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UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA

FACULTAD DE INGENIERA
DEPARTAMENTO DE ENSEANZAS GENERALES
CTEDRA DE INGLS

INGLS INSTRUMENTAL CIVIL


(0111)
GUA DE EJERCICIOS

Elaborada por:
Prof. Graciela Martins
Octubre, 2011

Science News
New Bridge Can Be Built In Two Weeks
ScienceDaily (June 9, 2008) With new bridge-building materials, industrial production
methods, and an efficient construction process, it will be possible to start using a bridge
only two weeks after construction starts on the site. This is shown in a new dissertation
from Chalmers University of Technology.
A pilot study of the new bridge concept, the i-bridge, is included in Peter Harrysons
doctoral dissertation in concrete construction at Chalmers. The bridge consists of extremely
light sections that are assembled on site. The load-bearing parts consist of v-shaped
fiberglass beams that are reinforced with carbon fibers on the underside. The beams interact
with a thin bridge deck that is prefabricated out of steel-fiber-reinforced cement with
extremely high strength. Since these materials are very durable, they are advantageous in a
life-cycle perspective, and they are highly suitable for industrial construction. However,
these materials are not in use in the new construction of bridges today.
The new bridge type is a construction that projects several years into the future, but
the study shows that it would be technologically possible to build this bridge today if the
concept is further elaborated, says Peter Harryson. However, at present the economic
conditions are constrained by the major investments that would be needed to start
production, and by the high prices for fiber-composite materials.
Today the new type of bridge is estimated to cost more than twice as much as a
conventional bridge. But the economic potential of the bridge concept can be enhanced
considerably if the economic calculations are done in another way. Besides the shorter
construction time, there are several advantages both from a life-cycle perspective and in
terms of the working environment that could be valued higher.
The project has been part of (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation
Systems) Vinnovas research program Road, Bridge, Tunnel. Peter Harryson has been an
industrial doctoral candidate with the Swedish Road Administration, which has provided
funding.
The dissertation, titled Industrial Bridge Engineering Structural developments for
more efficient bridge construction, was publicly defended on May 29.

The new bridge concept, the i-bridge. (Credit: Image courtesy of Chalmers University of Technology)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080604115310.htm
Activity 1.
2

Read the article and then answer this question: What is it about? Write a short paragraph.
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Activity 2.
Can you say, on your own words, why this bridge is called the i-bridge?
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Activity 3.
What words are repeated? Can you mention them? Write them down.
________________ ________________ ________________ ________________
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Activity 4.
Underline all the verbal groups you find in the previous article.
Activity 5.
Identifty and write down all the nouns that are present in the text.
Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 4

Unidad I.
Aproximacin al texto
3

Paragraph 5

Paragraph 6

1.1 Pre-reading activities: previous knowledge and prediction.


Its all very simple really. If you want to read specialized texts in English, all you need is an
extensive general and technical vocabulary in the language, a good knowledge of English
grammar, preferably some idea of what English sounds like and, last, but not necessarily
least, sufficient knowledge and understanding of your particular field. Easy, right?
Possibly.
Lets start with the final point: the importance of what you already know about a topic
before you start to read. Take this example:
The text we are going to read, analyze and discuss was published in June 1999 in the
Journal Concrete International. It has the following title:

Point of view: Reflections about technology choices

Advancements in Concrete
Technology
by P. Kumar Mehta

After a short introduction, the text is divided into the following sections:Superplasticizing admixtures
High-strength concrete and mortars
High-performance concrete
Self-compacting concrete
Technologies for prolonging service life
Corrosion-inhibiting admixtures
Epoxy-coated reinforcing steel
Cathodic protection of reinforced concrete
Surface coatings

High volume fly ash and slag concretes


Structural concrete
Roller-compacted concrete dams
Concrete pavements for highways
Base courses and embankments
High volume slag cement

Recycled concrete aggregate


Cost-benefit analysis
Evaluation of recent advancements

In its original format, the text, including a list of 38 bibliographical


references, covers 7 double-column pages and, excluding the
references, contains nearly 5,500 words (5,471 to be precise). We also
learn that the author, now retired, worked for 36 years as Professor of
Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and has
published extensively on the subject of concrete.
From the information you have so far, what can you say about:
(a) the probable content of all or some of the parts of the text

(b) the type of reader for whom it is intended

Choose one or more of the sections listed above. Note down what you think you already
know about the topic and also what you would like to know about it.

1.2 Vocabulary exercise.


a) Infer the meaning of the following phrases:
1. Superplasticizing admixtures : __________________________________________
2. High-strength concrete: ________________________________________________
3. Corrosion-inhibiting admixtures : ________________________________________
4. Epoxy-coated reinforcing steel : _________________________________________
5. Surface coatings: _____________________________________________________
6. High volume fly ash: __________________________________________________
7. Slag concretes: _______________________________________________________
8. Highways: __________________________________________________________
9. Embankments: _______________________________________________________
5

10. Concrete aggregate: __________________________________________________


1.3 Reading and Comprehension
We are now going to look at the introduction to the text in much more detail. Read it
and then discuss the statements which follow.
(1) Portland cement concrete has clearly emerged as the material of choice for the
construction of a large number and variety of structures in the world today. (2) This is
attributed mainly to low cost of materials and construction for concrete structures as well as
low cost of maintenance. (3) Therefore, it is not surprising that many advancements in
concrete technology have occurred as a result of two driving forces, namely the speed of
construction and the durability of concrete.
(4) During the period 1940-1970, the availability of high early strength portland cements
enabled the use of high water content in concrete mixtures that were easy to handle. (5)
This approach, however, led to serious problems with durability of structures, especially
those subjected to severe environmental exposures.1
(6) Among the recent advancements, most noteworthy is the development of
superplasticized concrete mixtures which give very high fluidity at relatively low water
contents. (7) The hardened concrete due to its low porosity is generally characterized by
high strength and high durability. (8) Macro-defect-free cements and chemically bonded
ceramics are examples of alternative technological approaches to obtain low-porosity, highstrength products. (9) For the specific purpose of enhancement of service life of reinforced
concrete structures exposed to corrosive environments, the use of corrosion-inhibiting
admixtures, epoxy-coated reinforced steel, and cathodic protection are among the better
known technological advancements.
(10) In addition to construction speeds and durability, there is now a third driving force,
namely the environmental friendliness of industrial materials, which is becoming
increasingly important in technology assessment for the future. (11) In this article, a critical
evaluation of various technologies is attempted using the following three criteria:
cost of materials and construction,
durability, and
environmental friendliness.
(12) It is not intended to present a comprehensive review of all the recent advancements in
concrete technology. (13) Only selective developments of the last 30 years, that are judged
to be significant by the author, are briefly reviewed.

Activity A.
Comprehension and discussion statements:
(1) Concrete is used so widely in construction because it is relatively cheap.

(2) For many years a major problem was the high water content in concrete mixtures.

(3) In recent times, two major objectives have been to develop mixtures characterized by
low porosity and high strength.

(4) One problem that still remains is how to deal with severe environmental conditions.

(5) Perhaps the most critical aspect in the future will be the need to make industrial
materials environmentally friendly.

Activity B.
What words are repeated? Can you mention them? Write down their meaning.
________________

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1.4 Language: Sentences and clauses


Consider these two sentences taken from the Introduction.
Portland cement concrete has clearly emerged as the material of choice for the
construction of a large number and variety of structures in the world today.
During the period 1940-1970, the availability of high early strength portland cements
enabled the use of high water content in concrete mixtures that were easy to handle.
The first of these two sentences is SIMPLE. The second one is COMPLEX.
To have an idea of what that means, first read over and discuss the following information
about sentences and clauses. Then, analyze sentences (1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (8), (9), and (10)
according to:(a) if the sentence is simple, complex or compound
(b) in the case of a complex or compound sentence, identify the independent and
dependent clauses as well as any subordinator or sentence connector.
(c) Try to combine sentences (12) and (13) in one sentence. What type of sentence
is it?
(1) Portland cement concrete has clearly emerged as the material of choice for the
construction of a large number and variety of structures in the world today.
_________________________________________________________________________
(3) Therefore, it is not surprising that many advancements in concrete technology have
occurred as a result of two driving forces, namely the speed of construction and the
durability of concrete.
_________________________________________________________________________
(4) During the period 1940-1970, the availability of high early strength portland cements
enabled the use of high water content in concrete mixtures that were easy to handle.
_________________________________________________________________________
(5) This approach, however, led to serious problems with durability of structures, especially
those subjected to severe environmental exposures.1
_________________________________________________________________________

(6) Among the recent advancements, most noteworthy is the development of


superplasticized concrete mixtures which give very high fluidity at relatively low water
contents.
_________________________________________________________________________
(8) Macro-defect-free cements and chemically bonded ceramics are examples of alternative
technological approaches to obtain low-porosity, high-strength products.
_________________________________________________________________________
(9) For the specific purpose of enhancement of service life of reinforced concrete structures
exposed to corrosive environments, the use of corrosion-inhibiting admixtures, epoxycoated reinforced steel, and cathodic protection are among the better known technological
advancements.
_________________________________________________________________________
(10) In addition to construction speeds and durability, there is now a third driving force,
namely the environmental friendliness of industrial materials, which is becoming
increasingly important in technology assessment for the future.
_________________________________________________________________________
(12+13) __________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

THE SENTENCE
Every sentence must have a subject and a verb. A sentence may be a statement, question,
command, request or exclamation. The first letter of a sentence must be capitalized, and the
sentence ends with a final punctuation mark in the form of a period (.), a question mark (?),
or an exclamation point (!).
The following exemplify these different types of sentences:
A question: What is ecology?
Statement: Ecology is the science of the relationships between organisms and their
environment.
Command: Save the environment.

Request: Could you give us a talk on ecology?


Exclamation: What nonsense people talk about the environment!
THE CLAUSE
The clause is a part of a sentence with its own subject and predicate.
There are two kinds of clauses: independent (main) and dependent (subordinate).
An independent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb. It is used as part
of a sentence but is grammatically independent and could therefore stand alone.
The underlined parts of the following sentences show examples of independent clauses:

I may declare my major now, but I can still change it later.

Foreign students suffer from culture shock when they come to the United States.

