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J Build Rehabil (2016) 1:1

DOI 10.1007/s41024-016-0001-x


A novel methodology for obtainment of compressive strength

of concrete
Thiago Silva1 • Hizadora D’Ambros1 • Esequiel Mesquita2 • Alcimar Milhomem1 •

Fernanda Santos1 • André Mendes1 • Flávio Lelis1

Received: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published online: 6 August 2016
Ó Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Abstract The present work provides a special contribution adhesion [1]. According to Daoud et al. [2] the bond
for assessment of the compressive strength of the concrete existent at reinforcement bars and the surrounding concrete
through a low-cost test. Here, an alternative pull out test is is indicate as the fundamental factor for reinforced concrete
presented and an experimental campaign was carried out performance, and comprises an important aspect that
aiming the demonstrate the applicability of this novel should be taken into account during the structural assess-
methodology. Three different classes of concrete were ment. Nonetheless, the bond between the rebars and the
performed, namely C20 (20 MPa), C25 (25 MPa) and C40 concrete can be affected by a large number of factor, as the
(40 MPa), each one with two variations of the reinforce- water/cement relation, aggregates characteristics and cure
ment rebar diameter, that were 10 and 16 mm. In addition, conditions.
references samples also were casted and submitted to A recent study on crack emergence in the zone of
compressive strength test by NBR 5739. The results found adhesion steel–concrete was presented by Ožbolt et al. [3]
confirmed the applicability of the novel methodology for considering the effect of the different levels of corrosion
obtainment compressive strength of concrete. using the 3D chemo-hygro-thermo-mechanical model.
Basically this model considered the physical, electro-
Keywords Low cost pull out test  Compressive strength chemical process with the concrete mechanical perfor-
of concrete  Concrete quality control  Field testing mance and also considered radial concrete resistance as
linear elastic, and the adhesion zone as an isotopic area. In
this analysis, finite element method was employed, and the
1 Introduction numerical model was calibrated based on simplified
experimental test. The results showed that chemo-hygro-
The essential characteristic for reinforced concrete exis- thermo-mechanical properties presents a large influence in
tence is the perfect adhesion between the concrete (C) and the crack emergence and consequently for bond resistance
the reinforcement rebars (RR). However, the mechanism of between the RR-C [2].
adhesion between these two different materials results from Studies related with the porosity influence on cement
association between the chemical, mechanical and friction matrix and its relationship with the adhesion mechanisms
between the cement paste, aggregates and reinforced rebars
(in case of reinforced concrete) has been carried out from
reinforced concrete advance. However, only in the 70
& Thiago Silva decade, the studies on RR-C bond characteristics were oriented aiming the obtainment of relations between the
1 mechanical properties of the concrete and the cement.
Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Instituto Federal de
Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Tocantins, AE 310 Sul, Now, the bond RR-C has been performed in terms of
Avenida LO 05, s/n, Palmas, Tocantins 77.021-090, Brazil numerical modeling and the zone characteristics imple-
CONSTRUCT-LESE, Faculty of Engineering, University of mented aiming a most real model about the behavior of
Porto, Dr Roberto Frias street, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal rebar-concrete surrounding zone [4–6].

