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+)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))), * MCP Application Notes: * * * * 1. Character(s) preceded & followed by these symbols (. -) or (+ ,) * * are super- or subscripted, respectively.

* * EXAMPLES: 42m.3- = 42 cubic meters * * CO+2, = carbon dioxide * * * * 2. All table notes (letters and numbers) have been enclosed in square* * brackets in both the table and below the table. The same is * * true for footnotes. * .))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))-

ACI 214.3R-88 (Reapproved 1997) Simplified Version of the Recommended Practice for Evaluation of Strength Test Results of Concrete Reported by ACI Committee 214 V. Ramakrishnan, Chairman; P.N. Balaguru, Secretary; Edward A. Abdun-Nur; David F. Anderson; John Bickley; Stanley J. Blas, Jr.; Jerrold L. Brown; Ronald L. Dilly; Donald E. Dixon; Richard D. Gaynor; Steven H. Gebler; Eugen O. Goeb; Gilbert J. Haddad; David F. Harrald; Peter A. Kopac; Kenneth R. Lauer; H. S. Lew; V. M. Malhotra; Larry W. Matejcek; Tarun R. Naik; Robert E. Neal; Robert E. Philleo; Francis J. Principe; Owen Richards; Orrin Riley; Emphraim Senbetta; S. N. Shanmughasundram; Shyam N. Shukla; Luke M. Snell; Roger L. Sprouse; Rodney J. Stebbins; Michael A. Taylor; J. Derle Thorpe;* Don J. Wade. (* Principal author of this report.) The purpose of this report is to introduce the use of a simplified version of the statistical concepts as outlined in ACI 214 for the specification, control, and evaluation of the production of concrete. For a more elaborate discussion of the concepts, see the "Recommended Practice for the Evaluation of Strength Test Results of Concrete" (ACI 214). Keywords: coefficient of variation; compression tests; compressive strength; concrete construction; concretes; cylinders; evaluation; quality control; sampling; standard deviation; statistical analysis; variations. This report was submitted to letter ballot of the committee aand was approved in accordance with ACI balloting procedures. Copyright (c) 1988, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any means, including the making of copies by any photo process, or by any electronic or mechanical device, printed, written, or oral, or recording for sound or visual reproduction or for use in any knowledge or retrieval system or device, unless permission in writing is obtained from the copyright proprietors.

ACI Committee Reports, Guides, Standard Practices, and Commentaries are intended for guidance in designing, planning, executing, or inspecting construction and in preparing specifications. Reference to these documents shall not be made in the Project Documents. If items found in these documents are desired to be part of the Project Documents they should be phrased in mandatory language and incorporated into the Project Documents. CONTENTS Introduction Variability of concrete Normal distribution Statistical evaluation Interpretation of results Specifying the strength of concrete Selecting the strength of concrete Control of concrete strength Evaluating concrete strength Variability caused by testing Control charts INTRODUCTION The strength test is widely used in specifying, controlling, and evaluating concrete quality. Quality concrete must be able to: 1) carry loads imposed upon it; 2) resist deterioration; and 3) be dimensionally stable. There are several tests that can be made with plastic and hardened concrete, but the strength test is generally accepted as a measure of the quality of concrete being placed on a project. Although the strength test is not a direct measure of concrete

durability or dimensional stability, it provides an indication of the water-cement ratio of the concrete. The water-cement ratio, in turn, directly influences the strength; durability; wear resistance; dimensional stability; and other desirable properties of concrete. The strength test is also used to measure the variability of concrete. By using statistical methods based on the strength test, realistic specifications can also be prepared. VARIABILITY OF CONCRETE Portland cement concrete is affect its strength and other variations in the manufacture aggregates; batching, mixing, in the preparation, handling, major variables are listed in subject to numerous factors that properties. These may include of portland cement; preparation of and curing of concrete; and finally and testing of the cylinders. The Table 1.

