Compressive Cement Strength
Compressive Strength: Compressive strength is the basic data required for mix design. By this test, the quality and the quantity of concrete can be cotrolled and the degree of adulteration can be checked.
The test specimens are 70.6 mm cubes having face area of about 5000 sq. mm. Large size specimen cubes cannot be made since cement shrinks and cracks may develop. The temperature of water and test room should be 27 o ± 2 o C. A mixture of cement and standard sand in the proportion 1:3 by weight is mixed dry with a trowel for one minute and then with water until the mixture is of uniform colour. Three specimen cubes are prepared. The material for each cube is mixed separately. The quantities of cement, standard sand and water are 185 g, 555 g and (P/4) + 3.5, respectively where P = percentage of water required to produce a paste of standard consistency. The mould is filled completely with the cement paste and is placed on the vibration table. Vibrations are imparted for about 2 minutes at a speed of 12000±4 00 per minute.
The cubes are then removed from the moulds and submerged in clean fresh water and are taken out just prior to testing in a compression testing machine. Compressive strength is taken to be the average of the results of the three cubes. The load is applied starting from zero at a rate of 35 N/sq mm/minute. The compressive strength is calculated from the crushing load divided by the average area over which the load is applied.The result is expressed in N/mm2. The minimum specified strength for some of the cements is given in Table 5.4.
Table 7 Minimum Specified Strength in N/mm2
Tensile Strength: The tensile strength may be determined by Briquette test method or by split tensile strength test.
Importance: The tensile strength of cement affords quicker indications of defects in the cement than any other test. Also, the test is more conveniently made than the compressive strength test. Moreover, since the flexural strength, is directly related to the tensile strength this test is ideally fitted to give information both with regard to tensile and compressive strengths when the supply for material testing is small.