Flexural strength and cost performance of tuffcrete concrete
Chioma Awodiji, Samuel Sule
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
Axion liquid polymer;
Axion white tuffcrete powder;
Comparative cost analysis
This study investigated the flexural strength of tuffcrete concrete in relation to nominal concrete. Tuffcrete concrete (TC) was made from Portland cement (PC), tuffcrete white powder (TWP), river sand, granite chippings, tuffcrete liquid polymer (TLP), and water. A prescribed mix of 1:2:2 (binder: sand: granite) with a diluted polymer-binder ratio of 0.6 was adopted. TWP replaced PC in percentages of 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 30%. 10 liters of TLP were diluted in 200 liters of water to make the water for mixing the concrete. 12 concrete standard beams of size 100mm x 100mm x 400mm were generated and hardened in water at ambient temperature for 28 days before being laid open for flexural testing. A comparative cost analysis was also carried out on the TC with respect to regular concrete. The workability of the fresh TC was highly enhanced due to the addition of the TWP. A 69.57% increase in slump was obtained by replacing PC with just 5% TWP. Slump values kept on getting bigger as the percentage of TWP incorporation grew. However, the flexural strength of TC reduced as more and more TWP was added to the mix. Flexural strength results ranged from 9.38 N/mm2 at 0% inclusion of TWP to 4.38 N/mm2 at 30% introduction of TWP. The best substitution of PC with TWP was at 5% with a flexural strength value of 7.22 N/mm2. Cost analysis revealed that the amount for making TC is greater than that of normal concrete, mainly due to the addition of the TLP, and this does not impact positively on the flexural strengths achieved. Nevertheless, PC replacement with TWP reduced the cost of binding material. In conclusion, the use of tuffcrete concrete based on flexural strength alone may be discouraged due to cost. But improved strength properties could still be achieved with better mix designs.
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