These variables must be considered when specifying, producing, or controlling the strength of concrete. NORMAL DISTRIBUTION Test data from large concrete projects with many tests show a grouping around the average strength. Table 1 -- Principal sources of variations in strength test results
))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Variations in properties * Discrepancies in testing of concrete * methods ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Changes in water-cement ratio * Improper sampling procedures Poor control of water * Excessive variation of * moisture in aggregate * Retempering * * Variations in water requirement * Variations due to fabrication Aggregate grading, * techniques absorption, particle * Cylinder molding shape * Poor quality molds * Handling and curing Cement and admixture properties * newly made cylinders Air content * Delivery time and * temperature * * Variations in characteristics and * Changes in curing proportions of ingredients * Temperature variation Aggregates * Variable moisture Cement * Delays in bringing cylinPozzolans * ders to the laboratory * Admixtures

* * Poor testing procedures * Care of cylinders, * transportation and cap* ping * Improper placement in * testing machine * Testing machine platens * out of specifications * Incorrect speed of testing ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Variations in batching, mixing, transporting, placing, and compaction Variations in temperature and curing

A typical grouping is illustrated in Fig. 1. To produce Fig. 1, the strength tests are divided into cells. The cell width for Fig. 1 is 200 psi. For example, the seven tests that fall between 3900 and 4099 psi have been plotted in the cell listed as 4000 psi.* (* 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.) Similarly, all other strengths from the series of tests have been plotted in their respective cells. Since the grouping of tests on each side of the average is nearly symmetrical, it is called a normal distribution.

It is possible to superimpose a normal distribution on the plot of individual strengths. As shown in Fig. 2, this curve smooths out the plot by reducing the effect of individual differences through averaging. The center of the curve is located at the average of all the tests. The area under the curve represents 100 percent of the tests. Fig. 3 shows the normal distribution curve used to represent all of the tests, rather than using the individual tests plotted in their respective cells. This curve will be used to represent all of the strength tests without the individual plotted tests throughout the remainder of this report. The example illustrated in this report is the compressive strength test, but the procedures outlined here may be used on test data from any test used to determine the strength of concrete.

The normal distribution curve can be either steep or flat, depending on the grouping of the individual tests on each side of the mean. Three normal distribution curves are illustrated in Fig. 4. The shape of the curve indicates the variability in the test data. The steep curve represents a series of strength tests with low variability. Strength tests are closely grouped around

the average. The flat curve represents a series of tests with high variability. Whatever the shape of the normal distribution curve, it reveals significant information about the test data it represents. The top of the curve is located at the average of all the tests. STATISTICAL EVALUATION Concrete samples should be obtained by randomly sampling batches of a given class of concrete used on the project. Different portions of a structure may require different concrete mix designs. Each mix is often called a class of concrete. Each class of concrete usually has its own proportions, and should be sampled and evaluated separately. If the number of randomly obtained samples of a given class of concrete is large enough, the strength test results can be statistically evaluated. The statistical values calculated from the test data, which are useful in the evaluation, follow. _ Average X The average (often called the mean) is the approximate middle value between extremes. The average can be calculated using the following formula _ X+1, + X+2, + X+3, . . . . + X+n, X = --------------------------------n Eq. (1)

_ Where X is the average strength; X+1,, X+2,, X+3,, . . . X+n, are individual strength tests; and n is the total number of tests. The formula may be represented by _ E X+i, X = -----n Eq. (2)

Where X+i, is each strength test from i = 1 to i = n, and EX+i, represents the sum of all the tests. More than one concrete cylinder is usually made from the same sample of concrete. A strength test is defined as the average strength of all cylinders made from the same sample of concrete cured under the same conditions and tested at the same age. Variations in strength between cylinders cast from the same sample may be attributed to variability of the concrete within the sample, cylinder molding, care, transportation, and testing procedures. If testing procedures are uniform, variations observed between strength tests can be attributed to variations in materials, batching, mixing, transportation, and curing. Standard deviation s The standard deviation is a measure of the variability or scatter of test values around the average. The higher the standard deviation, the greater the variability. The standard deviation can be calculated using one of the following equations

Many computer programs are available to calculate these statistical values. The normal distribution curve will break, i.e., change from a concave shape to a convex shape at two points, one on each side of the curve. These points will mark the limits of zones that will include approximately one-third of all the tests below the average and one-third of all the tests above the average. These points are located a distance equal to one standard deviation each side of the average. These points can be determined by calculating the standard deviation for the set of tests. INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS When the relationships between the individual test results, the normal distribution curve, and the statistical values produced from the test data are understood, it is possible to draw conclusions about the variability of the test data. The area under the normal distribution curve represents 100 percent of the tests. A series of zones can be created under the curve by drawing vertical lines, each spaced a distance equal to a standard deviation on each side of the vertical line drawn at the average. Fig. 5 shows a normal distribution curve with the percentage of tests expected to fall within each zone of the curve. Each zone can be identified by standard-deviation limits on each side of the average. Fifty percent of the tests fall on each side of the center of the curve, or average strength. The zone bounded by one standard-deviation limit on each side of the

