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About this book

This book is a thorough and comprehensive update of the 2002 edition, that incorporates detailed references to the Canadian, American, and British (European) standards, contextualized by the author based on over 30 years of construction experience. In addition to updates to the core text, many new topics are presented in the second edition, including a chapter discussing the methods for achieving quality control and ensuring quality assurance in concrete construction.

The book consists of two parts. The first part provides basic information about normal concrete, its grades used on sites and various kinds of modified concretes such as fiber- reinforced concrete, sulphur concrete, roller compacted concrete, high performance concrete, ultra- high performance concrete, and flowing concrete. . It further addresses physical properties of concrete and various types of Portland cement, blended cements, admixtures, additives including properties of aggregates and their influence. The second part of the book highlights the principal causes of concrete deterioration along with protective measures, resulting from incorrect selection of constituent materials, poor construction methods, external factors, chemical attack, corrosion problems, hot and cold weather effects, and the various errors in designing and detailing. Featuring an extensive bibliography of the highly adopted standards as well as manuals and journals critical to the construction industry at the end of each chapter, the volume offers readers an advanced understanding of the theory and practical application of concrete technology and international standards in North America and Britain.

Addresses concrete technology as well as concrete construction practices, meeting national and international standards;

Maximizes readers' understanding of the principal causes of concrete deterioration along with protective measures;

Facilitates readers' grasp of different nomenclature used for the same materials in different parts of the world;

Features suitable tables, charts, and diagrams that illustrate and organize useful information;

Explains sustainable concrete doctrine and how to achieve it meeting green concrete / building requirements;

Provides a glossary, conversion factors, and examples of concrete mix design.


Table of Contents


The Concrete


Chapter 1. Concrete

Concrete can be defined as a mixture of cement, water, aggregate (fine and coarse), and admixture, which is sometimes added to modify certain of its properties. Normal concrete has comparatively low tensile strength and for structural applications it is normal practice to incorporate steel bars to resist tensile forces. The strength, durability, and other characteristics of concrete depend upon the properties of its ingredients, the proportions of mix, and the method of transporting, placing, compacting, and curing. Good concrete has to satisfy performance requirements in the plastic and hardened states.
This chapter outlines basic information of normal and modified concretes specifying concrete grades used in construction practice. The Modified Concretes addressed are polymer concretes, fibre-reinforced concretes, sulphur concretes (SC), roller-compacted concrete (RCC), high-performance concrete (HPC), high-strength concrete, ultra-high-performance concrete, flowing concrete, ferro-cement, lightweight concrete, shrinkage-compensating concrete, microsilica concrete, high early-strength concrete, and unshrinkable fill material.
Akhtar Surahyo

Chapter 2. Constituent Materials

The properties of constituent materials and variation of the mix ingredients mostly affect the quality of concrete produced. This chapter describes constituent materials of concrete and provides information about composition and types of Portland cement (as described in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom) including supplementary cementitious materials and various types of blended cements, such as slag cements, pozzolanic type IP, P, I (PM) cements, high-alumina cements, coloured Portland cement, waterproofed or water-repellent cement, hydrophobic cement, low-alkali cement, shrinkage-compensating or expansive cements, masonry and mortar cements, plastic cements, finely ground cements (ultrafine cements), oil well cements, magnesium phosphate cements, and sulphur cements.
The chapter further describes properties and classification of aggregates covering natural mineral aggregates, synthetic aggregates, and recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) and their influence on concrete produced. This chapter also addresses mixing and curing water requirements, and types and uses of admixtures; about ten types of admixtures are discussed.
Akhtar Surahyo

Chapter 3. Physical Properties of Concrete

The properties of concrete in two states, the plastic and the hardened state, are vital for an engineer. The process of batching, mixing, transporting, placing, compacting, and finishing of concrete in a plastic state seriously affects the properties of the hardened concrete.
This chapter addresses physical properties of concrete covering workability, segregation, bleeding, shrinkage, air entrainment, strength, durability, permeability and porosity, modulus of elasticity, Poisson’s ratio, and creep and thermal properties of concrete.
This chapter also describes testing of concrete in plastic and hardened states, various measurement types to determine workability, and air content in concrete covering pressure method, volumetric method, Chace air indicator method, gravimetric method, and air void analyser.
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Chapter 4. Proportioning of Concrete Mixes

