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Materials and Mix Design

pervious roadPervious concrete uses the same materials as conventional

concrete, with the exceptions that the fne aggregate typically is eliminated
entirely, and the size distribution (grading) of the coarse aggregate is ept
narrow, allowing for relatively little particle pacing! "his provides the useful
hardened properties, but also results in a mix that re#uires di$erent
considerations in mixing, placing, compaction, and curing! Proportioning
pervious concrete mixtures is di$erent compared to procedures used for
conventional concrete and the mixture proportions are somewhat less
forgiving than conventional concrete mixtures%tight controls on batching of
all of the ingredients are necessary to provide the desired results!
&hen developing pervious concrete mixtures, the goal is to obtain a target or
design void content that will allow for the percolation of water! "he void
content of a pervious concrete mixture will depend on the characteristics of
the ingredients, how they are proportioned and how the mixture is
consolidated! Pervious concrete is typically designed for a void content in the
range of '() to *+)! ,enerally as the void content decreases, the strength
increases and permeability decreases! -or pervious concrete mixtures it is
even more important to verify through trial batches that the mixture achieves
the characteristics assumed or targeted when developing mixture
proportions! -re#uently one fnds that even though the design void content is
.+), when the pervious concrete mixture is proportioned, the experimentally
measured void content is considerably di$erent! "his depends on the
worability of the mixture and amount of consolidation!
"able * provides typical ranges of materials proportions in pervious concrete!
/dditionally, 01M2/ has developed a pervious concrete mixture
proportioning guideline and spreadsheet software that will develop trial batch
mixture proportions using volumetric considerations and mae the necessary
calculations for production batches when mixture proportions are fnalized
after trial batch evaluations!
2ementitious materials
/s in traditional concreting, portland cements (/3"M 2 '(+, 2 ''(4) and
blended cements (/3"M 2 (5(, 2 ''(4) may be used in pervious concrete! 6n
addition, supplementary cementitious materials (32Ms) such as 7y ash,
pozzolans (/3"M 2 8'9), and ground:granulated blast furnace slag (/3"M 2
595) may be used! "esting materials beforehand through trial batching is
strongly recommended so that properties that can be important to
performance (setting time, rate of strength development, porosity, and
permeability, among others) can be determined!
3upplementary cementitious materials (32Ms) such as 7y ash, pozzolans, and
slag can be added to the cement! "hese in7uence concrete performance,
setting time, rate of strength development, porosity, permeability, etc!
"he ey to high:performance concrete is the use of 32Ms! 3ilica fume, 7y ash,
and blast furnace slag all increase durability by decreasing permeability and
3ilica fume is a byproduct of silicone production! 6t consists of superfne
spherical particles which signifcantly increase the strength and durability of
concrete! ;sed fre#uently for high:rise buildings, it produces concrete that
exceeds .+,+++ psi compressive strength! 3ilica fume can replace cement in
#uantities of (:'.)!
-ly ash is the waste byproduct of burning coal in electrical power plants< it
used to be landflled, but now a signifcant amount is used in cement! "his
material can be used to replace (:8() of the Portland cement
=last furnace slag is the waste byproduct of steel manufacturing! 6t imparts
added strength and durability to concrete, and can replace .+:4+) of the
cement in the mix!

pervious materials
-igure >! Pervious concrete is made with a narrow aggregate gradation, but
di$erent surface textures can be obtained through the use of di$erent
maximum sizes! "he concrete in the box contained a '?>:in! (8!(:mm) top
size, while that below used a larger top size, *?> in! (.+ mm)!

-ine aggregate content is limited in pervious concrete, and coarse aggregate
is ept to a narrow gradation! 2ommonly:used gradations of coarse
aggregate include /3"M 2 ** 0o! 84 (@ in! to 0o! >), 0o! 9 (A in! to 0o! '8),
and 0o! 95 (A in! to 0o! (+) sieves Bin metric unitsC 0o! 84 ('5!+ to >!4( mm),
0o! 9 (5!( to .!*8 mm), and 0o! 95 (5!( to '!'9 mm)D! 3ingle:sized aggregate
up to ' inch (.( mm) has also been used! /3"M D >>9 also may be used for
defning gradings! / narrow grading is the important characteristic! Earger
aggregates provide a rougher surface! 1ecent uses for pervious concrete
have focused on paring lots, low:traFc pavements, and pedestrian
walways! -or these applications, the smallest:sized aggregate feasible is
used for aesthetic reasons! 2oarse aggregate size 95 (A:in! or 5!(:mm top
size) has been used extensively for paring lot and pedestrian applications,
dating bac .+ years or more in -lorida! -igure > shows two di$erent
aggregate sizes used in pervious concretes to create di$erent surface
,enerally, /?2 ratios are in the range of >!+ to >!( by mass! "hese /?2 ratios
lead to aggregate contents of between about ..++ lb?ydG and *+++ lb?ydG
('*++ g?mG to '9++ g?mG)! Higher /?2 ratios have been used in laboratory
studies, but signifcant reductions in strength result!
=oth rounded aggregate (gravel) and angular aggregate (crushed stone) have
been used to produce pervious concrete! "ypically, higher strengths are
achieved with rounded aggregates, although angular aggregates are
generally suitable! /ggregate for pavements should conform to /3"M D >>9,
while /3"M 2 ** covers aggregates for use in general concrete construction!
/s in conventional concrete, pervious concrete re#uires aggregates to be
close to a saturated, surface:dry condition, or close monitoring of the
moisture condition of aggregates should allow for accounting for the free
moisture on aggregates! 6t should be noted that control of water is important
in pervious concrete mixtures! &ater absorbed from the mixture by
aggregates that are too dry can lead to dry mixtures that do not place or
compact well! However, extra water in aggregates contributes to the mixing
water and increases the water:to:cement ratio of the concrete!
pervious samples
-igure (! 3amples of pervious concrete with di$erent water contents, formed
into a ballC (a) too little water, (b) proper amount of water, and (c) too much
&ater:to:cement ratios between +!.4 and +!*8 are used routinely with proper
inclusion of chemical admixtures, and those as high as +!>+ have been used
successfully! "he relation between strength and water:to:cement ratio is not
clear for pervious concrete, because unlie conventional concrete, the total
paste content is less than the voids content between the aggregates!
"herefore, maing the paste stronger may not always lead to increased
overall strength! &ater content should be tightly controlled! "he correct water
content has been described as giving the mixture a sheen, without 7owing o$
of the aggregate! / handful of pervious concrete formed into a ball will not
crumble or lose its void structure as the paste 7ows into the spaces between
the aggregates (see -igure ()! &ater #uality is discussed in /26 *+'! /s a
general rule, water that is drinable is suitable for use in concrete! 1ecycled
water from concrete production operations may be used as well, if it meets
provisions of /3"M 2 5> or //3H"I M '(4! 6f there is a #uestion as to the
suitability of a water source, trial batching with Job materials is
2hemical admixtures are used in pervious concrete to obtain special
properties, as in conventional concrete! =ecause of the rapid setting time
associated with pervious concrete, retarders or hydration:stabilizing
admixtures are commonly used! ;se of chemical admixtures should closely
follow manufacturerKs recommendations! /ir:entraining admixtures can
reduce freeze:thaw damage in pervious concrete, and are used where freeze:
thaw is a concern! /3"M 2 >5> governs chemical admixtures, and /3"M 2
.8+ governs air:entraining admixtures! Proprietary admixture products that
facilitate placement and protection of pervious pavements are also used!
"able *! "ypicalL 1anges of Materials Proportions in Pervious 2oncreteLL