average ( s) includes 68.2 percent of the tests. As soon as the average and the standard deviation are calculated, the shape of the normal distribution curve that represents the data can be visualized. Moving a second standard-deviation limit on each side of the average will include an additional 27 percent of all the tests. Therefore, a total of 95.2 percent of all the tests fall within two standard-deviation limits ( 2s) on each side of the average. An additional 2.4 percent of all the tests fall between two and three standard-deviation limits on each side of the average strength for a total of approximately 100 percent of the tests. These three standard-deviation limits each side of the average strength ( 3s) are normally considered to be the limits that include almost all test values. Engineers are not normally concerned with strengths that are too high. Therefore, only the standard-deviation limits below the average cause concern when evaluating the strength of concrete. Fig. 5 shows 15.9 percent of the tests, or approximately 1 in 6, will be below one standard-deviation limit; 2.4 percent of the tests, or approximately 1 in 42, will be below the two standard-deviation limits. SPECIFYING THE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE It is the responsibility of the structural engineer to select the strength of concrete required for a structure. That strength is called the specified strength, noted as f'+c,.

Since the strength of concrete follows the normal distribution curve, if the average strength of the concrete is approximately equal to the specified strength, one-half of the concrete will have a strength less than the specified strength. Because it is usually not acceptable to have one-half of the strength tests lower than specified strength, the average strength must be higher than the specified strength by some factor.

It is possible to use the statistical tools introduced here in all phases of concrete production--strength has been used as an example. Similar principles can be applied to other important characteristics of concrete such as entrained air, which relates to durability. The specification writer, in consultation with the engineer, selects a specified strength and the percentage of low tests that are considered acceptable for the class of concrete. ACI 318, "Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete," provides guidelines for selecting the acceptable number of low tests. An example of a statement for strength in the specification might read: The average of all strength tests shall be such that not more than one test in ten (10 percent) shall fall below the specified strength f'+c, of 3500 psi. SELECTING THE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE Because of variability in the strength of concrete, it becomes necessary to produce a concrete with an average strength significantly greater than the specified strength to limit the percentage of low tests to the specified levels. The concrete producer must provide a strength that is higher than the specified strength, called the required average strength f+cr,. The required average strength can be determined from the following formula f+cr, = f'+c, + ps where f+cr, = required average strength, psi f'+c, = specified strength, psi p = probability factor based on the percentage of tests the designer will allow to fall below f'+c, s = expected standard deviation for the project, psi Eq. (6)

Table 2 -- Expected percentages of tests lower than the specified strength f'+c,
)))))))))))))))0)))))))))))))))0)))))))))))))))))0))))))))))))) Required * * Required * average * * average * strength * Percentage of * strength * Percentage of * low tests * f+cr, * low tests f+cr, )))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))))3))))))))))))) f'+c, + 0.00s * 50.0 * f'+c, + 1.60s * 5.5 f'+c, + 0.10s * 46.0 * f'+c, + 1.70s * 4.5 f'+c, + 0.20s * 42.1 * f'+c, + 1.80s * 3.6 f'+c, + 0.30s * 38.2 * f'+c, + 1.90s * 2.9 f'+c, + 0.40s * 34.5 * f'+c, + 2.00s * 2.3 f'+c, + 0.50s * 30.9 * f'+c, + 2.10s * 1.8 f'+c, + 0.60s * 27.4 * f'+c, + 2.20s * 1.4 f'+c, + 0.70s * 24.2 * f'+c, + 2.30s * 1.1 f'+c, + 0.80s * 21.2 * f'+c, + 2.40s * 0.8 f'+c, + 0.90s * 18.2 * f'+c, + 2.50s * 0.6 f'+c, + 1.00s * 15.9 * f'+c, + 2.60s * 0.45 13.6 * f'+c, + 2.70s * 0.35 f'+c, + 1.10s * f'+c, + 1.20s * 11.5 * f'+c, + 2.80s * 0.25 f'+c, + 1.30s * 9.7 * f'+c, + 2.90s * 0.19 f'+c, + 1.40s * 8.1 * f'+c, + 3.00s * 0.13 f'+c, + 1.50s * 6.7 * * )))))))))))))))2)))))))))))))))2)))))))))))))))))2)))))))))))))

* The probability factor used in the calculation of the required average strength can be determined from this table using the acceptable percentage of low tests. Source: William A. Cordon, "Concrete Quality," ACI Echiridion E704-4, 1973, p.8. Use of the normal distribution curve to obtain the required average strength is illustrated in Fig. 6. To calculate the required average strength, the engineer must decide the specified strength and what percentage of tests falling below the specified strength will be allowed.

