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Journal of Civil Engineering Research 2015, 5(3): 67-73

DOI: 10.5923/j.jce.20150503.03

Evaluation of the Concrete Works Produced

Locally in River Nile State
Mohamed Y. Mustafa1, Fathelrahman M. Adam2,*

Civil Engineering Department, Nile Valley University, Atbara, Sudan

Civil Engineering Department, Jazan University, Jazan, KSA, on leave from Nile Valley University, Sudan

Abstract This paper aim to evaluate the concrete produced locally in River Nile State (RNS) where the output results

lead to improve the work of casting the concrete in-situ in order to acquire the design values and raise the level of quality
control. A data concern the concrete casting in-situ in the RNS was collected by visiting a 24 sites included information
about the materials used in concrete such as cement, sand and gravel also information about the procedure followed for
quality control and the tests done for the concrete and materials and its results. Many samples of materials on sites were
collected and a lab test for each had been done. The study also include visiting of 20 sites constructed through past 10 years
and the available data had been collected. This paper adopted a criterion to classify the sites included by this study
according to the quality control. Statistical analysis had been done for the information collected and for the results obtained
from lab test. The study concluded that for more than 57% of the sites studied it is found that the quality control followed
for construction is fair and poor. Many reasons of that were summarized and the necessary recommendations were given.

Keywords Concrete Work, Quality Control, Mix Design, Concrete Materials Tests

1. Introduction
Sudan is developing country and its infrastructures are
under construction such as bridges, roads, water dams, etc.,
so the construction industry continues in expand in order to
meet the increase in population and the consequent increase
in the life requirements. In the near future is expected to
increase these facilities as well as the steps taken to achieve
peace and political stability that will attract foreign
investment to contribute in this area within Sudan.
Concrete is a composite material composed of coarse
granular embedded in a hard matrix of material (cement)
that fills the space between the aggregate particles and
water glues them together. The mixture when placed in
forms and. allowed to cure becomes hard like stone. The
hardening is caused by chemical action between water and
the cement and it continues for a long time, and
consequently the concrete grows stronger with age. The
strength, durability and other characteristics of concrete
depend upon the properties of its ingredients, on the
proportions of mix, the method of compaction and other
controls during placing, compaction and curing. In Sudan
most of construction companies do not pay attention to
adopt the correct methods for production the concrete, as
* Corresponding author: (Fathelrahman M. Adam)
Published online at
Copyright 2015 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved

they in many cases employs unskilled labor, resulting in a

disparity in the quality of concrete produced, and leads to
the appearance of defects in structures and sometimes turns
disintegration in concrete which affects the performance
and durability and may lead to unsafe use.
The building in the RNS are categorized to three types,
these are building construct using reinforced concrete frame,
building using steel frame and building built directly on
load bearing walls. Most of buildings are built using
reinforced concrete frame and this is because the materials
are available.
The selection of the relative proportions of cement, water,
and aggregate is called mix design. The requirements of
mix designs are workability, strength, durability and
economy [1]. The workability describes the ease or
difficulty with which the concrete is handled, transported
and placed between the forms with minimum loss of
homogeneity. The main factor affecting workability is the
water cement in the mix also the maximum size of
aggregates its grading, texture and shape. Good concrete
can be made by using different types of aggregates and the
quality of concrete chiefly depends upon the quality of
aggregate because these are the aggregates that cover at
least 3/4th of the total volume of concrete Also the
aggregate greatly influence the durability and structural
performance of concrete. Cement is by far the most
important constituent is about 10 per cent of the volume of
the concrete mix, it is the active portion of the binding
medium and the only scientifically controlled ingredient of


Mohamed Y. Mustafa et al.: Evaluation of the Concrete Works Produced Locally in River Nile State

