Books Properties of concrete Fourth and Final Edition
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Properties of concrete Fourth and Final Edition
Properties of concrete Fourth and Final Edition

Concrete and steel are the two most commonly used structural materials. They
sometimes complement one another, and sometimes compete with one another
so that structures of a similar type and function can be built in either of these
mat€rials. And yet, the engineer often knows less about the concrete of which
the structure is made than about the steel.

Steel is manufactured under carefully controlled conditions; its p--roperties are
determined in a laboratory and described in a manufacturer's certificate. Thus,
the designer need only specify the steel as complying with a relevant standard,
and the site engineeis supervision is limited to the workmanship of the
connections between the individual steel members.

On a concrete building site, the situation is totally different. It is true that the
quality of cement is guaranteed by the manufacturer in a manner similar to that
of steel and, provided suitable cementitious materials are chosen, it is hardly
ever a cause of faults in a concrete structure. But it is concrete, and not cement,
that is the building material. The structural members are more often than not
made in situ, and their quality is almost exclusively dependent on the
workmanship of concrete making and placing.

The disparity in the methods of steel and concrete making is, therefore, clear,
and the importance of the control of the quality of concrete work on the site is
apparent. Furthermore, as the trade of a concretor has not yet the training and
the tradition of some of the other building trades, an engineer's supervision
on the site is essential. These facts must be borne in mind by the designer, as careful
and intricate design can be easily vitiated if the properties ol the actual concrete
difrer from those assumed in the design calculations. Structural design is only as
good as the materials used.

From the above it must not be concluded that making good concrete is difficult.
'Bad' concrete often a substance of unsuitable consistency, hardening into a
honeycombed, non-homogeneous mass is made simply by mixing cement,
aggregate and water. Surprisingly, the ingredients of a good concrete are exactly
the same, and it is only the'know-how', backed up by understanding, that is
responsible for the difrerence.


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Properties of concrete Fourth and Final Edition

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