Anda di halaman 1dari 41

ACI 228.


In-Place Methods to Estimate Concrete Strength

Reported by ACI Committee 228

Nicholas J. Carino* Mary J. Sansalone

Chairman Secretary

Farhad Ansari F. Dirk Heidbrink Robert W. Ross

John A. Bickley Kal R. Hindo Thomas J. Rowe
Hermenegildo Caratin Roberto Huyke Bryce P. Simons
Ki Ho Choi Robert S. Jenkins Patrick J. Sullivan
Gerardo G. Clemea Alexander M. Leshchinsky Bruce A. Suprenant
Neil A. Cumming H. S. Lew Michael A. Taylor
Allen G. Davis Kenneth M. Lozen George V. Teodoru
Ronald L. Dilly V. M. Malhotra Henry T. Thornton, Jr.
Donald E. Dixon Larry D. Olson Woodward L. Vogt
Boris Dragunsky Sandor Popovics Alexander B. Zoob
Richard D. Gaynor Paul H. Read

* Task force Chairman.

Member of task force that prepared revision.

Guidance is provided on the use of methods to estimate the in-place Chapter 2Review of methods, p. 228.1R-3
strength of concrete in new and existing construction. The methods include: 2.1Introduction
rebound hammer, penetration resistance, pullout, break-off, ultrasonic
pulse velocity, maturity, and cast-in-place cylinders. The principle, inher-
2.2Rebound number (ASTM C 805)
ent limitations, and repeatability of each method are reviewed. Procedures 2.3Penetration resistance (ASTM C 803)
are presented for developing the relationship needed to estimate compres- 2.4Pullout test (ASTM C 900)
sive strength from in-place results. Factors to consider in planning in-place 2.5Break-off test (ASTM C 1150)
tests are discussed, and statistical techniques to interpret test results are 2.6Ultrasonic pulse velocity (ASTM C 597)
presented. The use of in-place tests for acceptance of concrete is intro-
duced. The appendix provides information on the number of strength levels
2.7Maturity method (ASTM C 1074)
that should be used to develop the strength relationship and explains a 2.8Cast-in-place cylinders (ASTM C 873)
regression analysis procedure that accounts for error in the independent 2.9Combined methods
variable. 2.10Summary

Keywords: coefficient of variation; compressive strength ; concretes; Chapter 3Statistical characteristics of tests, p. 228.1R-
construction; nondestructive tests; reviews; safety; sampling; statistical
3.1Need for statistical analysis
3.2Repeatability of test results
Chapter 4Development of strength relationship, p.
Chapter 1Introduction, p. 228.1R-2 228.1R-18
1.1Scope 4.1General
1.2Need for in-place testing during construction 4.2New construction
1.3Influence of ACI 318-83 4.3Existing construction
1.4Existing construction
1.5Objective of report

ACI Committee Reports, Guides, Standard Practices, and Commentaries

are intended for guidance in planning, designing, executing, and inspecting
construction. This document is intended for the use of individuals who
are competent to evaluate the significance and limitations of its con- ACI 228.1R-95 supersedes ACI 228.1R-89 and became effective October 1, 1995.
Extensive revisions have been made throughout the report. The title was changed
tent and recommendations and who will accept responsibility for the and the synopsis expanded. New information was added, and existing information was
application of the material it contains. The American Concrete Institute expanded in each chapter. New chapters were added to cover planning and in-place
disclaims any and all responsibility for the stated principles. The Institute testing for acceptance. Four new appendixes were added as well.
shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising therefrom. Copyright 1995, American Concrete Institute.
Reference to this document shall not be made in contract documents. If All rights reserved including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any
items found in this document are desired by the Architect/Engineer to be means, including the making of copies by any photo process, or by any electronic or
a part of the contract documents, they shall be restated in mandatory lan- mechanical device, printed, written, or oral, or recording for sound or visual reproduc-
tion or for use in any knowledge or retrieval system or device, unless permission in
guage for incorporation by the Architect/Engineer. writing is obtained from the copyright proprietors.


Chapter 5Planning for in-place testing, p. 228.1R-23 widely used test for concrete has been the compression test
5.1New construction of the standard cylinder. The test procedure is relatively easy
5.2Existing construction to perform in terms of sampling, preparation of specimens,
and the determination of strength. When properly per-
Chapter 6Interpretation of results, p. 228.1R-28 formed, this test has low within-test variation and low inter-
6.1Introduction laboratory variation, and therefore lends itself readily to use
6.2Statistical methods as a standard. The compressive strength so obtained is mod-
6.3Reporting results ified by specified factors and used to verify the nominal
strengths of structural members. This strength value is,
Chapter 7In-place tests for acceptance of concrete, p. therefore, an essential parameter in design codes.
228.1R-33 When carried out according to standard procedures, how-
7.1General ever, the cylinder test only represents the potential strength
7.2Acceptance criteria of the concrete as delivered to a site. The test is used mainly
7.3Early-age testing as a basis for quality control to assure that contract require-
ments are met. It is not intended for determining the in-place
Chapter 8References, p. 228.1R-34 strength of the concrete since it makes no allowance for the
8.1Recommended references effects of placing, compaction, or curing. For example, it is
8.2Cited references unusual for the concrete in a structure to have the same prop-
erties as a standard-cured cylinder at the same test age. In ad-
Appendix, p. 228.1R-37 dition, since standard-cured cylinders are usually tested at an
A.1Number of strength levels age of 28 days, they cannot be used to determine whether ad-
A.2Regression analysis with X-error equate strength exists at earlier ages for safe removal of
A.3Standard deviation of estimated Y-value formwork or the application of post-tensioning. Concrete in
A.4Example portions of a structure, such as columns, may develop
strength equal to the standard 28-day cylinder strength by the
CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION time it is subjected to design loads. However, concrete in
most flexural and prestressed members does not develop its
1.1Scope 28-day strength before the members are required to accept
In-place tests are performed typically on concrete within a large percentages of their design loads. For these reasons, in-
structure in contrast to tests performed on molded specimens place tests are needed to determine the concrete strength at
made from the concrete to be used in the structure. Histori- critical locations in a structure and at times when crucial con-
cally, they have been called nondestructive tests because struction operations are scheduled.
some of the early tests did not damage the concrete. Over the
Traditionally, some measure of the strength of the con-
years, however, new methods have developed that result in
crete in the structure has been obtained by using field-cured
superficial local damage. Therefore, the terminology in-
cylinders. These are supposedly cured on or in the structure
place tests is used as a general category that includes those
under the same conditions as the concrete in the structure.
which do not alter the concrete and those which result in mi-
However, measured strengths of field-cured cylinders are of-
nor surface damage. The important characteristic of these
ten significantly different from in-place strengths because it
tests is that they measure the properties of the concrete in a
structure. In this report, the principal application of in-place is difficult, and often impossible, to have identical bleeding,
tests is to estimate the compressive strength of the concrete. compaction, and curing conditions for concrete in cylinders
In-place tests can be used to estimate concrete strength and concrete in structures. Field-cured specimens also lend
during construction, so that operations can be performed themselves to errors due to improper handling or inappropri-
safely or curing procedures can be terminated. They can also ate storage, which may result in misleading data for critical
be used to estimate concrete strength during the evaluation operations.
of existing structures. These two applications require slightly To meet rapid construction schedules, form removal, ap-
different approaches, so parts of this report are separated into plication of post-tensioning, termination of curing, and the
sections dealing with new and existing construction. removal of reshores must be carried out as early as is safely
A variety of techniques are available for estimating the in- possible. To enable these operations to proceed safely at the
place strength of concrete (Malhotra 1976, Bungey 1989, earliest possible time requires the use of reliable in-place
Malhotra and Carino 1991). No attempt is made to review all tests to determine the in-place sterngth. The need for such
of these methods in this report; only those methods that have strength information is emphasized by several construction
been standardized by ASTM are discussed. Teodoru (1989) failures that could have been prevented had in-place testing
has prepared a compilation of national standards on in-place been used (Lew 1980; Carino et al. 1983). The use of in-
test methods. place tests not only increases safety but can result in substan-
1.2Need for in-place tests during construction tial savings in construction costs by permitting accelerated
For over 70 years in North American practice, the most construction schedules (Bickley 1982b).

1.3Influence of ACI 318-83 CHAPTER 2REVIEW OF METHODS

Prior to 1983, ACI 318 required testing of field-cured cyl-
inders to demonstrate the adequacy of concrete strength prior 2.1Introduction
to removal of formwork or reshoring. However, Section The objective of an in-place test is to estimate properties of ACI 318-83 allowed the use of alternative proce- of concrete in the structure. Very often the desired property
dures to testing field-cured cylinders. The alternative proce- is the compressive strength. To make a strength estimate, it
dures must be approved by the building official prior to use. is necessary to have a known relationship between the result
Subsequent versions of ACI 318 also permit the use of in- of the in-place test and the strength of the concrete. For new
place testing as an alternative to testing field-cured speci- construction, this relationship is usually established empiri-
mens. cally in the laboratory. For existing construction, the rela-
Most provisions in ACI 318 are based on the compressive tionship is usually established by performing in-place tests at
strength of standard cylinders. Thus, to evaluate structural selected locations in the structure and determining the
capacity under construction loading, it is necessary to have a strength of cores drilled from adjacent locations. Fig. 2.1 is a
measure of the cylinder strength of the concrete as it exists in schematic of a strength relationship, in which the cylinder
the structure. If in-place tests are used, it is necessary to es- compressive strength is plotted as a function of an in-place
tablish a valid relationship between the results of in-place test result. This relationship would be used to estimate the
tests and the compressive strength of cylinders. At present, strength of concrete in a structure based on the value of the
there are no standard practices for developing the required in-place test result obtained from testing the structure. The
strength relationship. There are also no generally accepted accuracy of the strength prediction depends directly on the
guidelines for interpretation of in-place test results. These degree of correlation between the strength of concrete and
deficiencies have been impediments to widespread adoption the quantity measured by the in-place test. The user of in-
of in-place tests. place tests should have an understanding of what quantity is
measured by the test and how this quantity is related to the
1.4Existing construction strength of concrete.
Reliable estimates of the in-place concrete strength are re- The purpose of this chapter is to explain the underlying
quired for structural evaluation of existing structures (see principles of the widely used in-place test methods, and to
ACI 437R). Historically, the in-place strength has been esti- identify those factors, other than concrete strength, that can
mated by testing cores drilled from the structure. In-place influence the test results. Additional background informa-
tests can supplement coring and permit more economical tion on these methods is available in the references by Mal-
evaluation of the concrete in the structure. The critical step hotra (1976), Bungey (1989), and Malhotra and Carino
in such applications is to establish the relationship between (1991).
in-place test results and concrete strength. The present ap- The following methods are discussed:
proach is to correlate results of in-place tests performed at Rebound number
selected locations with strength of corresponding cores. In- Penetration resistance
place testing does not eliminate the need for coring, but it can Pullout
reduce the total amount of coring needed to evaluate a large Break-off
volume of concrete. For success, a sound sampling plan is Ultrasonic pulse velocity
needed to acquire the correlation data and for reliable inter- Maturity
pretation of test results. Cast-in-place cylinder

1.5Objective of report
This report reviews ASTM test methods for estimating the
in-place strength of concrete in new construction and in ex-
isting structures. The overall objective is to provide the po-
tential user with a guide to assist in planning, conducting,
and interpreting the results of in-place tests.
Chapter 2 discusses the underlying principles and inherent
limitations of in-place tests. Chapter 3 reviews the statistical
characteristics of in-place tests. Chapter 4 outlines proce-
dures to develop the relationship needed to estimate in-place
compressive strength. Chapter 5 discusses factors to be con-
sidered in planning the in-place testing program. Chapter 6
presents statistical techniques to interpret in-place test re-
sults. Chapter 7 discusses in-place testing for acceptance of
concrete. The appendix provides details on the statistical
principles discussed in the report and includes an illustrative Fig. 2.1Example of relationship between cylinder com-
example. pressive strength and in-place test value

crete will result in a lower rebound number. Since it is pos-

sible for two concrete mixtures to have the same strength but
different stiffnesses, there could be different rebound num-
bers though the strengths are equal. Conversely, it is possible
for two concretes with different strengths to result in the
same rebound numbers if the stiffness of the low-strength
concrete is greater than the stiffness of the high-strength con-
crete. Since aggregate type affects stiffness concrete, it is
necessary to develop the strength relationship on concrete
made with the same materials that will be used for the con-
crete in the structure.
In rebound-hammer testing, only the concrete near the
plunger influences the rebound value. Therefore, the test is
sensitive to the local conditions where the test is performed.
If the plunger is located over a hard aggregate particle, an un-
usually high rebound number will result. On the other hand,
if the plunger is located over a large air void or over a soft
aggregate particle, a lower rebound number will occur. To
Fig. 2.2Schematic to illustrate operation of the rebound
hammer account for these possibilities, ASTM C 805 requires that 10
rebound numbers be taken for a test. If a reading differs by
2.2Rebound number (ASTM C 805) more than seven units from the average, that reading should
The operation of the rebound hammer (also called the be discarded and a new average should be computed based
on the remaining readings. If more than two readings differ
Schmidt Hammer or Swiss Hammer) is illustrated in Fig.
from the average by seven units, the entire set of readings is
2.2. The device consists of the following main components:
(1) outer body, (2) plunger, (3) hammer, and (4) spring. To
Because the rebound number test probes only the near-sur-
perform the test, the plunger is extended from the body of the
face layer of concrete, the rebound number may not repre-
instrument and brought into contact with the concrete sur-
sent the interior concrete. The presence of surface car-
face. When the plunger is extended, a latching mechanism
bonation can result in higher rebound numbers that are not
engages the hammer to the upper end of the plunger. The
indicative of the interior concrete. Similarly, a dry surface
body of the instrument is then pushed toward the concrete
will result in higher rebound numbers than for the moist-in-
member. This action causes an extension of the spring con-
terior concrete. Absorptive oiled plywood can absorb mois-
necting the hammer to the body [Fig. 2.2(b)]. When the body
ture from the concrete and produce a harder surface layer
is pushed to its limit, the latch is released, and the spring
than concrete cast against steel forms. Similarly, curing con-
pulls the hammer toward the concrete member [Fig. 2.2(c)]. ditions affect the strength of the surface concrete more than
The hammer impacts the shoulder area of the plunger and re- the concrete several inches (hundred millimeters) from the
bounds [Fig. 2.2(d)]. The rebounding hammer moves the surface. The surface texture may also influence the rebound
slide indicator, which records the rebound distance. The re- number. When the test is performed on rough concrete, local
bound distance is measured on a scale numbered from 10 to crushing occurs under the plunger and the indicated concrete
100 and is recorded as the rebound number indicated on the strength will be lower than the true value. Rough surfaces
scale. should be ground before testing. If the formed surfaces are
The key, to understanding the inherent limitations of this smooth, grinding is unnecessary. A hard smooth surface,
test for strength prediction, is understanding the factors in- such as produced by trowel finishing, can result in higher re-
fluencing the rebound distance. From a fundamental point of bound numbers. Finally, the rebound distance is affected by
view, the test is a complex problem of impact loading and the orientation of the instrument, and the strength relation-
stress-wave propagation. The rebound distance depends on ship must be developed for the same instrument orientation
the kinetic energy in the hammer before impact with the as will be used for in-place testing.
shoulder of the plunger and how much of that energy is ab- In summary, while the rebound number test is simple to
sorbed during the impact. Part of the energy is absorbed as perform, there are many factors other than concrete strength
mechanical friction in the instrument, and part of the energy that influence the test result.
is absorbed in the interaction of the plunger with the con-
crete. It is the latter factor that makes the rebound number an 2.3Penetration resistance (ASTM C 803)
indicator of the concrete properties. The energy absorbed by In the penetration resistance technique, one measures the
the concrete depends on the stress-strain relationship of the depth of penetration of a rod (probe) or a pin forced into the
concrete. Therefore, absorbed energy is related to the hardened concrete by a driver unit.
strength and the stiffness of the concrete. A low-strength, The probe penetration technique involves the use of a spe-
low-stiffness concrete will absorb more energy than a high- cially designed gun to drive a hardened steel probe into the
strength, high-stiffness concrete. Thus the low-strength con- concrete. (The commercial test system is known as the

Windsor Probe.) The amount of penetration of the probe is

an indicator of the concrete strength. This method is similar
to the rebound number test, except that the probe impacts the
concrete with much higher energy than the plunger of the re-
bound hammer. A theoretical analysis of this test is even
more complicated than the rebound test, but again the es-
sence of the test involves the initial kinetic energy of the
probe and energy absorption by the concrete. The probe pen-
etrates into the concrete until its initial kinetic energy is ab-
sorbed. The initial kinetic energy is governed by the charge
of smokeless powder used to propel the probe, the location
of the probe in the gun barrel before firing, and frictional
losses as the probe travels through the barrel. An essential re-
quirement of this test is that the probes have a consistent val-
ue of initial kinetic energy. ASTM C 803 requires that the
probe exit velocities should not have a coefficient of varia- Fig. 2.3Approximate shape of failure zone in concrete
tion greater than 3 percent based on 10 tests by approved bal- during probe penetration test
listic methods.
As the probe penetrates into the concrete, some energy is
absorbed by friction between the probe and the concrete, and
some is absorbed by crushing and fracturing of the concrete.
There are no rigorous studies of the factors affecting the ge-
ometry of the fracture zone, but its general shape is probably
as illustrated in Fig. 2.3. Generally, there is an approximately
cone-shaped region in which the concrete is heavily frac-
tured, and this is the zone where most of the probe energy is
The probe tip can travel through mortar and aggregate; in
general, cracks in the fracture zone will be through the mor-
tar matrix and the coarse-aggregate particles. Hence, the
strength properties of both the mortar and the aggregates in-
fluence the penetration distance. This contrasts with the be-
havior of normal-strength concrete in a compression test, Fig. 2.4Effect of aggregate type on relationship between
where the mortar strength has the predominant influence on concrete strength and depth of probe penetration
the measured compressive strength. Thus, an important char-
acteristic of the probe penetration test is that the type of In practice it is customary to measure the exposed length
coarse aggregate greatly affects the relationship between of the probes. However, the fundamental relationship is be-
concrete strength and probe penetration. For example, Fig. tween concrete strength and depth of penetration. Therefore,
2.4 illustrates empirical relationships between compressive when assessing the variability of test results (see Chapter 3),
strength and probe penetration for concretes made with a soft it is preferable to express the coefficient of variation in terms
aggregate (such as limestone) and with a hard aggregate of penetration depth rather than exposed length.
(such as chert). For equal compressive strengths, the con- A pin penetration test device, requiring less energy than
crete with the soft aggregate allows greater probe penetration the Windsor Probe system, was developed by Nasser (Nasser
than the concrete with the hard aggregate. More detailed in- and Al-Manaseer 1987a, 1987b), and the procedure for its
formation on the influence of aggregate type on strength re- use was subsequently incorporated into ASTM C 803. A
lationships can be found in Malhotra (1976), Bungey (1989), spring-loaded device is used to drive a pointed 0.140-in.
and Malhotra and Carino (1991). (3.56 mm) diameter hardened steel pin into the concrete. The
Because the probe penetrates into the concrete, test results penetration by the pin creates a small indentation (or hole) in
are not usually affected by local surface conditions such as the surface of the concrete. The pin is removed from the hole,
texture and moisture content. However, a harder surface lay- the hole is cleaned with an air jet, and the hole depth is mea-
er, as would occur in trowel finishing, can result in low pen- sured with a suitable depth gage. The penetration depth is
etration values and excessive scatter of data. In addition, the used to estimate compressive strength from a previously es-
direction of penetration into the concrete is unimportant if tablished strength relationship. In the current test system, the
the probe is driven perpendicular to the surface. The penetra- maximum penetration is limited to 0.30 in. (7.6 mm).
tion will be affected by the presence of reinforcing bars with- The kinetic energy delivered by the pin penetration device
in the zone of influence of the penetrating probe. Thus the is estimated to be about 1.3 percent of the energy delivered
location of the reinforcing steel should be determined before by the Windsor Probe system (Carino and Tank 1989). Be-
selecting test sites. cause of the low energy level, the penetration of the pin is re-

duced greatly if the pin encounters a coarse aggregate

particle. Thus the test is intended as a penetration test of the
mortar fraction of the concrete. Individual test results that
penetrate coarse aggregates particles are not considered in
determining the average pin penetration resistance (see
ASTM C 803). A pin becomes blunted as it is reused. Since
the blunting affects the penetration depth, ASTM C 803 re-
quires that a new pin be used for each penetration test.
The sensitivity of the pin penetration to changes in com-
pressive strength decreases for concrete strength above 4000
psi (28 MPa) (Carino and Tank 1989). Therefore, the pin
penetration test system is not recommended for testing con-
crete having a compressive strength above 4000 psi.

