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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

M-25

25N/mm2

M-30

30N/mm2

M-35

35N/mm2

M-40

40N/mm2

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

concrete.

Quantity of Concrete (m3)

1-5

6-15

16-30

31-50

51 and above

Number of samples

1

2

3

4

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.

Situation

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

37.75N/mm2.

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

appreciated.

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

acceptable.

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

sample.

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

represents.

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.

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

invalid.

Note:- For aggregates larger than 38 mm, bigger than 150 mm moulds are to be used. See

IS:10086-1982

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.

S.No.

Description

Requirements

1

faces, mm

150 0.2

Height of mould, mm

150 0.2

faces and between interior faces

and top and bottom plates of

mould.

280

215

planeness of interior faces:

for new moulds, mm

for moulds in use, mm

0.03

0.05

planeness of base plate, mm

0.03

10

materials

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

follows:

E =A B

Ep=[E/B]x100

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

age.

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

Acceptance:

For

the

acceptance,

both

the

conditions

should

be

met

with:

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

overlapping consecutive test N/mm2

results in N/mm2

M-15

standard deviation

(rounded off to nearest 0.5

N/mm2)

or

fck + 3 N/mm2

whichever is greater

standard deviation

(rounded off to nearest 0.5

N/mm2)

or

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

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

N/mm3.

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.

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

platens.

The shape of the crushed specimen is a good indication of

whether the test was conducted in accordance with the

specification.

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

80MPa.

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

Acceptance

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

structure.

(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