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When large quantity of heavy reinforcement is to be placed in a reinforced concrete (RC)
member, it is difficult to ensure that the formwork gets completely filled with concrete, that
is, fully compacted without voids or honeycombs. Compaction by manual or by mechanical
vibrators is very difficult in this situation. The typical method of compaction, vibration,
generates delays and additional cost in the projects. Underwater concreting always required
fresh concrete, which could be placed without the need to compaction; in such circumstances
vibration had been simply impossible.This problem can now be solved with self-compacting
concrete. This type of concrete flows easily around the reinforcement and into all corners of
the formwork. Self-compacting concrete (SCC) describes a concrete with the ability to
compact itself only by means of its own weight without the requirement of vibration. Self-
compacting concrete also known as Self-consolidating concrete or self levelling
concrete.Fig.1 shows the flow of Self-compacting concrete.
Self-compacting concrete is placed or poured in the same way as ordinary concrete
but without vibration. It is very fluid and can pass around obstructions and fill all the nooks
and corners without the risk of either mortar or other ingredients of concrete separating out, at
the same time there are no entrapped air or rock pockets. This type of concrete mixture does
not require any compaction and is saves time, labour and energy. The surface finish produced
by self-compacting concrete is exceptionally good and patching will not be necessary.
Self-compacting concrete has been successfully used in France, Denmark, the
Netherlands and UK, apart from Japan. It is gaining wide acceptability because no vibration is
needed and noise pollution is eliminated. The construction process is safer and more
productive. This seminar in general deals with introduction to SCC, materials and methods of
production of SCC, properties of SCC, advantages and disadvantages, furthermore in
particular application of SCC is also discussed.

Fig.1-Flow of SCC
The introduction of the “modern” self-compacting concrete (SCC) is associated with
the drive towards better quality of concrete pursued in Japan in late 1980’s, where the lack of
uniform and complete compaction had been identified as the primary factor responsible for
poor performance of concrete structures. There were no practical means by which full
compaction of concrete on a site was ever to be fully guaranteed, instead, the focus therefore
turned onto the elimination of the need to compact, by vibration or any other means. This led
to the development of the first practicable SCC by researchers (Okamura, Ozawa et al.) at the
University of Tokyo and the large Japanese contractors (e.g. Kajima, Maeda, Taisei etc.)
quickly took up the idea. The contractors used their large in-house R&D facilities to develop
their own SCC technologies. Each company developed their own mix designs, trained their
own staff to act as technicians for testing on sites, and tailor made their SCC mixes for large
projects they tendered for. Importantly, each of the large contractors also developed their
own testing devices and test methods
In the early 1990’s there was only a limited public knowledge about the SCC, mainly
in Japanese, the fundamental and practical know-how was kept secret by the large
corporations to maintain commercial advantage. The SCCs were used under trade names,
such as the NVC (Non-vibrated concrete) of Kajima Co., SQC (Super quality concrete) of
Maeda Co. or the Biocrete (Taisei Co.). Simultaneously with the Japanese developments in
the SCC area, R&D continued in mix-design and placing of underwater concrete where new
admixtures were producing SCC mixes with performance matching that of the Japanese SCC
concrete (e.g. University of Paisley / Scotland, Univ. of Sherbrooke / Canada etc.). Modern,
present-day Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) can be classified as an advanced construction
material. The SCC, as the name suggests, does not require to be vibrated to achieve full

compaction. This offers many benefits and advantages over conventional concrete. These
include an improved quality of concrete and reduction of on-site repairs, faster construction
times, lower overall costs, facilitation of introduction of automation into concrete
construction. An important improvement of health and safety is also achieved through
elimination of handling of vibrators and a substantial reduction of environmental noise
loading on and around a site. The composition of SCC mixes includes substantial proportions
of fine-grained inorganic materials; this offers possibilities for utilisation of “dusts”, which
are currently waste products demanding with no practical applications and which are costly to
dispose of.
Current Indian scenario in construction shows increased construction of large and
complex structures, which often leads to difficult concreting conditions. Vibrating concrete in
congested locations may cause some risk to labour in addition to noise stress. There are
always doubts about the strength and durability placed in such locations. So it is worthwhile
to eliminate vibration in practice, if possible. In countries like Japan, Sweden, Thailand, UK
etc., the knowledge of SCC has moved from domain of research to application. But in India,
this knowledge is to be widespread.

