry and generally pro- nificant, particular attention must be
vision is made to remove the abraded given to the type of concrete to be
material during the test interval. This tested. If it is a regular concrete, without
method is weak because of variations in special finishing, then the abrasion re-
grinding wheels and variations in indi- sistance can be expected to be a direct
vidual wheels as they become worn. The function of the concrete strength. If, how-
wheel also will be supported by the ever, metallic or other hardeners are ap-
toughest portion of concrete with which plied to the floor, such factors must be
it comes in contact and, therefore, meas- taken into consideration, and the time
ures the abrasion resistance of the required for the abrasion apparatus to
strongest rather than the weakest link. penetrate the hardened surface must be
Several methods involving balls, shoes, determined to give any significance to
and rolls have been used experimentally the test. In this latter case, the abrasion
with varying degrees of success. One of resistance would also correlate with com-
these, a ball method proposed by R. E. pressive strength, since the strength of
Davis of the University of California, surface hardened material is substanti-
develops wear by rolling steel grinding ally higher than that of regular concrete.

(1) "Johann Bauschinger, His Communica- (6) F.H. Jackson and J. T. Pauls, "Accelerated
tions," Vol. XI (1844). Wear Tests of Concrete Pavements/' Pro-
(2) L. W. Page, "Relation Between the Tests ceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 24,
for the Wearing Qualities of Road-Building Part II, p. 864 (1924).
Rocks," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing (7) H. H. Scofield, "Significance of Talbot-
Mats., Vol. XIII, p. 983 (1913). Jones Rattler as Test for Concrete in Road
(3) A. T. Goldbeck and F. H. Jackson, Jr., Slabs," Proceedings, Highway Research
Public Roads Bulletin No. 44, June 10, Board, p. 127 (1925).
1912. (8) C. H. Scholer and It. Allen, "Wear Tests of
(4) F. L. Roman, "Comparative Tests of the Concrete," Kansas State Agricultural Col-
Wearing Qualities of Paving Bricks and lege Bulletin, Vol. XII, No. 3, February
Concrete," Municipal Engineering (1916). 15, 1928.
(5) D. A. Abrams, "Wear Test of Concrete," (9) A. Guttmao, "Abrasion Tests on Con-
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. crete," Chemical Abstracts, Vol. 30, p. 5750
21. p. 1013 (1921). (1936).

