The stability of the air content of concrete during pumping has been the subject of a number of recent investigations. Because increasing volumes of concrete are placed with the aid of pumps and the durability of such concrete to freezing and thawing (ASTM C666) as well as the scaling resistance (ASTM C672) preoccupy engineers, a study concerning the stability of the air-void system of a concrete with 45 to 50 MPa compressive strength was carried out. The slump of the three tested concretes ranged between 85 and 115 mm. Three pumping setups were studied. In the first, the concrete was pumped horizontally; in the second the concrete was pumped upward and then downward. In the third, the vertical setup was used but a reduced section was placed at the end of the pump line, and the concrete was allowed to free fall a short distance. For each pump setup, the concrete was sampled before being placed in the pump and after leaving the pump. The results clearly show that when the concrete is pumped horizontally, the spacing factor (L) and the specific surface of the air-void system are barely altered. On the other hand, after pumping the concrete vertically without a reduced end section, it was impossible to obtain an L less than 230 micrometers, the maximum spacing factor allowed by Canadian standards (CSA A23.1) to ensure good frost durability. Furthermore, the specific surface of the air bubbles fell to 20/mm, which is inferior to the 25/mm recommended in Canadian standards. By placing a reduced section at the end of the vertical pump line, it was possible to enhance the air-void system but that procedure still fell short of ensuring a system that satisfies the air-void system recommended by Canadian standards to ensure proper frost durability. Although the pumped concrete mixtures did not always satisfy the requirements of CSA A23.1 regarding air-void systems, they satisfied the requirements of ASTM C666 (Procedure A) for resistance to freeze-thaw cycles. Freeze-thaw resistance in the presence of deicing salts was evaluated according to ASTM C672. After 50 frost cycles, all but one concrete exhibited mass losses that were lower than the maximum permissible limit of 0.50 kg/sq m required by BNQ 2621-900, the standard currently enforced in the province of Quebec. Placing a reduced section at the end of the pump line creates a light counterpressure in the descending section of the pump line, which allows the conservation of an acceptable air-void system. Considering the appreciable improvement in the preservation of air-void characteristics when a reduced section was placed at the end of the pump line, it was decided to proceed with further experimental work using four 90-degree elbows placed at the end of the vertically hanging pump line.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 9-14
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00727329
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309059046
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 21 1996 12:00AM