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Acceptance Criteria of Concrete

The Clause 16 (Acceptance Criteria) of IS:456 stipulates about the Acceptance Criteria of the
concrete. Sub-Clause 16.1 describes the Acceptance Criteria from Compressive Strength
Point of view and Sub-Clause 16.2 describes the Acceptance Criteria from Flexural
Strength point of view.
As per Clause 16.1, the concrete shall be deemed to comply with the strength requirement
when both the following conditions are met :
The mean strength determined from any group of four consecutive test results complies with
the appropriate limits as stipulated below :
Mean of the group of non-overlapping four consecutive test results should be more than
equal to characteristic strength of the concrete plus 0.825 times the established standard
deviation (rounded off to nearest 0.5N/mm2) or characteristic strength of concrete plus
3N/mm2 whenever is greater.
The individual test result should be more than equal to characteristic strength of concrete
minus 3N/mm2.
As per Clause 16.2, when both the following conditions are met the concrete complies with
the specified flexure strength.
The mean strength determined from any group of four consecutive test results exceeds the
specified characteristic strength by at least 0.3N/mm2.
The strength determined from any test result is not less than the specified characteristic
strength minus 0.3N/mm2.
It is often observed that construction engineer neglects acceptance criteria of the concrete
from flexural strength point of view under the argument that flexural strength of the concrete
is of no/least importance as in the strength design the tensile strength of the concrete is
neglected. But the flexural strength of concrete decides the serviceability criteria like the
deflection of the structure.
Hence if we look into Acceptance Criteria from both compressive strength as well as flexural
strength point view, it can be concluded that
Mean compressive strength of four consecutive test results must be more than equal to
characteristic strength of concrete plus 3N/mm2.
Any test results is not less than specified characteristic strength minus 0.3N/mm2.
For example if the grade of concrete is M-25, then to satisfy the Acceptance Criteria the mean
compressive strength of the group of four consecutive test results shall be 28N/mm2 (25+3)
and the individual cube strength shall not be less than 24.7N/mm2 (25-0.3).
Now let us look into another Clause of IS: 456-2000 i.e. the Clause 15.1.1. The last part of
the Clause says
In all cases, the 28 days compressive strength specified in Table2 shall alone be the
criterion for acceptance or rejection of concrete The table2 of IS : 4562000 stipulates the
specified characteristic compressive strength of 150mm cube at 28 days corresponding to a
grade of concrete. A part of the table-2 is reproduced below.

Grade designation
Characteristic compressive Strength
This Clause contradicts the Acceptance Criteria of the concrete stipulated in the Clause 16
of the of IS: 456-2000.
Again if we consider M-25 grade of concrete the compressive strength of 25N/mm2 becomes
the criterion for rejection and acceptance of the M-25 grade concrete as per Clause 15.1.1.
Hence a clarification is required about the Clause which governs, whether the CLAUSE
No.16 or ClAUSE No.15.1.1 as far as Acceptance Criteria of the concrete is concerned.
The Clause 15.2.2 of the IS: 456-2000 stipulates minimum frequency of sampling of
Quantity of Concrete (m3)
51 and above

Number of samples
4 plus one additional sample for each additional 50m3
or part there of.

It further says that at least one sample shall be taken from each shift.
Clause 15.3 of IS: 456-2000 while defining Sample says that each sample shall consist of
three test specimens.
The test results of sample (Clause 15.4 of IS: 456-2000) shall be the average of the strength
of three specimens. The individual variation should be not be more than plus or minus 15
percent of the average.
When we combine the effect of all these Clauses several situations arise. Let us discuss one
situation here.
Grade of concrete M-25
Quantity of concrete 30m3
Concreting done in one shift
Going by Clause 15.2.2 of IS: 456-2000 though minimum 3 numbers of samples are required,
we need to go for four samples to satisfy Clause 16.1(a) of IS: 456-2000. It is assumed that
expression Four consecutive test results means four samples test results.
The individual cube test result shall not be less than 24.7N/mm2 (Clause 16.2.b). For
individual cube test result of 24.7N/mm2 the maximum allowed sample result shall be
29.05N/mm2 i.e. (24.7/0.85) as per Clause 15.4 of IS: 456-2000. Assuming that Other two
cubes of the sample yield same strength, the maximum strength of other two cubes of the
sample shall be 31.225 N/mm2. If the strengths of the two individual cubes of the sample
become 24.7N/mm2, the maximum allowed strength of the 3rd cube of the sample shall be

