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Abstract : The purpose of this experiment is to determine the normal consistency of standard paste cement using Vicat apparatus.

That means this test is intended to be used to determine the amount of water required to prepare hydraulic cement pastes for testing .

Introduction :

The principle of doing this test is : standard consistency of cement is that consistency at which the Vicat plunger penetrates to a point 5-7mm from the bottom of Vicat mould. We will use that device to determine the consistency of the our cement sample in order to know how much percent of water is required to make the right standard cement . Some definitions : -

Consistency of cement :

It refers to the ability of cement to flow & it means amount of water needed to prepare a plastic mix of cement . -

consistency test :

This test is used to find the amount of water to be mixed with cement . It is necessary to find the consistency because amount of water present in the cement paste may affect the setting time. -

Vicat apparatus :

A penetration device used to determine the setting characteristics of hydraulic cements.


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Materials & Equipment : Cement . A sensitive scale to take a specific amount of cement . Water ( distilled ) . A graduated cylinder to take a specific amount of water.

Vicat apparatus : It consists of a Release pin & Hard rubber mould . Figure 1. Shows the standard Vicat device that is required in the BS standard ( EN 196-3: 1994) .

Figure 1. Vicat device


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Series of the Procedures That We Have Done in the Lab :

We have prepared a paste of weighed quantity of cement ( 400gm ) with weighed quantity of patable or distilled water. ( starting with 27% of water) We have added the water & counted from the time of adding water to the dry cement until commencing to fill the mould & the paste started to form . we have checked that its less than 3 minutes ( we did it in 4 minutes ). We have filled the Vicat mould with this paste resting upon a non-porous plate. We have Smoothened the surface of the paste, making it level with the top of the mould . We have slightly shaken the mould to expel the air . After that, We have Immediately placed the test block with the non-porous testing plate, under the rod bearing the plunger of the vicat device . We have lower the plunger gently to touch the surface of the test block and quickly release, allowing it sink into the paste . We have recorded the depth of penetration. We have cleaned the plunger after finishing . We have repeated the test using varying percentages of water ( 29% & 31% ) and continued the test as described above until the plunger is 5 mm to 7 mm from the bottom of the Vicat mould .

Data recorded : Table.1 readings Water percentage 27 % 29 % 31 % Water amount ( ml ) 108 116 124 Depth of penetration (mm) 33 22 6.5


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Notes after reading the standards : In the BS standard , The test should be done at a temperature of (20 numbers . In order to not losing any amount of water, BS standards required that the adding-water time should be between 5 seconds & 10 seconds .We didnt do that in the lab . We spilled the water in a less time . BS standards required a ( Distilled or deionized water ) to use in the test , unfortunately we didnt have that , so we did the experiment with a normal water . 2)

& the humidity is less than 65 % . Our test condition was far away from these

Discussion :

Our test result is not so far from the true value, although errors were made in the procedure by not following our standard requirements.


31% of water is the required amount of water to have a consistence cement paste , the reason for that is we get a 6.5 mm (which is between 5 & 7 mm) in that percent of water-adding.

Standards & Refernces : BS EN 196-3 : 1994 [ Methods of testing cement ] ASTM ( C 187 98 ) [ Standard Test method for Normal Consistency of cement ] Definitions : Wikipedia .


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