2.4Pullout test (ASTM C 900)

Fig. 2.5Schematic of pullout test The pullout test measures the maximum force required to
pull an embedded metal insert with an enlarged head from a
concrete specimen or structure. The force is applied by a
tension jack, or center-hole ram, that reacts against the con-
crete surface through a reaction ring concentric with the in-
sert (Fig. 2.5). As the insert is pulled out, a roughly cone-
shaped fragment of the concrete is also extracted. The large
diameter of the conic fragment d 2 is determined by the inner
diameter of the reaction ring, and the small diameter d1 is
determined by the insert-head diameter. Requirements for
the testing configuration are given in ASTM C 900. The em-
bedment depth and head diameter must be equal, but there
is no requirement on the magnitude of these dimensions.
The inner diameter of the reaction ring can be any size be-
tween 2.0 and 2.4 times the insert-head diameter. This
means that the apex angle of the conic frustum defined by
the insert-head diameter and the inside diameter of the reac-
tion ring can vary between 54 and 70 deg. The same test ge-
ometry must be used in developing the strength relationship
and the in-place testing.
Unlike the rebound hammer and probe penetration tests,
the pullout test subjects the concrete to a static loading that
is amenable to stress analysis. The finite element method has
been used to calculate the stresses induced in the concrete
before cracking (Stone and Carino 1984) and where the con-
crete has cracked (Ottosen 1981). In these analyses, the con-
crete was assumed to be a homogeneous solid and the
influence of discrete coarse aggregate particles was not mod-
eled. There is agreement that the test subjects the concrete to
a highly nonuniform, three-dimensional state of stress. Fig.
2.6 shows the approximate directions (trajectories) of the
principal stresses acting in radial planes (those passing
through the center of the insert) before cracking and for apex
angles of 54 and 70 deg. Because of symmetry, only one-half
of the specimen is shown in the figures. These trajectories
would be expected to change after cracking develops. It is
seen that before cracking there are tensile stresses that are
approximately perpendicular to the eventual failure surface,
Fig. 2.6Principle stress trajectories prior to cracking for and that compressive stresses are directed from the insert
pullout test in a homogeneous material (Stone and Carino head toward the ring. These principal stresses are nonuni-
1984) form and are greatest near the top edge of the insert head.

A series of analytical and experimental studies has been

carried out to determine the failure mechanism of the pullout
test, some of which are critically reviewed by Yener and
Chen (1984). While the conclusions have differed, it is gen-
erally agreed that circumferential cracking (producing the
failure cone) begins in the highly stressed region next to the
insert head at a pullout load that is a fraction of the ultimate
value. With increasing load, the circumferential cracking
propagates toward the reaction ring. However, there is no
agreement on the nature of the final failure mechanism gov-
erning the magnitude of the ultimate pullout load.
Ottosen (1981) concluded that failure is due to crushing
of concrete in a narrow band between the insert head and the
reaction ring. Thus the pullout load is said to depend directly
upon the compressive strength of the concrete. In another an-
alytical study (Yener 1994), failure is said to occur by out-
ward crushing of concrete around the perimeter of the failure
cone near the reaction ring. Using linear-elastic fracture me-
chanics and a two-dimensional model, others (Ballarini,
Shah, and Keer 1986) have concluded that ultimate load is
governed by the fracture toughness of the matrix. In an ex-
perimental study (Stone and Carino 1983), it was concluded
that before ultimate load, circumferential cracking extends
from the insert head to the reaction ring; additional load is re- Fig. 2.7Circumferential cracks predicted by nonlinear
fracture mechanics analysis of pullout test by Hellier et al.
sisted by aggregate interlock across the circumferential (1987)
crack. In this case, failure is said to occur when sufficient ag-
gregate particles have been pulled out of the mortar matrix. the insert head and reaction ring. Commercial inserts have
According to the aggregate interlock argument, maximum embedment depths about 25 to 30 mm (1 to 1.2 in.). Thus
pullout force is not directly related to the compressive only a small volume of the concrete is tested, and because of
strength. However, there is good correlation between ulti- the inherent heterogeneity of concrete, the typical average
mate pullout load and compressive strength of concrete, be- within-batch coefficient of variation of these pullout tests
cause both values are influenced by the mortar strength has been between 7 and 10 percent, which is about two to
(Stone and Carino 1984). Another study, using nonlinear three times that of standard cylinder compression tests.
fracture mechanics and a discrete cracking model, showed The most desirable approach for pullout testing is to attach
excellent agreement between the predicted and observed in- the inserts to formwork before concrete placement. Howev-
ternal cracking in the pullout test (Hellier et al. 1987). Fig.
er, it is also possible to place inserts into unformed surfaces,
2.7 shows the displaced shape of the finite element model
such as tops of slabs, by placing the inserts into fresh con-
used. The analysis showed that a primary circumferential
crete that is sufficiently workable. The hardware includes a
crack developed at the corner of the insert head and propa-
metal plate attached to the insert to provide a smooth bearing
gated outward at a shallow angle. This crack ceased to grow
surface and a plastic cup to allow embedment of the plate be-
when it penetrated a tensile-free region. A secondary crack
low the surface. When manually placing inserts, special care
developed subsequently and propagated as shown in the fig-
ure. The secondary crack coincided with the final fracture is required to maintain representative concrete properties at
surface observed in test specimens when the conical frag- placement locations and to reduce the amount of air that be-
ment was extracted from the concrete mass. This study also comes entrapped on the underside of the plates. In an early
concluded that failure does not occur by uniaxial compres- study, Vogt et al. (1984) reported higher than expected with-
sive failure in the concrete. in-test variability when using manually-placed inserts. How-
A positive feature of the pullout test is that it produces a ever, later work by Dilly and Vogt (1988) resulted in
well-defined fracture surface in the concrete and measures a variability similar to that expected with inserts fastened to
static strength property of the concrete. However, since there formwork. The recommended approach is to push the insert
is not a consensus on what this strength property is, it is nec- into fresh concrete and then float it horizontally over a dis-
essary to develop an empirical relationship between the pull- tance of 2 to 4 in. (50 to 100 mm) to allow aggregate to flow
out strength and the compressive strength of the concrete. into the pullout failure zone. After insertion, the insert
The relationship is applicable to only the particular test con- should be tilted about 20 to 30 deg from the vertical to allow
figuration and concrete materials used in the correlation test- entrapped air to escape from beneath the steel plate. Care
ing. should be exercised to assure that the plate is completely be-
The pullout strength is governed primarily by that portion low the concrete surface. To prevent movement of the insert
of the concrete located next to the conic frustum defined by before setting, fresh concrete can be placed in the cup.

til the core ruptures at its base. The hydraulic fluid pressure
is monitored with a pressure gage having an indicator to reg-
ister the maximum pressure achieved during the test. The
maximum pressure gage reading in units of bars [1 bar = 0.1
MPa (14.5 psi)] is called the break-off number of the con-
For new construction, the concrete must be workable to
easily insert the sleeves into the concrete surface. To reduce
interference between the sleeve and coarse aggregate parti-
cles, the maximum aggregate size in the concrete is limited
to a fraction of the sleeve diameter. According to ASTM C
1150, the break-off test is not recommended for concrete
having a maximum nominal aggregate size greater than 1 in.
(25 mm). There is evidence that variability of the break-off
number increases for larger aggregate sizes (see Chapter 3).
Sleeve insertion must be performed carefully to assure good
compaction around the sleeve and a minimum of disturbance
at the base of the formed core. Some problems have been re-
ported in keeping the sleeves from floating out of very fluid
Fig. 2.8Schematic of break-off test
concrete mixtures (Naik et al. 1987).
Like the pullout test, the break-off test subjects the con-
crete to a slowly applied force and measures a static strength
Unlike methods such as rebound number or probe penetra- property of the concrete. The core is loaded as a cantilever,
tion, the standard pullout test is limited to use in new con- and the concrete at the base of the core is subject to a combi-
struction because the inserts have to be embedded into fresh nation of bending and shear. In the early work (Johansen
concrete. However, other types of pullout test configurations 1979), the results of the break-off test were reported as the
are available for existing construction (Mailhot et al. 1979, break-off strength, computed as the flexural stress at the base
Chabowski and Bryden-Smith 1980, Petersen 1984, of the core corresponding to the ultimate force applied to the
Domone and Castro 1987). These typically involve drilling a core. This approach required a calibration curve to convert
hole and inserting an expanding anchorage device that will the pressure gage reading to a force, and it assumed that the
engage in the concrete and cause fracture in the concrete stress distribution could be calculated by a simple bending
when extracted. These techniques are still under develop- formula. In ASTM C 1150, the flexural strength is not com-
ment and have not been standardized as ASTM tests meth- puted, and the break-off number (pressure gage reading) is
ods. related directly to the compressive strength. This approach
simplifies data analysis, but it is still essential to calibrate the
2.5Break-off test (ASTM C 1150) instrument that will be used for testing on the structure to as-
The break-off test measures the force required to break off sure that the gage readings correspond to the actual forces
a cylindrical core from a larger concrete mass (Johansen applied to the cores.
1979). The measured force and a pre-established strength re- It has been reported that the computed flexural strength
lationship are used to estimate the in-place compressive based on the break-off test is about 30 percent greater than
strength. Standard procedures for using this method are giv- the modulus of rupture obtained by standard beam tests (Jo-
en in ASTM C 1150. hansen 1979; Yener and Chen 1985).
A schematic of the break-off test is shown in Fig. 2.8. For The relationships between break-off strength and com-
new construction, the core is formed by inserting a plastic pressive strength have been found to be nonlinear (Johansen
sleeve into the surface of the fresh concrete. The sleeves also 1979, Barker and Ramirez 1988), which is in accordance
can be attached to the sides of formwork and filled during with the usual practice of relating the modulus of rupture of
concrete placement (see Chapter 5 for attachment method). concrete to a power of compressive strength. It has also been
Alternatively, the test specimens can be prepared in hard- found that the relationship between break-off strength and
ened concrete by using a special core bit to cut the core and modulus of rupture may be more uncertain than that between
the counterbore. Thus the break-off test can be used to eval- break-off strength and compressive strength (Barker and
uate concrete in both new and existing construction. Ramirez 1988).
When the in-place compressive strength is to be estimated, The break-off test has been used successfully on a variety
the sleeve is removed, and a special loading jack is placed of construction projects in the Scandinavian countries, in-
into the counter bore. A pump supplies hydraulic fluid to the cluding major offshore oil platforms (Carlsson et al. 1984).
jack that applies a horizontal force to the top of the core as Besides its use for estimating in-place compressive strength,
shown in Fig. 2.8. The reaction to the horizontal force is pro- the method has also been used to evaluate the bond strength
vided by a ring that bears against the counterbore. The force between concrete and overlay materials (Dahl-Jorgenson
on the core is gradually increased by operating the pump un- and Johansen 1984).

2.6Ultrasonic pulse velocity (ASTM C 597)

The ultrasonic pulse velocity test, as prescribed in ASTM
C 597, determines the propagation velocity of a pulse of vi-
brational energy through a concrete member. The operation-
al principle of modern testing equipment is illustrated in Fig.
2.9. A pulser sends a short-duration, high-voltage signal to a
transducer, causing the transducer to vibrate at its resonant
frequency. At the start of the electrical pulse, an electronic
timer is switched on. The transducer vibrations are trans-
ferred to the concrete through a viscous coupling fluid. The
vibrational pulse travels through the member and is detected
by a receiving transducer coupled to the opposite concrete
surface. When the pulse is received, the electronic timer is
turned off and the elapsed travel time is displayed. The direct
path length between the transducers is divided by the travel
time to obtain the pulse velocity through the concrete.
It is also possible to measure the attenuation of the ultra-
sonic pulse as it travels from the transmitter to the receiver
(Teodoru 1988). Pulse attenuation measurements require an
oscilloscope to display the signal from the receiving trans-
ducer, and care must be used to obtain identical coupling and
contact pressure on the transducers at each test point. In ad- Fig. 2.9Schematic of apparatus to measure ultrasonic
dition, the travel path length must be the same. pulse velocity
From the physics of elastic wave propagation, the pulse
velocity is proportional to the square root of the elastic mod- er than through one with little reinforcement. This is espe-
ulus and inversely proportional to the square root of the mass cially troublesome when reinforcing bars are oriented
density of the concrete. If it is assumed that the elastic mod- parallel to the pulse-propagation direction. The pulse may be
ulus of concrete is proportional to the square root of the com- refracted into the bars and transmitted to the receiver at the
pressive strength, as suggested by ACI 318, then the pulse pulse velocity in steel. The resulting apparent velocity
velocity is proportional to the fourth root of the compressive through the member will be greater than the actual velocity
strength. This means that, for a given concrete mixture, as through the concrete. Failure to account for the presence and
the compressive strength increases with age there is a pro- orientation of reinforcement may lead to incorrect conclu-
portionately smaller increase in the pulse velocity. For ex- sions about concrete strength. Correction factors, such as
ample, reported data (RILEM 1981) indicate that an increase those discussed in Malhotra (1976) and Bungey (1989), have
in early-age compressive strength from 500 to 1500 psi (3.4 been proposed, but their reliability has not been established
to 10.3 MPa) may increase the velocity from about 13,100 to conclusively.
about 15,000 ft/s (4000 to 4600 m/s). On the other hand, at The measured pulse velocity may also be affected by the
later ages a gain in compressive strength from 4000 to 5000 presence of cracks or voids along the propagation path from
psi (27.6 to 34.5 MPa) may increase the velocity from about transmitter to receiver. The pulse may be diffracted around
16,700 to only about 17,100 ft/s (5090 to 5220 m/s). Thus, at the discontinuities, thereby increasing the travel path and
later ages, the pulse velocity of concrete is not sensitive to travel time. Without additional knowledge about the interior
gain in strength. condition of the concrete member, the apparent decrease in
Factors other than concrete strength can affect pulse veloc- pulse velocity could be incorrectly interpreted as a low com-
ity, and changes in pulse velocity due to these factors may pressive strength.
overshadow changes due to strength (Sturrup, Vecchio, and In this test method, all of the concrete between the trans-
Caratin 1984). An important factor is moisture content. As mitting and receiving transducers affects the travel time.
the moisture content of concrete increases from the air-dry to Test results are, therefore, relatively insensitive to the nor-
saturated condition, it is reported that pulse velocity may in- mal heterogeneity of concrete. Consequently, the test meth-
crease up to 5 percent (Bungey 1989). Thus, if the effects of od has been found to have an extremely low within-batch
moisture are not considered, erroneous conclusions may be coefficient of variation. However, this does not mean that the
drawn about in-place strength, especially in mature concrete. strength predictions are necessarily highly reliable.
It has been found that the relationship between pulse velocity
and strength is also affected by the curing process, especially 2.7Maturity method (ASTM C 1074)
when accelerated methods are used (Teodoru 1986). Freshly-placed concrete gains strength because of the exo-
Another influencing factor is the presence of steel rein- thermic chemical reactions between the water and cementi-
forcement. Since the pulse velocity through steel is about 40 tious materials in the mixture. Provided sufficient moisture
percent greater than through concrete, the pulse velocity is present, the rates of the hydration reactions are influenced
through a heavily reinforced concrete member may be great- by the concrete temperature; an increase in temperature

which has been assumed to be about 14 F (-10 C). However,

it has been suggested that a single value for the datum tem-
perature would not be the most appropriate approach and
that the datum temperature should be evaluated for the spe-
cific materials in the concrete mixture (Carino 1984). ASTM
C 1074 recommends a datum temperature of 32 F (0 C) for
concrete made with Type I cement when the concrete tem-
perature is expected to be between 32 and 104 F (0 and 40
C). A procedure is also provided to determine experimental-
ly the datum temperature for other types of cement and for
different ranges of curing temperature.
Fig. 2.10Maturity function based on assumption that rate In the second expression, the maturity function assumes
of strength gain varies linearly with temperature that the rate of strength gain varies exponentially with con-
crete temperature. This exponential function is used to com-
pute an equivalent age of the concrete at some specified
temperature as follows
causes an increase in the reaction rates. The extent of hydra-
tion and, therefore, strength at any age depends on the ther-
Q ----- -----
1 1
mal history of the concrete. T T
The maturity method is a technique to estimate in-place te = e a s
t (2-2)
strength by accounting for the effects of temperature and
time on strength development. The thermal history of the where
concrete and a maturity function are used to calculate a ma- te = equivalent age at a specified temperature T s, days or
turity index that quantifies the combined effects of time and hr
temperature. The strength of a particular concrete mixture is Q = activation energy divided by the gas constant, K
expressed as a function of its maturity index by means of a Ta = average temperature of concrete during time interval
strength-maturity relationship. If samples of the same con- t, K
crete are subjected to different temperature conditions, the Ts = specified temperature, K
strength-maturity relationship for that concrete and the tem- t = time interval, days or hr
perature histories of the samples can be used to predict their
In Eq. (2-2), the exponential function converts a time in-
The maturity function is a mathematical expression that terval, t, at the actual concrete temperature to an equivalent
converts the temperature history of the concrete to a maturity interval (in terms of strength gain) at the specified tempera-
index. Several such functions have been proposed and are re- ture. In the U.S., the specified temperature is 23 C ( 296 K),
viewed in Malhotra (1971), RILEM (1981), and Malhotra while in the Scandinavian countries 20 C ( 293 K) is used.
and Carino (1991). The key feature of a maturity function is The exponential function in Eq. (2-2) can be thought of as an
the expression used to represent the influence of temperature age conversion factor. To calculate the equivalent age of a
on the rate of strength development. Two expressions have concrete mixture, one needs the value of a characteristic
found widespread usage. In one expression it is assumed that known as the activation energy, which depends on the type
the rate of strength development is a linear function of tem- of cementitious materials (Carino and Tank 1992). The wa-
perature, and this leads to the simple maturity function ter-cement ratio may also influence the activation energy.
shown in Fig. 2.10. In this case, the maturity index at any age The Q-value in Eq. (2-2) is the activation energy divided by
equals the area between a datum temperature T0 and the tem- the gas constant [ 8.31 joules/(mole-K)]. ASTM C 1074
perature curve of the concrete. The term temperature-time recommends a Q-value of 5000 K for concrete made with
factor is used for this area and is calculated as follows Type I cement. Fig. 2.11 shows how the age conversion fac-
tor varies with concrete temperature for Q=5000 K and a
M(t) = (Ta - T0) t (2-1) specified temperature of 23 C.
To use the maturity method requires establishing the
where strength-maturity relationship for the concrete that will be
M(t) = the temperature-time factor at age t, deg-days or used in the structure. The temperature history of the in-place
deg-hr concrete is continuously monitored and from this data the in-
t = a time interval, days or hr place maturity index (temperature-time factor or equivalent
Ta = average concrete temperature during time interval age) is computed. Knowing the in-place maturity index and
t strength-maturity relationship, the in-place strength can be
T0 = datum temperature estimated. Instruments are available that automatically com-
pute the maturity index, but care should be exercised in their
Traditionally, the datum temperature used in Eq. (2-1) has use because the value of T0 or Q used by the instrument may
been the temperature below which strength gain ceases, not be applicable to the concrete in the structure. ASTM C

1074 gives the procedure for using the maturity method and
provides examples of how to compute the temperature-time
factor or equivalent age from the recorded temperature his-
tory of the concrete. ACI 306R illustrates the use of the ma-
turity method to estimate in-place strength during cold
weather concreting operations.
The maturity method is intended for estimating strength
development of concrete. Strength estimates are based on
two important assumptions: (1) there is sufficient water for
continued hydration, and (2) the concrete in the structure is
the same as that used to develop the strength-maturity rela-
tionship. Proper curing procedures (as provided in ACI 308)
will ensure that the first condition is satisfied. The second
condition requires additional confirmation that the concrete
in the structure has the correct strength potential. This can be
achieved by performing accelerated strength tests on con-
crete sampled from the structure or by performing other in-
Fig. 2.11Age conversion factor for Q = 5000 K and speci-
place tests that give positive indications of the strength level. fied temperature of 23 C based on Eq. (2-2)
Such verification is essential when estimates of in-place
strength are used for timing critical operations such as form-
work removal or application of post-tensioning.

2.8Cast-in-place cylinders (ASTM C 873)

This is a technique for obtaining cylindrical concrete spec-
imens from newly cast slabs without drilling cores. The
method is described in ASTM C 873 and involves using a
mold, as illustrated in Fig. 2.12. The outer sleeve is nailed to
the formwork and is used to support a cylindrical mold. The
sleeve can be adjusted for different slab thicknesses. The
mold is filled when the slab is cast, and the concrete in the
mold is allowed to cure along with the slab. The objective of
the technique is to obtain a test sample that has been subject-
ed to the same thermal history as the concrete in the struc-
ture. When it is desired to know the in-place strength, the
mold is removed from the sleeve and stripped from the con-
crete cylinder. The cylinder is capped and tested in compres- Fig. 2.12Special mold and support hardware to obtain
sion. For cases in which the length-to-diameter ratio of the cast-in-place cylindrical concrete sample
cylinders is less than two, the measured compressive
strengths need to be corrected by the factors in ASTM C 42.
with higher correlation coefficients than when the methods
2.9Combined methods are used individually. However, the improvements have usu-
The term combined method refers to the use of two or more ally only been marginal (Tanigawa et al. 1984; Samarin and
in-place test methods to estimate concrete strength. By com- Dhir 1984; Samarin and Meynink 1984; Teodoru 1988).
bining results from more than one in-place test, a multi-vari- It is emphasized that the combining of methods is not an end
able correlation can be established to estimate strength. in itself. A combined method should be used in those cases
Combined methods are reported to increase the reliability of where it is the most economical way to obtain a reliable esti-
the estimated strength. The underlying concept is that if the mate of concrete strength (Leshchinsky 1991). In North
two methods are influenced in different ways by the same America, the use of combined methods has aroused little inter-
factor, their combined use results in a canceling effect that est among researchers and practitioners. As a result, there have
improves the accuracy of the estimated strength. For exam- been no efforts to develop ASTM standards for their use.
ple, an increase in moisture content increases pulse velocity
but decreases the rebound number. 2.10Summary
Combined methods were developed and have been used in Methods that can be used to estimate the in-place strength
Eastern Europe to evaluate concrete strength in existing con- of concrete have been reviewed. While other procedures
struction or in precast elements (Facaoaru; Teodoru 1986, have been proposed (see Malhotra 1976; Bungey 1989; Mal-
1988). Combinations such as pulse velocity and rebound hotra and Carino 1991), the discussion has been limited to
number (or pulse velocity, rebound number, and pulse atten- those techniques that have been standardized as ASTM test
uation) have been reported to result in strength relationships methods.

