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STUDY ON DIFFERENT TESTS ON CEMENT AND

AGGREGATES

Tests on Fine Aggregate

 Sieve analysis
 Specific gravity
 Bulk density
 Bulking
Tests on coarse aggregate
 Sieve analysis
 Bulk density
 Aggregate crushing strength
 Aggregate impact
 Abrasion
 Flakiness index
 Elongation index
Tests on Cement
 DETERMINATION OF FINENESS OF CEMENT BY DRY SIEVING
 DETERMINATION OF SETTING TIME OF STANDARD CEMENT PASTE

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1. Particle size distribution of fine aggregate

Reference: IS : 2386 ( Part I) – 1963, IS: 383-1970, IS : 460-1962

Apparatus:
Balance, IS sieves, brush, weight box

Theory:
This is the name given to the operation of dividing a sample of aggregate into various fractions
each consisting of particles of the same size. The sieve analysis is conducted to determine the
particle size distribution in a sample of aggregate, which we call gradation. Many a time, fine
aggregates are designated as coarse sand, medium sand and fine sand. These classifications do
not give any precise meaning. What the supplier terms as fine sand may be really medium or
even coarse sand. To avoid this ambiguity fineness modulus could be used as a yard stick to
indicate the fineness of sand.
The following limits may be taken as guidance: Fine sand : Fineness Modulus : 2.2 - 2.6, Medium
sand : F.M. : 2.6 - 2.9, Coarse sand : F.M. : 2.9 - 3.2
Sand having a fineness modulus more than 3.2 will be unsuitable for making satisfactory
concrete.

Procedure:
 The sieves are arranged in the order of 4.75mm, 2.36mm, 1.18mm, 600µ, 300µ, 150µ,
and pan from top to bottom.
 Weigh 500 grams of sand and place it on the top of 4.75mm sieve.
 The set up is placed in a sieve shaker and shaked for 15 minutes.
 The residue left behind in each sieve is accurately weighed and tabulated and thus
fineness modulus is calculated.
 The cumulative mean of soil fraction retained in each sieve is compared with the result
from the IS codes based on which sand is classified.

Formula

Fineness modulus = (∑ cumulative % weight retained)/100

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2. SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF SAND
Reference: IS: 2386 ( Part III ) - 1963

Apparatus:
Balance, Oven, Vessel (Pycnometer), Filter paper.

Theory:
Specific gravity can be defined as the ratio of the weight of aggregate dried and maintained at a
temperature of 100o C to 110oC for 24±1/2 hour to the weight of equal volume of water
displaced by saturated surface dry aggregate. The volume of water displaced is equal to the
volume of solid matter of the aggregate and the volume of all pores both permeable and
impermeable. Specific gravity calculated on this basis usually is used in the calculations of
absolute volumes of concrete and its yield. Majority of aggregates have specific gravity between
2.6 and 2.9.

Procedure:
The weight of empty pycnometer (W1) is determined.
 It is then filled with sand of about one third of its volume and its weight (W2) is
determined.
 Now, the pycnometer is filled with water up to the brim. Any trapped air shall be
eliminated rotating the pycnometer on its side, the hole in the apex of the cone being
covered with a finger.
 The pycnometer shall be topped up with distilled water to remove any froth and weighed
(W3).
 The contents are emptied and cleaned with water. It is then filled with fresh water up to
the brim and weighed (W4).

Formula:

(W2 - W1) - (W3 - W4)

Where,W1-weight of pycnometer

W3-weight of pycnometer with sand and waterW4-weight of pycnometer with water

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3. BULKING OF SAND

Reference: IS: 2386 (Part III) - 1963

Apparatus:
Container or measuring cylinder, Balance, Tamping Rod.

Theory:
Free moisture forms a film around each particle. This film of moisture exerts what is known as
surface tension which keeps the neighboring particles away from it. Similarly, the force exerted
by surface tension keeps every particle away from each other. Therefore, no point contact is
possible between the particles. This causes bulking of the volume. It is interesting to note that
the bulking increases with the increase in moisture content up to a certain limit and beyond that
the further increase in the moisture content results in the decrease in the volume and at a
moisture content representing saturation point, the fine aggregate shows no bulking.

