Effect of Free-Fall Height in Water on Performance of Flowable Concrete

Mohamed Sonebi, K. Khayat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Concrete placed under water should be proportioned to flow readily into place with minimum materials separation. Unlike concrete cast for deep tremie seals, the use of concrete in repairs often necessitates some free fall of the mixture through water. Such placement conditions lead to greater risk of water erosion and segregation, and should be addressed in proportioning highly flowable underwater concrete. This paper evaluates the effect of free-fall height (FFH) of concrete through water on resulting in-place properties. Concrete was cast in blocks measuring 0.54 x 0.44 x 1 m with the initial FFH in water ranging between 0.25 and 0.60 m. In-place compressive and splitting tensile strengths, unit weight, and depth of washed-out and sedimentation materials were determined. In total, 24 highly flowable mixtures with slump flows greater than 500 mm were investigated. The evaluated mixtures were prepared with various hydraulic binders, including conventional Type 10 cement, a binary mixture with 10% of silica fume (SF), and a ternary binder incorporating 20% of fly ash (FA) and 6% of SF. The mixtures were proportioned with water-binder ratios (w/b) ranging between 0.41 and 0.47. Test results show that the increase of FFH of fresh concrete in water can greatly decrease the residual strength and significantly increase the thickness of washed out and sedimentation materials. The incorporation of 10% of SF, or 20% of FA and 6% of SF, and the reduction of the w/b from 0.47 to 0.41 can, however, lead to a significant increase in washout resistance and residual strength. A relationship between residual strength and the coupled factor of free-fall drop of concrete in water and washout resistance is established.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-78
    Number of pages7
    JournalACI Materials Journal
    Volume98, No. 1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001

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