Table 2.1Relative performance of in-place tests CHAPTER 3STATISTICAL CHARACTERISTICS

ASTM New Existing
Test method standard construction construction Ease of use*
3.1Need for statistical analysis
number C 805 + + ++
In designing a structure to safely resist the expected loads,
the engineer uses the specified compressive strength fc of the
resistance C 803 + + ++ concrete. The strength of the concrete in a structure is vari-
Pullout C 900 ++ ++ + able and, as indicated in ACI 214, the specified compressive
Break-off C 1150 ++ ++ + strength is generally assumed to represent the strength that is
Pulse velocity C 597 ++ + + expected to be exceeded with about 90-percent probability.
Maturity C 1074 ++ N.A. + To ensure that this condition is satisfied, the concrete sup-
Cast-in-place plied for the structure must have an average standard-cured
cylinder C 873 ++ N.A. + cylinder strength more than f c as specified in Chapter 4 of
* A test method with a ++ results in a more accurate strength estimate or is easier ACI 318. When the strength of concrete in a structure is un-
to use than a method with a +. N.A. indicates that the method is not applicable to
existing construction. der scrutiny because of low standard-cured cylinder

ASTM test method does not exist.
Requires verification by other tests.
strengths or because of suspected curing deficiencies, ACI
318 states that the concrete is structurally adequate if the in-
place strength, as represented by the average core strength, is
Table 2.1 summarizes the relative performance of the in- not less than 0.85 fc .
place tests discussed in this report in terms of accuracy of es- In assessing the ability of a partially completed structure to
timated strength and ease of use. The table also indicates resist construction loads, it is therefore reasonable that the
methods that are applicable to new construction and those tenth-percentile in-place compressive strength (strength ex-
that are applicable to existing construction. Generally, those ceeded with 90-percent probability) should be equal to at
methods requiring embedment of hardware are limited to use least 0.85 of the required compressive strength at the time of
in new construction. A test method having an entry of ++ application of the construction loads. The required strength
means the compressive strength used in computing the nom-
means that the method is relatively easy to use or that it re-
inal load resistance of structural elements. In-place tests can
sults in more accurate estimates of strength compared with a
be used to estimate the tenth-percentile strength with a high
test method having an entry of +. In general, those tech-
degree of confidence only if test data are subjected to statis-
niques that involve preplanning of test locations and embed-
tical analysis.
ment of hardware require more effort to use. However, those
The use of the tenth-percentile strength as the level of the
methods also tend to give more reliable strength estimates.
in-place strength that should be relied upon to resist applied
The user should consider the relative importance of each of
construction loads is perceived as a reasonable procedure by
these attributes in selecting the most appropriate in-place
users of in-place tests. The critical nature of construction op-
testing system for a particular application.
erations in partially completed structures, the sensitivity of
In-place tests provide alternatives to core tests for estimat-
early age strength on the previous thermal history of the con-
ing the strength of concrete in a structure, or can supplement crete, and the general lack of careful consideration of con-
the data obtained from a limited number of cores. These struction loading during the design of a structure, dictate the
methods are based on measuring a concrete property that use of a conservative procedure for evaluating in-place test
bears some relationship to strength. The accuracy of these results. However, for situations where the consequences of a
methods is, in part, determined by the degree of correlation failure may not be serious, the estimated mean strength may
between strength and the physical quantity measured by the be an acceptable measure to assess the adequacy of the in-
in-place test. For proper evaluation of test results, the user place strength for proceeding with construction operations.
must be aware of those factors other than concrete strength Examples of such situations would include slabs on-grade,
that can affect the test results. Additional fundamental re- pavements, and some repairs. Inadequate strength at the time
search is needed to improve our understanding of how these of a proposed construction operation can usually be reme-
methods are related to concrete strength and how the test re- died by simply providing for additional curing before pro-
sults are affected by factors other than strength. ceeding with the operation.
An essential step for using these methods to estimate the In-place tests may also be used to evaluate the strength of
in-place strength is the development of a relationship be- an existing structure. Often they are used to answer questions
tween strength and the quantity measured by the in-place that arise because of low strengths of standard-cured cylin-
test. The data acquired for developing the strength relation- ders. Failure to meet specified acceptance criteria can result
ship provide valuable information on the reliability of the in severe penalties for the builder. In such cases, the use of
predictions. Subsequent chapters of this report discuss the the tenth-percentile strength as the reliable strength level to
statistical characteristics of the tests, methods for developing resist design loads is not the appropriate technique for ana-
strength relationships, planning of in-place tests and inter- lyzing in-place test data. The existing ACI-318 criteria for
pretation of the results. The final chapter deals with the use the acceptance of concrete strength in an existing structure
of in-place tests for acceptance of concrete. are based on testing cores. Based on ACI 318, if the average

compressive strength of three cores exceeds 85 percent of

the specified compressive strength and no single core
strength is less than 75 percent of the specified strength, the
concrete strength is deemed to be acceptable. However, there
are no analogous acceptance criteria for the estimated in-
place compressive strength based on in-place tests. Chapter
7 discusses how in-place testing could be used for accep-
tance of concrete.
To arrive at a reliable estimate of the in-place compressive
strength by using in-place tests, one must account for the fol-
lowing primary sources of uncertainty.
1. The uncertainty in the average value of the in-place test
2. The uncertainty in the relationship between compres-
sive strength and the in-place test results.
3. The inherent variability of the in-place compressive
Fig. 3.1Within-test standard deviation as a function of the
The first source of uncertainty is associated with the inher- average rebound number
ent variability (repeatability) of the test method. This subject
is discussed in the remainder of this chapter.
Fig. 3.1 shows the standard deviations of the rebound
3.2Repeatability of results numbers as a function of the average rebound number. The
The uncertainty of the average value of the in-place test re-
data from the three studies appear to follow the same pattern.
sults is indicated by the standard deviation of the results and
In the study by Carette and Malhotra (1984), the maximum
by the number of tests. The standard deviation is in turn a
average rebound number ranged from 15 to 22 and the aver-
function of the repeatability of the test and the variability of
age standard deviation was 2.4. In the study by Keiller
the concrete in the structure.
(1982), the average rebound number ranged from 18 to 35,
In this report, repeatability means the standard deviation
and the average standard deviation was 3.4. In the work by
or coefficient of variation of repeated tests by the same oper-
Yun et al. the range in average rebound number was 12 to 32,
ator on the same material. This is often called the within-test
and the average standard deviation was 2.5.
variation and shows the inherent scatter associated with a
particular test method. Examination of Fig. 3.1 shows that there may be a trend of
Data on the repeatability of some in-place tests are provid- increasing standard deviation with increasing average re-
ed in the precision statements of the ASTM standards gov- bound number, in which case the coefficient of variation is a
erning the tests. Some information on the repeatability of better measure of repeatability. Fig. 3.2 shows the coeffi-
other tests may be found in published reports. Unfortunately, cients of variation plotted as function of average rebound
most published data deal with correlations with standard number. There does not appear to be any trend with increas-
strength tests, rather than with repeatability. As will be seen, ing rebound number. In contrast, however, Leshchinsky et
conclusions about repeatability are often in conflict because al. (1990) found that the coefficient of variation and its vari-
of differences in test designs or in data analysis. ability tended to decrease with increasing concrete strength.
3.2.1 Rebound numberThe precision statement of The average coefficients of variation from the studies by
ASTM C 805 states that the within-test standard deviation of Carette and Malhotra (1984) and by Keiller (1982) have
the rebound hammer test is 2.5 rebound numbers. Teodoru * equal values of 11.9, while the average value from the study
reported an average standard deviation of 3.75, for average by Yun et al. is 10.4.
rebound numbers ranging from 20 to 40, and the standard de- In Fig. 3.2, the coefficients of variation are not constant.
viation was independent of the average rebound number. However, it must be realized that the values are based on
The results of three studies that evaluated the performance sample estimates of the true averages and standard devia-
of various in-place tests provide additional insight into the tions. With finite sample sizes there will be variations in
repeatability of the rebound number test. Keiller (1982) used these estimates, and a random variation in the computed co-
eight different mixtures and took 12 replicate rebound read- efficient of variation is expected although the true coefficient
ings at ages of seven and 28 days. Carette and Malhotra of variation may be constant. Thus it appears that the repeat-
(1984) used four mixtures and took 20 replicate readings at ability of the rebound number technique may be described
ages of one, two and three days. Yun et al. (1988) used five by a constant coefficient of variation, which has an average
mixtures of concrete and took 15 replicate readings at ages value of about 10 percent.
ranging from one to 91 days. 3.2.2 Penetration resistanceThe precision statement in
ASTM C 803 states that, for the probe penetration test, the
* Teodoru, G., Quelques Aspects du Contrle Statistique de la Qualit du Bton within-test standard deviations of exposed probe length for
Bas sur le Essais Nondestructifs, meeting of RILEM NDT committee, Slough,
England, 1970. three replicate tests are:

The data provided by Carette and Malhotra (1984) and by

Keiller (1982), which include concrete strengths in the range
of 1500 to 7000 psi (10 to 50 MPa), give additional insight
into the underlying measure of repeatability for this test. Fig.
3.3 shows the standard deviations of the exposed length of
the probes as a function of the average exposed length. The
values from Carette and Malhotra (1984) are based on the
average of six probes, while Keillers (1982) results are
based on three probes. Except for one outlying point, there is
a trend of decreasing within-test variability with increasing
exposed length. In Fig. 3.4, the coefficients of variation of
exposed length are shown as a function of the average ex-
posed length. The decreasing trend with increasing concrete
strength is more pronounced than in Fig. 3.3. Thus the re-
peatability of the exposed length is neither described by a
constant standard deviation nor a constant coefficient of
Fig. 3.2Within-test coefficient of variation as a function of variation.
average rebound number The customary practice is to measure the exposed length
of the probes, but concrete strength has a direct effect on the
depth of penetration. A more logical approach is to express
the coefficient of variation in terms of depth of penetration.
Fig. 3.5 shows the coefficient of variation of the penetration
depth as a function of average penetration. In this case, there
is no clear trend with increasing penetration. The higher scat-
ter of the values from Keillers (1982) tests may be due to
their smaller sample size compared with the tests of Carette
and Malhotra (1984). Note that the standard deviation has
the same value whether exposed length or penetration depth
is used. However, the value of the coefficient of variation de-
pends on whether the standard deviation is divided by aver-
age exposed length or average penetration depth.
Hence, it appears that a constant coefficient of variation of
the penetration depth can be used to describe the within-test
variability of the probe penetration test. The work by Carette
Fig. 3.3Within-test standard deviation as a function of and Malhotra (1984) is the first known study that uses this
average exposed length of probes method for defining the repeatability of the penetration test.
However, other test data using the probe penetration system
can be manipulated to yield the coefficient of variation of
penetration depth provided two of these three quantities are

Fig. 3.4Within-test coefficient of variation as a function of

average exposed length of probe
Mortar 0.08 in. (2.0 mm)
Concrete - 1 in. (25 mm) MSA 0.10 in. (2.5 mm) Fig. 3.5Within-test coefficient of variation as a function of
Concrete - 2 in. (50 mm) MSA 0.14 in. (3.6 mm) average penetration depth of probes

given: average exposed length, standard deviation, and/or

coefficient of variation of exposed length. Using the data
given in Table 6 of Malhotras 1976 review, the following
values for average coefficients of variation for depth of pen-
etration have been calculated:

Coefficient of variation of
Maximum aggregate size, in. (mm)
penetration depth, percent
2 (50) 14
1 (25) 8, 6
3/4 (20) 3.5, 4.7, and 5.6

In the study by Carette and Malhotra (1984), the maximum

aggregate size was 3/4 in. (20 mm) and the average coefficient
of variation was 5.4 percent, while in the study by Keiller
(1982) it was 7.8 percent for the same maximum aggregate Fig. 3.6Standard deviation of pin penetration tests on 4 x
size. Other work (Swamy and Al-Hamad 1984) used 3 /8 in. 8-in. (100 x 200-mm) cylinders (Carino and Tank 1989)
(10 mm) maximum aggregate size, and the coefficients of
variation ranged between 2.7 and 7 percent. For commonly
used 3 /4 in. (19 mm) aggregate, it is concluded that a coeffi-
cient of variation of 5 percent is reasonable.
There are limited data on the repeatability of the pin pene-
tration test. Nasser and Al-Manaseer (1987b) reported an av-
erage coefficient of variation of about 5 percent for replicate
tests on 4-in. (100-mm) thick slab specimens and on the bot-
tom surfaces of 6 x 12-in. (150 x 300-mm) cylinders. The
variability was based on the best five of seven readings,
and the concrete strength varied from about 500 to 3500 psi
(3.5 to 25 MPa). In another study (Carino and Tank 1989),
eight replicate pin tests were performed at the midheight of
4 x 8-in. (100 x 200-mm) cylinders. The compressive
strengths ranged from about 1000 to 5800 psi (7 to 40 MPa).
Each set of replicate pin tests was analyzed for outliers due
to penetrations into large air voids or coarse aggregate parti-
cles. On average, two of the eight readings were discarded. Fig. 3.7Coefficient of variation of pin penetration tests on
4 x 8-in. (100 x 200-mm) cylinders (Carino and Tank 1989)
Fig. 3.6 shows the standard deviations of the valid penetra-
tion values plotted as function of the average penetration.
(Note that a high penetration corresponds to low concrete was for a 54-deg angle with river-gravel aggregate. These
strength.) There is no clear trend between the standard devi- test series are identified as G70, LS, LW, and G54 in Fig. 3.8
ation and the average penetration. The average standard de- and 3.9. The embedment depth was about 1 in. (25 mm), and
viation is 0.016 in. (0.41 mm), which is the value adopted in compressive strength of concrete ranged from about 1500 to
the precision statement of ASTM C 803. To compare with 6000 psi (10 to 40 MPa). Fig. 3.8 shows the standard devia-
the variability reported by Nasser and Al-Manaseer (1987b), tion, using 11 replications, as a function of the average pull-
the results in Fig. 3.6 are presented in terms of coefficient of out load. It is seen that there is a tendency for the standard
variation in Fig. 3.7. The average coefficient of variation is deviation to increase with increasing pullout load. Fig. 3.9
7.4 percent. shows the coefficient of variation as a function of the aver-
Additional data are needed on the repeatability of the pin age pullout load. In this case, there is no trend between the
penetration test. Based on available information, a coeffi- two quantities. Thus, it may be concluded that the coefficient
cient of variation of 8 percent is recommended for planning of variation should be used as a measure of the repeatability
pin penetration tests. of the pullout test.
3.2.3 Pullout testCurrently, ASTM C 900 does not have Table 3.1 gives the reported coefficients of variation from
a precision statement. However, there are published data on different laboratory studies of the pullout test. Besides these
the within-test variability of this test. Stone, Carino, and data, the work of Krenchel and Petersen* summarizes the re-
Reeve (1986) examined whether standard deviation or coef- peatability obtained in 24 correlation testing programs in-
ficient of variation is the best measure of repeatability. Four volving an insert with a 1-in. (25-mm) embedment and a 62-
test series were performed. Three of them used a 70-deg apex
angle but different aggregate types: river gravel, crushed * Krenchel, H., and Petersen, C. G., In-Place Testing with Lok-Test: Ten Years
Experience, presented at the International Conference on In Situ/Nondestructuve
limestone, and expanded lightweight shale. The fourth series Testing of Concrete, Oct. 2-5, 1984, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Fig. 3.8Within-test standard deviation as a function of Fig. 3.9Within-test coefficient of variation as a function
average pullout load (Stone, Carino, and Reeve 1986) of average pullout load (Stone, Carino, and Reeve 1986)

Table 3.1Summary of within-test coefficient of variation of pullout test

Coefficient of variation, percent
Apex angle, Embedment Maximum aggre-
Reference deg depth, in. gate size, in. Aggregate type Sample size Range Average
Malhotra and Carette (1980) 67 2 1 Gravel 2 00.9-14.3 5.3
Malhotra (1975) 67 2 /4 Limestone 3 2.3-6.3 3.9
Bickley (1982) 62 1 /8 ? 8 3.2-5.3 4.1
Khoo (1984) 70 1 /4 Granite 6 1.9-12.3 6.9
Carette and Malhotra (1984) 67 2 /4 Limestone 4 1.9-11.8 7.1
62 1 /4 Limestone 10 5.2-14.9 8.5
Keiller (1982) 62 1 /4 Limestone 6 7.4-31 14.8
Stone et al. (1986) 70 1 3/4 Gravel 11 4.6-14.4 10.2
70 1 3/4 Limestone 11 6.3-14.6 9.2
70 1 3/4 Lightweight 11 1.4-8.2 6.0
54 1 /4 Gravel 11 4.3-15.9 10.0
Bocca (1984) 67 1.2 /2 ? 24 2.8-6.1 4.3
1 in. = 25.4 mm.

degree apex angle. The reported coefficients of variation tests with lightweight aggregate, the variability was lower
ranged from 4.1 to 15.2 percent, with an average of 8 per- than for tests with normal weight aggregates. In this study,
cent. The tests reported in Table 3.1 and by Krenchel and Pe- companion mortar specimens were also tested and the coef-
tersen have involved different test geometries and different ficients of variation varied between 2.8 and 10.6 percent,
types and sizes of coarse aggregate. In addition, the geome- with an average value of 6.2 percent. Thus the repeatability
try of the specimens containing the embedded inserts was with lightweight aggregate is similar to that obtained with
different, with cylinders, cubes, beams, and slabs being com- mortar.
mon shapes. Because of these testing differences, it is diffi- Experimental evidence suggests that the variability of the
cult to draw firm conclusions about the repeatability of the pullout test should be affected by the ratio of the mortar
pullout test. strength to coarse aggregate strength and by the maximum
Table 3.2 summarizes the coefficients of variation ob- aggregate size. As aggregate strength and mortar strength
tained in a study by Stone and Giza (1985) designed to ex- become similar, repeatability is improved. This explains
amine the effects of different variables on test repeatability. why the tests by Stone and Giza (1985) with lightweight ag-
The column labeled sample size shows the number of groups gregate performed like tests with plain mortar. Results from
of tests, with each group containing 11 replications. For the Bocca (1984), summarized in Table 3.2, also lend support to
conditions studied it was found that embedment depth and this pattern of behavior. In this case, high-strength concrete
apex angle did not greatly affect repeatability. On the other was used and the high mortar strength approached that of the
hand, the maximum nominal aggregate size appeared to have coarse aggregate. This condition, and the use of small maxi-
some effect, with the 3 /4-in. (20-mm) aggregate resulting in mum aggregate size, may explain why the coefficients of
slightly greater variability than for smaller aggregates. In ad- variation were lower than typically obtained with similar
dition, the aggregate type also appears to be important. For pullout test configurations on lower strength concrete.

Table 3.2Summary of results from investigation of pullout test (Stone and Giza 1985)
Coefficient of variation, percent
Embedment depth, Maximum aggre-
Test series Apex angle, deg in. gate size, in. Aggregate type Sample size Range Average
Apex angle 30 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 9.1-11.4 10.3
46 0.98 /4 Gravel 4 x 11 5.6-18.7 11.1
54 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 6.3-6.7 6.5
58 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 8.6-10.0 9.3
62 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 7.5-9.6 8.6
70 0.98 /4 Gravel 4 x 11 8.0-10.1 8.8
86 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 9.0-10.8 9.9
Embedment 58 0.47 /4 Gravel 1 x 11 12.9
58 0.78 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 7.7-14.0 10.9
58 0.91 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 6.5-6.7 6.6
58 0.98 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 8.8-10.7 9.8
58 1.06 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 9.1-11.1 10.1
58 1.69 /4 Gravel 2 x 11 11.5-11.9 11.7
Aggregate size 70 0.98 1/4 Gravel 2 x 11 6.5-7.0 6.8
70 0.98 3/8 Gravel 5 x 11 4.9-6.5 6.0
70 0.98 /2 Gravel 5 x 11 3.3-10.6 6.7
70 0.98 /4 Gravel 4 x 11 8.0-10.1 8.8
Aggregate type 70 0.98 /4 Lightweight 2 x 11 5.6-5.7 5.7
70 0.98 /4 Gravel 4 x 11 8.0-10.1 8.8
70 0.98 /4 Crushed gneiss 2 x 11 7.2-16.8 12.0
70 0.98 /4 Porous limestone 2 x 11 7.7-10.9 9.3
1 in. = 25.4 mm.