Procedure:
 The weight of metal container is found and is then filled with water to obtain the volume
of container.
 Now the given sample is filled in the measure in three layers with 25 blows for each layer
and then weighed (Wr).
 The sand is then poured in the tray and initially about 2% of water is added and
thoroughly mixed. The sand is loosely filled in the container and weighed (Ww).
 This procedure is repeated till the weight of loose sand starts decreasing.
 The graph is drawn between the % of water added and the % of bulking.
 From the graph optimum moisture content at which maximum bulking of sand can be
found out.
Formula

Weight of container )/1000

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1.Unit Weight Of Rodded Sample yr = (Weight Of Rodded Sand/Volume of the

Container)

2.Unit Weight Of Wet Loose Sand (ᵧw) = (Weight of Wet Loose Sand/Volume of

theContainer)

Moisture Content Vs % of Bulking Bulking Factor Vs Moisture Content

70 1.65
60
1.6
Bulking Factor

50
1.55
% of Bulking

40
1.5
30
1.45
20
1.4
10
1.35
0
0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20

Moisture Content Moisture Content

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4. BULK DENSITY OF SAND
Apparatus:
Balance, Cylinder, Metal measure, tamping rod.

Theory:
Bulk density can be defined as the weight of material required to fill a container of unit volume.
This unit volume consists of solid material plus the volume of voids and usually is expressed as
kg / lit. The knowledge of bulk density helps in the conversion of the aggregate quantity by
weight to quantity by volume, which is helpful in weigh batching and volume batching of the
material.
For batching purposes, if materials are measured, the bulk density of the loose material should
be calculated. On the other hand if the bulk density test is carried out to detect change in
grading and shape of the aggregate, then rodded bulk density should be carried out to detect
change in grading and shape of the aggregate, then rodded bulk density test should be carried
out to compare the results.

Procedure:
The bulk density of the sample is found in rodded state and in loose state, since the weight
varies with respect to the percentage of voids. The weight of empty metal container is found
and is then filled with water to obtain the volume of container.

In Rodded State
Now the given sample is filled in the measure in three layers with 25 blows for each layer and
then weighed. The net weight of aggregate is measured and bulk density in rodded state is
calculated.
Bulk density of Compacted sand = Weight of compacted sand / Volume of container.
In loose State
The container is filled up to overflowing by discharging the aggregates from a height of not
more than 5cm from the top of measure. Care should be taken to prevent Segregation. The
surface is leveled and the net weight is calculated.
Bulk density of loose sand = Weight of loose sand / Volume of container.

Formula
Volume of container (V) = (Weight of container with water –
Weight of container )/1000

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Bulk Density in Loose state = (Weight of loose sand/Volume of container)

Weight of rodded sand=weight of container with rodded sand- Weight of container

Weight of loose sand =Weight of container with loose sand – Weight of container

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5.SIEVE ANALYSIS OF COARSE AGGREGATE
Reference: IS: 2386 (Part I) – 1963, IS: 383-1970, IS: 460-1962

Apparatus:

Balance, IS sieves, brush, weight box

Theory:

Grading refers to the determination of the particle-size distribution for aggregate. Grading limits and
maximum aggregate size are specified because grading and size affect the amount of aggregate used as
well as cement and water requirements, workability, pumpability, and durability of concrete. In general,
if the water-cement ratio is chosen correctly, a wide range in grading can be used without a major effect
on strength. When gap-graded aggregate are specified, certain particle sizes of aggregate are omitted
from the size continuum. Gap-graded aggregate are used to obtain uniform textures in exposed
aggregate concrete. Close control of mix proportions is necessary to avoid segregation.

