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Ozioko, H. O.

Department of Civil Engineering, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

In order to determine the effects of coarse aggregate size on the flexural strength of concrete, concrete beams were produced

in accordance with BS 1881-108 (1983) and American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM C293) with varying aggregate

sizes 9.0mm, 14mm, 18mm, and 24mm, using a standard mould of internal dimension of 150 x 150 x 750mm for the reinforced

concrete beam. The water cement ratio was kept at 0.65 with a mix proportion of 1:2:4. The specimen produced were all

subjected to curing in water for 28days and were all tested to determine the flexural strength using Universal Testing Machine.

The slump tests (Workability) of the concrete mixtures prepared with each of the aggregate sizes were also conducted. The

results showed that, aggregate sizes of 9.0, 14.0, 18.0 and 24.0mm have slump values of 101, 120, 158 and 160mm and

flexural strengths of 4.91, 4.81, 4.13 and 4.03N/mm². It was concluded that, concrete to be used mostly to resist flexural

stresses should be made of finer coarse aggregates.

1. INTRODUCTION

Flexural strength is a measure of the tensile strength of take about three-quarter of the volume of concrete with

concrete. It is a measure of the ability of an unreinforced the coarse aggregates taking between 50 and 60% of the

concrete beam or slab to resist failure resulting from concrete mix depending on the mix proportion used

bending stresses. Flexural Strength is the theoretical (Waziri et. al., 2011). The larger percentage of coarse

maximum tensile stress reached in the bottom fibre of a aggregate in concrete mix makes it to contribute a lot to

test beam during a flexural strength test. The flexural test the strength of concrete. Its properties like toughness,

measures the force required to bend a beam under single hardness, shape, size, soundness, density, and specific

or double point loading conditions (Ajamu and Ige, 2015). gravity also affect the strength of concrete.

Reinforcements are provided to enhance the tensile

strength of concrete. The ability of concrete to induce Concrete structures deflect, crack, and loose stiffness

tensile stresses to reinforcement depends mostly on the when subjected to external load. Loss of flexural strength

bonding force between the two materials and also on the of concrete is largely responsible for cracks in structure.

size of aggregates. Inability of the reinforcement to absorb In reinforced concrete structures, the mix proportions of

tensile stresses created in concrete leads to cracking; the materials of the concrete and aggregate type

cracks will open up bond that exist between the two determine the compressive strength while the composite

materials (concrete and steel). This eventually reduces action of concrete and steel reinforcement supplies the

the stiffness of the whole composite, and reinforcement flexural strength. In occasion of loss of stiffness, steel

will be exposed to corrosion agents (water, chloride, air reinforcement no longer supports flexural stresses;

etc.). concrete in turn is subjected to flexure. The compressive

strength and flexural strength therefore play a crucial role.

This study therefore focused on the effect of coarse

aggregate size on the flexural strength of concrete. To Many researchers (Wu et. al. 1997; Zhang et. al. 2010;

evaluate the flexural strength (the theoretical maximum Waziri et. al. 2011; Abdullahi, 2012 and Joseph et. al.

tensile and compressive stress reached in the bottom fibre 2012) have carried out studies on the strength

of a test beam during a flexural strength test) of concrete characteristics of concrete produced using different

implies subjecting concrete to loading on flexural testing aggregate materials and using different brands of cement

machine in order to measure it’s resistance to tensile but little or no attention have been focused on the flexural

stresses. bond stress (which is the stress in structural concrete

members between the concrete and the reinforcing

The constituents of concrete are cement, water and element that results from the application of external loads)

aggregates (fine and coarse aggregates). Aggregates between reinforcement and concrete. Use of poorly

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

graded coarse aggregate in concrete matrix also has it very delicate and requiring much care in order to achieve

share in the causes of structural failure due to the the maximum strength required to resist these stresses.

development of horny comb in the concrete. This also

results in a cohesionless composite of concrete and steel Aggregates (Coarse and fine) are the major constituents

with poor flexural bond. In such a case concrete will not of any concrete mixture. It has been established that

be able to effectively transmit the induced external aggregate grading has a significant impact on the strength

(flexural) load to the reinforcement, thus resulting in of concrete as it can either decrease or increase it, a factor

structural failure as the concrete will be subjected to which is as a result of the aggregate sizes, shape, texture

tensile stresses than it can accommodate. Therefore it is etc. It can therefore be said that aggregate sizes in a

imperative to determine the effect of coarse aggregate particular concrete mixture have an effect on the strength

size on the flexural bond strength of concrete. of the concrete which in turn affects its ability to resist

these bending stresses which it is subjected to. It is these

There is strong evidence that aggregate type is a factor in effects (of aggregate sizes) on a concrete subjected to

the strength of concrete. Ezeldin et al. (1991) compared these stresses that will be established in this research.

