workability of a mix. In general, aggregate that does not have a large grading gap or an excess of any size, but gives a smooth grading curve, produces the best mix.
Use the largest practical size of coarse aggregate in the mix. The maximum size of coarse aggregate that produces concrete of maximum strength for a given cement content depends upon the aggregate source as well as the aggregate shape and grading. The larger the maximum size of the coarse aggregate, the less paste (water and cement) required for a given concrete quality. The maximum size of aggregate should never exceed one fifth of the narrowest dimension between side forms, one third of the depth of slabs, or three fourths of the distance between reinforcing bars.
Use entrained air in all concrete exposed to freezing and thawing, and, sometimes under mild exposure conditions, to improve workability. Always use entrained air in paving concrete regardless of climatic conditions. Table 3-12 gives recommended total air contents of air-entrained concretes. When mixing water remains constant, air entrainment increases slump. When cement content and slump remain constant, less mixing water is required. The resulting decrease in the water-cement ratio helps to offset possible strength decreases and improves other paste properties, such as permeability. The strength of air-entrained concrete may equal, or nearly equal, that of nonair-entrained concrete when cement contents and slump are the same. The upper half of table 3-12 gives the approximate percent of entrapped air in nonair-entrained concrete, and the lower half gives the recommended average total air content percentages for air-entrained concrete based on level of exposure.
MILD EXPOSURE. - "Mild" exposure includes indoor or outdoor service in a climate that does not expose the concrete to freezing or deicing agents. When you want air entrainment for a reason other than durability, such as to improve workability or cohesion or to improve strength in low cement factor concrete, you can use air contents lower than those required for durability.
MODERATE EXPOSURE. - "Moderate" exposure means service in a climate where freezing is expected but where the concrete is not continually exposed to moisture or free water for long periods before freezing or to deicing agents or other aggressive chemicals. Examples are exterior beams, columns, walls, girders, or slabs that do not contact wet soil or receive direct application of deicing salts.
SEVERE EXPOSURE. - "Severe" exposure means service where the concrete is exposed to deicing chemicals or other aggressive agents or where it continually contacts moisture or free water before freezing. Examples are pavements, bridge decks, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, or exterior water tanks or sumps.
TRIAL BATCH METHOD In the trial batch method of mix design, use actual job materials to obtain mix proportions. The size of the trial batch depends upon the equipment you have and how many test specimens you make. Batches using 10 to 20 pounds of cement may be big enough, although larger batches produce more accurate data. Use machine mixing if possible, since it more nearly represents job conditions. Always use a machine to mix concrete containing entrained air. Be sure to use representative samples of aggregate, cement, water, and air-entraining admixture in the trial batch. Prewet the aggregate and allow it to dry to a saturated, surface-dry condition. Then place it in covered containers to maintain this condition until you use it. This action simplifies calculations and eliminates errors caused by variations in aggregate moisture content. When the concrete quality is specified in terms of the water-cement ratio, the trial batch procedure consists basically of combining paste (water, cement, and usually entrained air) of the correct proportions with the proper amounts of fine and coarse aggregates to produce the required slump and workability. Then calculate the large quantities per sack or per cubic yard. Refer to the E A Intermediate/Advanced for further information and calculations of the trial batch method and the absolute volume method.
ABSOLUTE VOLUME METHOD The ABSOLUTE VOLUME METHOD is based on calculations occupied by the ingredients used in the concrete mixture. For this procedure, select the water-cement ratio, the slump, the air content, the maximum aggregate size, and estimate the water requirement as you did in the trial batch method. Before making calculations, you must have certain other information, such as the specific gravities of the fine and coarse aggregate, the dry-rodded unit weight of the coarse aggregate, and the fineness modulus of the fine aggregate (refer to ACI 214). Now you can determine the dry-rodded unit weight of coarseContinue Reading