concrete. The cement commonly used is Portland cement

and in common situations, cements with a greater fineness
level will tend to hydrate rapidly and result high early age
strength, due to this fact, use of finer cements in the mix.
design of high early strength concrete is common.
Moreover, finer cement causes a stronger reaction with
alkali reactive aggregate, and makes the cement, though not
necessarily concrete, display a higher shrinkage and a
greater proneness to cracking [2]. Generally, cement
requires about 0.3 of its weight of water for hydration.
Hence the minimum water-cement ratio required is 0.35.
But the concrete containing water in this proportion will be
very harsh and difficult to place. Additional water is
required to lubricate the mix, which makes the concrete
workable. This additional water must be kept to the
minimum, since too much water reduces the strength of
concrete. The water-cement ratio is influenced by the grade
of concrete, nature and type of aggregates, the workability
and durability. If too much water is added to concrete, the
excess water along with cement comes to the surface by
capillary action and this cement-water mixture forms a
scum or thin layer of chalky material known as laitance.
This laitance prevents bond formation between the
successive layers of concrete and forms a plane of weakness.
The excess water may also leak through the joints of the
formwork and make the concrete honeycombed. As a rule,
the smaller the percentage of water, the stronger is the
concrete subject to the condition that the required
workability is allowed for [3]. The impurities in water may
obstruct the setting of cement, may badly influence the
strength of the concrete or produce discoloration of its
surface, and may also cause rusting of the reinforcement.
The compressive strength of concrete is one of the most
important mechanical properties. In most structural
applications, concrete is employed primarily to resist the
compressive forces. In those cases where other stresses (for
e.g. tensile) are of primary importance, the compressive
strength is still frequently used as a measure of the
resistance because this strength is the most convenient to
measure. For the same reason, the compressive strength is
generally used as a measure of the overall quality of the
concrete, when strength itself may be relatively unimportant
[4]. The strength of a hardened concrete largely depends
upon the (i) water-cement ratio, (ii) the quality and
characteristics of cement, (iii) the degree of compaction
obtained in the concrete, (iv) curing and (v) the age of the
concrete. The strength increases, as the concrete becomes
older [4].
The strength of concrete is influence by the curing which
is the process led to keep the concrete moist and warm
enough so that hydration of cement can continue. If curing
is neglected in the early period of hydration, the quality of
concrete will experience a sort of irreparable loss. Concrete,
while hydrating, releases high heat of hydration. This heat
is harmful from the point of view of volume stability. If the
heat generated is removed by some means, the adverse
effect due to the generation of heat can be reduced. This can

be done by a thorough water curing which it is a method of

curing and another methods of curing is the membrane
curing where the concrete covered with membrane which
will effectively seal off the evaporation of water from it.
Different methods of curing are fully detailed in Reference
Compaction of concrete is the process adopted for
expelling the entrapped air from the concrete. In the process
of mixing, transporting and placing of concrete air is likely
to get entrapped in the concrete. The lower the workability,
higher is the amount of air entrapped. In other words, stiff
concrete mix has high percentage of entrapped air and,
therefore, would need higher compacting efforts than high
workable mixes. If this air is not removed fully, the
concrete loses strength considerably [5]. More details about
methods of adopting compaction in References [2, 5].
The successful placement of concrete is dependent upon
careful mixing which can vary from hand to machine
mixing. The successful mixture is achieved by proper
batching of all materials. Quality assurance, suitable
arrangement of materials and equipment, and correct
weighing of the materials are the essential steps that must
be completed before any mixing takes place [6].
The transferring of concrete from the mixing plant to the
construction site must be done in careful in order to prevent
segregation and to not reduce the workability of the mix.
This transportation process must be well thought out and
organized efficiently. As a general rule of thumb, thirty to
sixty minutes of transportation are acceptable on small jobs.
At a central or portable ready-mix plant, concrete should be
discharged from a truck mixer or agitator truck within two
hours. If non-agitating transporting equipment is used, this
time is reduced to one hour. All delays must be avoided in
order prevent honeycombing or cold joints [6].
The placing of concrete can be done either by using
pumps, jacks or by using metal or plastic containers. If the
placing of concrete can be done directly from a truck or
concrete pump, the concrete must be place vertically into
the face of concrete already in place and never allow the
concrete to fall more than 1 to 1.5 meters. Concrete is
placed in its final position before the cement reaches its
initial set and concrete is compacted in its final position
within 30 minutes of leaving the mixer and once compacted
it should not be disturbed. In all cases the concrete is
deposited as nearly as practicable directly in its final
position and should not be re-handled or caused to flow in a
manner which may cause segregation, loss of materials,
displacement of reinforcement, shuttering or embedded
inserts or impair its strength. For locations where direct
placement is not possible and in narrow forms suitable drop
and Elephant Trunks to confine the movement of concrete
is provided. Special care is taken where concrete is dropped
from a height especially if reinforcement is in the way
particularly in columns and thin walls [3].
This paper study and evaluate the cast in-situ concrete
either ready mix or blended manually in RNS. The study
depends on design a questionnaire to collect data on the

Journal of Civil Engineering Research 2015, 5(3): 67-73

materials used in the concrete industry, as well as methods

of mixing and pouring it on site in addition to do field visits
to sites to collect the necessary data that help on study.