Now if all the three individual cubes of the sample yield the strength of 24.7N/mm2, the
average strength of other 3 samples has to be more than 28N/mm2 (clause 16.1.a). Assuming
that cubes of rest 3 samples yield same strength when the strength of first sample is
24.7N/mm2, the individual cube strength of the other 3 samples shall be 29.1N/mm2.
It can be seen that when we combine all the relevant Clauses of IS:456-2000 as far as
Acceptance Criteria is concerned, many situations come up and that makes the adoption of
Acceptance Criteria as explained in IS:456-2000 difficult at construction site.
Issues to solve:Please indicate if any incorrect interpretations of Clauses of IS: 456 have been made in the
above analysis.
Does the Clause No.15.2.1 and Clause No.16 of IS: 456-2000 contradicts each other? If it is
not so, then applications of both the Clauses may be explained.
What is the meaning of Non-overlapping Consecutive test results? If a cube of Sample6
yields a result of characteristic strength minus 0.3N/mm2, does the Non-overlapping test
mean the average strength of Sample-6, Sample-5, Sample-4 and Sample-3?
Is it possible, to write a simplified Acceptance Criteria for concrete taking into account
relevant Clauses of IS: 456-2000, which shall clearly tell the construction Engineer when to
accept the concrete or to reject the concrete?
What shall be wording of that Acceptance Criteria?
The illustration of the suggested acceptance Criteria with an example shall be highly

Three test specimens should be made from each sample for testing at 28 days. Additional
cubes may be required for various purposes such as to determine the strength of concrete at 3
or 7 days or at the time of striking the formwork etc. Specimen should be tested as described
in IS: 516. The test strength of the sample shall be the average of the strength of three
specimens. The individual variation should not be more than + 15 percent of the average. If
more, the test results of the sample are invalid.

When we accept that characteristic strength plus 1.65 times the standard deviation, should be
the target of the strength; we should target strength, which is equivalent to 1.65 times
standard deviation plus the characteristic strength in order to proportion a concrete mix.
Testing for concrete or the compressive strength of concrete as a parameter for quality control
requires us to address the following. Sampling frequency and method how much concrete
should be taken, how frequently it should be taken, how the sample should be taken and so
on; the testing method that should be used to test the concrete specimens all the nitty-gritty
details; and finally, the acceptance criteria given the results, whether the concrete is
It is very nice to say that, we will use a 150 mm cube. But, what is the tolerance that is
allowed? Obviously, in engineering, when we make concrete cubes, they may not measure
exactly 150 by 150 by 150; there may be a tolerance or there may be a difference of 1 mm or
2 mm. So, we have to specify as to what is the tolerance, which is acceptable; beyond which,
the cube will not be acceptable as a valid specimen.
Similarly, in shape, it is nice to say that, the edges or the angles between faces should be 90
degrees. If it is not, then what is the extent to which we are going to allow a deviation. How
are the specimens going to be stored before testing? What kind of curing will be carried out?
At what temperature will the water be if it is water curing? As far as the testing method is
concerned, once the concrete specimens have been cured, what kind of equipment will be
used? What is the capacity? What are the characteristics in terms of the stiffness of the
machine, the capacity of the machine and so on? What would be the rate of loading? The rate
of loading is one of the parameters, which determine the strength. We should keep in mind
that, the strength of the concrete is something which we determine. The concrete does not tell
us that, I have strength of 23 MPa. We carry out certain tests; and anything which is related to
that test, will affect whatever strength that we get. With the same concrete cube, we may get
23, we may get 24, we may get 25; sometimes we may get 22 depending on any or all of
these factors. And these are the things that contribute to the differences in values to small
extents. Now, when this extent or these differences become unacceptable, we really need to
revisit our entire quality control regime.
Let us take an illustrative example. If the observed strength of M25 grade concrete is found to
be 26 MPa, it necessarily means that, the concrete meets the acceptance criteria. Is this
statement true or false? What we wanted was an M25 concrete. That is what the designer
wants. M25 means a characteristic strength of 25 MPa. Now, for all the conditions that are in
place 28 days water curing and so on and so forth, the strength observed is 26 MPa, which

