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TestingConcreteCores
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By
KAUSHALKISHORE
MaterialsEngineer,Roorkee

Theexaminationandcompressiontestingofcorescutfromhardenedconcreteisawellestablishedmethod,enablingvisualinspectionoftheinteriorregionsofa
membertobecoupledwithstrengthestimation.Otherpropertieswhichcanbemeasuredisalsogiveninthispaper.

IS:4562000specifiedthatthepointsfromwhichcoresaretobetakenandthenumberofcoresrequiredshallbeatthediscretinoftheengineerinchargeandshall
berepresentativeofthewholeofconcreteconcernedinnocase,however,shallfewerthanthreecoresbetested.CoreshallbepreparedandtestedasdescribedinIS:
516.

Concreteinthememberrepresentedbyacoretestshallbeconsideredacceptable,iftheaverageequivalentcubestrengthofthecoresisequaltoatleast85percentof
thecubestrengthofthegradeofconcretespecifiedforthecorrespondingageandnoindividualcorehasastrengthlessthan75percent.Incasethecoretestresults
donotsatisfytheserequirements,orwheresuchtestshavenotbeendone,loadtestmayberesortedto.
CORECUTTINGMACHINES

COREDRILLING
Acoretobetestedforstrengthshallnotberemovedfromstructureuntiltheconcretehasbecomehardenoughtopermititsremovalwithoutdisturbingthebond
betweenthemortarandthecoarseaggregate.Normallytheconcreteshallbe14daysoldbeforethespecimensareremoved.Itispreferredtheconcreteshouldbe28
daysoldfordrillingcores.

Acoreisusuallycutbymeansofarotarycuttingtoolwithdiamondbits.Theconcretecoredrillingmachineisportable,butitisheavyandmustbefirmlysupported
andbracedagainsttheconcretetopreventrelativemovementwhichwillresultinadistortedorbrokencore,andawatersupplyisalsonecessarytolubricatethe
cutter.Handheldequipmentisavailableforcoresupto75mmdiameter.

Iftheendsofthecoresdonotconformtotheperpendicularityandplanenessrequirements,theyshallbesawedorgroundtomeetthoserequirementsorcappedas
perstandardprocedure.

CAPPING
Unlesstheirendsarepreparedbygrinding,coresshouldbecappedwithhighaluminacementmortarorsulfursandmixturetoprovideparallelendsurfacesnormal
totheaxisofthecore.Othermaterialsshouldnotbeusedastheyhavebeenshowntogiveunreliableresults.Capsshouldbekeptasthinaspossible,butifthecore
ishandtrimmedtheymaybeuptoaboutthemaximumaggregatesizeatthethickestpoint.

Itisessentialthatthecapbethin,preferably1.5to3mm.Thecappingmaterialmustbenoweakerthantheconcreteinthespecimen.

DIAMETERANDLENGTHOFCORE
Theratioofdiametertothemaximumaggregatesizeshallbenotlessthan3.Thecompressivestrengthof50mmdiametercoresareknowntobesomewhatlower
andmorevariablethanthoseof100mmdiametercores.Testingerrorassociatedwith50mmdiametercoreswasabouttwicethatassociatedwith150mmdiameter
cores.Smallercorestendedtoproducemorevariableresults.

AsperASTM:C42,thepreferredlengthofthecappedorgroundspecimenisbetween1.9and2.1timesthediameter.Iftheratioofthelengthtothediameter(L/D)
ofthecoreexceeds2.1reducethelengthofthecoresothattheratioofthecappedorgroundspecimenisbetween1.9and2.1.CorespecimenwithL/Dratioequalto
orlessthan1.75requirecorrectionstothemeasuredcompressivestrength.AstrengthcorrectionfactorisnotrequiredforL/Dratiogreaterthan1.75.Acorehaving
amaximumlengthoflessthan95%ofitsdiameterbeforecappingoralengthlessthanitsdiameteraftercappingorendgrindingshallnotbetested.

MEASUREMENTOFCORE
Beforetesting,measuretheaveragelengthofthecappedorgroundspecimenandusethislengthtocomputeL/Dratio.Determinetheaveragediameterbyaveraging
twomeasurementtakenatrightanglestoeachotheratthemidheightofthespecimen.

DETERMININGTHECOREDENSITY
Determinethedensitybyweighingthecorebeforecappingbutaftergrindinganddividingthemassbythevolumeofthecorecalculatedfromtheaveragediameter
andlength.

TESTINGOFCORE
Thecoreshallbeplacedinwateratatemperature24oto30oCfor48hoursbeforetesting.Centrethecorecarefullyonthelowerplatenofthemachinewithout
shockapplyandincreasetheloadcontinuouslyatconstantratewithinrangeof0.2N/(mm2/s)to0.4N/(mm2/s)untilnogreaterloadcanbesustained.Noteany
unusualfailuresandtheappearanceoftheconcrete.Calculatethecompressivestrengthofeachcorebydividingthemaximumloadbythecrosssectionalarea,
calculatedfromtheaveragediameter.Expresstheresultstothenearest0.5N/mm2.

ThenotedtestdataberecordedinthegivenproformaofTable1forreportingtheTestReport.Noagecorrectionshouldbeusedintheinterpretationofthestrength
ofcores.

Throughouttheworldcoretestingisacceptablemethodforthedeterminationofstrengthandqualityofconcreteinthestructure.