Because the cost of education has been rising rapidly, many students are having
financial problems.

You will need certain qualifications if you choose a career in Engineering.

An independent clause is formed by:


Subject + Verb + Complement

A dependent clause is introduced by a subordinator such as when, while, before, or if. It is


followed by a subject verb and a complement. It cannot stand alone because the
subordinator signals the need for an independent clause to complete the meaning of the
sentence.
Examples:

When the semester was over


who was accepted by the university
if you leave your car unlocked.
Because I had a job interview

Each of the examples above is dependent since each of them expresses only a part of a
complete thought and is therefore a fragment (an incomplete sentence). In order to form a
grammatically complete sentence, each of the above clauses must be joined to an
independent clause.

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A dependent clause is formed with:


Subordinator + Subject + Verb + Complement

KINDS OF SENTENCES
There are basically four kinds of sentences in English:

Simple
Compound
Complex
Compound-complex

The kind of sentence is determined by the kind of clauses that form it.
A. A simple sentence is an independent clause.
I enjoy playing tennis with my friends every day.
I want a new car.
Israel votes for peace.
B. A compound sentence is two or more independent clauses joined together in any of
three ways.
1. By a coordinating conjunction
I enjoy playing tennis, but I hate playing golf
2. By a sentence connector
I enjoy playing tennis; however, I hate playing golf.
3. By a semicolon
I enjoy playing tennis; I hate playing golf
C. A complex sentence is the combination of an independent clause and a dependent
clause. The two clauses may be in either order. The dependent clause is introduced
with a subordinator, such as that, when, where, who, because, as, if, even though, so
that, while, although, since, then, after, etc.
Although I enjoy playing tennis, I hate golf.
I hate golf although I enjoy playing tennis.
D. A compound-complex sentence is the combination of two or more independent
clauses together with one or more dependent clauses.
I hate playing golf, but I enjoy playing tennis even though I am not very good at it.

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Non-finite clause. Dependent clauses do not always have a subordinator and a subject.
Sometimes they start with an infinitive, or a ed2 (past participle) or an ing form
(present participle).

COORDINATORS AND CONNECTORS


Coordinating conjunctions
And
But, yet
For
Or
So

Sentence Connectors
Furthermore, besides, in
addition, moreover, also
However, nevertheless, still,
in contrast

Function
Additive
Contrast
Cause

Otherwise
Consequently, therefore,
thus, accordingly

Nor

Effect
Negative choice

TYPES OF DEPENDENT CLAUSES


RELATIVE CLAUSE
Relative pronoun

Relative adverb

SUBORDINATOR
Who
Whom
Whose + Noun
That
Which
Where
When
Why

MEANING
Person/people(subject)
Person/people (object)
Person/people thing(s) possessive
Things
Place
Time
Reason

CONDITIONAL CLAUSES
Subordinator
If
Even if
Unless
When

Meaning
Suppose
If.not
In the event that
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ADVERBIAL CLAUSES
FUNCTION

Time

Place
Distance/frequency
Manner
Reason
Result
Contrast/concession

Purpose

SUBORDINATOR
When
While
As soon as
After
Since
As
Where
Wherever
Everywhere
As adverb as
As
Because
As
Since
So + adj. + that
So + adv. + that
Such a(n) + NG + That
Although
Even though
Though
So that
In order that
(in order to + verb)

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MEANING
A point in time/short duration
Longer duration in time
Immediately after the time
Subsequent to the time that
From that time
While, when
A definite place

In the way or manner that


For the reason that

1.5 Language: Nominal groups


Activity 1
Read the following research article titles and answer the questions below.
1. Power-law index for velocity profiles in open channel flows.
2. Numerical modelling of two-way reinforced concrete slabs in fire.
a) Are they meaningful?
b) Are they sentences or phrases?
c) To what do they make reference? (a noun, a verb)
d) Are they typical in this kind of articles?

Thus, what are NOMINAL GROUPS?


An outstanding feature of virtually all academic texts written in English, is the use
of what are called complex noun phrases or nominal groups.
In simple terms, a nominal group is a noun, either by itself or together with all the
words which help to specify it. It can act as subject, object, or complement of a clause, or as
a prepositional complement. Consider the following:
Johanna found the new secretary in her office a very capable person.
Johanna, secretary, office and person are nouns. The subject Johanna, the object the
new secretary in her office, the object complement a very capable person are noun phrases.
Also part of the object, his office, is a prepositional complement, making another noun
phrase.
The head noun can be accompanied by determiners (the, her, a, some, etc.) and by
one or more modifiers, which can either precede the head (premodifiers: new, very capable)
or follow it (postmodifiers: in her office).
A premodifier can be an adjective (new, capable), a participle (a very exciting
person; a very well-trained person), an adverb (very : well-trained), a noun (the new
executive secretary).

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Thus, the noun is then considered as a HEAD of the group and the other words that
are surrounding it are either PREMODIFIERS or POSTMODIFIERS.
I. The premodifiers are placed before the head word in the phrase. They can be:
a) NOUNS: These nouns modify the head noun of the phrase. They appear just
before the head noun.
Researchers develop low-cost, low-energy desalination process.
The transportation center is doing the monitoring.
Steel framed buildings with concrete floor slabs have higher levels of fire
resistance.
b) PARTICIPLES of verbs: They can be Present Participle (V + -ING) or Past
Participle (V + -ED).
Numerical modelling of two-way reinforced concrete slabs in fire.
Twelve laboratory-scale simulated landfill columns were operated.
Reduced sulfur compounds have been documented in gas.
c) ADJECTIVES: This is the most common word and easy to identify because it
gives characteristics or qualities to the noun. There are many types and we can
find more than one in a group.
Previous researchers have concentrated on the Cardington experiments.
This is quite a complex structure.
Evaluation of alternative landfill cover soils.
d) ADVERBS: Most adjectives can also be modified themselves by degree
adverbs or just adverbs like VERY, QUITE and RATHER.
It was a very interesting film.
He works in a quite famous company.
Galileo is now a well-known scientist.

We very often find premodifiers of different types in a single phrase.


* Increasingly large computerized data banks are a feature of...
* A highly biochemical oxygen demand was created by ...
* Decisions must be made to design highly post-tensioned floor members.

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So, the subject or object of a sentence can be a long and complex structure having a
noun as head, preceded by other words such as an article, an adjective, or another noun,
(pre-modifier) and/or followed by an adjective, a prepositional group, a relative clause or a
nonfinite clause (post-modifier).
In the following chart you have the different elements of a noun group.
Elements of the Noun Group
DETERMINER
1. article
the
a/an
2. Possessive
adjective
My, your, his, her, its,
our, their
3. demonstrative
adjective
this, that, these, those
4. Quantifiers
many, a few, a lot,
more, several, etc.
5. Numerals
one, two,
first, second,

PRE-MODIFIER

HEAD

POST-MODIFIER

1. adjectives

1. noun

1. prepositional
group

2. noun

2. proper noun

2. relative clause

3. ing

3. ing clause

4. ed

4. ed clause

5. s possessive noun

5. to clause
6. adjective

Activity 2
Describe and translate the following noun groups:
1. Portand cement concrete
________________________________________________________________________
2. the material of choice for construction of a large number and variety of structures in the
world today.
________________________________________________________________________
3. the speed of construction and the durability of concrete
________________________________________________________________________

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4. the availability of high early strength Portland cement

5. severe environmental exposures


_________________________________________________________________________
6. the development of superplasticized concrete mixtures
_________________________________________________________________________
7. The hardened concrete

8. Macro-defect-free cements and chemically bonded ceramics


_________________________________________________________________________
9. alternative technological approaches
_________________________________________________________________________
10. the better known technological developments

THE ORDER OF ADJECTIVES.


Adjectives in English have a certain order. It is necessary to follow it if you want to
be understood. You must work with them from right to left starting from the head noun and
working backwards. Look at the table below:
opinion
a
a
a
the
a
a

size

age

shape colour

small

origin

material type-use

green
German

superb
awful
pretty
boring

new
plastic
long
little
fat

narrow

country
pink

old

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cotton

noun

insect
chemical
firm
washing powder
toys
road
dress
bank
manager

an
a

exciting
strange

French
oval

horror
wooden

Activity 3
3.1 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.
Example: Purple blazers cotton - some medium-sized:
Some medium-sized purple cotton blazers.
1. Display vivid a - graph color-coded bar.
2. Civil calculations engineering German.
3. Thick red mixtures liquid.
4. Substances strange nonspherical referential.
5. Bright laser sighting red a.
6. Engineering new tools German practical.
7. Thermomechanical a disturbance wide.

3.2 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.


1. Engineering the French research basic civil.
2. New proximal a worldwide environment dangerous.
3. Species rounded few green bacterial strange.
4. American corrosion a rate outstanding low old.

3.3 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.


1. British student an young graduate intelligent.
2. Recent environmental green materials oval smart.
3. Scientific film interesting new an protective-

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film
object

4. Modern filling tedious process a long American.


3.4 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.
1. A - industry - private - international - civil.
2.

Freeway - a - unique - American - service - modern.

3.

Effective - traditional - save - European - management - an.

4.

Officials - well - successfully - international - some - trained - traffic.

3.5 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.


1. characterization - a - European - preliminary - physical - long
2. brown - pozzolanic - some - old - materials - Italian - huge.
3. Venezuelan - the - products - large - agricultural - new - productive.
4. laboratory - magnificent - the - national - tests - recent - long - electronic.

3.6 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.


1. the - environmental - worldwide - alarming - impact - recent - huge.
2. rubber - destructive - round - particles - some - old - black.
3. properties - useful - steel - these - mechanical - new - small.
4. national - different - concrete - some - old - compounds - tiny.

3.7 Rewrite the following noun groups in the correct order.


1. Science unique a National Foundation old.
2. Testing special steel equipment big hydraulic a.

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3. An Civil French Research important Large-Scale Engineering.


4. Some overhead silver powerful cranes useful huge.
II. The postmodifiers are placed after the head word in the phrase. We are just going to
analyze the PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE because it is very common and easy to find in
chemical papers. This prepositional phrase is composed by any preposition and a noun
group (Prep + Noun Group).

