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TITLE: COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE CUBES

APPARATUS:

Testing Machine

Auxiliary platens

PROCEDURE:

Sample preparation,

-Concrete cube was made, cured and stored in accordance with the relevant Part of
this standard.
-Didnt test cube which was made in badly assembled moulds or which were clearly
misshapen and the reasons were stated in the test report.
-Removed any projecting fins unless auxiliary platens of the required dimensions
were used; report any treatment to remove fins.
-Immersed in water for a minimum of 5 min, removed the cubes from the curing test while
still wet.
-the cube was placed in the testing machine:
Ensure that all testing-machine bearing surfaces were wiped clean and that any loose grit or
other extraneous material was removed from the cube, which was in contact with the platens.
Use no packing between the cube and platens, and the spacing blocks if used.
Carefully center the cube on the lower platen and ensure that the load was applied to two
opposite cast faces of the cube. If auxiliary platens were used, align the top auxiliary platen
with the cube.
-Loading:
Without shock, apply and increase the load continuously at a nominal rate within the range.
0.2 N / (mm2.s) to 0.4 N / (mm2.s) until no greater load sustained. On manually controlled
machines as failure was approached the loading rate was decreased; at this stage operate the
controls to maintain as far as possible the specified loading rate. The maximum load was
recorded applied to the cube.

CALCULATION:

Compressive strength of concrete cubes at & days

Weight of sample = 8155 g

The cross sectional area = 150 x 150 mm2

Maximum load applied = 360 kN

Compressive strength for sample = (360 x 1000)/ (150 x 150)

= 16.0 N/mm2
DISCUSSION:

The test is generally accepted as providing the most useful measure of overall quality of the
concrete. Cubes for this test must be made on the site and sent to a testing laboratory after
they have been properly cured.

The cubes require having perfectly flat faces and the inside faces of the moulds must be
ground flat. If the faces are slightly uneven the cube results may be very seriously in error.
This means that as well as using the proper mould supplied for test cubes, these moulds must
be kept in perfect condition. If the internal faces become badly chipped or worn, they should
be tested for flatness and may need to be reground.

Before making cubes the mould the mould should be quite free from dirt and should have the
inside faces thinly coated with mould oil before the parts are assembled. The concrete used
for making the cubes must be a truly representative sample of the concrete going into the job.
To ensure this it is usually best to take the sample from the concrete that has been dumped
into place, although sometimes the concrete is taken direct from mixer.

Cubes are usually removed from the moulds 24 hrs after they have been made. This should be
done very carefully as the corners of the cubes can be damaged very easily. The mould should
be taken apart completely when removing the cubes, there is less danger of damaging the
cubes and also the moulds can be cleaned properly later. When a cube has been removed the
date and reference number should be stored clearly marked on it before it becomes mixed up
with other cubes.

On the site it is not easy to ensure that cubes will not become uncovered after casting, and it
is a good plan to take the sample of concrete to the site laboratory or a small shed, and make
the cubes there. They should be covered with damp matting, several layers of hessian, sand,
or other suitable material, thoroughly wetted. As soon as they are remoulded they should be
immersed in water in a tank as specified in B.S. 1881, or failing that in wet sand. Concrete
cubes should not be allowed to dry out from the time they are cast until the time they are
tested. They should never be placed near a fire.
The difficulty of towelling accurately the top surface of the specimen is overcome by capping
with neat cement an hour or so after filling with concrete. However, it does not appear that
this method introduces an additional source of error. The rate of applying the load to the
specimen affects its crushing strength. Inaccuracies may occur in making crushing tests for
various reasons, such as errors in centring the cubes, wear of the lower compression plate,
and friction in the spherical seating of the upper compression plate, and inaccurate calibration
of the machine itself. It has been found that considerable discrepancies occur between the
results of crushing tests made with different designs of machine, although when calibrated
with standard gauges these machines agree with one another to within 0.5 percent. The cause
of these discrepancies is not yet fully understood, but there is evidence to suggest that
differences in frictional effects in the spherical seating can cause variations of up to 20 %. It
appears advisable that all cubes from a particular site should be tested in the same machine in
order to get comparable results.