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(10) D. H. Harris, "Apparatus for Testing the (19) L. Schuman and J. Tucker, Jr., "A Portable
Hardness of Materials," Chemical Abstracts, Apparatus for Determining the Relative
Vol. 38, p. 1338 (1944). Wear Resistance of Concrete Floors," Re-
(11) L. H. Tuthill and R. F. Blanks, "Wear search Paper No. RP125g, Nat. Bureau
Resistance of Concrete," Report on Sig- Standards (1939).
nificance of Tests of Concrete and Concrete (20) A. R. Collins and D. B. Waters, "The Re-
Aggregates, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., p. 38 sistance of Road Surfacing to Tank Traf-
(1943). (Issued as separate publication fic," Road Research Lab., Department of
ASTM STP No. 2ZA.) Science and Industry Research, Burks,
(12) W. H. Price, "Erosion of Concrete by England.
Cavitation and Solids in Flowing Water," (21) G. Wastlund and E. Eriksson, "Some
Journal, Am. Concrete Inst., May, 1947; Abrasion Resistance Tests on Highway
Proceedings, Vol. 43, p. 1009. Concrete," Cement och Betony, Vol. 14,
(13) W. H. Price and G. B. Wallace, "Resistance No. 3, p. 3 (1939).
of Concrete and Protective Coatings to (22) L. W. Teller, "A Test for Indicating the
Forces of Cavitation," Journal, Am. Con- Surface Hardness of Concrete Pavements,"
crete Inst., October, 1949; Proceedings, Vol. Public Roads, Voh 10, No. 5, July, 1929,
46, p. 109. p. 95; L. W. Teller and G. W. Davis, "The
(14) D. W. Kessler, "The Development of an Effects of Materials and Methods of Plac-
Apparatus for Wear Tests on Flooring ing on Strength and Other Properties of
Materials," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Concrete Bridge Floor Slabs," Vol. 12, No.
Mats., Vol. 28, Part II, p. 855 (1928). 10, December, 1931, p. 237.
(15) J. G. Ahlers, J. J. Lindon, and M. F. Bird, (23) G. E. Burnett and M. R. Spindler, "Effect
"Wear Tests on Floor Finishes at Ware- of Time of Application of Sealing Com-
house of R. H. Macy Company, Long Island pound on the Quality of Concrete," Journal,
City, New York," Journal, Am. Concrete Am. Concrete Inst., November, 1952; Pro-
Inst., February, 1929; Proceedings, Vol. 25, ceedings, VoI. 49, p. 193. Disc., Bryant
Part II, p. 778. Mather, ibid., p. 200-1.
(16) J. R. Shank, "A Wear Test for Flooring (24) H. L. Kennedy, "Homogeneity of Air En-
Materials," Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing training Concrete," Journal, Am. Concrete
Inst., June, 1946; Proceedings, Vol. 42 p.
Mats., Vol. 35, Part II, p. 533 (1935).
(17) W. E. Emley and C. E. Hofer, "Test of (25) L. P. Witte and J. E. Backstrom, "Some
Floor Coverings for Post Office Work- Properties Affecting the Abrasion Resist-
rooms," Journal of Research, Nat. Bureau ance of Air Entrained Concrete," Proceed-
Standards, Vol. 19, November, 1937. ings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 51, p.
(18) G. Wastlund and E. Eriksson, "Wear Re- 1141 (1951).
sistance Tests on Concrete Floors and (26) A. Pogany, "Determining the Abrasion
Methods of Dust Prevention," Journal, Am. Resistance of Concrete from That of the
Concrete Inst., October 1946; Proceedings, Mortar and Aggregates," Zement, Vol. 24,
Vol. 43 p. 1001. p. 522 (1935).