Activity 4
Analyze the POSTMODIFIERS of the noun groups below.
1. Numerical modeling of the fire behaviour of two-way reinforced concrete slabs.
_________________________________________________________________________
2. Local authorities in England provide two options for disposing of these items.
_________________________________________________________________________
3. The degree of accuracy of the numerical models used for optimal design.
_________________________________________________________________________
4. Power-law index for velocity profiles in open channel flows.

5. Analysis of hollowcore concrete floor slabs under fire.


_________________________________________________________________________

Activity 5
Identify five (5) nominal phrase groups in the text above with the following characteristics.
Describe their function (subject or object) in the text.
1. Det + Adj. + Adj. + HN : _________________________________________________
2. HN+ postmodifier (prepositional phrase) : ____________________________________
3. Det + n + Participle + n + HN : _____________________________________________
4. Det Adj. + n + HN : ______________________________________________________
5. Adj. + Adj. + HN . _______________________________________________________

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Activity 6
Read the following text and underline the noun phrases.

NTU researchers use canvas strips to fortify


buildings against quakes
By Ng Baoying, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 14 June 2007 1907 hrs

SINGAPORE : Just two extra seconds could make a


difference between life and death, especially during an
earthquake.
Researchers at the Nanyang Technological
University have come up with an invention that can buy
that time - by strengthening the way walls are erected in buildings.
When the earth shakes, buildings collapse, especially if they are poorly constructed.
And that is where these engineers believe they can make a difference.
The best part about their invention is that it doesn't require any high-tech equipment.
All that's needed are a few strips of canvas and glue.
Associate Professor Ting Seng Kiong, who is also director of LIEN Institute for the
Environment at Nanyang Technological University, explained: "We put the canvas on the
edges, and in a cross.
"During an earthquake, the building will shake and sway. When it sways in one
direction, one of the crosses will act in tension, and pull it towards the other direction. It's a
simple design. What we did is use canvas and glue, and stick it onto the brick wall."
Researchers find that the wall reinforced with canvas and glue can withstand twice
as much shaking compared to other walls.
That translates to more time to escape as well as less danger of injuries from falling
bricks in the event of an earthquake.
And the added cost? It's just an additional 10 percent to current building costs.
This fits in with LIEN Institute's philosophy of creating sustainable research without
extravagant prices.
"What's important is that it has to be a case appropriate to the community where we
are going to apply it to, in terms of materials available and cost," said Pan Tso-Chien, Dean
of College of Engineering at Nanyang Technological University.
The institute is already working with two aid groups in Indonesia to reinforce homes
and schools using canvas and glue.
They also plan to collaborate with local groups to send their students overseas to
help erect more buildings using this method. - CNA /ls
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/282198/1/.html

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Activity 7
Infer the meaning of the following items:
1. CANVAS: ______________________________________________________
2. STRIPS: ________________________________________________________
3. QUAKE: ________________________________________________________
4. STRENGTHENING: ______________________________________________
5. STICK: _________________________________________________________
6. WITHSTAND: ___________________________________________________
7. SHAKE AND SWAY: _____________________________________________
8. INJURIES: ______________________________________________________

Activity 8
Look at the title. What is the topic of this article? What do you know about it? What do you
think the text will be about?
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________

Activity 9
The repetition of key words and phrases has been a very useful way to find out the most
important part of any text. Thus, lets underline and then write down both, words and
phrases.
__________________

_________________

_________________

_____________

__________________

_________________

_________________

_____________

__________________

_________________

_________________

_____________

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Activity 10
Identify ten (10) premodifiers and label them.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Activity 11
Find a name which has turned into an adjective.
Find a verb which functions as a premodifier (adjective).
Find a verb which functions as a noun (gerund)

Activity 12
Follow-up:
Find, analyze and translate five (5) nominal groups.
1.
2.
3.
4.

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5.
1.5 Vocabulary: Words categories and formation
Probably the most important aspect of this course for you, the student, is vocabulary. You
want to know what words mean. If there are several words in any text that are new or
unfamiliar to you, you may feel frustrated, you will probably ask someone like your teacher
about them, you may look up the word in a dictionary. You may just give up and do
something else with your time. In this first Unit, we are going to look at word categories
and word formation.
Word categories
LANGUAGE WORDS
We need to know some grammar words in English.
Grammar word
Noun
Verb
Adjective
Adverb
Preposition

Meaning
a person, object, concept
something we do
describes a person or thing
describes a verb
a little word used before a
noun or a pronoun

Example
book, girl, pen, happiness
do, read, write, think
good, bad, happy, long
slowly, badly
in, on, by at

Word formation
Affixation is one of the processes by which the base may be modified by adding a prefix or
a suffix. This process may or may not change the class word. **
Prefixation
Prefixes are added at the beginning of the word they do not generally alter the word class.
Prefixes can help you understand what a new word means. Here there are some common
prefixes.
Prefix
ex (+ noun)
half (+ noun or adjective)
in, im (+ adjective )
non (+ adjective or noun)
pre
re
un
ir

Meaning
was but not now
50% of something
not
not
before
again
not
not
24

Example
ex-wife, ex-president
half-price, half-hour
informal, impossible
non-smoking
pre-school
re-do, rewrite
unhappy, unsafe
irresponsible

il
dis
over
mis

not
not
too much
badly or incorrect

illegible
disable, disagree
overwork, overdo
misunderstand, misread

Exercise:
Which prefix forms the opposite of these words?
happy _____________

polite _____________

legal ______________

correct ____________

regular ____________

possible ____________

legible ____________

friendly ___________

employed ___________

honest _____________

pack _____________

agree _______________

Suffixation
Suffixes are added to the root of the word. Unlike prefixes, suffixes frequently alter the
word-class of the base; for example, the adjective kind, by the addition of the suffix ness, is
changed into a noun kindness.
We can group suffixes not only by the class of word they form (as noun suffixes, verb
suffixes, etc.) but also by the class of base they are typically added to.
They help you to understand the meaning of a new word. Here are some common suffixes.
Suffix
-er, or (noun)
-er, or (noun)
-ian (noun)
-ship (noun)
-ess (noun)
-ful (adjective)
-ology (noun)
-ics (noun singular)
-less (adjective)
-ly
-ness
-y

Meaning

Examples

noun. person
noun. person, machine, thing
person with specific job
showing a state
woman who works in
something
full of
subject of study
subject of study
without
makes an adverb from an
adjective
makes an abstract noun from
an adjective
makes an adjective from a

worker, swimmer, instructor


cooker, word processor
historian, comedian
friendship
actress

25

useful, beautiful
sociology, psychology
economics, politics
useless, endless
sadly, happily
happiness, sadness
sandy, sunny

-ment
-ion
-ation
-ity
-ist
-ous
-al
-ish
-ical
-ic
-y
-able
-ible
-ward (adj. or adverbs)
-ive
-ence
-ance
-ance
-ee
-ant
-ent
-ize
-ify
-en
-ward

noun
makes a noun from a verb
makes a noun from a verb
makes a noun from a verb
makes a noun from an
adjective
person (from another noun)
adjective (from a noun)
adjective (from nouns)
adjective with the
characteristic of
adjective from nouns
adjectives from noun
adjective (from nouns)
Adjective
Adjective
In the direction of
Adjective
makes a noun (from verbs)
makes a noun (from verbs)
makes a noun (from
adjectives)
makes a noun from a verb.
makes a noun from a verb
makes a noun from a verb
makes a verb from an adj.
makes a verb from an adj.
makes a verb from an adj.
makes an adverb

improvement
election
information
punctuality
artist
famous
musical
childish, English
physical
artistic
cloudy
loveable
comprehensible
backward
attractive
existence
performance
elegance
employee
informant
student
legalize
simplify
shorten
in the direction of

Zero affixation
Many words in English can function as a noun and verb, or noun and adjective, or verb and
adjective, with no change in form.
Example:
Whats the answer? (noun)
Answer the question. (verb)

Activity 1.

26

Read the Introduction again and fill in the following Table.


(a) First, complete the Noun column. Find 5 nouns that end in ity (be careful, one of
them ends in fact with ety), 5 nouns that end in ment, 3 nouns that end in tion, and 1
noun each for the endings, -ance, -ogy, and ness.
(b) The adjective forms of two of the nouns you have found appear in the text. Find them
and put them in.
(c) Using your knowledge, a dictionary or by reading more of the text, complete the verb,
adjective and, where possible, the adverb columns.
(d) In Table 2. add your own examples of words from the text. Put them in the correct
column and complete the others.
Noun
.ity

Verb

Adjective

Adverb

Verb

Adjective

Adverb

ment

tion

ance
ogy
ness
Table 2
Noun

27

Activity 2.
2.1 Place the following words in their appropriate grammatical category.
limited
much
building
eventually
soils
criterion
besides
handling
sites
controls
Noun

fungi
durable
causing
lies
higher
designing
implies
deal
prudent
term

Verb

Adjective

Adverb

2.2 Place the following words in their appropriate grammatical category.


costs
silicate
hardens
healing
standard
feasible
filling
moisture
significant
lengthen
Noun

embedded
cracks
trigger
really
approaches
laced
release
ultimately
very
repairs

Verb

Adjective

2.3 Place the following words in their appropriate grammatical category.


28

Adverb

diminishing
analysis
modified
scrap
testing
strength
tensile
fine
coarse
decrease
Noun

beams
present
when
comparing
ultrasonic
rubber
treads
main
modulus
impedance

Verb

Adjective

Adverb

2.4 Place the following words in their appropriate grammatical category.


associate
lose
weaker
large
giant
fireproofing
research
findings
computational
heavily
Noun

engineering
strength
focuses
heating
beams
enables
operated
design
composite
permanently

Verb

Adjective

Activity 3.
Read the following text.

29

Adverb

New Design Means Cheaper, More Sustainable


Construction
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2009)

People are always looking for ways to make something less


expensive and more environmentally friendly and a team of researchers from North Carolina State
University has figured out how to do both of those things at once when raising the large-scale buildings, such
as parking garages, of the future.

