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Extra resources for Concrete mix design, quality control, and specification
The imperfections may arise in manufacture or in handling. Small areas of honeycombing or segregation are one kind of possibility. A different possibility is that a failure to maintain the specimens in a saturated condition may permit the development of microcracking. A microcrack in a bottom face location will have a much larger effect on flexural strength and tensile strength than it would on compressive strength. A direct measurement of tensile strength has been obtained on a research basis (by casting specially shaped test specimens or using various types of friction grip) but is not generally practicable as a control test.
1). The weakness of the ideal grading approach is that it is rarely possible (or economical) to replicate exactly the ideal grading in the field. Also the grading may be ideal for one use but could not simultaneously be ideal for all uses. g. Stewart (1951). The technique is to use a large, often single sized, coarse aggregate (often 40 mm) and a relatively fine sand. With such a combination it becomes valid to measure the voids in the coarse aggregate and provide just sufficient mortar to fill them, with a small surplus.
This is taken to the ultimate in ‘prepacked’ concrete. This technique involves filling the formwork to be concreted with a large single-sized aggregate and then pumping in an appropriate mortar from the bottom up. Since the coarse aggregate is everywhere in contact, shrinkage is not possible except as aggregate moisture movement. Such concrete is very suitable for use as a foundation block for large pieces of machinery, the concrete often being placed after the machine has been set in position (vibration being unnecessary).