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Concrete and Masonry Section 13 Unit 39. Introduction. Most buildings have concrete and/or masonry components. The ability to use concrete and masonry materials is an essential skill for construction and, repair and maintenance of buildings. Concrete. Concrete.

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  • Most buildings have concrete and/or masonry components.
  • The ability to use concrete and masonry materials is an essential skill for construction and, repair and maintenance of buildings.
  • Concrete is “a mixture of stone aggregates, sand, Portland cement, and water that hardens as it dries.”*
    • Concrete does not dry, it goes through a chemical reaction called hydration.

*Agricultural Mechanics, Herren

concrete cont
Concrete - cont.

Concrete is truly a versatile building material. It can be formulated with very specific performance characteristics in mind and include lightweight, heavyweight, porous, fiber-reinforced, mass, high-performance and cellular concretes.


  • Fireproof
  • Insect & rodent proof
  • Decay resistant
  • Storm resistant
  • Wear resistant
  • Waterproof (water resistant)
  • Strong
  • Attractive
  • UV resistant
  • Doesn’t require expensive equipment.
  • Available locally
  • Low original and maintenance costs
  • Sanitary and easy to keep clean
  • Recyclable
concrete cont1
Concrete - cont.
  • Disadvantages
    • Labor intensive
    • Requires moving a lot of weight
    • Requires forms
    • Dense material
    • Special skills required to place and finish

Seven (7) Characteristics of Concrete

2. Resists attack by water

1. Durable

3. Resists manures and most chemicals.

4. Fire resistant

5. Very strong in compression

6. Weak in tension

7. Resistant to freezing and thawing


Characteristic 1


Def: The ability of concrete to resist weathering action, chemical attack and abrasion while maintaining its desired engineering properties.

Concrete ingredients, their proportioning, interactions between them, placing and curing practices, and the service environment determine the ultimate durability and life of concrete.


Characteristic 2

Resists Attack by Water

Two characteristics; watertightness and permeability.

Watertightness: the ability of concrete to hold back or retain water without visible leakage.

Permeability: the amount of water migration through concrete when the water is under pressure or the ability of concrete to resist penetration by water or other substances.

characteristic 2 resists attack by water cont
Characteristic 2 Resists Attack by Water -cont.

The same properties of concrete that make it less permeable also make it more watertight.

Low permeability concrete requires a low water-cement ratio.

Moist curing also reduces permeability.

Factors that affect permeability and water tightness include:

Permeability of the paste

Permeability and gradation of the aggregate

Quality of the paste

Quality of the paste--aggregate transition zone

Relative proportion of paste to aggregate


Characteristic 3

Resists manures and most chemicals.

Good quality concrete is resistant to the acids of manure.

Concrete is very alkaline, pH is usually greater than 12.5.

Resistance can be increased with surface treatments.

Concrete is susceptible to deterioration by sulfates.


Characteristic 4

Fire Resistant

Concrete provides the best fire resistance of any building material.

It does not burn, it cannot be 'set on fire' like other materials in a building and it does not emit any toxic fumes, smoke or drip molten particles when exposed to fire.

Concrete and its mineral constituents enjoy the highest fire resistance classification.

The strength of concrete will deteriorate with high temperatures.


The compressive strength depends on:

    • The strength of the aggregate
    • Proportion of aggregate sizes
    • Type of Portland cement
    • Purity of water
    • Uniformity of mixture
    • Procedures used in placing, finishing and curing

Characteristic 5

Strong in Compression


Characteristic 6

Concrete is weak in tension

Does this table and picture show why steel reinforcement is use in concrete?


Characteristic 7

Concrete is resistant to freezing and thawing

  • The resistance decreases as the permeability increases.
  • When concrete spaces are 91% or more full of water, freezing will damage the concrete.
  • When water freezes to ice it occupies 9% more volume than that of water.
  • Air entrained concrete is less permeable.
  • Example of freezing damage:

Concrete Constituents

Concrete: a mixture of aggregate and Portland cement paste.

Aggregate: usually sand, gravel and/or crushed stone.

Paste: Portland cement and water

Process: the paste binds the aggregates into a rocklike mass as the paste hardens because of the chemical reaction (hydration) of the Portland cement and water.

proportion of constituents
Proportion of Constituents
  • Basic concrete mix:
    • Air 6%
    • Portland cement 11%
    • Coarse aggregate 41%
    • Fine aggregate 26%
    • Water 16%

“Admixtures are materials other than cement, aggregate and water that are added to concrete either before or during its mixing to alter its properties, such as workability, curing temperature range, set time or color.” (

“Admixtures cannot compensate for bad practice and low quality materials.”

admixtures cont
Admixtures - cont.