is higher than 25. Does it necessarily mean that the concrete meets the acceptance criteria or
the criteria for the designer that, the concrete is... As a corollary to that, if it is observed that,
for the same M25 concrete, their strength in turns out to be 23 MPa, which is less than 25; is
it obvious that, it does not meet the acceptance criteria?
If we are able to answer these two questions, I think we have understood the whole issue of
acceptance criteria as far as compressive strength is concerned; and its specifications need to
define these rules clearly.
If the definition was simple enough, that, anything higher than characteristics strength is
acceptable; anything below characteristic strength not acceptable; then the situation would be
very simple. But, let me assure you, that is not the case; and that is why we are talking about
it at such length today
By definition, characteristic strength f c k means or refers to that strength, below which not
more than 5 percent of the specimens are allowed to fall. In other words, the area under this
frequency distribution curve beyond the characteristic strength should be 95 percent.
This allowance of allowing or permitting a certain number of samples falling below
characteristics strength throws out of the window the idea that, any concrete, which is higher
than f c k is acceptable; and anything which is lower than f c k is unacceptable. By our own
definition of characteristic strength and the design process, we have allowed a certain amount
5 percent of these specimens to be below f c k. Similarly, the concrete is not designed for f
c k; the strength of the concrete itself is not the characteristic strength; the strength of the
concrete is a value, which is higher than the characteristic strength.
It is alright to say theoretically or scientifically that, 5 percent of the specimens or the
samples may fall below characteristic strength. But, would we like in a structure to have 5
percent area or 5 percent volume in that concrete to be very very poor as far as quality is
concerned? The answer obviously is no; which means that, now, from an engineering
judgment, we will temper the criteria of 5 percent specimens being allowed to fall below
characteristic strength.
Similarly, we need to take a decision within a reasonable time frame; we cannot wait for the
decision making till a large number of samples have been tested. We need to take decision, so
that the concrete construction can proceed
a specimen is a single piece; a sample comprises of several specimens.
So, sometimes we talk of samples and sometimes we talk of specimens; we should be clear as
to what is a significance of the result in terms of the result obtained from the specimen or the
result obtained from the sample. And that is something, which we are going to talk about as
we go along. Acceptance criteria should obviously handle nonacceptances as well. And that is
what we said that, it has to cover all possibilities.
For example, we may say that, if a certain condition is met, the concrete is acceptable. We
must also say that, if that condition is not satisfied, what are the steps that need to be taken
such that all possibilities that arise as a result of the testing of concrete are covered?
Let us take an illustrative example once again. Now, as far as testing for compressive strength
in concrete is concerned, we usually use three specimens and test them for strength. And
these three specimens constitute a single sample. So, we take three cubes: 1, 2 and 3; test
them for a strength; maybe we will get strength 1, 2 and 3; and then we take an average of 1
plus 2 plus 3 and try to see, what is the average strength that we get as far as these specimens
are concerned. And that becomes this strength of the sample that we have taken.
Let us take an example. We take three specimens and these three cubes; they yield a value
which is 22, 23 and 24 MPa. They seem to be internally consistent; and they does not seem to
be anything wrong in taking the average here and saying that, as for as the concrete sample is
concerned, the average is 23 MPa. Having said that, now, instead of 22, 23 and 24, if these

