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Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 24, No. 2, lap. 277-284, 1994 Copyright 1994 Elsevier Science Ltd Printed in the USA. All rights reserved 0008-8846/94 $6.00 + .130

EARLY S T R E N G T H B E H A V I O U R O F F L Y A S H C O N C R E T E S

K. GANESH BABU Ocean Engineering Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras G. SIVA NAGESWARA RAO Research Scholar, Ocean Engineering Centre, I I T, Madras
(Communicated by J.P. Skalny) (Received April 27, 1993)

ABSTRACt The strength of concrete at early ages has assumed a co~iderable significance in recent years due to the several specific requirements ot the modern construction industry, like the early striking or forms, early transfer of prestress etc. However, fly ash concretes are known to-have a lower early age strength and there have been many efforts to predict and/or to improve this m recent years, so that these concretes can be utilized appropriately. Thus a quantitative understanding of the early age strength behaviour of fly_.ashconcretes frill help in designing the concrete for any specific requirement. Tlais investigation, assumeO on the most recent results available, predicts the same through the efficiency concepts at the different percentages of fly ash replacement.

The use of p.ozzolanic mineral admixtures like fly ash is well accepted in recent years, not only because of the resulting economy through the saving of cement, but also due to the fact that if well designed can produce highly durable materials. One of the important applications of the fly ash concretes couldbe in mass .concrete works like in dams, where the heat of hydration is a problem to contend with. Of tlae many other promising applications, concrete for roads and pavements may also be of significance. However, there have been doubts expressed regarding its potential as a structural construction material due to the lower early age strengths reported for the fly ash concretes. Many of the studies on fly ash concrete to date have concentrated on obtaining an equal 28 days strength and this has ledto limitations like maximum percentage replacement of fly ash in concrete (about 25 to 35%), as recommended by the ACI Corr/mittee [1]. Notwithstanding the above there have been a few research ettorts reported, basically to understand the behaviour of fly ash in concrete, with percentage replacements up to 75% and wherein the strength and other parameters have been studied at various ages. The early strength behaviour of concrete is a significant parameter, with the present day emphasis on speedier construction. This invariably defines the minimum safe time tor
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K.G. Babu and G.S.N. Rao

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striking of forms and removal of precast units from moulds which fecilitates an effective utilisafion of the moulds in the precast industry. The transfer or application of prestress in pretensioning or post-tensioning also require a minimum compressNe strength and the early age behaviour assumes considerable importance. Similarly the very early age strength beh~viour, within the first few hours, may also be of significance in slip forming, ready mixed and pumped concrete applications. Tide present investigation is an effort to understand the early strength behaviour of fly ash concretes.
Earlv Strength Behaviour
w