Common admixtures

  • Retarding admixtures
  • Accelerating admixtures
  • Super plasticizers
  • Water reducing admixtures
  • Air-entraining admixtures
  • Addition of fiber to concrete makes it tough and fatigue resistant. Such type of admixtures are used extensively in important engineering projects.

Additional admixtures

  • Bonding,
  • Shrinkage reduction,
  • Damp proofing and
  • Coloring.

Types of Cement

Different types of Portland cement are manufactured to meet many different applications of concrete.

Types I & IA are the most common.


Air Entrained

Developed during the 1930’s

Produced by using air-entraining cement or by using an air-entraining admixture.

Recommended for nearly all concretes that are exposed to freezing and thawing, and deicing chemicals.

Spalding is a characteristic of using concrete without air entrainment.


Properties of Air Entrainment

Increased freeze-thaw resistance

Increased deicer-scaling resistance

Improved sulfate resistance

Equivalent Strength

Improved workability

  • Concrete should include at least two different sizes of aggregate--fine and coarse.
    • Fine = 1/4 inch or less (not to include fines)
    • Coarse = 1/4 to 2 inch
  • Standard practice is to crush stone and the use screens to separate the sizes.
    • The correct proportion of fine aggregate and coarse aggregate can then be mixed together.
  • Aggregate should be 60 to 80 % of the volume. (cheapest material).
  • Stream bank aggregate must be tested for excessive silt and clay. (page 557, Fig 39-2)
aggregate cont

Aggregate diameter must not exceed 1/3 of slabs that do not use rebar.

Aggregate diameter must not exceed 1/5 of void in forms were rebar is used.

The largest recommended aggregate size is 2 inches for most applications.

purchasing introduction
Purchasing Introduction
  • For large jobs in is common practice to have the concrete delivered to the site.
  • The cost of having concrete delivered is determined by:
    • Quantity
    • Mix
    • Minimum charge
    • Unload fee
    • Mileage fee
purchasing concrete quantity needed
Purchasing Concrete - Quantity Needed
  • Quantity needed
    • Concrete is sold by the cubic yard (yd3).
    • To determine the quantity need calculate the volume in cubic inches (in3) or cubic feet (ft3) and convert to cubic yards (yd3 or just yd).
      • 27 ft3 = 1 yd
      • 46656 in3 = 1 yd
    • Common practice to add 5 to 10% for waste and volume errors.
purchasing concrete quantity example
Purchasing Concrete – Quantity - Example
  • Determine the yards of concrete that will be required to pour a driveway that is 26 feet wide, 120 feet long and 6 inches thick.
  • Solution:
  • Adding 10%.
purchasing mix
Purchasing - Mix
  • Two factors which determine the ideal mix.
    • Environment
    • Intended use
  • Environmental factors
    • Soil phosphates
    • Freeze – thaw
    • De-icers
  • Use factors
    • Maximum Load
    • Vibration
purchasing slump
Purchasing – Slump
  • The inches of slump indicates the water-cement ratio and the quality of the concrete.

Slump is determine through a slump test.

slump test
Slump - Test
  • A slump test is conducted using an Abram’s cone, slump cone.
  • A slump cone is 8 inches in diameter at the bottom, 4 inches in diameter at the top and 12 inches tall.
slump test cont
Slump Test – cont.
  • Steps:
    • Moisten cone
    • Place cone on moist, smooth non absorbent level surface that is larger the the lugs on the cone.
    • While standing on the lugs, fill the cone 1/3 and uniformly rod 25 times.
    • Fill the cone 2/3 full and rod the 25 times insuring the rod just penetrates the first layer.
    • Over fill the cone and rod 25 times
    • Strike off the excess with the rod.
    • Slowly lift the cone vertically and place on surface beside concrete.
    • Place rod across the top of the cone and the concrete and measure the distance from the bottom of the rod to the surface of the concrete.
    • This distance is the inches of slump.
  • Small jobs can be mixed at the site.
  • Concrete weights over 4,000 pounds per cubic yard.
  • Therefore, it is important to determine amount of concrete first, because even a small volume of concrete can require moving a lot of material.
  • Using Quikcrete is a popular option to reduce the work.