The Materials used in SCC are the same as in conventional concrete except that an
excess of fine material and chemical admixtures are used. Also, a viscosity-modifying
agent(VMA) will be required because slight variations in the amount of water or in the
proportions of aggregate and sand will make the SCC unstable, that is, water or slurry may
separate from the remaining material. The powdered materials are fly ash, silica fume, lime
stone powder, glass filler and quartzite filler. The use of pozzolanic materials helps the SCC
to flow better. The pozzolanic reaction in SCC, as well as in Conventional Slump Concrete
(CSC), provides more durable concrete to permeability and chemical attacks.

To achieve a high workability and avoid obstruction by closely spaced reinforcing,

SCC is designed with limits on the nominal maximum size (NMS) of the aggregate, the
amount of aggregate, and aggregate grading. However, when the workability is high, the
potential for segregation and loss of entrained air voids increases. These problems can be
alleviated by designing a concrete with a high fine-to-coarse-aggregate ratio, a low water–
cementitious material ratio (w/cm), good aggregate grading, and a high-range water-reducing
admixture (HRWRA).

Following are bases which are commonly used as superplasticizers.
 Modified Lignosulfonates(MLS).
 Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde (SMF)
 Sulfonated Naphthalene Formaldehyde(SNF)
 Acrylic Polymer based(AP)
 Coplymer of Carboxilic Acrylic
 Acid with Acrylic Ester(CAE)
 Cross Linked Acrylic Ploymer(CLAP)
 Polycarboxylatethers(PCE)
 Multicarboxylatethers(MCE)
 Polyacrylates
 Combination of above
Different bases of New Generation super Plasticizers or High Water reducing
agents(HRWRA) have different water reduction capacities. The advantage of this water
reduction can be taken either to increase the strength as in high strength concrete or to obtain
a better flowability as in case of self compacting concrete.

Based on the original conception of Okamura and Ozawa, in general three types of SCC can
be distinguished:
a) Powder type self compacting concrete: This is proportion ed to give the required self
compatibility by reducing by reducing the water-powder (material < 0.1mm) ratio and provide
adequate segregation resistance. Superplasticizers and air entraining admixtures give the
required deformability.
b) Viscosity agent type self compacting concrete: This type is proportioned to provide self
compaction by the use of a viscosity modifying admixture to provide segregation
resistance.Superplasticizers and air entrainment admixtures are used for obtaining the desired
c)combination type self compacting concrete: This type is proportioned so as to obtain self
compatibility mainly by reducing the water powder ratio, as in the powder type ,and a
viscosity modifying admixture is added to reduce the quality of fluctuation of the fresh
concrete due to the variation of the surface moisture content of the aggregates and their
gradations during the production .This facilitates the production control of the concrete.

Test Methods for Self Compatibility
Conventional workability tests, devised for normal ranges of concrete mixtures are not
adequate for self-compacting concrete, because they are not sensitive enough to detect the
tendency to segregation. For example, a slump test may show collapse, ( a slump of say 280
mm) and yet in one case the mixture may be stable and in other cases either the aggregate
may settle down or the slurry may tend to “run”. Therefore test equipment was fabricated for
judging the following characteristics.
(1) Self-compatibility: The U-tube test gives an indication of the resistance of the
mixture to flow round obstructions in a U-type mould, Fig 2. This test also detects the
tendency of the coarse aggregate particles to stay back or settle down, when the
mixture flows through closely-spaced reinforcements.
(2) Deformability: The slump flow test as specified by the Japan Society of Civil
Engineers (JSCE) judges the ability of concrete to deform under its own weight
against the friction of the base, Fig 3. This test, however, cannot evaluate whether the
concrete will pass through the space between the reinforcement bars. This test is
useful also as a routine control test, to detect the tendency for slurry to separate from
the mixture.
(3) Viscosity: Viscosity of the mortar phase is obtained by a V-funnel apparatus, Fig
4.This is useful for adjusting the powder content, water content and admixture dosage.
(4) Filling ability test: It is also used to determine the ability of the concrete to deform
readily through closely spaced obstacles.(fig.5)

Many different methods have been developed to characterise the properties of

SCC. No single method has been found till date which characterises all the relevant
workability aspects and hence, each mixed has been tested by more than one test
method for the different workability parameters.

