Advantages of mix design
Mix design aims to achieve good quality concrete at site economically. I. Quality concrete means • Better strength • Better imperviousness and durability • Dense and homogeneous concrete II. Economy a) Economy in cement consumption It is possible to save up to 15% of cement for M20 grade of concrete with the help of concrete mix design. In fact higher the grade of concrete more are the savings. Lower cement content also results in lower heat of hydration and hence reduces shrinkage cracks. b) Best use of available materials: Site conditions often restrict the quality and quantity of ingredient materials. Concrete mix design offers a lot of flexibility on type of aggregates to be used in mix design. Mix design can give an economical solution based on the available materials if they meet the basic IS requirements. This can lead to saving in transportation costs from longer distances. c) Other properties: Mix design can help us to achieve form finishes, high early strengths for early deshuttering, concrete with better flexural strengths, concrete with pumpability and concrete with lower densities.Requirements of mix design
Concrete mix design is the method of correct proportioning of ingredients of concrete, in order to optimize the above properties of concrete as per site requirements. The site engineer should give following information while giving material for mix design to the mix design laboratory:  a) Grade of concrete (the characteristic strength) b) Workability requirement in terms of slump c) Other properties (if required):  i. Retardation of initial set (to avoid cold joints in case of longer leads or for readymix concrete) ii. Slump retention (in case of ready mix concrete) iii. Pumpability (In case of ready mix concrete) iv. Acceleration of strength (for precast members or where early deshuttering is desired) v. Flexural strength (normally required for concrete pavements) d) Ascertain whether condition of exposure to concrete is mild, moderate severe or very severe. Proper investigation of soil should be done to ascertain presence of sulphates &chlorides, in case of doubt. e) What is the degree of control at site? Following factors indicate degree of control at site:  i. Batching – weigh batching / volume batching. ii. Type of aggregates – whether mixed graded aggregate will be usedor 20mm, 10mm aggregates will be used separately. iii. Testing of concrete – whether casting & testing of concrete cubeswill be done regularly at site. iv. Source of aggregate – whether sources of sand and aggregate will be standardised or likely to change frequently. v. Supervision – whether qualified staff will be present to supervise concreting workand make necessary corrections e.g. correction for moisture in sand andchanges in material properties.Factors affecting the choice of mix proportions
The various factors affecting the mix design are: A. Compressive strength It is one of the most important properties of concrete and influences many other describable properties of the hardened concrete. The mean compressive strength required at a specific age, usually 28 days, determines the nominal watercement ratio of the mix. The other factor affecting the strength of concrete at a given age and cured at a prescribed temperature is the degree of compaction. According to Abraham’s law the strength of fully compacted concrete is inversely proportional to the watercement ratio. A. Workability The degree of workability required depends on three factors. These are the size of the section to be concreted, the amount of reinforcement, and the method of compaction to be used. For the narrow and complicated section with numerous corners or inaccessible parts, the concrete must have a high workability so that full compaction can be achieved with a reasonable amount of effort. This also applies to the embedded steel sections. The desired workability depends on the compacting equipment available at the site. B. Durability The durability of concrete is its resistance to the aggressive environmental conditions. High strength concrete is generally more durable than low strength concrete. In the situations when the high strength is not necessary but the conditions of exposure are such that high durability is vital, the durability requirement will determine the watercement ratio to be used. C. Maximum nominal size of aggregate In general, larger the maximum size of aggregate, smaller is the cement requirement for a particular watercement ratio, because the workability of concrete increases with increase in maximum size of the aggregate. However, the compressive strength tends to increase with the decrease in size of aggregate. IS 456:2000 and IS 1343:1980 recommend that the nominal size of the aggregate should be as large as possible. D. Grading and type of aggregate The grading of aggregate influences the mix proportions for a specified workability and watercement ratio. Coarser the grading leaner will be mix which can be used. Very lean mix is not desirable since it does not contain enough finer material to make the concrete cohesive. The type of aggregate influences strongly the aggregatecement ratio for the desired workability and stipulated water cement ratio. An important feature of a satisfactory aggregate is the uniformity of the grading which can be achieved by mixing different size fractions. E. Quality Control The degree of control can be estimated statistically by the variations in test results. The variation in strength results from the variations in the properties of the mix ingredients and lack of control of accuracy in batching, mixing, placing, curing and testing. The lower the difference between the mean and minimum strengths of the mix lower will be the cementcontent required. The factor controlling this difference is termed as quality control.I. Mix Proportion designations
The common method of expressing the proportions of ingredients of a concrete mix is in the terms of parts or ratios of cement, fine and coarse aggregates. For e.g., a concrete mix of proportions 1:2:4 means that cement, fine and coarse aggregate are in the ratio 1:2:4 or the mix contains one part of cement, two parts of fine aggregate and four parts of coarse aggregate. The proportions are either by volume or by mass. The watercement ratio is usually expressed in massFactors to be considered for mix design
 The grade designation giving the characteristic strength requirement of concrete.
 The type of cement influences the rate of development of compressive strength of concrete.
 Maximum nominal size of aggregates to be used in concrete may be as large as possible within the limits prescribed by IS 456:2000.
 The cement content is to be limited from shrinkage, cracking and creep.
 The workability of concrete for satisfactory placing and compaction is related to the size and shape of section, quantity and spacing of reinforcement and technique used for transportation, placing and compaction.
Mix Design Procedure as per IS:10262.
1. Determine the mean target strength f_{t} from the specified characteristic compressive strength at 28day f_{ck} and the level of quality control.f_{t} = f_{ck} + 1.65 S , where S is the standard deviation obtained from the Table of approximate contents given after the design mix. 2. Obtain the water cement ratio for the desired mean target using the emperical relationship between compressive strength and water cement ratio so chosen is checked against the limiting water cement ratio. The water cement ratio so chosen is checked against the limiting water cement ratio for the requirements of durability given in table and adopts the lower of the two values. 3. Estimate the amount of entrapped air for maximum nominal size of the aggregate from the table. 4. Select the water content, for the required workability and maximum size of aggregates (for aggregates in saturated surface dry condition) from table. 5. Determine the percentage of fine aggregate in total aggregate by absolute volume from table for the concrete using crushed coarse aggregate. 6. Adjust the values of water content and percentage of sand as provided in the table for any difference in workability, water cement ratio, grading of fine aggregate and for rounded aggregate the values are given in table. 7. Calculate the cement content form the watercement ratio and the final water content as arrived after adjustment. Check the cement against the minimum cement content from the requirements of the durability, and greater of the two values is adopted. 8. From the quantities of water and cement per unit volume of concrete and the percentage of sand already determined in steps 6 and 7 above, calculate the content of coarse and fine aggregates per unit volume of concrete from the following relations:I. MIX DESIGN OF CONCRETE AS PER IS:10262.
Step 1: Design Stipulations Table  1
Grade of concrete 
M 20 
M25 
M30 
M35 
Type of Cement 
OPC/53 Grade 
OPC/53 Grade 
OPC/53 Grade 
OPC/53 Grade 
Maximum size of aggregate. 
30mm 
30mm 
30mm 
30mm 
Degree of workability. 
0.8 
0.90 
0.9 
0.9 
Water Cement Ratio 
0.5 
0.45 
0.42 
0.4 
Cement Content kg/m^{3} 
400 
400 
400 
400 
Aggregate Cement ratio 
4.3 
4.8 
4.8 
4.9 
Cement Used 
OPC/53 

