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better concrete

This photo shows the beam concrete of the Wolcott Bridge

at Hartford Connecticut, being revibrated just before
the concrete for the deck was placed.

uccessful application of re- Revibration does not reduce the It is claimed that revibration and

S vibration in the construc-

tion of tankers and cargo
ships during World War II
has been described a number of
times,2 and this same procedure
durability of air-entrained concrete
and the importance of using air-en-
trained concrete wherever in-
creased durability is required
should not be overlooked.
the use of a retarding admixture in
the concrete were responsible for
successfully combining the beams
and deck spans of the Wolcott Av-
enue bridge at Hartford, Connecti-
has also been satisfactorily used on Revibration has been credited cut, into a monolithic structure. The
some dry docks and piers where with increasing the density of con- engineers estimated that the bridge
watertightness was considered es- crete needed as a reactor shield. The could be cast in place at the same
sential. Additional evidence has ac- testing laboratory was requested to cost as a conventional prestressed
cumulated which confirms these design concrete with a plastic concrete structure made up of pre-
results and indicates that revibra- weight of 155 pounds per cubic foot cast T beams, and construction
tion will improve many of the qual- without the use of heavyweight ag- time could be reduced to a consid-
ities of hardened concrete. In- gregates. Several different materials erable extent. The adopted plan
creased consolidation is desirable were tried and a densifying admix-
where greater watertightness, im- ture was used in two trial batches. 1Research Engineer, Sika Chemical
proved appearance of formed sur- Three hours after casting, cylinders Corporation, Passaic, N. J.
faces, higher compressive strength, were revibrated and the density was 2See “A New Look at Revibration,”
and greater density are considered found to increase 1 pound per cubic Concrete Construction September
to be desirable. foot. 1956, page 2.
The effect of revibration on the compaction and appearance of concrete is
dramatically revealed by this series of photographs taken through a clear glass
window in the side of a wooden box filled with fresh concrete.

Appearance of Concrete Before Vibration

Initial Vibration (40 Seconds)

Revibration at 1 Hour
(20 Seconds)

Second Revibration at 2 Hours

Third Revibration at 3 Hours

provided for construction of each through the fresh deck concrete hardened concrete were performed
120-foot span in two separate parts, about 12 inches into the beams and on blocks measuring 1 by 1 by 2 feet
each 33 feet 10 inches wide. Each thus combined the lifts into one as well as on 6- by 12-inch cylinders.
part of the span was cast as one con- monolith. The tests indicated that revibra-
tinuous unit and four 7-foot deep Controlled tests designed to mea- tion produces higher compressive
girders were cast integrally with the sure some of the effects of revibra- strength than the same amount of
deck. tion have been performed in the initial vibration. Maximum strength
A densifying admixture was in- laboratory of Sika Chemical Corpo- increase of 6- by 12-inch cylinders
corporated in the concrete in order ration. Laboratory mixed concrete varied from 8.5 percent to 17.1 per-
to keep it plastic during the entire containing 41⁄2 and 51⁄2 sacks of ce- cent and averaged 14.0 percent for
concreting operation and thus weld ment per cubic yard and ready the mixes containing 41⁄2 sacks of ce-
the beams and slab into a monolith- mixed concrete containing 6 sacks ment per cubic yard. Maximum
ic structure. Excessive stress, and of cement per cubic yard were in- strength increase of the 51⁄2 -sack
consequent cracking of the web as vestigated. The investigation in- mixes varied from 6.9 percent to
deflection occurred, were also cluded tests of plain, air-entrained, 18.7 percent and averaged 13.7 per-
avoided by keeping the concrete and retarded concrete, and also in- cent.
plastic until the entire 240 cubic cluded tests of mixtures containing Indicated strength of the 1- by 1-
yards of concrete was placed. both air-entraining and retarding by 2-foot blocks was determined
The beams were cast in 3-foot lifts admixtures. with the impact hammer when the
and after placing each succeeding The concretes were given an ini- blocks were 28 days old. Maximum
lift the concrete was revibrated by tial vibration of 20 seconds and were increase in strength resulting from
allowing the vibrator to penetrate to revibrated an additional 20 seconds revibration varied from 8.9 to 22.5
the bottom of the forms. Approxi- after delays of 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours. percent and averaged 13.9 percent.
mately 1⁄2 inch consolidation was re- Results obtained with the revibrated The tests also showed that revi-
ported. Concrete in the beams was concrete were compared with simi- bration improves the appearance of
still plastic when the deck was lar concrete vibrated 40 seconds ini- concrete surfaces. Initial vibration
placed. Vibrators were inserted tially, but not revibrated. Tests of consolidated the concrete and re-
moved many of the water and air bleeding appeared to be accompa- Concrete will benefit from revi-
voids appearing against the surface. nied by increase in compressive bration at any time provided the
After the vibrator was removed, wa- strength. In general, delay in revi- concrete is sufficiently plastic to
ter again began to collect in the bration that resulted in maximum permit the running vibrator to sink
voids remaining against the surface. bleeding also resulted in maximum of its own weight. If vibration is
Revibration 1 hour later removed increase in compressive strength. slighted during the rush and confu-
some of the entrapped water and Retarded concrete remained plas- sion that often occurs when con-
improved the appearance of the tic much longer than plain or air- crete is placed, deficiencies can be
concrete. Additional revibration af- entrained concrete and delay be- corrected by revibration. After the
ter 2 and 3 hours improved the ap- tween placement and revibration trucks and concrete crews have
pearance of the concrete even more. could be increased. Maximum moved on, the vibrator man can
Hardening time was not signifi- strength of plain and air-entrained methodically revibrate the concrete
cantly influenced by revibration. concrete was obtained when the without haste. Revibration thus pro-
The concrete became more plastic concrete was revibrated approxi- vides additional insurance that the
immediately after revibration, but mately 2 hours after placing. Delay concrete will be properly consoli-
the time required to reach final set between placement and revibration dated and free of honeycomb.
was the same for revibrated con- of retarded concrete was less criti-
crete and concrete vibrated only cal, and the retarder improved the
once initially. compressive strength of plain or air- PUBLICATION#C590206
Additional bleed water was re- entrained concrete revibrated at any Copyright © 1959, The Aberdeen Group
leased by revibration. Increase in period after placing. All rights reserved