Fig.3.slump flow apparatus

Fig 2 U-flow device
Fig.4.V-funnel Fig.5.Filling ability test
Hardened properties of SCC

Development of concrete strength with time: The compressive strength, as one of the
most important properties of hardened concrete, in general is the characteristic material value
for the classification of concrete in national and international codes. For this reason, it is of
interest whether the differences in the mixture composition and positive dissimilarities in the
microstructure, as mentioned before, affect the short and long term load-bearing behaviour.
Accordingly, clarification is still necessary to determine whether the hardening process and
the ultimate strengths of SCC and conven-tional concrete differ. After 28 days the reached
compressive strength of SCC and normal vibrated concrete of similar composition does not
differ significantly in the majority of the published test results. Isolated cases, however,
showed that at the same water cement ratios slightly higher compressive strengths were
reached for SCC. At the current time there is insufficient research to result in generalized
conclusions with this fact. The comparison of hardening processes shows that the strength
development of SCC and conventional concrete is similar, Fig. [6]. Some of the published test
results show that an increase of the cement content and a reduction of filler con-tent at the
same time increases the initial concrete strength and the ultimate concrete strength. For young
SCC aged up to 7 days the relative compressive strength spreads to a greater extend as given
in the CEB-FIB Model Code 90, whereas higher values as well as lower ones are reached.
Especially if limestone powder is used higher compressive strengths are noticeable at the
beginning of the hardening process.

Splitting tensile strength :All parameters which influence the characteristics of the
microstructure of the cement matrix and of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) are of decisive
impor-tance in respect of the tensile load bearing behaviour. By evaluating the created
database it could be shown, that most results of the measured splitting tensile strength values
are in the range of valid regulations for normal vibrated concrete with the same compressive
strength. However, in about 30% of all data points a higher splitting tensile strength was
stated, Fig. [7].

Fig.6 Development of concrete strength with time acc. to CEB-FIB Model Code 90

Fig. 7: Splitting tensile strength at SCC in comparison to CEB/FIB Model Code9

Hence it appears the tendency of a higher splitting tensile strength of SCC. Likely as not, the
reason for this fact is given by the better microstructure, especially the smaller total porosity
and the more even pore size distribution within the interfa-cial transition zone of SCC.
Further on a denser cement matrix is present due to the higher content of ultrafines. The time
development of tensile strength of SCC and normal vibrated concrete are subjected to a
similar dependence. Only few publications about SCC refer to a more rapidly increase of the
tensile strength opposite to the compressive strength.
Modulus of elasticity:As it is known, the modulus of elasticity of concrete depends on the
proportion of the Young´s moduli of the individual components and their percentages by vol-
ume. Thus, the modulus of elastisity of concrete increases for high contents of aggregates of
high rigidity, whereas it decreases with increasing hardened cement paste content and
increasing porosity. A relative small modulus of elasticity can be expected, because of the
high content of ultrafines and additives as dominating factors and, accordingly, minor
occurrence of coarse and stiff aggregates at SCC. Indeed, it was shown by analysing the
database that the modulus of elasticity of SCC can be up to 20 % lower compared with
normal vibrated concrete having the same compressive strength and made of the same
aggregates. Nevertheless, it is mainly still in the range of the CEB-FIB Model Code 90, Fig.

Fig. 8: Modulus of elasticity of SCC in comparison to CEB-FIB Model

Code 90


Simple inclusion even in complicated formwork and tight reinforcement

 Higher installation performance since no compaction work is necessary which

leads to reduced construction times, especially at large construction sites
 Reduced noise pollution since vibrators are not necessary

 Higher and more homogenous concrete quality across the entire concrete
cross-section, especially around the reinforcement

 Improved concrete surfaces (visible concrete quality)

 Typically higher early strength of the concrete so that formwork removal can
be performed more quickly.

Current condition on application of self-compacting concrete in Japan:
After the development of the prototype of self-compacting concrete at the University of
Tokyo, intensive research was begun in many places, especially in the research institutes of
large construction companies. As a result, self-compacting concrete has been used in many
practical structures. The first application of self-compacting concrete was in a building in
June 1990. Self-compacting concrete was then used in the towers of a prestressed concrete
cable-stayed Shin-Kiba Ohashi bridge in 1991. Lightweight self-compacting concrete was
used in the main girder of a cable-stayed bridge in 1992. Since then, the use of self-
compacting concrete in actual structures has gradually increased. Self-compacting concrete
has been successfully used in France, Denmark, the Netherlands,Germany,USA and UK, apart
from Japan.
 A typical application example of Self-compacting concrete is the two anchorages of
Akashi-Kaikyo (Straits) Bridge opened in April 1998, a suspension bridge with the
longest span in the world (1,991 meters) (Fig. 9). The volume of the cast concrete in the
two ahchorages amounted to 290,000 m3. A new construction system, which makes full
use of the performance of selfcompacting concrete, was introduced for this. The
concrete was mixed at the batcher plant beside the site, and was the pumped out of the
plant. It was transported 200 meters through pipes to the casting site, where the pipes
were arranged in rows 3 to 5 meters apart. The concrete was cast from gate valves