When the decision has been made on an acceptable percentage of low tests, the probability factor can be determined using the properties of the normal distribution curve. The probability factors for various percentages of low tests are given in Table 2. The standard deviation is obtained by analyzing the concrete producer's data. Since the standard deviation for a project is not known at the beginning of a project, Chapter 4 of ACI 318 permits the substitution of a standard deviation calculated from at least 30 consecutive strengths on concrete produced at the proposed concrete plant using similar materials and conditions. Fig. 7 shows the effect of the standard deviation on the required average strength. The steep curve plotted from strength data with low variability, i.e., a low standard deviation (s = 344 psi), shows that the required average strength should be 3440 psi. Eq. (6) is used to calculate the value. For the flat curve plotted from strength data with high variability, i.e., a high standard deviation (s = 806 psi), a required average strength of 4032 psi is needed. In each case, 10 percent of tests can be expected to fall below the specified strength. Most concrete comes from plants with continuous testing programs. Quality-control personnel from these plants can supply standard deviation data on each class of concrete. Since three standard-deviation limits are generally considered to include all tests, the engineer who unrealistically refuses to recognize the variability that does exist, even in carefully controlled concreting operations, and demands that no tests fall below the specified strength, must realize that the required average strength must then be three standard-deviation limits above the specified strength. Even with the required average strength at three standard-deviation limits above the specified strength, there is a slight chance of a test falling below the specified strength. Table 2 indicates that using three standard-deviation limits does not completely insure that no test will fall below the specified strength. The predicted percentage of low tests where the average strength exceeds the specified strength by three standard deviation limits is 0.13 percent, or 1.3 tests in 1000. When the engineer understands the implications of the three standard-deviation limits, he may want to consider using several different probability factors for a given project, depending on the critical nature of the strength of each class of concrete. Table 3 lists criteria for selecting different probability factors based upon the risk if the concrete strength falls below the specified strength. CONTROL OF CONCRETE STRENGTH At the beginning of a concreting operation, the strength level of the concrete being produced is based upon the calculation of the required average strength. This is a hypothetical production strength. It assumes that the variables affecting the strength of concrete will be the same in the future as they have been in the past. As the first test data become available, the required average strength is replaced by the actual value--the project

average strength. If the standard deviation from the project is approximately equal to the value used in the calculation of the required average strength, the project average strength should be maintained close to the required average strength. If the project average strength is below the required average strength, the percentage of tests below the specified strength will be greater than the acceptable value and steps must be taken to increase the strength of the concrete. The strength of the concrete must also be increased if the standard deviation of the project is greater than the assumed standard deviation used in the determination of the required average strength. If the project standard deviation increases, the average strength of the concrete must be increased. An illustration of the ideal relationship between these values is shown in Fig. 8. EVALUATING CONCRETE STRENGTH As the strength tests from a project become available, continuous evaluation of the data is desirable. Updated determination of the average strength and standard deviation will permit an evaluation of how well the actual project values compare with values used at the beginning of the project. An understanding of the percentage of tests falling within each zone, under the normal distribution curve illustrated in Fig. 5, will aid in this evaluation. The approximate percentage of tests falling below the specified strength can be calculated anytime after test data become available using Eq. (7) and Table 2 as follows _ X - f'+c, --------s

p = Where p _ X = probability factor = average strength

Eq. (7)

f'+c, = specified strength s = standard deviation

Table 3 -- Recommendations for ps to be used in computing required average strength based on critical nature of strength of concrete
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))0)))))))))))))))0))))))))))))))))))))))))) * * Recommended values * * for ps for computing * * required average * Probability * strength Type of structural member * of low test * (f+cr, = f'+c, + ps )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Concrete strength below f'+c, * 1.3 in 1000 * 3.00s cannot be tolerated (minimum * * strength specification * *

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Strength is critical * 1 in 100 * 2.32s )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Strength below f'+c, is not * Variable * 2.32s - 500 psi * critical but a test below f'+c, * - 500 is critical. This re* * quirement applies only * * where s is above 500 psi * * (ACI 318) * * )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Strength of concrete is not * 1 in 10 * 1.28s critical (ACI 214, ACI 318) * * )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Average of three consecu*1 Test: 9 in 10* 1.34s tive tests does not fall be*Average of thre* low f'+c, (ACI 318) *tests: 1 in 100* )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))3)))))))))))))))3))))))))))))))))))))))))) Strength of concrete is of * 1 in 5 * 0.85s minor consequence in de* * sign * * )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))2)))))))))))))))2)))))))))))))))))))))))))

When the probability factor has been calculated from actual project data, the approximate percentage of low tests can be determined using Table 2 as follows. Find the probability factor closest to the calculated value in the column labeled "Required average strength" of Table 2. The corresponding percentage can be read from the columns labeled "Percentage of low tests."