three cubes were to yield 15, 25 and 35 MPa as the values, then it is difficult to say that, this
is a sample, which represents a concrete within average strength of 25, because we are not
sure which of these specimens is really are true representative of the concrete.
Apart from these two examples, there can always be a situation, where the three specimens
that we test give us values, which are 27, 28 and 15 or 42. Now, in either of these cases, we
have these two as outliers. These two will affect the average of the sample if we want call it a
First of all, we have to establish that, the three results are internally consistent. How do we
determine or establish this internal consistency? Now, how do we establish that, these
specimens or a set of results that we get from three specimens is internally consistent? And
for that, we need a test. The Indian specifications tell us that, the results will be deemed to be
consistent if the standard deviation within these three results is within a certain number. We
must carry out the test and see if the results are within this permissible range; and then we
know whether the sample is valid and admissible or not.
One possibility is that, in a situation like this, where we get 27, 28 and 15, we say 15 is an
outlier and the average of these two will be taken or the average of these two may be taken
or, we can say that, if the sample is such that the standard deviation is higher than the
acceptable level, the entire test is thrown out; it is not to be used; it can be one or the other.
The Indian specifications tell us that, it should be simply thrown out of the window; the test
should not be considered; or, the test results should not be considered. Once we do not have a
valid sample, there is no question of talking in terms of any acceptability of that sample. And
indeed only for a valid sample, we need to talk about acceptance of the concrete that it
Summarizing, there is a criterion on internal consistency, which says that, not more than a
certain deviation (15%) in the three individual readings is allowed; in case that happens,
discard the sample.
As far as acceptance is concerned, we need to check only for valid samples and examine two
criteria: the individual average and the average of a group of 4. So, when we get a sample, we
have to decide two things: whether as an individual sample, that value is acceptable or not;
and the second thing is, is it acceptable as an average of 4 or group of 4.
And in the event of non-acceptance, there is a provision in Indian standards for nondestructive testing, load test, etcetera before a final decision on dismantling is made. This is
how the acceptance criteria is laid out as far as Indian standard is concerned.

let us say these are the individual values of samples strengths; that is, strengths determined on
the basis of three specimens each all of them of course, have to be valid. Now, what we will
get is a certain compressive strength. So, all these samples are higher than characteristic
strength. Now, whether they are all acceptable? The course tell us that there is another line
here, which is f c k plus 0.825 times sigma or 3 or 4 as we saw in the table earlier.

Quality Control Of Construction Testing Of Concrete Cubes

He acceptance criteria of quality of concrete is laid down in IS:456-2000. The criteria is
mandatory and various provisions of the code have to be complied before the quality of
concrete is accepted. In all the cases, the 28-days compressive strength shall alone be the
criterion for acceptance or rejection of the concrete. In order to get a relatively quicker idea
of the quality of concrete, optional test for 7 days compressive strength of concrete be carried
out. 6 Cubes of 150 x 150 x 150 mm size (the nominal size of aggregate does not exceed 38
mm) shall be cast, 3 for 7-days testing and 3 for 28-days testing. A set of
3 cubes (specimen) average strength will be a sample. The individual variation of a set of 3
cubes should not be more than 15% of the average. If more, the test result of the sample is
Note:- For aggregates larger than 38 mm, bigger than 150 mm moulds are to be used. See
The cube moulds of required size (150 mm for nominal size of aggregate not exceeding 38
mm) shall be made in such a manner as to facilitate their separation into two parts. Cube
moulds shall be provided with a base plate and they shall be as per IS:10086-1982. The
dimensions, tolerance and materials of cube moulds shall be as given in table-1.
Table-1: Dimension, tolerance and materials of 150 mm cube mould.