Procedure:

 The sample is brought to an air dry condition before weighing and sieving. This is achieved either by
drying at room temperature or by heating at a temperature of 100° C to 110° C.
 The air dry sample is weighed and sieved successively on the appropriate sieves starting with the
largest. Each sieve is shaken separately over a clean tray until not more than a trace passes, but in
any case not less than two minutes.
 The shaking shall be done with a varied motion, backwards and forwards, left to right, circular
clockwise and anti clockwise and with frequent jarring, so that the material is kept moving over the
sieve surface in frequently changing directions.
 Material shall not be forced through the sieve by hand pressure, but on sieves coarser than 20 mm,
placing of particles is permitted.
 On completion of sieving, the material retained on each sieve is weighed.

Observations:

S.No. IS Sieve Weight of Percentage Cumulative Percentage

material weight percentage of

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No. retained (kg) retained weight retained finer

1 63mm

2 40mm

3 20mm

4 16mm

5 10mm

6 4.75mm

Formula

Fineness modulus = (∑ cumulative % weight retained)/100

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6. BULK DENSITY OF COARSE AGGREGATE
Apparatus:

Balance, Cylinder, Metal container, tamping rod.

Theory:
The bulk density or unitweight of an aggregate gives valuable information regarding the shape and
grading of the aggregate. For a given specific gravity the angular aggregates show a lower bulk density.
Bulk density show how densely the aggregate is packed when filled in a standard manner. The bulk
density depends on the particle size distribution and shape of the particles. The higher the bulk density,
the lower is the void content to be filled by sand and cement. The method of determining the bulk
density also gives the method for finding out void content.

Procedure:

 The bulk density of the sample is found in rodded state and in loose state, since the weight varies
with respect to the percentage of voids.
 The test shall be carried out in dry material while determining the voids, But during the bulking test
a small amount of water may be imparted.
 The weight of empty metal container is found and is then filled with water to obtain the volume of
container.

In Rodded State

 The metal container shall be filled about one third with thoroughly mixed aggregate and tamped 25
times with tamping rod.
 Further, a similar quantity is added and again it is subjected to 25 times of tamping. The remaining
one third also filled in the same way.
 The net weight of the aggregate is measured and bulk density in rodded state is calculated.

In loose State

 The metal container is filled up to overflowing by discharging the aggregates from a height of not
more than 50cm from the top of measure. Care should be taken to prevent Segregation.
 The surface is leveled and the net weight is calculated.

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Calculation

Container)

Bulk Density in Rodded state = (Weight of rodded aggregate / Volume of

Container)

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7. DETERMINATION OF FLAKINESS INDEX
Reference : IS : 2386 ( Part I) – 1963, IS: 383-1970, IS : 460-1962

Apparatus:

Weighing balance, Metal gauge, IS sieves.

Theory:
The shape of aggregates is an important property since it affects the workability of concrete. The shape
of the aggregate depends upon the characteristics of parent rock, the type of the crusher used and the
reduction ratio. From economy point of view, for a given water cement ratio, the cement requirement
for rounded aggregates will be lesser whereas the angular aggregates consume greater cement but
results in better interlocking resulting in greater strength and durability. Excessive flaky aggregates make
a very poor concrete.
The flakiness index values are used in pavement construction in cement concrete, bituminous concrete
and other bituminous constructions. Flakiness index is a very important factor for particle size greater
than 6.3mm. They show the size of the particle whether they are equally shaped in all directions or
elongated much in certain directions. A sample of lesser flakiness index is considered to be a better
sample. Flakiness index of coarse aggregate is not to exceed 15%.

Procedure:

 A sufficient quantity of aggregate is taken such that a minimum number of 200 pieces of any
fraction can be tested.
 Each fraction is gauged in turn for thickness on the metal gauge. The total amount passing in the
gauge is weighed to an accuracy of 0.1 percent of the weight of the samples taken.
 The flakiness index is taken as the total weight of the material passing the various thickness gauges
expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the sample taken.

Table:

The following table shows the standard dimensions of thickness and length gauges.

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Size of aggregate thickness Width of slot in the Weight of material
Passing through IS Retained on IS Sieve thickness gauge passing through the
Sieve in mm in mm slot (kg)
(mm)
31.5 25.0 16.95

Formula:

Where,

B → Total weight of the aggregate

The flakiness index is the total weight of the material passing the various thickness gauges expressed as
a percentage of the total weight of the sample gauged.

