What are the Properties of Fresh Concrete?

Properties of Fresh Concrete

When concrete is its plastic state it is known as fresh concrete. Fresh concrete can be easily moulded to a durable structural member. Following are the properties of fresh concrete.

1. Workability
2. Segregation
3. Bleeding
4. Plastic shrinkage
5. Setting
6. Temperature
7. Water Cement Ratio

1. Workability - The term workability indicates the ease or difficulty with which the concrete is handled, transported and placed. The amount of water present in concrete should be in the proper ratio. Generally, a higher water-cement ratio is required for good workability. In the actual function of water is to lubricate the concrete. The concrete which is easy for handling and placing is a workable concrete.
                                                                             There are various test to measure the workability of the concrete mixture. The test such as flow testcompacting test and slump cone test is done to determine the workability of the concrete mixture. To know more about the workability see What Is Workability of Concrete.

2. Segregation - Segregation is the separation of the constituents materials of concrete. Segregation is of three types, firstly the coarse aggregates separating out from concrete. Secondly, the paste of cement is separating out from coarse aggregates and thirdly, water is separating out from the rest of the material. This type of concrete is weak due to lack of homogeneity and having a deduction of desirable properties.
                                                 Dropping of concrete from heights as well as discharging of concrete from badly designed mixer shows a tendency for segregation.due to excessive vibration of concrete coarse aggregates try to settle down called as segregation.


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3. Bleeding - Bleeding is a particular form of segregation, in which some of the water from the concrete comes out to the surface of the concrete. The water rising to the surface carries with it particles of sand and cement which on hardening form a scum layer popularly known as laitance. Bleeding takes place in a highly wet mix, badly proportioned and insufficient mixed concrete.


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4. Setting - When concrete changes its state from plastic to hardened state, this process is called setting. And the duration which concrete takes to change its state is called setting time. setting time depends on the type of cement and it can be increase or decrease by adding admixture in concrete.

5. Plastic Shrinkage - After the fresh concrete has been placed in forms, concrete undergoes a volumetric contraction while it is in a plastic state(before the concrete set). This is known as plastic Shrinkage. plastic shrinkage is so-called because of the form while the concrete is still plastic, i.e. has not set. Rapid drying of the surface of the plastic concrete cause it to shrink and crack. They rarely occur near the edges of a slab as those locations the concrete is usually free to move.
                             It can starts after 30 minutes of concrete pouring or during finishing. 

6. Temperature - Concrete is not recommended to be placed at a temperature above 40°C without proper precautions as laid down in IS:7861(part -1).
                      Special problems are encountered in the preparation, placement and curing of concrete in hot weather. High-temperature results in rapid hydration of cement, increased evaporation of mixing water, greater mixing water demand, and large volume changes resulting in cracks. 

7. Water-Cement Ratio - The ratio of the amount of water to the amount of cement by weight is termed the water-cement ratio. The strength and quality of concrete depend on this ratio. The quantity of water is usually expressed in litre per bag of cement. if water required for one bag of cement is 30 litres, the water-cement ratio is equal to 30/50 = 0.6. To know more about water-cement ratio see Water-Cement Ratio and its Significance

Also, read - Concrete Mix Ratio For Various Grade Of Concrete - Concrete Mix Design

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