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4.3.1.

8 Sampling and Testing Representative samples of grout and concrete mixes must be obtained at the project site for QA/QC testing, as described in greater detail in Chapter 7. The three parameters most typically measured are temperature, workability, and strength. Workability is measured using slump testing for concrete and flow cone testing for grout. Strength testing is performed in a laboratory after curing samples from the field. Typical strength requirements for CFA piles are 27.6 to 34.5 MPa (4,000 to 5,000 psi). Strength testing of concrete utilizes conventional 150-mm (6-in.) diameter cylinders. For the sand-cement grout often used with CFA piles, some engineers use small cylinders 50 or 75 mm (2 or 3 in.) in diameter, but most use 50-mm (2-in.) cubes. There is not a consensus at present on which method is preferred, but the cubes are easier to prepare and transport. The compressive strength of properly prepared and tested cubes are slightly higher than that of cylinders with a height to diameter ratio of 2, so the strength requirement from tests on cubes is typically 10% higher than that of cylinders. The ideal location and time to obtain samples for testing would be at the point of discharge into the soil and after the mix has been pumped through the lines and the auger, as the properties (particularly workability) can be altered by pumping extended distances, especially in hot weather. However, this location is generally not possible, therefore, samples are typically obtained from the discharge location into the pump hopper. Workability and temperature should be checked on every truck as a means of verifying consistency of the mix. Because the grout/concrete must be placed immediately when the auger achieves the tip elevation, the sampling and inspection must be expeditious. Slump ranges for concrete for CFA piles should typically be 200 mm +/- 25 mm (8 in. +/- 1 in.), similar to that used for drilled shafts constructed using the wet method. Workability of grout is tested using a flow cone instead of the conventional slump test used for concrete. Standards ASTM C939 and U. S. Army Corps of Engineers CRD-C 611-94 provide specifications for flow cone testing in which fluid consistency is described according to an efflux time per standard volume. Because the grout mixes used for CFA piles are typically too thick to flow effectively from the standard 12 mm (0.5 in.) outlet specified in these standards, it is common practice to modify the above specs to provide a 19 mm (0.75 in.) opening. This modification can be made by taking out the removable orifice that extends out the bottom of the Corps of Engineers device to leave a 19 mm (0.75 in.) opening or to cut the flow cone specified in the ASTM standard to modify the outlet diameter. Grouts suitable for CFA pile construction typically have a fluid consistency represented by an efflux time of 10 to 25 seconds, when tested in accordance with the modifications described above. Most standard mix designs will maintain workability for a period of up to 2 hours without any additional retarding admixtures (other than the typical grout fluidifier), if agitated continuously in the ready-mix truck. Flow cone or slump tests should be performed on site at the time of placement to ensure grout/concrete workability over time. If a project has an unusual concern for a lengthy time for rebar cage placement or a great depth, additional retarding admixtures may
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