In summary, a variety of test data has been accumulated on aggregate type (river gravel and crushed stone). The num-
the repeatability of the pullout tests. Differing results can of- bers of replicate tests are also listed. The following observa-
ten be explained because of differences in the materials and tions can be made:
the testing conditions. In general, it appears that an average The variability tends to increase with increasing maxi-
coefficient of variation of 8 percent is typical for pullout tests mum aggregate size.
conforming with the requirements of ASTM C 900 and with The variability in concrete made with river gravel tends
embedment depths of about 1 in. (25 mm). The actual value to be higher than in concrete made with crushed stone.
expected in any particular situation will be affected primarily In Table 3.3, the variability reported by Barker and
by the nature of the coarse aggregate, as discussed in previ- Ramirez (1988) is lower than that reported by others. Part of
ous paragraphs.
the difference may be due to the experimental technique. In
3.2.4 Break-off testFailure during the break-off test is
most of the research, break-off tests have been performed on
due to the formation of a fracture surface at the base of the slab specimens. However, Barker and Ramirez inserted the
core (see Fig. 2.8). The crack passes through the mortar and,
plastic sleeves into the tops of a 6 x 6-in (150 x 150-mm) cyl-
usually, around coarse aggregate particles at the base of the
inders. It is possible that the confining effects of the cylinder
core. The force required to break off the core is influenced
mold produced more reproducible conditions at the base of
by the particular arrangement of aggregate particles within
the cores.
the failure region. Because of the small size of the fracture
surface and the heterogeneous nature of concrete, the distri- The results of Naik et al. (1987) suggest that the variability
bution of aggregate particles will be different at each test lo- of break-off tests on drilled cores is comparable to that ob-
cation. Hence one would expect the within-test variability of tained on cores formed by inserting sleeves into fresh con-
the break-off test to be higher than that of other standard crete. However, it should be noted that cores were drilled
strength tests that involve larger test specimens. One would into concrete having a compressive strength greater than ap-
also expect that the variability might be affected by maxi- proximately 3000 psi (20 MPa). Thus additional data are
mum aggregate size and aggregate shape. needed to determine the lowest concrete strength for which
The developer of the break-off test reported a within-test core drilling does not affect the integrity of the concrete at
coefficient of variation of about 9 percent (Johansen 1979). the base of the core.
This value has generally been confirmed by other investiga- In summary, the results summarized in Table 3.3 support
tors. Table 3.3 summarizes some published data on within- Johansens (1979) claim that the break-off test has a within-
test variability of the break-off test. The results have been test coefficient of variation of about 9 percent. The variabil-
grouped according to nominal maximum aggregate size and ity is expected to be slightly higher for concrete made with

Table 3.3Within-test coefficient of variation of break-off test

Coefficient of variation, percent
Coarse aggregate
Reference MSA,* in. type Replicate tests Range Average
Johansen (1976) 1 Unknown 5 Not available 9.7
1 Gravel 5 8.7
11 /2 Unknown 5 12.3
Sand None 5 4.1
Keiller (1982) /4 Crushed stone 6 4.2-15.8 9.4
3/4 Gravel 6 8.2
Nishikawa (1983) /2 Gravel 10 5.1-13.7 9.9
1/2 Crushed stone 10 8.0
3/8 Gravel 10 4.7
3/4 Gravel 10 9.0
1 Gravel 10 13.3
Naik et al. (1987) /4 Crushed stone 5,6 3.5-11.7 6.8
(sleeves) 3/4 Gravel 5,6 3.0-17.9 10.6
(cores) 3/4 Crushed stone 5 2.8-11.6 6.2
3/4 Gravel 5 3.6-12.9 8.3
Barker and 1/2 Gravel 4 2.4-13.9 6.0
Ramirez (1988) 1/2 Crushed stone 4 2.9-7.2 4.8
1 Gravel 4 3.8-14.3 6.8
* MSA = Nominal maximum aggregate size.
Only one test series.
1 in. = 25.4 mm.

nominal maximum aggregate size greater then 3/4 in. (20 3.8 percent for three replicate tests at ages from 1 to 91 days.
mm). Richards* reported values from 1.2 to 5.8 percent with an av-
3.2.5 Pulse velocityIn contrast to the previous test tech- erage of 2.8 percent for two replicate tests at ages of from 7
niques that examine a relatively thin layer of the concrete in to 64 days. Data from Carino et al. (1983b), in which three
a structure, the pulse-velocity method examines the entire replicate cylinders were tested at ages ranging from one to 32
thickness of concrete between the transducers. Localized dif- days, show an average coefficient of variation of 3.8 percent.
ferences in the composition of the concrete because of inher- ASTM C 873 states that the single-operator coefficient of
ent variability are expected to have a negligible effect on the variation is 3.5 percent for a range of compressive strength
measured travel times of the ultrasonic pulses. Thus the re- between 1500 psi (10 MPa) and 6000 psi (40 MPa).
peatability of this method is expected to be much better than
the previous techniques. CHAPTER 4DEVELOPMENT OF STRENGTH
Table 3.4 reports the within-test variability of pulse-veloc- RELATIONSHIP
ity measurements obtained by different investigators. ASTM
C 597 states that the repeatability of test results is within 2 4.1General
percent, for path lengths from 1 to 20 ft (0.3 to 6 m) through Manufacturers of in-place testing equipment typically pro-
sound concrete and for different operators using the same in- vide relationships that relate the quantity measured by the
strument or one operator using different instruments. particular test device to the compressive strength of standard
3.2.6 Maturity methodIn the maturity method, the tem- specimens. However, it is recommended that the user estab-
perature history of the concrete is recorded and used to com- lish such a relationship for the specific test instrument that
pute a maturity index. Therefore, the repeatability of the will be used in the investigation and for the specific concrete
maturity indices depends on the instrumentation used. One in the structure. The general approach is to perform replicate
would expect the repeatability to be lower when using an in-place tests and standard strength tests at various strength
electronic maturity meter than when maturity is computed levels, and use statistical procedures to establish the relation-
from temperature readings on a strip-chart recorder. Howev- ship. The details, however, will depend on whether the in-
er, at present there are no published data on repeatability of place tests are to be used in new construction or in existing
maturity measurements using different instrumentation. structures.
3.2.7 Cast-in-place cylinderThis test method involves The standard specimen may be the standard cylinder or
the determination of the compressive strength of cylindrical standard cube. Very often, the in-place tests are correlated
specimens cured in the special molds located in the structure. with the compressive strength of cores, since core strength is
Thus the repeatability would be expected to be similar to oth- the most established and accepted measure of in-place
er compression tests on cylinders. Few data have been pub- strength. The statistical techniques for establishing the
lished. Bloem (1968) reported a within-test coefficient of
variation ranging from 2.7 to 5.2 percent with an average of * Personal communication from former committee member Owen Richards.

Table 3.4Within-test coefficient of variation for pulse- The range of strengths used in the correlation testing pro-
velocity tests gram should cover the range of strengths that are to be esti-
Coefficient of variation, percent mated in the structure. This will insure that the strength
Reference Range Average relationship will not be used for extrapolation beyond the
Keiller (1982) 0.5-1.5 1.1 range of the correlation data. Therefore, if low in-place
Carette and Malhotra 0.1-0.8 0.4 strengths are to be estimated, such as during slipforming, the
testing program must include these low strength levels. The
Bocca (1984) 0.4-1.2 0.7
chosen strength levels should be evenly distributed within
Yun et al. (1988) 0.4-1.1 0.6
the strength range.
Leshchinsky et al. 0.2-4 1.9
(1990) 4.2.3 Number of replicationsThe number of replicate
tests at each strength level affects the uncertainty of the av-
erage values. The standard deviation of the computed aver-
strength relationship are independent of the type of stan-
age varies with the inverse of the square root of the number
dard specimen. However, the specimen type is important
of replicate tests used to obtain the average. The effect of the
when interpreting the results of in-place tests.
number of tests on the precision of the average is similar to
that shown in Fig. A.1 (appendix).
4.2New construction Statistics show (ASTM E 122) that the required number of
4.2.1 GeneralFor new construction, the preferred ap- replicate tests depends on: (1) the within-test variability of
proach is to establish the strength relationship by a laborato- the method; (2) the allowable error between the sample av-
ry testing program that is performed before using the in- erage and the true average; and (3) the confidence level that
place test method in the field. The testing program typically the allowable error is not exceeded. However, the number of
involves preparing test specimens using the same concreting replicate tests is often based upon customary practice. For
materials to be used in construction. At regular intervals, example, in acceptance testing, ACI 318 considers a test re-
measurements are made using the in-place test techniques, sult as the average compressive strength of two molded cyl-
and the compressive strengths of standard specimens are also inders. Therefore, in correlation testing, two replicate
measured. The paired data are subjected to regression analy- standard compression tests can be assumed to be adequate
sis to determine the best-fit estimate of the strength relation- for measuring the average compressive strength at each lev-
ship. el.
For some techniques it may be possible to perform the in- The number of companion in-place tests at each strength
place test on standard specimens without damaging them, level should be chosen so that the averages of the in-place
and the specimens can be subsequently tested for compres- tests and compressive strengths have similar certainty. To
sive strength. Usually, in-place tests are carried out on sepa- achieve this condition, the ratio of the number of tests equals
rate specimens, and it is extremely important that the in- the square of the ratio of the corresponding within-test coef-
place tests and standard tests are performed on specimens ficients of variation. If the number of replicate compression
having similar compaction and at the same maturity. This tests at each strength level is two, the number of replicate in-
may be achieved by using curing conditions that insure sim- place tests is
ilar internal temperature histories. Alternatively, internal
V 2
n i = 2 -----i
temperatures can be recorded and test ages can be adjusted
so that the in-place and standard tests are performed at the Vs
same maturity index.
In developing the test plan to obtain a reliable strength re- where
lationship, the user should consider the following questions: ni = number of replicate in-place tests
How many strength levels (i.e., test points) are needed? Vi = coefficient of variation of in-place test
How many replicate tests should be performed at each Vs = coefficient of variation of standard test
strength level?
How should the data be analyzed? For planning purposes, the coefficients of variation given
4.2.2 Number of strength levelsThe number of strength in Chapter 3 may be used for the in-place tests. For molded
levels required to develop the strength relationship depends cylinders prepared, cured, and tested according to ASTM
on the desired level of precision and the cost of additional standards, the within-test coefficient of variation can be as-
tests. Section A.1 in the appendix discusses how the number sumed to be 3 percent. For cores a value of 5 percent may be
of test points used to develop the strength relationship affects assumed.
the uncertainty of the estimated strength. From that discus- 4.2.4 Regression analysisAfter the data are obtained,
sion, it was concluded that in planning the correlation testing the strength relationship must be determined. The usual
program, six to nine strength levels should be considered. practice is to treat the average values of the replicate com-
Using fewer than six strength levels may result in high un- pressive strength and in-place test results at each strength
certainties in the estimated strength and using more than nine level as one data pair. The data pairs are plotted using the in-
levels may not be economically justifiable. place test value as the independent value (or X variable) and

the compressive strength as the dependent value (or Y vari- The exponent B determines the degree of nonlinearity of
able). Regression analysis is performed on the data pairs to the power function. If B = 1, the strength relationship is a
obtain the best-fit estimate of the strength relationship. straight line passing through the origin with a slope = A. If B
Historically, most strength relationships have been as- 1, the relationship has positive or negative curvature, de-
sumed to be straight lines, and ordinary least-squares (OLS) pending on whether B is greater than or less than one. Re-
analysis has been used to estimate the corresponding slopes gression analysis using the natural logarithms of the test
and intercepts. The use of OLS is acceptable if an estimate of results provides two benefits: 1) it satisfies an underlying as-
the uncertainty of the strength relationship is not required to sumption of OLS analysis (constant error in Y value), and 2)
analyze in-place test results, such as if the procedures in it allows for a nonlinear strength relationship, if such a rela-
6.2.1 and 6.2.2 are used. However, if more rigorous methods, tionship is needed. Use of the transformed data implies that
such as those in 6.2.3 and 6.2.4, are used to analyze in-place concrete strength is distributed as a log-normal rather than as
tests results, a procedure that is more exact than OLS should normal distribution. It has been argued that, for the usual
be used to establish the strength relationship and its associat- variability of concrete strength, the possible errors from this
ed uncertainty. assumption are not significant (Stone and Reeve 1986).
The limitations of OLS analysis arise from two of its un- Next, a method for dealing with the problem of error in the
derlying assumptions X values is discussed. Fortunately, regression analysis that
There is no error in the X value accounts for X error can be performed with little additional
The error (standard deviation) in the Y value is constant computational effort compared with OLS analysis. One such
Except for measured maturity indices, the first of these as- procedure was proposed by Mandel (1984) and was used by
sumptions is violated because in-place tests (X value) gener- Stone and Reeve (1986) to develop a rigorous procedure to
ally have greater within-test variability than compression analyze in-place test results. Mandel's approach involves the
tests (Y value). In addition, it is generally accepted that the use of a parameter defined as the variance (square of the
within-test variability of standard cylinder compression tests standard deviation) of the Y variable divided by the variance
is described by a constant coefficient of variation (ACI of the X variable. For the correlation testing program, the
214R). Therefore, the standard deviation increases with in- value of is obtained from the standard deviations of the av-
creasing compressive strength, and the second of the above erage compressive strength and in-place test results. If the
assumptions is also violated. As a result, OLS analysis will number of replicates for compressive tests and in-place tests
underestimate the uncertainty of the strength relationship are chosen so that average values are measured with compa-
(Carino 1993). There are, however, approaches for dealing rable precision, the value of should be close to one.
with these problems. The parameter and the correlation testing results (the av-
First, the problem of increasing standard deviation with in- erages of the logarithms of the in-place results (X values)
creasing average strength is discussed. If test results from and the averages of the logarithms of compressive strengths
groups that have the same coefficient of variation are trans- (Y values) are used to determine the strength relationship us-
formed by taking their natural logarithms, the standard devi- ing the calculations outlined in Section A.2 (appendix). The
ations of the logarithm values in each group will have the calculations involve the usual sums of squares and cross-
same value* (Ku 1969). Thus the second assumption of OLS products used in OLS analysis (Mandel 1984). The proce-
can be satisfied by performing regression analysis using the dure is well suited for application on a personal computer
average of the natural logarithms of the test results at each with a spreadsheet program.
strength level. If a linear relationship is used, its form is as Fig. 4.1 is a graphical representation of the difference be-
follows: tween OLS analysis and Mandels procedure. In OLS analy-
sis, the best-fit straight line is the one that minimizes the sum
ln C = a + B ln I (4-2) of squares of the vertical deviations of the data points from
the line, as shown in Fig. 4.1(a). On the other hand, Mandels
analysis minimizes the sum of squares of the deviations
along a direction inclined to the straight line, as shown in
ln C = average of natural logarithms of compressive
Fig. 4.1(b). The direction of minimization depends on the
value of , which is in turn dependent on the ratio of the er-
a = intercept of line
rors in the Y and X values. As the error in the X value in-
B = slope of line creases, the value of decreases and the angle in Fig.
ln I = average of natural logarithms of in-place test results 4.1(b) increases. An important feature of Mandels analysis
By obtaining the antilogarithm of ln C, Eq. (4-2) is trans- is that the estimated standard deviation of the predicted value
formed into a power function: of Y for a new value of X accounts for error in the new X val-
ue and the error in the strength relationship (see A.3 in the
C = ea I B = A I B (4-3) appendix).
In summary, to establish the strength relationship, regres-
* In fact, the standard deviation of the transformed values will be approximately the sion analysis should be performed using the natural loga-
same as the coefficient of variation of the original values, when the coefficient of vari-
ation is expressed as a decimal fraction. For example, if the coefficient of variation of rithms of the test results. This will accommodate the increase
a group of numbers equals 0.05, the standard deviation of the transformed values will
be approximately 0.05. in within-test variability with increasing strength. Using a

straight line to represent the relationship between logarithm

values is equivalent to assuming a power function strength
relationship. The power function can accommodate a nonlin-
ear relationship, if necessary. To be rigorous, the regression
analysis procedure should account for the uncertainty in the
in-place test results (X error). Failure to account for X error
will underestimate the uncertainty of future estimates of in-
place compressive strength. However, this rigorous proce-
dure is justified only when an equally rigorous method will
be used to interpret in-place test results (see Chapter 6), oth-
erwise, OLS analysis is acceptable.
4.2.5 Procedures for correlation testingIdeally, it is de-
sirable to determine the compressive strength and the in-
place test result on the same specimen so that companion test
results are obtained at the same maturity. Unfortunately, this
is only possible with those methods that are truly nonde-
structive, such as pulse velocity and rebound number. For
methods that cause local damage to the concrete, separate
specimens are needed for obtaining compressive strength
and the in-place test result. In such cases, it is important that
companion specimens are tested at the same maturity. This
is especially critical for early-age tests when strength at a
given age is highly dependent on the previous thermal histo-
ry. The problem arises because of differences in early-age
temperatures in specimens of different geometries. An ap-
proach for moderating temperature differences is to cure all
specimens in the same water bath. Alternatively, internal
temperatures can be monitored and test ages adjusted so that
compression tests and in-place tests are performed at equal
values of the maturity index. Failure to perform companion
tests on specimens that are at equal maturities will result in
an inaccurate strength relationship that will cause systematic
errors (or bias) when it is used to estimate the in-place
strength in a structure. The following recommendations
should be used in correlation testing programs. Fig. 4.1Direction of error minimization in: a) ordinary Rebound numberAt least 12 standard cylin- least-square analysis, and b) in Mandels procedure (Car-
ders should be cast. At each test age, a set of ten rebound ino 1990)
numbers (ASTM C 805) should be obtained from each of a
pair of cylinders held firmly in a compression testing ma- For accurate estimates of in-place strength, the moisture
chine or other suitable device at a pressure of about 500 psi content and texture of the surfaces of the cylinders at the time
(3 MPa). The rebound tests should be made in the same di- of the correlation tests should be similar to those anticipated
rection relative to gravity as they will be made on the struc- for the concrete in the structure at the time of in-place test-
ture. The cylinders should then be tested in compression. If ing. Practically, the only easily reproducible moisture condi-
it is not feasible to test the cylinders with the hammer in the tion for concrete surfaces is the saturated condition.
same orientation that will be used to test the structure, the Penetration resistanceFor the probe penetra-
correction factors supplied by the equipment manufacturer tion test, at least 12 standard cylinders and a test slab large
can be used to account for differences in orientation. As enough for at least 18 probe penetration tests should be cast.
mentioned in Section 2.2, the surface produced by the mate- For in-place testing of vertical elements, the recommended
rial of the cylinder molds can differ from the surface pro- procedure is to cast a wall specimen and take cores next to
duced by the form material for the structure. This factor the probe tests. All test specimens should be cured under
should also be considered in the correlation testing. If con- identical conditions of moisture and temperature. At each
siderable difference is expected between the surfaces of the test age, two compression tests and three probe penetration
structure and the cylinders, additional prismatic specimens tests should be made. The recommended minimum thickness
should be prepared for rebound tests. These specimens for the test slab is 6 in. (150 mm). The minimum spacing be-
should be formed with the same type of forming materials tween probe penetrations is 7 in. (175 mm), and the mini-
that will be used in construction, and they should be similar mum distance from a probe to a slab edge is 4 in. (100 mm).
in size to the cylinders so that they will experience similar For the pin penetration test, it may be possible to perform
thermal histories. penetration tests on the sides of cylinders and subsequently