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8. DETERMINATION OF ELONGATION INDEX
Reference: IS : 2386 ( Part I) – 1963, IS: 383-1970, IS : 460-1962

Apparatus:

Weighing balance, Metal gauge, IS sieves.

Theory:
Particle shape and surface texture influence the properties of freshly mixed concrete more than the
properties of hardened concrete. Rough-textured, angular, and elongated particles require more water
to produce workable concrete than smooth, rounded compactaggregate. Consequently, the cement
content must also be increased tomaintainthewater-cementratio. Generally,
flatandelongatedparticlesare avoided or are limited to about 15 %by weight of the total aggregate. The
elongation index of aggregates is percentage by weight of particles in it whose greatest dimension is
greater than 1.8 times of their mean dimension.

Procedure:

 A sufficient quantity of aggregate is taken such that a minimum number of 200 pieces of any
fraction can be tested.
 Each fraction shall be gauged individually for length on the metal gauge. The total amount retained
by gauge length shall be weighed to an accuracy of 0.1 percent of the weight of the samples taken.
 The elongation index is taken as the total weight of the material retained on the various length
gauges expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the sample gauged.

Table:

The following table shows the standard dimensions of thickness and length gauges.

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Size of aggregate thickness Size or slot in the Weight of aggregate
Passing through IS Retained on IS Sieve gauge (mm) retained in length
Sieve in mm in mm gauge

(kg)
31.5 25 58.50

25 20 40.50

20 16 32.40

16 12.5 25.60

12.5 10 20.20

10 6.3 14.70

Formula:

Where,

B → Total weight of the aggregate

The elongation index is the total weight of the material retained on the various length gauges, expressed
as a percentage of the total weight of the sample gauged.

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9. DETERMINATION OF ABRASION VALUE
Reference: IS : 2386 ( Part IV) – 1963, IS: 383-1970

Apparatus:

Los Angeles machine, Balance to weight to accuracy of 0.1gm, 1.7mm IS sieve.

Theory:

In abrasion test, the aggregate are tested with respect to its resistance to wear. According to these
values, the suitability of the aggregate for use in road construction is established. The principal of Los
angles abrasion test to find percentage wear due to relative rubbing action between the aggregate and
steel ball as abrasive charges. During the test pounding action of these balls also exist. Los angles
machine consist of hollows cylinders closed at both ends having an inside diameter of 70mm and inside
length of 50mm mounted on steel shaft about which it rotate an a horizontal axis. An opening it
provided in the sample for the introduction of the test sample. Abrasion charge consist of cast iron
spheres 4.8cm in diameter and 390 to 445 g in weight.

Procedure:

 Take 2kg of aggregate

 Choose suitable abrasion charges
 The aggregate with abrasion change i.e.12 cast iron balls were taken and placed in the cylinder of
machine
 Rotate the machine at a speed at 30 to33 revolution per minute so as to complete 300-500
revolution
 Then the machine stop and discharge material from the machine, taking care to take out entire
stone dust and sieve it through 1.7mm sieve
 Weight the material retained on 1.7mm I.S sieve and calculate the abrasion value
Observation and calculation:

2. Weight of aggregate retained on 1.7 mm IS sieve. (w2)=

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10.DETERMINATION OF CRUSHING STRENGTH
Reference: IS: 2386 (Part IV) – 1963, IS: 383-1970

Apparatus:

Steel cylinder with plunger and base plate, tamping rod, balance, IS sieve and compressive testing
machine.

Theory:

The aggregate crushing value gives a relative measure of the resistance of an aggregate to crushing
under a gradually applied compressive load. Lower the crushing value, stronger is the aggregate against
crushing. Therefore for good quality concrete, aggregate having comparatively lower crushing value is
preferred. With aggregate of aggregate crushing value 30 or higher, the result may be anomalous, and in
such cases the ten percent fines value should be determined instead.