More specifically, the researchers have figured out a way to use 30 percent less
reinforcing steel in the manufacture of the concrete beams, or spandrels, used in the
construction of parking garages without sacrificing safety. Dr. Sami Rizkalla, one of the
leaders of the research team, says they developed design guidelines that use less steel while
maintaining safety and reliability. The new spandrel design "simplifies construction for
precast concrete producers," Rizkalla says. In addition to using less steel, the new design
cuts labor and manufacturing time in half significantly decreasing costs.
Greg Lucier, a doctoral student at NC State who was also crucial to the research
effort, says the new design guidelines include a significant margin for safety. For example,
Lucier says the spandrels could handle two to three times the maximum weight they would
be expected to bear. Lucier is also the lab manager of the Constructed Facilities Laboratory
at NC State, which oversaw the testing of the new spandrel design.
The new design guidelines stem from a two-year project that was launched in
January 2007, with support from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). PCI
provided NC State with more than $400,000 in funding, materials and technical support
over the life of the project.
The success of the project is already drawing interest from the concrete industry,
with individual companies coming to NC State to get input on how to improve their
products and manufacturing processes. For example, Rizkalla says, many companies want
to collaborate with researchers at the Constructed Facilities Laboratory on research and
development projects related to new materials, such as advanced composites, to be used in
concrete products.
While researchers have published some elements of the research project, they will
present an overview of the entire project including new testing data for the first time at
the spring convention of the American Concrete Institute in San Antonio this month.

30

Dr. Sami Rizkalla explains that by testing the new concrete beam design to see how much weight it
can bear, researchers have determined that it can handle two to three times the maximum weight it
would be expected to bear. (Credit: David Hunt, NC State University)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303082813.htm

Activity 4.
Locate 20 derived words and classify them according to their grammatical category.

Noun

Verb

Adjective

31

Adverb

1.6 Vocabulary Acquisition


The contact you have with texts written in English, not to mention contact you may have
with the language through listening to and speaking it, mean that you will be constantly
encountering new words and expressions as well as familiar words used with unfamiliar
meanings.
These words and expressions may be technical or non-technical or, depending on the
context, both.
We know from research into how people learn second languages that vocabulary
acquisition is vital to success. Equally vital is how to acquire new vocabulary, that is, for
example, what to do when you find these new words.
One idea presented here is that of the vocabulary notebook, a kind of personalized
dictionary of new and interesting words and expressions.
Vocabulary notebooks
Your vocabulary notebook will be a very useful complement to other important sources of
information about words and expressions such as dictionaries and glossaries *1. But, to make
it useful, you have to first think about how youre going to organize it. Here are a few
suggestions.
1. Create sections devoted to specific topics in your field or related areas. (examples:
structures, reinforced concrete, soil mechanics, hydraulics, etc.).
2. Have sections for different aspects of general English. It is important that these
aspects are clear. Many students just put the words in alphabetical order but maybe
it is better to organize them according to categories. For example:
(a) Grammatical categories (fluidity noun; flow noun/verb)
(b) Derivatives of a word (construction, constructor, construct, constructive,
constructively, unconstructive)
(c) Useful affixes (un-----, -----ment, ----less)
(d) Words with similar meanings (advancements, developments)
(e) Words with different meanings (rise-fall; rise-raise)
(f) Words we can place on a scale (tiny, minute, small, medium-sized, large,
huge, enormous)
(g) Useful connectors (nevertheless, on the other hand, moreover)
3. Also, its a good idea NOT to just write down the word and simply translate it into
Spanish. Note down the context where you found the word AND leave a space to
add new contexts and meanings if and when you find them. (Example: slump)
4. Finally, remember that words combine with other words. These combinations are
often VERB + NOUN (exert a force; do research); ADJECTIVE + NOUN (high
strength); VERB + PREPOSITION (interested in ; based on).
32

*1

Can a decent glossary of technical terms help the reader? Look at this extract from a
glossary.
How many of the terms appear in the text?
How many are familiar to you?
How many are new?
Do you find the definitions of these terms easy to understand?
Concrete terms courtesy of CANMET
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A
Admixture
a material other than water, aggregate, hydraulic cement, supplementary cementing
materials, and fiber reinforcement, used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar, and added to
the batch immediately before or during its mixing
Admixture, accelerating
an admixture that causes an increase in the rate of hydration of the hydraulic cement, and
thus shortens the time of setting, or increases the rate of strength development, or both
Admixture, air-entraining
an admixture that causes the development of a system of microscopic air bubbles in
concrete, mortar, or cement paste during mixing
Admixture, water-reducing
an admixture that either increases slump of freshly mixed mortar or concrete without
increasing water content or maintains slump with a reduced amount of water, the effect
being due to factors other than air-entrainment
Admixture, high-range water-reducing (Superplasticizer)
a water-reducing admixture capable of producing large water reduction or great flowability
without causing undue set retardation or entrainment or air in mortar or concrete
Aggregate
granular material, such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, crushed hydraulic cement concrete,
or iron blast-furnace slag, used with a hydraulic cementing medium to produce either
concrete or mortar
Air, entrained
microscopic air bubbles intentionally incorporated in mortar or concrete during mixing,
usually by use of a surface active agent; typically between 10 and 1000mm in diameter and
spherical or nearly so

33

Air content
the volume of air voids in cement paste, mortar, or concrete, exclusive of pore space in
aggregate particles, usually expressed as a percentage of total volume of the paste, mortar,
or concrete
B
Batch
quantity of either concrete or mortar mixed at one time
Batch weights
the weights of the various materials (cement, supplementary cementing materials, water,
the several sizes of aggregate, and admixtures if used) which compose a batch of concrete
Bleeding
the autogenous flow of mixing water within, or its emergence from, newly placed concrete
or mortar; caused by the settlement of the solid materials within the mass; also called water
gain
Broom finish
the surface texture obtained by stroking a broom over freshly placed concrete
Brushed surface
a sandy texture obtained by brushing the surface of freshly placed or slightly hardened
concrete with a stiff brush for architectural effect or, in pavements, to increase skid
resistance
Bug holes
small regular or irregular cavities, usually not exceeding 15 mm in diameter, resulting from
entrapment of air bubbles in the surface of formed concrete during placement and
consolidation
C
Caisson pile
a cast-in place pile made by driving a tube, excavating it, and filling the cavity with
concrete
Calcium-silicate hydrate
any of the various reaction products of calcium silicate and water, produced in the
hydration of cement
Cast-in-place
mortar or concrete which is deposited in the place where it is required to harden as part of
the structure, as opposed to precast concrete

34

Cement, high early strength


cement characterized by attaining a given level of strength in mortar or concrete earlier than
normal cement; referred to as Type 30
Cement, hydraulic
cement that sets and hardens by chemical interaction with water and is capable of doing so
under water
Cement, Portland
a hydraulic cement produced by pulverizing portland cement clinker and usually containing
calcium sulfate
Compressive strength
the measured maximum resistance of a concrete or mortar specimen to axial compressive
loading; expressed as force per unit cross-sectional area; or the specified resistance used in
design calculations
Concrete
A composite material that consists essentially of a binding medium within which are
embedded particles or fragments of aggregate, usually a combination of fine aggregate and
coarse aggregate; in portland-cement concrete, the binder is a mixture of portland cement
and water
Concrete, architectural
concrete which will be permanently exposed to view and which therefore requires special
care in selection of the concrete materials, forming, placing, and finishing to obtain the
desired architectural appearance
Concrete, normal weight refractory
refractory concrete having a unit weight (bulk density) greater than 1600 kilograms per
cu.m
Concrete, roller-compacted
concrete compacted by roller compaction; concrete that, in its unhardened state, will
support a roller while being compacted
Concrete, structural
concrete used to carry structural load or to form an integral part of a structure; concrete of a
quality specified for structural use
Curing
the maintenance of a satisfactory moisture content and temperature in concrete during its
early stages so that desired properties may develop

35

D
Durability
the ability of concrete to resist weathering action, chemical attack, abrasion, and other
conditions of service
E
Early strength
strength of concrete or mortar usually as developed at various times during the first 72 hr
after placement
F
Final set
a degree of stiffening of a mixture of cement and water greater than initial set, generally
stated as an empirical value indicating the time in hours and minutes required for a cement
paste to stiffen sufficiently to resist to an established degree, the penetration of a weighted
test needle; also applicable to concrete and mortar mixtures with use of suitable test
procedures
Final setting time
the time required for a freshly mixed cement paste, mortar, or concrete to achieve final set
Finishing
leveling, smoothing, consolidating, and otherwise treating surfaces of fresh or recently
placed concrete or mortar to produce desired appearance and service.
Float finish
a rather rough concrete surface texture obtained by finishing with a float.
Floating
the operation of finishing a fresh concrete or mortar surface by use of a float, preceding
trowelling when that is to be the final finish.
Fly ash
the finely divided residue resulting from the combustion of ground or powdered coal and
which is transported from the firebox through the boiler by flue gases.
Formwork
total system of support for freshly placed concrete including the mold or sheathing which
contacts the concrete as well as all supporting members, hardware, and necessary bracing.
H
Heat of hydration
heat evolved by chemical reactions with water, such as that evolved during the setting and
36

hardening of portland cement, or the difference between the heat of solution of dry cement
and that of partially hydrated cement
Hydration
formation of a compound by the combining of water with some other substance; in
concrete, the chemical reaction between hydraulic cement and water
I
Initial Set
a degree of stiffening of mixture of cement and water less than final set, generally stated as
an empirical value indicating the time in hours and minutes required for cement paste to
stiffen sufficiently to resist to an established degree, the penetration a weighted test needle;
also applicable to concrete or mortar with use of suitable test procedures
Initial setting time
the time required for a freshly mixed cement paste, mortar, or concrete to achieve initial set
M
Mixing water
the water in freshly mixed sand-cement grout, mortar, or concrete, exclusive of any
previously absorbed by the aggregate
Moist-air curing
curing in moist air (not less than 95 percent relative humidity) at atmospheric pressure and
normally at a temperature approximating 22.8 C
P
Plastic consistency
condition of freshly mixed cement paste, mortar, or concrete such that deformation will be
sustained continuously in any direction without rupture
Pozzolan
a siliceous or siliceous and aluminous material, which in itself possesses little or no
cementitious value but will, in finely divided form and in the presence of moisture,
chemically react with calcium hydroxide at ordinary temperatures to form compounds
possessing cementitious properties
Precast
a concrete member that is cast and cured in other than its final position; the process of
placing and finishing precast concrete