2. Concrete Materials Available in RNS

3.1. Evaluation According to the Requirements of

Quality Control
A forms has been prepared on the bases of quality control
requirements which bases on three items as reference to
evaluate, these are:
1. The materials specifications contain cement and
aggregate according to the following details:
a. For cement: the results of test done before using
and the suitability of it for use according to
ASTM requirements.
b. For aggregate (fine and course): their
classification, grading and strength all these are
according to ASTM requirements.
2. The preparing phase and executing phase for the
concrete production. The preparing phase include the
mix design and the method followed according to BS
Code. The executing phase include the method of
mixing, the method of placing and transporting of
concrete and compaction as specified and
recommended by technical books and researchers [1,
2, 4-11] with check for workability by applying slump
test according to ASTM requirements.
3. The procedure and type of curing done according to
the technical and recommended procedure and
compressive strength of the cubes sampled from
concrete according to ASTM requirements.

The Ordinary Portland Cement is richly available in RNS

because of most manufacturers of cement factories exist in
RNS. The aggregate also available, both crushed and
uncrushed (natural). The natural aggregate sometimes exist
in poor-graded and need blending between two types or
more to be comply with the standards specification for
aggregates [7]. Also That there are some harmful
substances that are likely presence in the aggregate but as
general the aggregate in RNS has no alkaline materials in
chemical composition [7].

3. Evaluation of the Concrete Works

This paper adopt two methods for evaluation of concrete
work in RNS, one method is by measuring the quality
control of concrete directly and the other is by using
statistical analysis by calculating the standard deviation and
coefficient of variation. The evaluation has been done by
way of classifying the quality control of concrete work for
the sites visited to four classes
1- Class A, mean the quality control is Excellent.
2- Class B, mean the quality control is Good.
3- Class C, mean the quality control is Fair.
4- Class D, mean the quality control is Poor.


The evaluation was organized by given percentages for

the three items above with comparing the data collected and
the results of tests obtained with the requirements of each
item as detailed above. The forms used for evaluation are
shown in Tables 1, 2 and 3.

Table 1. Form to Evaluate Concrete Constituents

Relative Wt. of Component

Concrete Constituents (20%)





Test of each Batch

Testing Per Brand

Not Tested

Crushing Value



Not Acceptable



Relative Wt. of Item

Table 2. Form to Evaluate Workmanship
Wt. of

Workmanship (50%)
Control of Mix Proportions (30%)



Mixing and placing (20%)

Type of Batching

Type of Vibration

By Volume
Wt. of








Plant or






Time Between*
Mixing &




Type of Vibration



* The Time Limits Indicated are used for Normal Concrete without any additives., If concrete Admixtures are used, then these Limits are Amended Accordingly.

Mohamed Y. Mustafa et al.: Evaluation of the Concrete Works Produced Locally in River Nile State


Table 3. Form to Evaluate Curing and Sampling

Relative Wt.
of Component

Curing (20%)

Samples Taken and Tested (10%)

Type & Method


Spraying with


Contractor's Samples

Period (Days)








Relative Wt.
of Item

The percentage for the three items and their branches are detailed in Table 4.
Table 4. Site Evaluation Form
Site Details:

According to the





Preparing phase

Mix design procedure


Executing phase

Mixing, placing, compaction and slump test



Type and time


Compressive Strength

Samples of Cubes of concrete


Item No.


Material specification





The sites are classified according to the total of

percentage gained for the quality control (QC) according to
the limitations shown in Table 5.
Table 5. Evaluation Classes with Reference to the Percentage of QC
Percentage % Limitation


100 90

89 70

69 50

49 0


The coefficient of variation can be calculated from the

following formula:


x 100

Table 6. Evaluation Classes with Reference to the values of STD and CV

This method is based on measuring the standard

deviation () as reliable method of measuring used for
evaluating the quality control statistically and also
calculating the coefficient of variation ().
The standard deviation can be measure from the formula:

To set the classes according to values of standard

deviation (STD) and coefficient of variation (CV), Table 6
explained the criterion.

3.2. Evaluation According to the Statistical Analysis


According to the
Site Evaluation


n is the number of concrete cubes
i is the compressive strength of concrete cubes after
28-days where i the counter from 1 to n.
is the mean of the compressive strengths for concrete
cubes and can be calculated from the formula:

Standard Deviation (N/mm2)

Coefficient of Variation (%)




3.5 4.0

13 15

4.1 5.5

16 18

> 5.5

> 18

The above criterion is near to criterion adopted by

ACI-214-77 and Walker [11].

