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Prediction of Target Mean Strength of Concrete Mixes

In practice cured concrete strength may exhibit strength variation from batch to batch and within batch despite the mixes being of the same proportions and with quality control. On the other hand, structural concrete elements are designed to meet specific characteristic strength. In order to ensure compliance to the specified characteristic strength, concrete mix designers target strengths higher than the specified characteristic strengths, commonly known as Target Mean Strength. This study aimed at establishing the margins between characteristic strength and Target Mean Strength for various local concrete mixes. In order to achieve this overall objective, a semi structured questionnaire was used to identify the popular concrete mix design models in the country. The identified model was then validated through experimental mix designs, concrete mixes, cube casting, curing and strength testing. The mixes were designed for normal concrete classes; C20, C25 and C30. The sample size for each of these classes was guided by the British-DOE method of mix design that demands for standard deviation to be calculated from at least 20 results and the Indian Standard IS 456:2000 that demands a sample size of at least 30 for each concrete class. This study utilized 101 concrete mixes; 31 samples for C20 and 35 for each of the C25 and C30 classes. Three concrete cube specimens were cast for each mix, cured for 28 days and tested for compressive strength at the Civil Engineering Laboratory of the University of Zambia. From the compressive strength results, the probability density function for each class was generated using Microsoft Office excel. The determined standard deviations (s) from the distributions were 8.19, 8.00 and 8.27 MPa for concrete classes of C20, C25 and C30, respectively, which implied margins of 13.43, 13.12 and 13.56 MPa, respectively for 95% reliability (k=1.64). Therefore, the established margins (k x s) can be used for predicting Target Mean Strength of concrete mixes at 95% reliability for the Zambian concrete mixes provided the BS-DOE model is applied and constituent materials are similar to those used in the study.

Characteristic Strength, Target Mean Strength, Standard Deviation, Margin, British-DOE

APA Style

Masala Mwiko, Michael Nshumfwa Mulenga. (2022). Prediction of Target Mean Strength of Concrete Mixes. American Journal of Construction and Building Materials, 6(2), 93-104.

ACS Style

Masala Mwiko; Michael Nshumfwa Mulenga. Prediction of Target Mean Strength of Concrete Mixes. Am. J. Constr. Build. Mater. 2022, 6(2), 93-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ajcbm.20220602.13

AMA Style

Masala Mwiko, Michael Nshumfwa Mulenga. Prediction of Target Mean Strength of Concrete Mixes. Am J Constr Build Mater. 2022;6(2):93-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ajcbm.20220602.13

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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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