37

R
Retardation
reduction in the rate of either hardening or setting or both, i.e., and increase in the time
required to reach time initial and final setting or to develop early strength of fresh concrete,
mortar, or grout
S
Set
the condition reached by a cement paste, mortar, or concrete when it has lost plasticity to an
arbitrary degree, usually measured in terms of resistance to penetration or deformation;
initial set refers to first stiffening; final set refers to attainment of significant rigidity
Slump
a measure of consistency of freshly placed concrete, mortar, or stucco equal to the
subsidence measured to the nearest 6 mm of the molded specimen immediately after
removal of the slump cone
T
Trowel finish
the smooth or textured finish of an unformed concrete surface obtained by trowelling

38

1.7 Genres, text types and rhetorical patterns


Hows your knowledge of films? Can you match these film titles in column A with the
categories in column B?
Film

Category

Matrix
Chicago
American Pie
The Manchurian Candidate
Notting Hill
The Ring
I Know What You Did Last Summer

Romantic comedy
Suspense
Musical
Horror
Science fiction
Drama
Comedy

Its natural for us to order and label things. Maybe it makes life a little less complicated. We
can do it with films, probably with music, books and all kinds of things. We can make our
labels very general, a kind of super category, or more particular, sub-categories. For
example, we could start with LITERATURE and break that into, say, PLAYS, POEMS,
NOVELS, then go on to sub-divide any of these categories.
We can call these general categories GENRES.
If we switch to non-fiction written texts, the same general to more particular categorization
applies. Take, for example, the general genre or category, academic English or even
something like Civil Engineering texts in English. One difference between these very
general categories and our general film genres is that the latter are usually structured
conventionally. In other words, they often follow a highly recognizable format As viewers
or as readers, say, of mystery or detective stories, we not only recognize the format but we
expect it. Its as if we carry around detective story or horror film structures inside our
heads. The same is true of different types of academic texts. We can call these mental
stories schema.
How many different types of academic text can you think of?
For example, what types of text do the following general definitions describe?
(a) a text which reports the results of studies done in the field or in the laboratory.
Usually appears in a technical or specialized journal.
(b) this is divided into chapters and sections and is used by teachers and students as the
basis for a course.
(c) it explains how to carry out procedures according to industrial or other standards.

39

At a more discrete level we have rhetorical patterns of text, such as, classically, the four
types of narrative, description, exposition and argumentation. Although each pattern can be
generally associated with a particular text type, there is a great deal of overlap. In other
words, a narrative style of writing can be found across several text types and one text type
can contain more than one rhetorical pattern.
It is as if the genre or text type is an external feature and the rhetorical pattern shows the
internal structure of the text.
Read the following three extracts. Discuss and decide:
(a) Which type of text each one is
(b) What rhetorical patterns are evident in the extracts

1.
Storage

reservoirs

are

used

to

control

floods,

to

conserve water, and to regulate stream flow. Reservoirs may


be of two types: single-purpose or multipurpose. Aside from
location and structural problems, the planning for a singlepurpose reservoir leads to simple relationships among the
available water supply, the water demand, and the volume of
reservoir storage to be provided. These relationships are
much more complex for a multipurpose reservoir since they
involve the seasonal distribution of stream flow and the
reconciliation

thereto,

and

seasonal

and

other

varying

demands for the several purposes for which the reservoir is


intended.

If

specified

volume

of

reservoir

storage

is

dedicated to more than one use on the basis of seasonal


distribution of flow, as, for example, to provide additional
power storage in the nonflood season, the problem of planning
becomes even more complex. The fluctuation of reserve levels
for sanitary purposes and for malarial control introduces
additional problems.

40

2.

Overload failure of structural components under random


crack propagation and loading a random process
approach
Andr T. Beck

, a, 1

and Robert E. Melchersb

Universidade Luterana do Brasil, Rua Miguel Tostes, 101 Prdio 11, Sala 31, 92420-280,
Canoas, RS, Brazil
b
University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Received 15 October 2003; accepted 5 February 2004. Available online 2 July 2004.

Abstract
In this paper, the problem of overload failure of a structural component under random
loading and under random crack propagation is addressed. The problem is formulated by
combining the first passage failure model with stochastic models of crack propagation.
Disadvantages of the standard random variable approach to the problem are discussed, and
an alternative random process approach is developed. The developed solution addresses
both overload and critical crack growth failure modes, requires a single mean crack growth
computation, allows the consideration of non-destructive inspections and significantly
speeds life-time analysis. The random process approach leads to a first passage problem
involving crossings of a random barrier level, which is solved by means of the ensemble
up-crossing rate approximation. Limitations of this approximation are addressed and related
to typical problem parameters. The concept of barrier failure dominance is discussed, and
extended to the case of a barrier-defined failure. Sensitivity studies involving different
problem variables are performed, helping to identify the appropriate solution method for
specific problems.

Author Keywords: Metal fatigue; Crack propagation; Damage accumulation; Resistance


degradation; Ultimate capacity; Overload failure; Reliability; Crossing rates; Random
processes.

41

3.
Concrete
Concrete is an engineering material that simulates the properties of rock being a
combination of particles closely bound together. It is simply a blend of aggregates.
normally natural sand and gravel or crushed rock bound together by a hydraulic binder e.g.
Portland cement, actvated by water, to form a dense semi homogenous mass.
Concrete type by application
There are many forms of concrete. In all cases they are produced using a varied selection of
constituent materials brought together to form a semi-homogeneous solid. The name given
to the many types of concrete available is either a reflection of its final application, e.g.
prestressed concrete, or the properties of the concrete, e.g. lightweight concrete.

Pre-tensioned concrete
Prestressed concrete
Flooring concrete
Concrete - normal types
Designated - ready-mixed concrete
Concrete countertops
Foamed concrete - Examples of the use
Prescribed - ready-mixed concrete
Proprietary - ready-mixed concrete
Precast concrete
Sprayed concrete - shotcrete - gunite

Post-tensioned concrete
Repair of concrete
Decorative concrete
Road concrete
Concrete for pumping
Foamed concrete - Applications
Designed - ready-mixed concrete
Standardised prescribed - ready-mixed concrete
Airfield concrete
Roller compacted
Imprinted concrete paving

42

1.8 Task
It is now time to apply what we have studied in this first Unit to another text. Here are the
instructions.
a. Find a text in any pertinent area of Civil Engineering.
b. Identify the type of text you have chosen.
c. Comment on how the text is divided up into parts
d. Choose one part of the text and analyze all its sentences. (Minimum 10
sentences)
e. Identify and translate 10 complex nominal groups.
f. Which words and expressions in the text have you included in your
vocabulary notebook?

Take the words chosen and create a Table

showing the grammatical category of each. Fill in the other columns


where applicable.

Technical vocabulary
The text we are studying in detail is rich in technical terminology. This will probably be
true for every text you read in the area of Civil Engineering.

Different degrees of technicality unique to specialization (proper names, only one


meaning, fixed), special meaning in field (other meanings exist)

List of possible activities with lexis


What kinds of knowledge and/or things do we have to know or do when it comes to
learning vocabulary or dealing with new lexis or learning new things from new lexis or
learning new things from the knowledge we already have.
a. What does it mean to know a word?
b. Can we ever know everything about a word?

43

Advancements in Concrete Technology


by P. Kumar Mehta
Superplasticizing admixtures
Seventeen years ago, Malhotra made the following statement:
There have been very few major developments in concrete technology in recent
years. The concept of air entrainment in the 1940s was one; it revolutionized concrete
technology in North America. It is believed that the development of superplasticizers is
another major breakthrough which will have a significant effect on the production and use
of concrete in years to come.2
Malhotras prediction has proven to be correct. This is supported by the development and
use of a growing family of superplasticized, high-performance concrete products, such as
superplasticized high-strength concrete, superplasticized high-durability concrete,
superplasticized high-volume fly ash and high-volume slag concretes, superplasticized selfcompacting concrete, superplasticized anti-washout underwater concrete, and
superplasticized fiber reinforced concrete. Collepardi3 and, more recently, Malhotra4 and
Nagataki5 have published excellent reviews on the development of various technologies
incorporating the use of superplasticizing admixtures.
Superplasticizers, also known as high-range water-reducing admixtures, are highly efficient
water reducers. In late1960s, products based on naphthalene sulfonates were developed in
Japan, and concurrently the melamine sulfonate products were introduced in West
Germany. The anionic long-chain molecules of the admixture become adsorbed on the
surface of the cement particles which are effectively dispersed in water through electrical
repulsion.
According to Nagataki, the first applications of superplasticized concrete in Japan were for
the production of high-strength precast concrete piles which could resist cracking during
the pile driving process.5 During 1970s, the girder and beams of several road and railway
bridges in Japan were fabricated with 50 to 80 MPa (7300 to 12,000 psi) superplasticized
concrete mixtures having low to moderate slump. In West Germany, where the initial
objective was to develop anti-washout underwater concrete, superplasticizers were used to
improve the fluidity of stiff mixtures without altering the water-to-cementitious material
ratio (w/cm). As it is possible to realize both the objectives simultaneously, now
superplasticizing admixtures are used throughout the world for the purpose of obtaining
high strength, high fluidity, and high durability.
Superplasticized concrete mixtures containing naphthalene or melamine sulfonates often
suffered from rapid slump loss. The problem can be resolved by the introduction of an
additional dosage of the superplasticizer at the job site; however, this method is
cumbersome and costly. In 1986, slump-retaining or long-life superplasticizers were
developed in Japan. According to Yonezawa, a typical long-life superplasticizer contains
a water-insoluble compound comprising carboxylic acid salts, amide, and carboxylic
anhydride.6 The alkaline solution resulting from the hydration of portland cement gradually
hydrolyses the superplasticizer, releasing a water-soluble dispersant which helps to
maintain the initial slump for a long time. Tanaka et al. have described the development of
polycarboxylate-based superplasticizers containing a cross-linked polymer which imparts