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STP169-EB/Jan. 1956

Hardened Concrete


A detailed outline of the various factors properties of hardened concrete that

that may influence concrete durability relate to resistance to weathering can
has been prepared by Subcommittee II-d still best be based on that outline. Many
on Durability of Concrete of ASTM of the some hundred items of the outline
Committee C-9 on Concrete and Con- are discussed in other papers included in
crete Aggregates. The complete tabular this publication.
outline is appended to this paper. The
factors are subdivided into five major PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE
1. The physical properties of the hard- Certain of the physical properties of
ened concrete, hardened concrete are highly significant
2. The constituent materials of which in controlling the degree of weathering
the concrete is composed, resistance which concrete will be capable
3. The construction methods used in of withstanding. Concrete exhibits elastic
fabricating or building the structure, and plastic properties. It has considerable
4. The nature of the deteriorating in- flexural and compressive strength and is
fluences to which the structure will be resistant to impact and to attrition due
exposed, and to abrasion. Further, although concrete
5. The type of loads which the struc- is elastic it is also slightly plastic, and
ture is designed to carry and to which it under sustained loads some plastic flow
will be subjected during its useful life. is known to occur. Concrete expands with
Not all of these factors are of equal a rise in temperature and shrinks with a
significance in their effect upon the du- drop'in temperature. As it loses moisture,
rability of the concrete structures. Some shrinkage occurs, and as moisture is
are obviously of major importance, others added by absorption, an increase in vol-
are reasonably well understood, but ume occurs. All concrete contains voids--
many that might exert a major role in de- air voids and water voids. Some of the
termining the life of the concrete have, water in these voids is in such a state that
to date, been almost entirely ignored. it is not freezable at natural tempera-
Although this outline was included in tures, but some of the entrained water
another paper 2 by the author, it is be- will always be freezable at temperatures
lieved that a discussion of the general below the normal freezing point that may
aspects of the significance of tests and readily occur in temperate and northern
1 Professor of Applied Mechanics, Kansas climates.
State College, Manhattan, Kans. Most of the progress in predicting and
C. H. Seholer, "Significant Factors Affect- controlling the probable durability of
ing Concrete Durability," Proceedings, Am. Soc.
Testing Mats., Vol. 52, p. 1145 (1952). concrete has been in the field of air and
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water voids. Since the presentation be- mining the water content of concrete in
fore the ASTM in 1928 of the first paper its hardened state. The actual water
on freezing-and-thawing tests of con- content incorporated and retained in
crete, a a great many papers concerning the hardened concrete will vary with
the resistance to freezing and thawing of construction practices, including finish-
concrete and mortars have been written ing and curing, and with later exposure
and the state of knowledge relating to moisture. I t is believed that m a n y
to the effect of water content in hardened of the inconsistencies that develop in
concrete, and the air voids of that hard- accelerated freezing-and-thawing tests
ened concrete, has reached a high stage are due to unknown variations of the
of predictability. Air entraimnent and its actual water content of the hardened con-
effect upon the resistance of concrete to crete. This subject merits further study.
the disintegrating effects of freezing and The elasticity, plasticity, and thermal
thawing are well understood3 Although expansion of concrete may play an im-
knowledge of the effect of entrained air portant part in the ultimate durability of
upon concrete durability is fairly well ad- a concrete structure. There is only frag-
v a n c e d - p r o b a b l y the most advanced of mentary information about the effect of
any phase of knowledge of concrete variations in the thermal characteristics
durability--it is the author's belief that of concrete aggregates and cement pastes
considerable work yet remains to be and the interrelationship of stresses that
done. Although information about the may develop when these materials are
actual amount of air in the hardened formed into concrete. Thermal incom-
concrete is limited, much is known about patibility has long been recognized as a
the air content of the fresh concrete. possible important element in concrete
Both subiects are discussed to greater durability. Most of the studies of thermal
lengths elsewhere in this publication. incompatibility have, to date, given al-
Damage to concrete by freezing and most no attention to the matter of plastic
thawing is due to the pressure developed flow under stress and have given but lit-
by the freezable water in the concrete as tle attention t o the elastic properties of
the water is gradually turned to ice. In the materials involved. Thermal incom-
addition to a knowledge of air voids in patibility cannot be studied satisfactorily
concrete, information about the water without complete r e c o g n i t i o n o f the
content of the hardened concrete and variations in elastic, plastic, and thermal
the percentage of water in a freezable properties of each of the constituents in-
form is necessary. T. C. Powers, whose volved. Variations in elastic properties
paper concerning significant aspects of and possibly in plastic properties of hard-
freezing and thawing follows, 5 has devel- ened concrete are fully as great and fully
oped basic information--believed to be as significant as are the variations in
adequate and satisfactory--about the thermal properties. Since, in most in-
relation of the water content of cement stances of natural exposure, thermal
pastes to resistance to freezing and thaw- stresses will develop rather slowly, it is
ing. As yet, there is no means of deter- almost certain that plastic flow offers
s C. H. Seholer "Some Accelerated Freezing material assistance in decreasing the
and Thawing Tests on Concrete," Proceedings, severity of these stresses. The problem is
Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 28, Part II, p. 472 further complicated by the fact that the
4 "A Bibliography on Durability of Concrete, thermal and elastic properties of port-
Physical Reaction," Bibliography No. 8, High- land-cement pastes and mortars are
way Research Board (1951).
See p. 182. drastically affected by changes in mois-

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ture content. Consequently, in approach- through all probable ranges of composi-