Fly ash concretes show a lower earl,,/strength due to the fact that the compressive strength and other mechanical properties o t these concretes will depend on the pozzolanic reacttvity of fly ash, richness of the rhix, the character and grading of the aggregates, the water content of the mix and the curing conditions. Increasing the amount of fly ash to percentages higher tlaan those specified presently [1] further slows down the strength development at early` ages. Earlier investigations reveal that the 7-day` strength is mostly-because of the portland cement, its characteristics and quantity in the mix [2]. -This means that the effect of fly ash replacement would be to show a reduction in compressive strength at 7 days. It was also observed that up to 7 days the strength is little affected by the fineness of fly ash, whose favourable effect is felt from 28 days and becomes predominant around 90 days [3]._ At very early ages, thus, the strength of fly ash concrete may be assessed from tide amount ot cement alone ih the mix (after correcting the water cement ratio for the water required for wetting the fly ash). In conclusion it can be confirmed that fly ash concrete has al-ow early strength and there is a need to know, quantitatively, its compressive strength behaviour at early ages. Furthermore, there have been many efforts to improve the early age strength behaviour of fly ash concretes. In principle, with a proper mix design, taking into account the quality of fly ash, it will be po.ssib]e to improve the early strength behaviour [4]. Some of the earlier investigations reveal that it is possible to olatfiin early strengths and mechanical properties similar to that of the normal concretes through the utilisation of water reducing admixtures [5]. The optimum percentage replacement o f fly ash recommended was 30~o. Early strength could alsobe achieved through an i.nitial high temperature curing at 60-80 C [6]..Studies on early strength of fly`ash concretes wita accelerators like calcium c-hlodde indicated that a 3% calcium chloride addition can help in achieving high early strengths for concretes up to 25% replacement [7]. It was also observed that me relative increase in strengths on account of va?ying dosages of calcium chloride was not very sigm'txcant at later ages. Addition of silica fume at 10 to 20% by weight ot cement in addition to fly ash, for water cementitious materials ratios ranging from 0.4 to 0.8, improved the early strength of fly`ash concrete to that of normal concrete [8]. However, there is still a lot that is not understood in this regard and a lot of data has to be generated before attempting further improvements in the early strength behaviour of fly ash concrete. The present investigation is an effort to understand the 7-day compressive strength behaviour df concretes containing p ulvedsed fuel ashes, and was attempted considering the data from research results reportedin recent years. In principle, a quanmative assessment of the strength at the different percentages replacement was assessed through the efficiency concept.
Evaluation MethodoloL~v

The strength behaviour of fly ash concretes at seven days with the different l~rcentages of replacement was assessed according to the 'efficiency factor' concept which was first proposed by Smith [9]. In order to find the efficiency of fly ash in comparison to the normal concrete, a cementifi~ efficiency factor"k" was introduced such that a fly ash of weight ~ would be equivalent to a weight "kf' of the cement, so that the water cement~tious materials ratio of "w/(c + ld)" will be the same as the "w/c" ratio of normal concrete at that parti .c~l..arstrength. Fig.1 shows the general concept of evaluation. To evaluate the efficiency, initiauy a unique value of ~k" was assumed to bi'ing the fly ash concrete strength values equal to the normal

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FLY ASH CONCRETES, EARLY STRENGTH

279

concrete. It was found that aunique value of"k" could not bnng the fly ash concrete strength values sufficiently close to that of the normal concrete at all percentages of replacement. However, a general efficiency factor (ke), a constant at all percentages of replacement, was introduced which can shift the fly ash concrete water cementitions materials ratio by "A wl ~. In Fig.1. this is reflected in the shifting of the point "A~ on the fly ash concrete [w/(c + f)] strength curve to the newposition "C', a distance reasonably close to the [w/c]- strength curve for normal concrete. However, at very low percentage replacements where there is an improvement in strength due to the addition of fly ash, the point "B" on the curve for such concrete will move slightly away to point "D". The difference m w/c ratio that still posses after this operation is men correctedby applying a percentage efficiency factor (kp) which shifts the fly ashconcrete water cement ratio v/flue further by % we", bringing it to the normal concrete water cement ratio at that particular stren~h. Thus both these-faVors. "ks_ an.d . ~ " alter .the ." water cementitious materials ratio of fly .ash concrete as [w/(c+ . ~ . + kpt)J whica Is equal to water cement ratio o1 norma! concrete at the same strength. A detaileo otscnssion o t m e aaove methodology has already been presented in an earlier paper, while discussing the efficiency of fly ash af28 days [10].
100
A

\
80
..~

C & D - Fly Qsh Concrete w.r.t.w (c Ice ) N - Control Concrete w r t wlc o r Fly ~h Concrete w.r.t, wl(C*ket~kp|) Low Volume Fly tsh Concrete Ni~7 ~olCumn:e; icy as h Concrete r

B - Fly os.

Conc,ete

*,t

*/=:.

\
c. ..i.-.