44

high fluidity, long-term slump retention, and high resistance to segregation. 7 Long-life
superplasticizers based on naphthalene or melamine sulfonate polymers are also
commercially available now.
High-strength concrete and mortars
High-strength concrete ( > 40 MPa [> 6000 psi] compressive strength) was first used in
reinforced concrete frame buildings with 30 or more stories. In tall buildings, the size of
columns in the lower one-third part of the building is quite large when conventional
concrete is used. Besides savings in the materials cost, construction engineers have found
that the choice of reinforced concrete frame instead of steel frame in high-rise buildings
permits additional savings resulting from higher construction speeds. 8 Beginning with 50
MPa (7300 psi) concrete columns for the Lake Point Tower in Chicago, constructed in
1965, many tall buildings containing high-strength concrete elements have been built in
North America and elsewhere. The 79-story Water Tower Place in Chicago contains 60
MPa (8700 psi) concrete columns. The Scotia Plaza Building in Toronto and the Two Union
Square Building in Seattle have columns with 90 and 120 MPa (13,000 psi to 17,400 psi)
strength concrete, respectively.
To obtain high strength, the w/cm of the concrete mixture is usually held below 0.4 with the
help of a superplasticizing admixture. Due to the low w/cm, an important characteristic of
high-strength concrete is its low permeability, which is the key to long-term durability in
aggressive environments. Consequently, far more high-strength concrete has been used for
applications where durability rather than strength was the primary consideration. Marine
concrete structures long-span bridges, undersea tunnels, and offshore oil platforms are
examples of such applications.
High fluidity without segregation is yet another factor contributing to the growth of the
superplasticized, high-strength concrete industry. The workability of superplasticized
concrete mixtures can generally be improved by the use of pozzolanic or cementitious
admixtures, such as silica fume, fly ash, rice husk ash, and ground granulated blast furnace
slag. Ease in pumping and easy-to-form concrete mixtures can re-duce construction cost
significantly in large projects; high-rise buildings and offshore structures, for example. This
is especially the case when heavily reinforced and prestressed concrete elements containing
narrowly-spaced reinforcement are fabricated.
Roy and Silsbee have reviewed the development of a new family of high-strength cementbased products which do not depend on the use of superplasticizers. 9 Chemically-bonded
ceramics (CBC), are mortars with little or no coarse aggregate, a very high cement content,
and a very low w/cm. They are densified under high pressure and then thermally cured to
obtain very high strength. The products, typically consisting of 50 percent anhydrous
phases, exhibit properties approximating those of fired ceramics. The so-called MDF
(macro-defect-free) cement products are made with a cement paste containing up to 7
percent by mass of a water-soluble plasticizing agent, such as hydroxypropyl-methyl
cellulose, polyacrylamide, or hydrolyzed polyvinyl acetate. The paste is subjected to high
shear mixing, and the products are molded under pressure and finally heat cured at
temperatures up to 80 C (176 F). Compressive strengths on the order of 150 MPa (22,000
psi) are obtained with portland cements, and up to 300 MPa (44,000 psi) with calcium
aluminate cements. Studies have shown that moisture has an adverse effect on the
45

mechanical properties of MDF cement products. Products densified with small particles
(DSP) contain 20 to 25 per-cent silica fume particles which are densely packed in a
superplasticized portland cement paste (0.12 to 0.22 w/cm). Compressive strengths of up to
270 MPa (39,000 psi) and Youngs moduli up to 80 GPa (12,000 ksi) were achieved
through mechanical compaction.9 On account of their brittleness, the use of CBC, MDF,
and DSP is limited to non-structural applications.
The high-ductility requirement for structural use of high-strength, cement-based products
can be achieved by the in-corporation of steel microfibers. Reactive power concrete (RPC)
products developed by Richard and Cheyrezy 10 are actually superplasticized cement
mortars typically comprising 1000 kg/m3 (1700 lb/yd3 ) portland cement, 900 to 1000 kg/m3
(1500 to 1700 lb/yd 3 ) fine sand and pulverized quartz, 230 kg/m3 (390 lb/yd3 ) silica fume,
150 to 180 kg/m3 (250 to 300 lb/yd3 ) water, and up to 630 kg/m3 (1100 lb/yd3 ) microfibers.
Mechanically pressed samples, heat treated at 400 C (752 F) showed up to 680 MPa
(99,000 psi) compressive strength, 100 MPa (15,000 psi) flexural strength, and 75 GPa
(11,000 ksi) Youngs Modulus. It is too early to predict the future of RPC. In spite of the
very high initial cost and a complex processing technology, the material may have a niche
in the construction industry, especially for applications in highly corrosive environments.
The presence of a large volume of microfibers enhances the crack-resisting ability of the
material, thereby preserving its watertightness.
High-performance concrete
The term high-performance concrete (HPC) was first used by Mehta and Atcin for concrete
mixtures possessing three characteristics, namely high workability, high strength, and high
durability.11 Thus, a primary distinction between high-strength concrete and highperformance concrete was the mandatory requirement of high durability in the case of HPC.
As high durability under severe environmental conditions cannot be achieved unless a
structure remains free from cracks during its service life, the concrete mixture ought to be
designed for high dimensional stability. Therefore, to reduce cracking from thermal and
drying shrinkage strains it is necessary to limit the cement paste content of the concrete
mixture.
Mehta and Atcin proposed a method of proportioning HPC mixtures, which limits the total
cement paste content to one-third by volume of concrete. 11 This method also permits a
partial substitution of portland cement by a pozzolanic or cementitious admixture. Atcin
has recently reviewed the art and science of high-performance concrete.12 The author foresees increasing use of ternary cement blends containing slag, fly ash, silica fume,
metakaolin, rice husk ash, and limestone powder to take advantage of the synergetic effect
in the improvement of properties of both fresh and hardened concrete in addition to making
HPC more economical.
In 1993, a subcommittee of the American Concrete Institutes Technical Activities
Committee proposed a new definition of HPC as a concrete meeting special performance
requirements that may involve enhancement of placement and compaction without
segregation, early-age strength, toughness, volume stability or service life in a severe
environment. According to this definition, durability is not mandatory for high
performance. This has encouraged the development of concrete mixtures which qualify to
be classified as HPC but may not be durable under severe environmental conditions.
46

For example, for use in highway structures, Goodspeed et al. 13 proposed several HPC
mixtures typically made with a high early strength cement, and cement contents of the
order of 400 kg/m3 (670 lb/yd3 ) or more. Therefore, unless special measures are taken,
such concrete mixtures would be vulnerable to cracking from thermal, autogenous, and
drying shrinkage stresses.14 Clearly, one can jeopardize the service life of a concrete
structure if driven by the construction timetables alone. In structural design, therefore it is
advisable to consider the life-cycle cost rather than the initial cost of the structure. Also,
there is a need to re-examine the issue of whether or not concrete mixtures of questionable
long-term durability should be marketed as high-performance products.
HPC technology is being successfully used for the construction of numerous offshore
structures and long-span bridges throughout the world. 15 Langley et al. describe several
types of HPC mixtures used in the construction of structural elements for the 12.9 km (8.0
mi) long, Northumberland Strait Bridge in Canada. 16 The concrete mixture for the main
girders, pier shafts, and pier bases contained 450 kg/m3 (760 lb/yd3) of a blended silicafume cement, 153 L/m3 (260 lb/yd3) water, 160 mL/m3 (4 oz/yd3) air-entraining agent, and 3
L/m3 (75 oz/yd3) superplasticizer. Typically, fresh concrete mixtures showed 200 mm (8 in.)
slump and contained 6.1 percent air. The compressive strengths of hardened concrete
samples at 1, 3, and 28 days were 35, 52, and 82 MPa (5100, 7500, and 12,000 psi),
respectively. For approach pier foundations and other mass concrete elements, the HPC
contained a mixture of 307 kg/m3 (518 lb/yd3) silica-fume blended cement and 133 kg/m3
(224 lb/yd3) fly ash. At a similar water content (159 mL/m 3 [270 lb/yd3]) but a considerably
reduced dosage of air-entraining agent (88 mL/m3 [2 oz/yd3]) and superplasticizer (1.05
L/m3 [27 oz/yd3]), the fresh concrete mixture gave 185 mm (7 in.) slump and 7 percent air
content. The compressive strengths of hardened concrete at 1, 3, 28, and 90 days were 10,
20, 50, and 76 MPa (1450, 2900, 7300, and 11,000 psi) respectively. Both concrete
mixtures showed extremely low permeability, as measured by the CANMET Water
Permeability Test and the AASHTO T 277 Rapid Chloride Permeability Test. With HPC
structures, Langley et al place a great emphasis on site laboratory testing and quality
assurance.16
Another development in the HPC field is in high-performance lightweight concrete HPLC).
Relative to steel, the structural efficiency of normal concrete is quite low when judged from
strength/weight ratio. This ratio is considerably enhanced in the case of superplasticized,
high-strength concrete mixtures, and can be further enhanced by full or partial replacement
of normal-weight aggregate with microporous, lightweight aggregate particles. Depending
on the aggregate quality, high-performance lightweight concrete (HPLC) with a density of
2000 kg/m3 (3400 lb/yd3) and compressive strengths in the 70 to 80 MPa (10,000 to 12,000
psi) range has been commercially produced for use in structural members. According to
Bremner and Holm, HPLC has been used in offshore platforms, both fixed and floating, in
Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, and the United States.17 Furthermore, according to the
authors, due to the high interfacial bond strength between the cement paste and aggregate,
HPLC remains virtually impermeable to fluids and is therefore highly durable in aggressive
environments.
The superior adhesive quality of superplasticized concrete made with cement blends
containing 10 to 15 percent or even a higher content of silica fume makes them well suited
for repair and rehabilitation of concrete structures by the wet-mix shotcreting process. This
is another area of growing HPC applications. Morgan has reviewed new developments in
shotcreting with several examples of shotcrete repair of infrastructure in North America.18
47

