Factors Affecting the Strength and Density of Light Weight Concrete

Factors Affecting the Strength and Density of Concrete

Physical And Mechanical Characteristics of Lightweight Concrete

Physical And Mechanical Characteristics of Lightweight Concrete

Lightweight Aggregate Concrete: Types, Properties And Factors Affecting Mix Design

Lightweight Aggregate Concrete (LWAC)

LWAC is the popular type of light weight concrete, in which lightweight aggregates are used. The lightweight aggregates are relatively new materials. These have a unit weight up to 12kN/m3. The LWA can be either natural or artificial or manufactured. The natural aggregates include volcanic cinder, dolomite or pumice. The artificial aggregates can be blast furnace slag, sintered fly ash or bloated clay.


Vacuum Concrete: Techniques, Equipments, Advantages and Disadvantages

One solution to the problem of converting a sufficiently high workability to a mix with a minimum desired water-cement ratio is attained by Vaccum- Dewatering of Freshly Placed Concrete.
Concreting thin sections of slabs and walls will demand a mix of water cement ratio of 0.50 to 0.60. This is to facilitate proper placing and compaction. This mix will have less strength and abrasion resistance.
A treatment method that involves the removal of excess water and air by using suction is called as the vacuum treatment of concrete.
Fig.1. Vacuum Concrete Procedure


Concrete Resurfacing

Concrete Surface loses its aesthetic appearance (mainly concrete floors) with time due to the formation of cracks, distress, and other undesirable problem. This is due to the causes of continuous utility, exposure to undesirable fluids or environment traffics and loads. Conventional policy employs the complete removal of distressed concrete and lay a new one. But now the innovative ideas have been put forward to repair and resurface the old and existing concrete to a newer finish.


Dynamic Action on Buildings

Wind And Earthquake Action on Buildings

The action of Wind and Earthquake will result in dynamic action on buildings. But the building design for wind and earthquake forces are different in nature. 



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Finished Concrete Flooring- Polished Concrete -Cost of Polished Concrete

Fig.1. A view of Polished Concrete Floor


Compression Test Action on Cube & Cylinder                                                             


Fig.1: Cube Undergoing Compressive test
The Compressive strength test will result in a compressive load on the cube and the cylinder during the test procedure. This process will result in the Lateral Expansion of the sample which will result in the Poisson’s ratio effect. The figure-1 below shows the compressive testing arrangement of a cube.


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BIS - Bureau of Indian Standard Standards- Concrete Mix Design Procedure

What is BIS ??

BIS Procedure of Mix Design - Step by Step Procedure of BIS Concrete MiX Design

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India responsible for formulating Indian Standards was established under The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. To protect the interest of consumers, BIS operates a Product Certification Scheme. Under the scheme, BIS grants licenses to such manufacturers who are capable of producing goods on continuous basis as per relevant Indian Standards. 

BIS - Bureau of Indian Standard Standards- Concrete Mix Design Procedure

BIS Procedure of Mix Design - Step by Step Procedure of BIS Concrete MiX Design


 Go To   STEP: 1

BIS Procedure of Mix Design - Step by Step Procedure of BIS Concrete MiX Design


Factors Affecting The Choice of Mix Proportions



Mix Proportions - Factors Influencing the Concrete Mix Design

 Factors Affecting Choice of Mix Proportions

The various factors that affect the choice of mix proportions are:

  • Compressive strength
  • Workability
  • Durability
  • Maximum Nominal Size Aggregate
  • Grading and Type of Aggregate
  • Quality Control

Compressive Strength

It is one of the most important Properties of concrete and influences many other desirable properties of the hardened concrete. The mean compressive strength that is required at a specific age usually 28 days, will determine the nominal water - cement ratio of the mix. The other factor affecting the strength of the concrete at a given age and cured at a prescribed temperature is the degree of compaction. According to Abraham's law the strength of fully compacted concrete is inversely proportional to the water-cement ratio.