Table 4 -- Control standards for evaluating performance of testing program from project using the within-test coefficient of variation
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Field control testing


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Control standards for within-test coefficient of variation


)))))))))))0))))))))))))0))))))))))))0))))))))))))0)))))))))))))) Excellent * Very good * Good * Fair * Poor )))))))))))3))))))))))))3))))))))))))3))))))))))))3)))))))))))))) Below 1.5 * 1.5 to 2.0 * 2.0 to 3.0 * 3.0 to 4.0 * Above 4.0 )))))))))))2))))))))))))2))))))))))))2))))))))))))2))))))))))))))

VARIABILITY CAUSED BY TESTING Table 1 shows two major categories as sources of variability in concrete strength. The first category lists factors, including strength, that affect the properties of the concrete. The second category lists possible variations caused by testing procedures. Variations in testing may have a significant effect on the apparent strength of the concrete and, consequently, on the evaluation of the actual strength. It is possible to separate some of the effects of these two major sources of variability. A test consists of all the test cylinders made from the same sample of concrete, cured under the same conditions, and tested at the same age. It is assumed that two or more test cylinders made from the same sample of concrete and tested at the same age should have the same strength. Variations in the strength of these cylinders occur partly because of differences in the testing procedures. Differences in strength between two or more test cylinders made from the same sample of concrete are called within-test variations. The within-test standard deviation is calculated from the following equation _ R s+wt, = ---d+2, Where s+wt, = within-test standard deviation R = average range for all tests of a class of concrete d+2, = factor based on the number of cylinders within the test

Eq. (8)

The range is the difference between the highest and lowest strengths of the cylinders making up a test. The factor d+2, is based on the number of cylinders used to calculate the range. If two cylinders are used in a test, d+2, equals 1.128. If three cylinders are used in a test, the chance for variability is greater and the factor is larger than 1.693. The range calculated from four cylinders per test would use d+2, of 2.059. To complete the within-test evaluation, calculate the

within-test coefficient of variation, which is the within-test standard deviation expressed as a percentage of the average strength. The within-test coefficient of variation can be calculated using Eq. (9) V+wt, = s+wt, ----- x 100 _ X Eq. (9)

Where V+wt, = within-test coefficient of variation expressed as a _ percent, and X = average strength for the class of concrete, psi. Standards for evaluating the within-test coefficient of variation are given in Table 4. If the within-test coefficient of variation is high (fair or poor), testing may be the reason for poor test results rather than the concrete quality. CONTROL CHARTS An important part of the evaluation process is the regular plotting of values for a visual picture of concrete performance. Three simplified charts prepared specifically for concrete control are illustrated in Fig. 9. While these do not contain all the features of formal control charts, they can be useful to engineers, architects, and ready-mix plant superintendents.

On chart A, (Fig. 9) the compressive strengths for each of the two cylinders that make up a test are plotted as circles. The point representing the average of the two cylinders is the point to which the solid line is drawn. The same chart may be used if three or more cylinders make up a test. The dotted line, representing the required average strength, is determined from Eq. (6), or Table 2. If the volume of concrete produced requires more than one test per day, the average of all tests on a given day can be plotted for that day. Tests can also be plotted in chronological order rather than by days. The individual tests will be used separately in the calculation of running averages.

Chart B of Fig. 9 is the moving average of the previous five test averages from Chart A. Each time a new test average is added to the chart, a new average of five tests is calculated, using the new average along with the previous four. The number of tests used to calculate moving average can be varied to suit each job. This chart is valuable in indicating trends and will show the influence of seasonal changes, changes in materials, etc. Chart C (Fig. 9) is a moving average for the range, where the average range of the previous ten groups of companion cylinders is plotted each day. Fig. 9 shows Charts A, B, and C for 46 tests. To be fully effective, charts should be maintained throughout the entire job. Control charts can be updated and plotted by computer each time new test data are submitted for analysis. For a more rigorous treatment of the use of these concepts in the evaluation of the strength, consult the "Recommended Practice for Evaluation of Strength Test Results of Concrete" (ACI 214-77) (Reaffirmed 1983).