~ ~x=g~ '~ N ~

60

r~

E
o

t,0-

-w._~_w_w_w_w_w_w_~A wkp -I
0

k l'k'

I _

0.20

0.30

0. &0 0.50 0.60 0.70 0-80 w/(c*f) or w/(c+kef) or w/{c+kef+kpf} FIG. 1

0.90

1.00

Conceptual Diagram Showing Effect of Efficiency Factors Recogrfi'sing the fact that in the recent years the characteristics of fly ash (obtained f r om the burning of pulvarised fuels) and cements (produced through.a better control over the raw mix grading and grinding) have improved considerably, only tile test data from the investigations containing pulvarised fuel ashes over the past ten years [11-22] was considered tor evaluating the 7-day stren~h of fly ash concrete at the different percentages of replacement. All these fly ashes corifirm to the ASTM C 618-89 specifications. However, in the present investigation no specific distinction was made as recognised by the ASTM regarding the class of fly ash (F and-C). Furthermore, only concretes which were cured under norrE)al conditions and without any admixtures or other modifications have been considered in tnis study. Also the strength values of these concretes were converted to their equivalents for a cube of 15 cm size through the accepted guide lines [23].
Discussions

As already stated the fly ashes of the present, coming from the efficient burning of

TABLE.1.

Ranges
Cement (Kg/m 3)
Max Min Max Hin Max Min Max Min

of
Fly (Kg/m 3 ) (Kg/m 3 ) ash Water 7 - d a y Comp. Strength (N/mm = ) Ref.Nos.

Constituents

in

the

Fly

Ash C o n c r e t e s

Investigated

[11-22]

S. No.

Replacement (~)

w/c+f

Max

Min

1 537 431 406 239 293 187 97 43 291 128 169 114 56 374 115 201 113 21.5 11.6 84 293 84 197 123 39.5 136 121 75 184 106 37.6 14.7 6.4 4.1 2.0 155 135 45 208 106 56.6 17.1 200 77 35 183 106 63.5 30.3 193 0 0 222 106 68.5 15.0

0.85

0 33

12,14,17--22
~O

15

0 56

0 36

12,20,22 12,16,18,19,22 11,12,15,19,22 63

25

0 77

0 37

35

0 75

041

8
12-14,17,20 12-14,19 13,14,21

50

0 90

0 36

65

0 91

0 36

75

0 99

0 30

<
o

oz
to

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FLY ASH CONCRETES, EARLY STRENGTH

281

pulverised fuels react more readily with the present day cements of higher quality. The possibility of countering the problem of higher water requirements of high volume fly ash additions and slower strength developments through modifications using superplasticizers and accelerators allow the concrete technologist of today with several possible options to tailor the concrete to his requirements. However, it is absolutely essential to have a clear understanding of the behaviour of fly ash in concrete at the various percentages of replacement, so that the effect ot the actual modifications, if any, through other admixtures can also be properly assessed. The data considered for evolution covers a wide spectrum of concretes and fs presented in Table.1. In general, as expected, it was seen that as the replacement percentage and the water cement ratfo increases tile strength of concrete decreases. It was also observed
80

*..*.~*._*

75
~

FA
FA FA

.--n

"\ o'~

~ """ 67 ",,,AA 50

:~
"-" 60 =a',

%
~ \ a~^ ", ~
\X

~>,~
o

35

FA
FA FA FA

\
...8 o
x O ux~..
o

a_q_q_o~ 2 5 ~z~z~,a,,. 1 5 ~ ooooo 0

,
.> 40
-

~. A
\ " .

~i

iIii

II II I l l

ii I I i i

iiI

i ii i i i

iii]

