The Constructor

L Box Test on Self Compacting Concrete for Workability

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L Box Test on Self Compacting Concrete

This test for self compacting concrete is based on a Japanese design for underwater concrete, has been described by Peterson. The test assesses the flow of the concrete and also the extent to which it is subjected to blocking by reinforcement. The apparatus is shown in the figure. The apparatus consist of rectangular section box in the shape of an ‘L’, with a vertical and horizontal section, separated by a movable gate, in front of which vertical length of reinforcement bar are fitted. The vertical section is filled with concrete, and then the gate lifted to let the concrete flow into the horizontal section. When the flow has stopped, the height of the concrete at the end of the horizontal section is expressed as a proportion of that remaining in the vertical section. It indicates the slope of the concrete when at rest. This is an indication passing ability, or the degree to which the passage of concrete through the bars is restricted. The horizontal section of the box can be marked at 200mm and 400mm from the gate and the times taken to reach these points measured. These are known as the T20 and T40 times and are an indication for the filling ability. The section of bar con be of different diameters and are spaced at different intervals, in accordance with normal reinforcement considerations, 3x the maximum aggregate size might be appropriate. The bar can principally be set at any spacing to impose a more or less severe test of the passing ability of the concrete.

Assessment of test:

This is a widely used test, suitable for laboratory and perhaps site use. It asses filling and passing ability of SCC, and serious lack of stability (segregation) can be detected visually. Segregation may also be detected by subsequently sawing and inspecting sections of the concrete in the horizontal section. Unfortunately there is no arrangement t on materials or dimensions or reinforcing bar arrangement, so it is difficult to compare test results. There is no evidence of what effect the wall of the apparatus and the consequent ‘wall effect’ might have on the concrete flow, but this arrangement does, to some extent, replicate what happens to concrete on site when it is confined within formwork. Two operators are required if times are measured, and a degree of operator error is inevitable.

Equipment for L Box Test

Fig.:L Box test Apparatus

Procedure of L Box Test

About 14 liter of concrete needed to perform the test, sampled normally. Set the apparatus level on firm ground, ensure that the sliding gate can open freely and then close it. Moisten the inside surface of the apparatus, remove any surplus water, fill the vertical section of the apparatus with the concrete sample. Leave it stand for 1 minute. Lift the sliding gate and allow the concrete to flow out into the horizontal section. Simultaneously, start the stopwatch and record the time for the concrete to reach the concrete 200 and 400 marks. When the concrete stops flowing, the distances ‘H1’ and ‘H2’ are measured. Calculate H2/H1, the blocking ratio. The whole has tom performed within 5 minutes.

Interpretation of the result:

If the concrete flows as freely as water, at rest it will be horizontal, so H2/H1=1. Therefore the nearest this test value, the ‘blocking ratio’, is unity, the better the flow of concrete. The EU research team suggested a minimum acceptable value of 0.8. T20 and T40 time can give some indication of ease of flow, but no suitable values have been generally agreed. Obvious blocking of coarse aggregate behind the reinforcement bars can be detected visually.
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