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According to NBR 6118 [7] the capacity of resistance, Recently, low cost assessment methods has been
performance in service and durability are some of the developed on the field of the liquid measurement and
minimum quality requirements that concrete structures thermal monitoring [10–12]. Nevertheless, exist a gab on
must to attend. Additionally, if this parameter was mea- the techno-scientific field regarding to a low cost pull out
sured in the early ages dramatic situations can be analyzed test for concrete samples, with easy applicability and high
and decision could be adopted for safety maintenance in a results accuracy.
short time. Based in the above mentioned reasons, the present
One of the most important parameters considered during works intents to provide a novel pull out methodology
safety assessment is the compressive strength of the con- focused to obtainment of the compressive strength of
crete. However, for compressive strength assessment a concrete. In the following section the experimental cam-
destructive method based on axial rupture of cubic or paign and the proposed methodology will be described, as
cylindrical samples is commonly employed (see [14, 15]). well the results and the conclusion.
In fact, for this destructive method the concrete specimens
should be casted with concrete and after a period deter-
mined the compressive strength should be determinate in 2 Experimental
laboratories through specific pressure machine. But some-
times the laboratories are not of easy accessed to owners 2.1 Novel pull out methodology
and this can make difficult the quality control, and espe-
cially in emerging economies this fact contributes to For the proposed methodology application, a pull out test
owners treat this important step as a subjective factor for machine was built, as showed Figs. 1 and 2. The pull out
the building safety. This way, advances on the methods for machine consist in a metallic structure with a rectangular
quality control of buildings material are essentials for base (100 cm 9 20 cm) linked with a hydraulic jack with
maintenance of the quality control and safety of the maximum load capacity of 10 tones, analogical pressure
buildings, especially during it application in field. gauge and manual loading. For the pull out test the con-
According to Silva et al. [8] the use of compressive crete samples should be initially centralized and the loads
strength test is motivated by: (1) low complexity of test applied (manual override of hydraulic jack) considering the
procedures; (2) easy interpretation of results; (3) satisfac- intervals of 10 s aiming most accuracy of the data
tory correlation of this parameter with others resistances, measurements.
tensile strength, shear strength, bond strength armor-con- The work mechanism of the proposed pull out machine
crete. Nonetheless, some limitations in this experimental consists that the force applied at the bar should be mea-
test may be identified, as: (1) the test is characterized by a sured although a manometer accomplished to pull out
displacement test imposed at support sides which does not machine till failure of the adhesion RR-C.
create a uniform stress field imposed on the sides for a Sequentially, the measured values obtained by pull out
heterogeneous material such as concrete; (2) the influence test should be converted to adhesive strength through
of technique and materials used in the regularization or Eq. 1, where fbd = adhesive strength of calculation;
leveling the top at test results; and (3) not consideration of Rs = force applied along the rebar length; ; = steel bar
the bond RR-C. diameter; lb = anchorage length. Then, the characteristic
In truth, the bond RR-C characterization is a relevant tensile resistance can be obtained by Eq. 2, where g1 ¼ 1:0
parameter for structural safety assessment, and should not (without rib bar); g1 ¼ 1:4 (carve bar); g1 ¼ 2:25 (rib bar);
be excluded from technological control. This way, the g2 ¼ 1:0 (good adherence); g2 ¼ 0:7 (poor adherence);
employment of pull out test should be considerate in order
to improve more information about the reinforced concrete
behavior [4] and, in addition can be used for provide
forecast on compressive strength of concrete.
The pull out method is standardized by RILEM/CEB/
FIP RC6 [9]. This proceeding consists in pull out one steel
bar centered in a specimen placed on support plates of a
testing machine. The traction force applied to one end of
bar and enough to slip inside the concrete block the other
end is measured. The test results can be expressed as the
variation of slip measured at the free end of the bar versus
pull out strength. Fig. 1 Overview of machine of pull out test modified

J Build Rehabil (2016) 1:1 Page 3 of 5 1

The concrete samples dedicated to the pull out test (E10

and E16) were casted by a 1.5 L plastic bottle, where
reinforced rebars with 40 cm of length were passed by the
top hole till crossing the plastic bottle symmetrically.
Following, the plastic bottle was fill by concrete and after
24 h submitted to cure by immersion during 28 days. For
the pull out test, the plastic bottle was not removed because
does not present influence to test measures.
The E0 concrete samples were casted in metallic
cylindrical shapes, with diameter of 10 cm and height of
Fig. 2 Overview of machine of pull out test modified model
20 cm. The recommendations described in [14] were
adopted. After 24 h the metallic cylindrical shapes were
removed and the E0 concrete samples were also submitted
to cure by immersion till the experimental campaign.
g3 ¼ 1:0 (diameter bar lower than 3.2 mm); g3 ¼
ð132  ;Þ=100 (diameter bar greater than 3.2 mm), and 2.3 Methodology
finally the compressive strength of the concrete can be
estimated by Eq. 3, where: fctd = characteristic tensile Initially, the E0 samples were submitted to compressive
resistance; fck = compressive strength of concrete, and strength test according with NBR 5739 [15]. For this, a
cc = specific mass of concrete [7]. hydraulic pressure machine with load limit capacity of 1000
fbd ¼ Rs =ðp:;:lb Þ ð1Þ kN was used. Now, for E10 and E16 tests was necessary to
fbd ¼ g1 :g2 :g3 :fctd ð2Þ fill with cotton the bottle cap to create a non-adherence zone
  in order to prevent the reaction of the backing plate that
fctd ¼ 0:21  fck =cc ð3Þ compresses the concrete, restricts the transverse deformation
and causes the overestimation of the bond stress in concrete,
mainly because the concrete remains confined in its plastic
2.2 Materials and concrete samples preparation mold during the test. The samples E10 and E16 were care-
fully centralized in the pull out machine in order to avoid
For the concrete mixtures, the following materials were measure distortions. Following, the loading was manually
used: a pozzolan cement, namely Portland cement (CPII-Z) applied till the maximum pull out stress be achieved and the
with specific mass of 3.02 g/cm3 and specific surface area tension measured in the manometer was noted. All the
(Blaine) of 3200 cm2/g was employed. A fine sand was details of these procedures are shown in the Fig. 3.
also used part of the aggregates, characterized by 1.510 kg/ It is necessary to state that the proposal methodology is
dm3 of unitary mass, specific mass of 2.67 g/cm3, fineness limited to reinforced rebars diameters equal or less than
modulus of 2.40 and maximum nominal size of 2.40 mm. 16 mm, due to top hole of the plastic bottle support
The coarse aggregate presented 1.651 kg/dm3 of unitary diameters till 16 mm.
mass, specific mass of 2.63 g/cm3, fineness modulus of
0.85 and maximum nominal size of 19.00 mm.
For the concrete mixtures design the American Concrete 3 Results
Institute’s method (ACI) [13] was employed. Three dif-
ferent concrete mixtures were designed for each compres- The compressive strength values obtained for the E0-C20
sive strength class, C20 (20 MPa), C25 (25 MPa) and C40 concrete samples testing were of 17.39, 21.03 and
(40 MPa) and then, 18 concrete samples were casted, 9 22.41 MPa. Now, the compressive strength values were of
with reinforced rebars diameter of 10 mm (here titled as 23.45, 26.01 and 26.72 MPa for E0-C25 and of 42.35, 45.68
E10) and 9 with diameter of 16 mm (assigned as E16). and 47.32 MPa for E0-C40. The compressive strength
Additionally, nine reference concrete samples (titled as E0) average values for the E0 samples were of 20.27 MPa
were casted according to [14]. In the total, 27 concrete (C20), 25.39 MPa (C25) and 45.11 MPa (C40). The E0
samples were tested after 28 days submitted to cure by results were plotted and used for comparison with the E10
immersion. and E16 samples results, as showed by Figs. 4 and 5. In
The concrete mixtures presented a mortar index around general, the E0 samples presented compressive resistance
54 %, maximum slump of 75 mm and minimum slump of values really near to the compressive strength design, also
25 mm, index of incorporated air around 2 %. The water/ presented a low dispersion between each samples, consid-
cement index changed between 0.54 (C20) to 0.40 (C40). ering the concrete classes C20, C25 and C40.

