Concrete fundamentals
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Concrete: Fundamentals. Prepared by: Marcia C. Belcher Construction Engineering Technology. Common Uses. Slabs (roadways, bridges, airstrips) Beams & Columns Parapets (highways) Piers (structures, bridges) Pipe Foundations (large and small) Retaining Structures (dams).

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Concrete: Fundamentals

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Concrete: Fundamentals

Prepared by:

Marcia C. Belcher

Construction Engineering Technology

Common Uses

  • Slabs (roadways, bridges, airstrips)

  • Beams & Columns

  • Parapets (highways)

  • Piers (structures, bridges)

  • Pipe

  • Foundations (large and small)

  • Retaining Structures (dams)

Special Needs of Concrete

  • Exposure & use conditions require attention in mix design.

    • Marine environment

    • De-icing salt exposure

    • Freeze-thaw

    • Hi sulfate exposure

    • Early use of structure (bridge decks)

    • Very thick pours (homogenous pours like earth dams & parapets)

    • Very slender elements (pipe)

What Can We Do To Modify Concrete Design

  • Add plasticizers to increase workability

  • Use larger aggregates to increase strength

  • Reduce W/C ratio to increase strength

  • Use air entrainment to improve durability

  • Use pozzolans to improve chloride resistance

  • Use “accelerators” increase cure rate for hi early strength

  • Use set retarders or fly ash to decrease internal temperature & reduce shrinkage cracking

Portland Cement Types

  • The ingredients in the Portland cement can be modified to produce various properties.

  • These are called “Types”

Portland Cement Types – Type I

  • General Purpose

  • Most commonly used

  • No special curing, setting or resistance characteristics

  • Suitable where no special properties are required

Type II

  • Type II cement contains no more than 8% tricalcium aluminate (C3A) for moderate sulfate resistance.

  • Increases resistance to sulfate attack over Type I

  • Lower heat of hydration

  • Used for mass pours such as bridge piers

  • Used where ground water contains high sulfate levels

Type III – High Early Strength

  • Similar to Type I cements except it is ground finer

  • This increased hydration rate.

  • Results in rapid curing & higher early strengths.

  • Results in higher heat of hydration

  • Used in cold weather concreting

  • Used when early strength is required

Type IV

  • Hi levels of dicalcium silicate and tetracalcium aluminoferrite

  • Used in massive concrete structures where heat generated from hydration must be minimized.

  • Low heat of hydration = slow strength development

  • Used for mass pours such as dams where shrinkage problems may occur


  • “A” implies that air entraining is added to the portland cement

Cement Type Vs. Strength Gain

Temperature Vs. Cement Type

Effects of Moist Curing On Strength

Effects of Environmental Temperature on Strength Gain

W/C vs. Strength

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