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Time of Setting of Hydraulic Cement by

Vicat Needle
- This test method provides a means of determining compliance
with a specification limit for Vicat time of setting. Refer to the
appropriate specification for the cement to determine if this test
method is used for specification compliance.

- The measured time of setting is affected by the percentage and

temperature of the water used, the amount of kneading the paste
received, and by the temperature and humidity of the mixing
room air and the moist cabinet or moist room air.
Fresh hydraulic cementitious mixtures are
caustic and may cause chemical burns to
skin and tissue upon prolonged exposure.
The use of gloves, protective clothing, and
eye protection is recommended.
The initial setting time can be defined as time
taken by paste to stiffen to such an extent that
the Vicatts needle is not permitted to move
down through the paste through 25 mm..

The final setting time can be defined as it is

the time after which the paste becomes so hard
that Vicatts
5mm needle doesnt sinks visibly and leave no
With Portland cement and rapid
hardening cement the normal initial
setting time should not be less than 30
minutes and the final setting time should
not be more than 10 hours. With quick
setting cementthe initial setting time
should not be less than 5 minutes and the
final setting time should not be more than
30 minutes.
Test for Consistency:
- This test is carried out to find
the consistency of cement. For
normal consistency of cement the maximum amount of
water to be added is 30%. In this test the room and water
temperature is also noted at the time of making the paste.
The standard needle penetration is 10 mm.

ASTM Standard Temperature:

Room temperature = 200 C to 27.50 C
Water temperature = 21.60 C to 24.70 C
This test is carried out to find whether
a cement sets at a rate suitable for
a particular work. There is no necessary
relationship between the time of setting and
of hardening or attaining the maximum
strength. A slow setting cement may harden
more rapidly than a quick setting one,
and vice versa. The hardening of cement is
actually a continuation of the chemical action
which began with setting.
Calculate the Vicat time of setting to the nearest one minute as follows:

((H-E)/(C-D) X (C-25)) + E

E = time in minutes of last penetration greater than 25 mm,
H = time in minutes of first penetration less than 25 mm,
C = penetration reading at time E, and
D = penetration reading time at time H.

Calculate the Vicat final time of setting by determining the elapsed time
between the time of the
initial contact between cement and water and the time when the needle
does not sink visibly into
the paste, rounded to the nearest five minutes.