test the cylinders for compressive strength. Carino and Tank tached to the sides of formwork, the laboratory specimens
(1989) showed that the surface damage produced by pin pen- should simulate the conditions that will be encountered in
etrations into 4 x 8-in. (100 x 200-mm) cylinders did not re- the field. For example, if the sleeves will be used on vertical
sult in strength reductions. However, comparative tests were faces of the formwork, the laboratory specimens should be
not performed on specimens with concrete strength less than made with the sleeves on the vertical faces of the forms.
3700 psi (25.5 MPa). Until further studies are conducted to When the in-place break-off test specimens will be pre-
confirm that pin penetrations do not affect the compressive pared by core drilling, the correlation testing should involve
strength of cylinders for a wide range of concrete strength, it core drilling into a slab or wall specimen. At each test age,
is recommended that slab specimens be used for pin penetra- the location of the drilled cores for break-off specimens
tion tests. A minimum of six penetration readings should be should be selected randomly. The recommended minimum
performed at each test age. Discard a result when obviously thickness of the slab or wall is 6 in. (150 mm).
an aggregate particle or a large air void was penetrated. In For either specimen preparation method, at least eight
addition, according to ASTM C 803, if the range of penetra- break-off specimens and two cylinders should be tested at
tion values exceeds 0.064 in. (1.6 mm), the result with the each test age. The center-to-center spacing of the break-off
maximum deviation from the average should be discarded specimens should be at least 6 in. (150 mm), and the distance
and a new test performed. Individual penetrations should be from the edge of the slab or wall and the counterbore should
spaced between 2 and 6 in. (50 and 150 mm), and the mini- be at least 4 in. (100 mm).
mum distance from an edge should be 2 in. (50 mm). Ultrasonic pulse velocityIt is preferable to de- Pullout testSeveral techniques have been velop the strength relationship from concrete in the structure.
used. Pullout inserts have been cast in the bottom of standard Tests should be on cores obtained from the concrete being
cylinders, and a pullout test performed before testing the evaluated. Tests with standard cylinders can lead to unreli-
standard cylinder in compression (Bickley 1982). In this able correlations because of different moisture conditions
case, the pullout test is stopped when the maximum load (in- between the cylinders and the in-place concrete.
dicated by a drop in the load with further displacement) has Because the geometry of the test specimens has an effect
been attained. The insert is not extracted and the cylinder can on the determination of the pulse velocity, the correlation
be capped and tested in compression. Alternatively, compan- data should be obtained from a testing configuration that is
ion cylinders have been cast with and without inserts, and the similar to the one in the field. The recommended procedure
pullout test has been performed on one standard cylinder and is to select certain areas in the structure that represent differ-
the other cylinder tested in compression. Investigators have ent levels of pulse velocity. At these locations, it is recom-
had problems with both procedures, particularly at high mended that five velocity determinations be made to insure
strengths, because radial cracking occurs at the end of the a representative average value of the pulse velocity. For each
cylinder containing the pullout insert. This cracking is be- measurement, the transducers should be uncoupled from the
lieved to result in lower ultimate pullout loads. surface and then recoupled, to avoid systematic errors due to
A third alternative has been to cast standard cylinders for poor coupling (ASTM C 597). Then obtain at least two cores
compression testing and to place pullout inserts in cubes (or from each of the same locations for compressive strength
slabs or beams) so that the pullout tests can be made in the testing. Pulse velocity measurements on these cores, once
companion specimen when the standard cylinders are tested. they have been removed from the structure, will usually not
This latter approach is the preferred method, providing com- be the same as the velocities measured in the structure and
paction is consistent between the standard cylinders and the are not representative of the pulse velocity of the structure.
cubes or other specimens containing the pullout inserts, and Maturity methodThe following procedure is
the maturity of all specimens tested is the same. The recom- given in ASTM C 1074:
mended minimum size for cubes is 8 in. (200 mm) when 1- Prepare cylindrical concrete specimens according to
in. (25-mm)-diameter inserts are used. Four inserts can be ASTM C 192 using the mixture proportions for the concrete
placed in each cube, one in the middle of each vertical side. intended for the structure. Embed temperature sensors at the
For each test age, two standard cylinders should be tested centers of at least two specimens. Connect the sensors to ma-
and eight pullout tests performed. turity instruments or to a multichannel temperature record- Break-off testThe procedure for correlation ing device.
testing depends on how the system will be used in practice. Moist cure the specimens in a water bath or in a moist
If the break-off specimens will be formed by inserting room meeting the requirements of ASTM C 511. At ages of
sleeves, the correlation testing should involve the fabrication 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28 days, perform compression tests according
of a slab specimen (or specimens) and companion cylinders. to ASTM method C 39. Test at least two specimens at each
The slabs should have a minimum thickness of 6 in. (150 age.
mm). The sleeves should be inserted into the top surface of At each test age, record the average maturity index for the
the slab after the concrete has been consolidated and screed- instrumented specimens. On graph paper, plot the average
ed. The slabs and cylinders should be subjected to identical compressive strength as a function of the average maturity
curing conditions. When tests are performed, the break-off index. Draw a best-fit curve through the data. The resulting
test locations should be chosen randomly from the available curve is the strength-maturity relationship to be used for es-
locations. For applications in which the sleeves are to be at- timating in-place strength.
IN-PLACE METHODS TO ESTIMATE CONCRETE STRENGTH 228.1R-23 Cast-in-place cylinderTest results should be ture content, or surface degradation from chemical or physi-
corrected for the height-diameter ratio using the values given cal processes. Surface grinding may be necessary to expose
in ASTM C 42. Otherwise no other correlation is needed concrete that represents the concrete within the structure.
since the specimens represent the concrete in the placement To develop the strength relationship, it is generally neces-
and the test is a uniaxial compression test. sary to correlate the in-place test parameter with the com-
pressive strength of cores obtained from the construction. In
4.3Existing construction selecting the core locations, it is desirable to include the wid-
4.3.1 GeneralThere is often a need to evaluate the in- est range of concrete strengths in the structure that is possi-
place strength of concrete in existing structures. For exam- ble. Often rebound numbers or pulse velocity values are
ple, planned renovation or change in the use of a structure determined at points spread over a grid pattern established
may require determination of the concrete strength for an ac- on the area being evaluated. When the data are plotted on a
curate assessment of structural capacity. There also may be map, contour lines can be sketched in to outline the varia-
a need to evaluate concrete strength after a structural failure, tions in the concrete quality. Based on this initial survey, six
fire damage, or environmental degradation has occurred. to nine different locations should be selected for coring and
Sometimes, errors or unforeseen conditions occur during measurement of the in-place test parameter. At each loca-
new construction and an evaluation is needed to resolve tion, a minimum of two cores should be obtained to establish
questions about concrete strength. These situations are simi- the in-place compressive strength. The number of replicate
lar because the need to determine the in-place strength of the in-place tests at each location depends on the test method and
concrete was not preplanned. In-place testing methods can economic considerations, as discussed in Chapter 5. Because
be helpful in these evaluations. at least 12 cores are recommended to develop an adequate
In-place tests can be used in two ways to evaluate existing strength relationship, the use of in-place testing may only be
construction. First, they can be used qualitatively to locate economical if a large volume of concrete is to be evaluated.
those portions of the structure where the concrete appears to The required moisture conditioning of cores before
be different from other portions. In this case, the in-place strength testing depends on the specific circumstances. If the
tests can be used without a strength relationship for the con- structure will always be dry during its service life, the cores
crete in the structure. The main purpose of the in-place test- should be tested in the dry condition (ACI 318). If the in-
ing is to establish where cores should be taken for strength place testing was done when the structure was dry, but the
determinations and other pertinent tests (see ACI 437R). The structure is expected to be more than superficially wet any-
rebound number and the pulse velocity method are widely time during its service life, the cores should be tested in a wet
used for this purpose. Second, in-place methods are used for condition (see ASTM C 42).
a quantitative assessment of the strength. In this case, a After the averages and standard deviations of the in-place
strength relationship must be established for the concrete in test parameter and core strength are determined at each test
the structure. The relationship can only be developed by per- location, the strength relationship is developed using the
forming in-place tests at selected locations and taking com- same approach as for new construction (Section 4.2.4).
panion cores for strength testing. Thus the use of in-place In evaluating the average and standard deviation of the
testing does not eliminate the need for coring, but it can re- replicate in-place results, the recorded values should be
duce the amount of coring required to gain an understanding checked for outliers (ASTM E 178). In general, test results
of the variations of strength in a structure. that are more than two standard deviations from the average
4.3.2 Developing strength relationshipBecause in-place should be scrutinized carefully. Outliers may occur due to an
testing for evaluations of existing construction is not pre- improperly performed test or a localized, abnormal condi-
planned, the techniques generally used are ultrasonic pulse tion. If an obvious cause of the outlier is identified, that result
velocity, rebound number, and probe penetration. The break- should be ignored and the average and standard deviation re-
off test is also applicable, but because it is a relatively new calculated. For correlation purposes, the 90 or 95 percent
test, it has not been widely used in North America. In the confidence limits for the regression equation should also be
United Kingdom, the pull-off test is also used (Long 1984). determined. Data points which lie outside the confidence
The pull-off test involves gluing a steel disk to the concrete band should be scrutinized. If a data point is eliminated, the
surface and measuring the force required to pull off the disk. regression should be recalculated.
In the Scandinavian countries, a drilled-in pullout test is
widely used (Petersen 1984). This test involves drilling a
hole into the concrete and cutting out a cylindrical slot to ac- CHAPTER 5PLANNING FOR IN-PLACE TESTING
commodate an expandable ring that functions as the insert
head (Fig. 2.5). Efforts are underway to incorporate this 5.1New construction
method into an ASTM standard. 5.1.1 Preconstruction consensusBefore starting con-
For some test methods, certain factors must be considered struction of the components of the structure that are to be
when testing existing structures. For example, for surface tested in-place, a meeting should be held among the parties
tests (rebound number, penetration resistance, and pull-off), who are involved. These normally may be the structural en-
the user must give special attention to those factors that may gineer, testing company representative, general contractor,
affect the near-surface strength, such as carbonation, mois- formwork contractor, post-tensioning contractor (if applica-

ble), and concrete supplier. The objective of the preconstruc- Table 5.1Useful strength ranges for in-place test
tion meeting is to clarify the test procedures to be used, the methods
criteria for interpretation of test data, and the interaction Test method Range of strength* , psi (MPa)
among the engineer, testing company, and the contractors. Rebound number 1500-6000 (10-40)
By having a mutual understanding among the involved par- Probe penetration 1500-6000 (10-40)
ties, there is less likelihood of dispute during construction, Pin penetration 500-4000 (3-30)
and the project can move forward as planned. Pullout 300-19,000 (2-130)
The purpose of the meeting will be to achieve a consensus Ultrasonic pulse velocity 100-10,000 (1-70)
on the following critical issues: Break-off 500-7000 (3-50)
The test procedure(s) to be used, the access require- Maturity No limit
ments for testing, number and locations of tests, and the Cast-in-place cylinder No limit
assistance to be provided by the contractors in preparing * Higher strengths may be tested if satisfactory data are presented for the test
and protecting test locations and testing equipment method and equipment to be used.

For strengths above 8000 psi (55 MPa), special high-strength bolts are required to
The criteria for acceptable test results for performing extract pullout inserts.
critical operations, such as form removal, post-tension-
ing, removal of reshores, or termination of curing
Procedures for providing access and any modifications high variability due to variations in temperature at the
to formwork required to facilitate testing test locations. In this case, it is advisable to increase the
Procedures and responsibilities for placement of testing number of provided test locations by 10 to 25 percent.
hardware, where required, and protection of test sites Tables 5.2 through 5.5 provide recommendations for test-
Procedures for the timing and execution of testing ing various structural components. For each test method, the
Reporting procedures to provide timely information to tables show:
site personnel The number of test locations or access points that should
Approval procedures to allow construction operations to be provided per stated volume of concrete
proceed if adequate strength is shown to have been The minimum number of test results that should be avail-
achieved able for statistical analysis to decide whether critical op-
Procedures to be followed if adequate strength is not erations can proceed
shown to have been achieved The numbers in these tables are based on experience con-
5.1.2 Strength limitationsMost test procedures have sidering the criticality of the structure and practicality.
some limitations regarding the strength of concrete that can 5.1.4 Number of tests per locationThe number of in-
be tested. In some cases, the apparatus has not been designed place tests to be performed at a test location could, in theory,
for testing very weak or very strong concrete, and in other be chosen based on the within-test repeatability of the test
cases there is limited experience in using the methods to test method, as discussed in section 4.2.3. However, consider-
very strong concrete. The useful strength ranges for the var- ation must be also given to practicality; otherwise, in-place
ious methods are summarized in Table 5.1. These ranges are testing programs will be avoided because of the financial
approximate and may be extended if the user can show a re- burden. Table 5.6 lists the minimum number of individual
liable strength relationship at higher strengths. determinations per test location. A lower number is recom-
5.1.3 Number of test locationsIt is important that the mended for those in-place test methods that require installa-
tests provide a reliable measure of the strength of the struc- tion of hardware compared with those methods that do not.
tural component at the time the tests are made. Therefore, 5.1.5 Providing access to test locationsTo perform in-
sufficient test locations need to be provided so that there are place tests during construction, it is necessary to provide ac-
sufficient test results to adequately characterize the concrete cess to the hardening concrete. The specific details will de-
strength within the portion of the structure being evaluated. pend on the test method, the type of structural component,
The term test location means a region on the structure where and the type of formwork.
an in-place test procedure is to be executed. At a test loca- For tests on the soffits of slabs formed with plywood, an
tion, single or replicate in-place tests may be performed. access configuration as shown in Fig. 5.1 can be used. A cir-
The number of provided test locations should account for cular hole is cut in the form and the plug that is cut can be
the following considerations: attached to a backup plate that is temporarily fastened to the
Since these tests will be made at early ages when strength formwork with screws. Test hardware, such as a pullout in-
gain of concrete is highly dependent on temperature, the sert, is attached to the removable assembly. When a test is to
initial tests may show that adequate strength has not yet be performed, test hardware, if it exists, is loosened and the
been achieved. It will then be necessary to stop testing af- backup plate and plug are removed to expose the test surface.
ter the initial tests have been made and to retest at a later To provide a smooth test surface a sheet metal plate can be
age. Sufficient test locations have to be provided to allow attached to the plug. A sealant should be used to seal the gap
repeat tests and satisfy the criteria for number of tests re- between the plug and backup plate to prevent leakage of
quired to allow critical operations to proceed. fresh cement paste. The diameter of the plug will depend on
If tests are made at ages under 12 hr after the concrete is the specific spacing requirements for the test method, as dis-
cast, it is expected that the in-place strength will have cussed in 5.1.7, and it should provide at least 1 in. (25 mm)

Table 5.2Recommendations for slabs, shear walls, and core walls*

Number of test locations provided Minimum number of locations to test
Test method First 100 yd3 (75 m3) Each additional 20 yd3 (15 m3 ) First 100 yd 3 (75 m 3) Each additional 20 yd3 (15 m3 )
Rebound number 20 2 10 1
Probe penetration 8 1 6 1
Pin penetration 15 2 10 1
Pullout 15 2 10 1
Ultrasonic pulse velocity 15 2 10 1
Break-off 10 2 8 1
Maturity 5 2 5 1
Cast-in-place cylinder 5 1 5 1
* Core walls are usually at the center of a building and form the structural backbone of the building. Typically, core walls surround the elevator shafts.

For slabs only.

Table 5.3Recommendations for other walls per 200 yd3 (150 m3 )

Number of test locations provided Minimum number of locations to test
Walls thinner than 1 ft Walls 1 ft (300 mm) thick or Walls thinner than 1 ft Walls 1 ft (300 mm) thick or
Test method (300 mm) thicker (300 mm) thicker
Rebound number 20-25 15-20 10 8
Probe penetration 8-10 6-8 8 6
Pin penetration 10-15 8-12 10 8
Pullout 10-15 8-12 10 8
Ultrasonic pulse velocity 10-15 8-12 10 8
Break-off 10-12 8-12 10 8
Maturity 5 5 5 5

Table 5.4Recommendations for individual columns* Table 5.6Number of replicate tests at each test location
Number of test Minimum number of Individual determinations per
Test method locations provided locations to test Test method test location
Rebound number 5-8 5 Rebound number 10
Probe penetration 5-8 5 Probe penetration 3
Pin penetration 5-8 5 Pin penetration 6
Pullout 5-8 6 Pullout 1
Ultrasonic pulse velocity 5-8 6 Ultrasonic pulse velocity 2
Break-off 5-8 6 Break-off 1
Maturity 5 5 Maturity 1
* These numbers are based on the assumption that there are 6 to 10 columns in each Cast-in-place cylinder 2
test area and that each column contains about 1.5 yd 3 (1 m 3) of concrete. Greater num-
bers of test locations should be provided for larger columns or where the test area con-
tains more than 10 columns. of clear space around the perimeter of the plug to avoid test-
ing concrete near the edge of the plug. For access through
metal forms, a similar backup plate assembly can be fabricat-
Table 5.5Recommendations for columns with ed of metal plate. Fig. 5.2 shows a typical access configura-
spandrel beams per 50 yd 3 (40 m3 )* tion for a use on the vertical surface of a metal form. Finally,
Number of test Minimum number of the user must keep in mind that the water absorption charac-
Test method locations provided locations to test teristics of the form surface at the location of the in-place
Rebound number 6-9 5 testing will affect the results of surface tests, such as the re-
Probe penetration 6-9 5 bound number and pin penetration methods. Consequently,
Pin penetration 6-9 5
the in-place test specimens in the correlation testing must
Pullout 6-9 6
employ similar form materials as will be used in the con-
Ultrasonic pulse velocity 6-9 6
Break-off 6-9 6
The access types shown in Fig. 5.1 and 5.2 are applicable
Maturity 5 5
to all the in-place testing methods except for the maturity
* These numbers of tests should be made before removal of forms and again before
application of construction loading from next level of construction. It is assumed that method, the break-off test, and cast-in-place cylinders. Fig.
corbels, if present, are cast integrally with columns or spandrel beams.
5.3 illustrates typical techniques for installing maturity

Fig. 5.1Access for use on soffits of slabs with wooden


Fig. 5.3Installation of maturity meters into fresh concrete:

a) disposable mini-meter; b) sensor of electronic meter

For break-off tests in the top surfaces of slabs, special ac-

cess provisions are not necessary. The plastic molds are sim-
ply inserted into the fresh concrete after the slab has been
screeded. Care is needed to avoid disrupting the molds dur-
ing subsequent finishing operations.
Cast-in-place cylinders do not require special access pro-
visions. The supporting sleeve for the cylinder mold is nailed
directly to the formwork. It is only necessary to assure that
the top surface of the specimen will coincide with the top
surface of the slab. If the top of the specimen is too low, it
Fig. 5.2Access for use on vertical surfaces with steel will be difficult to locate and extract the cylinder. If the top
forms of the specimen is too high, finishing operations will disrupt
meters. The disposable mini-maturity meters can be inserted the molds.
directly into the top surfaces of slabs, or they can be embed- Cutting of forms and fabrication of plugs to create access
ded deeper into the slab using a cup-lid assembly to avoid in- points should be done by the appropriate trades with super-
terference with finishing operations. The cup may also be vision by the testing engineer. Installation of pullout inserts,
placed within openings on the sides of vertical forms. For temperature probes, and cast-in-place cylinder molds can be
electronic maturity meters, temperature probes are inserted done by contractors forces after direction and demonstra-
into the structural elements. For meters with reusable probes, tion by the testing engineer.
the usual practice is to embed an expendable brass tube into 5.1.6 Distribution of testsTest locations should be dis-
the fresh concrete and to place the probe within the tube [Fig. tributed throughout the structural component being tested so
5.3(b)]. A thermal couplant (a type of grease) should be ap- that the in-place test results will provide an accurate indica-
plied to the probe before insertion into the tube to assure ac- tion of the strength distribution within that component. In se-
curate measurement of concrete temperature. For meters that lecting the testing locations, consideration should be given to
use thermocouple wires as sensors, the wires are fastened to the most critical locations in the structure in terms of struc-
reinforcing bars before concreting. After testing is complet- tural strength requirements and exposure conditions, espe-
ed, the wires are cut flush with the concrete surface, and the cially during cold weather. When many tests are required for
remaining wires can be prepared for reuse. structural components such as slabs, it is advisable to distrib-