The degree of workability required depends on the below mentioned three factors:

i. Size of the section to be concreted

ii. Amount of reinforcement

iii. Method of compaction that is used


The durability of concrete is its resistance to the aggressive environmental conditions. The high strength concrete is generally more durable than the low strength concrete.

Maximum Nominal Size of Aggregate 

Larger the maximum size aggregate, smaller is the cement requirement for a particular water -cement ratio. This is because the workability of the concrete increases with the increase in the maximum size of the aggregate. However, the compressive strength tends to increase with the decrease in the size of the aggregate.

IS 456:2000, Indian Code For Concrete Design, recommend that the nominal size of the aggregate should be large as possible.

Grading and Type of Aggregate 

Coarser the grading, leaner will be the mix. Very clean mix is not desirable since it does not contain enough finer material to make the concrete cohesive. The type of aggregate influences strongly the aggregate cement ratio for the desired workability and stipulated water cement ratio. An important feature of a satisfactory aggregate is the uniformity of the grading which is achieved by mixing different size fractions.

Quality Control

 The degree of control can be estimated statistically by the variations in the test results. The variation in the strength results from the variations in the properties of the mix ingredients and lack of control of accuracy in batching, mixing, placing, curing and testing. The lower the difference between the mean and the minimum strength of the mix, lower will be the cement-content required. The factor controlling this difference is termed as quality control.



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Ready Mix Concrete - Types of Production

There are three principal categories of RMC.  They are as follows
  1. Transit Mix Method or Truck - Mixed Method
    1. Concrete Mixed at the Job site
    2. Concrete Mixed in the Yard/Central Batching Plant
    3. Concrete Mixed in Transit
  2. Shrink Mixed Concrete
  3. Central-Mixed Concrete

Transit - Mixed Method

In transit mixed method, all the raw materials are charged directly in the truck mixer. Most of the water is usually batched at the plant. The mixer drum is turned at charging (fast) speed during the loading of the materials. There are three options for truck-mixed concrete as mentioned above:

Fig.1: Transit Method - Truck Prepared for The site Concrete Delivery


Characteristic Compressive strength

The compressive strength of the concrete is given in terms of characteristic compressive strength of 150mm sized cubes that is tested at 28 days ( fck). The characteristic compressive strength is defined as the strength of the concrete below which not more than 5% of the test results are expected to fall. The compressive strength of the cube samples although exhibit variations, when plotted on a histogram are found to follow the shape of a bell shape curve, as shown below.

Fig.1: Normal Distribution curve on test specimens for determining compressive strength


General Principles of CESMM3


The CESMM3 is Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement, third edition. The document is intended to be used along with the conditions of the contract. It is also related to the works in civil engineering and simple building works.

The CESMM3 does not involve the calculation of bill of quantities related to large mechanical and electrical engineering works or building works that are complex. That are projects that are not frequent in the civil construction field.When such large project is being encountered, it has to be specially mentioned and described in the bill of quantities, so that tenders may be priced adequately and follows the method of measurement that is stated in the preamble to the bill of quantities.

Objective of CESMM3

The main objective of CESSM3 is to put forward the procedures according to which the bill of quantities shall be prepared and priced. It will also follow the procedure based on the how the work quantities of expressed and measured.

Objectives of Bill of Quantities

  1. To Provide information about the quantities of the work. This will help in efficient and accurate preparation of tenders.
  2. To provide facility to use the price bill of quantities in the valuation of the work executed.
The objects mentioned above are attained by itemizing the bill of quantities in a sufficient and detailed manner. This is to facilitate proper distinguishing between different classes of work, or between the works that have same nature, or works that give different cost consideration. The layout and the content of the bill of quantities must be simple and brief as possible to make it consistent with the requirements.