Self-compacting concrete
Shortage of skilled labor and savings in construction time were the primary reasons behind
the development and increasing use of self-compacting concrete in Japan. The composition,
properties, and applications of self-compacting, superplasticized concrete mixtures are
described in several recently published Japanese papers.19-23 Note that some authors prefer
to use the term, self-levelling concrete, instead of self-compacting concrete.
According to Nagataki, the successful development of superplasticized, anti-washout,
underwater concrete mixtures in West Germany during the 1970s provided the impetus for
the subsequent development of self-compacting, high-fluidity concrete in Japan in 1980s. 5
In both cases, high fluidity and segregation resistance were obtained by the simultaneous
use of a superplasticizing admixture and a viscosity-increasing admixture. Note that
cellulose and acrylic water-soluble polymers are widely used as main components of
viscosity-increasing admixtures. The viscosity of self-compacting concrete mixtures is
greatly influenced by their powder content. A high content of cement can cause thermal
cracking in some structures. Therefore, it is a common practice to use substantial amounts
of mineral admixtures, such as fly ash, ground granulated blast-furnace slag, or limestone
powder. Nagataki reported that 290,000 m3 (380,000 yd3) of a self-compacting concrete
mixture, containing 150 kg/m3 (250 lb/yd3) limestone powder and a superplasticizing
admixture, were used for the construction of the two anchorage bodies of the AkashiKaikyo Bridge system in Japan. The anchorage consisted of densely-arranged
reinforcement and cable frame congested with steel. In another application, high-fluidity
concrete with extremely low w/cm was used for bottom-up concreting of a concrete-filled
steel column without compaction.6
In France, the ready-mixed concrete industry is using self-compacting concrete as a noisefree product that can be used around the clock in urban areas. Due to noise reduction, labor
savings, and longer life of steel molds, the precast concrete products industry is also
investigating the use of the material.
Technologies for prolonging service life
Corrosion of reinforcing steel is implicated in a majority of deteriorating concrete
structures. In addition to HPC described previously, there are several recently developed
technologies that are being pursued to address this problem, namely the use of corrosioninhibiting admixtures, epoxy-coated steel reinforcement, cathodic protection, and
application of protective coatings on the concrete surface. These are briefly reviewed:
Corrosion-inhibiting admixtures: Berke and Weil presented a comprehensive review of
corrosion-inhibiting admixtures in concrete.24 Gaidis and Rosenberg showed that the
addition of 2 percent calcium nitrite by mass raised the threshold chloride concentration to
levels that were high enough to inhibit the corrosion of steel.25 The anodic inhibitors, such
as calcium nitrite, function by minimizing the anodic reaction promoted by the chloride
ions. This is the reason that the amount of nitrite ions present relative to the amount of
chloride ions in the vicinity of the steel surface determines whether or not corrosion
protection will be achieved. It was proposed that protection from corrosion is obtained if
the chloride/nitrite ratio does not exceed 1.5. 25 Nmai et al. believe this to be a serious
48

limitation of anodic inhibitors including calcium nitrite.26 The authors investigated an


amino-ester which offers protection by forming a protective film at the steel surface in
addition to reducing the ingress of chloride ions into the concrete cover. In a preliminary
investigation on pre-cracked concrete beams ponded with 6 percent NaCl solution, the
amino-ester containing ad-mixture, at a dosage of 5 L/m 3 (130 oz/yd3) of concrete, gave
better protection against corrosion than the calcium nitrite inhibitor at a dosage of 20 L/m 3
(520 oz/yd3). It seems more research is needed to clearly establish the limitations and longterm effectiveness of various corrosion-inhibiting ad- mixtures.
Epoxy-coated reinforcing steel: In the United States, epoxy-coated reinforcement (ECR)
was used in bridge decks during the 1970s and in parking ramps during the 1980s. It is
estimated that the United States has approximately 27,000 bridge decks with ECR, mostly
located in regions where de-icing chemicals are used. In some cases, for instance the Seven
Mile Bridge in Key West, Fla., unsatisfactory performance of ECR concrete was reported.
Problems with early ECR concrete structures were generally attributed to improper epoxy
coatings, epoxy debonding, inadequate cover, or other construction errors. A 1993 survey of
18 to 20 year old ECR bridge decks in 14 states, where the structures were exposed to
cycles of freezing and thawing, showed that little or no maintenance was needed since
installation of the structures.27 However, a 1996 survey of parking garages containing epoxy-coated reinforcement in concrete showed that only 60 percent of the respondents
indicated performance to ex-pectation.27 According to the Concrete Reinforcing Steel
Institute, industry users feel that the use of epoxy-coated steel in parking garages adds 10 to
15 years of protection before corrosion starts. Apparently, it is too early to answer the
question whether or not the use of ECR offers long-term corrosion protection in a costeffective manner.
Cathodic protection of reinforced concrete: Cathodic protection techniques involve the
suppression of current flow in the galvanic cell either by external supply of current in the
opposite direction or by using sacrificial anodes. The externally-applied current method is
commonly used for corrosion protection in chloride-contaminated reinforced concrete
structures. Researchers including Rasheduzzafar have re-ported the degradation of bond
between steel and concrete probably due to a buildup of sodium and potassium ions which
results in the softening of concrete at the steel-concrete interface. 28 The degradation of
steel-concrete bond was found to increase with the increase in the impressed current density
and chloride content of concrete.
Surface coatings: According to Swamy and Tanikawa, surface or barrier coatings when
applied to the concrete surface to protect it from external attack have a long but checkered
history of effectiveness.29 This is due to the availability of a wide range of barrier coatings,
and the fact that coatings of similar generic types may vary considerably in diffusion
characteristics. The authors used a highly elastic acrylic rubber coating, which showed
excellent engineering properties and a very low diffusion coefficient. The effectiveness of
this coating to preserve concrete durability including the control of deleterious alkali-silica
expansion in concrete was clearly demonstrated. More research is needed to establish the
long-term performance and cost-effectiveness of surface coatings.
High volume fly ash and slag concretes
49

The current annual production of fly ash in the world is of the order of 450 million tonnes.
Only about 25 million tonnes or 6 percent of the total available fly ash is being used as a
pozzolan in blended portland cements or in concrete mixtures. The environmental
friendliness of concrete can be considerably enhanced if the rate of fly ash utilization by the
concrete industry is accelerated in the ash producing countries. Countries where large
amounts of blast-furnace slag is available as a by-product can similarly benefit from the use
of high volumes of granulated slag either as a concrete admixture or as an additive in the
manufacture of portland slag cements. Examples of high volume fly ash and slag concretes
are given here:
Structural concrete: Studies by Malhotra 30 with superplasticized concrete mixtures have
shown that, when the w/cm is limited to 0.3 or less, up to 60 percent cement can be replaced
with a Class F or Class C fly ash (ASTM C 618) to obtain excellent strength and durability
characteristics. For instance, a test mixture containing 150 kg/m 3 (250 lb/yd3) ASTM ype I
cement, 200 kg/m3 (340 lb/yd3) ASTM Class F fly ash, 102 kg/m 3 (170 lb/yd3) water, 1220
kg/m3 (2100 lb/yd 3) coarse aggregate, 810 kg/m3 (1400 lb/yd3) fine aggregate, and 7 L/m 3
(190 oz/yd3) superplasticizer gave 8, 55, and 80 MPa (1200, 8000, and 12,000 psi)
compressive strengths at 1, 28, and 182 days, respectively. From extensive laboratory
tests,30,31 it was concluded that the Youngs Modulus of elasticity, creep, drying shrinkage,
and freezing and thawing characteristics of high volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete are
comparable to normal portland cement concrete. It is noteworthy that high volume fly ash
concretes showed exceptionally high resistance to water permeation and chloride-ion
penetration. These findings are of considerable importance from the standpoint of durability
of structures including control of corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete exposed to
chloride environments. Therefore, HVFA superplasticized concrete may turn out to be the
best value-added use of fly ash in the construction industry.
Roller-compacted concrete dams: Since the 1980s, roller-compacted concrete (RCC) has
been accepted worldwide as the most rapid and economical method for the construction of
medium height dams. According to Dunstan, until the end of 1992 approximately 100 RCC
dams had been built in 17 different countries.32 The high paste type RCC mixtures
typically contain 250 kg/m3 (420 lb/yd3) cementitious material of which 70 to 80 percent is
a pozzolan. Fly ash has been used as a pozzolan in most RCC dams. The Upper Stillwater
Dam in the United States required 1.24 million m3 (1.61 million yd 3) of concrete containing
79 kg/m3 (130 lb/yd3) portland cement and 173 kg/m3 (292 lb/yd3) fly ash. In all, over
200,000 tonnes of low calcium fly ash from six different power plants was used. Large
volumes of pozzolanic materials are needed for the Zungeru Dam in Japan which contains 5
million m3 (6.5 million yd3) RCC, and the 217 m (700 ft) high Longton Dam in China will
contain 7.5 million m3 (10 million yd 3) RCC. Further, according to Dunstan, even
nonstandard fly ash is being successfully used as a component of RCC mixtures.32 For
instance, the RCC mixture for the construction of 95 m (310ft) high Platanovryssi Dam in
Greece contains 35 kg/m3 (59lb/yd3) portland cement and 250 kg/m3 (420 lb/yd3) of a fly
ash which has an unusually high calcium content (42 percent total CaO). The fly ash is
generated from thermal power stations using lignite as fuel, and as pretreated (pulverized
and hydrated) before use.