ing any of these problems involving the tion, had been studied, no characteristic
effect of changes in elasticity, plasticity, trend was noted between certain types of
and thermal properties, steps must be cement and their effect upon concrete
taken at all times to ensure that adequate durability in relation to freezing and
control of the moisture in the specimens thawing. These conclusions were based
is attained. I t is believed that this field is upon actual concrete projects constructed
one of the more important ones, to which in the field. M a n y years later, following
immediate attention should be directed. a "long-time study test of concrete-ce-
ment performance," F. H. Jackson s has
CONSTITUENT MATERIALS reported that he finds in the field no
Most of the studies of concrete durabil- apparent relationship between the type
ity have been based on the effect of one of cement and the service rendered.
or more of the major constituents of the Most of the variations observed on
concrete upon the concrete durability. structures actually built in the field where
As shown in the tabular outline at the only physical effects are to be observed
close of this paper, concrete is made with are due to variations in air and water
varying proportions of cement, air, wa- content which m a y have been due to
ter, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate, and variations in the cement, fine aggregate,
admixtures. Since, until recently, the one and coarse aggregate, or to proportions
constituent that was man-made and or construction practices. I t will be noted
over which there was a reasonable de- that again the cement is one of the fac-
gree of control was the portland cement, tors that may cause variations of the air
a great many studies of concrete durabil- and water content of the hardened con-
ity have centered about the cement and crete and consequent variations in the
its characteristics. Recently the develop- ability of this concrete to resist freezing-
ment of artificial aggregates and of cer- and-thawing exposure.
tain admixtures by modern manufactur- The author very clearly recalls a state-
ing processes have introduced new ment made by Mr. Bert Myers of the
elements that must be considered when Iowa State Highway Commission at a
concrete durability is being evaluated. meeting of the Highway Research Board
Depending upon the thoroughness of many years ago concerning his experi-
the investigation and whether or not ence in trying to rate cements according
sufficient time was allowed for the ade- to the resistance which they offered to
quate curing of the concrete involved in freezing and thawing and according to
making the study, many erroneous con- some other important concrete charac-
clusions have been reached in regard to teristics. Using given combinations of ag-
the effect of portland cement upon con- gregates, Myers prepared the specimens
crete durability. I t is the author's opin- and subjected them to the various tests
ion, after reviewing most of the published from which he was able to rate the ce-
papers on this subject, that concrete ments in the order of performance from
characteristics other than cement com- best to poorest. He then decided to rate
p o s i t i o n - a l m o s t without exception-- the performance of the aggregates. He
have been the controlling factor in con- found that, depending upon the cement
crete durability in relation to freezing and used, the performance of the aggregates
thawing. After several thousand lane-
miles of concrete pavement, involving a 6 F. H. Jackson, "Why Type II Cement,"
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol. 50,
great many portland cements varying p. 1210 (1950).

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could be arranged in many ways. Fur- jectionable variations in air and water
ther, depending upon which aggregates content.
were used, he could also rearrange the The chief errors of which we are aware
cements according to their performance in construction are those that affect the
in many different combinations. This final air and water content of the con-
again illustrates the extreme difficulty crete and thus its durability. Studies of
of trying to evaluate any one constituent these variations and their significance
material and its effect upon concrete per- are meager indeed.
formance when the other materials are Curing of concrete, which implies both
varied. These variations affect many of temperature and water control during the
the characteristics of hardened concrete. hardening period, is supposed to be
The air and water voids will change if vitally important. Studies of field curing,
either the cements or the aggregates are however, are lacking in facts with which
changed. Depending upon construction to demonstrate the influence of good
practices and methods of curing, the air curing so far as durability of the concrete
and water voids may be varied even is concerned. The general conception that
though the cement and aggrqgates are the best curing is obtained by keeping
the same. The timing of finishing and the concrete saturated, if not submerged,
curing operations also has a controlling during its early life is based almost en-
effect upon the air and water voids in the tirely upon laboratory tests which show
surface being finished. I t will be noted that the highest compressive strength
how important it is that the characteris- will be attained by concretes so cured.
tics of the hardened concrete, particu- That the greatest durability will be
larly in relation to air and water voids, secured by such curing is an open ques-
be controlled if the resulting durability tion.
tests are to be of adequate significance. In the author's opinion the question of
what constitutes properly cured concrete
CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES has not yet been answered. It is not un-
That construction methods and prac- likely that, depending upon the future
tices may have a great influence upon the use of the concrete and the type of struc-
final quality of the concrete produced is ture being built, curing practices should
conceded by all engineers, although data be rather widely varied.
substantiating this is almost nonexistent.
Everyone is interested in good construc-