Table 5.7Dimensional requirements for in-place tests to develop the complete plan of the investigation and to iden-
according to ASTM standards tify other aspects of the field study to complement concrete
Test method Requirements strength determination.
Rebound number Minimum dimensions The plan for the in-place testing program will depend on
Thickness of member: 4 in. (100 mm) the purpose of the investigation. As for new construction, a
Diameter of test area: (300 mm)
Minimum distance pretesting meeting should be held among the members of the
Between test points: 1 in. (25 mm) team who share a common interest in the test results. At the
Probe penetration Minimum distance conclusion of the meeting, there should be a clear under-
Between probes: 7 in. (175 mm)
To edge of concrete: 4 in. (100 mm) standing of the objective of the investigation; there should be
Pin penetration Minimum distances agreement on the responsibilities of the team members in ac-
Between pins: 2 in. (50 mm) quiring the test data; and there should be agreement on the
To edge of concrete: 2 in. (50 mm)
Maximum distance procedures for obtaining and analyzing the test results.
Between pins: 6 in. (150 mm) When access to the concrete for testing is impeded by archi-
Pullout Minimum clear spacing tectural coverings, detailed plans should be developed to ac-
Between inserts: 10 times insert head diameter
To edge of member: 4 times insert head diameter complish this access.
From edge of failure surface to rebar: 1 insert head 5.2.2 Sampling planIn developing the testing program
diameter or maximum aggregate size, whichever is
larger consideration should be given to the most appropriate sam-
Break-off Minimum clear spacing pling plan for the specific situation. ASTM C 823 (provides
Clear spacing between inserts: 4 in. (100 mm) guidelines for developing the sampling plan. Although the
standard deals primarily with the drilling of cores or sawn
samples, there is a section dealing with in-place testing.
ute the test locations in a regular pattern per floor. For test In general, two sampling situations may be encountered.
methods that require few tests, such as cast-in-place cylin- In one situation, all of the concrete is believed to be of simi-
lar composition and quality. For this case, random sampling
ders, it is advisable to choose locations that are critical in
should be spread out over the entire structure and the results
each placement.
treated together. ASTM E 105 should be consulted to under-
For tests on vertical members, such as columns, walls, and
stand the principles of random sampling. The structure
deep beams, the vertical location within the placement is im-
should be partitioned into different regions and a random
portant. For vertical members, there is a natural tendency for
number table should be used to determine objectively which
the strength to be higher at the bottom of the placement and
areas to test. Objective random sampling is necessary to ap-
lower at the top of the placement. The magnitude of this vari-
ply probability theory and make valid inferences about the
ation is influenced by many factors such as mixture compo-
properties of the population (all of the concrete in the struc-
sition, type and degree of compaction, aggregate shape, and
ture) based upon the sample test results.
environmental conditions (Munday and Dhir 1984). It is not
The second sampling situation arises when available infor-
possible to predict accurately the magnitude of strength vari-
mation suggests that the concrete in different portions of the
ation expected in a given structural element. Also, code writ-
structure may be of different composition or quality, or when
ing committees have not dealt with these strength variations.
the purpose of the investigation is to examine failure or dam-
As a result, engineering judgment is needed in planning and
age in a specific portion of a structure. In this case, random
interpreting the results of in-place tests on vertical members,
sampling should be conducted within each portion of the
particularly when testing the top and bottom 12 in. (300
structure where the concrete is suspected of being nominally
identical. Test results from different portions of the structure
5.1.7 Critical dimensionsTests such as rebound number, should not be combined unless it is shown that there are no
penetration resistance, pullout and break-off produce some statistically significant differences between the test results.
form of surface damage to the concrete, and test results are 5.2.3 Number of testsAs was mentioned in Section 4.3,
influenced by the conditions within the zone of influence of the in-place testing program for an existing structure in-
the particular test. As a result, the ASTM standards prescribe volves two phases. First, the strength relationship must be
critical minimum dimensions to assure that test results are established by testing drilled cores and measuring the corre-
not influenced by neighboring tests, specimen boundaries, or sponding in-place test parameter near the core locations. The
reinforcing steel. Test locations should be positioned to con- locations for correlation testing should be chosen to provide
form with the critical dimensional limitations in Table 5.7. a wide range in concrete strength. As mentioned in section
4.3.2, a minimum of six to nine test locations should be se-
5.2Existing construction lected for obtaining the correlation data. In general, cores
5.2.1 Pretesting meetingAs mentioned in section 4.3, should be drilled after the in-place tests are performed. At
there are many reasons for in-place determinations of con- each location two cores should be drilled, and the following
crete strength in existing structures. Often in-place testing is number of replicate in-place tests should be performed to
one facet of an overall investigation to establish structural provide the average value of the companion in-place test pa-
adequacy. The guidelines in ACI 437R should be followed rameter:

Test method Replicates at each location are similar and are based on the idea of statistical tolerance
Rebound number 10 factors. These two methods are simple to use, requiring only
Probe penetration 3 tabulated statistical factors and a calculator. However, be-
Break-off 5 cause of their underlying assumptions, the statistical rigor of
Ultrasonic pulse velocity 5 these methods has been questioned. As a result more rigor-
ous methods have been proposed. The rigorous methods are
These numbers are based on considerations of the within- more complex and require an electronic spreadsheet for
test variability of the method and the cost of additional test- practical use.
ing. For example, the within-test repeatability of the ultra-
sonic pulse velocity test is low, but the cost of replicate 6.2Statistical methods
readings at one location is also low. Therefore, five repli- 6.2.1 Danish method (Bickley 1982)This method has
cate readings are recommended to insure that a representa- been developed for analysis of pullout test results. The pull-
tive value will be obtained because of the variability in the out strengths obtained from the field tests are converted to
efficiency of the coupling of the transducer to the structure. equivalent compressive strengths by means of the strength
In making the replicate pulse velocity determinations, the relationship (correlation equation) determined by regression
transducers should be moved to nearby locations to evalu- analysis of previously generated data for the particular con-
ate the area where cores will be taken. The dimensional re- crete being used at the construction site. The standard devia-
strictions given in Table 5.7 should be observed for the tion of the converted data is then calculated. The tenth
other test methods. percentile compressive strength of the concrete is obtained
The second phase of the in-place testing program involves by subtracting the product of the standard deviation and a
conducting the in-place tests at other locations and estimat- statistical factor K (which varies with the number of tests
ing the compressive strength based upon the strength rela- made and the desired level of confidence) from the mean of
tionship. The number of test locations for this phase will the converted data. Although it has not been stated explicitly,
depend on several factors. First, there are the statistical fac- the statistical factor is a one-sided tolerance factor (Natrella
tors. According to the principles set forth in ASTM E 122, 1963), as discussed further in Section 6.2.2. The K factors for
the number of tests depends on the variability of the concrete different numbers of tests are given in Column 2 of Table
strength, the acceptable error between the true and sample 6.1. The example in Table 6.2 illustrates how the Danish
average, and the acceptable risk that the error will be exceed- method is applied. The first column shows the equivalent
ed. Among these factors, the variability of the concrete is a compressive strengths corresponding to the individual pull-
predominant factor in determining the number of required out test results. The second column shows the values and cal-
tests. For a given acceptable error and level of risk, the num- culations used to obtain the tenth percentile strength. The
ber of tests increases with the square of the variability
(ASTM E 122).
Economic considerations also influence the testing plan. Table 6.1One-sided tolerance factor for ten percent
For some cases, the cost of an extensive investigation might defective level (Natrella 1963)
outweigh the economic benefit. Because the cost of an inves- Confidence level
tigation is related to the amount of testing performed, a high Number of tests, n 75 percent 90 percent 95 percent
degree of confidence, because of a large sample size, is a pre- Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
mium. The selection of a testing plan involves tradeoffs be- 3 2.501 4.258 6.158
tween economics and degree of confidence. 4 2.134 3.187 4.163
5 1.961 2.742 3.407
REPORTING OF RESULTS 7 1.791 2.333 2.755
8 1.740 2.219 2.582
6.1General 9 1.702 2.133 2.454
Interpretation of in-place tests should be made by using 10 1.671 2.065 2.355
standard statistical procedures. It is not sufficient to simply 11 1.646 2.012 2.275
average the values of the in-place test results and then com- 12 1.624 1.966 2.210
pute the equivalent compressive strength by means of the 13 1.606 1.928 2.155
previously established strength relationship. It is necessary 14 1.591 1.895 2.108
to account for the uncertainties that exist. While no proce- 15 1.577 1.866 2.068
dure has yet been agreed upon for determining the tenth-per- 20 1.528 1.765 1.926
centile in-place strength based on the results of in-place tests, 25 1.496 1.702 1.838
proponents of in-place testing have developed and are using 30 1.475 1.657 1.778
statistically based interpretations. 35 1.458 1.623 1.732
Four statistical methods for evaluating in-place test results 40 1.445 1.598 1.697
are reviewed in the following sections. The first two methods 50 1.426 1.560 1.646

Table 6.2Example of Danish method

Individual equivalent
compressive strength psi
(MPa)* Calculations
3990 (27.5) Mean Y = 3730 psi (25.7 MPa)
3620 (25.0)
3550 (24.5) Standard
3620 (25.0) deviation s Y, = 330 psi (2.3 MPa)
3260 (22.5)
3480 (24.0) K = 1.671
3700 (25.5)
4130 (28.5) Tenth percentile
3620 (25.0) strength = Y - KsY
4350 (30.0) = 3180 psi (21.9 MPa)
* Converted from pullout force measurements using strength relationship.
The values of the constant K are given in Column 2 of Table 6.1.
Fig. 6.1Ratio of tenth-percentaile strength to average
strength as a function of coefficient of variation and number
of tests (normal distribution assumed)
example uses 10 test results, but another appropriate number
may be used in larger placements. Y0.10 = lower tenth percentile of strength (10 percent defec-
6.2.2 General tolerance factor method (Hindo and Berg- tive)
strom 1985)The acceptance criteria for strength of con- Y = sample average strength
crete cylinders in ACI 214 are based on the assumption that K = one-sided tolerance factor (Table 6.1)
the probability of obtaining a test with strength less than fc sY = sample standard deviation
is less than approximately 10 percent. A suggested method The tolerance factor is determined from statistical charac-
for evaluating in-place tests of concrete at early ages is to de- teristics of the normal probability distribution and depends
termine the lower tenth percentile of strength, with a pre- upon the number of tests n, the confidence level p, and the
scribed confidence level. defect percentage. Values of K are found in reference books
It has been established that the variation of cylinder com- such as that by Natrella (1963). Table 6.1 provides one-sided
pressive strength can be modeled by the normal or the log- tolerance factors for confidence levels of 75, 90, and 95 per-
normal distribution function depending upon the degree of cent and a defect level of 10 percent.
quality control. In cases of excellent quality control, the dis- For the lognormal distribution, the lower tenth percentile
tribution of compressive strength results is better modeled by of strength can be calculated in the same manner, but using
the normal distribution; in cases of poor control, it is better the average and standard deviation of the logarithms of
modeled by a lognormal distribution (Hindo and Bergstrom strengths in Eq. (6-1).
1985). By dividing both sides of Eq. (6-1) by the average strength
In the tolerance factor method, the lower tenth percentile Y, the following is obtained
compressive strength is estimated from in-place test results
by considering quality control, number of tests n, and the re- Y 0.10
quired confidence level p. Three quality control levels are ---------- = 1 K VY (6-2)
considered: excellent, average, and poor, with the distribu-
tion function of strength assumed as normal, mixed normal-
where VY = coefficient of variation (expressed as a decimal).
lognormal, and lognormal, respectively. Suggested values of
In Eq. (6-2), the tenth-percentile strength is expressed as a
p are 75 percent for ordinary structures, 90 percent for very
fraction of the average strength. Fig. 6.1 is a plot of Eq. (6-
important buildings, and 95 percent for crucial parts of nu-
2) for p = 75 percent and for coefficients of variation of 5, 10,
clear power plants (Hindo and Bergstrom 1985). However,
15, and 20 percent. This figure shows that as the variability
since safety during construction is the primary concern, a
of the test results increases or as fewer tests are performed, a
single value of p may be adequate. A value of p equal to 75
smaller fraction of the average strength has to be used for the
percent is widely used in practice.
tenth-percentile strength.
The tolerance factor K, the sample average Y, and standard The tolerance factor method is similar to the Danish meth-
deviation sY are used to establish a lower tolerance limit, the od. The results of the in-place tests are converted to equiva-
lower tenth percentile strength. For a normal distribution lent compressive strengths using the strength relationship,
function, the estimate of the tenth percentile strength Y0.10 and the equivalent compressive strengths are used to com-
can be determined as follows: pute the sample average and standard deviation.
The example in Table 6.3 illustrates the application of the
Y 0.10 = Y - KsY (6-1) tolerance factor method for probe-penetration tests. The
question in the example is whether the in-place strength of
where concrete in a slab is sufficient for the application of post-ten-

Table 6.3Example of general tolerance factor method For the reasons given in section 4.2.4, the logarithms of
Strength relationship: Y (psi) = -145 + 2540 L (in.) the test results are used in the analysis, and the strength rela-
Y (MPa) = -1 + 0.69 L (mm)
tionship is assumed to be a power function. Regression anal-
Exposed length L, in. (mm) Compressive strength Y, psi (MPa)
ysis is performed using Mandels procedure discussed in
1.18 (30) 2850 (19.7)
Section 4.2.4 and in Appendix A.2. The errors associated
1.38 (35) 3360 (23.2)
with the best-fit strength relationship are used to estimate the
1.34 (34) 3260 (22.5)
in-place, tenth-percentile strength at any desired confidence
1.38 (35) 3360 (23.2)
1.30 (38) 3660 (25.2)
A novelty of the rigorous method is the approach used to
1.42 (36) 3460 (23.9)
estimate the variability of the in-place compressive strength.
1.22 (31) 2950 (20.3)
In Chapter 3, it was shown that the within-test variability of
1.18 (30) 2850 (19.7)
in-place test results is generally greater than compression-
Average = 3220 psi (22.2 MPa)
test results. This is why objections have been raised against
Standard deviation = 300 psi (2.1 MPa)
assuming that the variability of the in-place compressive
Coefficient of variation = 9.3 percent
strength equals the variability of the in-place test results. In
the rigorous method, it is assumed that the variability of
sioning, if the compressive strength requirement for post- compressive strength divided by the variability of the in-
tensioning is 2900 psi (20 MPa). The numbers in the first place test results is a constant. Thus, the ratio obtained dur-
column are the measured exposed lengths of each of eight ing correlation testing is assumed to be valid for the tests
probes, and the second column gives the corresponding com- conducted in the field. This provides a means for estimating
pressive strengths based on the previously established the variability of the in-place compressive strength based on
strength relationship for the concrete being evaluated. For the results of the in-place tests.
eight tests and a confidence level of 75 percent, the tolerance The in-place tenth-percentile strength computed by the
factor is 1.74. It is assumed that the normal distribution de- rigorous procedure accounts for the error associated with the
scribes the variation of concrete strength. Thus, by substitut- strength relationship. The user can determine the tenth-per-
ing the coefficient of variation and the tolerance factor into centile strength at any desired confidence level for a particu-
Eq. (6-2), the ratio of the tenth-percentile strength to the av- lar group of field test results. In addition, the user can choose
erage strength is 0.835. Therefore, the tenth-percentile in- the percentile to be a value other than the tenth percentile.
place strength is 2690 psi (18.5 MPa). Since the tenth per- Stone, Carino, and Reeve (1986) computed the tenth-per-
centile strength is greater than 0.85 x 2900 psi (20 MPa) = centile strengths by the rigorous method, and compared them
2465 psi (17 MPa), post-tensioning may be applied. with those computed by the Danish and tolerance factor
6.2.3 Rigorous method (Stone and Reeve 1986)The pre- methods. These calculations used simulated in-place test
ceding methods convert each in-place test result to an equiv- data having different mean values and standard deviations. It
alent compressive strength value by means of the strength was found that, for an assumed confidence level, the
relationship. The average and standard deviation of the strengths estimated by the Danish and tolerance factor meth-
equivalent compressive strength are used to compute the ods were lower than the values based on the rigorous meth-
tenth-percentile in-place strength. Two major objections od. The differences were as high as 40 percent when the in-
have been raised to these methods (Stone, Carino, and Reeve place tests had high variability (coefficient of variation = 20
1986; Stone and Reeve 1986): 1) the strength relationship is percent). It was concluded that, compared with the rigorous
presumed to have no error, and 2) the variability of the com- method, the Danish and tolerance factor methods give more
pressive strength in the structure is assumed to be equal to conservative estimates of in-place compressive strength, but
the variability of the in-place test results. The first factor will they do not appear to involve a consistent confidence level.
make the estimates of in-place tenth-percentile strength not Part of the reason for the performance of the tolerance factor
conservative, while the second factor will make the esti- methods is the assumption that the variability of the in-place
mates overly conservative. compressive strength is the same as the variability of the in-
Stone and Reeve (1986) developed a comprehensive tech- place test results. Experimental field studies are needed to
nique for statistical analysis of in-place test results that at- compare the in-place, tenth-percentile strengths estimated by
tempted to address the perceived deficiencies of the these methods with the values obtained from many core
tolerance factor methods. Only a general summary of the tests. Only then can the reliability of these methods be eval-
method is given here. This rigorous method encompasses the uated.
following procedures: 6.2.4 Alternative method (Carino 1993)The rigorous
1. Regression analysis to establish the strength relation- method developed by Stone and Reeve (1986) has not re-
ship. ceived widespread acceptance among concrete technologists
2. Estimating the variability of the in-place compressive because of its complexity. Carino (1993) proposed an alter-
strength based on the results of the correlation tests and tests native method that retains the main features of the rigorous
on the structure. method, but can be implemented easily with spreadsheet
3. Calculating the probability distribution of the estimated software.
in-place, tenth-percentile strength. The basic approach of the alternative method is illustrated

in Fig. 6.2. Mandels procedure (as outlined in Appendix

A.2) is used to obtain the strength relationship from correla-
tion data. The results of the in-place tests and the strength re-
lationship are used to compute the lower confidence limit of
the estimated average in-place strength at a desired signifi-
cance level . Finally, the tenth-percentile strength is deter-
mined assuming a log-normal distribution for the in-place
concrete strength. Calculations are performed using natural-
logarithm values.
In the following paragraphs, the procedure for estimating
the in-place strength is explained further. When the in-place
strength is to be estimated, replicate tests are performed on
the structure. The average of the logarithms of the in-place
tests is used to compute the logarithm of the average in-place
compressive strength using the strength relationship:

Y =a +b X (6-3)

where Fig. 6.2Alternative method to estimate compressive

Y = the logarithm of the estimated average in-place com- strength based on in-place tests (Carino 1993)
pressive strength
during the laboratory correlation testing. Thus the following
X = the average of the logarithms of the in-place tests per-
relationship is assumed:
formed on the structure
a,b = the intercept and slope of the strength relationship
Next, the lower confidence limit for the estimated average s c f = ----- s (6-6)
strength is computed. This lower limit is obtained using Eq. si l X
(A-16) in Appendix A.3 for the standard deviation sY of an
estimated value of Y for a new X. The lower confidence limit where
for the average concrete strength is as follows: scf, scl = standard deviations of logarithms of compressive
strength in the structure and laboratory, respectively
Y low = Y - (tm-1, s Y) (6-4) sX, sil = standard deviation of logarithms of the in-place re-
sults in the structure and laboratory, respectively
where The final step is to convert the result obtained from Eq. (6-
Ylow = lower confidence limit at confidence level 5) into real units by taking the antilogarithm.
tm-1, = Student t-value for m-1 degrees of freedom and con- A close examination of the alternative procedure shows
fidence level
m = the number of replicate in-place tests Table 6.4Student t-values for m-1 deg of freedom and
Table 6.4 lists Student t-values for m-1 degrees of freedom risk levels of 0.05 and 0.10 (Natrella 1963)
and risk (or confidence) levels of 5 percent and 10 percent. m-1 t0.05 t0.10
The choice of risk level depends on the criticality of in-place 2 2.920 1.886
concrete strength in the overall assessment. When strength is 3 2.353 1.638
critical, a lower risk level, such as 5 percent, should be used. 4 2.132 1.533
It is assumed that the distribution of in-place compressive 5 2.015 1.476
strength is described by a log-normal distribution, and the 6 1.943 1.440
tenth-percentile strength is computed as follows: 7 1.895 1.415
8 1.860 1.397
Y0.10 = Ylow - 1.282 scf (6-5) 9 1.833 1.383
10 1.812 1.372
where 11 1.796 1.363
Y0.10 = logarithm of strength expected to be exceeded by 90 12 1.782 1.356
percent of the population 13 1.771 1.350
scf = standard deviation of the logarithms of concrete 14 1.761 1.345
strength in the structure 15 1.753 1.341
The value of scf is obtained from the assumption (Stone 16 1.746 1.337
and Reeve 1986) that the ratio of the standard deviation of 17 1.740 1.333
compression strength to the standard deviation of in-place 18 1.734 1.330
test results has the same value in the field as was obtained 19 1.729 1.328

Appendix A.4 gives examples that compare the estimated in-

place strength using the tolerance factor and alternative
6.2.5 SummaryExcept for testing cast-in-place cylin-
ders, in-place tests provide indirect measures of concrete
strength. To arrive at a reliable estimate of the in-place
strength, the uncertainties involved in the estimate must be
considered. This section has discussed some techniques de-
veloped for this purpose. The tolerance factor methods dis-
cussed in 6.2.1 and 6.2.2 have been used successfully in the
analysis of pullout test data. Therefore, they may be ade-
quate for test methods that have good correlation with com-
pressive strength, such as the pullout test.
The tolerance factor methods, however, do not account for
the main sources of uncertainty in a rational way. This has
Fig. 6.3Example of form used to identify locations of in-
place tests in a floor slab of a slab of a multi-story building lead to the development of more complex procedures as dis-
cussed in 6.2.3 and 6.2.4. These new methods are designed
to provide reliable estimates of in-place strength for any test
procedure. However, these rigorous methods need to be in-
corporated into easy-to-use computer programs before they
can be put to practical use.