Concrete mixtures are proportioned to have required workability and to assure that the hardened concrete will have the required properties. A concrete mix having excessive coarse aggregate lacks sufficient mortar to fill the void system, resulting in a non-cohesive and harsh mix. On the other hand, excessive amounts of fine aggregate will increase the cohesion and the mix will turn sticky and difficult to move. High-cement-content mixes are generally sticky and sluggish, whereas the lower w/c ratio reduces the workability of rich mixes. Hence, it is important that the concrete proportions should be selected to provide suitable workability, density, strength, and durability for the particular application at the lowest cost.
This chapter provides information on British mix design method based on Building Research Establishment (BRE) Ltd., and ACI mix design method in conformance with the general requirements of ACI-211.1, with examples.
Akhtar Surahyo

Chapter 5. Sustainable Concrete

The focus on sustainability continues to grow within the construction industry. Sustainability generally means having no net negative impact on the environment. Because concrete is the most widely used material worldwide, concrete industries have the environmental and societal responsibility to contribute to sustainable development. The concrete industry is a significant contributor to air pollution and also a consumer of vast quantities of natural materials, including water. It is general understanding that manufacturing 1 ton of Portland cement produces about 1 ton of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG).
The concept of sustainable concrete (green concrete) construction is that the energy and resource consumption due to the construction and operation of a concrete structure must be minimised. To achieve this goal w.r.t sustainable concrete, this chapter describes in detail four parameters that need to be taken care of: minimise energy and CO2 footprint, minimise potable water use, minimise waste, and increase use of recycled content.
Akhtar Surahyo

Part II


Chapter 6. Incorrect Selection of Constituent Materials

The properties of concrete depend on the quantities and qualities of its constituent materials. Constituent materials used should satisfy structural performance and durability of the finished structure. Constituent materials used to produce a concrete mix should be selected to meet the environmental or soil conditions, where the concrete is to be placed. Selecting appropriate materials of suitable composition and processing them correctly are therefore essential to achieve concrete resistance to deleterious effects of water, aggressive solutions, reactive aggregates, extremes of weather conditions, etc.
For different requirements, such as hot and cold weather concrete, fire-resistant concrete, lightweight concrete, and concrete exposed to sulphates, chlorides, etc. different types of constituent materials are to be used. This chapter describes how to select the type of cement, aggregate, and admixture including mixing and curing water properly so as to obtain appropriate and economical concrete with required properties. The effects of some of the impurities in water on the properties of concrete are also discussed in this chapter.
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Chapter 7. Poor Construction Methods

Good-quality reinforced cement concrete is made from cement, sand, aggregate, water, and reinforcement, and so is bad-quality concrete. The quality of concrete, in fact, mostly depends on operations like mixing, transporting, placing in forms, compacting, and curing. It is important that the constituent materials remain uniformly distributed within the concrete mass during various stages of its handling, and that full compaction is achieved followed by proper curing. When any of these conditions is not satisfied the strength and durability of hardened concrete are adversely affected.
This chapter mainly considers the poor construction practices generally adopted on sites, its adverse effects on concrete produced, and possible guidelines for controlling the same.
A wide variety of poor construction practices, resulting from bad workmanship and inadequate quality control and supervision, such as use of excess water content, segregation/inadequate placing, poor compaction/consolidation, inadequate cover to reinforcement, incorrect placement of steel, poor curing, inadequate formwork, incorrect placement of construction joints, and inadequate mixing, are discussed in this chapter.
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Chapter 8. External Factors

Exposure conditions are one of the main causes of a number of defects in concrete structures. The degree of exposure anticipated for the concrete during its service life together with other relevant factors relating to mix composition, workmanship, and design must be considered. In mild exposure conditions, minor cracking or some minor defect in concrete quality (but not chloride contamination) may not lead to serious trouble. However, in severe exposure like freezing, heavy rains, sea splash, or alternate wetting and drying especially in hot arid climates, only the highest quality of undamaged concrete with proper cover to reinforcement should be expected to give satisfactory performance in the long run.
This chapter addresses some of the exposure conditions, to which the concrete may be exposed during its service life along with effects of these exposure conditions and possible remedies. The exposure conditions discussed are freezing and thawing, wetting and drying, leaching, abrasion, overloading, settlement, fire resistance, and restraint against movement. Various types of concrete joints and sealants, their failures, and remedies are also covered in this chapter.
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Chapter 9. Chemical Attack