Distance between opposite

faces, mm

150 0.2

Height of mould, mm

150 0.2

Thickness of wall plate, mm

Angle between adjacent interior 90 0.50

faces and between interior faces
and top and bottom plates of

Length of base plate, mm


Width of base plate, mm


Thickness of base plate, mm

Permissible variation in the

planeness of interior faces:
for new moulds, mm
for moulds in use, mm


Permissible variation in the

planeness of base plate, mm



a) Side plate
b) Base plate

Cast iron
Cast iron

As per IS:10086-1982, the tamping rod shall be 160.5 mm dia and 6002 mm long with a
rounded working end and shall be made of mild steel.
On regular basis the machine should be calibrated with in a period not exceeding 12 months
from previous verification. The machine is required to be calibrated on original installation or
relocation, subject to major repairs or adjustment and whenever there is reason to doubt the
accuracy of the results, without regard to the time interval since the last verification.
The accuracy of the testing machine shall be verified by applying five test loads in four
approximately equal increaments in ascending order. The difference between any two
successive loads shall not exceed one third of the difference between the maximum and
minimum test loads. The load as indicated by the testing machine and the applied load
computed from the readings of the verification devices shall be recorded at each test point.
Calculate the error, E, and the percentage of error, EP for each point from these data as
E =A B


A = load in N indicated by the machine being verified and

B = applied load in N as determined by the calibrating device
(such as proving ring, load cell, calibrating cylinder etc.)

For checking further accuracy of testing machine concrete cubes of the same grade, batch,
age in SSD condition should be tested on the machine being checked and on a already
calibrated standard compression testing machine and find the difference. Proper and regular
calibration of testing machines is essential.
The casted cubes shall be stored under shed at a place free from the vibration at a temperature
220C to 330C for 24 hours covered with wet straw or gunny sacking.
The cube shall be removed from the moulds at the end of 24 hours and immersed in clean
water at a temperature 240C to 300C till the 7 or 28-days age of testing. The cubes shall be
tested in the saturated and surface dry condition.
For the true representation of actual strength of concrete in the structure, extra cubes shall be
cast, stored and curded as per the identical conditions of that structure, and tested at required
The cube shall be placed in the machine in such a manner that the load shall be applied to
opposite sides of the cubes as cast that is not to the top and bottom. The axis of the specimen
shall be carefully aligned with the centre of the thrust of the spherically seated platen. No
packing shall be used between the faces of the test specimen and the steel platen of the testing
machine. As the spherically seated block is brought to bear on the specimen, the movable
portion shall be rotated gently by hand so that uniform seating may be obtained. The load
shall be applied without shock and increased continuously at a rate of approximately 140
kg/sq cm/min until the resistance of the specimen to the increasing load breaks down and no
greater load can be sustained. The maximum load applied to the specimen shall then be
recorded and the appearance of the concrete and any unusual features in the type of failure
shall be noted, see fig-1and fig-2. The compressive strength of concrete shall be calculated
from:Maximum load/Cross-Sectional area of cube


a) The mean strength determined from any group of four-non overlapping consecutive test
results should comply with the appropriate limits as given in table-2
b) Any individual test result complies with in the appropriate limit as given in table-2
Table-2 : Characteristic Compressive Strength Compliance Requirement:
Specified grade

Mean of the group of 4 non- Individual test results in

overlapping consecutive test N/mm2
results in N/mm2


>= fck + 0.825 x established >=fck 3 N/mm2

standard deviation
(rounded off to nearest 0.5
fck + 3 N/mm2
whichever is greater

>= fck + 0.825 x established >= fck 4 N/mm2

standard deviation
(rounded off to nearest 0.5
fck + 4 N/mm2
whichever is greater
Note: In absence of established standard deviation, the values given in Table-8 of IS:4562000 may be assumed.
M-20 or above

Interpretations-Example For M-25 Grade Of Concrete

For a pour of 31-50 m3 4 samples (each sample having 3 cubes) are mandatory.
1. The average value of set of three cubes (one sample) should have strength with in the
limits of 15% of the average value. Otherwise the result of that sample will be invalid.
2. The mean value of 4 samples (4 average values obtained from each sample of 3 cubes)
should meet the criteria as given in table-2. For M-25 grade of concrete the mean value of
these 4 samples should not be less than either 29 N/mm2 or 25 N/mm 2 plus 0.825 times the
standard deviation whichever is the greater.
3. Any individual test result of a cube out of the above should not have value less than 21