For more information go to:



mixing concrete1
Mixing Concrete
  • Characteristics of good mix:
    • Each aggregate particle is covered with cement paste
    • Each aggregate particle is bound to others
  • Cement paste
    • Water--cement ratio must be exact proportions.
    • Water in aggregate must be accounted for and deducted from water added to mix.
  • Water--cement ratio must be adjusted for different service conditions.
concrete mixes
Concrete Mixes
  • The proportions of water, Portland cement, fine aggregate and course aggregates are not the same for all concrete jobs.
  • When mixing concrete it is common to express the mix (receipt) as a proportion. For example:

1 = 1 ft3 (sack) of Portland cement

2 = 2 ft3 of fine aggregate

2-1/4 = 2.25 ft3 of coarse aggregate

  • The proportions can be used on a volume or weight basis
  • The proportions must be changed to meet the service conditions.
mixing cont
  • The amount of water in the aggregate must be included in the calculations.
  • Effect of water in aggregate. (Fig 39-3)
effect of adding water
Effect of Adding Water
  • Adding 1 gal of water to 1 yd3 of concrete:
    • Increases slump 1 inch
    • Decrease compressive strength by 200 psi
    • Increases shrinkage by 10%
    • Increases permeability by up to 50%
estimating materials by volume
Estimating Materials - By Volume
  • Determine the amount of materials that will be required to pour a concrete slab that measures 12 ft x 10 ft x 3 in. A 1-2.1/2-3.1/2 mix will be used.
    • Step one: determine the volume required.
  • Adding the 10% =
estimating materials by volume cont
Estimating Materials - By Volume - cont.
  • Step two: determine the yield of one batch of the receipt.
  • Because the aggregate mixes together, the yield by volume will only be about 2/3’s of the total volume.
  • Step three: determine the number of batches required.
    • 33 cubic feet of concrete is required, each one sack batch will yield 4.62 cubic feet.
  • The number of batches =
estimating materials by volume cont1
Estimating Materials - By Volume - cont.
  • Step four: determine the Portland cement, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate.
concrete mixes cont
Concrete Mixes--cont.
  • When concrete ingredients are measured using weight, density conversions must be used.
    • Portland cement = 94 lb/ft3 (100 lb/ft3 often used)
    • Fine aggregate = 100 lb/ft3
    • Coarse aggregate = 110 lb/ft3
estimating materials by weight
Estimating Materials - By Weight
  • Determine the amount of materials that will be required to pour a concrete slab that measures 18 ft x 12 ft x 4 in. A 1-2.-3.1/2 mix will be used.
    • Step one: determine the volume required.
  • Adding the 10% =
estimating materials by weight cont
Estimating Materials - By Weight - cont.
  • Step two: determine the yield of one batch.
  • Step three: determine the number of batches.
estimating materials by weight cont1
Estimating Materials - By Weight - cont.
  • Step four: determine the amount of cement, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate.
workable mix
Workable Mix
  • Workability of concrete refers to the consistency of the wet concrete.
    • Wetter concrete is more workable, but the higher the water content--the poorer the quality of the concrete.
  • Characteristics of a workable mix:
    • Portland cement thoroughly mixed
    • Aggregate fully covered
    • Aggregates evenly distributed
    • Minimum amount of water
    • Uniform color and consistency
    • Can be mixed, moved and placed with a shovel or spade
curing rate
Curing rate

Concrete gains strength rapidly at first but continues to cure for years.

Industry standard is to compare strength at 28 days.

concrete forms
Concrete Forms
  • Form: a metal or wooden structure that confines the concrete to the desired shape or form until it hardens.
  • The more complex the shape of the concrete--the more complex the forms.
  • Normal concrete weights between 100 & 150 lb/ft3, therefore any forms supporting the weight of concrete must be well engineered.
  • Forms can be constructed from dimensioned lumber and plywood, or in some cases, metal forms can be purchased or rented.
concrete forms information
Use soft, clean straight lumber.

Sharpen stakes evenly.

Space stakes appropriately.

Use a level to set the forms for the desired slope.

Do not drive nails into concrete space.

Insure stakes do not extend above the tops of the forms.

Construct the inside surface of the forms to create the desired shape in the finished concrete.

Coat all surfaces that will be in contact with the concrete.

