Effect of Changing Cement Grade on the Properties of Structural Concrete
Keywords:Cement grades, Compressive strength, Density, Portland limestone cement, Tensile strength, Workability
Many research efforts have been carried out, in a quest to produce mix design information that will guide the concrete and construction industry on how to achieve different concrete strengths, using the different grades of cement available. This is with a view to arresting the rampant collapse of buildings in Nigeria. The work presented in this paper is the result of investigation carried out to determine effects of changing cement grade, while casting a structural member, on the strength behaviour of the concrete. Two types of cement grades: 32.5 R and 42. 5 R were used for this research. In this investigation, the chemical and physical properties of the cement were determined. Consistency and setting times of mortar specimens from the two cement grades were also determined. Concrete samples made from the two cement grades 32.5 R and 42.5 R were evaluated for workability, density, compressive and tensile strengths at water/cement ratios of 0.40, 0.50 and 0.60. The results showed that the cement grade 42.5 consistently developed higher densities at all the water/cement ratios considered. This may be as a result of unforeseen additional dead load at the design stage, which would now amount to underestimation of dead load and thus design load. The results also showed that at higher water/cement ratios, the cement grade 42.5 R has densities exceeding the 2400 kg/m3 recommended by BS 8110. Furthermore, the concretes produced with cement grades of 32.5 R and 42.5 R have different strength development pattern and developed different 28-day compressive strength. Thus, it can be concluded that the action of changing the cement grade during concreting, for the same structural member is not supported by the national code, and will not result in safe and durable concrete.
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