Research Articles | Challenge Journal of Concrete Research Letters

Study on concrete proportioning methods: a qualitative and economical perspective

Shoib Bashir Wani, Tahir Hussain Muntazari, Nusrat Rafique



The various approaches, established for concrete mix design, are not universal because design mixes are explicit to local climate, available materials, and type of exposure. The new-generation mix design method should be developed based on the performance criteria. The concrete strength obtained from the designed concrete mix and optimum cement content should not be considered as the only parameter for the suitability of the concrete mix. This study was carried to compare the proportioning of concrete mixes obtained by following procedures of Indian Standard (IS), American Concrete Institute (ACI) and British Standard (BS) of concrete mix design without the use of admixtures to validate for use in a moderate climate like Kashmir, India. The concrete mixes have been prepared with the necessary 28 days resistance in compression as “15 MPa, 20 MPa, 25 MPa, 30 MPa and 35 MPa”. The assessment of water-cement (w/c) ratio; cement, water, fine aggregate (FA) and coarse aggregate (CA) proportion was carried. The w/c ratio among all formulated mixes is significantly high in the BS method and low for IS method. The BS method uses less quantity and IS method uses the maximum quantity of cement. In addition, the ratio of total aggregate content (TAC) and the aggregate-cement ratio is higher in BS design method as compared to IS and ACI design methods. The aggregate content in ACI mix design appears to be consistent and it added to the relative high compressive strength. The specimens cast following BS guidelines failed to attain the target mean strength (TMS) due to a higher volume of aggregate content, high w/c proportion, less quantity of cement in the mix. The specimens cast by ACI and IS mix design upon compression testing showed higher results than the calculated TMS. The cost analysis per cubic meter of concrete revealed that IS and ACI mix proportioning are expensive than BS method. The IS procedure results in dense concrete followed by ACI procedure. It is expected that with a comprehensive investigation on selected design parameters concentrating more on local challenges, the present study will floor the way for the development and adoption of performance-based design mix selection for moderate climate.


mix design methods; cement; w/c ratio; target mean strength; total aggregate content

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