In general, concrete has a low resistance to chemical attack. There are several chemical agents, which react with concrete. Deterioration is usually caused by the chemical reaction between the hardened cement constituents of concrete and the chemicals of a solution. The factors which accelerate or aggravate chemical attack on concrete are usually high porosity, cracks, leaching, and liquid penetration due to flowing liquid or ponding or hydraulic pressure. Thus, where chemical attack of concrete is expected, special precautions should be taken with the choice of cement, aggregates, and use of admixtures. The resistance to chemical attack improves with increased impermeability and with additional provision of membranes and protective barrier systems.
This chapter highlights the common forms of chemical attack on concrete and reinforcement, and their possible deteriorated effects with suggested protective measures meeting various international standards. The forms of chemical attacks on concrete discussed are chloride attack, sulphate attack, carbonation, alkali-aggregate reaction, and acid attack.
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Chapter 10. Corrosion of Embedded Metals in Concrete

Corrosion of reinforcing steel and other embedded metals is the leading cause of deterioration in concrete. According to NACE International (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), corrosion is “the destruction of a substance (usually a metal) or its properties because of a reaction with its environment”. The corrosion of structural steel is an electrochemical process that requires the simultaneous presence of moisture and oxygen. Essentially, the iron in the steel is oxidised to produce rust, which occupies a greater volume than the steel. This expansion creates tensile stresses in the concrete, which causes cracking, delamination, and spalling.
Chapter 10 describes some of the corrosion prevention methods to protect steel from corrosion. The protection methods addressed are producing low-permeable concrete, using corrosion-resistant reinforcing bars (stainless, galvanised, epoxy coated, and glass fibre-reinforced polymer bars), concrete surface treatments, corrosion-inhibiting admixture, and electrochemical technique (cathodic protection).
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Chapter 11. Hot and Cold Weather Concreting

Weather conditions greatly affect concrete quality. The temperature of the air, humidity level, wind speed, and temperatures of the surface where concrete is to be placed, all play an important role in the quality of concrete and must be taken into consideration.
In general, due to high temperature, the evaporation of water from the mix takes place that results in loss of workability and higher plastic shrinkage. The early setting due to high temperature results in greater difficulty with handling, compacting, and finishing of concrete. On the other hand, the fresh concrete with low temperatures starts freezing due to which the mixing water converts to ice resulting in an increase in the overall volume of the concrete. As no water is then left for chemical reaction, the setting and hardening of concrete are delayed, and concrete produced will be of low strength. Hence proper protections are vital, when concrete is placed in abnormal weather conditions either hot or cold.
This chapter describes concreting procedures in extreme hot and cold weather conditions, their adverse effects, and protective measures to achieve specified concrete strength in light of various international standards of practice.
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Chapter 12. Errors in Design and Detailing

Errors in design and detailing are one of the common causes of failure and cracking in concrete structures. Design error is basically a deviation from a drawing or specification including omissions and ambiguities. A study by Building Research Advisory Service, UK, was carried out for analysing the reasons for causes of failures in buildings, which indicate that 58% of all failures are attributed to faulty design; 35% defects are attributed to faulty execution, and the rest to material failures or poor performance.
Some of the examples of improper design and common problems along with possible remedial measures are discussed in this chapter. Errors in design and detailing may include improper design of foundations resulting in differential movements and foundation settlements, lack of adequate movement joints and proper detailing of construction joints, improper detailing of reinforcement, restraint of members subjected to thermal volume changes, improper grades of slab surfaces, and overlooking the considerations of groundwater pressure and earth pressure while designing basements and water-retained structures and inadequate design loads.
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Chapter 13. Achieving Quality in Concrete Construction

Quality of concrete construction includes steps for maintaining the required strength of concrete within the deviation permitted and construction of a durable structure. Quality of concrete construction depends on many factors. From the selection of construction materials to the curing of the structural member, each and every step must be carried out to maintain the quality requirement of the project. Any deviation from the required quality may result in failure of the structure or may impose financial implications on the contractor for not maintaining the quality.
This chapter discusses the methods for achieving quality control and ensuring quality assurance in concrete construction. The topics addressed are quality control, quality control plan, factors causing variations in the quality of concrete, quality assurance through control of design, material control, inspection, testing, and evaluation.
Akhtar Surahyo


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