i~ii

iiii

lillll

iii

i iIii

ii i l l

iiI

iiiii

iiiiI

iiii

i ii i i

0~.20

0.30

0.40

0.50

0.60

0.70

0.80

0.90

1.00

w /(c+0

FIG. 2 Variation of Compressive Strength with [ w / (c + f) ] that while concretes of strength 60 MPa and above can be produced at 7 days with 15% replacement, replacements around 75% have lead to concretes of 10 MPa strength. The variation of the 7-day compressive strength with the water to total cementitions materials ratio [w/(c + 0 ] is presented in Fig.2. It can be clearly seen that at 7 days the compressive strength of fly ash concretes at all percentages of replacement were below that of the control, witli values being increasingly lower for higher percentages of replacement at all water cementitions materials ratios. However, a replacement of 15-% has not shown any marked influence on the 7-day strength of concrete. This can be attributed primarily to the pore filling effec[, of the fly ash, as it is known that the effect of the pozzolanic reaction is not preoominant at me early ages. Presently, the water cementitious materials ratios of fly ash concretes have been modified by using the efficiency factors discussed earlier. The modification was initially attempted Withgeneral efficiency factors (ke) ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 and it was found that the concretes with different percentages of fly ash replacement appear to be reasonably close to the strength - water cement ratio relation for normal concrete at a "Ice"value of 0.3. This can be seen f~om Fig.3, which clearly shows that after correcting for the general efficien~ factor the strength values of concretes up to 35% replacement are above the strengths of normal concrete wl~ereas those of 50-75% replacements are below. Thus a value of 0.3 was assumed as the general efficiency factor.

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K.G. Babu and G.S.N. Ran

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80

i
Or 60

*_*.a~ 75 FA mmnmmmmmm67 ~ FA
~AAA__~ 5 0 O_~O,~ 35 o_o_o._o_o 25 ~A_~ 15 ooooo 0

oI
,O

FA FA FA FA FA

. > 40
69 60
O_

E
O O >20 O X;1
p,,.

---..~..

--~ . . . .

.... ~ , ~ ...... ~,~,~...... ~ , ~ ...... ~ : ~ ..... ~.,~ ...... ~:~ ...... ;:,:~ ...... , , , ~ , 7 , ~ , ~ , . , ~ : =

/(c+kJ)
FIG. 3 Variation of Compressive Strength with [w / (c + ke f ) ] At this stage the differences in strength that still persist after the corrections through "ke" at any particular water cementitious materials ratio between the fly ash concrete and the normal concrete are adjusted .by using the percentage efficiency factor (kp) as described earlier. Fig.4, replotted with these corrections tor the general, andpercentage efficiency effects, clearly shows a good correlation between the strengtla and the modified water cementitious materials ratio. It is also seen that while the generaI efficiency factor is a constant
80

I$
13v c- 6O

q.~

It~] hll, O

~*~'~" 75 mwwww 65 ~ , L A * 50 O~"IM~' ..35 BABOO 25


. . . . _ _ U

~ ~ ~
5~

FA FA FA FA FA
hA

4-, U3 ID

._> 40

c~ O C) >, 20 O C3 p-.

iiiii

iii

Ii 0.50

i till

IIIII1~1111111 1.00

IIII 1.50

I III

III 2.00

III

III

II II 2.50

III

II]

I I 3.00

w /(c+k~f+kpf)

FIG .4 Variation of Strengths After Correcting for ke & kp

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FLY ASH CONCRETES, EARLY STRENGTH

283

1.2 1.0 0.8


o
0 >

IIIlill 7 day k Value z~z~z~z~ 7 day kp Value

0.6 0.4

; o.2
-0.0 -0.2 -0"40 . . . . . . . 10L. . . . . . . . 20~. . . . . . . . 30~. . . . . . . . 40~. . . . . . . . 50~. . . . . . . . 60J . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Percentoge Replacement ~80

FIG. 5 Variation of kp & k Values with Fly Ash Replacement at that particular age, the percentage efficiency factor vares with the amount of cement replaced. Fig.5 presents the variations of the percentage efficiency factor (kp) at the different percentages of cement replaced by fly ash. The variation of the over all efficiency (k) of fly ash at 7 days at the different percentages of re.placement was also shown in Fig.5. I t can be seen that both the general and overall effioencies increase marginally at very low percentages of replacement (below 10%) and around 10% the overall efficiency is around one, showing no varation in the strength at that water cementitions mateda~ ratio compare to that of normal concrete. At higher)ercentages an increase in the percentage replacement was seen to decrease the overall efficiency, wtth the decrease being quite steep irfitially and flattening out at higher percentages above 35%.
Conclusions