In case of doubt regarding the grade of concrete used either due to poor workmanship or
based on results of cube strength test further tests should be conducted such as nondestructive test by Concrete Test Hammer, Ultrasonic Concrete Tester etc. Partial destructive
test by drilling cores and testing them in compression. In no case fewer than three cores be
tested. The final test include the load testing on structure.
Characteristic strength (ck) is defined as the value for
the compressive strength of concrete below which not
more than 5% of the valid test results obtained on
concrete cubes of the same grade should fall.
For example, a concrete with characteristic strength of
30MPa has a 95% probability of achieving 30MPa and
more, and a 5% probability of being less than 30MPa.
Target strength (ct) is the compressive strength that is
aimed at to ensure that the concrete meets the
characteristic strength requirement. It is obtained using
the formula:
ct = ck + 1.64 x standard deviation (SD)
where (SD) is dependent on the degree of control at the
concrete production facility.
However, there was, later on, an Amendment No. 3 to IS 456 dated August 2007, to modify
the Table 11 on ITR acceptance from fck-4 to fck-3 for concrete of M20 and above grades.
Thus, for concretes of M15, M20 and above grades, the value of each test result of the test
samples should satisfy the following condition: fcindividual fck 3
In the present case of M30 grade concrete,
fcindividual 30 3
fcindividual 27 MPa
each of Individual Test Result in any data set should be equal or more 'than 27 MPa. It is
important to note here the numerical value used 27 is less the number 30 representing the
grade of concrete.
Below are 4 samples ( each sample has 3 specimens- take average of three)
Test data set A : (i) 35, (ii) 33, (iii) 33, (iv) 34 MPa

Each of the above test results is more than 27 MPa and hence, this concrete is acceptable
from Individual Test Result criterion
Test data set B :(i) 35, (ii) 27, (iii) 40, (iv) 34 MPa
Three of the above test results are more than 27 MPa and one test result is equal to 27 MPa.
Hence, this concrete is still acceptable from Individual Test Result criterion.
Test data set D (i) 38, (ii) 26, (iii) 27, (iv) 44 MPa Among the above four consecutive test
results, two are more than 27 MPa, and, one test result is equal to 27 MPa. But, there is a test
value of 26 MPa, which is 1 MPa less than 27 MPa. Hence, the concrete represented by the
above four samples test values is not acceptable from Individual Test Result criterion.
According to the ITR criterion, the minimum strength of concrete in a test sample must be
equal to or more than fck 3.

Test data set C (i) 35, (ii) 25, (iii) 41, (iv) 34 MPa Three of the above test results are more
than 27 MPa, but, one test result is less than 27 MPa. Hence, this concrete is not acceptable
from Individual Test Result criterion.

Compressive strength test method

Test specimens are crushed between two platens in a
hydraulic press. The rate of load application influences the
compressive strength results
The mode of failure is primarily in tension.
Note: All four faces are cracked approximately equally,
generally with little damage to the faces in contact with the
The shape of the crushed specimen is a good indication of
whether the test was conducted in accordance with the

An unsatisfactory (abnormal) failure may indicate that the

platens are not parallel, the cube is not square or the faces
of the cube are not flat. The concrete areas in contact with
the platens must be plane, parallel to each other and at
right angles to the y-axis of the specimen.
An unsatisfactory failure may give a suspect result, and
indicates a deviation from standard procedure.
An accurate representation of the strength of cast concrete
can only be obtained when cubes have been prepared and
tested in a controlled manner as prescribed in relevant
standard test methods.
Static modulus
There is no standard test method to determine
the static elastic modulus of concrete
The tests determine initial tangent modulus
(Youngs) as well as the secant modulus corresponding
to one-third of the compressive failure stress.
The test involves loading a concrete prism at a
constant rate and recording the load (stress) and
deformation (strain) of the specimen. Several load cycles
to one-third of the compressive strength are carried out
to reduce the effects of creep and small shrinkage
cracks on the results. A stress-strain curve is obtained
from which the modulus of elasticity is determined.

