Medium strength self-compacting concrete containing fly ash: Modelling using factorial experimental plans

Mohammed Sonebi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


Fresh self-compacting concrete (SCC) flows into place and around obstructions under its own weight to fill the formwork completely and self-compact, without any segregation and blocking. The elimination of the need for compaction leads to better quality concrete and substantial improvement of working conditions. SCC mixes generally have a much higher content of fine fillers, including cement, and produce excessively high compressive strength concrete, which narrows its field of application to special concrete only. To obtain maximum benefit from SCC, it has to be adopted in general concrete construction practice. Such practice requires inexpensive and medium strength concrete. This investigation aims to develop medium strength SCC (MS-SCC). The cost of materials will be decreased by reducing the cement content and by using pulverised fuel ash (PFA) with a minimum amount of superplasticizer (SP). A factorial design was carried out to mathematically model the influence of five key parameters on filling and passing abilities, segregation and compressive strength, which are important for the successful development of medium strength self-compacting concrete incorporating PFA. The parameters considered in the study were the contents of cement and PFA, water-to-powder (cement+PFA) ratio (W/P) and dosage of SP. The responses of the derived statistical models are slump flow, fluidity loss, Orimet time, V-funnel time, L-box, JRing combined to the Orimet, JRing combined to cone, rheological parameters, segregation and compressive strength at 7, 28 and 90 days. Twenty-one mixes were prepared to derive the statistical models, and five were used for the verification and the accuracy of the developed models. The models are valid for mixes made with 0.38 to 0.72 W/P, 60 to 216 kg/m3 of cement content, 183 to 317 kg/m 3 of PFA and 0% to 1% of SP, by mass of powder. The influences of W/P, cement and PFA contents, and the dosage of SP were characterised and analysed using polynomial regression, which can identify the primary factors and their interactions on the measured properties. The results show tha MS-SCC can be achieved with a 28-day compressive strength of 30 to 35 MPa by using up to 210 kg/m3 of PFA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1208
Number of pages10
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Fly ash
  • Rheology
  • Segregation
  • Self-compacting concrete
  • Slump flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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