concretes with the same mix proportions containing four

different coarse aggregate types. They concluded that, in OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

high-strength concretes, higher strength coarse

aggregates typically yield higher compressive strengths, The objectives of this research include:

while in normal-strength concretes; coarse aggregate

i. To determine the effects of aggregate sizes on

strength has little effect on compressive strength. Other

the flexural strength of concrete mixtures

research has compared the effects of limestone and ii. To determine the corresponding workability

basalt on the compressive strength of high-strength (slump values) associated with the aggregate

concrete (Giaccio et al., 1992). Darwin et al. (1995) sizes.

observed that concretes containing basalt coarse

aggregate exhibited higher bond strengths with reinforcing 2. THEORETICAL ANALYSIS

steel than concretes containing limestone.

To determine the flexural strength of each of the sample,

the equations (1) and (2) from American society for testing

There is controversy, however, on the effects of coarse

and materials (ASTM C 78) was used. The flexural

aggregate content on the compressive strength of strength, expressed in terms of modulus of rupture, is

concrete. Ruiz (1966) found that the compressive strength given in N/mm², and can be calculated as follow:

of concrete increases with an increase in coarse

aggregate content until a critical volume is reached, while If the specimen breaks within the middle third of the span

Zhou et al., (1995) found little correlation between length, use equation (1) as follows:

compressive strength and coarse aggregate content.

R=PL/bd² (1)

Kaplan (1959) studied the effects of the properties of

Where: R = modulus of rupture in (N/mm²), P = maximum

coarse aggregates on the flexural and compressive applied load in (KN), L = span length in (mm),

strength of high-strength and normal-strength concrete.

Walker et al. (1960) studied the effects of coarse b = average width of specimen in (mm), = average depth

aggregate size on the properties of normal-strength of specimen in (mm)

concrete. Their work demonstrates that an increase in

aggregate size from 10 to 64mm results in a decrease in If the specimen breaks outside the middle third of the span

the compressive strength of concrete, by as much as 10 length by not more than 5 percent of the span length,

calculate the modulus of rupture using equation (2) as

percent; however, aggregate size seems to have follows:

negligible effects on flexural strength. The study also

shows that the flexural-to compressive strength ratio R=3Pa/bd² (2)

remains at approximately 12 percent for concrete with

compressive strengths between 35 MPa and 46 MPa. Where: a = L – l, l = distance of failure from left support.

Depending on the structural member/element, concrete is a = distance (in mm) between the line of fracture and the

often subjected to bending stresses (flexural), nearest support, measured along the centre line of the

bottom surface of the beam. Other parameters remain the

compressive stresses, etc. which makes its preparation

same as above.

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

If the specimen breaks outside the middle third of the span Aggregate Sizes Slump

length by more than 5 percent of the span length, discard

the results of the test. (mm) (mm)

9.0 101

3. MATERIALS AND METHODS

14.0 120

The materials used for this work are coarse aggregate,

fine aggregate (sand), cement (Ordinary Portland Cement 18.0 158

type I) and water. While the apparatus and equipment

24.0 160

used are beam mould (750mm x 150mm x 150 mm),

shovel, weighing balance, set of sieve, UTM (Universal

Testing Machine). The coarse aggregate used was

sourced from a single construction site to ensure

uniformity of results. 5. DISCUSSION

Dangote brand of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) was

values of the concrete consistency test performed

used; clean water fit for drinking was used throughout for

increases as the coarse aggregate distribution increases.

the research work. The aggregate sizes used were

The relationship between the workability of the concrete

Sample A – 9mm coarse aggregate, Sample B – 14mm

and its aggregate distribution is that of direct

coarse aggregate, Sample C – 18mm coarse aggregate

proportionality. As shown in the table 1 and figure 1, with

and Sample D – 20mm coarse aggregate. The procedures

average aggregate sizes of 9.0mm, the slump was

for conducting the flexural strength test were as listed in

recorded to be 101mm and increases as the aggregate

American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM C 78).

sizes increases.

seen to be highest at the average aggregate size of

9.0mm and decreases as the sizes increases. The

relationship between the flexural strength of concrete and

its coarse aggregate distribution is that of inverse

proportionality. The maximum flexural strength was

achieved at an aggregate size of 9.0mm and decreases

as the sizes increases. It could therefore be concluded

that to achieve maximum flexural strength in a concrete,

the concrete should be made of well-graded coarse

4. RESULT OF THE SLUMP TEST aggregates.

with the Same Water Cement Ratio of 0.65 and Mix

Proportion of 1:2:4.