4. Collecting and Analysis of Data

The data are collected from 24 sites under construction
and from 20 sites constructed within 10 years later.
For the 24 sites the ways of collecting data are restricted
on visiting the sites, take samples of materials like cement,

Journal of Civil Engineering Research 2015, 5(3): 67-73

aggregate (coarse and fine) and fresh concrete, general seen

inspection, tools and types of doing mixing, placing of
concrete, compaction and curing, meeting contract engineer
and supervision engineer and query them about labors and
their skills, tools used in construction, whether and climate
of mixing and placing of concrete and any admixture used
for concrete. All these data are collected and tabulated in
Tables and analyzed according to the criterion mentioned
before. And also all the necessary tests for the materials
cement, aggregate and fresh concrete in addition to
compressive strength for cubes in 28-daye had been done
and the results were recorded.
For the constructed 20 sites, all the necessary data for
analysis in addition to the results of test are collected from


existence files concern these sites from the authorized and

confidential institution.
For the data collected for all sites and for the results
obtained from the laboratory tests an analysis had been
done by the two methods described before by using
evaluation form shown in Table 1 and Equations 2 and 3.

5. Results and Discussion

According to the results of evaluation all sites were
classified according to the criterion described before and
shown in Tables 2 and 3. The classification results were
summarized as shown in Table 7 and more clarify in
Figures 1, 2 and 3.

Table 7. Classification Results


24 sites




All Sites


A (Excellent)





B (Good)




C (Fair)






D (Poor)












Figure 1. Classification of 24-Sites

Figure 2. Classification of 20-Sites


Mohamed Y. Mustafa et al.: Evaluation of the Concrete Works Produced Locally in River Nile State

Figure 3. Classification of All 44-Sites

The results shown in Table 7 and Figures 1, 2 an 3 are the

classification of sites as done according to criterion adopt in
this paper in order to evaluate the quality control of the
production of concrete in sites studied. According to the
results obtained we see only 12% of 24 sites under
construction gained excellent QC and 17% have good QC
and the remainder have fair and poor, also for 20-sites only
19% of sites are excellent and good and the remainder are
under good, this results reflect that there is a problem in the
methods and types used for QC and this maybe refer to use
acceptable materials but not high quality, use unskilled
labor, the types and tools used for mixing, compacting,
placing and curing are not typical to recommended and
specified tools and types and also may refer to week
As general the 20 existing sites have best QC than
24-sites under construction, where 20-sites have 50% of
sites of QC above B-class where for 24-sites have only 38%
sites above B-class. This lead to sign a recommending to
the contractors for 24-sites to be care for the reasons lead to
poor QC in order to raise it.

6. Conclusions
A 24-sites under construction and 20-sites constructed
within 10 years past were studied in order to evaluate the
quality control of the concrete work in the River Nile State.
The evaluation have been done according to the data
collected that concern the quality control like material data
(cement, aggregate and fresh concrete) and technical data
about the types and methods used to execute the concrete
work from the mixing, handling and placing the concrete
and all functions accompanied to verify quality control like
compaction and curing and the necessary field and
laboratory tests. The evaluation had been done by adopting
total percentage for each site according to results of tests
and according to the technical method followed to verify
the quality control. A criterion has been used for classifying
the sites to classes according to the evaluation percentage
obtained for each site. A four classes were adopt that are A

for excellent QC, B for good QC, C for fair QC and D for
poor QC. A statistical analysis had been done based on
standard deviation and coefficient of variation and these
also used to classify the sites to the same classes. From the
results obtained we concluded that about 57% of the total
sites studied have QC under class B. This mean the QC is
weak and more attention must be think about in order to
verify as less a good QC by seeking about the reasons of
declining the QC and see how to avoid them and make
attention to the unskilled labor and using tools and types
that precise the work with anticipated to use in future the
ready mix concrete.


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Practice, S. Chand & Company Ltd., 2005.


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of Plain Concrete, National Building Research Station
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Ahamed A.A. and Fadl A.I "Strength of Concrete as affected

by Curing Conditions in Hot and Dry Climate" (Current
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Faiga M.A. "Effect of Curing on Concrete Strength",

Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Civil Department, Faculty of
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[10] Awad M.E., Water for Mixing and Curing of Concrete",

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