6.3Reporting results
For the different tests and for different purposes, a variety
of report forms will be appropriate. Usually, relevant ASTM
standards describe the information required on a report.
Where in-place testing is made at early ages, some particular
reporting data are desirable. A set of forms, similar to those
developed by an engineer for use in pullout testing, is shown
in Fig. 6.3 to 6.5. These may serve as useful models for de-
veloping forms to report the results of other in-place tests.
Briefly, the three forms provide for the following:
1. Record of test locations (Fig. 6.3)This form gives a
plan view of a typical floor in a specific multistory building.
The location of each test is noted. The location of maturity
meters, if installed, can also be shown. Location data are im-
portant in case of low or variable results. Where tests are
made at very early ages and the time to complete a placement
is long, there may be a significant age-strength variation
from the start to the finish of the placement.
2. Record of field-test results (Fig. 6.4)This is the form
on which test data, the calculated results, and other pertinent
data are recorded at the site. The form shown in Fig. 6.4 has
been designed for evaluating the data with the Danish or tol-
erance-factor methods (minimum strength is the tenth-per-
Fig. 6.4Sample form for on-site recording of in-place test centile strength). It includes provisions for entering infor-
results mation on maturity data, protection details, and concrete ap-
pearance to corroborate the test data in cold weather. Due to
that the average compressive strength estimated by the the critical nature of formwork removal, a recommended
strength relationship [Eq. (6-3)] is reduced by two factors. procedure is for the field technician to phone the data to a
The first factor, which is given by Eq. (6-4), accounts for the control office and obtain confirmation of the calculations be-
uncertainty of the strength relationship and the uncertainty of fore giving the results to the contractor.
the average of the in-place test results. The second factor, 3. Report of test results (Fig. 6.5)This form is used to re-
which is given by Eq. (6-5), accounts for the variability of port the in-place test results. The example shown in Fig. 6.5
the in-place compressive strength. Thus it is felt that the al- is a multicolor self-carbon form designed to be completed at
ternative procedure strikes a balance between statistical rigor the site by the technician, with copies given to the contrac-
and practicality of use. As mentioned, the procedure is well tor's and structural engineer's representatives when the re-
suited for implementation using a computerized spreadsheet. sults have been checked. It provides for identification of the

forcement (Vincentsen and Henriksen 1992). This major

construction effort should serve as a model for future
projects where in-place quality assurance is very important.
In North America, there is a hesitancy to abandon tradi-
tional acceptance procedures, which have served their pur-
pose. However, in-place testing offers the opportunity to
lessen the reliance on the testing of standard-cured cylinders
as the only method to judge acceptability of the concrete de-
livered to the site. The added benefit of in-place testing is
that it provides assurance that the finished construction has
the properties specified by the designer. This chapter dis-
cusses the potential for in-place testing as an alternative tool
for acceptance testing.

7.2Acceptance criteria
The following reviews the current acceptance criteria in
North American practice and proposes how in-place testing
may be used as an alternative to testing standard-cured cyl-
7.2.1 Molded cylindersAccording to ACI 318-89, the
evaluation and acceptance of concrete are based on tests of
cylinders molded at the job site and subjected to standard
laboratory curing. Section of ACI 318-89 states as
Strength level of an individual class of concrete shall
be considered satisfactory if both of the following re-
quirements are met:
a) Average of all sets of three consecutive strength tests
Fig. 6.5Sample form for reporting in-place test results equal or exceed fc .
b) No individual strength test (average of two cylin-
placement involved, the individual results, and the calculat- ders) falls below f c by more than 500 psi.
ed mean and minimum strengths. It records the engineer's re- In addition, according to of ACI 318-89, the Build-
quirements for form removal and states whether these ing Official may require testing of field-cured cylinders to
requirements have been met. It requires the contractors rep- check the adequacy of curing and protection of the concrete
resentative's signature on the testing companys copy. in the structure. The acceptability of curing, as indicated by
the field-cured cylinder strengths, is defined in section
ACCEPTANCE OF CONCRETE Procedures for protecting and curing concrete shall
be improved when strength of field-cured cylinders at
7.1General test age designated for determination of f c is less than 85
Traditionally, acceptance testing for new construction has percent of that of companion laboratory cylinders. The
been confined solely to judging the acceptability of the con- 85 percent limitation shall not apply if field-cured
crete delivered to the project. It is assumed that acceptable strength exceeds fc by more than 500 psi.
concrete which is placed, compacted and cured according to 7.2.2 CoresIn the event that a strength test of standard-
standards of good practice will perform according to design cured cylinders is more than 500 psi (3.4 MPa) below fc ,
assumptions. Exceptions occur when there is clear visual ev- ACI 318-89 requires that steps be taken to assure adequacy
idence of inadequate compaction or distress (such as exces- of the structure. Cores may have to be drilled to verify the in-
sive cracking), or when inadequate protection was provided place strength. Three cores are required for each strength test
in cold weather. failing to meet the specified criteria. In judging the accept-
It is becoming recognized that the durability of exposed ability of the core strengths, section of ACI 318-89
structures is dependent strongly on the curing history. There- states as follows:
fore, it is desirable to have assurance that the finished struc- Concrete in an area represented by core tests shall be
ture has the necessary properties to attain the desired level of considered structurally adequate if the average of three
performance. In-place testing offers the opportunity to ob- cores is equal to at least 85 percent of f c and if no single
tain this assurance. The Great Belt Link project in Denmark core is less than 75 percent of f c . Additional testing of
is one of the first large-scale construction projects in which cores extracted from locations represented by erratic
the owners relied on in-place testing (pullout tests) to assess core strength results shall be permitted.
the acceptability of the concrete layer protecting the rein- 7.2.3 In-place testsBased on the above requirements for

judging the acceptability of in-place concrete based on core cent of the specified strength. Therefore, it is reasonable to
strengths, the following acceptance criteria based on in-place assume that if the early age (one to three days) strength re-
testing are proposed: quirement is satisfied, then at 28 days the specified design
The concrete in a structure is acceptable if the estimat- strength will undoubtedly be achieved. For additional assur-
ed average, in-place, compressive strength based on a re- ance, in-place tests can be made on the structure at 28 days.
liable in-place test procedure equals at least 85 percent of Bickley (1984) reported on demonstration projects where
fc and no test result estimates the compressive strength in-place testing was used not only for early-age strength de-
to be less than 75 percent of fc . termination of horizontal elements but also for confirmation
However, before these criteria can be put into effect, a of the 28-day design strength. Permission to waive standard
standard practice for statistical analysis of in-place test data cylinder testing was obtained from the Building Official. In-
needs to be adopted. novative project specifications defined the frequency of in-
place tests and the procedures to follow in doing the tests and
7.3Early-age testing reporting the results. Acceptance of the concrete was based
The prime reason for using in-place tests in new construc- on the results of pullout tests performed on the structure at 28
tion is to determine whether it is safe to begin critical opera- days. For comparison, standard-cured cylinders were also
tions, such as form removal or post-tensioning. The in-place tested at 28 days, but these strengths were not reported. Ta-
tests provide estimates of compressive strength at ages that ble 7.1 summarizes the results. The specified design strength
are usually much earlier than the age for attaining the speci- for both projects was 4350 psi (30 MPa). Individual pullout
fied strength. The criterion frequently used to judge the ac- test results were converted to compressive strengths based
ceptability of early-age strengths to permit critical con- on the strength relationships, and these estimated strengths
struction operations is that the estimated in-place compres- were used to compute the statistics shown in the second and
sive strength should be at least 75 percent of fc . In this con- fourth columns of the table. Based on the standard devia-
text, the estimated strength represents an estimate of the 10th tions, the expected percentages of strength below fc were
percentile strength. When such a requirement is specified, computed. In all cases, these percentages were less than 10
early-age testing may facilitate final acceptance of concrete. percent, which is the approximate value implied in ACI 318.
In high-rise construction, economic factors result in accel- For both projects, the in-place test results clearly showed that
erated schedules in which critical operations may be planned the concrete had acceptable strength.
as early as one to three days after concrete placement. To In conclusion, current legal contracts for the sale and pur-
meet the early-age strength requirements, the contractor may chase of ready-mixed concrete are usually based on the 28-
choose to use a concrete mixture that will exceed the speci- day strength of standard-cured cylinders. For the time being,
fied design strength. Experience has shown that requiring a therefore, these cylinders have to be cast. However, when in-
minimum strength of 75 percent of fc at early ages (one to place tests are made at an early age, the acceptability of the
three days) will usually assure that the in-place strength will concrete can be assessed at that time. If it is satisfactory, there
be at least fc at 28 days, if proper curing is used and the spec- is no need to test the standard cylinders. If the early in-place
ifications do not allow mixtures that achieve all their tests indicate a problem with concrete in a particular place-
strength gain at the time of form removal. ment, the related standard cylinders are available for testing.
For example, for a specified design strength of 4000 psi
(27.6 MPa), the in-place strength to permit form removal CHAPTER 8REFERENCES
may have to be at least 3000 psi (20.7 MPa). Allowing for
the inherent variation of concrete strength, the average in- 8.1Recommended references
place strength may have to be 3700 psi (25.5 MPa) to assure The documents of the various standards-producing organi-
that the early-age strength criterion is satisfied. In this case, zations referenced in this report are listed below with their
the average early-age, concrete strength has to equal 93 per- serial designation.

Table 7.1Results of standard-cured cylinder and in-place tests at 28 days (fc = 30 MPa)
Project 1 Project 2
Pullout tests Standard cylinders Pullout tests Standard cylinders
No. of results * 84 84 15 15
Mean strength, psi (MPa) 4990 (34.4) 5630 (38.8) 5210 (35.9) 5540 (38.2)
Standard deviation s, psi (MPa) 390 (2.7) 570 (3.9) 390 (2.7) 510 (3.5)
Range, psi (MPa) 4340-6920 (29.9-40.5) 4480-6310 (30.9-43.5)
4420-6450 (30.5-44.5) 4710-5870 (32.5-40.5)
Mean strength - fc 1.63 s 2.23 s 2.18 s 2.34 s
Expected percentage of results 4.9 1.2 1.4 1
below fc
Actual percentage of results None 1.2 None None
below fc
* A result is the average of two cylinder tests or the average of two or more pullout tests.

Mean and standard deviation of compressive strength based on strength relationship.

American Concrete Institute crete Strengths Using the Break-Off Tester, ACI Materials
214 Recommended Practice for Evaluation of Strength Journal, V. 82, No. 6, Jul.-Aug. 1988, pp. 221-228.
Test Results of Concrete Barker, M.G., and Ramirez, J.A., Determination of Con-
306R Cold Weather Concreting crete Strengths Using the Break-Off Tester, Structural En-
308 Standard Practice for Curing Concrete gineering Report, #CE-STR-87-22, School of Civil
318 Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete Engineering, Purdue University, 1987, 114 pp.
437R Strength Evaluation of Existing Concrete Buildings Bickley, J.A., Evaluation and Acceptance of Concrete
Quality by In-Place Testing, In Situ/Nondestructive Testing
ASTM of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
C 31 Practice for Making and Curing Concrete Test 1984, pp. 95-109.
Specimens in the Field Bickley, J.A., Variability of Pullout Tests and In-Place
C 39 Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Concrete Strength, Concrete International: Design & Con-
Cylindrical Concrete Specimens struction, V. 4, No. 4, April 1982, pp. 44-51.
C 42 Method of Obtaining and Testing Drilled Cores Bickley, J.A., Concrete Optimization, Concrete Inter-
and Sawed Beams of Concrete national: Design & Construction, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1982b,
C 192 Method of Making and Curing Concrete Test Spec- pp. 38-41.
imens in the Laboratory Bloem, D.L., Concrete Strength in Structures, ACI JOUR-
C 511 Specification for Moist Cabinets, Moist Rooms, NAL, Proceedings V. 65, No. 3, March 1968, pp. 176-187.

and Water Storage Tanks Used in the Testing of Bocca, P., Application of Pull-Out Test to High Strength
Hydraulic Cements and Concretes Concrete Strength Estimation, Materials and Structures,
C 597 Test Method for Pulse Velocity Through Concrete Research and Testing, (RILEM, Paris), V. 17, No. 99, May-
C 803 Test Method for Penetration Resistance of Hard- June 1984, pp. 211-216.
ened Concrete Bungey, J.H., Testing of Concrete in Structures, 2nd Ed.,
C 805 Test Method for Rebound Number of Hardened Chapman and Hall, New York, 1989, 228 p.
Concrete Carino, N.J., Statistical Methods to Evaluate In-Place
C 823 Practice for Examination and Sampling of Hard- Test Results, New Concrete Technology: Robert E. Philleo
ened Concrete in Constructions Symposium, ACI SP-141, American Concrete Institute,
C 873 Test Method for Compressive Strength of Concrete 1993, pp. 39-64.
Cylinders Cast in Place in Cylindrical Molds Carino, N.J., and Tank, R.C., Maturity Functions for
C 900 Test Method for Pullout Strength of Hardened Concrete Made with Various Cements and Admixtures,
Concrete ACI Materials Journal, V. 89, No. 2, March-April 1992, pp.
C 1074 Practice for Estimating Concrete Strength by the 188-196.
Maturity Method Carino, N.J., and Tank, R.C., Statistical Characteristics
C 1150 Test Method for the Break-Off Number of Con- of New Pin Penetration Test, ASTM Journal of Cement,
crete Concrete, and Aggregates, V. 11, No. 2, Winter 1989, pp.
E 105 Recommended Practice for Probability Sampling 100-108.
of Materials Carino, N.J., Maturity Method: Theory and Application,
E 122 Recommended Practice for Choice of Sample Size ASTM Journal of Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates, V. 6,
to Estimate the Average Quality of a Lot or Process No. 2, Winter 1984, pp. 61-73.
E 178 Practice for Dealing with Outlying Observations Carino, N.J.; Woodward, K.A.; Leyendecker, E.V.; and
Fattal, S.G., Review of the Skyline Plaza Collapse, Con-
These documents may be obtained from the following or- crete International: Design & Construction, V. 5, No. 7, July
ganizations: 1983, pp. 35-42.
Carino, N.J.; Lew, H.S.; and Volz, C.K., Early Age Tem-
American Concrete Institute perature Effects on Concrete Strength Prediction by the Ma-
P.O. Box 9094 turity Method, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 80, No. 2,
Farmington Hills, Mich 48333-9094 March-April 1983b, pp. 93-101.
Carette, G.G., and Malhotra, V.M., In Situ Tests: Vari-
ASTM ability and Strength Prediction at Early Ages, In Situ/Non-
100 Barr Harbor Dr. destructive Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete
West Conshohocken, Pa. 19428-2959 Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 111-141.
Carlsson, M.; Eeg, I.R.; and Jahren, P., Field Experience
8.2Cited references in the Use of the Break-Off Tester, In Situ/Nondestructive
Ballarini, R.; Shah, S.P.; and Keer, L.M., Failure Charac- Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute,
teristics of Short Anchor Bolts Embedded in a Brittle Mate- Detroit, 1984, pp. 277-292.
rial, Proceedings, Royal Society of London, A404, 1986, Chabowski, A.J., and Bryden-Smith, D.W., Assessing
pp. 35-54. the Strength of Concrete of In-Situ Portland Cement Con-
Barker, M.G., and Ramirez, J.A., Determination of Con- crete by Internal Fracture Tests, Magazine of Concrete Re-

search, V. 32, No. 112, Sept. 1980, pp. 164-172. Long, A.E., and Murray, A.M., The Pull-Off Partially
Dahl-Jorgenson, E., and Johansen, R., General and Spe- Destructive Test for Concrete, In Situ/Nondestructive Test-
cialized Use of the Break-Off Concrete Strength Testing ing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute, De-
Method, In Situ/Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, SP-82, troit, 1984, pp. 327-350.
American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 293-307. Mailhot, G.; Bisaillon, G.; Carette, G.G.; and Malhotra,
Dilly, R.L., and Vogt, W.L., Pullout Test, Maturity, and V.M., In-Place Concrete Strength: New Pullout Methods,
PC Spreadsheet Software, Nondestructive Testing, SP-112, ACI JOURNAL , Proceedings V. 76 , No. 12, Dec. 1979, pp.
American Concrete Institute, 1988, pp. 193-218. 1267-1282.
Domone, P.L., and Castro, P.F., An Expanding Sleeve Malhotra, V.M., and Carino, N.J., Eds., Handbook on
Test for In-Situ Concrete and Mortar Strength Evaluation, Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, CRC Press Inc., Boca
Proceedings, Structural Faults and Repairs 87, Engineering Raton, FL, 1991, 343 pp.
Technics Press, Edinburgh, 1987. Malhotra, V.M., and Carette, G., Comparison of Pullout
Fa ca oaru, I., Romanian Achievements in Nondestruc- Strength of Concrete with Compressive Strength of Cylin-
tive Strength Testing of Concrete, In Situ/Nondestructive ders and Cores, Pulse Velocity, and Rebound Number, ACI
Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute, JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 77, No. 3, May-June 1980, pp. 161-
Detroit, 1984, pp. 35-56. 170.
Fa ca oaru, I., Non-destructive Testing of Concrete in Malhotra, V.M., Testing Hardened Concrete: Nondestruc-
Romania, Proceedings, Symposium on Non-destructive tive Methods, ACI Monograph No. 9, American Concrete In-
Testing of Concrete and Timber, June 11-12, 1969, Institu- stitute/Iowa State University Press, Detroit, 1976, 204 pp.
tion of Civil Engineers, London, 1970, pp.39-49. Malhotra, V.M., Evaluation of the Pull-Out Test to Deter-
Hellier, A.K.; Sansalone, M.; Carino, N.J.; Stone, W.C.; mine Strength of In-Situ Concrete, Materials and Struc-
and Ingraffea, A.R., Finite-Element Analysis of the Pullout tures, Research and Testing (RILEM, Paris), V. 8, No. 43,
Test Using a Nonlinear Discrete Cracking Approach, ASTM Jan.-Feb. 1975, pp. 19-31.
Journal of Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates, V. 9, No. 1, Malhotra, V.M., Maturity Concept and the Estimation of
Summer 1987, pp. 20-29. Concrete StrengthA Review, Information Circular No.
Hindo, K.R., and Bergstrom, W.R., Statistical Evaluation IC 277, Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources, Otta-
of the In-Place Compressive Strength of Concrete, Con- wa, Nov. 1971, 43 pp.
crete International: Design & Construction, V. 7, No. 2, Mandel, J., Fitting Straight Lines When Both Variables
February 1985, pp. 44-48. Are Subject to Error, Journal of Quality Technology, V. 16,
Johansen, R., In Situ Strength Evaluation of Concrete No. 1, Jan. 1984, pp. 1-14.
The Break-Off Method, Concrete International: Design Munday, J.G.L., and Dhir, R.K., Assessment of In Situ
and Construction, V. 1, No. 9, Sept. 1979, pp. 45-51. Concrete Quality by Core Testing, In Situ/Nondestructive
Johansen, R., A New Method for the Determination of Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute,
the In-Place Concrete Strength at Form Removal, First Eu- Detroit, 1984, pp. 339-410.
ropean Colloquium on Construction Quality Control, Murphy, W.E., Interpretation of Tests on the Strength of
Madrid, May 1976, 12 pp. Concrete in Structures, In Situ/Nondestructive Testing of
Keiller, A.P., Preliminary Investigation of Test Methods Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete Institute, Detroit,
for the Assessment of Strength of In Situ Concrete, Techni- 1984, pp. 377-392.
cal Report No. 42.551, Cement and Concrete Association, Naik, T.R.; Salameh, Z.; and Hassaballah, A., Evaluation
Wexham Springs, 1982, 37 pp. of In-Place Strength of Concrete by the Break-Off Method,
Khoo, L.M., Pullout Technique-An Additional Tool for in Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation for Manufacturing
In Situ Concrete Strength Determination, In Situ/Nonde- and Construction, H.L.M. dos Reis, Editor, Hemisphere
structive Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American Concrete In- Publishing Corp., 1990, New York, pp. 237-248.
stitute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 143-159. Naik, T.R.; Salameh, Z.; Hassaballah, A., Evaluation of
Ku, H.H., Notes on the Use of Propagation of Error For- In-Place Strength of Concrete by the Break-Off Method,
mulas, in Precision Measurement and Calibration - Statis- Dept. of Civil Engineering and Mechanics Report, Universi-
tical Concepts and Procedures, National Bureau of ty of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1987, 101 p.
Standards, SP 300, V. 1, 1969, pp. 331-341. Nasser, K.W., and Al-Manseer, A.A., A New Nonde-
Leshchinsky, A.M., Combined Methods of Determining structive Test, Concrete International: Design and Con-
Control Measures of Concrete Quality, Materials and struction, V. 9, No. 1, Jan. 1987, pp. 41-44.
Structures, V. 24, 1991, pp. 177-184. Nasser, K.W., and Al-Manseer, A.A., Comparison of
Leshchinsky, A.M.; Leshchinsky, M. Yu; and Goncharo- Nondestructive Testers of Hardened Concrete, ACI Materi-
va, A.S., Within-Test Variability of Some Non-Destructive als Journal, V. 84, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 1987, pp. 374-380.
Methods for Concrete Strength Determination, Magazine of Natrella, M., Experimental Statistics, Handbook No. 9,
Concrete Research, V. 42, No. 153, Dec. 1990, pp. 245-248. National Bureau of Standards, U.S. Government Printing
Lew, H.S., West Virginia Cooling Tower Collapse Office, 1963, Washington, D.C.
Caused by Inadequate Concrete Strength, Civil Engineer- Nishikawa, A.S., A Nondestructive Testing Procedure
ing-ASCE, V. 50, No. 2, Feb. 1980, pp. 62-67. for In-Place Evaluation of Flexural Strength of Concrete,