50

Concrete pavements for highways: According to Golden, approximately 70 percent of the


low volume highways and local access roads in the United States require upgrading. 33
Considering the cost savings resulting from the replacement of cement with high volumes
of fly ash, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) funded several demonstration
projects. In North Dakota, during the summers of 1988 and 1989, 20,000 m3 (26,000 yd3) of
a 200 mm (8 in.) thick concrete pavement was constructed with pozzocrete, which is a
0.43 w/cm, air-entrained concrete mixture containing 100 kg/m3 (170 lb/yd 3) portland
cement and 220 kg/m3 (371 lb/yd3) high calcium fly ash. Demonstration projects in Kansas
have successfully used both low calcium and high calcium fly ashes in concrete pavement
mixtures (10 to 20 percent fly ash by mass of concrete). An innovative feature of this
project was the utilization of crushed concrete from the old pavement as a source of coarse
aggregate in the concrete mixture for the new pavement.
Base courses and embankments: High volume fly ash and bottom ash applications in
highway construction may include soil stabilization, pavement base courses, embankments,
and road shoulders. According to Golden, in 1989 more than 350,000 tonnes of fly ash were
used for the construction of a highway embankment in Pennsylvania. 33 In Georgia, cement
treated fly ash mixtures have been used as base courses in highway test sections. In
Michigan, high carbon fly ash is being used at the rate of 300,000 tonnes per year for the
construction of base courses and road shoulders.
High volume slag cement: Approximately 100 million tonnes of blast furnace slag are
produced every year in the world. Its utilization rate as a cementitious material is quite low
because, in many countries, only a small portion of the slag is available in the granulated
form which is cementitious. Although blended portland cements containing up to 65 percent granulated slag are permitted according to ASTM standard specifications, usually the
slag content of commercial cements does not exceed 50 percent. Recent work by Lang and
Geiseler on a German blast furnace slag cement (405 m 2/kg [220 yd2/lb] specific surface)
containing 77.8 percent slag showed that excellent mechanical and durability characteristics
were achieved in superplasticized concrete mixtures with 455 kg/m 3 (767lb/yd3) cement
content and 0.28 w/cm.34 The compressive strengths at ages 1, 2, 7, and 28 days were 13,
37, 58, and 91 MPa (1900, 5400, 8400, and 13,000 psi), respectively. The concrete showed
good resistance to carbonation, penetration of organic liquids, freezing and thawing cycles
(without air entrainment), and salt scaling.
Recycled concrete aggregate
For a variety of reasons, reuse of concrete waste by the construction industry is becoming
increasingly important. This is reflected in several research papers from different countries
which were presented at a special session on concrete for environmental enhancement at a
recent international conference, Concrete in the Service of Mankind, held in Dundee,
Scotland. In addition to environmental protection, conservation of natural aggregate
resources, shortage of waste disposal land, and increasing cost of waste treatment prior to
disposal are the principal factors responsible for growing interest in recycling concrete
waste as aggregate.
According to Hendriks, presently the European Union countries produce 200 million tonnes
of building and demolition waste every year, which is expected to double in 10 years.35 In
51

the Netherlands where waste recycling has become a growth industry since 1970s, 60
percent of the demolition waste is reused. Uchikawa and Hanehera estimated that 29
million tonnes, which is one-third of the 86 million tones of the construction waste
produced in Japan in 1992, consisted of concrete rubble. 36 Twelve million tonnes was recycled as road-base aggregate; the rest was disposed. Saeki and Shimura reported the
satisfactory performance of re-cycled concrete aggregate as a road-base material in cold
regions.37 In the United States, in 1983, deteriorated concrete from a 9 km (6 mi) long
freeway pavement in Michigan was crushed, and the rubble was used as aggregate for
concrete that was needed for the construction of the new pavement.8
The end-use of the aggregate recovered from concrete waste depends on its cleanness and
soundness, which are controlled by the source of origin of the rubble and the processing
technology. Aggregate recovered from surplus fresh concrete in precasting yards and readymixed concrete plants is generally clean and similar in properties to the virgin aggregate.
Concrete rubble from demolition of road pavements and hydraulic structures requires
screening to remove the fines. Many laboratory and field studies have shown that the size
fraction of the concrete rubble corresponding to coarse aggregate can be satisfactorily used
as a substitute for natural aggregate. A comparison of properties of concrete from natural
aggregate and the recycled concrete aggregate shows that the latter would give at least twothird of the compressive strength and the elastic modulus of natural aggregate.8
Demolition wastes from buildings are more difficult to handle. The concrete is usually
contaminated with deleterious constituents, such as wood, metals, glass, gypsum, paper,
plastics, and paint. In combination with selective demolition of building components, such
wastes can be handled in a cost effective way by processing into a number of sub-flows,
which can be recycled separately. Evidently, due to the processing cost, at times the
recycled concrete aggregate from building rubble may be more expensive than natural
aggregate. However, this situation will rapidly change as the natural sources of good
aggregate become scarce and the alternative waste disposal costs are included in the
economic analysis.
Cost-benefit analysis
There is not much published information on materials and construction costs. Unpublished
reports may provide some useful data; however, costs vary considerably from one country
to another, and even within a country. Also, due to insufficient experience, there are no hard
data on the cost-benefit analysis of technologies that have been recently developed for the
enhancement of service life of reinforced concrete structures exposed to aggressive
environmental conditions. Gerwick made an attempt to examine the economic aspects of
the concrete durability problem.38 Comparing the relative cost of mitigating measures
commonly recommended for controlling the deterioration of concrete due to the corrosion
of steel reinforcement (as a percentage of the first cost of the concrete structure, based on
1994 prices in Western countries), the following conclusions can be drawn from Gerwicks
data:
The use of fly ash or slag as a partial replacement for portland cement involves no
increase in cost. It may actually result in a lower cost;
Lowering the w/cm with a superplasticizer increases the cost by 2 percent. The cost
increase will be 5 percent if silica fume is also used;

52

The use of a corrosion-inhibiting admixture or epoxy-coated reinforcement increases the


cost by 8 percent; using both will increase the cost by 16 percent; and
The use of external coatings for concrete or cathodic protection of the structure requires
20 to 30 percent cost augmentation.
Evaluation of recent advancements
Any exercise in technology assessment to judge the impact of recent technological
advancements on the concrete industry as a whole will have to be subjective. The author
has designed an arbitrary rating system to evaluate each advancement in the following
categories: complexity of the technology, initial cost of materials and construction, lifecycle cost, environmental friendliness of the product, and future impact on the concrete
industry as a whole. Relative grades of low, moderate, and high are assigned to each
technology in all the five categories. From the tabulated results shown in Table 1, the
following conclusions can be drawn:
1. Due to complex processing technologies, high cost, and low environmental friendliness
of the products, it appears that macro-defect free cements, chemically-bonded ceramics,
and reactive powder mortars will have a negligible impact on the concrete industry as a
whole.
2. Superplasticized concrete mixtures with or without silica fume and self-compacting
concretes will continue to have a niche in the concrete industry. Due to stickiness and high
autogenous shrinkage, these concretes require special care in finishing and curing and,
therefore, are expected to have only a moderate impact on the industry.
3. Due to simplicity of the technology, low initial cost, high durability, and high
environmental friendliness of the product, superplasticized high volume fly ash or slag
concrete is expected to have a high impact on the concrete industry. Considerable research
and development is expected in the area of ternary blends containing portland cement, silica
fume or rice-husk ash, and large volumes of fly ash or slag.
4. It is too early to predict the future of corrosion-inhibitors, epoxy coated reinforcing bars,
surface coatings, and cathodic protection technology. When compared to high volume fly
ash or slag concretes, their high cost and low environmental friendliness would clearly be a
major disadvantage.
References
1. Mehta, P. K., Durability of Concrete Fifty Years of Progress?
Durability of Concrete, SP-126, American Concrete Institute,
Farmington Hills, Mich., 1991, pp. 1-31.
2. Malhotra, V. M., Superplasticizers: their effect on fresh and
hardened concrete, Concrete International, V. 3, No. 5, May 1981,
pp. 61-81.
3. Collepardi, M., Superplasticizers and Air-Entraining Agents
State of the Art and Future Needs, Concrete Technology: Past,
Present, and Future, SP-144, American Concrete Institute,
Farmington Hills, Mich., 1994, pp. 399-416.
4. Malhotra, V. M., Innovative Applications of Superplasticizers
in Concrete A Review, Advances in Concrete Science and Tech-nology,
Proceedings, M. Collepardi Symposium, Rome, October 1997,
pp. 271-314.
5. Nagataki, S., Present State of Superplasticizers in Japan, Fifth
CANMET/ACI International Conference on Superplasticizers and
Other Chemical Admixtures in Concrete, SP-173, American Concrete

53

Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich., 1998.


6. Yonezawa, T., The Contribution of Fluidity Improving Tech-nology
to the Widespread Use of High-Strength Concrete, Concrete
in the Service of Mankind Radical Concrete Technology, editors:
R. K. Dhir and P.C. Hewlett, E & FN Spon, 1996, pp. 525-542.
7. Tanaka, Y. O.; Matsuo, S.; Ohta, A.; and Ueda, M., A New Ad-mixture
for High-Performance Concrete, op. cit., pp. 291-300.
8. Mehta, P. K., and Monteiro, P. J. M., Concrete: Microstructure,
Properties, and Materials, McGraw-Hill College Custom Series, 1996,
548 pages.
9. Roy, D. M., and Silsbee, M. R., Novel Cements and Concrete
Products for Application in the 21st Century, Concrete Technology,
Past, Present, and Future, SP-144, American Concrete Institute,
Farmington Hills, Mich., 1994, pp. 349-382.
10. Richard, P., and Cheyrezy, M. H., Reactive Powder Concretes
with High Ductility and 200-800 MPa Compressive Strength, ibid.,
pp. 507-518.
11. Mehta, P. K., and Atcin, P. C., Principles Underlying the Pro-duction
of High-Performance Concrete, Cement, Concrete, and Ag-gregates,
ASTM, V. 12, No. 2, 1990, pp. 70-78.
12. Atcin, P. C., The Art and Science of High-Performance Con-crete,
Advances in Concrete Science and Technology, Proceedings,
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13. Goodspeed, C. H.; Vanikar, S.; and Cook, R., High-Performance
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14. Mehta, P. K., Durability Critical Issues for the Future,
Concrete International, V. 19, No. 7, July 1997, pp. 27-33.
15. Hoff, G. C., Concrete for Offshore Structures, Advances in
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16. Langley, W. S.; Gilmour, R.; and Tromposch, E., The
Northumberland Strait Bridge Project, Advances in Concrete Tech-nology,
SP-154, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills,
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17. Bremner, T. W., and Holm, T. A., High-Performance Light-weight
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Rehabilitation, Advances in Concrete Technology, CANMET, Ot-tawa,
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19. Hayakawa, M.; Matsuoka, Y.; and Yokota, K., Application of
Superworkable Concrete in the Construction of a 70-story Building
in Japan, Advances in Concrete Technology, SP-154, American Con-crete
Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich. 1995, pp. 381-398.
20. Fukute, T.; Moriwaka, A.; Sano, K.; and Hamasaki, K., Devel-opment
of Superworkable Concrete for Multi-functional Structures,
ibid., pp. 335-356.
21. Nagataki, S., and Fujiwara, H., Self-Compacting Property of
Highly Flowable Concrete, ibid., pp. 301-314.

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