Procedure:

Preparation of test sample:

 The material for the standard test shall consist of aggregate passing 12.5mm IS sieve and retained
on 10mm sieve.
 The aggregate shall be tested in a surface dry condition.
 If dried by heating, the period of drying shall not exceed 4 hours at a temperature of 100 to 110oC.
 The quantity of aggregate may be found conveniently by filling the cylinder in 3 layers tamping at 25
times and finally leveled using tamping rod.

Experimental details:

 The surface of the aggregate shall be completely leveled, and the plunger is inserted so that it rests
horizontally on the surface.
 The test sample and plunger in position shall be placed between the plates of the testing machine
and loaded at the uniform rate so that the total load of 40 tonnes is reached in 10 minutes.
 The load shall then be released and the whole material is removed from the cylinder and sieved on
IS 2.36 mm sieve. The fraction passing the sieve shall be weighed.

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Formula

mm sieve / Weight of Aggregate) x 100

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11.IMPACT TEST ON COARSE AGGREGATE
Reference: IS: 2386 ( Part IV) – 1963, IS: 383-1970

Apparatus:

Impact testing machine, cylindrical steel cup, metal cup, IS sieves etc.

Theory:

Theaggregateimpactvalue givesarelativemeasureoftheresistanceofanaggregatetosuddenshockor
impact, which in some aggregates differs from its resistance toa slow compressiveload. The purpose of
this test is to indicate the toughness. Toughness is the property of material which indicates its capacity
to withstand sudden shock or impact. Tougher the aggregate, more suitable it is for use in concrete,
especially for wearing surfaces such as road surface. Lower the impact value, stronger the aggregate
against impact.

Aggregate impact value shall not be more than 30% for the aggregates used in concrete for wearing
surface and not more than 45% for aggregate used in the other concrete.

Procedure:

 The material for the test shall consist of aggregates passing through 12.5mm IS sieve and retained
on 10mm sieve.
 Fill the metal measure in 3 layers, tamping each layer 25 strokes using the rounded end of the
tamping rod.
 Strike off the surplus aggregate, after compacting the final layer.
 The weight of the measure with the aggregate is taken.
 Fix the cup on the base of the impact tester and place the whole of the test sample in it and
compact it by 25 strokes of the tamping rod.
 Raise the hammer unit so that the lower face of the hammer is 380 mm above the upper surface of
the aggregate in the cup and allow it to fall freely on to the aggregate.
 15 blows are delivered at an interval of not less than 1 sec.
 Remove the crushed aggregate from the cup and sieve it on 2.36 mm IS sieve and weigh the fraction
passing the sieve.

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Formula

W1 is the weight of empty pan

TEST ON CEMENT:

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12.DETERMINATION OF FINENESS OF CEMENT BY DRY
SIEVING

Reference: IS: 4031 ( Part 1 ) - 1996

Apparatus:
IS sieve no.9, Balance, Gauging Trowel

Theory:
The fineness of cement has an important bearing on the rate of hydration and hence on the rate
of gain of strength and also on the rate of evolution of heat. Finer cement offers a greater
surface area for hydration and hence faster the development of strength. Different cements are
ground to different fineness. The particle size fraction below 3microns has been found to have
the predominant effect on the strength at one day while3-25 micron fraction has a major
influence on the28 days strength. Increase in fineness of cement is also found to increase the
drying shrinkage of concrete.

Procedure:
 Weigh accurately 100 grams of cement and place it on a standard 90 micron IS sieve.
 Breakdown any air-set lumps in the cement sample with fingers.
 Sieve the given sample continuously by giving circular and vertical motion for a period of 15
minutes.
 Weigh the residue left on the sieve.
 Calculate the fineness of cement. This value should not exceed 10 % for ordinary cement as
specified in IS 8112 - 1976

Observation:
Cement used :
Weight of cement = W1 = g
Weight of Residue = W2 = g

Calculation:
𝑊
Fineness of cement = 𝑊2 𝑥 100
1

= %

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13. DETERMINATION OF SETTING
TIME OF STANDARD CEMENT PASTE:

Reference: IS: 4031 ( Part4 ) -1988, IS : 4031 (Part 5 )- 1988, IS : 5513-1996

Apparatus:
Vicat apparatus conforming to IS : 5513-1996, Needle 1 mm square with annular attachment,
Mould, Balance, Gauging Trowel, Non porous plate, Stop Watch

Theory:
Initial setting time is regarded as the time elapsed between the moments that the water is
added to the cement, to the time that the paste starts losing its plasticity. The final setting time
is the time elapsed between the moment the water is added to the cement, and the time when
the paste has completely lost its plasticity and has attained sufficient firmness to resist certain
definite pressure

Procedure:
Prepare a cement paste by gauging a known weight of cement with 0.85 times the water required
to give a paste of standard consistency. Potable or distilled water shall be used in preparing
the paste.
Determination of Initial Setting Time
 Start a stop-watch at the instant when water is added to the cement. Fill the Vicat mould
with a cement paste gauged as above, the mould resting on a nonporous plate. Fill the
mould completely and smooth off the surface of the paste making it level with the top of
the mould.
 Place the mould resting on the non-porous plate, under the rod bearing the needle.
Lower the needle gently until it comes in contact with the surface of the paste and quickly
release, allowing it to penetrate into the mould.
 Repeat this procedure until the needle, when brought in contact with the cement paste
and released as described above, fails to pierce the block beyond 33 to 35 mm measured
from the top of the mould.
 The period elapsed between the time when water is added to the cement and the time at
which the needle penetrates the cement paste in the mould to a depth equal to 33 to 35
mm from the top is taken as initial setting time.

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Determination of Final Setting Time
 Replace the needle of the Vicat apparatus by the needle with an annular attachment.
 Thecementshallbeconsideredasfinallysetwhen,uponapplyingtheneedlegentlytothesurface
of the test block, the needle makes an impression thereon, while the attachment
fails to do so.
 The period elapsing between the time when water is added to the cement and the time
at which the needle makes an impression on the surface of test block while the
attachment fails to do so shall be the final setting time.

Observation:
Cement used :
1. Weight of given sample of cement = g
2. The normal consistency of a given sample of cement = %
3. Volume of water added (0.85 times the water required to give a paste of standard
consistency) for preparation of test block = ml

Sl. No.
(Sec) (mm)
1
2

Time at which water is added to the cement =

Time at which cement attains its final setting time =

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LIST OF IS CODES
USED FOR S.NO TETS IS CODE
TESTING OF 1. DETERMINATION OF :IS : 4031 ( Pat 6 ) -
CEMENT, C.A, COMPRESSIVE 1988, IS : 10080-1982,
And F.A OF THE STRENGTH OF CEMENT IS : 650-1966, IS: 269-
EXPERIMENTS: 1976

2. DETERMINATION OF IS: 4031 ( Part 1 ) - 1996

FINENESS OF CEMENT
BY DRY SIEVING

3. DETERMINATION OF IS : 4031 ( Part4 ) -

SETTING TIME OF 1988, IS : 4031 (Part 5
STANDARD CEMENT )- 1988, IS : 5513-1996
PASTE

4. DETERMINATION OF IS: 2386 (Part IV) –

CRUSHING STRENTH 1963, IS: 383-1970

5. PARTICLE SIZE IS : 2386 ( Part I) –

DISTRIBUTION OF FINE 1963, IS: 383-1970, IS :
AGGREGATE 460-1962

6. SIEVE ANALYSIS OF IS: 2386 (Part I)– 1963,

COARSE AGGREGATE IS: 383-1970, IS: 460-
1962

7. DETERMINATION IS: 7320-1974, IS: 1199-

WORKABILITY OF 1959, SP: 23-1982
FRESH CONCRETE BY
SLUMP CONE TEST

8. COMPRESSIVE IS: 516 - 1959, IS: 1199

STRENGTH OF -1959, SP: 23 -1982, IS:
CONCRETE 10086 -1982

TEST 1982

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