located at 5 meter intervals along the pipes. These valves were automatically controlled
so that a surface level of the cast concrete could be maintained. In the final analysis, the
use of self-compacting concrete shortened the anchorage construction period by 20%,
from 2.5 to 2 years.
 Self-compacting concrete was used for the wall of a large LNG tank belonging to the
Osaka Gas Company, whose concrete casting was completed in June 1998. (Fig.10)
The volume of the selfcompacting concrete used in the tank amounted to 12,000 m 3.
The adoption of self-compacting concrete means that
(1) the number of lots decreases from 14 to 10, as the height of one lot of concrete
casting was increased.
(2) the number of concrete workers was reduced from 150 to 50.
(3) the construction period of the structure decreased from 22 months to18 months.
Self-compacting concrete is often employed in concrete products to eliminate the noise of
vibration. This improves the working environment at plants and makes it possible for concrete
product plants to be located in the urban area. The annual production of concrete products
using self-compacting concrete exceeded 200,000 tons in 1996 .
 Application in under water construction
40000 m3 of concrete placed under water (Fig. 11-13) by using the Tremie method for
the construction of a dry dock
 Massive structures such as reinforced foundations for skyscrapers (Fig.14-16)
 Vertical Walls & Columns Congested Re-Bar(Fig.17)
 Stripped SCC Wall (Fig.18)
 SCC Pumped into Column(Fig.19)
 SCC Used In Block fill(Fig.20)
 SCC Horizontal Application(fig.21-22)
 RMC application(fig.23)
 Precast concrete element plants.(Fig.24)

Fig.10 LNG Tank Fig.9 Anchorage 4A of AkashiKaikyo


Fig.11 Tremie method to place self-compacting Fig.12 Congestion of reinforcements of a
concrete under water slab foundation where concrete is placed
without vibration

Fig.13 Aerial view of the dry dock after Fig.14 Placement of

removing sea water SCCin a reinforced slab
foundation of a skyscraper
(Commercial Center) in New York

Fig.16 Placement of self-compacting

Fig.15 View of the reinforced slab foundation concrete only chutes for the slab through
foundation of the Trump Tower New York
placed under water without Vibration

Fig.17 Vertical Walls & Columns Congested Re-Bar Fig.18 Stripped SCC Wall

Fig.19 SCC Pumped into Column Fig.20 SCC Used In Block fill

Fig.23 Placement of SCC Fig.21SCC Used in roof

Fig.22 SCC Horizontal Fig.24 Finished precast unit

 SCC is made from the ingredients, which are almost same used in producing in
conventional concrete. Thorough understanding of role played by each of the
ingredient of SCC is essential.
 Properties of fresh and hardened SCC should be established in the laboratory before
their use in the field. Even though the initial cost of SCC is comparatively higher than
the conventional concrete. Considering the long service of the structure, minimum
maintenance, labour cost, cost due to the vibrators required, benefit cost ratio is very
much in favour in case of SCC.
 Self Consolidating Concrete, as well as Conventional Slump Concrete, requires proper
mixt proportion to become a durable concrete.
 The uses of pozzolanic materials, such as slag, fly ash, silica fume, etc., will help SCC
more durable, otherwise these are waste products demanding with no practical
applications and which are costly to dispose of.
 The use of proper super plasticizing admixture in combination with proper air
entraining admixture is the absolute key to durable concrete due to freeze-thaw and
scaling resistance.

 Advantage with respect to sound pollution.
 Considerable improvements in exposed surface (Fair Faced Concrete)
 Self compacting concrete is ideal for concrete parts with complicated shapes and
elements with high quality visible concrete.

 Vibrating concrete in congested locations may cause some risk to labour in addition to
noise stress. There are always doubts about the strength and durability placed in such
locations. So it is worthwhile to eliminate vibration in practice, if possible.
 In countries like Japan, Sweden, Thailand, U.K and U.S.A, etc., the knowledge of
SCC has moved from domain of research to application. But in India, this knowledge
is to be widespread.

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properties of SCC”
A.GHAZAL and KAMAL H.KHAYAT., “Optimising self-consolidating concrete with
limestone filler by using statistical factorial design methods., ACI material journal ,may-june
K.H.KHAYAT, “optimising and performance of air-entrained, self-consolidating concrete,ACI
material journal,september-october-2000,p.526-535.
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SAMIR SULAKER “national seminar on construction chemicals”, Build tech 2002, p.19-36.
HAJIME OKAMURA and MASAHIRo OUCHI “journal of advanced concrete technology”,
vol.no.1,p.5-15, April 2003.