An evaluation of the early strength behaviour has shown that the efficiency of fly ash can be assessed through the use of the two constants, general and percentage efficiencyfactors. The study indicated that a value of 0.3 can be chosen as the general efficiency factor (ke) for fly ash in concrete at 7 days. The percentage efficiencyfactor (kp) was seen to vary from about 0.8 at 10% to a value of about -0.2 at 75% replacement. The overall efficiency of fly ash (k) at different percentages of replacement was also assessed and were seen to vary from 1.1 to 0.15 for repIacements ranging from 10-75~. The decrease in the efficiency was quite steep initially up to about 35% and flattening out later at higher percentages.
Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge Prof. P. Schiessl, Director, Institut fur Bauforschung, RWTH, Aachen for the information made available and the detailed discussions which helped in narrowing the study to specific aspects. In particular, it was his views that made us look for the pozzolanic efficiency at different percentages resulting in the percentage efficiency factor.

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References

1.ACI Committee 226, ACI Materials Journal, Sep-Oct, 381-409/1987/ 2A. Samarin, R.L.Munn and J.B. Ashby, ACI SP-79-6 Publ Vo1.1/1983/ 3.V.Costa and F. Massazza, ACI SP-79-11 Publ. Vo1.1/1983/ 4. R.IC Dhir, J.G.L. Munday and L.T. Ong, Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers, Part.2, Vol.77, 239-254/1984/ 5. R.N. Swamy, S.A.R. Ali and Theodorakopoulos, ACI Journal, Vol.80, No.5, 414-423/1983/ 6. R.IC Dhir, N.V.Ho and J.G.L. Munday, Concrete, Vol.19, No.6, 32-35/1985/ 7. M.C. Bhardwaj, V.S. Batra and V.V. Sastry, Indian Concrete Journal, Vol. 54, No.5, 134-138/1980/ 8. G. Carette and V.M. Malhotra, ACI Sp-79-41 Publ. Vol.2/1983/ 9. I.A. Smith, Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers, London, Vol.36, 769-790/1967/ 10.K. Ganesh Babu, P. Schiessl and G.S. Nageswara Rao, Communicated to Cement and Concrete Composites Journal/1992/ ll.J.G. Cabrera et al, ACI SP-91, 5 Publ. Vo1.1/1986/ 12.M.K. Gopalan and M.N. Haque, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol.19, 634641/1989] 13. M.N. Haque, P.W. Langan and M.A. Ward, ACI Journal, Jan-Feb, 54-60/1984 14. M.N. Haque et al, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol.16, 363-372/1986/ 15.R.D. Hooton, ACI SP-91-15 Publ. Vo1.1/1986/ 16.P.K. Mehta and O.E. Gjrov, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol.12, 587595/1982/ 17.ICW. Nassar and P.S.H. Lai~Third CANMET/ACI Int. Conf. on Superplasticizers and Other Chemical Admixtures in Concrete, Canada, (Suppl. Papers) pp 86105/1989/ 18.H.S. Gebler and P. Klieger, ACI SP-91-1 Publ. Vo1.1/1986/ 19.T.R. Naik and B.W. Ramme, ACI Journal, Nov-Dec, 619-626/1990/ 20.M.D.A. Thomas et al, ACI SP-114-9 Publ. Vo1.1/1989/ 21.E.W. Tse, D.Y. Lee and F.W. Klaiber, ACI SP-91-12 Publ. Vo1.1/1986/ 22.P_1. Tikalsky, P.M. Carrasquillo and R.L. Carrasquillo, ACI Materials Journal, Nov-Dec, 505-511/1988/ 23.A.M. Neville, Properties of Concrete, 3rd Edition, Pitman, London/1981/