Informational Report JHRP-83-10, School of Civil Engi- Teodoru, G.V., Nondestructive Testing of Concrete: Espe-
neering, Purdue University, Aug. 1983, 65 p. cially the Use of Ultrasonic PulseCritical Reflections, Be-
Ottosen, N.S., Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis of Pull- ton-Verlag, 1989, 158 pp. (in German).
out Test, Journal of Structural Division, ASCE, V. 107, Teodoru, G.V., The Use of Simultaneous Nondestructive
ST4, April 1981, pp. 591-603. Tests to Predict the Compressive Strength of Concrete,
Petersen, C.G., LOK-Test and CAPO-Test Development Nondestructive Testing, ACI SP-112, American Concrete In-
and Their Applications, Proceedings, Institution of Civil stitute, Detroit, 1988, pp. 137-152.
Engineering, Part I, 76, May 1984, pp. 539-549. Teodoru, G.V., Mechanical Strength Property of Con-
RILEM Commission 42-CEA, Properties of Concrete at crete at Early Ages as Reflected by Schmidt Rebound Num-
Early Ages-State-of-the-Art Report, Materials and Struc- ber, Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity, and Ultrasonic Attenuation,
tures, Research and Testing (RILEM, Paris), V. 14, No. 84, Properties of Concrete at Early Ages, ACI SP-95, American
Nov.-Dec. 1981, pp. 399-450. Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1986, pp. 139-153.
Samarin, A., and Dhir, R.K., Determination of In Situ Vogt, W.L.; Beizai, V.; and Dilly, R.L., In Situ Pullout
Concrete Strength: Rapidly and Confidently by Nondestruc- Strength of Concrete with Inserts Embedded by Finger
tive Testing. In Situ/Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, Placing, In Situ/Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, SP-
SP-82, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 77- 82, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 161-175.
94. Vincentsen, L.J., and Henriksen, J.R., Denmark Spans
Samarin, A., and Meynink, P., Use of Combined Ultra- Strait with Great Belt Link, Concrete International: De-
sonic and Rebound Hammer Method for Determining sign & Construction, V. 14, No.7, July 1992, pp. 25-29.
Strength of Concrete Structural Members, Concrete Inter- Yener, M, Overview, and Progressive Finite Element
national: Design & Construction, V. 3, No. 3, Mar. 1981, pp. Analysis of Pullout Tests, ACI Structural Journal, V. 91,
25-29. No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1994, pp. 49-58.
Snedecor, G.W., and Cochran, W.G., Statistical Methods, Yener, M., and Chen, W.F., On In-Place Strength of Con-
6th Ed., Iowa State University Press, 1967, pp. 32-65. crete, and Pullout Tests, ASTM Journal of Cement, Con-
Stone, W.C.; Carino, N.J.; and Reeve, C., Statistical crete,, and Aggregates, V. 6, No. 2, Winter 1984, pp. 90-99.
Methods for In-Place Strength Prediction by the Pullout Yener, M., and Chen, W.F., Evaluation of In-Place Flex-
Test, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 83, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. ural Strength of Concrete, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 82,
1986, pp. 745-755. No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1985, pp. 788-796.
Stone, W.C., and Reeve, C.P., New Statistical Method for Yun, C.H.; Choi, K.R.; Kim, S.Y.; and Song, Y.C., Com-
Prediction of Concrete Strength from In-Place Tests, ASTM parative Evaluation of Nondestructive Test Methods for In-
Journal of Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates, V. 8, No. 1, Place Strength Determination, Nondestructive Testing, ACI
Summer 1986, pp. 3-12. SP-112, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1988, pp. 111-
Stone, W.C., and Giza, B.J., "Effect of Geometry and Ag- 136.
gregate on the Reliability of the Pullout Test," Concrete In-
ternational: Design & Construction, V. 7, No. 2, Feb. 1985, APPENDIX
pp. 27-36.
Stone, W.C., and Carino, N.J., Comparison of Analytical A.1Number of strength levels
with Experimental Strain Distribution for the Pullout Test, The number of strength levels needed to develop the
ACI J OURNAL, Proceedings V. 81, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1984, pp. strength relationship depends on statistical considerations
3-12. and cost. To gain some insight, it is useful to examine how
Stone, W.C., and Carino, N.J., Deformation and Failure the confidence interval for an estimate obtained from a
in Large-Scale Pullout Tests, ACI J OURNAL, Proceedings V. strength relationship is affected by the number of points used
80, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1983, pp. 501-513. to establish that relationship (Carino 1993). Because the
Sturrup, V.R.; Vecchio, F.J.; and Caratin, H., Pulse Ve- strength relationship is used to estimate compressive
locity as a Measure of Concrete Compressive Strength, In strength from in-place test results, compressive strength is
Situ/Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, SP-82, American treated as the dependent variable (Y value) and the in-place
Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 201-227. result as the independent variable (X value).
Swamy, R.N., and Al-Hamad, A.H.M.S., Evaluation of The residual standard deviation (also called standard error
the Windsor Probe Test to Assess In Situ Concrete of estimate) is the basic parameter used to quantify the un-
Strength, Proceedings, Institution of Civil Engineers (Lon- certainty of a best-fit strength relationship for a given set of
don), 77, Part 2, June 1984, pp. 167-194. data. For a linear relationship, an estimate of the residual
Tanigawa, Y.; Baba, K.; and Mori, H., Estimation of standard deviation is as follows:
Concrete Strength by Combined Nondestructive Testing
Method, In Situ/Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, SP-82, 2
American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1984, pp. 57-76. ( d yx )
Se = -------------- (A-1)
Tank, R.C., and Carino, N.J., Rate Constant Functions for N2
Strength Development of Concrete, ACI Materials Journal,
V. 88, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1991, pp. 74-83. where

S e = estimated residual standard deviation Eq. (A-2) equals zero. The width of the confidence interval
d yx = deviation of each test point from the best-fit line relative to the residual standard deviation is as follows:
N = number of test points used to establish strength rela-
W (X ) = 2 t
------------- 1
When the strength relationship is used to estimate the N 2 , 2 ---- (A-3)
Se N
mean value of Y at a new value of X, the width of the confi-
dence interval for the mean is related to the residual standard
deviation by the following expression* (Natrella 1963, Equation (A-3) is plotted in Fig. A.1 to show how the
Snedecor and Cochran 1967): width of the 95 percent confidence interval (relative to S e) is
affected by the number of test points used to establish the
strength relationship. It is seen that, for few test points (say,
1 ( X X) less than 5), by including an additional test point there is a
W = 2t N 2 , 2 S e ---- + -------------------- (A-2)
N S xx significant reduction in the relative width of the confidence
interval. However, for many points, the reduction obtained
where by using an additional test point is small. Therefore, the ap-
W = width of the 100(1- ) percent confidence interval propriate number of strength levels is determined by consid-
for the estimated mean value of Y for the value X erations of precision and cost. The user must answer the
t N-2,/2 = Student t-value for N-2 degrees of freedom and sig- question: Is the additional precision obtained by using an-
nificance level = other test point worth the additional expense? From Fig.
X = average of X values used to develop strength rela- A.1, it is reasonable to conclude that the minimum number
tionship of test points is about six, while more than nine tests would
S xx = sum of squares of deviations about X of the X values probably not be economical.
used to develop the strength relationship,
S xx = ( X - X) 2 A.2Regression Analysis with X-error (Mandel 1984)
The second term under the square root sign in Eq. (A-2) If the procedures in 6.2.3 or 6.2.4 are to be used to estimate
shows that the width of the confidence interval increases as the in-place characteristic strength, the least-squares regres-
the distance between X and X increases. This means that the sion analysis procedure to determine the strength relation-
uncertainty of the estimated strength is greater at the extreme ship should account for error in the X-variable. The method
limits of the strength relationship than at its center. proposed by Mandel (1984) can be used for this purpose.
To examine how the width of the confidence interval is af- This section provides a step-by-step procedure for carrying
fected by the number of test points, consider the case where out Mandels method.
X = X, so that the second term under the square root sign in It is assumed that at each strength level for the correlation
tests there are n x replicate in-place test results and n y replicate
* Strictly speaking, Eq. (A-2) is applicable only for the case of where the assump- compression test results. The number of strength levels is N.
tions of ordinary least-squares analysis are satisfied. It is used here to demonstrate, in
a simplified way, the effects of the number of test points on the width of the confi- The objective is to find the best-fit values of a and B (and
dence interval. When using in-place testing, Eq. (A-16) in Appendix A.3 should be
used to determine the lower confidence limit of the estimated mean value of Y for a their uncertainties) for the straight line, strength relationship:
new value of X.

ln C = a + B ln I (A-4)

a = intercept of straight line
B = slope of straight line
ln C = the natural logarithm of compressive strength
ln I = the natural logarithm of the in-place test result
After the correlation test data have been obtained, the fol-
lowing sequence of calculations is used to establish the
strength relationship and its uncertainty:
1) Transform the data by taking the natural logarithm of
each test result

x = ln i (A-5a)

y = ln c (A-5b)
Fig. A-1Effect of number of points used to establish
where i and c are the individual in-place and compressive
strength relationship on the confidence interval width (in
terms of residual standard deviation) strength test results, respectively.

2) For each strength level j compute the average and stan- 2

dard deviation * of the logarithms of the in-place and com- S xx = ( Xj X ) (A-9a)
pressive test results
Xj = the average of the logarithms of the in-place tests at 2
S yy = ( Y j Y ) (A-9b)
strength level j
Yj = the average of the logarithms of the compressive
strength tests at strength level j S x y = (X j X )(Yj Y ) (A-9c)
sxj = the standard deviation of the logarithms of the in-
place tests at strength level j
syj = the standard deviation of the logarithms of the com- The terms X and Y are the grand averages of the logarithms
pressive strength tests at strength level j of the in-place and compressive strength test results.
3) Calculate (sx )2 and (s y) 2, which are the average variances
(squares of the standard deviations) of the logarithms of the X
in-place tests and of the compression tests, respectively. X = --------j (A-10a)

2 (s y j ) Y
( sy ) = ----------------- (A-6a) Y = --------j (A-10b)

( sx j )
2 6) The best-fit estimates of B and a are as follows:
( s x ) = ----------------- (A-6b)
B=b (A-11a)
4) Compute the value of as follows:
a = Y bX (A-11b)
(s y )
----------- 7) Use the following steps to compute the standard errors
= ----------- (A-7) of the estimates of a and B.
(s x ) a) Compute these modified sums of squares:
S uu = S xx + 2kS xy + k2S yy (A-12a)
The numerator and denominator in Eq. (A-7) are the vari-
ances of the average compressive strength and in-place re-
S vv = b2 Sxx - 2bSxy + Syy (A-12b)
sults, respectively. If there are different numbers of replicate
tests at each strength level, the average numbers of replica-
tions should be used for n x and ny (see Stone and Reeve b) Compute the following error of fit, se :
5) Find the values of b and k, by solving the following si- S vv
multaneous equations: se = ------------- (A-13)

Sx y + k S y y c) The error in a is given by the following:

b = ------------------------- (A-8a)
Sx x + k S x y
2 2
b X ( 1 + k b)
s a = s e --1-- + ---------------------------- (A-14)
k = --- (A-8b) N S uu

In Eq. (A-8a), the terms Sxx , Syy , and Sxy are calculated ac- d) The error in B is given by the following:
cording to the following:
1 + kb
* For a small number of replicate tests, the standard deviation may be estimated by
s B = se ------------------ (A-15)
multiplying the range by the following factors: 0.886 for two replicates; 0.591 for Su u
three replicates; and 0.486 for four replicates (Snedecor and Cochran 1967).
Eq (A-6a) and (A-6b) assume that the same number of replicates were used at
each strength level. If some test results were discarded because they were found to be
outliers, the pooled variances should be computed to account for different numbers of In summary, the following general steps are used to obtain
replicates at each strength level (see Stone and Reeve 1986 of textbook on introduc-
tory statistics). the best-fit strength relationship and account for the error in

An iterative procedure can be used to solve for k and b (Mandel 1984). First, the X variable (in-place test results):
assume a value of k, such as k = 0, and solve for b in Eq. (A-8a). Using this value of b,
solve for a new value of k in Eq. (A-8b). Substitute the new value of k into Eq. (A-8a) Transform the correlation data by taking their natural
and solve for b. Repeat the procedure until the values of k and b converge, which will
usually occur in less than five iterations. logarithms

At each strength level, compute the average and standard sX = standard deviation* of in-place tests done on the struc-
deviation of the transformed values (logarithms) ture
Compute the value of based on the average (or pooled) m = number of replicate in-place tests done on the struc-
variances of the mean compressive and in-place results ture
Compute the values of b and k It is seen that there are two sources of the uncertainty in the
Compute the slope and intercept of the best-fit relation- estimated value of Y: 1) the uncertainty of the strength rela-
ship tionship (s e); and 2) the uncertainty (sX) of the in-place test
Compute the error of the fit results obtained from testing the structure. Because Eq. A-16
The error of the fit, se , is needed to calculate the uncertain- is the sum of two variances, which may have different de-
ty in the estimated mean compressive strength when the grees of freedom, a formula has been suggested for comput-
strength relationship is used with in-place tests of the struc- ing the effective degrees of freedom for sY (Stone and Reeve
ture. This is explained in the next section. 1986). For simplicity, it can be assumed that there are (m-1)
degrees of freedom associated with sY , where m is the num-
A.3Standard deviation of estimated Y value (Stone and ber of in-place tests done on the structure. These degrees of
Reeve 1986) freedom are used in choosing the t-value to calculate a lower
The strength relationship is used to estimate the in-place confidence limit for the average value, as discussed in Sec-
compressive strength based on the results of the in-place tion 6.2.4.
tests done on the structure. Typically, several in-place tests
are done on the structure, the average result is computed, and A.4Example
the strength relationship is used to estimate the average com- An example is presented to show the application of Man-
pressive strength. However, to obtain a reliable estimate of del's method and to illustrate the evaluation of in-place tests
the average strength, i.e., a value that has a high probability using the tolerance factor method discussed in Section 6.2.2
of being exceeded, the standard deviation of the estimate and the alternative method discussed in Section 6.2.4. The
must be known. correlation data are taken from the study of the pullout test
The approach developed by Mandel (1984) can be used to by Stone et al. (1986). The pullout test geometry had an apex
estimate the standard deviation of an estimated value of Y angle of 70 deg and the concrete was made using river gravel
(average compressive strength) for a new value of X (average aggregate. Eight strength levels were used to develop the
in-place test results) when there is X-error. Mandel's method strength relationship. At each strength level, 11 replicate
was modified by Stone and Reeve (1986) so that it also in- pullout tests and five replicate cylinder compression tests
corporates the uncertainty of the average in-place result from were done.
tests on the structure. This modification accounts for the fact The data from the cited reference were converted by tak-
that the uncertainty in the average of the in-place results is ing the natural logarithm of the individual pullout loads and
typically greater for tests on the structure compared with that compressive strengths. The average, standard deviation, and
from the laboratory tests used to develop the strength rela- variance of the transformed pullout loads at each strength
tionship. The standard deviation of the estimated value of Y level are shown in Columns 1, 3, and 4 of Table A.1. The av-
(average of the logarithm of compressive strength) is ob- erage, standard deviation, and variance (square of standard
tained by the following equation: deviation) of the transformed compressive strengths at each
strength level are shown in Columns 5, 7, and 8. For infor-
2 2 mation, Columns 2 and 6 give the averages of the logarithm
1 2 (X X ) 2 2s values transformed into real units.
sY = ---- + (1 + k b) -------------------- s e + b ----x (A-16)
N Su u m The average values in Columns 1 and 5 of Table A.1 were
used to calculate the various parameters to establish the
where strength relationship according to the procedure in Appendix
sY = standard deviation of estimated value of Y (average A.2. A computer spreadsheet was set up to do these calcula-
concrete strength) tions. Table A.2 summarizes the calculated values.
N = number of points used to obtain the strength relation- The calculated values of a and B are -0.5747 and 1.030, re-
ship spectively. Therefore the equation of the strength relation-
b = estimated slope of the strength relationship ship is as follows:
k = b/ , where is obtained from the within-test variabil-
ity during correlation testing, Eq. (A-7) C = -0.5747 + 1.030 PO (A-17)
X = average* of in-place tests done on the structure
X = average of X values during correlation tests, Eq. (A- where
10a) C = average of natural logarithms of compressive
se = error of fit of strength relationship, Eq. (A-13) strengths, and
S uu = modified sum of the squares as given by Eq. A-12a PO = average of natural logarithms of pullout loads

* The average and standard deviation of the in-place results refer to the average and * The average and standard deviation of the in-place results refer to the average and
standard deviation of the logarithms of the test results. standard deviation of the logarithms of the test results.

Table A.1Average, standard deviation, and variance of

correlation data from Stone et al. 1986
Stan- Stan-
Average dard dard
ln(PO) Real devia- Average Real devia-
(PO in value of tion Variance ln (C) (C value of tion Variance
lbs) PO(lbs) ln(PO) ln(PO) in psi) C(psi) ln(C) ln(C)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
7.6842 2174 0.1085 0.0118 7.3183 1508 0.0474 0.0022
7.9138 2735 0.0459 0.0021 7.6292 2057 0.0435 0.0019
8.2229 3725 0.0700 0.0049 7.9043 2709 0.0451 0.0020
8.4040 4465 0.1065 0.0114 8.1047 3310 0.0103 0.0001
8.7098 6062 0.1162 0.0135 8.3209 4109 0.0343 0.0012
8.8100 6701 0.1488 0.0222 8.4321 4592 0.0048 0.0000
8.9397 7629 0.0953 0.0091 8.6660 5802 0.0507 0.0026
8.9877 8004 0.1598 0.0255 8.7358 6222 0.0303 0.0009
Average variance of ln
(PO) 0.0125 Average variance of ln(C) 0.0014 Fig. A.2Data for strength relationship and best-fit line
1 kN = 224.8 lbs; 1 MPa = 145.1 psi; ln(kN) = ln(lbs) - 5.4153; ln (MPa) = In(psi) -
Table A.4Estimate of in-place compressive strength
Table A.2Summary of results of regression using results in Table A.3
calculations using values in Table A.1 and procedure in Alternative approach Tolerance factor
Appendix A.2 (Section 6.2.4) approach (Section 6.2.2)
Case 1 Case 2 Case 1 Case 2
Parameter Value Parameter Value
N 8 k 4.290
(Eq. A-17) 7.6700 7.6917 Y 7.6700 7.6917
nx 11 b=B 1.030
exp( Y), psi* 2143 2190 exp(Y), psi 2143 2190
ny 5 a -0.5747
X 8.4590 ea 0.563 (Eq. A-16) 0.0453 0.0607 K (p = 0.75) 1.671 1.671
Y 8.1389 S uu 48.211 t9,0.05 1.833 1.833 scf 0.111 0.167
0.240 Svv 0.0180 Y low Y 0.10
(Eq. 6-4) 7.5870 7.5804 (Eq. 6-1) 7.4845 7.4126
Sxx 1.6528 se 0.0548
exp(Y 0.10),
Syy 1.7424 sa 0.3622 s cf (Eq. 6-6) 0.037 0.055 psi 1780 1657
Sxy 1.6883 sB 0.043 Y 0.10
(Eq. 6-5) 7.5395 7.5099
exp(Y 0.10),
Table A.3Values of pullout force obtained from tests psi 1881 1826
on structure
* exp(Y) = eY.
Case 1 Case2 1 MPa = 145.1 psi.
Pullout force (lbs) ln(PO) Pullout force (lbs) ln(PO)
3010 8.0097 3904 8.2698 sets of in-place pullout test results. Both cases have approx-
3340 8.1137 2873 7.9631 imately the same average value, but Case 2 has higher vari-
3500 8.1605 3204 8.0722 ability. In each case, there are 10 replicate test results, i.e., m
3080 8.0327 2669 7.8895 = 10. The pullout loads are transformed by taking their natu-
2478 7.8152 2332 7.7545 ral logarithms. The averages of the logarithms (PO) are sub-
3000 8.0064 3091 8.0362 stituted into Eq. (A-17) to obtain the average of the logarithm
3290 8.0986 3844 8.2543 of in-place compressive strength (C). Estimates of the 10th
3070 8.0294 3140 8.0520 percentile strength (Y0.10) corresponding to the two cases are
2660 7.8861 2552 7.8446 obtained using the tolerance factor method (Section 6.2.2)
2660 7.8861 3336 8.1125 and the alternative method (Section 6.2.4). The values of the
Average (X) 8.0038 Average (X) 8.0249 various parameters used in the calculations are summarized
Standard deviation 0.1108 Standard deviation 0.1670 in Table A.4, and, where appropriate, the corresponding
(sX) (sX)
equation numbers are shown. For the alternative method, the
1 kN = 224.8 lbs; ln(kN) = ln (lbs) - 5.4153. standard deviation of the in-place compressive strength (scf)
was computed using Eq. (6-6), while for the tolerance factor
Fig. A.2 shows the correlation data (average of loga- method it was taken to equal the standard deviation of the in-
rithms) and the best-fit line. place test results. For each method, the value of Y 0.10 is a
Finally, the strength relationship and the procedures in smaller fraction of the average strength for Case 2 due to the
Section 6.2 are used to estimate the in-place compressive higher variability of the in-place tests. The estimates of Y 0.10
strength based on in-place test results. Table A.3 shows two are lower for the tolerance factor method.