Dynamic modulus
Dynamic modulus refers to the modulus of elasticity
determined by an electrodynamic test method
Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) may also be used to
determine dynamic modulus, where the density of the
concrete and Poissons ratio are known. This test
method has limited practical value.

100mm or 150mm cubes at 7 and 28 days (note ratio 1:1 and square in plan)
300mm x 150mm cylinders at 7 and 28 days (note ratio 2:1 and circular in plan)
The values of the cylinder/cube strength ratio are all around (0.8). but, above 50 Mpa. the
cylinder/cube strength ratio rises progressively, reaching (0.89) when the cylinder strength is
It is difficult to say which type of specimen, cylinder or cube, is better but even in countries
where cubes are the standard specimen, there seems to be a tendency, at least for research
purposes, to use cylinders rather than cubes, and this has been recommended by RILEM
(Reunion International des Laboratoires d Essais et de Recherches sur les Materiaux et les
Constructions)-an international organization of testing laboratories. Cylinders are believed to

give a greater uniformity of results for nominally similar specimens because their failure is
less affected by the end restraint of the specimen, their strength is less influenced by the
properties of the coarse aggregate used in the mix, and the stress distribution on horizontal
planes in a cylinder is more uniform than on a specimen of square cross section
It may be recalled that cylinders are cast and tested in the same position, whereas in a cube
the line of action of the loads at right angles to the axis of the cube as-cast. In a structural
compression members, the situation is similar to that existing in a test cylinder, and it has
been suggested that, for this reason, tests on cylinders are more realistic, the relation between
the directions as-cast and as-tested has, however, been shown not to affect appreciably the
strength of cubes made with unsegregated and homogenous concrete
The compressive strength of cylinder or cube with dimensions smaller than standard is higher
strength of the larger specimen.
Size effect is less noticeable as size increases.
Batch theoretically means the quantity of concrete mixed at one time. But for the purpose
of Quality Control, we do not have to test every batch of concrete.
The three specimens are to be tested at the same time. If the results of all three specimens are
within 15 percent of each other, then the test is valid and the average value for that sample
should be recorded. If not, the results of this sample should be rejected
f m=f ck+ 1.65
Mean of group of 4 non overlapping consecutive samples
f m(for 4 samples) Max (f ck+0.825,f ck+3) for M15 grade
& Max (f ck+0.825, f ck+4) for M20 or higher grade
Individual test results shall be greater thanf c f ck3 MPa for M15 grade and f ck4 MPa for
M20 & higher grades
Two acceptance criteria are given for general concrete work and hardness testing, both
of which must be complied with:

1. The result of any valid test must not be more than 3 MPa below the specified strength,
e.g. 27 MPa in the case of a grade 30 mix, and
2. The average of any three consecutive valid results must exceed the specified strength
by at least 3 MPa, e.g. 32 MPa in the case of a grade 30 mix
Cube Testing
In fact, 3 cubes constitute one sample. In onesample, the strength of individual cube should
not vary bymore than 15% of average strength of three cubes of sample, otherwise the
sample is considered to be invalid. Atthe time of testing, the cube should be so placed on
themachine such that smooth faces should be on top and bottom. The rate of loading should
not be more than 14 N/mm 2 per minute, otherwise the results will not be accurate.
However as explained above, the cube strengthdoes not guarantee the same strength in the
structurebecause of the following reasons:
(i)The concrete in cubes does not pass throughthe misadventures of transportation,placement,
compaction and curing. All theseprocesses are much superior in cube ascompared to the
(ii)Its shape is different from the shape of structures. Therefore the shape factor alsoplays an
important part in strength. Thestrength of the actual structure isapproximately 2/3rd of cube
strength for thesame concrete

After some amendments following are decided