Concrete Forms Information
concrete forms wall example
Concrete Forms--Wall Example

Board Tie

1” Boards or 3/4 Plywood



Spreader Block


Wire Tie


Concrete Footing

Agricultural Mechanics Fundamentals & Applications Herren--Fig 39-7

concrete forms slab example
Concrete Forms--Slab Example

Control Joint




Wall Stake

Packed Damp Sand

Agricultural Mechanics Fundamentals & Applications Herren--Fig 39-7

concrete joints
Concrete Joints
  • Three (3) types of joints are used for concrete.
    • Isolation joints: allow expansion and contraction of a concrete slab without generating potentially damaging forces within the slab itself or the surrounding structures
  • Control (Contraction) joints: this type of joint allows only for contraction or shrinkage of the slab, as can be anticipated during the curing process
concrete joints cont
Concrete Joints-cont.
  • Construction joints: Construction joints can be horizontal or vertical and are formed when placement of the concrete is interrupted for some reason.
    • It may be the end of a day's work or
    • May be that some other work needs to be completed before resuming the placement.
    • New concrete is placed against concrete that has solidified or skimmed over.




reinforcing concrete
Reinforcing Concrete
  • Concrete is strong in compression, but weak in tension.
  • Reinforcement is used to increase the tension strength.
  • The type, size and spacing of the reinforcement is determined by the thickness of the slab and the designed load.
  • Fibers are also being used to reinforce concrete.
pouring placing
Pouring (Placing)
  • Concrete should be placed--not poured.
  • Concrete must be placed as closes to the final location as possible.
    • Heavy--labor intensive to move.
    • Moving causes the aggregate to segregate.
  • Inspect forms and bracing before starting the placing.
  • Insure all of the tools and help are available and ready before starting.
    • Starts to harden in 15 minutes
    • Once in place and hardening process has started--its there.
  • Ensure concrete does not dry out.
    • Dampen the soil/sand base before placing.
    • Protect top surface after placing.
finishing concrete

The number of processes and type of process used is determine by the desired finished surface.

    • Trowel
    • Broom
    • Exposed aggregate
    • Grooved
    • Stamped
    • Burlap
    • Etc.
  • The finishing process has at least Four (4) steps.
    • Screeding
    • Floating
    • Final surface
    • Edging & jointing

Finishing Concrete

1 screeding 2 floating concrete
(1) Screeding & (2) Floating Concrete

The process used is determined by the use of the concrete and the desired finished surface.

  • 1. Screeding
    • Screeding is striking off the concrete surface to insure it is level with the forms
    • Pushes large aggregate below the surface
    • Starts the smoothing process
    • Can be accomplished with a straight board
  • 2. Floating
    • Brings fine aggregate and cement paste to the surface
    • Produces smoother surface
    • Uses a wooden or magnesium float
  • Floating should not be attempted until the concrete has hardened to the point that stepping on it makes a very faint imprint.
3 finishing concrete
(3) Finishing Concrete
  • Many options are available for the finished surface of concrete.
  • Molded
    • Individual
    • In forms
  • Stamped
  • Exposed aggregate
  • Colored
  • Smooth surface
  • Rough surface
  • Other
4 edging jointing
(4) Edging & Jointing

Part of the finishing process may also be edging and jointing


Edging forces the large aggregate away from the corner and rounds the corner.

Reduces breakage on the edge.


The groove cut or formed or cut in the surface helps control the location of the cracks.

curing concrete1
Curing Concrete
  • Concrete hardens through a chemical process.
    • Initial strength is reached in a week.
    • Must be protected during this time
  • Potential problems.
  • Solutions

1a. Dampen base/forms before placing

1. Drying out

1b. Cover with plastic or canvas

2a. Insulate the surface

2. Excessive heat

2b. Dampen the surface

3a. Don’t place on frozen ground

3. Freezing temperature

3a. Don’t place when freezing temperature is expected

curing rate1
Curing Rate





  • Masonry is “Any type of construction using brick, stone, tile or concrete units held in place with Portland cement.”
  • Masonry units are held in place with mortar
    • Mortar = Portland cement, sand and water
    • Other materials may be added.
masonry construction


    • Strength, durability and water resistance of finished product dependent on strength, durability and water resistance of masonry units.
    • Labor intensive
    • Different skills required than for wood frame or concrete.
Masonry Construction
  • Ancient method of construction.
  • Advantages:
    • Fireproof
    • Insect and rodent proof
    • Decay resistant
    • Storm resistant
    • Wear resistant
    • Water (proof) resistant
    • Strong
    • Attractive
    • Can be installed without expensive equipment
    • Available locally
    • Low original and maintenance costs
    • Recyclable
masonry units
Masonry Units
  • Building bricks
  • Pavers
  • Custom bricks
  • Stone
masonry units cont
Masonry Units-cont.
  • Concrete blocks (Fig 39-15)
  • Light weight blocks
additional topics
Additional Topics
  • Estimating number of block needed
  • Constructing footers
  • Mixing mortar
  • Laying block