7 International Standards for Concrete That You Should Read And Use

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Numerous international standards are now available but there are concrete standards that every quality engineer and civil engineer needs to know.

These standards are the main reasons why there are specifications because most of the specifications are based on the international standards, may it be British standards or American standards or Indian Standards.

The construction of any structures especially high-rise buildings like we built in some areas in Dubai such as The Marina Mansions, The Square in Al Mamzar, AMMROC in Al Ain airport, FGB Al Jaddaf and many more, we followed properly the specifications as well as the standards, the reason why the project was completed without numerous of construction defects.

Here are the seven international standards for concrete that you should learn and use.

1. BS EN 206:2013+A1: 2016: Concrete – Specification, performance, production and conformity

This standard covers technical rules pertaining concrete’s specification, performance, production, and conformity. This standard should be used by contractors, manufacturers, clients, and consultants for construction projects. The standard specified the concrete’s designation, designs, prescriptions, standardizations, and proprietary conformities.

This is a European standard for designing concrete structures. In addition, this standard can be normal weight, lightweight and heavyweight. Also, this concrete specified may be mixed on-site, ready mixed or plant produced such as precast concrete. This standard is important as concrete in itself is the main materials used in construction.

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2. BS EN 12390-2:2009: Testing Concrete. Making and curing specimens for strength tests.

This standard specifies the methods for making specimens and curing of these samples for the different concrete strength tests. This talks about the preparation to the proper filling of concrete cylinders or molds, to the compaction of concrete, the ways to level the concrete surface, the curing itself up to the proper way of transporting these test specimens.

This standard is important for engineers to know the ways to prepare, safe keep, and handle concrete specimens. Concrete specimens are important in every project as it determines if the casted concrete has truly reached the designed strength. Without it. Improper preparation may deliver incorrect actual strength that is disastrous for the project itself.

3. ASTM C642 – 13: Standard Test Method for Density, Absorption, and Voids, in Hardened Concrete

The test conducts the determination of percent absorption, percent voids and density of a settled or hardened concrete. Although most of the test methods and reference notes of the test are self-explanatory, it is relevant as this standard is useful in the creation of baseline data needed for conversions between volume and mass for the hardened concrete. In addition, it can be used for engineers to know the conformance with specification of hardened concrete and to know the differences from a certain point to another in the same mass of concrete.

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4. BS 1881-122:2011: Testing Concrete: Method for the determination of water absorption

This standard specifies the proper method for the determination of water absorption of concrete samples that is cored from the structure or any precast member. In addition, the method specified may determine the water absorption of concretes that is cast into cylinders or prisms wherein the surface to its volume ratio may be calculated and where there should be no point of the sample specimen is greater than 50 mm from the free surface.

The contents of this standard include the scope. This standard is relevant as concrete in itself is not watertight. It’s characteristics by the time it touches the water should be determined and studied so engineers will be able to set parameters to maximize the use of concrete.

5. ASTM C144-15: Standard Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Hydraulic Cement

This international test standard in relevant as it covers the chemical analysis of hydraulic cement. Hydraulic cement are most common in the market which is why it is important to know its characteristic with respect to analyzing its chemical compounds. This standard test would provide a baseline data schemes of analysis for hydraulic cement and is also needed in those areas where conformances to various chemical standards and specification is being questioned.

6. ASTM C1116/ C1116 (2015): Standard Specification for Fiber-Reinforced Concrete

With several engineering breakthroughs that use fiber-reinforced concrete, this standard has to be set for the engineer globally to be on the same plane. This standard is really of use as the acceptance of criteria, tolerances, air contents and required performances for workability are all discussed thoroughly. A certain portion of this standard also discusses the applicability of the fiber-reinforced concrete for shotcrete works. Shotcrete works are universally accepted thus it should as well be experimented to maximize its use.

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7. BS EN 12350-2:2009: Testing fresh concrete, a slump test

By far the most common standard every engineer should know. Concrete in itself is very sensitive to changes as due to its viscosity when it has not settled yet. This standard specifies the extremes of the measurement of slumps and other than the specified parameters, the concrete may be unsuitable to be used on site.

In addition, this standard also states that if the concrete continues to deform a minute after the de-molding, the slump test is unsuitable. This is important as this standard will teach engineers the proper way of testing fresh concrete particularly the slump test which is used almost every day on site.

These are some of the test most common standard every engineer should be knowledgeable of.

What standards do you use for concrete in your project? Do you use the standards mentioned above?
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