Sp. Gravity of Cement 
3.15 

Sp. Gravity of 30mm Aggregate 
2.8 

Sp. Gravity of 10mm Aggregate 
2.76 

Sp. Gravity of Grit Aggregate 
2.82 

Sp. Gravity of Crush sand Aggregate 
2.79 

Chemical admixture @0.05% by wt. of cement 
Superplasticizer as per IS:1093 

Water Absorption (%) 
30mm Aggregate 
1.10 
10mm Aggregate 
1.42 

Grit Aggregate 
3.06 

Crush Sand Aggregate 
2.80 
I.S. SIEVE 
COARSE AGGREGATE 
FINE AGGREGATE 

CA II % Passing 
CA I % Passing 
Grit % Passing 
Crush Sand % Passing 

40mm 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
20mm 
29.51 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
10mm 
0.00 
66.04 
100.00 
100.00 
4.75mm 
0.00 
5.93 
94.60 
76.80 
2.36mm 
0.00 
0.00 
81.80 
44.20 
1.18mm 
0.00 
0.00 
55.00 
32.00 
600 µ 
0.00 
0.00 
28.80 
15.60 
300 µ 
0.00 
0.00 
14.40 
6.40 
150µ 
0.00 
0.00 
5.20 
2.40 
Fineness Modulus 
7.70 
6.26 
3.2 
4.23 
Grade of concrete 
M20 
M25 
M30 
M35 

Target strength (N/mm^{2}) 
F_{ck} + 1.65 S 
26.60 
28.25 
38.25 
43.25 
Characteristic compressive strength (N/mm^{2}) 
3 days 
12 
16 
21 
23 
7 days 
16 
20 
24 
28 

28 days 
20 
25 
30 
35 
Grade of concrete 
M20 
M25 
M30 
M35 
WaterCement Ratio 
0.5 
0.45 
0.42 
0.4 
Cement 
Grit 
Crush Sand 
Metal II 
Metal I 
… 
21 
21 
33 
25 
Grade of concrete  M20  M25  M30  M35 
Mass of Cement in kg/m^{3}  400  400  400  400 
Mass of Water in kg/m^{3}  200  180  168  160 
Mass of Fine Aggregate in kg/m^{3}  614  684  696  704 
Mass of grit in kg/m^{3}  307  342  348  352 
Mass of crushed sand in kg/m^{3}  307  342  348  352 
Mass of Coarse Aggregate in kg/m^{3}  1429  1478  1295  1271 
Mass of 20 mm in kg/m^{3}  858  887  777  763 
Mass of 10 mm in kg/m^{3}  572  591  518  508.4 
Mass of Admixture in kg/m^{3}  Nil  Nil  2  2 
Grade of concrete 
M20 
M25 
M30 
M35 
Cement 
1 
1 
1 
1 
Water 
0.5 
0.45 
0.42 
0.4 
Fine aggregate 
1.53 
1.71 
1.75 
1.76 
Coarse aggregate 
3.57 
3.7 
3.24 
3.18 