THEFOLLOWINGTESTSOTHERTHANCOMPRESSIVESTRENGTHMAYBEMADEONCORES
Nondestructive

1.1Directvisualexaminationofcorebeforetrimmingandcapping(bynakedeyeorpossiblyhandlens)

a)Coarseaggregate:Nominalmaximumsize,Gradingcontinuousordiscontinuous,Particleshape,Mineralogy,GroupClassification,Relative
proportions,distributioninconcrete.
b)Fineaggregate:Nominalmaximumsize,Gradingfineorcoarse,Typenatural,crushedormixture,Particleshape,Relativeproportion,distribution,
Mineralogy
c)Cement:Colourofmatrixofconcrete.
d)Concrete:Compaction,segregation,porosity,honeycombing,Generalcomposition,apparentcoarseaggregatetomortarproportions,Depthof
carbonation,Evidenceofbleeding,Evidenceofplasticsettlement,lossofbond,Presenceofentrainedair,Appliedfinishes,depthandothervisiblefeatures,
Abrasionresistance,Crackdepth,width,otherfeatures,Concretedepth,thickness,Inclusions,particularlyimpurities,Coldjoints.
e)Reinforcement:Type(round,square,twisted,deformed),Size,number,depth/cover
f)Coredrillingfaults:Bowing,Ridges

1.2Indirectvisualexaminationofcorebeforetrimmingandcapping(bymicroscopicorpetrographictechniques):Mineralogy,Air/sandcontent,bubble/void,
size/spacing,Microcracking,Surfacetextureofcoarseaggregates,Fineaggregateparticleshape,maximumsize,grading,Degradation.

1.3Routinephysicaltestsofcoresbeforecapping:Density,Waterabsorption,Ultrasonicpulsevelocity.

2.SpecialPhysicaltestsofcompanioncores:Indirecttensilestrength,Abrasionresistance(surfaceonly),Frostresistance,Movementcharacteristics.
3.Routinechemicaltestsofcoresaftercrushingforstrength:Aggregate/cementratio,Typeofcement,Aggregategrading(recovered),Sulphates,Chlorides,
Contaminants,Admixtures.

4.Determinationofwater/cementratio.<

5.Specialtestsoncoreaftercrushingforstrength:Sulphateattack,Cementandothermineralsandmineralphases,andmoleculargroupingssuchasNaCl,CaCl2,
SO3,C3Aetc.,Contaminants,Chlorideattack,Highaluminaconversion,Aggregatereactivity.

CORESWITHREINFORCEMENTPERPENDICULARTOTHECOREAXES
Coreshouldbetakentoavoidreinforcements.Covermetercanbeusedtolocatethebars.Itisusualtofindrebarinthecoresamples.Theseareusuallyononeorthe
otherside.Thepartofthecorebeyondrebariscutoffandonlytheconcreteportionistakenforthetest.Whereitisnotpossibletoavoidthebarscorrectionfactors
areapplied.Thecorewithrebarparalleltotheaxisofcorescannotbeusedastheeffectoftherebarwillbetoolargetoignore.Therebarperpendiculartotheaxis
canbetoleratedaslongasthecorrectionfactorislessthan10%.

Table1:Proformaforcoretest
CoreStrengthCorrectionfactor

L/DRatio ASTM:C42 IS:516


2.00 1.00
1.75 0.98 0.97
1.50 0.96 0.95
1.25 0.93 0.92
1.00 0.87 0.89

1.Nominalmaximumsizeofaggregate=
2.Typeandgradeofcement=
3.Gradeofconcrete=
4.Dateofcastingofstructuremember=
5.Dateofcoredrilling=
6.Dateofcoretesting=

Corelength
Core Corelength Density
after Weight
S.No. Idofcore Location dia aftergrinding L/DRatio
(mm) (mm)
capping (kg) (kg/m3)
(mm)
a b c d e f g h I
1.
2.
3.

Rebar
Corrected Equ.Cube
Core corrected
Corearea Ultimate core strength
S.No. strength Correction cube Remarks
(mm2) Load(kN) factor strength (N/mm2) strength
(N/mm2)
(N/mm2)lm n1.25
(N/mm2)
j K L m n o p q
1.
2.
3.

REFERENCES

1.IS:4562000,PlainandreinforcedconcreteCodeofPractice(FourthRevision)BIS,NewDelhi.
2.IS:5161959,Methodoftestforstrengthofconcrete,BIS,NewDelhi.
3.IS:11991959,Methodofsamplingandanalysisofconcrete.
4.ASTM:C42/C42M04,Standardtestmethodforobtainingandtestingdrilledcoresandsawedbeamsofconcrete.
5.BS1881:Part120:1983,Methodfordeterminationofthecompressivestrengthofconcretecores.
6.Concretecoretestingforstrength,Tech.Report11,ConcreteSociety,London,1987.
7.H.Bungey,S.G.Millard,M.G.Granthan,TestingofconcreteinstructuresFourthEdition.
8.V.Nayak,A.K.Jain,AdvancedConcreteTechnology.

Weatengineeringcivil.comarethankfultoEr.KaushalKishoreforsubmittingthisresearchpaperonTestingConcreteCorestous.Wearehopefulthatthiswillbe
ofgreathelptofellowcivilengineers