Sizes curing failure from left Load Strength Flexural

(mm) supportl Strength

(mm) (Kg) (KN) (N/mm²)

(mm) (N/mm²)

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

6. CONCLUSIONS

7. RECOMMENDATIONS

The effects of coarse aggregate sizes on the flexural For a reinforced concrete beam, well graded coarse

strength of concrete beam were explored in this research. aggregate size 9.00mm or lower should be adopted as

The following are the conclusions; they give appreciable flexural strength and compressive

strength and it also appropriate for minimum bar spacing

i. Coarse aggregate size is directly proportional to in beam.

the slump (workability) of a fresh concrete with i. The choice of lower size aggregates in concrete

constant water cement ratio. mix is as important as proper compaction of

ii. Flexural strength of concrete beam is inversely fresh concrete in order to prevent honey comb

affected by the increase in coarse aggregate which can result to loss of stiffness of structural

size. component and consequently result in flexural

iii. The concrete mixture made of 9.00mm crack.

aggregate has the highest flexural strength than ii. Concrete to be used mostly to resist flexural

that with 14mm, and so does the strength stresses should be made of finer coarse

reduces as the aggregate sizes increase. aggregates.

iv. Aggregate sizes affect the flexural strength of

concrete.

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

SLUMP GRAPH

180

160 158 160

140

SLUMP (mm)

120 120

100 101

80

60

40

20

0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

AGGREGATE SIZES (mm)

6

AVERAGE FLEXURAL STRENGTHS

5

4

3

2

1

0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30

AGGREGATE SIZES (mm)

strength”, British Standards Institution, London.

[1] Abdullahi, M. (2012). Effect of aggregates type on

compressive strength of concrete. International Journal of [5] Darwin, D., Tholen, M. L., Idun, E. K. and Zuo, J.

Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering, 2(3), (1995). "Splice Strength of High Relative Rib Area

pp.791. Reinforcing Bars," SL Report No. 95-3, University of

Kansas, May.

[2] ACI Committee (1998). Standard Practice for Selecting

Proportions for Normal, Heavyweight and Mass [6] Ezeldin, A. S. and Aitcin, P.-C. (1991). "Effect of

Concrete”. American Concrete Institute Materials Journal, Coarse Aggregate on the Behavior of Normal and High-

95, (3), pp. 252. Strength Concretes," Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates,

CCAGDP, V. 13, No.2, pp. 121-124.

[3] Ajamu, S.O. and Ige, J.A. (2015). Effect of Coarse

Aggregate Size on the Compressive Strength and the [7] Giaccio, G., Rocco, C., Violini, D., Zappitelli, J.and

Flexural Strength of Concrete Beam Int. Journal of Zerbino, R. (1992) "High Strength Concretes

Engineering Research and Applications, ISSN: 2248- Incorporating Different Coarse Aggregates," A CI

9622, Vol. 5, January 2015, pp.67-75. Materials Journal, V. 89, No. 3, May-June, pp. 242-246.

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

and Tensile Strength Properties of Concrete using

Lateritic Sand and Quarry Dust as Fine Aggregate”. ARPN

Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 7(3). 324-

331

Strength of Concrete as Affected by the Properties of

Coarse Aggregate,'' ACI Journal, Proceedings V. 30, No.

11, pp.1193-1208.

the Elastic and Inelastic Properties of Concrete," M.S.

Thesis, Cornell University, January.

Aggregate Size on Properties of Concrete," ACI Journal,

Proceedings V. 57, No.3, September, pp. 283-298.

“Applicability of Quarry Sand as a Fine Aggregate in the

Production of Medium Grade Concrete”. Continental J.

Engineering Science, 6(2), 1-6.

of flexural properties of cement-stabilized macadam

reinforced with polypropylene fiber”. Journal of Materials

in Civil Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers

(ASCE).

"Fracture Properties of High Strength Concrete with

Varying Silica Fume Content and Aggregates," Cement

and Concrete Research, V. 25, No.3, pp. 543-552.

EFFECTS OF COARSE AGGREGATE SIZES ON THE FLEXURAL STRENGTH OF CONCRETE. Ozioko, 2015

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