All the works in the project have to expressed in the bill of quantities

Work Classification in CESMM3

The principles and objectives of CESMM3 are attained by following the method of work classification. The work classification can be defined as the following:

  1. The classification of work into different categories in the bill of quantities
  2. The detailed information is provided for the respective item as descriptions
  3. The units at which each quantity is measured and expressed
  4. Th method of measurement of the work, to calculate the quantities


10 Basic Things a Civil Engineer Must Know

There are certain essential requirements that a civil engineer must own to proudly designate himself as a civil engineer. It doesn't matter how high-level degree you have taken in the same field.If you do not know the basic of the basic things, you will turn out to be of no value.

Today we will discuss 10 needed skills a civil engineer must possess. These skills are both related to the practical knowledge and the theoretical ones that are gained from experience and education respectively. They are:

1. Building Materials and Their Standard Test

The construction sector employs a large variety of materials. New materials are being developed with time. There are several tests to carry out the quality and to find out the unknown specification of the construction materials like cement, aggregate, mortar, and concrete.
It is not possible to study the whole test by heart. But there is certain essential test whose knowledge is essential each time of a construction. Some of them are the:

  • Compressive strength and tensile strength tests of concrete
  • Specific gravity test of cement
  • Field test of cement 
  • Slump test for fresh concrete
  • Flow test of concrete
But some test is known in extra depending on the type of the work and guarantee of the quality of materials that is procured. If the foundation is more concerned, soil tests like:
  • consolidation test
  • CBR 
  • Triaxial tests
  • Core cutter tests

2. Different Field Investigation

Being a civil engineer, the knowledge of site related test than the laboratory test will increase your dignity and attain consideration among the team. Bringing the estimate on the project resources at the site is an important quality that is demanded by many construction firms.

3. Surveying Skills

The use of basic surveying instruments like theodolite, total station is a mandatory requirement of civil engineers. A proper knowledge of the basic ones is necessary. Any further knowledge if lacks can be improved based on the demand.

4. Knowledge of Standard Codes Used in Civil Engineering

This skill is based on the are we are residing and working as a civil engineer. In India IS codes are used. But in middle east British standards are followed. But certain International codes like ASTM, BS codes have to briefly review so that a better view of the construction can be made.
As far the one's area is concerned, he must be thorough with the same. Standard specifications of cover, bar diameters, tolerances etc must be suggested and practiced as per the codes.

5. Understanding Civil Engineering Drawings and Related Software

The detail requirement is given in the drawing. If you work as a site engineer, it is essential to understand the drawing. If you are working as a structural engineer, it is essential to draw the details. Both the ways a civil engineer must know to draw and understand the structural details. Only a proper layout can help in the proper happening of the work. Knowledge on software to carry out the analysis of structures is essential for civil engineers working in the design field. With the arrival of new software, it is better to update along with these arrivals.

6. Preparation of Bills, estimates, scheduling works

When working as a site engineer, or a QC/QA engineer it becomes necessary to know properly about the bill of quantities. The knowledge on the estimation of resources is also a primary requirement o the civil engineer.

7. On field management

 The perfection in office works has to be obtained in its implementation. A knowledgeable person can only make the workers in the field to do the work as desired, as per the specification and the drawings.

8. Bar Bending Schedule

The bar bending in the site is carried out labors, who do not have an idea of the same in detail. Any mistakes found have to be corrected by the civil supervisor. For this, he must have ample knowledge on the bar bending schedule.

9. Quality Control

All project will demand the best quality. To bring good quality, the knowledge gained must be of good quality. Quality must me assured from the initial site investigation to the end of the project.

10. Idea on The construction legal documents

An idea on the legal formalities, do and don't and rules related to construction have to be properly studied before taking any decision. A construction process without the support of law is futile.


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This is a center to bring up and collect all bits of knowledge and technologies flourished and flourishing to reach out for those who wish to acquire knowledge in a broader way. I am a structural engineer by profession and would like to share all information I have acquired all these years till date. This site also aims in researching new topics, works on your questionnaires and fill it up with good facts and information.

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