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COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE CUBES

Compressive strength of concrete: Out of many test applied to the concrete, this is the utmost important which gives an idea about all the characteristics of concrete. By this single test one judge that whether Concreting has been done properly or not. For cube test two types of specimens either cubes of 15 cm X 15 cm X 15 cm or 10cm X 10 cm x 10 cm depending upon the size of aggregate are used. For most of the works cubical moulds of size 15 cm x 15cm x 15 cm are commonly used. This concrete is poured in the mould and tempered properly so as not to have any voids. After 24 hours these moulds are removed and test specimens are put in water for curing. The top surface of these specimen should be made even and smooth. This is done by putting cement paste and spreading smoothly on whole area of specimen. These specimens are tested by compression testing machine after 7 days curing or 28 days curing. Load should be applied gradually at the rate of 140 kg/cm2 per minute till the Specimens fails. Load at the failure divided by area of specimen gives the compressive strength of concrete.

Following are the procedure for Compressive strength test of Concrete Cubes
APPARATUS Compression testing machine PREPARATION OF CUBE SPECIMENS The proportion and material for making these test specimens are from the same concrete used in the field. SPECIMEN 6 cubes of 15 cm size Mix. M15 or above MIXING Mix the concrete either by hand or in a laboratory batch mixer HAND MIXING

(i)Mix the cement and fine aggregate on a water tight none-absorbent platform until the mixture is thoroughly blended and is of uniform color (ii)Add the coarse aggregate and mix with cement and fine aggregate until the coarse aggregate is uniformly distributed throughout the batch (iii)Add water and mix it until the concrete appears to be homogeneous and of the desired consistency SAMPLING (i) Clean the mounds and apply oil (ii) Fill the concrete in the molds in layers approximately 5cm thick (iii) Compact each layer with not less than 35strokes per layer using a tamping rod (steel bar 16mm diameter and 60cm long, bullet pointed at lower end) (iv) Level the top surface and smoothen it with a trowel CURING The test specimens are stored in moist air for 24hours and after this period the specimens are marked and removed from the molds and kept submerged in clear fresh water until taken out prior to test. PRECAUTIONS The water for curing should be tested every 7days and the temperature of water must be at 27+-2oC. PROCEDURE (I) Remove the specimen from water after specified curing time and wipe out excess water from the surface. (II) Take the dimension of the specimen to the nearest 0.2m (III) Clean the bearing surface of the testing machine (IV) Place the specimen in the machine in such a manner that the load shall be applied to the opposite sides of the cube cast. (V) Align the specimen centrally on the base plate of the machine. (VI) Rotate the movable portion gently by hand so that it touches the top surface of the specimen.

(VII)

Apply

the

load

gradually

without

shock

and

continuously

at

the

rate

of

140kg/cm2/minute till the specimen fails (VIII) Record the maximum load and note any unusual features in the type of failure.

NOTE
Minimum three specimens should be tested at each selected age. If strength of any specimen varies by more than 15 per cent of average strength, results of such specimen should be rejected. Average of there specimens gives the crushing strength of concrete. The strength requirements of concrete.

CALCULATIONS Size of the cube =15cm x15cm x15cm Area of the specimen (calculated from the mean size of the specimen )=225cm2 Characteristic compressive strength(f ck)at 7 days = Expected maximum load =fck x area x f.s Range to be selected is .. Similar calculation should be done for 28 day compressive strength Maximum load applied =.tones = .N Compressive strength = (Load in N/ Area in mm2)=N/mm2 =.N/mm2 REPORT a) Identification mark b) Date of test c) Age of specimen d) Curing conditions, including date of manufacture of specimen f) Appearance of fractured faces of concrete and the type of fracture if they are unusual RESULT Average compressive strength of the concrete cube = .N/ mm2 (at 7 days) Average compressive strength of the concrete cube =. N/mm2 (at 28 days)

Percentage strength of concrete at various ages:

The strength of concrete increases with age. Table shows the strength of concrete at different ages in comparison with the strength at 28 days after casting.

Age 1 day 3 days 7 days 14 days 28 days

Strength per cent 16% 40% 65% 90% 99%

ACCEPTANCE OF CONCRETE CUBE TEST RESULTS


ACI-5.6 2008 requires that all the tests to be performed on fresh, hardened or old concrete are to be performed by qualified field testing technicians. They should collect and prepare all the specimens for testing and should record temperature and other important information about the fresh concrete.

1. Frequency Of Testing
A strength test is considered as the average of the strengths of at least two 150 by 300 mm cylinders or at least three 100 by 200 mm cylinders made from the same sample of concrete and tested at 28 days or at test age designated for determination of fc. As mentioned in the earlier chapters, samples for strength tests of each class of concrete placed each day must be taken not less than all of the following: a) Once a day b) Once for each 110 cum of concrete c) Once for each 460 sqm of surface area for slabs or walls. Only one side of the slab or wall should be considered in calculating the area. This criterion requires more frequent sampling than once for each 110 m3 of concrete placed if the average wall or slab thickness is less than 240 mm. d) At least five randomly selected samples for a given class of concrete.

e) According to ACI, when total quantity of a given class of concrete is less than 38 m3, strength tests are not required when evidence of satisfactory strength is submitted to and approved by the building official.

2. Acceptance Based On Standard-Cured Specimens


Strength of a new concrete determined by standard-cured specimens is considered satisfactory if both of the following conditions are satisfied: a) Every arithmetic average of any three consecutive strength tests equals or exceeds fc? b) No strength test falls below fc? by more than 3.5MPa when fc? is 35 MPa or less; or by more than 0.10 fc? when fc? is more than 35 MPa. If the above conditions are not satisfied, steps must be taken to increase the average of subsequent strength test results.

3. Acceptance Of Field-Cured Specimens


Field-cured test cylinders should be molded at the same time and from the same samples as laboratory-cured test cylinders. These results are not directly used as acceptance criterion but give idea about the field curing procedure. Procedures for protecting and curing concrete are to be improved when strength of field cured cylinders at test age designated for determination of fc? is less than 85 percent of that of companion laboratory-cured cylinders. The 85 percent limitation need not to be applied if field-cured strength exceeds fc? by more than 3.5 MPa.

4. Investigation Of Low-Strength Test Results


If the strength tests of laboratory-cured cylinders do not satisfy the criterion for acceptance or if tests of field-cured cylinders indicate deficiencies in protection and curing, immediate actions are required to avoid under-strength construction. If it is almost confirmed that the concrete may be of low strength, three cores must be taken for each under-strength test. Cores are tested after 48 hours but not, later than 7 days after coring unless approved by the licensed design professional. The strength of concrete may be considered satisfactory if the average of three cores is equal to at least 85 percent of fc? and if no single core is less than 75 percent of fc?. If these criteria are not satisfied, it is allowed to extract and test additional cores. Cores taken to confirm structural adequacy are usually taken at ages later than those specified for determination of fc?. If the core test also fails and the doubt about the concrete strength still exists, structural strength evaluation / load test may be recommended.