Mentor: Yahya Kurama

Location of Research: University of Notre Dame

Category of Research: Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering

Working Title:
The Effects of Type and Amount of Aggregate on Concrete Strength and Durability

Topic/problem: ‍

Research Plan:
Concrete that is used for buildings and structures is often a mix of concrete and aggregate replacements. There are many different types of aggregate and many different amounts of replacement used in construction. The tests conducted will determine which type and amount of aggregate is the most effective by undergoing different durability and strength tests. This research is important because many construction companies need to be informed on which concrete works the best and if the different specimens meet the many ASTM standards. My hypothesis is that additional aggregate in concrete will make it perform worse during durability and strength tests.

Procedure for Freeze-Thaw Test:

1. Cure 3 cylinders of concrete with 0% and 100% replacement for both types of aggregate.

-Cylinders must be 3 inches in width and 6 inches in length.

-All specimens must be the same dimensions

-Specimens must be cured 14 days before the tests are started.

2. Store specimens in water from the time of their removal from the molds until the time the freezing and thawing tests are started.

3. Place specimens in the freezer (set to 0º F) for 3 hours.

4. After 3 hours remove specimens from freezer and place into container with water for thawing.

5. Weigh and measure the length and width of each specimen in between each freeze and thaw test.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 steps for 10 cycles.

7. After the last cycle perform compression strength tests on each specimen.

Procedure for Water Absorption Test:

1. Make three concrete pucks for each type of aggregate and replacement.

-Must be 100mm in diameter and 50mm in length.

2. Measure at least four diameters of the specimen (to the nearest 0.1 mm) and record.

3. Record the mass of the specimen (to the nearest 0.01 g) and record.

4. Seal the side of each specimen with the Silicone Caulk.

5. Seal the side not being exposed to water with a Plastic Sheet.

6. Measure the mass of the sealed specimen (to the nearest 0.01 g) and record as initial mass.

7. Place the ball bearings at the bottom of the pan and fill the pan with water so the surface is 1 to 3 mm above the ball bearings. (Keep this water level through out the whole experiment.)

8. Start the timer and immediately place the test surface of the specimen in the water and record the time and date of the initial contact with water.

9. Record the mass for each of these intervals:

-60 seconds

-5 min

-10 min

-20 min

-30 min

-60 min

-every hour up to 6 hours

-once a day up to 9 days

10. Every time the specimen is massed, remove from pan, stop timer, and remove any surface liquid with a paper towel. Turn specimen upside down to mass it to avoid having to wipe off the balance.

11. Replace the specimen and start timer.

12. Perform compression strength tests on each specimen after the experiment.

The results will be analyzed by solving the different equations given using the data collected from these tests.

9/9/15 Met with mentor for the first time and got an idea for research project.
9/18/15 Project idea was discussed further
9/23/15 Literature was given for research and plans for procedure were to be researched.
10/14/15 Met with mentor and finalized procedure.
10/20/15 Met with mentor and got grant application signed.
Mentor was contacted on: 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/16/15, 11/21/15 by email and phone to set up a meeting date and there was no response until 11/23/15. A meeting will be planned so research can be started
12/27/15 Concrete was mixed and poured into molds (Temp 62 degrees F, Time: 2:30-3:30)
1/11/16 Concrete pucks were demolded
1/19/16 Concrete cylinders were demolded. Freeze Thaw tests started 3:00pm
1/20/16 Silicone put on pucks. 2 cycle of FT test completed
1/21/16 Silicone was dry so pucks were massed. Cycle 3 of FT test
1/25/16 Cycle 4 and 5 of FT test. Water Absorption tests were started.
1/26/16 Cycle 6 of FT test. WA test day 1
1/27/16 WA test day 2
1/28/16 WA test day 3. FT test cycle 7
1/29/16 WA day 4
1/30/16 WA day 5
1/31/16 WA day 6. FT test cycle 8
2/1/16 WA day 7. FT test cycle 9
2/2/16 WA day 8. FT test cycle 10. Compression strength tests were conducted at Notre Dame.