The purpose of this book is to familiarize students of civil engineering and construction technology with two of the most important materials of construction: Portland cement (PC) and Portland cement concrete (PCC). People often make errors in using these terms interchangeably. It is important to note that while PC is a powder, PCC is initially a plastic material and the rest of its life is solid.
A valid analogy is to compare PC with flour and PCC with bread. The book aims to assist students to gain an understanding of PC and PCC through the physical handling and testing of these materials in a laboratory environment. While the book is written primarily for use at the university level, it may also serve as a practical guide for graduate engineers and lab technicians.
The body of this book is divided into 4 sections. Section 1describeshow concrete batches are designed, mixed and measured for various consistency. Section 2 details the testing of the primary component materials of concrete other than water:
- Port land cement, aggregate and mortar.
- Section 3containssome of the basic test procedures that comply with the American Society for Materials Testing (ASTM) standards.
- Section 4 contains various appendices, followed by additional datasheet indexes.
- Perhaps even a 15-week college semester will never have enough laboratory time to complete all the exam procedures.
The test procedures contained herein are intended to accurately reflect a particular ASTM designation and are sometimes modified as determined by the inherent time constraints of the academic lab. Thus, in certain cases, modifications were introduced to conform to the usual 3-hour laboratory module, such as ensuring the specific gravity and absorption of aggregates. If certain ASTM methods allow alternative procedures, only those that are applicable to educational situations were selected.
The unique property of all products utilizing hydraulic cement is the distance required to obtain the sensitivity of the test specimen and time. As a result, the preparation and testing of the specimen can take a considerable amount of time. This complicates the scheduling process and makes this laboratory unique when planning Portland cement concrete courses.