Proportions, lb?ydG
Proportions, g?mG
2ementitious materials
>(+ to ((+ .84 to *.8
"otal /ggregate
.+++ to .(++ ''5+ to '>9+
&aterC cement ratioLLL (by mass)
+!.4 to +!*8 %%
-ine aggregate
+ to (++ lbs + to .54

L "hese proportions are given for information only! 3uccessful mixture design
will depend on properties of the particular materials used and must be tested
in trial batches to establish proper proportions and determine expected
behavior! 2oncrete producers may have mixture proportions for pervious
concrete optimized for performance with local materials! 6n such instances,
those proportions are preferable!
LL 2hemical admixtures, particularly retarders and hydration stabilizers, are
also used commonly, at dosages recommended by the manufacturer! ;se of
supplementary cementitious materials, such as 7y ash and slag, is common
as well!
LLL Higher ratios have been used, but signifcant reductions in strength and
durability may result!

01M2/ Pervious 2oncrete Mixture Proportioning
"he following mixture proportioning approach can be used to #uicly arrive at
pervious concrete mixture proportions that would help attain void content of
freshly mixed pervious concrete when measured in accordance with /3"M
2'899 similar to the target value!
Determine the dry:rodded unit weight of the aggregate and calculate the void
Mstimate the approximate percentage and volume of paste needed! "he
paste volume (PN) is then estimated as followsC
Np ()) O /ggregate Noid 2ontent ()) P 26 ()) : Nvoid ())
&here 26 O compaction index and
Nvoid O design void content of the pervious concrete mix!
"he value of 26 can be varied based on the anticipated consolidation to be
used in the feld! -or greater consolidation e$ort a compaction index value of
' to .) may be more reasonable! -or lighter level of consolidation a value of
4 to 9) can be used! 01M2/ used a value of () to get similar values
between measured fresh pervious concrete void content (/3"M 2'899) and
design void content! ;sing a smaller value for 26 ()) will reduce the paste
2alculate the paste volume, Np in ft* per cubic yard of pervious concreteC
Np, ft* O Np ()) Q .4
3elect the w?c ratio for the paste! 1ecommended values are in the range of
+!.( to +!*8!
2alculate the absolute volume of cement
&hereC 1Dc is the specifc gravity of cement (typically *!'()
2alculate the volume of water! Nw
Nw, ft* O Np R Nc
2alculate the volume of 33D aggregate! Nagg
Nagg O .4 R (Np P Nvoid)
&hereC Nvoid is the design void content for the pervious concrete mix!
2onvert the volumes to weights of ingredients per cubic yard and for trial
2ement (lb?yd*) O Nc Q 1Dc Q 8.!>
&ater (lb?yd*) O Nw Q 8.!>
33D 2oarse /ggregate (lb?yd*) O Nagg Q 1Dagg Q 8.!>
"rial batches are prepared to evaluate mix characteristics of the pervious
concrete mixture! Mae appropriate adJustments are made to account for
aggregate moisture content! 6f paste is high, pic a lower value or change 26
())! /void excessive cementitious content should be avoided! "he
consistency of the paste can be evaluated separately to ensure that it is not
too dry or causes paste run down by being too wet! "he density of the
mixture should be measured in accordance with /3"M 2'899 from which the
void content is calculated to ensure that values are in line with the design
void content! "hen evaluate mixture for consistency, specifcation
re#uirements and placement method used by the pervious concrete
01M2/ has developed a pervious concrete mixture proportioning guideline
and spreadsheet software that will develop trial batch mixture proportions
using volumetric considerations and mae the necessary calculations for
production batches when mixture proportions are fnalized after trial batch
evaluations! "he guideline and spreadsheet software can be purchased hereC
01M2/ Pervious 2oncrete Mixture Proportioning 3oftware