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Fig. 3 Pull out testing with the

concrete samples E10 and E16,
and the details of the plastic
bottle used as molds

50 Table 1 Experimental results of the E10 and E16

C20 C25 C40
Samples Rs (Ton) fbd (MPa) fctd (MPa) fck (MPa)
Compressive strength (MPa)

C20 1.3 5.24 1.63 21.63
30 C20 1.2 4.84 1.51 19.19
E0 C20 1.25 5.04 1.57 20.40
20 C25 1.5 5.76 1.79 24.90
C25 1.4 5.37 1.67 22.45
C25 1.6 6.14 1.91 27.43
C40 2 7.96 2.48 40.51
C40 2.1 8.36 2.60 43.59
0 C40 2.15 8.56 2.66 45.15
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
C20 2.1 5.29 1.65 21.95
Fig. 4 Compressive strength results of the E0 and E10 C20 2.2 5.54 1.72 23.53
C20 2 5.04 1.57 20.40
C25 2.2 5.47 1.70 23.09
C20 C25 C40 C25 2.1 5.22 1.63 21.54
C25 2.25 5.60 1.74 23.88
Compressive strength (MPa)

40 C40 3.3 7.91 2.46 40.14

C40 3.5 8.39 2.61 43.85
30 C40 3.5 8.39 2.61 43.85
20 expressions 1, 2 and 3, as previously mentioned. All the
experimental results range are showed in the Table 1.
10 The compressive strength results of E0 and E10 samples
are compared in the Fig. 4, where is possible to observe
that the results present similar values really closed each
other. Taking into account the C20 class, the standard
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
variation of the compressive strength between E0 and E10
was of 1.80 MPa, and to classes C25 and C40 the standard
Fig. 5 Compressive strength results of the E0 and E16 variation values remained low, 1.52 and 2.50 MPa
respectively. However, for 77.7 % of the concrete samples
Concerning to pull out tests results, taking into account the compressive strength values of the E0 were superiors to
the Rs values collected during the experimental campaign E10 values, this same characteristic is also observed in the
the fbd , fctd and fck values were obtained through E16 results.

J Build Rehabil (2016) 1:1 Page 5 of 5 1

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Acknowledgments Hizadora D’Ambros acknowledge the Junior optical fiber. IEEE Photonics Technol Lett 26(16):1613–1616
Scientific Initiation fellowship of Federal Institute of Education, 12. Balsamo D, Paci G, Benini L, Davide B (2013) Long term, low
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acknowledge CAPES through the Fellowship Number 10023/13-5, energy efficiency retrofitting. 2013 IEEE Work Environ Energy
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